Welcome to the UK Pinball Tournaments


Welcome to the Rules section.


The UK Pinball Open (The Open), the UK Pinball Team Tournament (The Team Tournament), the UK Pinball Classic (The Classic) and the UK Pinball Kids Tournament (The Kids Tournament), (collectively known as The Tournaments) are run by the UK Pinball Tournaments Team (The Tournaments Team) as a part of the UK Pinball Party (The Show).

The interpretation of these rules along with any resolution of matters not covered by these rules is at the sole discretion of the Tournaments' organisers whose decisions in the matters are final. They shall, however, attempt to behave in what they believe to be a fair and equitable way at all times.

The Tournaments are not run by the Show's organisers but as the Tournaments are a part of the Show, the Tournament Team abide by the Show organisers' rules, conditions of entry and decisions.

Matters relating to the Tournaments should be directed to the nearest tournament official or the tournaments desk who will either attempt to resolve the matter themselves or refer you to the person best suited to help.

Matters relating to the Show rather than the Tournaments should be referred to the main entry desk.

If a problem occurs during one of the Tournaments, it should be reported to the nearest Tournament official as soon as possible for resolution. The official (or another official) will attempt to resolve the problem in the fairest and most expedient way.

Competitors must not practice or play on tournament machines except as part of the tournament. All games must only be started by, or under instruction of, a Tournament official. Games not started or restarted by, or under the instruction of an official will be invalid and liable to immediate termination.

Competitors should play their nominated game to the best of their ability with good conduct and without cheating or unfairly influencing their score or the scores of fellow competitors. The organisers shall decide what constitutes good conduct and cheating. Any competitor deemed to be in breach of these rules may be warned or disqualified, and their score adjusted or discarded.

If a mechanical or software fault develops during the course of the game, the competitor must attract the attention of an official who will attempt to resolve the situation. If the ball becomes stuck, the competitor may attempt to free it themselves at the risk of tilting the game. Otherwise they should attract the attention of the official who will attempt to free it and place it in a dead area of the game such as the shooter lane or in a ball trap so the competitor may continue play.

If a fault has developed which affects the player's score or ability to start scoring features, the player will normally be offered the choice to continue with their current game and have their score recorded, or terminate their game and either wait for the game to be repaired or play an alternative, as appropriate. The decision must be made when then problem is reported to the official. If the player continues to play, they are deemed to have accepted the problem with the game and be happy to finish their game with it in that condition. 

If a chosen machine becomes inoperable or the competitor's score has been unduly affected during the course of the game, the machine may be taken out of the Tournament until the fault can be repaired and the competitor will be offered the choice to wait until the game is fixed or to play on an alternative machine where possible. In either case, the score achieved thus far on the faulty game will be discarded.

The selection of games is not fixed and may change from day-to-day or during the day. If a game has to be removed during the course of one of the Tournaments, a substitute game may be provided. If the structure of the tournament is such that all scores achieved on the replaced machine are ranked in order to award ranking points, one of three things may happen:

  • If few scores have been recorded, those existing scores may be cancelled and the players offered an opportunity to replay their game on the substitute machine.
  • If many scores have been recorded, the existing scores may stand and the substitute machine not used. Tournament games on the replaced machine will then be closed until the end of the Tournament round.
  • If it is desired to continue the Tournament using the substitute machine, existing scores may be rescaled using a scaling factor chosen by the Tournament Team to match those of the substitute.

Tilting the machine during a game will result in the loss of the competitor’s current ball. Slam tilting will result in the game ending and, if in the opinion of the organisers this is due to poor conduct by the competitor, the competitor may be disqualified and their score discarded. No refund will be given for any unused entries.

No extra balls will be awarded during the tournaments. If, for any reason, the machine awards an extra ball, the competitor should attract the attention of an official who will oversee the extra ball. The competitor may use the flipper buttons to set up a skill shot and then plunge the extra ball. They may not touch the machine after that for the duration of the extra ball, except to re-plunge it if a ball saver is activated and the machine doesn't auto-plunge the ball back into play.

If a competitor mistakenly plays an extra ball (meaning they hit either or both flippers, or bump the machine at any time during the extra ball, except as noted above), they must stop playing as soon as the error is recognized and they may not play their next ball. If they are on their last ball then their final score is calculated as 80% of their total score.

If a competitor is recognized to be playing an extra ball, is clearly told so, and does not stop playing the ball within 10 seconds, they receive a score of zero for the entire game instead of only losing the next ball.

When the competitor has completed their game they must attract the attention of an official who will record their nominated game, score and player number. When this has been done the competitor must check the details to verify that they are correct. Once this has been completed, no discussions about the correct recording of these details will be entertained. The details will, in due course, be passed to the Tournament Desk where they will be entered into the computerised scoring system. This may not happen immediately after the recording of the details by the official.

The same rules of conduct apply to the final rounds of the Tournaments as in the qualifying round.

If there is any ambiguity or confusion over the meaning or interpretation of these rules or any matters not covered elsewhere in these rules, the decision of the Tournament organisers shall prevail at all times.

Good luck, play well and have fun.


The UK Pinball Open takes place on Saturday 18th August 2012.  It starts at 10am and the qualifying round ends at 4pm.

There are a fixed number of pre-registered places which are available to pre-register through this website as detailed on the UK Pinball Open page. Players can pre-register by submitting their details and paying their registration fee through the site. Both submission of details and payment are required for pre-registration.  If one or both are not completed, or all the places have already been taken, the player is not pre-registered.  A list of the pre-registered players will appear on the UK Pinball Open page of this site.  Any players attempting to pre-register after the available places have been taken will not be able to pre-register and any payments they make will be refunded.

There may also be some on-the-day places in the UK Pinball Open available and these will be sold on a "first come, first served" basis.  Players may register for these additional places when the tournament desk opens at 10am on Saturday.  If the organisers believe they can accommodate more players at any point during the qualifying session, they will make an announcement over the venue's PA system and call the next players to the desk.  Those players then have 5 minutes to come to the desk and register.  After this time, any players who are called but do not turn up will be removed from the list. Players who are called and successfully register within the 5 minute window should play all their qualifying games straight away.

Players may only enter the UK Pinball Open once.  Each player is given a unique player number and this is used to record their scores, track their progress and to call them for subsequent rounds of the tournament as appropriate.

During the qualifying round, players should choose 6 machines from those available and play a single 3-ball game on each. Only one game may be played on each of the 6 chosen machines.

Pre-registered players may play any or all their games at any time during the qualifying period but are advised to play their games as early as possible to ensure they have the widest choice of machines, since there is usually a rush towards the end of qualifying and there may not be time for them to play their desired machines.

When qualifying ends at 4pm, no further qualifying games may be started but those already in progress may continue.  It is every player's responsibility to ensure they play their 6 games within the qualifying period.  If they leave it too late or do not play all their 6 games, they will only be ranked for those machines they did play.  No credit or refunds will be given for unplayed games.

Once all the qualifying games have been completed, the full results will be declared and the top 24 ranked players will move on to the A Division play-offs which will start soon after.  The next 16 qualifying players will form the B Division and they will have their own play-offs on separate machines.

A Division

In the A Division, each player will be given a nominated machine and will play a single 2-player 3-ball game against a chosen opponent.  Players will be paired-up based on their ranking position from the qualifying round.

Game 1 of 4:

  Player ranked   Player ranked     Player ranked   Player ranked
Machine 1 1st v 4th   Machine 7 16th v 17th
Machine 2 15th v 18th   Machine 8 3rd v 14th
Machine 3 24th v 8th   Machine 9 19th v 5th
Machine 4 9th v 11th   Machine 10 10th v 21st
Machine 5 2nd v 7th   Machine 11 12th v 23rd
Machine 6 6th v 13th   Machine 12 20th v 22nd

Before each game, both players will be given a period of warm-up play to get used to the feel of the machine.  The highest ranked player (1st place is the highest ranked, 24th the lowest) has the choice of playing first or second.  When the warm-up time begins, the player playing first has their warm-up time first, then, when the official tells players to swap, the player playing second has their warm up time.

When the official announces the warm-up time is over, any balls in play must be allowed to drain.  The machine should then be power-cycled.  The 2-player game should then be started.

When both players have completed their game, players should attract the attention of an official who will record the scores.  Players should ensure the correct score is recorded against their name and when both players are satisfied this has been done, the first game is over.

After all 24 players have completed their games, players should move to their next machine to start their second warm-up periods followed by their game.

Game 2 of 4:

  Player ranked   Player ranked     Player ranked   Player ranked
Machine 1 7th v 10th   Machine 7 3rd v 8th
Machine 2 1st v 12th   Machine 8 18th v 22nd
Machine 3 11th v 5th   Machine 9 9th v 16th
Machine 4 20th v 23rd   Machine 10 4th v 6th
Machine 5 21st v 14th   Machine 11 13th v 19th
Machine 6 2nd v 24th   Machine 12 15th v 17th

These lists of machines to be played by each player will be shown on the display system and announced before each set of games begin.

Game 3 of 4:

  Player ranked   Player ranked     Player ranked   Player ranked
Machine 1 13th v 23rd   Machine 7 2nd v 10th
Machine 2 16th v 21st   Machine 8 6th v 19th
Machine 3 1st v 17th   Machine 9 3rd v 20th
Machine 4 7th v 15th   Machine 10 18th v 24th
Machine 5 12th v 5th   Machine 11 8th v 9th
Machine 6 4th v 22nd   Machine 12 11th v 14th

The matches have been drawn up to ensure all players play against, and are ranked against, a similarly-ranked selection of other players during their four games, while not playing on the same machine or against the same player twice.  Thanks to Greg Mott for coming up with the matches.

Game 4 of 4:

  Player ranked   Player ranked     Player ranked   Player ranked
Machine 1 16th v 21st   Machine 7 22nd v 24th
Machine 2 6th v 9th   Machine 8 4th v 15th
Machine 3 20th v 14th   Machine 9 7th v 17th
Machine 4 2nd v 13th   Machine 10 8th v 12th
Machine 5 19th v 23rd   Machine 11 5th v 10th
Machine 6 18th v 11th   Machine 12 1st v 3rd

When all four games have been completed on all the machines, the first round of play-offs will be at an end.  The scores achieved on each machine will be ranked and ranking points awarded to the players as in the qualifying round.

The 8 players with the most ranking points will move on to the semi-finals.  If there is a tie for any position, the players' qualifying position will be the determining factor with the highest qualifier(s) (most points) prevailing.

The semi-final consists of two 4-player 3-ball games.  In the first game the 1st, 3rd,5th and 7th ranked players from the first play-off round play a single game on a designated machine.  In the second semi-final, the players ranked 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th do the same on a different machine.  Both semi-finals take place at the same time and the top 2 scorers from each semi-final go into the final.  The bottom 2 players go into a 5th-8th place play-off game.

The 5th-8th places play-off takes place next.  It is another 4-player 3-ball game where the scores at the end determine places 5th-8th.  Play order is determined by ranking position in the second round with the highest ranked having first choice of playing position and so on.

The final then follows and it takes the same format as the 5th-8th place play-off.  The final will take place on a selected machine which may, or may not be one of the 12 tournament machines. The final will be held as soon as the 5th-8th place play-offs are completed or, if time is restricted, once the 5th-8th place place play-offs are underway.

When the final game has been played, the scores determine 1st-4th place with the highest scorer being the 2010 UK Pinball Open champion.  An awards ceremony will follow as part of the evening's dinner if agreeable to all the finalists, or if not it will take place shortly after the final ends.

B Division

Qualification for the 16 B Division places is restricted to the following players:

  • Those who qualified in outside the top 24 places in the qualifying round
  • Those who are not ranked in the WPPR top 250 players on 1st August 2012
  • Those who have not won a major tournament or league in the past 3 years (including UK Pinball League regional titles)

The 16 places will be allocated to players meeting the above criteria, starting with the player in 25th place and working down the list of qualifying positions until all places have been filled.  These 16 players will form the B Division.

There are three rounds of play in the B Division - the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.

In the quarter-finals, the 16 players will be split into 4 groups of 4 players.  The highest ranked player will be in group 1, the next highest in group 2, the third highest in group 3 and the fourth highest in group 4.  Players will then be allocated to groups 1-4 in order of qualifying position so that the groups will be as follows:

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4

Because some of the 16 players ranked 25th-40th may not be eligible to play in the B Division, the actual qualifying positions of the players in the B Division cannot be predicted.  So the numbers in the groups above relate to the 1st highest qualifying B Division player through to the 16th highest.

Each group shall play a single 4-player, 3-ball game on their allocated machine.  The machines used and the play order will be announced by the organisers. The top 2 scorers from each group will proceed to the semi-finals.

The semi-final shall follow the same format as the quarter-finals, with two groups of four players each playing a 4-player, 3-ball game, with the top 2 from both groups going into the final.

The B Division final will follow the same format as the A Division - a single 5-ball game with the finishing positions determining the top 4 places in the B Division.

Trophies for the top players in the B Division will take place shortly before the A Division award presentations, which will take place once the A Division final is decided.

Ranking and WPPR Points

Due to the restrictions on who can play in the B Division, overall rankings for Open players outside the top 24 qualifiers will be determined solely by their qualifying position.  The outcome of the B Division play-offs will not affect the final standings, nor the players' WPPR points allocations.


The UK Pinball Team Tournament will start on Friday 17th August at 7pm.  There is a maximum of 16 teams taking part and all teams must have pre-registered and pre-paid their £10 entry fee through this website.  Once all 16 places have been taken, registration will close.

All teams should be registered to play and have collected their team badges from the tournament desk by the start time of 7pm.  The tournament will begin at 7pm, so If any teams or team members are delayed due to travel problems, please call the tournament organiser as soon as possible and they will try to either change the group order or find alternative players, as appropriate.

The teams will be ranked according to their WPPR points scores on 1st August 2012, and the rankings published on this website soon after.  Teams will be allocated to one of four groups according to their rankings.

The groups will be as follows:

Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D

At 7pm, some of the teams will begin the head-to-head competition, but all teams and their members should assemble in the tournament area, as the teams not playing in the group format will be able to play on one of the “Bonus” games and team order may have to be changed to accommodate any teams with travel problems.

There will be 2 rounds in total; a group qualifying round where the top team from each group advances, and a four team final.

There will be twelve machines in the qualifying round.  Each team will play on up to four of these machines.

All machines will be set on 4-ball play, hard settings, with no extra balls.

There will be 3 head-to-head matches against the other teams from your group and one 4-ball “bonus” team game against all teams in your group.

  • Within each group, there will be 3 matches in which two teams play each other on one machine, with all players from each team playing in a two player, four ball game in a match scenario. 
  • Once the match is over, points are awarded as follows:
    Winner 5 points, loser zero points.
    The team captains are to inform the steward or scorer of the match score.

Over the 3 matches, this will give a team a maximum of 15 points if they win all 3 games.

The Bonus Game

For the bonus 4-ball game, there will be a machine for each group of 4 teams to play. This is a one player 4-ball game (i.e. 1 ball per player).  All teams will been allocated their machine and all teams in a group must play the same machine (e.g. Group A will all play Indianapolis 500)

The game must be started by a tournament official.  Once the game is over, the score is to be verified by a tournament official and it is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure the score is entered correctly.  Points will be allocated to the teams depending on their position once all 4 teams have played.

Points for the bonus 4-ball game will be awarded as follows: 1st=9 points, 2nd=5 points, 3rd=2 points, 4th=zero points.

When all four machines have been played and the scores recorded, the team’s entry is completed and they should vacate the playing area.

Total team scores as well as the “bonus machine” scores will be displayed on a projector screen or on display monitors in the tournament area.

When all games have been played and their scores recorded, the final rankings will be declared. The top team in each group will go on to the final.

If there is a tie for 1st place in any group, the team with the highest score on the “bonus game” will prevail and in the unlikely event that there is still a tie between two teams, the winner of the qualifying match between those two teams shall go through.

Should a machine breakdown occur during the match and the machine cannot be repaired in a timely manner, a substitute machine will be used. All previous (completed) match points will still count on the broken down machine.

If a machine malfunctions in any way, the tournament officials will liaise with the team captains in order to provide a solution suitable for both teams.

Whilst playing their ball, a player may have oral help from ONE non-playing partner, but their partner MUST NOT touch the machine. There shall be no stopping and lining up shots with other players’ help. Should more than one team member try to help, the team will be asked to let that ball immediately drain

If any team is seen to be trying to gain an unfair advantage (such as a non-player touching a launch button to use a “power bomb”) the team will asked to let that ball drain.  Continued abuse will result in disqualification.


The final will be on a machine picked at random.  It will be a single 4-player 4-ball game, with each team member playing one ball.

Should there be a tie at the end of the final for any places, there will be a 4-ball play off game with the highest scoring team declared the winners of the relevant placing.

Additional Rules

The rules are in place to help everyone enjoy the competition and also to ensure that the competition can move on as swiftly as possible with the minimum of fuss.  Should you need any clarification of any rules, please seek advice prior to starting any games.

Slam Tilts – Should a slam tilt occur due to an over sensitive switch, the game may be restarted at the opposing team’s discretion. Should a slam tilt result from shaking or nudging the machine, the team will unfortunately be disqualified from that match. If this happens on the bonus game, the team score will be entered as zero.

Timekeeping – If a team who has registered and has been called to play over the announcement system appears for their match more than 5 minutes after the announcement, they will be disqualified from that match and the opposing team will get 5 points. The disqualified team will get zero points.

Missing Teams – If a team fails to arrive and no replacement team (who have not already played or are due to play) can be found, the group matches will be re-organised to take into account the missing team.

Missing Players – Should a player fail to arrive and a replacement (who has not already played or is due to play) cannot be found, the team may compete with 3 players, but  they may only use 3 balls - the 4th ball must be allowed to drain.

Stuck Balls - Should a ball become stuck, a team member who is not playing the machine should notify a tournament official.  The player who is playing the machine must remain with the machine in case the ball is released in the meantime. Any player who loses their ball by walking away from the machine will be deemed to have finished that ball. If a ball becomes stuck in multiball, please notify an official as soon as possible so no advantage is lost (or gained).

Extra Balls – If any machine awards an extra ball for any reason, that ball may not be played as a normal ball. It must be plunged (if a skill shot is available, it may be plunged for) and the ball allowed to drain.  The flippers must not be touched

Fair Play – Teams will hopefully abide by rules of fair play.  If there is an issue that cannot -  for whatever reason - be resolved amongst the competing teams, the tournament director’s decision on the matter will be final.

© 2012 UK Pinball Tournaments & Pinball News