2017-2018 PAPA Circuit Events


PAPA 2017-2018 PAPA Circuit tourneys up for vote.

Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show
September 7-10, 2017 - Independence, Ohio, USA

NW Pinball Championships
October 20-22, 2017 - Bellevue, Washington, USA

Vancouver FlipOut
September 22-24, 2017 - Vancouver, Canada

Western Canadian Pinball Championship
May 5-7, 2017 - Edmonton, Canada

Pinball Showdown
June 9-11, 2017 - Denver, Colorado, USA

Texas Pinball Festival Wizards Tournament
March 24-26, 2017 - Frisco, Texas, USA

Borås Pinball Open
September 22-24, 2017 - Borås, Sweden

Critical Hit
September 9-10, 2017 - Van Nuys, California, USA

Pintastic New England
July 7-8, 2017 - Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA

Bat City Open
June 23-25, 2017 - Austin, Texas, USA

The Pinball Asylum FREAKSHOW
November 17-19, 2017 - Fort Myers, Florida, USA


Was Chicago Pinball Expo not submitted?


What criteria are you guys using to base your votes on? All I can think of is proximity to me. After that I don’t want to just cast votes randomly. Are there any events that deserve my vote more than others? I kind of want to vote for whatever area is the most underrepresented.


This is the sort of issue I was expecting to pop up with forcing people to pick 3. It’s great that you’re not just picking randomly, but I think a lot of people who are less connected to the community will.


I have only been to one event on the list before. The other votes I cast were based off the rave reviews I’ve heard about them and I would like to attend them in the future.


If you have extra votes, it’d be great if you could throw them toward NW champs or Vancouver Flipout. Right now there isn’t a single event within 10+ hours of Seattle/Portland/Vancouver.


As a region, you should choose which one you’d rather have voted on so votes aren’t split between the two. Obviously locals will vote for both as part of their three. But as somebody who thinks the NW could use more, I’d like to know which one you see having a better shot of winning so I could vote that way.


I would say the most under represented areas are the Southeast and Central US. I threw my extra vote at Asylum in Fort Myers Florida and I don’t know a thing about it.


I’ve heard a lot of Portland support for NWPC specifically and would encourage those with “extra” votes to use them there. I voted for both but if you have one vote to spare, Seattle is in my mind a fair compromise with a similar drive for Vancouver folks and Portland folks, while Vancouver is way more of a trek from Oregon (also I still haven’t renewed my passport…).


@trent can correct me, if I’m wrong, but I believe that Trent is “boycotting” the Circuit Voting process with the Expo tournament because he thinks it’s a stupid way to chose Circuit Events. I happen to agree with Trent on this and removed the Lyons Spring Classic from voting as well.


It’s just voting to add a few new events each year. If the event performs well it stays. If not it goes back into the voting next year to be reinstated with the other new nominees. It’s not like all 20 events are up for a vote is some big mess like sterns ultimate fan voting. How else do you decide what new events to add in besides letting the people decide? Is there some pinball illuminati that’s suppose to decided the events each year as to what benefits them the best?


I wonder if Freeplay Florida went this same route. I did not see them on the voting ballot and heard from several people who felt confident they would be back on the circuit this year.


< sarcasm>Yes, what a great idea to have your cousin’s cousin and that guy you knew from high school 30 years ago, and all your other Facebook Friends vote on the internet for a pinball tournament’s inclusion into the PAPA Circuit because you asked them to! That’s sounds great and I can’t imagine how else it could possibly be done.< /sarcasm>

In my opinion, An Internet Klout Contest is a ridiculous way to choose which pinball tournaments belong on the Circuit. YMMV.


So Jim proposed another way it could be done… pinball illuminati as an example of a ridiculous way. And you say the current way is ridiculous. We’re right where we started.

So does anyone have a “good” way as well as a good defense of it or am I just supposed that all the other ways it could possibly be done are too good to be typed out on tiltforums for some reason.


Here’s one I would endorse:

Take the top N WPPR graded events each year and make that your Circuit. Period. It’s completely numerical so there are no external biases, yet it is still the actual players who go to the actual tournaments who ultimately decide which tournaments get in.

For 2016, your Circuit would be:

  1. PAPA (142.73)
  2. Pinburgh (138.13)
  3. EPC (102.57)
  4. Dutch Pinball Masters (70.29)
  5. INDISC (64.59)
  6. Belgium Pinball Open (64.14)
  7. Expo (64.01)
  8. Louisville (63.41)
  9. Hungarian Pinball Open (62.52)
  10. Cleveland (61.28)
  11. Sanctum (60.13)
  12. PPO (60.08)
  13. Pinmasters (59.44)
  14. NWPAS (59.09)
  15. Cali Extreme (59.00)
  16. Swedish Championships (58.50)
  17. Buffalo Pinball Open (57.92)
  18. City Champ (Gold Watch) (57.54)
  19. German Pinball Open (55.53)

Done. List look familiar ? It’s pretty close to what already is, but only took a database query to create. If you want some variety year to year, knock off the bottom 5 each year, and replace with the next 5 for a year and repeat… The next five would be:

  1. Boras Pinball Open (55.30)
  2. NWPC* (52.61)
  3. Pinvasion (52.10)
  4. Matchstick Pinball Open (51.30)
  5. Vancouver Flip-Out (50.82)

your tournament’s not in there ? Well, you need to try and improve it next year and maybe you will get there… This is all public information (thanks to the awesomeness of the IFPA Rankings), so it’s easy enough to know where you need to get to. Offer a bigger prize pool. Entice top level players to play… And if you tournament doesn’t get there… maybe, it really doesn’t belong on the Circuit just yet… And you know which tournament doesn’t make this cut ? why, the one I run each year, The Lyons Spring Classic (41.62). And if this were the method, I would be absolutely thrilled with that fact. We are space limited at Lyons (if you’ve ever been there, you would know why) and even though the LSC is an awesome tournament, it’s not quite Circuit Worthy when stacked against the numbers above.

And above all else… The numbers are completely agnostic (and take like less than a minute to derive).

Problem solved.



Yeah, it’s definitely a bad idea to get people to promote awareness of their event and competitive pinball. I mean, what were we thinking, right?

As always, we listen intently to all feedback and will make changes based on that feedback.



That’s pretty much what I had in mind a couple weeks back in this thread with the “pro tour.” In the case of the Circuit, Doug’s not doing that to be a pro tour per se, but to promote pinball, so I can see including some aspect of popularity in this case. The current Circuit version has too much of it IMO, but the resulting list of events is decent, so I’m okay with it in practice for now.


I feel like it’s tough to argue that getting non-participants to click a link endorsing your event does more to increase awareness and drive up event attendance than actually getting those former non-participants to show up at your event. In a way this feels akin to the Modern Pinball Selfie League situation – it rewards TDs (and their regulars) for managing to establish a drive-by level of engagement, rather than something more lasting.

Just my $0.02


I think Buffalo is the perfect example of getting in by voting elevating the event. It was a great event. If it had not been a circuit event would they have had the same draw, my guess is no. I would argue they did well in voting partially due to the minor celebrity (in pinball terms) of the Bros. But then they followed through. They had good enough survey results to become a major this year.

I would say this is at least one success story for the system last year.