The top 15 Stern Pro Circuit events held the previous season 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. In these scenarios, the final determination of which tournaments will be included in the SPC will be made by Stern Pinball 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 32 ranked players will be invited to compete in the Stern Pro Circuit Final tournament.
The Stern Pro Circuit Final is an invitation-only, no-entry-fee-required event where all contestants who qualify win prize money. The Stern Pro Circuit Final 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 32 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.
Players will be placed in a single elimination bracket based on the final seedings. Players seeded 1 through 8 will receive 2 byes, while players seeded 9 through 16 will receive 1 bye.
Each match will be a best-of-three. The higher seeded player will have choice of machine or position for the 1st game, with the loser of each subsequent game having choice of machine or order, until someone has won 2 games. Machines can only be selected ONCE per player for the duration of the finals until all available selections have been exhausted. A machine may also not be played more than once in the same match. Once a player verbally announces their game choice, or chooses position, that decision will be locked in and cannot be changed.
Each player will have the opportunity for 30 seconds of practice time before starting every game of every match. This is to ensure that both players have a chance to get familiar with the machine.
The winner of the match advances to the next round, while the loser is eliminated.
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 –> $5000 + New Stern Pro pinball machine + Stern Pro Circuit Belt
2nd place –> $2000
3rd place –> $1500
4th place –> $1500
5th through 8th place –> $1000 each
9th through 16th place –> $750 each
17th through 24th place –> $500 each
25th through 32nd place –> $250 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”.
* Finals format, prize pool package, and location of championship final subject to change