Salt Lake Area Pinballers Awesome Summer Series Rules


SLAP ASS is a competitive pinball tournament series consisting of 6 tournament held once a month on the 3rd Saturday of each month starting on Saturday, April 21st.


It will consist of 2 skill based divisions. Division A will consist of 8 players each week. Division B will contain all other entries. Play will consist of 4 player matches. In division B, 3 and 4 player matches will be used depending on number of entries. Each player will play 8 games each week. But in certain situations this could be lowered depending on play time of machines, number of machines available and number of entries. This will be at the tournament director’s discretion, but each player will play an equal amount of games.

Skill Divisions

Division A will consist of the 8 highest ranked players in attendance. Division B will consist of the remaining entries. The rankings are determined by a players ending results in the Spring SLAP League. Unranked players will start in division B. After Each tournament the lowest ranked player from division A will swap positions with the highest ranked player in division B on the SLAP ladder. This could mean rising or dropping several positions based on attendance. Each division will only be eligible for prize money based on the entries from their own division.

Individual Tournament Scoring

Scoring for each match will be based on the placement of a player in each match. The scoring will be the following:

1 point for 1st place

2 points for 2nd place

3 points for 3rd place

4 points for 4th place

The lowest combined scores from each division at the end of the night will be eligible for prize money.

Summer Series Scoring

Each player will receive points based on how they finished in each tournament. The high meets score will be thrown out. The Summer Series will consist of the lowest 5 tournament results. If a player only has 4 or less results, then 8 points will awarded to make up the difference for each missing result to take the total to 5 results. The meet results will count the same no matter which division a player plays in. i.e. no separate divisions in the Summer Series End of Year Awards. The players with the lowest 5 tournament results will be eligible for prize money and trophies.


The cost for each tournament is $20. This is due in cash at registration.

Prize Money

80% of the prize money will be awarded each meet. The remaining 20% will go to the end of year awards/trophies.

Each division will have their own separate prize funds each meet. The Summer Series awards will be combined together, and players from either division will be eligible.

The Tournament director will have supporting Senior Tournament Officials (STO’s) Any dispute requiring arbitration will be done by the highest available (not involved in a game) ranked Senior Tournament Official. A STO may not make a decision in a match they are playing in.


Registration will be open from 4pm – 5pm. Registration will end promptly at 5pm. Play will commence as soon as the tournament directors can put together the match-ups. Due to the nature of match making late entries will not be allowed. A player may call a tournament director and request a 15 minute extension as long as it is received before 5pm. Other than that exception, LATE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.


All games will be set to 3 balls if possible. (5 ball is acceptable on EM machines) We will be playing NO EXTRA BALLS. Ideally machines will be set to no extra balls. Where it is not possible, extra balls will be plunged and left to drain. There will be no touching or manipulating the game after the plunge (i.e. nudging, flipping). In case of a ball save it will be plunged and drained again. Timed skill shots (i.e. T2) or plunge skill shots (i.e. TZ, TAF) will be allowed just no touching after plunge. Pressing a flipper before a ball is plunged to set up a possible skill shot will be allowed. If a games ball-save feature prevents flipperless drains (i.e. JD), then the player will be allowed to play the extra ball using just 1 flipper.


To prevent excessive focus on minor glitches, only serious malfunctions will be arbitrated by a STO. Serious machine malfunctions are broken down into two categories: major malfunctions and catastrophic malfunctions.

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). This does not include unallowable extra balls. In disputed situations, the STO 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).
  • A ball is auto-plunged or otherwise shot into play without the player’s involvement, resulting in loss of ball.
  • 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 and results in a forfeit)
  • If a problem with a machine is announced to tournament players by the STO before league play is started, then that problem is not considered a major malfunction even if the result is loss of ball in play.

In the event of a major malfunction the affected player will be allowed to play 1 ball and add it to the total of the affected game.

Catastrophic malfunctions denies a player a playable turn and prevents the game from continuing. As with major malfunctions, this does not include “unallowable” extra balls. The following are examples of catastrophic malfunctions:

  • Non-Player caused slam tilt
  • Total machine failure / reset
  • Loss of electrical power
  • Fire due to overheated components

In the event of a catastrophic failure, the game will be replayed. The STO can declare a machine unplayable at any time if it is not functioning properly. In these cases, the entire game is replayed on a substitute game designated by the STO. If the Catastrophic failure occurs on the 2nd game of a match, and the STO determines a substitute machine needs to be used, then the match point will be determined on a comparison between the 2 games. (Example: Player 1 scores 1,000,000 and player 2 scored 800,000 on 1st machine. Then on 2nd machine player 2 scores 500,000 and player 1 scores 390,000. Player 2 would be awarded the match point.)

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 STO‘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 STO 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 STO 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” (or stuck ball during multiball) is not considered to be an exceptionally unfair advantage.

Practice Games on Tournament Machines

Once tournament play starts, a player may not practice on any machines which are to be used in the tournament. Practice games are allowed only on machines designated as practice machines.


In general, random distractions that occur during tournament 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. Talking to a player is acceptable as long as the player doesn’t request that you stop talking to them. Intentionally trying to distract a player will result in a forfeit at the STO’s discretion.

Accidentally Playing Opponents Ball

If the error is discovered during play of the ball, the player in error will attempt to catch the ball. If successful, then the game will be passed off to the correct player, and play will continue as normal.  If he is unsuccessful, then the affected player will be allowed to play 1 ball after the match is over and add it to his score, and the offending player will be awarded last place in that match.

Not Starting the Proper Number of Games

If the incorrect number of players are started then a match will be restarted, unless the players can be added (i.e. ball 1)


Tilting is part of pinball. But excessive tilting or tilting on purpose is frowned upon and could prompt a STO to take action if needed. Slam Tilts will disqualify a player for the entire match. Tilting through into the next players ball (can happen on sensitive machines), even if just a warning will also disqualify the player from the entire match.

DeathSaves and BangBacks

Deathsaves and bangbacks (“biffs”) are techniques used by some players to return a ball back into play that has already gone down an outlane or otherwise drained. These techniques are not allowed in FSPA tournament play. A player that successfully performs a deathsave or bangback will receive a machine score of zero on that game, and must plunge any remaining balls without playing them. However, it is allowable for the ball to bounce back into play of its own accord (most common on Gottlieb games).

Code of Conduct

All players will be responsible for conducting themselves appropriately. No abuse of machines, people, or property will be tolerated. All of our locations are kind enough to invite us into their homes and businesses and they should be treated with the utmost respect. Cheating in any form will also not be tolerated.

Thank You!

Thank you for making this possible! We have put in a lot of work getting SLAP to this point. But it’s the members who will make it or break it. If you are reading this, you are getting involved in something that we hope you will look forward to every month. The pinball community in Utah is not a large one, but I think together we can make it grow and have a great time doing it!

Special thanks to the Free Space Pinball Association (FSPA) for their invaluable help in creating these rules. Thanks Joe! Also thank you to Josh Sharpe from the IFPA for his guidance.

SLAP LEAGUE WEBSITE:    (Special Thanks to Jeff Rivera)

Facebook Group:  Salt Lake Area Pinballers (Closed Group – ask for invitation)

League Email:

Tournament Director                           

Dan Newman

Tournament Treasurer

Josh Craig

Tournament Deputy Director

Jeff Rivera

Tournament Officer

Kelly Thomson