Current league standings can be found at this link: West Virginia Pinball League (papa.org) 

Click "Meet Results" to see the most recent results!

West Virginia Pinball League Rules

Questions? Concerns? 

Email play.wvpl@gmail.com

Updated 1-6-2024

Highlighted rules are changes from the previous season.

1. Introduction

The West Virginia Pinball League will meet weekly on Tuesday evenings at a private residence in Morgantown, WV, for a total of 9 of league pinball. Week 9 is reserved for league finals. League nights start at 7 P.M. and will feature multiplayer pinball in an evening of friendly fun, camaraderie, and laid-back competition. The address is available upon request.


Week 1: 2/6/24

Week 2: 2/13/24

Week 3: 2/20/24

Week 4: 2/27/24

Week 5: 3/5/24

Week 6: 3/12/24

Week 7: 3/19/24

Week 8: 3/26/24

Finals Date TBD.

1.1 League Officials

In these rules, SLO stands for Senior League Official. For situations requiring an immediate decision or rule interpretation, this refers to the highest-ranking league official present who is not directly affected by the decision. In particular, rulings of malfunctions or interference should be deferred to an uninvolved official. In other cases, it refers to any appropriate league officer.  The order of rank for league officers should a dispute on a ruling arise is under section 1.3

1.2 Discretion of League Officials

These rules are a guide. At times situations will arise that aren't specifically covered by these rules. In these cases, the SLO should make a decision in the spirit of the rules. This decision shall be documented for later reference, and be applied consistently should the situation arise again. 

1.3 Definition of League Officials

League officials will perform all league tasks such as scheduling, collecting dues, communications to league members, making rule changes and scorekeeping.  Rank of league officials is determined by their consecutive amount of time as a league official. Current league officials  are: Brian Dye, Kody Elam, Andy Pickens, Brian Pickens. However, Brian Dye will be responsible for rulings where there has been a protest or other disagreement to the validity of a ruling in question. These rulings are considered final, even if they must be made by proxy.  Rank of league officials will only be used in the event of a tie to cast the tie breaking vote.

2. Attendance and Tardiness

The League Officers must set a complete schedule before league play begins. Dates will be decided upon collectively by SLOs. League players are encouraged to attend every week, but 100% attendance is not required. You can miss two  weeks of the season without any penalty to your score (see the scoring section for details.) However, if you have missed two weeks, your lowest scores for any future missed weeks will stand, even if they are zero.

In order to be eligible for final results submission into the IFPA, a player must compete in at least 4 weeks of league play (16 games). Any player that does not meet the minimum attendance requirement will be placed in the X division at the conclusion of the season. Therefore, any player who wishes to join league after Week 5 will be automatically placed in the X division. See “Playoff Division Restrictions” below.

2.1 Start Time

League start times are posted on the official schedule.  Any non-league games in progress by league players at league start time are immediately halted. Players join their assigned group and begin league play immediately. Note that if a non-league patron is currently on a machine, please be respectful and allow them to complete their game. If a non-league patron wishes to play a game during league, politely inform them that we are currently in the middle of league or refer them to a SLO. In all cases, if the patron is insistent on finishing, just let ‘em be. 

2.2 Placement of Tardy Players

If a player contacts a SLO to inform them of potential tardiness, a maximum of 10 minutes will be granted to allow for the player to arrive. A tardy player will NOT be entered into the league software for assignment to a group. Upon arrival, the tardy player will be put into a group containing the least number of players that has the most games remaining. The tardy player will be player 1 in all remaining games. Players may not sign in any player other than themselves. Any player not signed in by the scheduled start time will be considered tardy.  If all groups have the same number of games and players, then a player enters the last group drawn.  A tardy player may not enter into a game already in progress (the first ball has been plunged.) The tardy player receives last choice of game or order on the first game in which they are eligible to play. 

2.3 Forfeits

If a player does not show up on any league night for any given week, that player will be given a score of zero. Exceptions may be made in the case of canceled league events (see section 2.4).

2.4 Inclement Conditions

The SLO may cancel a league night, due to inclement weather or other inclement conditions, particularly if travel conditions are deemed unsafe for players. The SLO is responsible to notify all players if it is deemed that a league night cannot be held as scheduled. These notifications will be posted on the WVPL  Facebook page. SLO’s will attempt to come up with a makeup date that will be scheduled for all players affected.  Extra time may be allotted for tardiness in the event of inclement conditions at the SLO’s discretion.

2.6 Guests

As of Season 4, guests will be permitted to attend, but not participate, in a league session. In order to participate in a league session, the full league dues of $20 must be paid.

3. Machine Play Rules - General

3.1 Extra Balls

Unless otherwise specified by an SLO, all extra balls earned during league play will be plunged. When a player is required to plunge an extra ball, the player may touch the machine to set up a skill shot before launching the ball. Once the ball is set into motion, the player may no longer touch the machine. If the ball is returned to a launcher lane that requires a manual plunge (e.g. by a ball saver), the player may re-plunge the ball.  If a plunged extra ball becomes stuck somewhere on the machine, the player may attempt to nudge the machine to  the ball. If nudging fails to  the ball, and there is no operator present to  the ball, the player (or SLO) will be required to tilt the game in an attempt to  the ball. No compensation is provided in this event, nor is it considered a major malfunction.  Buy-ins for extra balls are not allowed.

3.2 Replays and Specials

No award is given for credits earned by replays or specials during league play. If a machine awards extra balls for replays or specials, they are played as prescribed in section 3.1

3.3 Malfunctions

Pinball machines are complex assemblies that can exhibit many unintended behaviors during play. To keep league play on track and prevent excessive focus on minor glitches, only a major machine malfunction can affect league play.  A major malfunction is one that results in a loss of a playable turn that is not a normal part of the game (i.e. premature loss of turn).  A "playable turn" includes the player's current turn at play, and any other balls that the player is entitled to play. This does not include "unallowable" extra balls.  Note that an active multiball is part of the "current turn at play" and therefore a major malfunction during multiball is only counted once.  In disputed situations, the SLO shall decide whether or not a malfunction is considered major.

The following are examples of major malfunctions:

A player is forced to tilt the ball in an attempt to dislodge a stuck ball (unless it is an unallowable extra ball).

A turn ends prematurely (i.e. with 1 or more balls in play as in multi-ball).

A ball is auto-plunged or otherwise shot into play prematurely.

The following examples would NOT be considered major malfunctions:

A player tilts away a stuck ball when it was not clearly necessary.

A multiball round ends prematurely but does not result in loss of turn.

A ball goes airborne and drains.

A lit kickback fails to kick the ball back into play.

A ball saver fails to work.

A player tilts another player's ball. (This is Interference.)

A game kicks 2 balls into the shooter lane and the turn ends when one drains.

A switch intermittently not registering.

If a problem with a machine is announced to league players by the SLO before league play is started, then that problem is not considered a major malfunction even if the result is loss of ball in play.  When a major malfunction occurs, it is the player's responsibility to notify the SLO, calmly and promptly. If the SLO agrees that the incident is a major malfunction, the player will be provided with one additional ball of play at the beginning of a new game, after the current game has been completed. No attempt will be made to re-establish the state of the machine at the time of the major malfunction. The player's total score on the additional ball of play will be added to his or her previous score, and the new game will be terminated.

If a major malfunction occurs early in the play of the first ball by the first player, tournament officials may rule that the current game is voided and the score discarded. Machine repairs may be attempted and the player(s) will restart their play without needing to track the previous score.  In the event that two or more major malfunctions take place during the same game the game may be declared unplayable by the SLO.

Under certain specific conditions, a major malfunction may be declined by the player. This must be approved by the tournament official, and must not result in a situation which provides an unfair advantage to the player.

The SLO can declare a machine unplayable at any time if it is not functioning properly and the resulting malfunction(s) will, in his/her estimation, impair the ability of players to obtain fair scores. If the first ball played by all player’s result in major malfunctions, or if play cannot be continued on a machine for any reason, the machine is automatically declared unplayable for the rest of the meet, or until the machine is repaired. In these cases, the entire game is replayed immediately on a machine chosen by the player who picked the affected machine.

Catastrophic malfunctions such as slam tilt, total machine failure, fire due to overheated components, main processor halts, and similar events are handled on a case by case basis, using the malfunction rules described above if possible. Frequently, catastrophic malfunctions will invalidate all scores for that group on that machine. However, depending on when the malfunction occurs, the scores as played may stand if so decided by the SLO (e.g. catastrophic malfunctions on the last ball of the game). Any recorded scores on the machine at the time of failure will be used if the machine is brought back into service and affected players replay, or players accept agreed-upon scores.

It is recommended that the league prepare a maintenance sheet on which is noted any malfunctions that are found on the various machines during league play. This list should be passed on to the site's management to assist in the proper maintenance of the machines.

3.4 Positive Malfunctions

If a malfunction causes a player to receive an exceptionally unfair advantage over the other players, and there is no reasonable way to avoid it, then the game is stopped and a new game is started either on the same or a different machine at the SLO's discretion. If a positive malfunction can be avoided (such as the awarding of extra points by repeated tapping of a flipper button), then this behavior shall be reported to the SLO and shall be avoided during subsequent league play. At the discretion of the SLO, the game may be replayed if it is felt that an unfair advantage was already gained by one or more players due to the malfunction. In this situation, the SLO may also rule that completed scores on the game are to be discarded. It is the responsibility of all members of a group to ensure that positive malfunctions are not abused.

Note that a one ball "multiball" is not considered to be an exceptionally unfair advantage nor is a missing tilt assembly.

3.5 Additional Rulings

Any situation requiring a ruling not specifically mentioned in the Tales of the Tuesday Nights rules shall utilize the most recent PAPA rules set. (www.papa.org)

3.6 Game play Promptness

When a player's turn comes up in a league match, he is expected to begin play promptly. If a league player does not begin play in a reasonable amount of time (usually but not always five minutes), the SLO may plunge the ball for him, and the player may not play the ball.

3.7 Practice Games

Once league play starts, a player may not play or practice on any machines other than the one they are assigned to for their given match.

3.8 Distractions

In general, random distractions that occur during league play (including minor physical bumps) are considered normal play conditions and no allowances are made for the effects of such distractions on a player's game.

3.9 Non-League Players

League players do not take precedence over other customers at the establishment. Having a non-league customer play your ball is considered a distraction and not interference; control of the ball should be regained as quickly and politely as possible. Close attention should be paid by league players to their game in progress to guard against this situation.

4. Illegal actions / Player Conduct

4.1 Playing Opponent's Ball

The violator shall attempt to trap the ball(s) on a flipper as soon as the error is realized. The violator is punished by receiving a  score of 1 for that game. That player also receives last choice during the following game selection. It is your responsibility to know what player you are. If you are unsure consult your score sheet.  If the affected ball was an unallowable extra ball, there is no additional compensation for the victim. Otherwise, the victim may choose one of two options: continue playing the erroneously plunged ball (if control can be recovered) or drain the plunged ball and play an additional ball through a new game. The player must announce a decision to all players in the group before play resumes. The deciding player is responsible for ensuring that the next player does not begin play before a decision is announced. If he allows the game to continue without announcing a decision, then it is presumed that he wishes to continue the game and play an additional ball.

4.2 Interference

Interference in another player's game is not tolerated. Interference includes (but isn't limited to) intentional slam tilts, tilting an opponent's ball, or nudging the machine during another player's ball, even if the action does not cause the victim to lose the ball. It also includes intentional distraction of a player during his play. Talking or coaching is not considered interference, unless the player at the machine specifically requests that he not be talked to during play.

If a player interferes with another player, causing a drain and/or loss of turn, the victim of the interference may either replay the entire game, or continue the game and play one (1) additional ball to replace the interfered ball (using either an earned, normally unallowable extra ball or a buy-in ball). If the next player starts play with no decision announced, the victim is presumed to wish to continue his game. The interfering player is required to pay for the replayed game or the buy-in ball, even if there are credits on the machine.

Interference is a serious violation of league play rules, and a penalty will be assessed on the violator.

4.3 Slam Tilts

A slam tilt is one caused by an aggressive and excessive shove of the machine, or by an attempted bang back or death save, and is considered illegal. The violator will receive a zero score for that game. That player will also not receive choice of game or order for the following game.

4.4 Serious Violations of League Rules

Serious violations are those so designated in these rules, as well as any conduct by a player that the SLO determines to be exceptionally detrimental to the league.

Serious violations are cumulative over an entire season, not just one match. For these violations, the following penalties are assessed:

First and second offense: Forfeit the current game with a machine score of zero.

If the violator's group does not have a "current" game in progress, this penalty will be assessed against the game of the current match for which the violator has the highest league points. If there is more than one such game, the last such game of the match will be penalized.

Third offense: Forfeit of all games in the current match with machine scores of zero.

Behavior which causes a player to be ejected from the establishment by the management will be penalized as an automatic third offense, even if it occurs before or after league play. If the violator's group does not have a "current" match in progress, the match chronologically closest to the violation will be penalized.

Fourth offense: Forfeit of season. The player's scores are wiped, and the player will be suspended from the league. 

Violence of any kind against fellow players, vandalism of pinball machines or other property will be penalized as an automatic fourth offense.

See section 4.5 for further discussion.

4.5 Player Conduct

Players are expected to handle themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. As in the previous season, there is an ABSOLUTE  ZERO TOLERANCE policy related to player behavior involving outbursts with profanity, harassment of players or league officials, cursing, disruptive behavior, abuse of machines (in play or otherwise), abuse of property, and any other behavior deemed detrimental to the growth of the league/hobby or that contradicts the mission of the West Virginia Pinball league by any league official.  Pinball can sometimes be a frustrating game. However, being a physical game, malfunctions are inevitable and can sometimes lead to rulings that will not be  in your favor. You are expected to handle such situations with good sportsmanship. Any disputes regarding rulings/malfunctions are to be handled calmly and politely, and in all situations, the league official will have the final say, and their ruling will be final. In any instances where multiple league officials are involved in a ruling, or in situations where a clarification must be made that cannot be made by any officials, the final ruling will be made and maintained by Brian Dye, even if the ruling is made by proxy.

Any player violating this section for the first offense will be asked to leave league for that evening, will be removed from their group, will be given a score of zero for any remaining games, and will forfeit any points earned for that league night. Other players in the group will retain points earned, but will not be awarded for completed games (i.e., players will not be “bumped up or down” in position). Any player violating this section for a second time will be disqualified from league play for the remainder of the season as well as the entirety of the following season. NO EXCEPTIONS. This league is intended to be fun and provide a chance for players to enjoy an evening of pinball with little to no drama, conflict, or problems. If you are signing up to play purely for WPPR points, for a trophy/plaque, for internet bragging rights, or if you are unable to conduct yourself in a civil manner without negative behaviors or comments to other players, league officials, staff, and equipment, I can assure you that this league is NOT for you and you would be better served to save your $20 and avoid signing up for this league. All players, league officials included, must be respectful at all times. I cannot stress enough that hyper-aggressive and toxic behavior isn’t going to be tolerated and it will be dealt with quickly. Scoring for situations involving this subsection will be handled per section 5.2 “Scoring”.

WVPL players are expected to maintain a level of sportsmanship during league events. This includes respecting the location, the machines, players, and other patrons and/or workers of the location.

Verbal abuse directed at an official or another player is considered a violation of league rules. Loud verbal outbursts, especially vulgar or profane ones are also considered a violation.

Pinball machine abuse is also considered a violation. Machine abuse is defined as any type of violent shaking, kicking, dropping of the machine, hard smacks on the lock bar or glass, "rage tilting" (tilting on purpose after a drain), shoving the machine etc. Note that nudging and tilting are both normal parts of pinball play, as are slap saves and any reasonable moves on a machine to try to save a ball, none of which are against league rules.

Violations: The SLOs will enforce these rules and violators will be subject to either: a verbal warning, yellow card, or red card depending on the severity of the offense. A verbal warning lets the player know they are violating the above rules. If a player has already been warned, or if an outburst or machine abuse is egregious, a yellow card will be issued. Extreme examples of the above or if any physical violence/threats occur towards another player, a red card can be issued.

Yellow card: A formal warning that gets recorded. If a second yellow card is issued in the same season, the offending player gets 10 points subtracted from their overall season score at the end of the season. Any additional yellow cards for said player eliminates them for the remainder of the season, including finals. No monetary refunds will be given in this instance.

Red card: The equivalent of 2 yellow cards. The player gets 10 points subtracted from their overall season score at the end of the season. Any additional yellow (or red) cards for said player eliminates them for the remainder of the season, and the entirety of the following season, including finals for both seasons. No monetary refunds will be given.

5.1 Player Groups

All players who are in attendance for a given league night will be randomly placed into 2, 3, 4 or 5 player groups. 2 and 5 player groups will not be used unless absolutely necessary. Players will play in the groups as sorted by league manager software .

Grouping structure will be different for this season. In Week 1, players will be randomly assigned to groups of 4 as best as possible, which will then be randomly assigned to a bank of four machines. For all subsequent weeks, players will still be placed using a balanced pairing system that emphasizes placement against previously unfaced opponents and then assigned to a bank of four random machines. Machine selection will also be programmed to be as balanced as possible for all players.

5.2 Scoring

Points available are based on the size of your group: 

2 player group

1st – 5 points

2nd – 1 points

3 player group

1st – 5 points

2nd – 3 points

3rd – 1 points


4 player group

1st – 5 points

2nd – 3 points

3rd – 2 point

4th – 1 points

5 player group

1st – 5 points

2nd – 4 points

3rd – 3 point

4th – 2 point

5th – 1 points


If a player does not compete in a match, either due to showing up late or leaving early, that player will receive a score of 0 for that game and the game will be scored by the number of people who played in the game.

5.3 League Standings and Dropped Scores.

Your weekly points are added to your season total every week. As a means of evening the playing field for players unable to attend every week, all players will have their lowest two  scores from the season dropped from their final standings. Please note absences count as zero points for a given week. There is no make-up week scheduled for this upcoming season.

6.1 Machine Selection and Play Order

For the first game of a match, the player listed first in their group gets to select their position of play. The 2nd player then gets to select their position, and so on until all positions are selected. For all subsequent matches after game 1, the player who finished last in the previous game gets first selection of position followed by remaining players, in ascending order of finish (4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st).. The player who finished 1st in the previous game will get the last choice.  Any player that receives a disqualification in the previous game will receive last available option (game or order) for the following game.

NOTE: No machine may be chosen to be played twice unless there are less than 3 playable machines during the time of league play.

6.2 Machine Replacement Selection

If a machine should become unplayable during league play, a replacement machine must be designated by the SLO, subject to as many of the following constraints as possible.

The replacement machine:

Should be in good working order.

Should not be already scheduled for play by the affected group.

Should be chosen to minimize group backlogs.

7. Playoffs (Finals)

7.1 Playoff Divisions

To provide a fair chance for players of all skill levels to compete in the playoffs, the league is separated into playoff divisions based on league size. Division determination and breakdown is finalized after the final week of the season.

Players per division:

Each finals division will be broken down into 8 qualifiers per division, regardless of the total number of players in the league.

Finals Grouping for 8 players based on final regular season seed:  (1, 4, 5, 8); (2, 3, 6, 7)

7.2 Awarding Playoff Spots

All league players will qualify for the playoffs.  The winner of each final match is named Division Champion for the season.

7.3 Playoff Format

Finals play is mostly identical to weekly league play with some minor differences. Players will be placed into groups based on their qualifying seed. In finals, machines may be chosen by a player/players instead of being assigned. For the first game of a match, the highest seed in the group gets to pick their choice of game or select their position of play. For all subsequent games in that round, the player who finished last gets first selection of game or position followed by the player who finished next to last. The player who finished 1st in the previous game will get the last choice.  Any player that receive a disqualification in the previous game will receive last available option (game or order) for the following game.

2 players from each group will advance to the next round. Playoff seeding is determined by the final season standings throughout the playoffs.

Players retain their original seed throughout the duration of finals.

7.4 Ties in Playoff Qualification

If there is a tie in divisional standings based on total league points, the tie is first broken by highest number of first place finishes during the regular season. If the tie is still unresolved, the next tiebreaker will be the highest single week score. The third tie breaker will be the 2nd highest single week score attained by the player. If a tie still exists, then a playoff game must be played between the players. The machine will be decided by the SLO not affected by the tie.

 A tie breaker game will occur for divisional designation or the right to receive a bye.  The game will be selected by an SLO, and game order will be in reverse of the standings (4, 3, 2, 1).

7.5 Playoff Scoring

Playoff scoring will be 3, 2, 1, 0 (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd and 0 for 4th place).  In 3 player groups, scoring is 3, 2, 0.

 In each round, two players with the highest point totals from that round in each 4 player group, will advance to the next round.

If 2 or more players are tied to determine who advances to the following round, a playoff game is held.  The top seed of the affected players gets choice of game or order.  The machine will be randomly selected. The high seed will have choice of order. The winning player(s) advances.

7.6 Playoff Machine Selection

The high seed in each group will have initial choice of game or order, followed by the remaining seeds in descending order. The player that finishes last will have choice of game or order, followed by the remaining players in ascending order. 

7.7 Ties in Playoff Results

If two or more players in the same group are tied in points after a round has been played, then a one-game playoff will break the tie. The machine choice, or order, will be given to the highest seeded player followed by 2nd, 3rd, etc.

7.8 Tardy or Missing from Playoffs

Players are required to sign in for playoffs at a designated time. The SLO may choose to delay playoffs for a reasonable amount of time if a player is tardy. If a player is absent from the finals then the next unqualified player may move up into the division. If the player is absent from the lowest division no adjustment will be made.

8. Dues

8.1 Cost

Dues are $20 per season. SLOs will collect dues from all league players. All dues must be paid in full before the player is allowed to play in a league match.

8.2 Payouts/Prizes

Dues for the season is $20.

All league dues will be spent on league activities and be paid out in prizes. League officials will not receive any kind of monetary compensation for their duties. Anticipated expenditures include trophies and materials needed for running league. As such $16 from every player will go towards cash payouts with the remaining $4 being distributed as follows:. 

$1 from each entry will go towards the IFPA endorsement fee.

$3 from each entry will go towards a league fund to help pay for trophies/awards/bounties and season end party.

If league is to have only an A division, 100% of payouts will go to A division.

If league is to have an A and B division, 60% of remaining funds will go to the A division pool, 40% will go to the B division pool.

If league is to have an A, B, and C division, 40% will go to the A division, 35% to the B division, and 25% to the C division.

Within divisions 40% - 25% - 20% - 15% will be the payouts for positions 1-4. These may be adjusted accordingly depending on the number of players in a given division at finals.

Take Home a Pinball Machine!

Players can earn a chance to have a pinball machine at home! Any player who meets IFPA attendance criteria to be included in final results submission will be entered into a drawing to have part of the arcade at home! For this season, that means a player must participate in at least 6 weeks of league to be eligible for this prize. This is non-commercial and the winner can expect to have possession of the machine for approximately three months. The machine will be delivered, set-up, and maintained by Brian Dye.

For every week a player is present, they will earn 1 ticket towards this raffle. At the conclusion of the season, physical tickets will be given to all present finalists and pooled together for the drawing. The winner must be present at finals in order to be eligible for this prize. Should the winner not be able to accommodate the machine or decline to accept the machine, another ticket will be drawn. 

All information pertaining to the lease itself will be handled by Brian.

Bounty - The bounty will not be in effect for Season 4

The bounty rules for this season will be slightly different as well. 

A random sequence generator using random.org will be used.We will list the number of groups in order (1,2,3,4, etc…). For every 4 groups, there will be a “Carryover” entry. We will then randomly sequence this list three times. The first number in the list will be the number “drawn”.  The order of random sequencing will determine the following:

Sequence 1: Finishing Position

Sequence 2: Game #

Sequence 3: Group #


For example, if the numbers sequenced in order are 3,2,4, the player in group 4 that finishes 3rd on game 2 will win the bounty. Bounties will be capped at $25 before a winner MUST be drawn during a given league week. 

If “Carryover” is listed in the first position during any of the sequences, the bounty will be carried over to the following week. 

Door Prizes

The league will randomly raffle off prizes such as translites, t-shirts, and food/drink tabs. At each league night where a prize is going to be raffled, each player will receive a physical ticket when they sign in. Prizes will be raffled off at the conclusion of league night. Please note that a door prize will not be given out each week. We will write player names on the back of the half ticket we keep, so winners may be contacted should they need to leave.

This ruleset has been written both individually and adapted from multiple sources, including the Pittsburgh Pinball League Ruleset, FSPA Ruleset, and the unified PAPA/IFPA ruleset. Be sure to visit all  of these websites for more information about their organizations.