SFPD Rules

At each meeting, players will be drawn into groups of four, and play five games. We use the Match Play Events software to run the league, and it is set to have players play as many new opponents as possible during the regular season.

Each player will choose one machine per meeting. The player with the fewest points after the first four games will pick the fifth machine.

Players earn points on each game played. The winner of each machine gets 7 points, second place gets 5 points, third place gets 3 points and fourth place gets 1 point. For example, if Forrest wins on Iron Maiden, gets second place on Pirates of the Caribbean, third place on Royal Flush and Doodle Bug, and fourth place on Paragon, he will earn (7+5+3+3+1) 19 points for the meeting. The maximum score for a league night is 35 points. The minimum is five.

Occassionally three-player groups are necessary. In three-player groups the scoring is 7/4/1. The player with the fewest points after the first three games, picks the fourth machine.

The league standings is determined by the sum of points earned each meeting. The best eight out of 10 results make up your total score. FOR SPRING 2023 SEASON: The best six out of eight results make up your total score.

During the meeting each group will will out a paper score sheet as well as submit results online through Match Play Events. It is the responsibility of the entire group that the result submissions are accurate.

Attendance & tardy players

To remain in good standings, members need to attend at least 50% of our regular season meetings unless there is a compelling reason for the absence. Each such case will be determined by the commissioners. To be included in the standings submitted to the IFPA, members need to attend at least four meetings.

At the start of each league night, members must place their chip in the bag on the counter before 7:30PM. If your chip is not in the bag by 7:30PM, you will not be able to that night. If you are going to be late to the meeting, don’t panic, communicate! Let a friend know and have them put your chip in the bag, as well as alert that night’s commissioner.

Once a late coming player arrives, this is the procedure: The tardy player will enter the group upon arrival. If the other three players have already begun play on a machine, the tardy player will not be able to participate in that game and the other three players will receive points accordingly (7/4/1 scoring). For example, should the tardy player arrive in time only to play two machines, only those two machines will be scored as four-player groups. The other two machines will be scored as three-player groups.

Guests are welcome at most league meetings. See the about page for details.

General rules

The combined PAPA/IFPA rules are used to resolve disputes and game issues. In addition the following house rules apply.

Player conduct

All players are expected to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. Loud outbursts, especially those including curse words, are not something we want at this tournament. Conduct including but not limited to: distracting other players by yelling, slamming and/or moving the machine is also something that will not be tolerated. Think of how distracting it is when this happens on a game next to you. People react to the intensity of playing in different ways but need to be considerate of the other participants. Basically, we want a positive atmosphere at the tournament!

Any player who behaves rudely or in an inappropriate manner towards any player, scorekeeper, or tournament official may be warned, disqualified, and/or ejected from the facility.

Should a player not adhere to these guidelines, they may be warned, disqualified, and banned from participating in future events.

  • 1st offense: Warning
  • 2nd offense: Suspension from two future league rounds
  • 3rd offense: Expulsion from the league

Examples of offenses: A player yells profanities/uses offensive language at an official/player. A player has a stuck ball, and instead of calling an official over, he finds a key to the game and removes the glass and subsequently the ball from its stuck position. A player who is waiting her turn to play is interfering with an active player by talking to them against their will. A player abuses the machine by kicking it.

Should someone display such egregious behavior that a warning is insufficient punishment, the tournament director may instead issue a suspension or expulsion right away.

Be ready to play

Whenever a match starts, the players are expected to be in the vicinity of the machine that is being played. It creates unnecessary delays and irritation when players leave their match to attend to personal business. Should this happen, it is the responsibility of the other players in the match to notify tournament officials, who will then take action. The official may plunge the offender’s ball, give a warning, or disqualify the player from the match/tournament for repeated offenses.

Any player who has an emergency should notify a tournament official, so that accommodations may be made.

Abuse of machines

Tilt sensors are employed to determine what constitutes unduly rough handling of each machine, within the parameters of normal play. Abusive handling such as punching, kicking, lifting, tipping, or rocking a machine, or hitting the glass in any way, is grounds for a warning and possible disqualification of game or ejection from the tournament, at the discretion of tournament officials.

Interference, Collusion, and Cheating

Any player who knowingly interferes with tournament play or otherwise disrupts the tournament setting will be warned and/or ejected from the tournament, at the discretion of tournament officials.

Any form of cheating, including game restarts, tampering with games, tampering with recorded results, scorekeeper intimidation or collusion, or anything else not covered here, will be addressed by tournament officials as appropriate, including disqualification and/or ejection from the tournament.

Death Saves & Bangbacks

Techniques known as “Death Saves” and “Bangbacks” are sometimes employed by players. These techniques are banned from tournament play. In the event that a drained ball bounces back into play without deliberate or significant player action, the ball may be played if it happens once. This may require a ruling from tournament officials if there appears to be abusive force employed by the player.

Extra balls

If a player gets an extra ball, they may use the flipper buttons to lane change before plunging. Once the ball is plunged, no further action to affect the ball or machine is allowed. Should the ball return to the shooter lane, the player may yet again use the flipper buttons to lane change before plunging. Example: On TAF, any number of EB’s may be skillfully plunged to get points.

Playing out of turn

A player who plays out of turn, plays an extra ball more than is allowed, and/or does something else to earn him/herself a disqualification will receive a game score of zero and one point for that machine. If two or more players are disqualified on the same game, a one-ball tiebreaker will be played. Always make sure it’s your turn before you plunge!

Forfeiting matches

In the rare occurence a player leaves a league night before playing out all their matches, any remaining matches will be scored as if the player is not present. In other words the matches will scored as three-player matches if the group was originally a four-player group. The player who leaves prematurely may be deemed to display unsportsmanlike conduct and as a result may be subject to the penalties outlined in the Player Conduct section above.

Final authority for any ruling, including rulings that contradict or vacate anything written in this document, rests with the commissioners of the SFPD