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 2024-25 IFPA North American Pinball Championship will be held Thursday, March 6th, 2025 at the Rochester Pinball Collective in Rochester, New York.

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 the 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 the prize pool breakdown:

1st Place –> NIB Stern Pro Pinball Machine + Trophy + Title of “North American Pinball Champion”
2nd Place –> $4000 + plaque
3rd Place –> $3250 + plaque
4th Place –> $2500 + plaque
5th through 8th place –> $1500 each
9th through 16th place –> $1000 each
17th through 32nd place –> $500 each
33rd through 58th place –> $300 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

9am-10am –> Practice Session
10am-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

3 sets of 8 machines will be available for the championship. One set will be designated “OLD”, one set “MID”, and one set “NEW”.

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 race to 4 wins (unless a match is tied 3-3 after 6 games where a sudden death tiebreaker will be played – see below). At the start of the match each player will choose an ‘OLD’, ’MID’ and ’NEW’ machine. The lower seeded player will choose the first machine, followed by the higher seeded player choosing the second machine. This picking order will continue until all 6 games have been chosen. A machine may not be picked more than once in the same match. Once a player verbally makes any choice regarding machine or position, they are locked into that decision.

The higher seed will first choose whether they want to start on one of their own choices, or one of the lower seed’s choices. Position will be based on who originally selected the machine before the match started. The player that did not have the machine as a part of their three choices will have choice of position on that particular machine. The match will alternate between machines chosen by each player, until all 6 games are completed. Should a player reach 4 wins before all 6 games are completed, no further games should be played. If the higher seeded player chooses to start on one of their machine choices, they will choose game number 1, 3 and 5 in the match (from their 3 picks). The lower seeded player would then be choosing game number 2, 4 and 6 in the match (from their 3 picks).

Should the match be tied after these 6 games, the match will move to ‘Sudden Death’. This will be a single game where any of the remaining machines are available to be chosen. The higher seeded player will have choice of machine or position for this ‘Sudden Death’ game.

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 fast forward to the ‘Sudden Death’ portion of the match and be 1 game with the higher seeded player having choice of machine or position.

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.