How Pinball Leagues Work

How the League Works
(and most Colorado leagues)

League Overview

It costs $40 per person (league dues) to play in one full season plus quarters to play the games. A season runs for 10 weeks of regular league play, meeting every Thursday except for holidays and LCP monthly tournament nights (3rd Wednesday of each month). The 11th week is League Finals where you play for money (prize pool funded by league dues) and medallions.

LCP opens at 5pm on Thursdays so you can play/warm up on any of the machines except for the games that will be included in league play that week (they put signs on the machines so it’s obvious when you arrive). League play starts at 7:30pm and lasts no later than 10:30pm. Could be much shorter if you play poorly. 😉

How Points are Scored

On Week One everyone will be randomly placed into 4-player groups. Each group will play each of the 5 games selected for that week. The winner of each game will receive 4 points, 2nd place gets 3 points, 3rd gets 2 and 4th gets 1. So getting 1st on all 5 games will earn you 20 points.

Getting the highest score out of all players in the league on a game will earn you a bonus point. This makes 25 the most possible points any player could score in one week. As of this post, no player has ever scored 25. Only ever 24, which is still just crazy.

Point Averages & Group Assignments

Your total points earned all season divided by the number of games you’ve played all season will give your point average. Each week group assignments are made based on these point averages so that as the season progresses, you should be playing in a group with those who are performing at a similar level to yourself.

Here you can see the standings for MHPL in Lyons. Note: This link will take you to whatever the current standings are so if you’re reading this at the time of this blog post, then you’ll see last season results. If you click on it mid-season, standings will reflect that.

End of Regular Season and WPPRs

Week 10 will conclude regular season play and the final standings will be submitted to the IFPA. This is a sanctioned league which means that every player will be awarded World Pinball Player Ranking points (WPPRs). If you’ve never played in a competitive event, then at the end of the season you will be an internationally ranked player! Cool, right?

Here you’ll see Season 26’s results and how many WPPRs (points column) each player received.

League Finals - Eligibilty & Divisions

Week 11 is League Finals and has nothing to do with the IFPA or WPPRs. Finals are all about trying to win medallions (aka hardware) and money funded by all the league dues.

So long as you played in 7 of the 10 weeks you are eligible to play in the Finals.

Those who played in all 10 weeks get to drop the points from their 2 worst weeks. Those who played in 9 of the 10 weeks get to drop their lowest week’s points. Those who played in 7 of the weeks will not drop any scores.

Player averages are adjusted to meet the criteria above to create the seeding used for League Finals.

Players are then divided into two Divisions. Those who made it into the top half of the adjusted standings play in A Division and those who are in the bottom half play in B Division. A player’s seed is determined by where they all in each division.

League Finals - Bracket Format

Both A & B Divisions have their own single elimination brackets where players compete head-to-head (1 vs 1) in a best of 3 series. Win 2 out of the 3 games to advance. Lose and you’re out. Well, you can still hang out with all your pals and play pinball but you’re out of Finals. 🙂

The top 4 finishers of both A & B Divisions win money and shiny medallions!

What to Expect as a New League Player

Often times new players perform better than they thought they would however let’s assume the worst. Let’s assume you really stink.

Just as no one as ever had a 25-point perfect performance in the 26 season history of MHPL, no one has ever scored the lowest out of all players on all 5 games. If you explore the league standings, you’ll see that you can click on any week to see what games were played and who scored what.

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