I. Quick Overview

The IFPA North American Pinball Championship is an annual pinball competition organized by the IFPA. As part of the prize package for each IFPA State/Province/District Pinball Championship, each IFPA State/Province/District Pinball Champion will win free entry into the IFPA North American Pinball Championship. If the IFPA State/Province/District Pinball Champion is unable to attend the IFPA North American Pinball Championship, the runner-up will be allowed to participate and serve as the representative. The 2018-19 US National Pinball Championship will be held Thursday, March 28th, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV.

All mentions of “State” below also refer to Province and District winners.

II. Competition Details

1. How to qualify

The only way to qualify for the IFPA North American Pinball Championship is to win an IFPA State Pinball Championship. If the State Champion is unable to attend, the runner-up is the only eligible alternate.

2. Fees

There is no entry fee into IFPA North American Pinball Championship. 20% of the fees collected through the endorsement of events within the US and Canada will go towards the prize pool for the event.

3. Prizes

The tournament features a guaranteed package of cash prizes. In the event of an overrun beyond expenses, tournament revenue will be retained to finance the next IFPA event. In the event IFPA discontinues its events or is disbanded, any such retained revenue will be donated to charity.

The prize package will be determined based on the endorsement fees collected. All participants in the IFPA North American Pinball Championship will be paid out. Here is an example breakdown based on a $15,000 prize pool with 50 participants

1st Place –> NIB Stern Pro Pinball Machine + Trophy + Title of “North American Pinball Champion”
2nd Place –> $2000 cash
3rd Place –> $1500 cash
4th Place –> $1000 cash
5th through 8th place –> $500 cash each
9th through 16th place –> $250 cash each
17th through 50th place –> $200 cash each

Highest finisher of any United States State/District will earn the title of “US National Pinball Champion”
Highest finisher of any Canadian Province will earn the title of “Canadian National Pinball Champion”


4. Schedule

10am-11am –> Practice Session
11am-10pm –> Matches will be played continuously until the tournament is finished

III. Format of Matches

1. Seeding of finalists

Once all participants are finalized, the players will be seeded based on their WPPR rank at the end of the calendar year.

2. Machines Chosen

Any game available for the IFPA Pin-Masters is eligible to be played, unless otherwise noted by the IFPA.

3. Head-to-Head Single Elimination Format

Players will be placed in a single elimination bracket once the seedings have been completed. Depending on the number of players, there will be byes for the top seeded players through the first round.

With 32 players or fewer, a standard seeded 32 player bracket will be used. Click HERE for an example bracket.

With more than 32 players, a standard seeded 64 player bracket will be used. Click HERE for an example bracket.

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