Pinball Tournament

Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show 2023

Holiday Inn - 6001 Rockside Road,  Independence, OH 44131

September 14th-17th, 2023

Herb-Style Tournament.  IFPA approved. Tournament is open to the public with paid admission. 

The event will feature a main tournament as well as a separate classics tournament.  Tournament tickets are usable in either the classics or main tournament.

The Junior’s tournament begins at 2 PM on Saturday, with free entry and a trophy for the winner.  The Women’s tournament begins at 10 AM on Saturday, also with a trophy for the winner. The Women’s tournament is approved for the IFPA Women’s Rankings.



$10 for 4 Tickets or $20 for 9 Tickets , 1 ticket is used per game. Tickets must be bought at the front desk, not the tournament area. Main and classics use the same tickets. Tournament ticket sales cut off at 6 PM Saturday No refunds


Best 5 out of 9 games will be used for main division qualifying. Best 5 out of 6 games will be used for classics division qualifying. Each game score is translated to a qualifying score based on rank (1st 100, 2nd 90, 3rd 85, 84, 83, 82…), with the top 5 qualifying scores being totaled up to determine a player’s positioning. Top 24 players qualify for main and classics division playoffs, with the top 8 qualifiers getting a bye through the first round.

Players can check qualifying status at https://neverdrains.com/clepin2022


Qualifying will take place all day Thursday From 5 pm to Midnight, Friday 10 am to Midnight and Saturday 10 am to 7 pm Finals will begin Saturday at 8:00 pm. Classics qualifying times are the same, although it ends at 2 pm on Saturday, with classics finals starting at 2:30 pm. Cut off for starting games in main division is 7 PM on Saturday night. Catastrophic malfunction cut off is Friday at 4 PM. If a game must be replaced after this cutoff then scores from the previous game still stand in the rankings.


The Cleveland Pinball Show will use a virtual queuing system available at https://neverdrains.com/clepin2023

Players may add themselves to queues through either their own device, or the designated queuing computer in the tournament area. There will be a chair behind each game. If a player is next on a game then they are encouraged to sit in the game’s respective chair. When a game opens up the next player will be called, if they are not present then the individual is removed from the queue and the next player is called. The tournament must keep moving, and score keepers will not wait for a player who is in the queue but isn’t present.


Significant ties (either to make it into finals or to receive a bye) will be played off on a randomly selected game, with the winner of that game being the winner of the tie breaker. Ties above the cut for other positions in main division will be determined by whichever player has the higher ranking on their highest qualifying game. (ex. One player in the tie’s best game rank was the second highest score on a game, and the other player’s best game was a 6th place score. The first player wins the tiebreaker). If both players in the tie breaker have the same highest game rank, then it will defer down to their second highest game rank. If that is tied it will defer down again, etc. In the extremely rare case that both players have the exact same rankings across all their qualifying games, the tie will be broken by a coin flip.


General information

Round 1 of the Main Division check-in begins at 7:30 PM on Saturday.

Round 1 of the Main Division finals begins at 8 PM on Saturday at the earliest, if Classics Finals have not yet concluded then main will begin after they finish. Players must check in before 8 PM. Round 2 of the Main Division check-in begins at 9 AM on Sunday.

Round 2 of the Main Division finals begins at 9 :30 AM on Sunday. Players must check in before 9:30 AM.

Check-in for classics finals begins at 2:15 PM on Saturday. Classics finals begin at 2:30 PM on Saturday. Players must check in before 2:30 PM.

If a player does not show up to check-in before finals begin then that player will be replaced with the next highest seeded qualifier. (The first alternate) If a player does not show up for later finals round they will receive last place on each game in their group until they show up.

Finals are played in 4-player “PAPA Style groups”. Four player games are scored with
1st earning 4 points
2nd earning 2 points
3rd earning 1 point, and
4th receiving 0 points.

Three-player games 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).

There are 3 games in each round (plus a tiebreaker if necessary).

Finals brackets can be found online at https://www.neverdrains.com/clepin2023/

Game Selection

The highest seeded player in each group has choice of game or position. If the highest seeded player of the group chooses game then the next seed in their group gets choice of position, all the way down. If a player defers picking the game and chooses position instead, the next player down has selection of game or position. Groups select starting with the group containing the highest seeded player, continuing down until all groups have chosen. If a higher seeded group has already selected a game then other groups are locked out from picking it until their next selection. One group can not play the same game multiple times in one match.


Ties will be played off on a randomly selected game from the games that the tied players did not play in their round. Highest seed has first choice of position. Final Standings - IFPA standings for people who were eliminated in the same round as each other will be determined by the players scores in the respective round. Ties in final round scores will be broken by player’s initial seedings. Ties outside the finals cut will remain as ties in the final rankings.

Prize Pool

Prize pool is based on tournament entries, with a guaranteed minimum of $1500+ in cash prizes for the main tournament, and $750+ in cash prizes for the classics tournament Main and Classics award cash prizes to the top 16 finishers with

1st 25%
2nd 16%
3rd 11%
4th 8%
5th-8th 5%
9th-16th 2.5%

Actual values will be determined on-site after tournament expenses have been deducted and are subject to rounding to the next higher or lower $5 increment. All other rules and procedures for anything gameplay related are based on PAPA rules (ex. malfunctions, interference, stuck balls, etc.)

Full rule documentation available here


Supplying Machines

Any game that is provided to the tournament must be committed to being available for the full duration of the tournament. Tournament directors must have access to the keys to your machine. All other rules related to bringing a machine to the Cleveland Pinball Show itself still apply (damage liability, etc.) Scorekeeping Attendees can sign up to scorekeep for either the Main Tournament or Classics Tournament with 1 hour shifts. Scorekeepers are given 6 tournament tickets per hour that was spent scorekeeping. Scorekeepers are able to sign up for multiple shifts, however the amount of scorekeepers per shift is limited, and can be seen on the scorekeeper page. Contact a tournament director via email or Facebook to register for open scorekeeping spots (Tommy Bizzi Facebook or Email, and Jeffrey Dickson at Facebook or Email)

Tournament timing

The tournament is set up so that it will end in proper time, however if unusual circumstances cause the tournament to get set on a time trajectory that will not conclude before the show ends then the tournament directors reserve the right to employ mercy rules or remove long playing games. All or Any Rules, Procedures, Regulations can be changed before Tournament Start Time on Thursday Sept. 14th at 5PM. For other questions and information please contact either Tommy Bizzi Facebook or Email, and Jeffrey Dickson at Facebook or Email