I. Quick Overview
The IFPA US National Pinball Championship is an annual pinball competition organized by the IFPA. As part of the prize package for each IFPA State Pinball Championship, each IFPA State Pinball Champion will win free entry into the IFPA US National Pinball Championship. If the IFPA State Pinball Champion is unable to attend the IFPA US National Pinball Championship, the runner-up at the State Pinball Championship will be allowed to participate and serve as the representative of that state. The 2017-18 US National Pinball Championship will be held Thursday, March 1st, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.
II. Competition Details
1. How to qualify
The only way to qualify for the IFPA US National 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. New for the 2015-16 season, IFPA Canada Provincial Pinball Champions and the IFPA District of Columbia Champion are also eligible to compete, with the runner-up also serving as the only eligible alternate.
There is no entry fee into IFPA US National Pinball Championship. The first $100 raised at each IFPA State Pinball Championship will be put toward the prize package. Players are expected to pay for coin drop.
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 guaranteed prize package is as follows (based on 40 States, Washington DC and 6 Provinces):
1st Place –> NIB Stern Pro Pinball Machine + Trophy + Title of “US National Pinball Champion”
2nd Place –> $1800 cash
3rd Place –> $1000 cash
4th Place –> $700 cash
5th through 8th place –> $300 cash each
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 starded 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.
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 “US National 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.