ReplayFX / Pinburgh Update

Welcome to the largest pinball tournament in history! We are honored to have you take part in what will be a fun and exciting weekend of competitive pinball. Before you join us for Pinburgh, we request that you read through the following information to prepare yourself and help us ensure the tournament will run smoothly. Also, if you want to receive WPPR points for your performance in Pinburgh, you will need to scroll down and make sure the WPPR-ID we have associated with your name is correct. Also, please note that once you have picked up your wristbands at either The Pittsburgh Pinball League Clubhouse on Wednesday or the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Thursday, you are officially checked into the tournament. We are also looking into adding a third ticket pick-up location at one of the downtown hotels. Details on this third location will be announced as soon as they are available.

1. Addresses, Dates, and Times. Know where you’re going, and don’t be late.
2. No Refunds After July 21
3. Summary of common rulings
4. Check your WPPR-ID below to get your points!

Pinburgh will take place at:
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Enter through the “Hall A” entrance.

A full ReplayFX schedule can be found here.

Wednesday: July 26 – Join us from 1pm – 11pm at the Pittsburgh Pinball League Clubhouse to pick up your tickets and (if you desire) check-in early for Pinburgh. We offer this extra check-in period as an optional service for players who want to avoid the Thursday-morning lines at the convention center, but please note it’s not mandatory and only functions as a convenience. A pre-Pinburgh pinball tournament will also be occurring at this location, with details announced upon arrival.

PPL Clubhouse
2319 Wharton Street
Pittsburgh, Pa

Thursday: July 27
8am – 9am: Pinburgh Machine Testing
8am – 9:30am: Pinburgh Player Check-in
10am: Round 1 of Pinburgh
12:15pm: Round 2 of Pinburgh
2:30pm: Round 3 of Pinburgh
6:15pm: Round 4 of Pinburgh
8:30pm: Round 5 of Pinburgh

Friday: July 28
9:30am – 10am: Pinburgh Player Check-in
10am: Round 6 of Pinburgh
12:15pm: Round 7 of Pinburgh
2:30pm: Round 8 of Pinburgh
6:15pm: Round 9 of Pinburgh
8:30pm: Round 10 of Pinburgh
10:45pm: Pinburgh Tiebreakers

Saturday: July 29
9am – 9:25am: Check-in and Warm-up for Pinburgh Finals
9:30am: Pinburgh Final Rounds Begin
5pm: Pinburgh Div. A – Semifinal & Final Rounds

Discounted rooms are currently available at the Omni William Penn.

The last day for refunds of any kind, either Pinburgh or ReplayFX, is July 21st. No refunds OR ReplayFX general admission ticket transfers will be issued after this point for any reason. If you cannot attend and need to request a refund, you can do so by contacting

Players will be considered “checked in” to Pinburgh when they pick up their tickets at the will call booth inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Thursday morning or at the Pittsburgh Pinball League Clubhouse event on Wednesday. Players will only be permitted to pick up tickets for themselves and for players whose tickets they have also personally purchased. Any player who has not checked in by 9:30am exactly on Thursday morning will be considered an absent player, and their spot in the tournament will be forfeited.

All spots in the tournament that open due to no-shows will be filled in order of the waitlist. If you are on the waitlist and are hoping to fill a no-show spot, please let someone at the Pinburgh desk know that is your intent PRIOR to 9:30am on Thursday morning. Also, please note that the Pinburgh desk is different from the merchandise / information desk and is located inside ReplayFX, in the Pinburgh area inside Hall B. At exactly 9:31am, we will proceed down the list of players who are on the waitlist AND WHO HAVE NOTIFIED US IN PERSON PRIOR TO 9:30am THEY ARE AVAILABLE AND WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE in order to fill the remaining openings in the tournament. At 9:35am, we will post a list of players who are on the waitlist and who also notified us they were present that have officially been accepted into the tournament.

Please familiarize yourself with the rules! We do everything within our ability to follow the rules, as written, as closely as possible.

Pinburgh-specific rules can be found here.
General tournament rules can be found here.

Requesting a Ruling:
Tech light towers will be set up in the center alley of Pinburgh and will be clearly marked. Each tech light will have a key fob on it with a button that says “On”. To request a technician or ruling, move to one of these towers, turn on the light, and wait for assistance. We have both technicians and tournament directors assigned to each section of the tournament, and they have all signed documents stating they will sprint toward these lights smiling, but not in a creepy way, in order to help solve whatever issue you may be experiencing. They are sworn to uphold all Pinburgh rulings and tournament games for the greater good of the glorious silverball.

Playing Another Player’s Ball / Playing Out of Turn:
The easiest way to avoid this problem is DON’T DO IT! Always check the machine prior to stepping up to the game and be certain it is your turn. If a game hasn’t started yet, doublecheck to make sure you are playing in the correct order before you plunge. The only reason this ruling ever has to be made is because someone wasn’t paying close enough attention. We care about your feelings, and we’re happy you’re attending, but we will still give you a ZERO every single time you do this. Please don’t make us give you zero points. We have feelings too, and no one wants to experience that awkward moment when our tournament director Doug shakes his head, frowns, and says, “You get a zero.”

Unsticking a Stuck Ball:
Sometimes pinballs get stuck. Sometimes they are forced into places they don’t want to go, while other times they get tired of all the multiball hubbub and just want to go somewhere to hide. No matter why your pinball is stuck, you really only have two options: 1. Try to unstick it yourself by nudging the game lightly, or 2. Request assistance from one of our super techs. The list of specific rules for stuck balls is extremely long (and we recommend you read them!), but as a general rule, if you request assistance, our technician will open the game, find your sticky ball, and calmly place it on one of your flippers. The choice of which flipper is up to the tournament director, and he or she will choose based on the following criteria: Balls in the plunger lane go back in the plunger lane, balls on the right half of the playfield go on the lower right flipper, while balls on the left half of the playfield go on the lower left flipper. If you’re confused, don’t worry. Our technicians are fully trained to handle stuck balls.

Tilting Through Another Player’s Ball:
Sometimes you just have to shake something. We get it. The problem with shaking a pinball machine too hard is it will tilt and cost you your ball. And if you’re really aggressive, sometimes it will tilt both your ball AND the next player’s ball. And even worse, sometimes the tilt mechanism is already moving from a player before you, so it feels like you barely even touched the game when it tilted! Not fair, right? Well… no, it is fair, and it’s a very common pinball competitor problem and complaint. The rule is the same for every player, and it’s one of the most frequent, most unfortunate, yet easiest ruling a tournament director has to make. If you tilt through another player’s ball, you get a zero. There’s no way around it. Zero. No points. Zilch. Trust us when we say we’re aware the tilts are tight! Take your time, and don’t play with white knuckles! Most player’s move the machine more than they think…

Did a whirlwind hit your Whirlwind, or a shaker motor shake out of your Earthshaker? Did you have a malfunctioning piece of 30-year-old equipment that was only really intended to last a few years when it was initially created? If so, then get moving and have someone turn on that tech light! Game malfunctions are broken down into various categories: Known, Minor, Major, Catastrophic, and Fully Disabled.

Known Malfunction: This is already something we know about, but we’ve deemed it inconsequential and have placed a sign on the game to alert players to the situation. With this new-fangled knowledge, players are expected to adjust their strategy and continue playing without any type of ruling resulting from the known malfunction. In some cases, we will disable certain parts of games on purpose prior to the tournament to challenge players in new and different ways, like disabling the Claw in Demolition Man.

Minor Malfunctions: These are issues deemed insignificant in the grand scheme of pinball or the Pinburgh tournament. Pinball is a mechanical game, so sometimes funny stuff happens. When a switch occasionally fires twice, or a pop bumper fires on its own a few times, we chalk it up to “Hey, that’s pinball” and tell players to play on. If a problem persists, gets worse, or changes, sometimes our tournament directors will reclassify these types of problems to either Major or Known malfunctions, but each case is different, because each different switch is special. So if you’re in doubt, ask a tournament director.

Major Malfunction: This type of problem is more serious and will generally result in adding a ball to a player’s game or some type of compensation for a technical problem, like a flipper breaking, or a major game feature no longer working. There is a specific process our technicians and tournament directors use to determine what is compensated and why. If you want to know those reasons, READ THE RULES! Seriously, knowing the rules can only help you. Our tournament directors also do their best to follow one another’s tournament precedent, so if a problem occurs that they haven’t seen before, or is unusual in some way, the first tournament director to rule on it will inform the others of their ruling. This way, if the problem ever recurs, future tournament directors will rule in the same fashion, making the tournament rulings as consistent as possible.

Catastrophic: This type of problem is when a game shuts off, either due to a power problem or because we’ve run short on dilithium crystals. Either way, if there’s a fluctuation in your space-time continuum, the tournament director will attempt to record scores and add the appropriate number of balls to a new game. If the scores are not retrievable, well… I’m sorry, but it just looks like you’re going to have to play again. This type of ruling is unfortunate at times, because someone ALWAYS is winning, but the rules don’t allow us to estimate scores or make stuff up. If you have a big lead and feel like notifying your opponents that you’re writing down ALL of the game scores to prevent against this situation, please do so. We will take that information into consideration when making our ruling, but be sure to write down ALL scores, preferably after each ball, and make sure your opponents can verify your work as you do it so there are no arguments.

Disabled: This is the big kahuna of machine malfunctions. This is what happens when machines are so damaged that our tech, Steve, gives up and shoots them into outer space. Games that are disabled are removed from the tournament. These games may get fixed and return in a later round, but don’t hold your breath.

Do you want to receive WPPR points for your performance in Pinburgh? Be sure to check the list below and ensure your name matches up with the correct WPPR-ID. Click on the WPPR-ID to make sure the resulting IFPA Profile page is yours. If it’s not, e-mail us with the correct WPPR-ID for your name at DIRECTOR@REPLAYFX.ORG