How It Works

The PAPA 21 World Pinball Championships is a four-day tournament event held at Enterrium in Schaumburg, Illinois. There are three tournaments: the Main, Women's, and Classics.

The Main qualifying will run Thursday through Saturday, with finals (split into A and B divisions based on cutoff) held on Sunday. Women's division qualifying will run Thursday and Friday, with finals held on Saturday. and Classics division qualifying will run Thursday through Saturday, with finals held on Saturday. On Saturday, Women's finals will be played first, followed by Classics finals approximately 30 minutes after qualifying closes.

Each player may make as many paid qualifying attempts as they like, each for a paid fee. These attempts may be made at any time while qualifying for the division is open. The system rewards consistently good play on one attempt, making it virtually impossible to "buy your way" into the finals.

In each qualifying attempt in Main or Women's, the player selects and plays five of the machines provided for that division. The resulting scores are then ranked against every other score on each selected machine, yielding a point total. That total is then ranked against every other qualifying attempt in the division, including attempts by the same player. This yields an overall ranking of all players in the division.

In the Main, the top 72 ranked players will proceed to the A division finals. The next 8 ranked players will participate in the B division finals (excepting that any player ranked #250 or better by the IFPA will not be eligible for the B division finals). During finals, players will compete in groups of four on 3 machines, with two players advancing from each group. In the A division, seeds #1-4 will receive three byes, seeds 5-8 two byes, and seeds 9-24 one bye. The number one overall seed in Main Division will also receive a perk. Once per round they will be allowed to choose game and have first choice of order if they wish. The number one seed must inform a tournament official before using this perk each round.

Qualifying in the Women's division will work in the same fashion, with the top 24 ranked players proceeding to finals, and seeds #1-8 receiving one bye.

In the Classics division, each entry (sold in sets of 3) allows the player to compete on one machine. Each player's best 8 scores across all machines will contribute to their point total, except that of course each machine can only contribute once to the total. The top 40 players will qualify for the finals. Seeds 5-16 will receive one bye. Seeds 1-4 will receive two byes.

A large section of the facility will be closed to the public during the event, in order to preserve space for the competing pinball players.

Our logo was was designed by Jon Chad and reflects the teal and purple colors for suicide awareness.