The Carolina Pinball Championship Series provides 8 to 10 months of high-quality competitive pinball events in the Carolinas, supported by PAPA (Professional & Amateur Pinball Association), leading to a special series finale event. These qualifying events are distributed throughout North and South Carolina. The series will culminate in a finals event which includes the top 40 qualifiers from the series, as well as anyone who won any of the events. A separate qualification and series points will be derived from each qualifying event for women who opt into the women’s finals.

The intention is to promote pinball competition and encourage travel within the region and to the region, all for the love of pinball. Individual players are participating, not teams or leagues or regions, and this is not North Carolina versus South Carolina or anything like that. Each event is open to any player, worldwide, and points will be awarded identically for each event.


The variety of regions is intended to make qualifying opportunities widely available, and to encourage travel for those who wish to attend multiple qualifying events.

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Triad, NC
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Upstate SC
  • Columbia, SC
  • Rock Hill, SC
  • Possible events in Charleston, SC, Asheville, NC, and Durham, NC, pending availability and local support

Qualifying Events

Each event will be an open tournament, organized and run by a local director, with support from Kaylee and other CPCS administrators. The entry fee will be $10 for each event, with an optional women’s qualifier entry for $5. 50% of entry fees go towards the cash pot for the finals, while the other 50% will be paid out to winners at the event itself.

Each event will choose from one of three formats – match-play with a minimum of four rounds, strikes with a minimum of four (or 12 progressive), or Pingolf. Each event will feature final rounds, and each event will be held on a single day to make attendance easier for more people. Streaming will also be strongly encouraged when possible.

Points & Qualifying

After each event, points are assigned based on the points table shown below. Each event scores identically. Players may enter as many events as they like, but only the five best results for each player will contribute to their total for ranking purposes.

In addition to the top ranked players, any player who finishes in the top 10% of a qualifying event has automatically qualified for the finals tournament.

17th to 24th12 to 5

Finals Tournaments

The finals tournaments will be held at Super Abari Game Bar in Charlotte, NC, on May 20-21 2023.

Open Finals: There will be forty players qualified for the open finals tournament – the top 10% from each qualifying event, followed by points leaders to fill out the field. The field of players will then be seeded by total points earned in the series (best five results only). Tie breakers can be made by .1 point added per event played and .1 point added for every trophy awarded.

The tournament will be match-play with a 1st round bye for the top 16 qualifiers and 2nd round bye for the top 4 qualifiers. The finals will be in the style of INDISC. Further details will be published once the event is scheduled.

Womens Finals: For women who opt into the women’s qualifying, there will be 12 positions. Same points and seeding rules apply as the Open as appropriate to the # of players (Womens instant qualifications will not slide down to the next available as it does in the Open, due to smaller participation and limited qualification positions)

For season 2 Women’s finals will be run in the same format as IFPA State Championship Series Finals. Top


The prize pool for the Open finals tournament has received $300 from Kaylee Campbell and $300 from Kevin Martin. We will continue to pursue donations from venues and other interested parties and sponsors for both prize pools.

Player 1 Up (Rock Hill, NC and Murrels Inlet,SC) is a Primary Sponsor! Their $1000 donation will go directly into the cash pool for Finals in both divisions!

Carolina Pinballs ( is also a Primary Sponsor! Their $500 donation will go directly into the cash pool for Finals in both divisions!

Super Abari Game Bar is hosting finals for the second year in a row, also contributing $500 towards the prize pool. They are investing a lot of time an energy for us to have a great machine pool selection and allowing us to take up significant space in the bar for a weekend.

PAPA (Kevin Martin) continues to support the website and points tracking for the series as well as offering and additional $500 to the prize pool!

Each event will determine their payout structure from the 50% of entry fees allocated to prizes for that event. The finals prize pool will consist of the other 50% from all events, plus the sponsorship money. IFPA entry fees will be deducted from the finals cash pot from each event. Trophies will be produced as well.

Finals Format Details (Open)

This is mirroring the rules from the INDISC Pinball Open Championship


The machines used for final rounds in each division will be the same as those used in qualifying.

In all divisions, machines can only be selected ONCE per player for the duration of the finals until all available selections have been exhausted.

All games played in the final rounds are treated as four-player. In the event a machine being utilized does not support enough simultaneous players, multiple games will be played on the same machine, with playing order preference going by original seeding as usual, and the resulting scores will be compared as if a single multiplayer game had been played.

A and B finals in Main will operate independently and in parallel, with the constraint that a B finalist with a machine pick cannot select a machine in use by A finalists.


Finals for all divisions will consist of three games played each round with each four-player game scored as follows:


In the event of two or more scores on a machine being exactly tied, the players with such scores will immediately play a tiebreaker game, on the same machine, unless another machine is selected by tournament officials.

The group that contains the highest-seeded player gets first choice of machine and order of play. The highest-seeded player within each group may choose either the machine to be played, or the order of play. If the highest-seeded player chooses order of play, the remaining players may choose their order, in descending order of seeding, and choice of machine then goes to the next highest-seeded player in the group. Conversely, if the highest-seeded player chooses the machine to be played, then the next highest-seeded player chooses the order of play, with the remaining players choosing order of play in decreasing order of seeding.

If at any point a high-seed player declines to make a choice, the choice is deferred to the next highest-seeded player, as appropriate. The affected group still retains its order of choice among groups, however. If no player in a group will make a choice, the choice(s) are determined by tournament officials, who may or may not choose randomly.

Note that the original seeding of players when entering the final rounds from qualifying is used in every round. At no time does a player’s seeding change from round to round; therefore the advantage of qualifying in first place can be significant.

No group may select a machine which has already been selected by a group in the same round, nor may they choose a machine on which they have already played in that round (unless machine malfunctions have made this unavoidable; tournament officials may choose to provide additional or substitute machines, however). If the machine selected is currently being played by another group in a previous round of play, the group may wait for that round of play to be completed. For example, if one group is playing a given machine as their first machine, a different group may choose to wait for it as their second machine.

In the event too few machines are available during any round of play, the group(s) with the lowest high-seed players will be forced to wait until a game becomes available. As soon as a game becomes available, as indicated by the scorekeeper, the next highest-seeded group must begin play on that machine. In this situation, choice of order of play will be made by the highest-seed player in the group (unless that player declines, as described above).

When all games have been completed by a group, each player will have a point total for the round. The players with the top two point totals from each group of four players will advance. Significant ties will be resolved using the procedure explained in Section IV – 7.


In the initial rounds, the qualifiers in each division will be divided into groups as follows:

40 Qualifiers, First Round
Group 117282940
Group 218273039
Group 319263138
Group 420253237
Group 521243336
Group 622233435

Players qualified in positions #1-4 will receive two byes advancing them directly into the Quarterfinal Round.

Players qualified in positions #5-16 will receive a bye, advancing them directly into the Second Round.

The second round for a 40 qualifier division will be structured as follows:

40 Qualifiers, Second Round
Group 15161728
Group 26151827
Group 37141926
Group 48132025
Group 59122124
Group 610112223


In the quarterfinal rounds, the players advancing from the previous round will be divided into four groups as follows:

16 Players
Group 118916
Group 2271015
Group 3361114
Group 4451213


For the semifinal rounds in each division, the qualifiers in each division (or players advancing from quarterfinals, if those were played) will be divided into two groups of four. The groups will be organized according to the original qualifying rank as shown here:

8 Players
Group 11458
Group 22367


In each division, four players advance to the final round. The final round for each division is conducted in the same manner as the semifinal round. The total scores for this round will determine the ordering of winners in each division. All ties in the final round are considered significant.

Unless otherwise determined by tournament officials, the same machines will be used in the final rounds as the previous rounds.

Finals Format Details (Womens)