PAPA 19 World Championships

April 6-10, 2016

The Professional & Amateur Pinball Association World Championships is the most competitive pinball event held anywhere in the world, bringing more than a thousand players and spectators together to enjoy four solid days of pinball battles and plain old-fashioned fun! The World Pinball Championships includes four major divisions for competitors of varying skill levels, three classics tournaments featuring older machines, and more.

PAPA Headquarters will be open on April 6 for the PAPA Circuit Final, followed by PAPA 19 from April 7-10. The IFPA World Championships will take place on April 12-14, but please note this event is invite-only.

How to Qualify:

In Divisions A, B, and C, competitors will play five of the ten available machines to complete each qualifying entry. In all other divisions, competitors will play four of the eight machines available. Qualifying attempts for Divisions A, B, C and D may be made any time the facility is open between Thursday morning and closing time on Saturday. All games in each entry count equally toward a player’s qualifying total, meaning the system is intended to reward consistently good play, rather than a mixture of good and poor play. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for a player to buy his or her way into the final rounds.

Scores from each game in each qualifying attempt are ranked against all other players, yielding a qualifying point total. Only a player’s single best multi-game qualifying total will determine his or her qualifying position for the final rounds.

Divisions of Play

Division A:  The main division of the PAPA World Pinball Championships is the most renowned event in all of competitive pinball, annually deciding the title of PAPA World Pinball Champion. All players of any skill level are welcome to compete in Division A and challenge for the title!

Division B:  While Division B is frequently labeled as an intermediate division, this designation is relative to the rest of the PAPA World Championships. The level of skill exhibited in this division is higher than the main divisions of the vast majority of tournaments throughout the world. Players with higher than average league or tournament experience who are not yet capable of competing in the main division at the PAPA World Championships play in Division B. Please note that some restrictions will be applied to help determine who can and cannot enter Division B.

Division C:  Division C at the PAPA World Championships is designed for players with below average league or tournament experience, or anyone who does not feel confidant competing in Divisions A or B. Please note that some restrictions will be applied to help determine who can and cannot enter Division C.

Division D:  Division D at the PAPA World Championships is designed for beginners and novice players. This Division is intended to offer experience to players who are new to competitive pinball. If you are unsure of how PAPA’s tournament process works or do not feel comfortable competing in Divisions A, B, or C, we encourage you to play in Division D. Please note that Division D is heavily restricted to only allow newer competitive players.

Classics: PAPA offers three separate Classics events at the World Pinball Championships, featuring machines created prior to 1990. The Classics divisions function as their own self-contained daily tournaments and do not prohibit any player from also competing in any other division.

Juniors: Only players 15 years old or younger are permitted to play in Juniors. This division offers medals to the winners and is intended to encourage younger players by providing them experience in the PAPA tournament setting. In order to ensure each player has a chance to experience the pressure of a final rounds format, all Juniors players will be entered into the final rounds.

Seniors: Only players 50 years of age or older are permitted to compete in the Seniors division.

Womens: Only women are permitted to participate in this division.

Split Flipper: The Split Flipper Division gives competitors the chance to play with a partner. Each player is only allowed to control the buttons on one side of the machine cabinet.

New Divisions: We are developing criteria for creating new divisions by public demand. Our goal is to run the events and divisions players will enjoy most. More information will be coming soon.

Division Restrictions

Divisions A, B, C, & D are considered major divisions. Competitors may only play in one major division at a time. A player may choose to move to a higher major division, with Division A being the highest and Division D being the lowest, automatically voiding all entries in lower divisions (no refunds are provided), but no player may move to a lower division without special permission from tournament directors. Players are not permitted to change divisions after noon on Saturday.

The following restrictions are designed to discourage any player from intentionally competing beneath his or her level of skill:

  • Any player who has placed in the top four of Division B or C at the finals of any previous PAPA tournament must enter the next higher division in their next PAPA tournament. If they fail to qualify in the higher division, they may return to the original lower division in the following year.
  • Any player who has qualified in the Division A or B of any previous PAPA tournament may not enter a lower division in subsequent tournaments except at the discretion of tournament officials.
  • At the discretion of the tournament officials, any player may be required to move to a higher division based on his or her performance or past league or tournament standings.
  • Any player who plays in more than one major division will not be allowed to void their first entry in the higher division. Non-voided entries are used by the automated scoring system to establish which division is valid for each player.
  • Players ranked between 1 and 199 in the World Pinball Player Rankings are restricted to Division A.
  • Players ranked between 200 and 599 in the World Pinball Player Rankings are restricted to Division B or higher.
  • Only unranked players, or players ranked higher than 7500 in the World Pinball Player Rankings are permitted to compete in Division D.
WednesdayApril 6, 2016
9:30am – 10pmDoors Open
10amPAPA Circuit Final
ThursdayApril 7, 2016
9:30am – 12 MidnightDoors Open
10am – 12 MidnightQualification for Divisions A / B / C / D / Seniors / Split Flipper / Womens. 
Sales cut-off at 11:15pm, play at 12 midnight.
10am – 6pmQualification for Classics I & Juniors I divisions.
Sales cut-off at 5:15pm, play at 6pm
6:15pmFinal Rounds for Classics I and Juniors I divisions
FridayApril 8, 2016
9:30am – 12 MidnightDoors Open
10am – 12 MidnightQualification for Divisions A / B / C / D / Seniors / Split Flipper / Womens. 
Sales cut-off at 11:15pm, play at 12 midnight.
10am – 6pmQualification for Classics II & Juniors II divisions.
Sales cut-off at 5:15pm, play at 6pm
6:15pmFinal Rounds for Classics II and Juniors II divisions
SaturdayApril 9, 2016
9:30am – 12 MidnightDoors Open
10am – 12 MidnightQualification for Divisions A / B / C / D. 
Sales cut-off at 11:15pm, play at 12 midnight.
10am – 12 NoonLast minute qualification for Seniors / Split Flipper / Womens. Sales cut-off at 11:45am, play at 12 noon.
10am – 6pmQualification for Classics III & Juniors III divisions. Sales cut-off at 5:15pm, play at 6pm
12:15pmFinal Rounds for Split Flipper Division
3:15pmFinal Rounds for Seniors & Womens Divisions.
6:15pmFinal Rounds for Classics III & Juniors III divisions.
SundayApril 10, 2016
9:30am – 3amDoors Open
9:30am – 10amFinalists in A, B, C & D divisions must check in
10am – 5pmFinal Rounds for A, B, C & D divisions begin
5:30pmAwards Ceremony
Division A 
1st Place10000 + Trophy
2nd Place4000 + Plaque
3rd Place2000 + Plaque
4th Place1000 + Plaque
5th-8th Place400
9th-16th Place200
17th-24th Place150
Division B 
1st Place4000 + Trophy Cup
2nd Place2000 + Medal
3rd Place1000 + Medal
4th Place500 + Medal
5th-8th Place250
9th-16th Place125
17th-24th Place75
Division C 
1st Place1000 + Trophy Cup
2nd Place500 + Medal
3rd Place300 + Medal
4th Place200 + Medal
5th-8th Place100
9th-16th Place75
17th-24th Place50
Division D 
1st Place500 + Trophy Cup
2nd Place300 + Medal
3rd Place200 + Medal
4th Place100 + Medal
5th-8th Place75
9th-16th Place50
17th-24th Place25
Classics I, II, & III 
1st Place1000 + Trophy Cup
2nd Place500 + Medal
3rd Place300 + Medal
4th Place200 + Medal
5th-8th Place100
9th-16th Place75
17th-24th Place50
All Other Divisions 
1st PlaceMedal
2nd PlaceMedal
3rd PlaceMedal
4th PlaceMedal

Total prize package $45,000+

The winner of Division A will receive the title World Pinball Champion”.

All competing players are required to register before playing any qualifying rounds. Registration is $5, and allows each player to purchase as many subsequent entries as he or she likes. Pre-registration is not required. Any player may register at the tournament itself whenever qualifying rounds are open.

Pricing

ItemPrice
Basic Registration (required for Division play)$5
Division A, each qualifying attempt$25
Division B, each qualifying attempt$15
Division C, each qualifying attempt$10
Division D, each qualifying attempt$5
Classics Divisions, each qualifying attempt$15
All Other Divisions, each qualifying attempt$5
  • A shuttle will run from PAPA Headquarters to the Courtyard Marriott, Extended Stay, and the Hyatt Place on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday. No shuttle will be provided Wednesday or Sunday.
  • The cost of a Division A entry will increase by $5 to $25. This is the first increase in Division A pricing in fifteen years.
  • Prizes for Division A places 5th through 24th will each increase by $50.
  • A Womens Division will be included for the first time since PAPA 6.
  • All prize checks will be mailed within 30 days after the close of the event. In order to receive a prize check, all winners must fill out the proper address form and paperwork at the front desk.