2020 NWPAS Pinball Tournaments
June 5 through June 7, 2020

Satellite Tournament Series
March 16th to May 25th

COVID-19 Update from NWPAS Board of Directors:

With a heavy heart, we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show this June.

With the current ban on large events and the spread of COVID-19 it's too uncertain where things will be 2 months from now. Pinball and arcade shows are very hands on with person after person touching the buttons, joysticks, and controls of games. Even if the venue and city let the event go on it would be impossible for our volunteer staff to keep up with the rigorous sanitation demands. In the interest of public safety and the financial survival of the show we feel it's prudent at this time to make the decision to cancel. All tickets will be fully refunded and we are working with the venue to move our deposit to next year. In the meantime, we urge you to support local arcades, pinball leagues, game vendors, and other pinball and arcade related businesses and organizations as much as you can to keep our hobby alive and flourishing.

Thank you to the thousands of people that were planning on attending and the hundreds of people that volunteer their time and games every year to make the show happen. We do the show for you, you are our community and friends and we will get through this together.

The information that follows on this page is from the original 2020 plans. They'll be left here for reference, as details for 2021 tournaments are likely to be similar.

Classics PinGolf Tournament

Please note that tournament details on this page are subject to changes or revisions until a month before the show.

This is PinGolf format tournament that will be run on a variety of pre-Dot Matrix Pinball machines. This event is open to all, and offers IFPA World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) Points.


Note: this schedule is from 2019. It has not yet been updated for 2020, but might be same as 2019.

Tee times accommodate two players every 10 minutes. Players can tee-off early if they are next in line and machine for hole 1 is idle.

Friday Qualifying: 1:10pm-10:05pm.
Saturday Qualifying: 10:10am-2:45pm.
Registration opens Friday Noon, for tee-offs Friday 1:10pm-4:30pm.
Registration opens Friday 2:00pm for tee-offs for Friday or Saturday before Noon.
Registration opens Saturday 10:00am for tee-offs on Saturday between Noon and end of qualifying.
Registration closes whenever all remaining tee-off times are full.
Playoff Round: Saturday 4:15pm-7:30pm.


• Entry fee: $30 to participate in one round of PinGolf. No retries.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Save $10 by taking one of the Tee-off times between Friday 1:10pm and 1:55pm; first-come-first-serve.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Save $5 by taking one of the Tee-off times between Friday 2:00pm and 2:55pm; first-come-first-serve.
• Entry includes one play on each of 10 machines in the Classics Tourney Bank.
• The Classics Tourney Bank will include a variety of pre-Dot Matrix machines.
• Each game will have a target score to meet.
• Number of balls it takes to achieve objective is the "strokes" for that machine. All machines will be set to 5-ball play.
• If target score is not met by end of the game, then a score between 6 and 10 is recorded, depending on how close to target score was achieved.
• Players with the Lowest Scores by end of qualifying will play in the playoff round on Saturday evening.

The following sections include more specific details on the format of each round.

Qualifying Round Details

Sign-up whenever registration is open for your desired tee-off time at the Tournament desk. Sign-up early to get better choice of tee-off time. Show up at the classics bank about five minutes prior to your tee time. If at any time there is a backup with multiple players waiting to play the same machine, priority is given to the player with the earliest Tee Time.

The entire round is to be played at once, on specified machines in the order stated. If there is an urgent situation that requires you to suspend your qualifying run, please discuss with a tournament official to avoid the forfeits.

Do not play machines out-of-order unless directed to do so by a tournament official. All games should be played as single-player games, so that there are no issues such as tilting other player's ball, playing out of order, stealing locks, etc.

All machines will be set to 5-ball play. If an extra ball is earned, play it; that does not count as an extra stroke.

Each machine will have a target score to achieve, shown on the backglass. If the player reaches that target score, their current ball number represents their strokes for that hole. For example, if a player achieves on ball 1, they get a hole in 1! If they achieve it on ball 2, they get a score of 2 strokes, and so on. If a player fails to reach the objective during the game, they get a score between 6 and 10 for that machine, depending on how close they got to the target score. The score ranges (80%, 60%, 40%, 20% of score) will be shown on a note on the backglass. The player must notify the scorekeeper (raise hand and stay at machine) once the target score is met or game is over, until the score is recorded. If score was obtained on ball 4 or prior, do not plunge remaining balls until score has been recorded.


Tie-breaking rules - Qualifying Round

During qualifying round, tie breaker for 28th position and the top 2 positions: if players have the same score, ranking goes by most "hole in ones". If still tied there, then rank moves to those with more 2 stroke entries, then 3-stroke entries, etc. In the rare chance that tied players have identical scores and stroke totals for 28th place, then best score on hole 10, then hole 9, etc. until tie is broken. In the rare chance that tied players have identical scores and stroke totals for 1st or 2nd place top qualifier prize money, then the prize money will be split.

Playoff Round Detail

The top 28 players will make it to the playoff round. There are no byes.

Top 28 players will play in a four-player five-strike fair-strike tournament, with PinGolf scoring. During this round, players are assigned to a machine (hole). Scoring is the same as during qualifying round. The winner of the game gets no strikes. The loser of the game two strikes. 2nd and 3rd in a 4-player game, or just 2nd in a 3-player game, will get one strike. In case multiple players are tied for number of strokes on a hole, the tied players only move on to the next hole and play a 3-ball game. If a player doesn’t reach target score, they still get a score of 6 through 10. If there is still a tie, tied players move to next game, and begin the hole-in-one challenge: If one of players gets a hole and other player(s) doesn’t, that player wins. If no player gets a hole in one, highest score wins. If both players get hole in one, they move on to next machine and repeat this hole-in-one challenge until someone does not get a hole-in-one.

Tie-breaking rules - Playoff Round

In case of a tie among players who are knocked out in the same round for the final three positions (where trophies are awarded), all tied players will play a hole-in-one challenge to establish finishing order, for both prize money and IFPA ranking. For any other ties, prize money among tied players will be added together and split evenly with all the tied players.

When playing a hole-in-one challenge, a machine is selected at random as a starting point, with order also selected at random. Tied players each play one ball. Anyone not reaching a hole in one, their score on the one ball is their final score for position. If a player gets a hole in one, they win if they are the only ones to get a hole in one, or move on to a second game, with other players who also scored a hole in one, and repeat the one-ball only. This continues until all ties have been broken.

Prize Pool

Top qualifier: $50
2nd highest qualifier: $30
1st place, $500. All 28 players who make the playoff round will earn a cash prize.
Trophy for winner. Plaques for 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

General Tournament Rules

Malfunctions and Rulings

Anytime an abnormal circumstance occurs, a tournament official should be notified. To ensure consistency throughout the tournament, PLAYERS SHOULD NOT RESOLVE ISSUES ON THEIR OWN. Except for customized rules explicitly covered on this website, PAPA/IFPA Tournament Rules will be used to address malfunctions and as the basis for rulings. Note also that any rule posted at the event, such as on the backglass of a machine, will override any rule described herein. The rules listed here are generalized for all NWPAS events, and might not apply to some specific formats.

Runaway Score Rule: Pinball is not a timed game, and occasionally a player has a dominating game that could take a half hour to an hour or more. While these can be impressive games to watch, they wreak havoc on a tournament schedule. This rule is to address such long games to ensure sufficient time to play every game within constraints imposed by the schedule. If a player has such a game, a tournament official may ask the player to end their ball and game, in favor of saving time. Should this occur, the player automatically receives 7 points for the win (or 3 points in playoff multi-play scoring), regardless of the ensuing performance of any other player. During the course of the game, if any other player catches this runaway score, that player will also receive 7 points (or 3 points in multi-play scoring), and be asked to end their ball and game. Points earned by other players who do not exceed this runaway score will be per the position they finish in. If only one player reaches runaway score, then bonus points will be computed normally, except that the player with a runaway score will always win the bonus point. If more than one player reaches a runaway score, then players who finished 3rd or 4th will not receive any bonus points in that game.

Delay of Game: Due to the tight show schedule, delays due to players not being ready to play are problematic. When a new game is announced, players are expected to immediately proceed to their assigned machine. If a player has not shown up within one minute, please notify a tournament official, who will start a 2-minute timer. Players who have not arrived within 3 minutes of the start of a round may be given an official warning and have their balls plunged by a tournament official. Between balls, players are generally allowed 30 seconds to get to the machine and start their ball. Exceptions could be granted (e.g. player needed restroom; tournament official is involved in game and needed to make a ruling, technician at neighboring machine needs space, etc.), but these are generally expected to be occasional and the player would have informed the other competitors ahead of time of the need. No additional time is provided if previous player tilts, due to use of fast-settling tilt bob. If an opponent regularly takes longer than 30 seconds, please notify a tournament official. Tournament officials will monitor for delay of game. Tournament officials can provide warnings as well as plunging ball on first delay of game offence, and disqualification from game or tournament for repeated offenses.

Machine Setup Changes: Tournament officials reserve the right to modify any machine between games or between rounds, including changing of settings, tilt sensitivity, machine level, or any other adjustment that is deemed desirable to make the tournament run more smoothly and be more fair and fun. Since a player is only competing against the other players in the same game, all players will encounter such changes at the same time, and it is part of pinball to be able to quickly adjust to changing conditions of a machine. Tournament officials also have the option to remove any machine from play even if machine playing well, due to long average ball times. Machines chosen at random each round may be chosen from a subset of machines available, with playability and average ball times of each machine taken into consideration to form that subset.

Extra Balls: Extra balls will be disabled whenever possible at the main event, but likely will still be enabled in most satellite tournaments. Any extra ball is to be plunged, unless a note on the backglass says to play it. If an extra ball is to be plunged, then player may touch flipper buttons to setup skill shot, then plunge ball in attempt to get the skill shot. The player may also choose to tilt the machine prior to plunging in lieu of skill shot and end-of-ball bonus, but a tilt anytime after a first plunge attempt will result in disqualification. Once ball is in motion the player must step back and cannot touch the machine, unless the ball returns back to plunger lane and is not auto-plunged, at which time they can re-attempt a skill shot. In the case that a player has a compensation ball awarded due to a major malfunction, and they earn an extra ball, they may choose to play the extra ball in lieu of the compensation ball in a new game.

Bonus Balls: A bonus ball is differentiated from an Extra Ball in that it is timed, and ends when the timer runs out. Space Shuttle and Medusa are examples of two machines with Bonus Balls. Bonus balls CAN be played.

Fast-Settling Tilt Bobs: In the NWPAS show tournaments, machines will be equipped with Fast-Settling Tilt Bobs when possible, using the ear-plug tilt hack, so that even sensitive machines tend to give only one danger warning after a strong nudge or save. With this mechanism, the tilt bob usually settles to a full stop within 15 to 20 seconds, and thus no need to wait longer between players when the prior player ended their ball by tilting. As a result, the delay-of-game rules don't allow for extended waits after a player tilts, as described next. This does not apply to satellite tournaments that are held on location, with most machines as-is.

Machine Availability: In case of machine inavailability, the maximum player count listed for a round could be reduced, or a backup machine from the Expo floor may be selected for use in lieu of the broken main bank machine.

Prize Pools: The advertised prize pools assume attendance on par with previous year, and are subject to reduction in case of major problems that reduce the number of available paid entries in any of the tournaments. This includes but not limited to power failures, natural disasters, weather-related closures, and significant technical issues.

Major Malfunction Scoring. In case of a major malfunction in which a player is awarded an additional ball at the end of their game, then if they reach the target score before needing that additional ball, they'll earn a score of 1 stroke less than the ball they are on when they reached the target score.

Machine Availability.A machine can be removed from the bank either due to mechanical breakdown, or if a machine accumulates too large of a backlog that would not be recoverable within the time limits of the tournament. If a machine is removed prior to 3:00pm on Friday, then a backup machine will be provided if available. Players who already played the machine that was removed, will be able to play the backup machine whenever they are available; they'll be squeezed in between other players. Players who don't return to fill in their missing game will receive a score matching their average on the other nine machines, rounded up to next highest integer (e.g. if their average is 3.7, they'll get a score of 4 for the missing machine). If a machine breaks down after 3:00pm on Friday, it will not be replaced. If it is before 80% of players have played the machine, all scores on that machine will be voided. If more than 80% of players have played the machine, then the other players will receive a score that is their average score on all other machines, rounded up to next highest integer.

Additional Information

Tournament Co-Directors: Dave Stewart, Germain Mariolle, and Eric Wagensonner
For questions and inquiries regarding tournaments at NWPAS, please contact wapinball@gmail.com.

Back to Main Tournament Page.