Tournaments at The Australian Pinball Museum

Anyone can organise to use the venue for tournaments. There are some rules and regulations you need to consider first.

The Australian Pinball Museum has a wide range of pinballs from many eras available for competitions. Players need to remember that these are museum pieces and thus need to be treated with due respect - aggressive treatment of the pinballs will not be tolerated. Rules listed on this page are general rules which apply to all tournaments organised by the museum and all tournaments organised by others which are run at the museum.

    Running Your Own Tournament
Anyone can run a tournament at the Australian Pinball Museum. We are happy to help out with the management of the tournament. The Australian Pinball Museum staff can help with unofficial and official ranked IFPA tournaments. We recommend a maximum number of tournament participants to be 30 people, any more than this and it may start to feel a bit too crowded inside the building. Contact us for details on running your own tournament.

    General Museum Rules
All areas inside the building are strictly non-smoking. Smoking is restricted to designated areas outside the building. The museum is to be kept clean - trash should be put in bins outside the entrance. No food or drink allowed on or near the pinball machines. The museum is not a child care centre - do not leave kids unattended. Violation of any rules may lead to your removal from the Museum. Unless special arrangements have been made, the museum will still be open to the public during a tournament. Tournament participants must be respectful and courteous to any other visitors to the museum.

    Personal Conduct
All players are expected to act in a polite and sensible manner. Indecent language, excessive yelling, abuse, threats or acts of violence are not permitted. Any player who behaves rudely towards any tournament scorekeeper, tournament director, or museum staff may be warned, disqualified, or removed from the property.

    Machine Setup
The Australian Pinball Museum tries to keep all pinballs at factory default settings so that they all play as originally intended by the designers. For a tournament environment, the games are checked to make sure the gameplay is as balanced as possible for each player. Machines made available for tournament will be presented in the best working order as possible. It is recommended that machines are play tested by a tournament director before a tournament starts to highlight anything that may need attention before the tournament starts. If a machine with known problems is being used in the tournament, it is the responsibility of the tournament directors to notify all players of the known issues. The museum reserves the right to remove a pinball from the tournament line up at any time. Playing on machines will not be allowed to continue if damage to a machine becomes a possibility. Machines are set up as level as possible, do not attempt to adjust the feet on a pinball. Notify us if you are concerned about a machine being unreasonably slanted.

    Abuse of Machines
Tilt sensors are designed to determine what is excessive rough handling of a machine within the parameters of normal gameplay. Tilt mechanisms on machines are set tighter for a tournament than what you would expect in a normal public environment, but are still at a reasonable level. Abusive handling of the pinball machines will not be tolerated. This includes actions such as punching, kicking, lifting, tipping, rocking the machine, or hitting the glass. None of these will be tolerated and will result in a warning or disqualification from tournament or removal from the property.

    Special Score Handing
Any player who reaches the maximum possible score on a machine will receive that score for their game, unless the machine is able to 'roll over' back to zero, in this case the scores will be added together. Ie: some games the score will freeze at a max of say 9,999,999,990 points. In this case the game can be ended and the maximum score is recorded. Other games, particularly electro-mechanical games will reset to zero after reaching its max of say 99,990 points. On these games, the new 'rolled over' score will be added to the max score of 99,990. It is the responsibility of the player to call an official over to their machine before they reach the maximum score. An official must witness a score 'roll over' for it to be counted. When playing an electro-mechanical game, players must understand that some score reel skipping or inaccuracies may occur and this is just the nature of how the mechanism operates.

Pinball is a physical game which means it can be quite common for unusual events or catastrophic malfunctions to randomly occur. Most of the time the malfunctions are minor and are just part of the nature of the game. If a malfunction is deemed to not severely adverse gameplay, then use of the machine will continue. If the minor malfunction occurs constantly, but still doesn't adversely affect the game, then a description of the malfunction may be written down and attached to the machine to warn players what to expect. If a malfunction catastrophically affects gameplay a game may be restarted or played on a different machine. This is determined by a tournament official. Malfunctions that can not be repeated in a test environment by an official are not classed as a catastrophic malfunction and are just the nature of pinball. Stuck balls can occur in pinball. Players must wait for a ball search to attempt to free a ball before calling over an official. If a player tilts the machine while trying to free a stuck ball, its the nature of the game and no compensation is given. If an official tilts a machine when trying to free a stuck ball, the official will determine what to do next, but most likely it will result in a new game being started. If glass has to be removed to free a stuck ball, the freed ball will either be placed in the shooter lane or placed on the flipper with the player holding the flipper button down. If a ball is accidentally drained by an official while the glass is off, the official will determine what to do next, but most likely it will result in a new game being started. If a machine breaks down and cannot be used for the rest of the tournament, all previous scores earned by players on that machine will either be considered void and they will be compensated with new games on a new machine, or old scores will be kept and the remaining players play on a new machine. This is chosen by the tournament director.