SPF 2023 - March 10-12, 2023 - Mesa, AZ

Starfighters Pinball Festival 2023 is coming up on March 9-12. Here’s a quick overview of what is included. The event this year does not have a show attached to the tournaments. It will be held at Starfighters Arcade at 4840 East Jasmine St. Mesa AZ 85205 and pinball will be taking over with the arcades moved out for the tournaments!

Main tournament - $100 entry fee, limited to 104 players

  • Registration available in advance, tickets are now on sale at https://starfightersarcade.com/ - when you complete your purchase, make sure to fill out the form on the 2nd page that asks for your IFPA number. Full rules should be posted to the site soon.
  • Friday evening qualifying, 6:30pm, 4 rounds of group matchplay, 2 games per round, players will be moved into A or B division (52 players in A, remainder in B, no division restrictions). Points will not carry forward.
  • Saturday division matchplay, 10am, 4 rounds of group matchplay, 3 games per round (meal break after round 2), top 24 in A advance to finals, top 16 in B advance to finals.
  • Sunday - finals begin 10am - 3 game rounds, top 8 in A receive a bye
  • Main tournament is approved as certified by IFPA

Classics side tournament - $40 entry fee, max 80 players

  • Reserving a space is available by e-mailing starfighterspinball@gmail.com – you must pay on site on March 9 or 10 and must be registered by making payment by 6:00pm on Friday, March 10 or your reservation will be released to on-site players. Does not require participation in the main tournament.
  • Best game limited entry tournament, 5 games, maximum 12 attempts, your best game on each of the 5 games will count.
  • Qualifying will begin Thursday evening at 5pm through 11pm and will continue Friday 3pm to 11pm and Saturday 9am to 10:30pm. Tie-breakers to advance will be held immediately after last game is finished.
  • Top 8 will advance to finals on Sunday, 9am, 2 rounds, one game per round. The classics finals will conclude by the time of the main finals start.

Women’s tournament - $10 entry fee, max 80 players

  • Registration on site, cash only. Reserving a space is available in advance by e-mailing playmorepinballaz@gmail.com – you will pay on site March 9, 10, or 11 and must be registered by 5pm on Saturday, March 11 or your reservation will be released to on-site players. Does not require participation in the main tournament.
  • Tournament is Saturday evening, beginning roughly 6pm (or as soon as tie-breakers for the main tournament finals are complete) - 7 rounds of group matchplay alternating between solid state and modern games followed by top 12 finals, one game per round. Top 4 will receive a bye.

A couple of quick links:

Games list (will continue to be updated as we get closer)

Main tournament rules


4. Reference Materials

No player may use reference materials of any kind, whether printed or electronic, while playing his or her ball. Reference materials may be used at any other time, however, even during a qualifying or final round.

I haven’t seen a rule like this before! Although I don’t often thoroughly read the rules…

Is this a common thing? How would this even be enforced? e.g., I often pull my phone out while trapped up to change a song — will I be asked to show my opponents or a TD what I’m doing? What about the printed rules card on every machine, surely that would be allowed?

dump that rule and just change it to delay of game! so then you don’t need to ask if you are changing an song or not. Just an you have X sec to start playing again.

The rules for SPF were modeled after Pinburgh. This is a Pinburgh rule and is intended to prevent people from looking up the rules while at the game. For me it goes along with the coaching rule - you don’t get help while you are playing your ball whether human or written.

And no, you should not stop mid-ball to read the rule card on the game. You can read the rule card before plunging and taking control of the game though.

I’ll check with Kevin to verify on the specifics of enforcing the rule related to using your phone to change songs.

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That’s a new one. Are you allowed to read playfield text on the playfield artwork once you’ve plunged or is that also off limits? :thinking:

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lol - there is nuance there for sure. I mean trapping up and spending time reading the card. I wouldn’t define the playfield or DMD/LCD as reference material as they are active parts of gameplay. That particular rule was in the Pinburgh rules and is not in the IFPA/PAPA combined ruleset. We carried it forward for SPF and will be evaluating whether or not to modify it.

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Here’s that legendary NES rulesheet check video in 2010, very early in the history of tournament videos:


Yes, with Neil, you, me and Tim (Neil won). I know I was still trying to figure out the best strategy for the game.

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Rules aside, I’m very much looking forward to SPF in a couple weeks! Big prize pots :money_mouth_face:

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Prize money for the main tournament. 40 players will win cash prizes - better than 1 in 3 chance of winning money! Space still available - Register Here


@TracyLindy Is there a game list for the Classics tournament?

Here’s the Matchplay link for classics - games are in the arenas: Match Play Events

And the matchplay link for tonight’s qualifying with the main bank arenas: Match Play Events

And for those who enjoy streams, follow twitch.tv/maryleemaryleemarylee for when their stream goes live during the event this weekend!

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