Official Rules

I. Quick Overview

The IFPA State Championship Series is an annual pinball competition with players qualifying throughout the entire calendar year. At the end of each calendar year, the top 16 players with the most WPPR points from each state will qualify for the IFPA State Championship Playoffs, where they will play for the title of IFPA State Champion within that state.

From there, the IFPA State Champions will be invited to play for the IFPA US Championship, details of which can be found below.

II. Competition Details

1. How to qualify

Unlike most tournaments where the qualification process takes place over a couple of days at the tournament site, qualifying for the IFPA State Championship Series is based on results from all the IFPA endorsed tournaments held throughout the year in each eligible state. Utilizing its World Pinball Player Rankings, the IFPA will be tracking results based on where those IFPA endorsed tournaments are held, maintaining separate state rankings made up of those filtered results.

For example, the Illinois State Rankings will be made up of IFPA endorsed tournaments including Pinball Expo's Flip Out tournament, Chicagoland Pinball League, Gameworks Pinball Tournament of Champions, Illini Pinball League, Gameworks Monthly Pinball Tournament, Pre-Expo Fall Classic, etc. Those 16 players that earn the most WPPR points based only on these subset of events, will qualify for the IFPA Illinois State Championship.

No player will be eligible to play in more than one IFPA State Championship, so it is likely that the IFPA will have to move down the state rankings list to find 16 eligible qualifiers to participate in the State Championship. It is possible to qualify for an IFPA State Championship within a state that player does not live in, and it is even possible for players that live outside of the US to qualify for an IFPA State Championship should they earn enough WPPR points within a state to qualify.

It is the player's responsibility to make sure they have an email address on file with the IFPA, or they run the risk of not being contacted for participation in any State Championships they are qualified for. Please fill out an IFPA profile to ensure we have a way to contact you. If you see a green check within your profile information on your IFPA profile page, it means we do have a registered email address on file for you.

2. Fees

The entry fee into an IFPA State Championship is $20 per participant. The first $100 raised will be put towards the US Championship, with the remaining $220 (assuming a full field of 16 participants) going into the prize pool for the State Championship itself. This entry fee is not inclusive of any coin drop needed for State Championships run at public venues, or for any hosting fees that a private residence may charge for hosting the event.

3. Prizes

The IFPA State Champion will receive a trophy courtesy of the IFPA, along with $100 in cash. Second place will receive $70 cash, and third place will receive $50 cash. Other non-cash prizes may be also be awarded to both the winners and other participants.

III. Format of Matches

1. Seeding of finalists

Once all participants are finalized, the 16 players will be seeded based on their State rankings position at the end of the calendar year. In the event that any players are tied with the same amount of In-State WPPR points, we will look at the overall WPPR rank of those players as of the end of that calendar year

2. Machines Chosen

With each IFPA State Championship being held at a different location, each will have a different set of games available for the tournament. Please check with the IFPA State Representative for details on the game list once the location has been finalized for that particular IFPA State Championship.  

3. Head-to-Head Single Elimination Format

Players will be placed in a single elimination bracket once the seedings have been completed. 

First round pairings are as follows:

1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, 4 vs. 13,
5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9

Second round pairings are as follows:

1/16 winner vs. 8/9 winner, 2/15 winner vs. 7/10 winner,
3/14 winner vs. 6/11 winner, 4/13 winner vs. 5/12 winner

Third round pairings are as follows:

1/8/9/16 winner vs. 4/5/12/13 winner,
2/7/10/15 winner vs. 3/6/11/14 winner

Fourth round pairing are as follows:

Two winners of round 3 play for the State Championship
Two losers of round 3 player in the Consolation Final for 3rd/4th place.

Each match will be a best-of-seven. The higher seeded player will have choice of machine or position for the 1st game, with the loser of each subsequent game having choice of machine or order, until someone has won 4 games. A machine may not be played more than once in the same match unless there are less than 7 machines available. If that is the case, only after all machines have been chosen can either player select that game to be played for a second time within the same match. Once a player verbally announces their game choice, or chooses position, that decision will be locked in and cannot be changed.

Each player will have the opportunity for 30 seconds of practice time before starting every game of every match. This is to ensure that both players have a chance to get familiar with the machine.

The winner of the match advances to the next round, while the loser is eliminated.

The 3rd/4th place Consolation Final will be played as a best-of-three instead of a best-of-seven like all other rounds, using the same rules.

4. Winners

Winners will receive cash prizes as cash or check during an awards ceremony shortly following the conclusion of all final rounds. Winners need not be present to receive prizes; prizes will be supplied via postal mail if necessary. All taxes are the sole responsibility of winners. Certain tax forms may need to be completed, as directed by tournament officials. All decisions by tournament officials regarding winners and prizes are final.

First Place will also receive the title “IFPA State Pinball Champion” for the state being contested. For example, the winner of the IFPA Ilinois State Championship will receive the title of "IFPA Illinois State Pinball Champion". This title remains in effect until the next annual IFPA State Championship Series, or will expire after two years if the IFPA State Championship Series is discontinued.

IV. Rulings and Malfunctions

All rulings and malfunctions will be based on the rules for the IFPA World Pinball Championship. Those are available HERE, starting at Paragraph V. Please ignore any sections above this as that relates to the format of the World Championship.

V. IFPA National Championship

As part of the prize package for each IFPA State Championship, each IFPA State Champion will win free entry into the IFPA National Championship. If the IFPA State Champion is unable to attend the IFPA National Championship, the runner-up at the State Championship will be allowed to participate and serve as the representative of that state.

The first IFPA National Championship will be held on Sunday, May 18th, 2014 at Lyons Classic Pinball as part of IFPA's World Championship Week. Additional details on the format and prizes will be available soon.