The top 15 PAPA Circuit events held in 2019 with the highest average WPPR point value over the past 3 years will be invited to be on the Stern Pro Circuit for the following season. The lowest 5 events based on average WPPR point value will be dropped from the Stern Pro Circuit the following season, and replaced with the next biggest 5 events. Tournament Directors are welcome to pass on having their event included in the Stern Pro Circuit, in which case the next largest event will be selected until the schedule is filled.
Some pinball tournaments will not be eligible for the Stern Pro Circuit. Examples of ineligible events would include the IFPA World Pinball Championship and The Stern Pro Circuit Final itself. In situations where larger events host multiple pinball tournaments, only one pinball tournament will be eligible for inclusion in the SPC. ReplayFX, for example, hosts both Pinburgh and the Intergalactic Pinball Championship, and in this case only Pinburgh will be included. In these scenarios, the final determination of which tournaments will be included in the SPC will be made by Replay Foundation and IFPA staff.
Competitive pinball players will participate in a circuit of 20 tournaments, with all results during the Circuit season contributing to their final qualifying point total. At the end of the Stern Pro Circuit season, the top 20 ranked players will be invited to compete in the Stern Pro Circuit Championship.
The Stern Pro Circuit Championship is an invitation-only, no-entry-fee-required event where all contestants who qualify win prize money. The Stern Pro Circuit Championship is a unique competitive event that pits each season’s best performers against one another in a last-man-standing tournament format.
All players who participate in an SPC event will be awarded SPC points towards the overall standings. These points will be based on the WPPR points earned at those events.
Final Circuit standings will be determined promptly after the last Circuit event. Any player in the top 20 (any players tied for 20th will be included) of the rankings will be invited to the Circuit Final.
Qualified players will be notified promptly by Circuit coordinators. If a player cannot attend, their opening will be filled by the next highest seeded available player who has participated in the Circuit. Players who do not attend will not receive any prize from the Circuit Final.
The Ladder-Bracket of the Circuit Final consists of a series of four-player games. The first game is played by the four lowest-seeded players. The highest-seeded player has choice of machine to be played. The player will not have the option to select the machine used in the previous round of play.
The order of players is determined with the top seed playing 1st, next highest seed playing 2nd, third highest seed playing 3rd, lowest seed playing in 4th position.
The player who has the lowest score is eliminated from the Final, and receives the appropriate prize. The next highest-seeded player, who has not yet played, is added to the group for the next game. In each subsequent round, the highest-seeded player (who will be the player who just joined the group) has choice of machine.
No player may choose the same machine more than once. Officials may remove any machine from consideration at any time.
Once 4 players remain, no new players will be added to the ladder bracket. The lowest finishing player will continue to be eliminated each round until only one player remains. The Championship match will consist of the two remaining players playing one final game.
The Circuit Championship features a guaranteed package of monetary prizes. The prize pool may be adjusted at any time based on additional event funds or sponsorship dollars received. The tentative prize pool is:
1st place –> $5,000 + Brand New Stern Pro pinball machine + Stern Pro Circuit Belt
2nd place –> $2000
3rd place –> $1500
4th place –> $1300
5th place –> $1200
6th place –> $1100
7th place –> $1000
8th place –> $900
9th place –> $800
10th place –> $700
11th through 20th place –> $600 each
The winner of the Circuit Championship will also receive a brand new Stern Pinball machine, the Stern Pro Circuit belt, and the title “Stern Pro Circuit Player of the Year”.