Official Rules

I. Quick OverviewThe IFPA European Championship Series is an annual pinball competition with players qualifying throughout the entire calendar year. At the end of each calendar year, the top 64 players with the most WPPR points from the events within the ECS will play for the title of the IFPA European Pinball Champion.

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 European Championship Series is based on results from all of the IFPA endorsed tournaments included within the ECS. One tournament from each country will be included, with the European Pinball Championship also being included in the standings. Utilizing its World Pinball Player Rankings, the IFPA will be tracking results from these ECS events, maintaining a custom ranking made up of those filtered results.

The schedule for the current ECS season is available HERE.

The standings for the current ECS season are available HERE.

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 the ECS final. 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.

One ECS Final spot will be made available to each country organizing an IFPA Country Championship Series. These spots will go to the highest finisher at that IFPA Country Championship who did not already qualify for the ECS Final through the regular qualifying process. Each Country will move down the list of their Country Championship results as needed to fill the spot should players decline. Currently the (12) Country Championship Series list includes: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

2. Fees

The entry fee into the IFPA ECS Final is EUR50 per participant. This fee goes towards tournament expenses.

3. Prizes

The winner of the ECS Finals will receive the title “IFPA European Pinball Champion”. The top 4 finishers will receive a trophy.

III. Format of Matches

1. Seeding of finalists

Once all participants are finalized, the 64 players will be seeded based on their ECS rankings position at the end of the calendar year, all Country Championship exemption spots will be seeded below the qualified players of the ECS standings based on their WPPR rank as of the end of that calendar year. In the event that any players are tied with the same amount of ECS WPPR points, we will look at the overall WPPR rank of those players as of the end of that calendar year.

2. Machines Chosen

The games chosen will be based on what is available at the ECS Final host site. Please check back for details closer to the ECS Final date.

3. Qualifying Format

Head to head, Round Robin in four groups of 16. The higher seeded player chooses position. Top 6 per group advance, decided by number of wins. All other players will be ranked based on the number of wins in their group.

If players end up on the same number of points, a shoot-out will be played on a random machine when it’s about a bye or qualification. The higher seeded players will choose position first. If more players are tied than the selected machine will support in a single game, multiple games will be played to accommodate all tied players, evenly distributed as possible on these multiple games, and the resulting scores will be compared as if they had occurred in a single game on the same machine. When it’s only about placement in the group (f.e. A3 or A4), the higher seeded player will be placed higher. The placement in the shoot-out will not affect the seeding of the tied players.

3.1 Group pairings

Group A (1,8,9,16,17,24,25,32,33,40,41,48,49,56,57,64)

Group B (2,7,10,15,18,23,26,31,34,39,42,47,50,55,58,63)

Group C (3,6,11,14,19,22,27,30,35,38,43,46,51,54,59,62)

Group D (4,5,12,13,20,21,28,29,36,37,44,45,52,53,60,61)

4. Finals Format

Players will be placed in a single elimination bracket. Top 2 qualifiers from each group will receive 1 bye.

First round pairings are as follows:

A3 vs. D6, A4 vs. D5, A5 vs. D4, A6 vs. D3

B3 vs. C6, B4 vs. C5, B5 vs. C4, B6 vs. C3

Second round pairings are as follows:

A3/D6 winner vs. C2
A4/D5 winner vs. C1
A5/D4 winner vs. B1
A6/D3 winner vs. B2

B3/C6 winner vs. D2
B4/C5 winner vs. D1
B5/C4 winner vs. A1
B6/C3 winner vs. A2

Third round pairings are as follows:

A1/C4/B5 winner vs. B2/D3/A6 winner,
B1/D4/A5 winner vs. A2/C3/B6 winner,
C1/A4/D5 winner vs. D2/B3/C6 winner,
D1/B4/C5 winner vs. C2/A3/D6 winner,

Fourth round pairings are as follows:

A1/B2/D3/C4/B5/A6 winner vs. D1/C2/A3/B4/C5/D6 winner
B1/A2/C3/D4/A5/B6 winner vs. C1/D2/B3/A4/D5/C6 winner

Two winners of round 4 play for the IFPA European Pinball Championship
Two losers of round 4 play in the Consolation Final for 3rd/4th place.

Each match will be a best-of-five. The higher qualified player will have choice of machine or position for the 1st game. In case of the same qualifying position (f.e. A3 vs C3), the higher seeded player will have the choice. The match will alternate between machines chosen by each player, until someone has won 3 games. A machine may not be played more than once in the same match. Once a player verbally announces their game choice, or chooses position, that decision will be locked in and cannot be changed.

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-five like all other rounds, using the same rules.

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.

5. 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 European Pinball Champion”. This title remains in effect until the next annual IFPA European Championship Series, or will expire after two years if the ECS 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.