Vancouver Flip-Out Tournaments at
2018 Vancouver Pinball Expo

Sept 6-9, 2018

Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Vancouver Flip-Out (Main Tournament)

This is the main pinball tournament of the event, a 2018 Stern Pro-Circuit Event.

IFPA Sanctioned and included in the IFPA World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) system. This tournament structure is graded by IFPA at 100%.

Qualifying Format

VFO is a Limited Best Game Qualifying format that will be played on the main bank of 12 to 15 machines, with a player's best scores on 7 machines counting towards their point total.

The "limited" part is that one player can purchase a maximum of 30 tickets for 30 games total, to spread out as they choose across different machines on the bank. Players can play any one machine multiple times, and do not have to play all machines. Since only 7 scores count, a player can, but does not have to, play more than 7 different machines.

Players register for the tournament for $30, for which they receive an initial 15 tickets. A player is allowed up to three rebuys, at $10 for 5 tickets each. Players must also have a Vancouver Pinball Expo (VPE) pass to participate in the tournament. Those passes are sold separately.

Advanced Registration for the main tournament, and VPE passes, are available here. Maximum 240 players. Advanced registration ensures entry into the tournament, and provides the player with their first 15 tickets.

Important: having tickets does not guarantee availability of machines to play them. Players who play most of their tickets on Thursday or Friday should have no problems getting in up to 30 games. Players who save most or all of their tickets to play on Saturday might not get the opportunity to play all of them, as lines can form on some or all machines, especially in the hours leading to the end of qualifying. Any ticket purchased but not used will be voided when the qualifying round closes. There will be no refunds.

On each machine, only a player's best score on that machine will earn points. Only a player's best 7 games, based on points earned on each machine (see Point Distribution), will count towards that player's total.

Playing an Entry

This tournament will be run using Drains Tournament Manager software. Players must register first, and ensure they have one or more tickets remaining. They may ask either the registration desk or any scorekeeper to add them to the queue for the machine they want to place next. The queue will be displayed so that players know when their turn is approaching. Players are expected to be waiting near the machine when they are next in line. A player not present when their turn is called will not be searched for. Rather, they will be skipped, but remain next in the queue. If they are called a second time and still not present, their name is removed from the queue. The ticket does not get used up, but the player will need to re-queue when they are ready to play next.

Players do not start a game until the scorekeeper has verified they have an available ticket, and that they are next on the machine. Only once given the go-ahead to play by the scorekeeper should the player hit the start button to play their game.

When the game is finished. The player must remain at the machine for the scorekeeper, even if their score will be voided because they have a higher score. Since one scorekeeper will be managing multiple games, patience of the player is very much appreciated by all. The scorekeeper will record score or void score, and provide the player the option to re-queue on the same or different machine. Only at that time should the player walk away. If a player walks away from the machine without waiting for a scorekeeper, they will be provided a warning by a tournament official. If this happens again after receiving such a warning, the player may be disqualified from the tournament.

Please note that scorekeepers are volunteers who usually are not involved in any other way with the organization of the event. Please do not complain or take out your frustrations regarding the machine, the environment, the tournament, the show, or the people to them. If you have any issues with the tournament or the show, please see a tournament or show official and have a discussion directly with them.

Point Distribution

Points on each machine will be normalized, with 200 points for the winner down to 1 point for 186th on the following scale. Click on graph for detailed point distribution.

In case of a tie, the tie will be broken based on number of #1 scores, then number of #2 scores, etc., considering only the 7 games that made up a player's entry. In the unlikely event there remains a tie for a significant position (who gets bye, or who qualifies), then there will be a one-game tie-breaker at the start of playoffs on Sunday, at 10AM. If there remains a tie for seeding only, the tie will be broken randomly.

Playoff Format

A PAPA-Style 24-player playoff will be used for the Open-Division playoffs, while a 16-player playoff used for the Novice division playoff.

Playoff Round Machines

The machines used in the playoff rounds will be a subset of about 6 to 8 machines used during qualifying. They will be selected by the tournament directors primarily taking into account logistics such as excluding machines that will be used by other tourneys that day, and possibly eliminating machines that exhibited multiple mechanical issues or exhibited long playing times during qualifying. Note that adjustments to machine setups may be made after qualifying before playoffs. Any such adjustments made will be posted on the backglass. Machine setups will not get adjusted in the middle of the qualifying round unless absolutely necessary to make the game playable or the tournament fair.

The Open and Novice divisions may use a different subset of machines, although there may be overlap. In case of overlap, a player's pick in one division won't affect player picks in the other division, and players might need to wait for the game in the other division to complete.

Playoff Round Scoring

Each group will play three separate four-player games, each on a different machine from among those designated for that division.
– Each four-player game will be scored as 4 points for the winner, 2 points for 2nd place, 1 point for 3rd place, and 0 points for 4th place.
– Three-player games (if any, due to forfeit or disqualification) will be scored as if a nonexistent fourth player received the 4th place finish (i.e., 1st earns 4 points, 2nd earns 2, and last earns 1).
– In the event of two or more scores on a machine being exactly tied, the players with such scores will immediately play a ONE-BALL tiebreaker on the same machine.
– The group that contains the highest-seeded player gets first choice of machine and order of play.
– The player with 2nd highest seed in the group will have highest seed, and thus choice of machine, in first game of a round. Top seed of the group is seeded second.
– The player with the higest seed in the group will have highest seed in games 2 and 3 of the round.
Any player cannot select a machine they've already selected in that round or a previous round. Should that situation occur, the player keeps their seed to choose order, and the next highest seeded player selects the machine.
– If at any point a high-seed player declines to make a choice or is not present within one minute of the tournament director ready to get their choice, the choice is deferred to the next highest-seeded player, as appropriate. The affected group still retains its order of choice among groups, however. If no player in a group will make a choice, the choice(s) are determined by tournament officials, who may or may not choose randomly.
– Note that the original seeding of players when entering the final rounds from qualifying is used in every round. At no time does a player’s seeding change from round to round; therefore the advantage of qualifying in first place can be significant.
– No group may select a machine which has already been selected by a group in the same division in the same round, nor may they choose a machine on which they have already played in that round (unless machine malfunctions have made this unavoidable; tournament officials may choose to provide additional or substitute machines, however). If the machine selected is currently being played by another group in a previous round of play, the group may wait for that round of play to be completed. For example, if one group is playing a given machine as their first machine, a different group may choose to wait for it as their second machine.

When all games have been completed by a group, each player will have a point total for the round. The players with the top two point totals from each group will advance.

Round of 24

The round of 24 will consist of players ranked 9th through 24th, with the top eight highest seeded players receiving a bye. This round applies to Open Division only.
Group 1 #9, #16, #17, #24
Group 2 #10, #15, #18, #23
Group 3 #11, #14, #19, #22
Group 4 #12, #13, #20, #21

Quarter Final Round

In the quarterfinal rounds, the qualifiers will be divided into four groups using the following relative seedings:
Group 1 #1, #8, #9, #16
Group 2 #2, #7, #10, #15
Group 3 #3, #6, #11, #14
Group 4 #4, #5, #12, #13

Semi Final Round

For the semifinal rounds, the players advancing from quarterfinals will be divided into two groups of four. The groups will be organized according to the original relative qualifying rank as shown here:
Group 1 #1, #4, #5, #8
Group 2 #2, #3, #6, #7

As in the previous round, the players with the top two point totals from each group of players will advance.

Final Round

In each division, four players advance to the final round. The final round for each division is conducted in the same manner as the semifinal round. The total scores for this round will determine the ordering of winners in each division. All ties in the final round are considered significant.

In general, the same machines will be used in the final rounds as the previous rounds. However, the tournament official reserves the right to change or reduce the available machines due to either mechanical or schedule issues.

Prize Pool

All players who qualify for the playoff rounds will earn a cash prize.
The payout for VFO is the following:

Rulings and Malfunctions

Anytime an abnormal circumstance occurs, a tournament official should be notified. To ensure consistency throughout the tournament, PLAYERS SHOULD NOT RESOLVE ISSUES ON THEIR OWN. Except for rules explicitly covered on this tournament website, PAPA/IFPA Tournament Rules will be used to address malfunctions and as the basis for rulings.

Following are some additional notes that are not covered in the IFPA/PAPA rulings and malfunction sections.
– When a major malfunction occurs on Ball 1 of a single-player game (e.g. during Qualifying), or player 1 ball 1 of a multiplayer game, then in lieu of a compensation ball, the player may elect to start a new game. In all other cases, the player will be awarded a compensation ball as one ball in a new game, per IFPA/PAPA rules.
– Fast-settling tilt bobs are installed in all machines, unless noted otherwise on the backglass. If such a tilt bob is installed, there is no addition time provided to a player if the previous player tilts, as the tilt bob will generally settle within 5 to 10 seconds. Thus per the intentional delay rules, they have 60 seconds to start their ball. If a note on backglass says there is not fast-settling tilt bob, then the player may wait an additional one minute to allow the tilt bob to settle.
– Machines will generally be setup with default settings, except possibly for tournament mode, no extra balls, shorter (or no) ball saves, mode timer adjustments, and more difficult multi-ball starts. Such changes will NOT be noted on the backglass. Unique adjustments beyond that will be posted on the backglass.
– In general, extra balls will be disabled. If an extra ball is earned, and there is no note on backglass to play or plunge, please contact a tournament official prior to plunging the ball; the tournament official will make a decision and also post that on the backglass to be consistent with all games played on that machine.
– Adjustments to the machines will not be made mid-qualifying unless absolutely necessary to retain the integrity of the tournament. If an adjustment is made, all prior scores on that machine will stand, even if a result of the adjustment makes the machine a bit harder or a bit easier to play. One exception, very early in qualifying (such as in first hour or two), minor adjustments can still be made in case it is discovered early that there's a severe issue (like tilt way too sensitive or a particular unfair setting was not disabled). It will be the tournament director's decision if games already played will stand, or if they get cancelled and players get refunded that game to allow them to play again.
– Adjustments to the machines can be made at any time on a machine between games during the playoff rounds. If a significant adjustment is made, a note will be posted on the backglass stating what adjustment was made.
– If a qualifying machine breaks down mid-tournament, prior to the start of qualifying on Saturday, the machine will be removed and all scores voided. Players will be given up to three additional tickets based on how many games they played on that machine that got voided. If the machine breaks down on Saturday, then all scores on that machine will stand. The tournament director will decide whether or not the machine removed from play is replaced, based on logistics of being able to replace the machine.
– If there is a no-show among the top-8 qualifiers with a bye, then the highest scoring 3rd-place finisher in the four first-round matches moves on. If there is a tie, a ONE-BALL tie-breaker on a machine selected by the tournament director will be played to see who moves on.

Additional Information

Every attempt is made to keep the rules and information on this website accurate and up-to-date, and to run tournaments per the advertised structure and schedule. However, due to the nature of pinball and the fact that the tournaments are entirely run by volunteers, the tournament officials reserve the right to modify the tournament structure or schedule until the start time of that tournament. Late or last minute changes will be announced as appropriate prior to the start of the tournament. Changes to the tournament structure will not be made mid-tournament unless circumstances make such a change absolutely necessary.

For regular updates and discussion on the tournament, please visit our public Facebook event page.
Tournament Directors: Dave Stewart, Germain Mariolle, and Rob Moller
For questions and inquiries regarding tournaments at Vancouver Flipout, please contact

Vancouver Flip-Out Tournaments are sponsored by Nitro Pinball, serving Canada and the Pacific Northwest in Sales, Rentals, Repairs, and Customizations of Pinball Machines.

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