Midwest Pinball Championship Rules

Note: These rules have been adapted by using portions from past Midwest Pinball Championship Tournaments. There may be further revisions and clarifications made before the 2019 Midwest Pinball Tournament takes place. Please do not consider these rules final until this paragraph has been removed, or until the tournament has begun.

The Midwest Gaming Classic is an all-encompassing electronic gaming event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2019 the Midwest Gaming Classic will hold the 11th annual Midwest Pinball Championships (MPC).

The event coordinator for the Midwest Pinball Championships is Dan Loosen. Event coordinators organize volunteers, designate scorekeepers, handle malfunctions and provide ultimate rulings, delegate responsibilities and authority, and otherwise work to ensure the smooth operation of the tournament. Because of this role, event coordinators are excluded from tournament play. Designated officials may play, but must follow all rules regarding tournament play and may not officiate themselves.

I. Quick Overview

MPC tournament rules are quite lengthy and detailed. They reflect the experience of many years of tournament and league play, under many different systems. The underlying ideas are simple, however.

The first day of the tournament consists of qualifying rounds for singles players, while the second day features head-to-head elimination bouts based on the ranking from the first day.

Each qualifying attempt consists of play on a machine. The player’s combined performance on that machine is ranked versus all other players. The highest composite scores across all qualifying games will advance to the final rounds.

In the final rounds, qualifying players play against each other in 2-player games, with head-to-head games being played

II. Singles Competition

1. Divisions of Play

Due to the fact that the tournament is free to enter, and all people are welcome to play, there are no longer any divisions of play in the tournament.

We suggest that any players aged 9 or under participate in the “Midwest Junior Pinball Championship”. The children’s tournament is played on a different game and has no ranking impact on the MPC. Those players may still participate in the Midwest Pinball Championship if they so choose, in which case all of the same rules apply to them as outlined above.

2. Fees

There are no registration fees to participate in pinball tournaments at the Midwest Gaming Classic, however a one-time registration is required of each player before play begins in any tournament, regardless of division or tournament type (ie mini-tournament, pinball tournament, hybrid tournament, etc). Registration is not required to watch or to play non-tournament games at the Midwest Gaming Classic. Entries into any tournaments do not have any fees associated with them, although entry is limited.

It is up to the players to ensure their play is recorded.

The last entries for the MPC must be started no later than 8pm on Saturday, as qualifying is only available for the Saturday of the show. Any entries that are not started by this time will be considered voided through the fault of the player. A decision by the head judge may be made at 8pm to extend qualifying, players must be present and in line for them to be considered for this.

3. Prizes

Top participants will receive a certificate commemorating their play. All players will receive WPPR points, regardless of if they participate in Sunday’s play-off or not.

III. Singles: Qualifying Rounds

1. Obtaining entries

Entries are free. After registering, each player will receive five entry scorecards. Do not lose these scorecards, as they are how the officials determine which machine you need to play. Lost tournament entry scorecards may not be reprinted.

2. Playing an entry

When a player is ready to play a qualifying entry, he or she approaches the bank of machines designated for the tournament and gives their scorecard to the scorekeeper. Three different titles will be provided for the tournament. Each scorecard is good for one entry on a specific title – two entries on two titles, and one entry on the third title. No additional entries may be played. At no time may the player begin play on any machine without being instructed to do so by the scorekeeper. Based on which scorecard the player gives to the official, the player will be directed to a machine to play for their entry when available.

At the end of each game, the player will request that the scorekeeper record and verify his or her score before leaving the machine. It is the player’s responsibility to ensure that the scorekeeper takes down the score, and to double check the recorded score for correctness.

At any point during play or immediately after play has been completed, the player may elect to abandon his or her entry by notifying the scorekeeper. Because all scores count this year, the Midwest Gaming Classic strongly encourages players to NOT abandon any scores.

Once the player has begun to play their entry, they may not take their scorecard from the scorekeeper, whether it is complete, incomplete, or void.

3. Scoring

All scores posted on a particular machine are maintained in a ranking with the two machines that get two scores each machine being combined together to give the player their score. A player’s score will be listed in the ranking system if they have played only one of the two entries, and the player will still be ranked overall in the tournament even if he or she has not completed all of their entries when qualifying ends, however not playing any entries is a significant disadvantage and will affect your final standings. Point values are assigned to each position in this ranking. The overall score of a particular person is the total of the point values assigned to its ranked scores on all machines in the qualifying rounds. Because the rankings will change as new scores are posted on each machine, the score of each entry may change as the qualifying rounds progress.

In the unlikely event of two or more scores on a machine being tied, the highest point value of the tied positions will be awarded for each tied score.

There are no scoring normalizers or other adjustments. As the qualifying rounds progress, players may wish to adjust their choice of qualifying machines according to the scores already posted, as well as their personal skills and preferences.

The rank of the player’s result on each machine contributes the following points to the score for that entry.

Rank and Score

1st Place – 300 points
2nd Place – 293 points
3rd Place – 287 points
4th Place – 282 points
5th Place – 278 points
6th Place – 275 points
7th Place – 273 points
8th Place – 272 points
All places beyond 8th decrease by one point until place 279. Any competitors placing below 279 will receive zero points for that particular game

Tournament officials will endeavor to provide up-to-date scores and rankings at all times. This has traditionally been done with a computer and monitor, but may be done using another acceptable method.

4. Scoring Example

A player is ready to play one of her qualifying entries in the the first machine (this machine is one with the two play requirement), and a scorekeeper directs her to the machine to play on. She plays one entry on a qualifying machine, and the scorekeeper records her score. At the time the entry is completed, she has not yet played the second time for that machine, but her score is ranked in the 3rd position on the selected machine. Her total score for entry 128 is therefore 287. This score may change as other entries are played, by this player or other players. For example, at the end of qualifying, the scores for this entry may only rank 20th, providing a total score of 172. If a score is moved out of the top 279, it does not count for any points.

The player may use her second entry on the same title later on in the qualifying session, improving her score at that point.

Note that barring the correction of errors in scoring data, the total score for any qualifying entry can only remain the same or decrease as entries are played from other players; it can never increase for a competitor without a second entry being played. If the second entry for the player has already been played, his or her score for that machine may only go down.

If you wish to qualifying highly in the Midwest Pinball Championship, we strongly suggest that you play both entries for all three machines. It is possible, although highly improbable, to qualify using less than all three machine entries.

IV. Singles: Final Rounds

1. Advancing to Finals

As soon as players are finished and scoring is confirmed, players who qualify for the finals will be posted at the Midwest Gaming Classic in a public spot, as well as on the web site. Upon opening of the show on Sunday morning, this posting will also be at the place where the tournament is being played. Final rounds will start promptly at 10:15am Sunday morning, so the first report time will be 10:10am.

Note that qualifying position determines the seeding in final rounds. Due to the nature of the round system, players will be asked to report for their game at different times on Sunday. Players report times will be five minutes earlier than their match is scheduled to begin. In the event that a qualifying player is not available, by the time the round starts, the person they were supposed to play against will win the round as a forfeit. In the rare case where both players do not arrive on time to start their round, measures may be taken to re-shuffle that qualifying round’s field so that the top players get a bye and the following round does not start with an open spot.

In the event a qualifying player is not available, he or she will be skipped in the ranking as if he or she had not qualified. Upon discovering that a player is not present, tournament officials will make a specific announcement for that player, allowing five minutes for that player to appear. Substitutions or late arrivals are not allowed except in the above situation.

2. Tie Breaking Procedures

In the case of two players having an equal amount of ranking points, a tie breaking procedure will be used to separate the two players. This procedure will be decided by tournament officials, but will generally be a single game face off, unless external factors such as timing force a change. These players will be identified and asked to report additional 5 minutes early before their regular play time Sunday to break the tie.

3. Machines Chosen

The machines used for final rounds in each division will be designated before the beginning of the final rounds of play. This designation will be determined solely by tournament officials, and may include in each division machines that were not utilized in the qualifying rounds for that division, as well as machines not previously utilized in the tournament at all.

For simplicity, the rules treat all games played in the final rounds as head-to-head games. In the event a machine being utilized does not support two simultaneous players, multiple games will be played on the same machine, with playing order preference going by original seeding as usual, and the resulting scores will be compared as if a single multi-player game had been played.

4. Player Report Times

Player report times will be listed as 5 minutes before the start of the round time listed below.

5. Round Structure

In order to maximize the number of qualifiers, the use of the equipment, and the player’s time the finals for the Midwest Gaming Classic will be a ten round format, with a special last chance “play-in” game. If the lowest ranked qualifier is able to play throughout the entire tournament, he or she will play 19 head-to-head games. Top players will get byes based on their position, with the top four players getting a bye all the way to the final eight players.

The games played in the 10th grouping to the 5th grouping will be played on a single game head to head. The top ranked player will get to pick the game based on availability (a player may not choose a machine that is already taken by another group in that same grouping). Here is how the groupings will look for these rounds:

10:15am – Crazy Ball Play-In. Qualifying players 29 through 44 will play a four player, single ball game. The top player after one ball will advance to the final rounds as outlined below. Crazy ball round will not impact final rankings other than the four advancing players.

10:45am – First Round. Qualifying players 1 through 28 will join the winners of the Crazy Ball play-in to play two, four player games. Points will be awarded PAPA style (4 points for first, 2 for second, 1 for third and 0 for last) in these rounds. After two rounds, the top two players in each group move on. Players who are eliminated will receive final ranking of spots 17 through 32 depending on their original qualifying position.

11:30pm – Quarter-Finals. Remaining players are sorted into groups of four based on their original finishing positions. Players play two, four player games. Points will be awarded PAPA style. After two rounds, the top two players in the group move on. Players who are eliminated will receive final ranking of spots 9 through 16 depending on their original qualifying position.

12:30pm – Semi-Finals. Remaining players are sorted into groups of four based on their original finishing positions. Players play three, four player games (one of each title available). Points will be awarded PAPA style. After three rounds, the top two players in the group move on. Players who are eliminated will receive final ranking of spots 5 through 8 depending on their original qualifying position.

2pm – Finals. Remaining 4 players play three, four player games (one of each title available). Points will be awarded PAPA style. After three rounds, positions achieved will determine final winner of the Midwest Pinball Championship! In the case of any ties, a single game playoff will occur with only the tied players.

A player may have their games filmed and projected or televised in a way deemed acceptable to the tournament officials. Filming equipment shall not be placed within 6 inches of the flipper buttons of the machine, and monitoring devices may not be placed within 12 inches to the left or right of the edge of the machine.

6. Final Placement for WPPR Rankings

When a player is eliminated, with the exception of the Final round, that player’s position will be based on his or her round elimination score as well as their original ranking score. For instance, if the 30th ranked player is eliminated in the Semi-Final grouping, his or her rank would be no lower than 8th.

7. Winners

As players are eliminated, they will receive a certificate noting their achievement and the round reached or, in the final positions, their final spot. All decisions by tournament officials regarding winners and prizes are final.

All players, winning or not, grant the Midwest Gaming Classic and all other event sponsors and organizers the right to use their names, scores, and likenesses for the purpose of promoting this tournament as well as other pinball-related events. If you have any problem with this clause, please speak with a tournament official before beginning play to see if we can accommodate your request.

The top winner will receive the title “Midwest Pinball Champion.” This title remains in effect until the next annual MPC tournament.

VI. Other Competitions

More competitions will be announced soon! For their rules, please check the other Midwest Gaming Classic tournament pages.

VII. Malfunctions and Rulings

IFPA Tournament Rules

The Midwest Gaming Classic will use the version of the IFPA Tournament rules which are posted on the IFPA web site at the time the tournament starts. IFPA Tournament Rules may be found at https://www.ifpapinball.com/rules/.


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