2015-16 PAPA Circuit Details

PAPA Circuit

PAPA Pinball Circuit 2015-16

Thank you for your interest in the PAPA Circuit.

Currently entering its fourth year, the PAPA Circuit has helped raise the awareness of pinball at major events throughout the United States of America and Canada.

The primary goal of the PAPA Circuit is the following:

To raise the awareness of competitive pinball by showcasing high-level tournaments and associated events. PAPA believes by supporting the highest caliber of events and helping share information between them, we will create a positive working environment wherein all events improve and newcomers will feel safe in spending the time and money necessary to attend. Where one succeeds, others can learn from the successes and also improve.

One common misconception in early years of the Circuit is that PAPA representatives would run all of the events on the calendar. While this has happened under certain circumstances, it is by no means the standard and should not be the expectation. PAPA will not “take over” events or force them to conform to PAPA’s own formats. PAPA also has no desire to supersede the authority of local tournament directors. Our purpose is to provide guidance and advice on relevant topics, occasionally provide equipment upon special request, and to help promote.

Tournament directors are free to use their discretion as to what formats or strategies will best grow pinball in their areas, and ultimately whether an event succeeds or fails will be based upon their decisions, not PAPA’s involvement. PAPA believes that local tournament directors know their players, people, games, and locations better than we ever could, and so we respect each director’s ability to weigh any concerns and make decisions that best suit the event in question.

The determination of whether the PAPA Circuit visits or returns to a particular location is no longer based purely on an internal selection process made by PAPA staff; it is now based on a set of criteria entirely within the control of tournament directors. Combined with the implementation of a new feedback system, tournament directors and players will now play a direct role in choosing which events both join and remain on the Circuit, and that is how we believe the process should have worked all along.


*PAPA will be accepting open submissions for 2015-16 Circuit tournaments during the month of January 2015. The entire Circuit calendar will be determined during this submission period without exception. Only tournaments that fulfill the criteria listed below will be considered.

*Due to the nearness of the event on the calendar, PAPA has already worked out details and accepted an event in Oklahoma City on April 24 – 26, 2015. PAPA also recognizes that some events taking place later in the calendar year did not know these changes were taking place, and so may not have all details worked out. For 2015-16, events in this situation are permitted to submit all known details for consideration.

*The number of total tournaments in the 2015-16 PAPA Circuit will be increased to a maximum of 24. Rules for the number of Circuit finalists and the Circuit Final format will be altered to accomodate this change.

*In the first year, some of the openings will be filled based off of pre-existing agreements with previous Circuit events. The remaining openings on the upcoming Circuit calendar will be filled based on whichever tournaments best fulfill the criteria listed below. In future years, after we have successfully collected the required player feedback from each event, PAPA’s preexisting agreements with individual tournaments will be dissolved, and the entire Circuit calendar will be based off of what the players themselves choose as the best events. Tournament directors will no longer be required to convince PAPA representatives of the high quality of their event, they will be required to make decisions that convince the players themselves.

*With the increase in the number of tournaments, quality and motivation now play a larger part in the selection process than location. Having one high quality tournament in a geographic region no longer prohibits a second from being accepted.

*Please note that whether an event is accepted onto the PAPA Circuit has no bearing on whether it will be broadcast on PAPAtv. The PAPAtv Broadcast calendar is run independently of the Circuit, has its own separate requirements, and its own expectations as to what makes a positive broadcast. If you are interested in becoming a PAPAtv broadcast, you must contact Mark Steinman directly via the contact page on PAPA.org to discuss those separate requirements.

Criteria for Eligibility:

As a part of the PAPA Circuit, tournaments will be required to agree to the following:

1. Tournament must have already been held for a minimum of three years prior to applying (exceptions may be considered if a PAPA representative attends and takes a greater role in overseeing the event in the first year it would be on the Circuit).

2. Must collect e-mail addresses of your tournament players to be used in a survey that will gather opinions on your event. All information gathered from these surveys will be shared with the relevant tournament director in order to help improve the event in future years.

3. Tournament must have a running 3 year average of 40 players or greater in the highest division.

4. No age-restricted or private locations without a PAPA representatives approval. The tournament must not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion.

5. The location must have secondary offerings. A second or third competitive opportunity for each player outside of the main division, or an attached convention or festival is preferred.

6. Must use PAPA’s rules to determine stuck balls and malfunctions. Please note for 2015-16, PAPA and IFPA have coordinated and both handle these situations with an identical ruleset.

7. Must be willing to cross-promote all other events on the PAPA Circuit by hanging flyers and linking to the Circuit calendar on relevant websites and promotional posts.

8. Must have a workable scorekeeping calendar no closer than one week to the start of the event.

9. Must have enough technicians, parts, tools, and a game replacement plan available to deal with problems that arise on the tournament machines. At least one designated technician capable of handling minor problems must be available at all times in addition to the overall tournament director.

As a part of the PAPA Circuit, tournaments will receive the following:

1. Access to a PAPA representative who will answer questions on game choice, game setup, format, and any other issues where a collective knowledge gained from attending multiple high-level tournaments may prove useful.

2. Cross promotion with all other Circuit events. PAPA will coordinate the creation of promotional material, including Circuit calendars and individual event flyers, pay for their printing, and mail them to you prior to the event free of charge. This promotional material must be prominently displayed at the tournament location prior to and during the event.

3. A description of your event on the PAPA website and Circuit calendar.

4. Front page promotion on PAPA.org leading up to your event.

5. Promotion on PAPA broadcasts throughout the year, with increasing mentions as your event approaches. This includes an event-specific splash screen that will be shown on PAPAtv.

6. PAPA will create and manage a survey with you to help you gather more information about your attendees and your event.

7. Free 1/4 page promotion in the ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival program.

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