Pinburgh 2011

March 18-20

Pinburgh 2011 introduced a unique match play concept that ensures every player is competing for at least two solid days, with no eliminations until the final day. The tournament structure has been developed by Bowen Kerins, former World Pinball Champion and all-around great guy. The structure of the tournament accommodates players of all skill levels, so please, don’t be shy!

The match-play format offers a social experience as players from all over the world compare skills during a series of multiplayer matches spanning the first two days. Twenty-four qualifiers are invited to compete in the final rounds on Sunday, while all other players are encouraged to take part in a consolation tournament held throughout PAPA headquarters in parallel with the final rounds.

Spectators are welcome to attend, and there is no fee charged for admission.

How to Qualify:

Pinburgh features guaranteed match play for two full days for each and every participating player, regardless of skill level. As a player, you will spend Friday competing in a series of four-player groups (occasionally three-player). For each session, you will be seeded based on your performance up to that point. Expect to spend approximately ten hours playing pinball competitively on Friday.

On Saturday, you will be assigned to the A, B, or C Division based on your play up to that point. Some players will have pre-existing restrictions which may require them to be in the A or B Division, regardless of how well they play on Friday. You will then spend another ten hours playing in another series of four-player groups, which will determine whether or not you qualify for finals play on Sunday.

All players, winning or not, grant PAPA, Pinball Bug LP, Replay Foundation, and any and all other event sponsors and organizers, individual and collective, the right to use their names, scores, and likenesses for the purpose of promoting this tournament as well as other pinball-related events. This right is transferable without restriction.

Divisions of Play:

All play takes place as singles, in four skill divisions. At the beginning of play, all players compete together, without divisions. At the end of play on Friday, skill divisions are assigned according to rankings and restrictions. Generally speaking, this division happens by quartile ranking, with certain players assigned to A, B, or C Division based on skill division restrictions.

Division Restrictions:

The following restrictions are designed to discourage any player from intentionally competing beneath his or her level of skill, and are comparable to the existing policies for PAPA tournaments:

  • Any player who has placed in the top four of the B or C Division at the finals of their most recent PAPA or Pinburgh tournament must compete in at least the next highest division at Pinburgh.
  • Any player who has qualified in the A or B Division of any previous PAPA tournament cannot compete in a lower division at Pinburgh.
  • Any player who has qualified in the Classics Division of any previous PAPA tournament cannot compete in the C Division at Pinburgh.
  • Tournament officials reserve the right to restrict a player to A or B Division based on performance in other pinball events.

In all cases, players will be informed before or during play on Friday of any skill division restriction that applies to them. Tournament officials will create and post a list of all players with division restrictions. Note that a player with a B Division restriction may still qualify in A Division as a result of strong play on Friday.

Please note that because Pinburgh is a new tournament in 2011, its results will not be used to determine division restrictions for any future PAPA tournaments (although it may affect future division restrictions for Pinburgh). If this changes for the 2012 tournament, this will be indicated as a change in the rules.


A one-time registration fee of $100 is required of each player who wishes to play in the Pinburgh tournament. When pre-registering, players may also commit to purchase PAPA tokens for gameplay in tournament or casual games. Games will be set for token play, and players may purchase more tokens as desired. Remember, each pre-purchased token roll results in a $15 donation to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society!

There will be a custom, collectible token for Pinburgh attendees only; this ultra-rare token will be included in each roll of tokens sold at the event, but otherwise will not be put into circulation.

For an additional $100 fee, players become eligible for the Sidepot, which consists of 100% of the Sidepot fees. If you’re confident in your abilities, step up and put your money on it!

Due to the match play nature of the tournament, no player may register for Pinburgh less than two hours prior to the start of play. Also, you have to join the Sidepot before the competition begins.

The guaranteed prize package for Pinburgh 2011 is shown below. It has been adjusted to reflect 173 registered players, more than the original projection of 130. There is a 100% payout of registration fees, and money received for tokens goes directly to charity.