United Federation of Competitive Pinball (UFCP)

From Website:

Hello, I am Casey Gardner and I am the founder and commissioner of the United Federation of Competitive Pinball. I want to take this moment to thank you for your interest in the UFCP. If you’re reading this, that means at minimum you have made it to our website, and that likely means you are interested in competitive pinball and the fun and excitement that comes with it. The UFCP was formed to provide a fun, fair, competitive platform to extend the reach of pinball. While we are newly formed, we are no strangers to pinball. I hope to have a blog post soon introducing some more of our advising board.

Our first sanctioned event is quickly approaching on March 5th, hosted at MOMs Organic Market in College Park, MD. In the meantime we at the UFCP are finalizing the last items in our rule book in anticipation for this event (and kick off of the inaugural season), as well as bug testing our backend ranking system to make sure it’s ready for our players and tournament directors to use. Down the road we are planning to launch a Tournament Directors’ portal with resources to help with everything that goes on for a tournament that isn’t actually running the tournament. It’s often looked over what a tournament director goes through beyond just drawing rounds and handing out money.

If you have read through any of the information on the website yet, you have probably noticed a trend that everything is marked “beta”. We have spent months in development of the UFCP, but know that there are going to be things that need to be adjusted (and added) on an ongoing basis as we get started and grow. This means that we do know not every single piece of information is on the website just yet, and that some things may have a need to change. All changes will be posted via our blog/news posts and through our newsletter. If you run into anything that is unclear, confusing, or outright missing, please use the contact page and shoot us a message! WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!


EDIT - full disclosure, I’m not associated with this federation in any capacity.

  • Stuck ball rule
    So only an single stuck ball an in 2 ball multi-ball is an issue. But say one stuck ball with 2 or more balls still in play is not any issue? May be better to write that as.
    “In multi-ball with stuck balls it’s only need to be dealt with if all but one ball is stuck (maybe some thing saying that games can have there own local rule overriding this)”

  • Players may not intentionally delay a game rule
    can player timein / timeout modes? where they just hold the ball? Can players hold balls and read live info pages on the game? (But look out some newer games freeze the timers when you hold balls)

Trough Pass-Throughs:
How does valid playfield work with this rule?

Playing Out of Turn.
replicated to show fault leading maybe add if the player says your up but you are really not then no disqualified??
Also maybe add issues like odd software issue, late ball search, player up light out, bonus ball, etc to that list.

Games and tournaments must be played to completion
Should say in some time that players in event like pin golf may be asked to stop playing when they hit the goal or when they take the lead as the last player to keep the event moving
on time.
Can an player in an Flip Frenzy even give up there game and take the lost if they are far behind?

(FX: Checks the date) what are you sanctioning and why do you think you need a federation? Is this an alternative to IFPA?

Play on as long as multiple balls are live. Once one ball is live and one is stuck, trap up and call a TD.

Trough Pass-Throughs: In the event a ball drains, but does not trigger an end of ball, and passes through back to the shooter lane, a player should report to the tournament director. The tournament director shall remove the glass and place the ball back into the trough.

Doesn’t say what happens after the ball is placed in the trough. What if the ball ends? What if the ball is kicked back into the shooter lane?

Playing Out of Turn. When stepping up to a machine to play, it is your responsibility to verify that you are actually the correct player up before plunging the ball. If there is any doubt as to who is up for play, a tournament official should be able to assist. If a game is played out of turn, the offending player will be disqualified for this game.

The impacted player will nullify their current game and play a freshly started game. “

  • brutal. What if I’m in a super close match with someone on the final ball and we both have huge scores? Some other player plays out of turn and nullifies my current game and I have to start over? That would suuuuuuck. Haha
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From the website "Established in 2021, we are originally [initially not originally] offering sanctioning in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. "

So it appears to just be a ‘local’ thing, probably set-up now as IFPA aren’t sanctioning any events due to the pandemic (which I fully support), despite the grandiose title.

I certainly hope that is the case. As vocal as I have been about some of the (in my perception) shortcomings of the IFPA/WPPR ranking system we surely do not need another version either diluting ranking competitions or causing unnecessary division in what is, realistically, a niche hobby.


Josh is probably smiling right now, someone else is willing to take the burden of running this stuff.

In all seriousness I am not sure why we need another sanctioning body I am pretty sure when the IFPA is back and running this will not be required.

one is stuck? so 2 or more stuck = play on? or just stop when only one ball is live?

well some rules at the IFPA need to be changed an bit.

Multiple balls live = play on

Only one ball live = stop

At the risk of alienating somebody on one or the other side, here goes…

Roger Sharpe knows I feel pretty strongly about what IFPA is and has done for the sport. Has it always done everything right? No, but it has certainly done a very good job because the best players are clearly identified and easily compared worldwide. I’ve told Roger in the past that rules, for example, need clarification.

The rules of this new group, as I read them, have a clear undertone. There are obviously people going to some tournaments in that area who aren’t being good sports. Rules alone can’t fix that. Conversations and diplomacy, yes. Adding addenda to the standard IFPA rules for a particular tournament might help, too.

But at this phenomenally critical juncture in our sport, I think the last thing we need is a competing federation. Can’t we all just get along?

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I think we need more UPYOURS sanctions around the world… rollseyes lol

Why does this need to compete with the IFPA?

This is pretty much my local weekly, and has been for many months now. I can tell you all that the organizer here is just a guy who likes running tournaments, has a bit of flair for Star Trek, and thought it would be fun to try and do something ranking-like for locals since IFPA isn’t sanctioning right now. That’s it.

Even when IFPA does start sanctioning again, I see no reason why this can’t continue to exist for a bit of local fun. Come on down to MD and try it out, or sleep easy knowing this doesn’t affect you in any way, shape, or form.