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.

Match-Play Tournament, Sponsored by Shorty's

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

This is the main tournament of the event, offering IFPA World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) points. This event is open to all.

Tournament Summary

Note: this diagram is from 2019. It has not yet been updated for 2020 with the increase in number of players per round.


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

Registration for each round opens at time specified; closes 15 minutes before scheduled start time of round, or earlier if a round is full.

Free Practice on Main Bank: Friday Noon to 1:00pm. Max 2 minutes per machine to give others chance to play.
Qualifying, Round A: Friday 1:15pm-4:15pm. Registration opens Noon.
Qualifying, Round B: Friday 8:15pm-11:15pm. Registration opens 2:00pm.
Qualifying, Round C: Saturday 10:15am-1:15pm. Registration opens Friday 2:00pm.
Qualifying, Round D: Saturday 4:30pm-7:30pm. Registration opens Saturday, 11:00am.
Qualifying, Round E Classic Bank + half-of-Main Bank: Saturday 8:00pm-11:00pm. Registration opens Saturday, 11:00am.

First Playoff Round: Sunday 9:00am. Check-in at 9:00am when show floor opens. Playoffs start at 9:15am. If you're not present, the game will be started without you, and you'll get zero points for that game. There is no joining a game in progress if you're late.
Quarter Finals: Starts 5 minutes after quarter finals results are posted, estimated to be 11:15am. Players with a bye into quarter-final must arrive by 11:00am to check-in.
A and B Semi-Finals: Starts 5 minutes after quarter-finals results are posted, estimated 1:15pm.
A and B Finals: Starts 5 minutes after semi-finals results are posted, estimated 2:00pm.


  • Entry fee: $30 to participate in one qualifying round. Two retries allowed (while entry spots remain) for additional $30 each retry.
  • Five Qualifying Rounds: up to 72 players1 in each. 5 games, partial-round-robin as 4-player games. Winner goes to quarter-final round, 2nd through 10th go to first round of playoffs.
  • Round E will be played using the Classic Bank of machines that was used for PinGolf Classic, as up to half of the machines from the main tournament bank. Other rounds exclusively use main tournament bank machines.
  • First Playoff Round: 45 players, 4 games, partial-round-robin as 3-player games. Top 16 move on to quarter-finals.
  • Quarter Final Round: 21 players, 4 games, partial-round-robin as 3-player games.
  • Winner of quarter final round gets bye to the finals, and guaranteed 3rd place in A.
  • 2nd thru 7th from quarter-finals move on to A semi-finals.
  • B-Division Split: Top 7 of remaining quarter-finalists who are B-Eligible are selected for the B semi-finals. Winner of round gets bye to the B-Division Finals, and guaranteed 3rd place in B.
  • B-Eligible: Any player who does not have an Individual Player Rating (IPR) of 6 is eligible for both A and B division prizes.
  • Semi-Final Round (Separate for A and B divisions): Match Multi-Play round. Winner of quarter-final for each division has a bye. Other six players divided into two groups of 3, each plays a 3-player 3-game multi-play round. Winner goes to finals.
  • Final Round (Separate for A and B divisions): Three-player 3-game Match Multi-Play round with the three finalists.

    1 The advertised limit of 72 players listed above is based on expectation of at least 18 functional machines in the main tournament bank. Maximum number of players in a round could be decreased depending on actual machine availability each round.

    Specific details on the format of each round are included below.

    Prize Pool

    $1000 plus trophy for Winner. $750 plus plaque for second place. $250 plus plaque for winner of B Final.
    All 50 players who qualify for Sunday Playoffs earn a cash prize.
    During First Playoff Round, winner of the round earns a $50 prize bonus. (In qualifying and quarter-final rounds, the winner earns a bye; since no bye offered in first playoff round, cash prize instead). If players tied, treated as non-significant tie and would split the prize if tie not broken with first tie breaker.

    Qualifying Rounds Details

    • The tournament will be played on the Main Tourney Bank of machines.
    • Each round will have a maximum of 72 players (exact maximum may be lowered based on available machines). The players will play a 5-game partial round-robin that will include 4-player and/or 3-player games on five different machines against varying opponents. The list and order of matches will be posted at the start of the round. To the extent possible, schedule is designed so that players will not play the same machine twice, and will face different players every game.
    • Points will be awarded for each game, as described below in the section Game Scoring. The top seven players (identified by the highest point totals for the five games) will move on to the quarter-finals, with the top score in each round earning a bye straight into the quarter-finals. In case of a tie for first or seventh, the tie-breaking procedure described below will be used.
    • To register, stop by the tournament desk any time after registration desk opens on Friday, or as early as you can on Saturday, as entries could sell out later in the day. Registration for any round closes when it is full, or 15 minutes prior to the start of the round.
    • Sign-up is first-come-first-serve, and you cannot sign up for a retry until you’ve completed your prior round and results are posted that you did not move on to Sunday rounds. When you sign up, pay your registration fee and select which of the qualifying rounds you want to compete in. Once a round is full, no additional entries for that round will be accepted.
    • A player can try to qualify a maximum of three times. If a later round sells out and a player still has a retry available, then it will be "tough luck". It is highly encouraged that the first try is one of the Friday rounds, just in case the later rounds do sell out.
    • Qualifying Round D conflicts with the Classic PinGolf finals. Players who hope or expect to make it to the Classic PinGolf finals should plan on playing in earlier qualifying rounds, and not risk the conflict. A player registered for Round D but later learns they qualified for PinGolf finals can move their registration to Round E. If they elect to still play in Round D, they will be disqualified from the PinGolf Final.
    • Qualifying Round E conflicts with the Women's Championship finals. Players who qualified for the Women's Championship Finals plan on playing in earlier qualifying rounds. A player registered for Round E but later learns they qualified for the Women's finals can have their registration reimbursed. If they elect to still play in Round E, they will be disqualified from the Women's Championship Final.
    • It is possible that at the end of one round, there are more players that want to retry in the next round, but not enough remaining open spots. If that occurs, then priority will be given to players based first on number of prior tries, then on their results of the round that just finished, highest point-total among those who did not qualify get priority.
    • Rounds A, B, C, and D will be played exclusively on the main tournament bank.
    • Round E will be played using a mixture of machines from the main tournament bank and the Classic Tournament Bank.
    • In case of machine breakdown, a machine from the Expo floor may be selected for use in lieu of the broken main bank machine.
    • Note that when players sign up, the list of who is signed up for which round will not be made public. Only the number of remaining spots in each round will be advertised.
    • Machines used for each game will be pre-determined by the schedule. The schedule will be posted on the main tournament computer screen, as well as posted online to this website. Note that scheduled machine may change after the start of the round in case of malfunctions or other issues, at the tournament director's discretion. If there is a need to change which machine is played, then it is possible in this case that the same machine gets played twice during the round by one or more players.
    • Prior to the start of each game in a round, a tournament official will place a scoresheet on each machine, then announce the start of the game. At that time, players should proceed to the machine they are schedule to play on, verify on the scoresheet that they are at the right place, then begin play when all players are present.
    • Order of play is as shown on the scoresheet for that game. Playing out of order at any time will result in a disqualification, and a recorded 0 points for that game.
    • Points will be awarded for each game, as described below in the section Game Scoring.
    • It is each player's personal responsibility to not register for more than 3 rounds. Players won't be prevented from registering for a 4th round as it's difficult to check at time of registration. However, any player that is in a qualifying spot in Round D or E will be verified to ensure it isn't their 4th or 5th attempt. If it is, they will be disqualified with no refund, and the playoff spot will go to the next highest finisher.

    First Playoff Round

    • The top seven players from each qualifying round will compete on Sunday.
    • The top-point earner from each of the five qualifying rounds receives a bye straight into quarter-finals, and thus does not play in this round.
    • The other 45 players will play a 4-game partial-round-robin playoff round as 3-player games, with the top 16 players moving on to quarter-finals.
    • Any ties for 16th place will be resolved per the tie-breaking rules given below.
    • Procedure for starting each game, order of play, and scoring will be same as in Qualifying Rounds.
    • Note that for purposes of IFPA WPPR Points, the final order in this round will establish the finishing position for players in 22nd through 35th place.

    Quarter Final Round

    • The quarter-final round will include 21 players (top 16 from first playoff round, plus the 5 qualifying round winners who received byes), and consist of another 4-game partial-round-robin format, also as 3-player games.
    • The top 7 players move on to the A Semi-finals, with the top finisher getting a bye to guarantee them at least 3rd place in A finals.
    • Excluding the top 7, the next top 7 players who are B-eligible are selected for the B Semi-finals. The highest finisher among these 7 will get a bye to guarantee them at least 3rd place in B finals. Players ranked in top 250 or have a Matchplay.events lower bound rating above 1575 are only eligible for A division prizes.
    • Any significant ties will be resolved by tie-breaking rules below.
    • Procedure for starting each game, order of play, and scoring will be same as in Qualifying Rounds.
    • Note that for purposes of IFPA WPPR Points, the final order in this round will establish the finishing position for players in 8th thru 21st place. The B finals will not affect those points. Finishing order for 1st through 7th is determined by the A Semi-Final and Final rounds.


    • A and B semi-finals will operate independently and in parallel, each division with its own bracket.
    • Semi-Final seeds 2/5/7 and 3/4/6 each play three 3-player games as Multi-Play. See details below for 3-Player Multi-Play Matches.
    • Winners move on to Finals to compete for top 3 spots.
    • 2nd Place in each match obtains a "tie for 4th"
    • 3rd place in each match obtains a "tie for 6th".
    Note, if tournament running late, this round may be reduced to a single 3-player game for each group on a machine selected by the tournament director.


    • A and B finals will operate independently and in parallel, each division with its own bracket.
    • Finals Match: 3-Player Multi-Play Match, that includes winner of semi-finals, and winner of each of the semi-final matches. Finish in this match establishes order for top 3 players.
    • Machines for all games will be randomly selected. If time is running short, tournament director may limit the selection to machines known to have shorter ball times, based on observations during prior rounds.
    Note, if tournament running late, this round may be reduced to a single 3-player game for each group on a machine selected by the tournament director.

    Scoring and General Tournament Rules

    Tie-breaking rules for Match Play rounds

    • First Tie Breaker: Number of 7-point wins, number of games with 6 points, number of games with 5 points, etc.
    • A significant tie is one that affects who advances or doesn't, or produces a different prize amount. The second and subsequent tie-breaking depends on whether it is a significant tie or not.
    • If not a significant tie, then ties for seeding will be broken randomly, ties for final position will be submitted as a tie.
    • Second Tie Breaker if still tied and it is a significant tie: Player who scored highest in last round. Then previous round(s).
    • Third Tie Breaker if still tied and it is a significant tie: One ball sudden death on machine randomly selected by tournament director.
    • When using NWPAS Software with NWPAS scoring, the first tie breaker will be illustrated in the results via a decimal point in a player's total points earned. 0.1 added for each 7-point win. 0.01 for each 6-point win. 0.001 for each 5-point win.
        • Thus a score of 23.102 means one 7-point win, zero 6-point wins, and two 5-point wins.
    • When using Matchplay.events software with IFPA scoring, the number of firsts and seconds are displayed in the rightmost column of the standings, to the right of total points earned.

    Tie-breaking rules for Match Multi-Play rounds

    • Tied players will play a one-ball tie-breaker on a randomly selected machine from the bank they just finished playing.

    NWPAS Match Play Game Scoring

    A bonus-point scoring system will be used in all rounds of the NW Women's Championship and NWPAS Open Match Play Tournament, except the match multi-play semi-final and final rounds.

    Scoring for each game will depend on the number of players in the game. Note that this scoring has been modified slightly from 2018, to use doubling the score of a player rather than sum of two different players.

    4-Player Games:

    Base points = 6-4-3-1. Two bonus points are awarded:
    • 1st place player earns bonus point if score[1st place] > 2 * score[3rd place], else 3rd place player gets that bonus point.
    • 2nd place player earns bonus point if score[2nd place] > 2 * score[4th place], else 4th place player gets that bonus point.
    This means 1st place player gets 6 or 7 points; second place player gets 4 or 5 points. Third place player gets 3 or 4 points, and 4th place player gets 1 or 2 points.

    3-Player Games:

    Base points = 6-4-1. Two bonus points are awarded:
    • 1st place player earns bonus point if score[1st place] > 2 * score[3rd place], else 3rd place player gets that bonus point.
    • 2nd place player earns bonus point if score[2nd place] > 2 * score[3rd place], else 3rd place player gets that bonus point.
    This means 1st place player gets 6 or 7 points; second place player gets 4 or 5 points. Third place player gets 1, 2, or 3 points.

    2-Player Games:

    Two-player games will be avoided, but they could happen due to forfeits or missing players.
    • Winner who does not double opponents score wins 5-3.
    • Winner who doubles opponents score, but has less than triple, wins 6-2.
    • Winner who triples opponents score, wins 7-1.

    3-Player Multi-Play Matches:

    Multi-Play is a format where three players play 3 games simultaneously. A bank of 3 machines is selected for the match. A player will be player 1 on one game, player 2 on the next game to their right, and player 3 on the 3rd game. Each player starts on a different machine. Play begins with all players starting their first ball at the same time. When they are done, they play their first ball on the next machine, when the prior player is done. This repeats until each player has finished ball 1. Players continue to rotate through ball 2 then ball 3, until each player has played all three balls on all three machines.

    Scoring on each game is the following:
    • Winner gets 3-points.
    • 2nd place gets 2-points.
    • 3rd place gets 1-point.

    Points from each game are added up. Winner is player with highest sum total from all three games.

    Forfeits and Disqualifications:

    If a player is a no-show after 3 minutes from when start of Game 1 is announced, the game will start with player included, and their balls will be plunged by a tournament official. If they arrive, they can play remainder of their game. Regardless of whether or not the player shows, the game will be scored as though the player is present.

    If a player is a no-show for the entire first game, they will be disqualified for the entire round. The player will be removed from subsequent games, and other players in those games will score the game using one less player scoring.

    Any player that is disqualified in a game due to a ruling receives 0 points for the game. The other players score the game including the disqualified player, and assume a score of 0 for that player.

    IFPA Scoring

    IFPA Scoring will be used for Satellite Match Play qualifying rounds, Amateur/Rookie Match Play tournament at the show, and all Match Multi-Play Rounds in both Satellite Tournaments and at NWPAS show. Scoring for each game is as follows:
    • 4-Player Games: 7-5-3-1
    • 3-Player Games: 7-4-1
    • 2-Player Games: 7-3

    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.

    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.