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November 5th – Playland not at the Beach: Pin Golf!

October 14, 2011

It’s fun.  It’s easy.  It’s Pin Golf!

Where: Playland not at the Beach in El Cerrito

When: Saturday November 5th.  Registration and warmup starts at 10 AM, play begins no later than 11 AM. Registration closes at 1PM.

Entry Fee: Entry is free with Playland Admission.   Nachos and Pizza will be provided around 1:30pm.

Format: Pin Golf

Prizes: Mostly glory, but gift certificates, Pinball DVDs and whatever other goodies I can arrange.

Tournament Rules – The Short version:

Kids: The Kids tournament will not be run on the Pingolf format.  Each player plays three designated games two times each.  Their highest score on each game is recorded.  Players are awarded points depending on their rank.  The player with the most points wins!

Novice/Open: In Pin Golf, objectives are set on each machine.  For example, score 3 Million points on Scared Stiff, or complete the FILM letters on Creature from the Black Lagoon.  The player attempts to accomplish each objective with the fewest number of balls (like strokes in golf) as possible.

Tournament Rules -The Long version:

Kids Division:

1.    Eligibility: Entrants may be up to 13 years old.

2.    Each entrant plays 3 designated machines twice and the highest score determines the player’s rank for a particular machine.

3.    Points are awarded to the player based on their score rank for each machine and correspond to the number of players in the tournament.
a.    For example, if 15 players enter the tournament and Player A has the highest score of all players, s/he shall receive 15 points for that game (plus Bonus points – see next).  If Player A had come in fifth place, s/he would receive 11 points.  If player A comes in 15th place, s/he would receive 1 point.
4.    The winner of the tournament is decided by whoever has the highest cumulative point total across the four machines.  For example, if Player A scores 10 points on Game 1, 5 points on Game 2, 8 points on Game 3, and 15 points on Game 4, his/her point total would be 38.  If this is the highest total score of all players, Player A would be declared the winner of the Tournament.

Novice Division:

1.    Eligibility

(If the following requirements look at all odd or unfamiliar, you can probably compete in Novice.  These somewhat extensive rules are to prevent/discourage highly skilled players from entering a division below their ability)

a.    Entrants may be any age.  Players playing in Kids may also play in Novice.
b.    Entrants may not have, or have ever had, a World Pinball Ranking of 500 or better,
c.    And/or have ever competed in a major tournament playoff to the final bracket (typically for positions 1 – 4)
d.    And/or “placed” (finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd) in a league finals such as at EBPL, BAPA or any other major tournament or established league.
e.    And/or “placed” in a final in a division other than Novice (PAPA C division, for example)
f.    Where the player’s credentials are “borderline”, the tournament judge will consider the player’s credentials and render a decision as to whether or not the player may compete in the Novice Division.

Open Division:


1.    Anyone can enter.

Qualifier Format:

1.    Players will be organized into groups of 4 or 2 as needed to play each game.
2.    Each player attempts to complete the goal for a particular game in the minimum number of balls.  Goals will be announced the day of the tournament.
3.    Each game will have one or two goals.  On games with two goals, meeting either goal will complete the round for the player.
4.    The maximum number of balls (strokes) is 10.
5.    The top 8 Open competitors will advance to the Final.
6.    The next top 4 novice competitors will qualify for a Bonus Final.  Novices that happen to qualify at the Open level (i.e top 8 overall) will compete in the Open final.  This means novices have 12 spots to qualify!

Finals Seeding and play order:


Group 1: 8-5-4-1

Group2: 7-6-3-2

NOVICE: 4-3-2-1

Finals Format:


1.    Finals will begin at 3PM or as soon as possible following qualifying.
2.    Open Finals will be played in two groups of four players.  Pin Golf Games and objectives will be announced at Finals.
3.    Finals will consist of two pin golf holes (two machines) per Round (Quarter-Semi-Championship)
4.    The top two scorers in each quarter-final group will advance (4 players).  The top 4 will play another round of 2 games (semi-final).  From this, the top two scorers will play head to head for positions 1 and 2.  The bottom 2 positions will play head to head for positions 3 and 4.
5.    The bottom four will be ranked based on scores, of can choose to play off for position if all are agreed.


6.    Bonus Tournament for Novices: Finals will begin at 3PM or as soon as possible following qualifying.
7.    Novice Finals will be played in a group of four players.  Pin Golf Games and objectives will be announced at Finals.

8.    The top two players will go on to play a final round of pinball golf to determine the winner.  The loser of this round will be 2nd place.
9.    Third and fourth place will be determined by playoff score.

For both divisions, ties will be decided in a head-to-head or 3-way tie breaker as needed.  Likewise, ties in 5th – 8th place (in the case of Open) and 3rd and 4th place (in the case of Novice) will be determined the same way.

10.    If a player does not show for finals, the next highest entry will be allowed to play, and so on, until the brackets are filled.


Open Division will award a cash prize with all money paid back to players:  40% for first, 30% for second, 20% for third and 10% for fourth.

Novice and Kids Divisions will be awarded with passes to Playland, ticket prizes, and other special prizes to be announced!


1. No foul language.  Playland Not at the Beach is a family environment with many young children present.  First incident of foul language voids remainder of game, or, if the incident occurs at, or near the conclusion of a game, voids the next game.  Second violation results in disqualification.  Depending on the severity of an incident, the tournament judges may, at their discretion, disqualify a player on a first violation.

2. Cheating. The decision as to what constitutes cheating is ultimately determined by the tournament judges, but may include restarting a game when no one is looking, resetting a game to give the appearance of software/hardware malfunction, exploiting a known software bug in the game, or utilizing a bang back or death save technique. Depending on the severity of the cheat, the penalty may be the voiding of the next ball in play, void of game or disqualification from the tournament.

3. Abuse of machines or facility.  Bang backs, death saves and similar techniques are not allowed.  Bumping, nudging and sliding the games are allowed, however, if any of these activities is severe enough to present a risk or damage to the game, other players or the facilities, penalty (loss of game) or disqualification (repeated abuses) may occur.  For example, sliding a machine violently enough to cause it to crash into an adjacent game or wall, or sliding a machine violently enough to disrupt play on an adjacent machine.  Or violently enough to disrupt play for the next player.

4. Players are expected to generally behave with good sportsmanship.  Any player who excessively complains about tournament conditions, harasses or distracts judges or other players, etc. may be disqualified and asked to leave.

Machine Malfunctions and Failures:

The DEFINITIONS (but not necessarily the outcomes/rulings) of machine malfunctions/failures shall mirror those defined in the most recent PAPA (Professional Amateur Pinball Association) rules (see Section VII at  Please note that the specific outcomes in Section VII, Point 8 will not apply.  All decisions are ultimately decided by the tournament director.

In the event of a Major or Catastrophic failure:

1.    In the event of a machine failure during the Kids, Novice and Open Qualifier which cannot be repaired in a timely manner, the remainder of the tournament shall proceed on the working machines and the player’s point average for the other machines shall be substituted for the non-working machine, rounded to the nearest whole point.  Example: Player A scores 10 points on game 1, 5 points on Game 2 and 6 points on Game 3, 5 points on Game 4 and 10 points on Game 5.  Then it is discovered that Game 6 has failed.  The player’s average score rounded to the nearest whole point (10 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 10 = 31, 31/5 = 6.2) of 6 is used for Game 4, giving the player a Final Score of 37.

2.    In the event of a machine failure during the Open Division single-elimination portion of the tournament the round shall be replayed on a different machine.  However, if the failure occurs near the end of a game and one player has an extremely decisive lead over another, the judge may, at his discretion call the game in favor of the leading player.

Beneficial Malfunctions, Player Errors and Stuck Balls:

1.    Beneficial Malfunctions, Player Errors and Stuck Balls shall be defined and addressed in accordance with the most recent PAPA rules (Section VII, points 6, 7 and 9 at

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