The SPL Finals format is a ladder lasting 13 rounds, with the higher seeded players waiting at the top for the lower seeded players who must fight their way to the top, and ultimately become Seattle Pinball League Champion.
The 2018 bracket for the tournament will be as follows, based on the final standings shown on the SPL Website, http://spl.wapinball.net/results/2018/standings.htm.
1. The four players are seeded for Game 1 of Round 1 by their SPL seed (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th (wildcard) winner )
a. Ask the players in order of highest seed to lowest seed if they would like game choice or position (standard PAPA group protocol).
2. The four players play the chosen game, with the winner of the game gaining immunity for the round, and becoming 2nd seed next round.
3. The remaining three players will then be re-seeded for Game 2 using the following rules:
a. If the highest original SPL seeded player did not gain immunity already, they remain the top seed, regardless of how they finished in the first game.
b. The remaining players will be seeded based on how they did in Game 1.
Example: seeds 13, 14, 15, 16 play their first game. Player 14 wins the game, player 16 finishes second, followed by player 15 third, and player 13 last. The next game will have players 13, 15, and 16 play a three player game with the following seeding:
b.i. Player 13 (because he/she was the top SPL original seed going into the round)
b.ii. Player 16 (because he/she finished second in the first game)
b.iii. Player 15 (because he/she finished third in the first game)
c. Use this seeding to decide the next game / positions in the round (standard PAPA group protocol)
d. The player selecting the machine cannot pick the same machine as already played that round.
4. The three players play Game 2, with the winner gaining immunity and becoming third seed in the following round.
5. The remaining two players then play an Elimination Game 3, with seeding / game/ position using the same rules as Game 2 in step 3 (but based on the results of Game 2 instead).
6. The winner of the Elimination Game 3 becomes the 4th seed in the next round. The loser of the Elimination Game 3 is eliminated from the finals.
Rounds 2 thru 13
Every round after the first, except for the final rounds, will play out the same way with the only difference being how players are seeded for Game 1:
1. The new person coming into the round (and thus highest SPL seed) will be highest seed.
2. The remaining three players are seeded based on which game they gained immunity on in the previous round (gaining immunity in Game 1 is better than gaining immunity in Game 2, which is better than surviving the Elimination Game 3).
Final Round 14
There will only be three players, since no new players are entering. The seeding for this round will be based on the order players gained immunity in Round 13. The winner of Game 1 gains immunity and becomes top seed in Round 15. The other two players play an elimination game, with seeding based on results of Game 1. The winner of this elimination game becomes the second finalist in Round 15. The loser is eliminated and earns 3rd place in the SPL Finals.
Final Round 15:
This will be a best 2 of 3 match to determine the winner. The higher seed based on who obtained immunity first in Round 14 will get to choose machine or position first, and then choice will alternate for each game.
The finals bank will contain six machines, although it could end up with less due to machine malfunctions.
The tentative list of machines is the following:
Indiana Jones Williams
World Cup Soccer
Iron Maiden Premium
The SPL organizers reserve the right to switch out machines at any time prior or during the tournament, due to either machine malfunction, machine exploits, or machines taking much too long to play. Game Malfunctions and other rules: No-Shows: no alternates will be used. Rather, an absent player at the time their match is ready will forfeit, and other players still play Games 1 and 2 of the round, to determine seeding of subsequent round. If running behind schedule, only one game will be played, with order establishing seed for next round.
If a game shall malfunction during the course of a game that makes it completely unplayable, a new game must be chosen from the machines available at the start of the round. To do this, follow the same rules of seeding and choosing game (people may choose differently than how they did the first game).
SPL uses the PAPA/IFPA rules as a blanket template for any rulings, but exceptions can be made for special cases if there is a strong reason to deviate. Any rulings must be made by at least 2 SPL Board Members who are not playing in that current round of the ladder finals. In the rare case that there are not two available board members not playing, a single board member not playing may make a ruling. If there are no available board members not playing in the round, the available board members in the round will select an SPL member in attendance but not playing to make the ruling.