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The Professional and Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) is a competitive pinball organization. PAPA is currently owned and operated by Kevin Martin and is based in Scott Township, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The main activity of the organization is hosting the annual World Pinball Championships. The tournament runs for four days and allows competitors to register in any of three different divisions in order to accommodate beginners and skilled players alike. Each occurrence of the tournament has been denoted by a number; for example, the 2005 tournament is known as PAPA 8.

HistoryEdit

PAPA was originally created by Steve Epstein, owner of the former Broadway Arcade in Manhattan. PAPA 6 was the last tournament organized under his tenure. The PAPA name was resurrected in 2003 and applied to the pinball tournaments formerly held under the name of Pinburgh; PAPA 7 was the first of these, held in 2004.

In September 2004, shortly after PAPA 7, the remnants of Hurricane Ivan flooded the tournament area, ruining more than 200 games. However, the organizers managed to restock and rebuild in time to host PAPA 8 the next year.

Tournament FormatEdit

The format of the PAPA tournaments has changed over time. In the current format, players declare a division (A, B, or C, with A being the most skilled) and may enter as many times as they like, paying entry fees each time they choose to play. During an entry, a player will choose and play a certain number of games from a predetermined bank of machines (for example, five out of a possible nine machines). Each game score is assigned a point value based on how it compares to all of the other entries on that same machine: 100 points for the highest score, down to 1 point for 88th place, and 0 points for all lower scores. Thus this point value can only decrease during the tournament as more games are played by everyone and new higher scores by other players are acheived.

A player's best entry over the course of the qualifying period determines the player's qualifying score, and the qualifying scores are used to determine the rank of each player. A player's rank may go up or down, even without continuing to play more entries. At the end of the qualifying period (typically several days), the top-ranked players in each division (the actual number varies) compete in a head-to-head, bracketed format to determine the winners.

Tournament machine configurationsEdit

If possible, the game software of each machine is put into tournament mode. Typically, this means that the rules will avoid giving random awards, so that scores reflect mostly skill and not luck. Also, extra balls are disabled in most competitions if the software supports it.

The physical setup of the machines is also configured to make things as challenging as possible. This can be done in a number of ways, for example:

  • Adjusting or removing outlane posts, which make the side drain gaps larger.
  • Increasing the playfield angle (by adjusting the legs on the cabinet). This increases ball speed and makes it more difficult to make shots in the back of the playfield.

List of Tournament WinnersEdit

A Division

  • PAPA 1 - Joey Cartegena - (February 2, 1991 - held at the Lone Star Roadhouse, New York, NY)
  • PAPA 2 - Rick Stetta - (February 1-2, 1992 - 300 top players competing at the Lone Star Roadhouse, New York, NY)
  • PAPA 3 - Lyman Sheats - (2/13/1993 - Omni Park Central Hotel, New York, NY)
  • PAPA 4 - Bowen Kerins - (2/8/1994 - Omni Park Central Hotel, New York, NY)
  • PAPA 5 - Paul Madison - (February 3-5, 1995 - Omni Park Central Hotel, New York, NY)
  • PAPA 6 - Keith Elwin - (2/8/1998 - Sahara Hotel, Las Vegas, NV)
  • PAPA 7 - Lyman Sheats - (9/12/2004 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 8 - Bowen Kerins - (8/14/2005 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 9 - Lyman Sheats - (8/20/2006 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 10 - Jorian Engelbrektsson - (10/20/2007 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)

Juniors Division

  • PAPA 6 - Zach Sharpe - (2/8/1998 - Sahara Hotel, Las Vegas, NV)
  • PAPA 7 - Jake Prince - (9/12/2004 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 8 - Matt Hogue - (8/14/2005 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 9 - Ethan Blonder - (8/20/2006 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)

Seniors Division

  • PAPA 7 - Ed Hershey - (9/12/2004 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 8 - Ed Hershey - (8/14/2005 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)
  • PAPA 9 - Rick Prince - (8/20/2006 - PAPA World Headquarters, Scott Township, PA)

External linksEdit

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