Monthly Tournaments

The Space City Pinball League organizes monthly tournaments held at The Game Preserve in Spring, TX. The tournaments are set up to be fun for all ages and skill levels! Each event will be announced about one month in advance, and posted on this website. The tournament rules are below

General Overview

The monthly tournaments will follow an eight round, match-play format. Each round, competitors will be placed in groups and play a single four-player game. Players will earn points determined by their finishing position in their group (3, 2, 1, or 0). Players will accrue points across the eight rounds.

After eight rounds of match-play, the top 8 finishers will be placed in the A-division playoffs, and the next 8 finishers in the B-division playoffs. During each round, each group will play three games. Players will score points on each game based on finishing position (4-2-1-0).  After three games, the two players from each group with the most points will advance to the next round. On the final round, the points will determine the final finishing position.

NOTE: In the interest of time, no match-play rounds will be started after 7:00 PM. Any rounds started before 7:00 PM will be completed.

Tournament Director

The tournament director will be responsible for managing and organizing the tournament. The tournament director will also be responsible for making any rulings in the event of malfunctions and errors. The current tournament director is listed below. Please contact the tournament director with any questions about the tournament.

Phil Grimaldi

phil@spacecitypinball.com

Entry Fee

Entry fee for the tournament is $5.00. Players are also responsible for separate entry into the Game Preserve. $15.00 of the entry fees will be collected by the Space City Pinball League to cover administrative costs of running the tournament. The remaining entry fees will be payed out to the top four finishers (40%, 30%, 20% for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively). The remaining 10% will go to the winner of the B-Division. 

Hours

Registration for the tournament will begin when the doors open at 4:00 PM. The tournament will start at 4:15 P.M. The length of the tournament will depend on the number of people that show up. Match-play rounds will end at 7:00 PM. Finals will start at 8:00 PM. In general, the finals will finish by 10 PM. However, we cannot account for an epic 2 hour game that someone randomly puts up!

Please do your part to help the tournament run quickly and efficiently!

  • Arrive on time
  • Promptly notify the director of match results
  • Do not disappear between matches without telling someone.

Late Arrivals

Players that arrive after the tournament has started can still play. However, the player cannot be entered until the start of the next round. Thus, arriving late puts the player at a significant disadvantage because they will not receive points for the rounds they missed.

Match Play

There will be up to eight rounds of match play. Each round, players will will be placed in four player groups. Depending on the number of players, there may be three player groups. The software does its best to balance competitors and placement in <4 player groups. Each group will be assigned a game to play on. Again, the software will attempt to ensure all players in a group have been placed on the game an equal number of times, though this cannot be guaranteed.  

Each group will play a four player game. Player order will be determined by the tournament software.  

At the end of the game, players will earn points depending on the finish in the group (3, 2, 1, 0). Please notify the tournament director of the results immediately after playing.  

Finals

The top 8 finishers will be placed in the A-Division finals. The next 8 finishers will be placed in the B-Division finals.

The points accumulated during the matchplay rounds will determine seeding in the finals.

For each division, players will be placed in two, four-player groups. In the first round of finals, each group will play on 3 machines. The machines will be randomly selected by the software. For each match, players will have choice of game or position, in ascending order of their seed (top seed chooses first). Players will earn points depending on the finish in the group (4, 2, 1, 0). The top two players from each group will advance to final round (determined by points accumulated within the round). The finals will be played the same as the semi finals, with the exception that the points accumulated in the round will determine final finish in the tournament.

Tie Breakers

Ties will be broken automatically by the tournament software. The formula for breaking ties takes into account the strength of the players that have been played in previous rounds. Concretely, if two players have the same number of points, but Player 1 has played and beaten stronger opponents, Player 1 will be ranked higher. If the software cannot resolve the tie, the tie will be broken by playing a single game on a random machine, to be determined by the tournament director. Only critical ties will be broken, such as those that determine advancing to playoffs, or the top four finishers of the A-Division finals.

Game Selection

All games on location at the Game Preserve the day of the event are eligible to be entered into the tournament. At the beginning of the tournament, the tournament director will select a set of games to be used that day. Selection will be determined based on condition of the game. Games that have key scoring features that are broken, or are producing odd behaviors will not be used in the tournament.

World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) Points

The monthly tournaments are sanctioned by the IFPA. The value of the tournament will be determined by the number of rated players in the tournament, and the ratings of those players. For an estimate, see the table below. 

PlayersExpected WPPR Value
105.0
157.5
2010.0
2512.5
3015.0
3517.5
4020.0
4522.5
5025.0

Etiquette

The Game Preserve has graciously volunteered to host the tournament, and on their busiest night of the week! Please respect the establishment so we can continue having tournaments here! Do not abuse the games by forcefully hitting the games (skillful nudging is acceptable).

Please respect the customers–they are priority one! Refrain from yelling or cursing if you lose a ball or game. If someone is playing on a machine that you are scheduled to play, please politely ask for the next game and wait for them to finish.

During match play, do not distract your opponent by talking to them (unless they talk to you or tell you it’s okay). Do not hover over their shoulders. Do not coach them or give them advice while they play. It is perfectly fine to talk/exchange high-fives between balls.

Please avoid “rage-tilting” a ball (i.e., intentionally tilting out of frustration). In addition to making you look silly, it is disrespectful to your opponent as they must wait for the tilt bob to settle before starting their ball. This also increases the total duration of the tournament.

Extra Balls

Do not play extra balls. If you are awarded an extra ball, you must plunge it. You cannot touch the flipper buttons before plunging. You may try ONCE for a soft skill shot. If the ball does not make it out of the shooter lane on your first attempt, you must plunge the second time at full strength. It is the player’s responsibility to ensure they do not play extra balls by accident. If a player plays an extra ball by accident, they must take a 0 for the game. 

Game Malfunctions

Pinball machines are mechanical in nature, and thus often produce unintended behaviors. Moreover, many of these machines are very old! If a game malfunctions in any way (e.g., flipper breaks, debris on field, game reset, etc.), please ask the tournament director for a ruling. The director will attempt to repair the machine without sacrificing the game. If this cannot be done, a new machine will be drawn and all progress in the original game will be scrapped. 

Stuck Balls

If a ball becomes stuck during single-ball play, notify the tournament director for help. The ball will be placed on the right or left flipper, determined by the side of the game the ball became stuck on.

Game Specific Rules

There are some games that are not suitable for match play because of flaws in the rules. The following machines have special rules.

  1. Back to the Future. BTTF has a skill shot feature that allows a player to “catch up” to their opponent. For this reason, it is recommended that this game be played one player at a time . The game may be played as a multi-player match, only if ALL players agree to it ahead of time.

Rulings

The tournament director has the final say on all rulings. If a game requires a ruling that the tournament director is directly involved, the ruling will be deferred to an unbiased person to be named at the beginning of the tournament.