The winner of the A-division will be appointed guardian of the Ball & Chain trophy. The top four finishers in each division will receive a plaque.
There are 3 different playoff divisions: A, B, and C.
- The top 24 players qualify for the A division playoffs. The top 8 players will get a bye round and go straight into the head to head phase.
- Players ranked 25–40 qualify for the B division playoffs.
- Players ranked 41 and below qualify for the C division playoffs as long as they have attended six regular season meetings.
- NOTE FOR SPRING 2022: The attendance requirement shall be reduced to five regular season meetings to qualify.
If two or more players have identical adjusted scores, the higher seed will go to the player with the highest total score. If their total scores are tied, whoever has the highest score from a single round will be the higher seed. If that is also tied, the second highest score in a single round etc., will be used. If the tie can not be broken in this way, a coin flip will decide.
A Division playoffs
Playoffs for A division consists of two stages: A group stage, followed by a head-to-head stage. In the group stage players are divided into four groups or four players. Each group will play four games with the top two players advancing. Scoring is 7/5/3/1. In the head-to-head stage players are placed into a standard single elimination bracket. Players will play best two out of three to determine the winner. Losers will play a single consolation match to determine third through eigth place.
Prior to playoffs a selection of machines will be drawn at random to be used for A Division playoffs. This random collection of machines will be used for both the group stage and the head-to-head stage.
The regular season standings determine which players go into each group:
- Group 1: Seeds 9, 16, 17, 24
- Group 2: Seeds 10, 15, 18, 23
- Group 3: Seeds 11, 14, 19, 22
- Group 4: Seeds 12, 13, 20, 21
Each group will play four machines. Machine choice will work similar to regular league play except that only 4 games are played. Player order will be determined by seed. The highest seed is player one on game one and player order will rotate like the regular season. Players can only pick a machine that is open or where the last ball is in progress.
The top two players from each group will move on to the head-to-head stage. The bottom two players from each group are eliminated, and will get placed anywhere between 17-24th place in their respective division depending on their point total.
Ties that impact whether or not the involved players will make it to the head-to-head stage will be settled by a one game tiebreaker. The highest seeded player will get the choice of machine or playing order.
The head-to-head stage is made up of 16 players: The top eight seeds who received a bye and the eight winners from the group stage. These 16 players are placed into a single elimination bracket and will play best two out of three (except finals which are best three out of five).
Players will be seeded into the bracket using the regular season standings. The highest seed (from regular season) will have the benefit of picking the first machine. Subsequent machines will be chosen by the loser of the previous game.
The player with machine choice may defer that choice and instead choose playing order. Players are not allowed to pick the same machine more than once during the head to head phase unless they have already chosen all available machines. If the player with machine choice defers, the other player must choose a machine.
Players are not allowed to pick the same machine more than once during the head to head phase unless they have already chosen all available machines. You can only pick a machine that is open or where the last ball is being played.
- Round of 16: The winner of each pairing will advance. The losers will tie for ninth place.
- Quarter finals: The remaining 8 players will play head to head, best two out of three. The winner of each pairing will advance. The losers will play one game for 5-8th place.
- Semi finals: The remaining four players will play head to head, best two out of three. The winner of each pairing will advance. The losers will play one game for 3-4th place.
- Final: The remaining two players will play head to head, best three out of five. The winner rocks! The loser is pretty good too!
For each of the consolation matches the higher seed has choice of machine or position. If the highest seed chooses position, each player in turn (according to seed) gets choice of machine or position. Positions are not chosen until a machine has been chosen. Just like the matches in the bracket, players are not allowed to pick a machine they have already picked once.
B–Division and C-Division playoffs will be conducted as two separate six strikes knockout tournaments. Players will be put in groups or three- or four players. Pairings will be balanced. In four-player groups 0/1/2/3 strikes are awarded to 1st/2nd/3rd/4th place. In three-player groups 0/1/2 strikes are awarded to 1st/2nd/3rd place. When a player receives their sixth strike, they are eliminated from the tournament. The last player standing is the winner of the tournament. In case of a tie for second, third, and/or fourth place, one game will be played to determine those places. The higher regular season seed will have the choice of position or game.