Tournament Formats & Rules

Tourney Rules will typically be posted for each individual event, but here are some of the tournaments and formats we enjoy playing and our approach to the rules.

The emphasis within the Mystic Krewe and the events it runs is always on fun and cooperation. We are more interested in casual competitive play than serious, pro-level events. However, we always set the games up to be as difficult as PAPA-style events, and use rules and methodology similar to IFPA and PAPA pro-level events.

One area where the MK may differ is in the distribution of points based on rank within a tournament. We tend to award a tighter distribution of points between 1st-2nd-3rd place players (5 points [on a 100-point scale] separates 1st and 2nd as opposed to 10 points in other tourneys). We emphasize consistent play over a longer period, more than the ability to simply beat an opponent in singular contests.

We also tend to favor older games that have more simplistic rulesets. We recognize not everybody has the time or resources to study all the complicated dynamics of the more modern games. We prefer our events to be focused primarily on raw pinball skills, and less on knowing the “tricks of the table/ruleset.” We also encourage discussing play objectives with each other so that there is as best a “level playing field” as possible when it comes to knowledge of a game’s ruleset.

As a result, MK-events tend to be approachable by both novice and expert players. Anybody can win our events, and often do. It’s about making the game fun.

Here are some of the formats we like to use in competition:


The most common competitive format in most sporting events. Players are ranked in a bracket and must play individual matches against each other to rise up within the bracket.

Each match can consist of a single game, best 2-out-3, 4-out-of-5 or best-of-7 depending upon the number of players. We usually opt for 2-out-of-3 for matches. A max of three games per match will be played. Whoever wins 2, advances.

Variations: Players can be placed in brackets manually, randomly or based on IFPA/LA ranking/seeding. In the case of seeded placement, brackets are often lined up with high seeds playing low seeds in the early rounds.

Bracketed tourneys often require competitors in multiples of 4 in order to foster fair game play with a minumum number of bye rounds.

Some bracket format may be double-elimination, meaning competitors may have to lose two matches to be completely out of the tourney, and a separate “losers bracket” allows players to battle their way back for a win if they lose one match.

The main factor in determining the bracket format is how many competitors there are and how long we want the tourney to last. Some formats like double-elimination with large numbers of matches per game can go on for many hours – so we try to balance fairness with a reasonable competition time so players aren’t burned out.


Shoot out is a format similar to bracketed where we use computer software to match players against each other and X strikes until you’re out. So if we do 2-strike Shootout, players have compete against each other until they lose 2 matches. Variations and other rules are similar to bracketed format.


In Pin-Golf, players compete to achieve a certain game-specific goal (usually scoring x amount of points) with the fewest number of balls. The objective is to get a “hole in one” by hitting the target score on ball one. Each machine is a “hole” and the match will be played on X machines. Each player is scored a number from 1 to 7 indicating the number of “strokes” needed to reach the target goal. If they cannot reach the goal by ball 6, they automatically get a 7. Extra balls count as extra strokes. At the end of the match, everybody’s stroke count is added up and the player with the lowest score wins.

We also like to do a team version of Pin-Golf where players go from hole (machine) to hole in groups of 3 or 4 and work together to improve the overall team score. Prizes are often awarded based on the team score, and if the event is an IFPA-sanctioned event, individual results will be reported, but otherwise the tourney prizes are set based on team performance.


Machine Qualification is a style of play that allows competitors to not have to be in the same location at the same time. For this format, we designate x games that will be used for “qualification.” Usually over a period of a week, players are required to play one or more games on each machine, and the scores are recorded. At the end of the match period, players are ranked per machine based on their best score(s).

Variations: Standard machine qualification allows players to practice on games, but they must announce when their qualification games are to be played and someone must watch. If they are to play more than one gay, they must play all games consecutively. Cold Machine Qualification is a variation where no practice games are allowed and the games are only allowed to be played by qualifiers during the period of the match. Another variation is called “Ticket Qualification” which is used by PAPA, where players get one “ticket”, a chance to play X games. One game on each machine is recorded and that round is taken as a singular entry. Ticket qualification rewards players who are able to consistently put up high scores on all machines in their attempt. They may be able to buy-in or play another ticket, but previous ticket scores cannot be combined with a new ticket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want to Join Us?
The Mystic Krewe is looking for creative, passionate, ethical, progressive people to join our ranks and help us create a fun and friendly organization. We like to socialize and play games, but also learn, teach and share, and collaborate on business ventures and other projects. If this sounds interesting to you, consider petitioning to become a member. Check the topics on the upper nav bar under "About Us": "FAQ", and "Membership" for more information, then Contact Us to set up a meeting and tour!

Sell or donate your Pinball or Arcade game to us!

If you have an old pinball machine -- in any condition, consider donating or selling the game to us. We will restore it to its former glory and share it with others. For more info Contact Us!
Join our YouTube channel!
Click here to See our library of videos of past concerts and other performances.
We rent/operate arcade machines and make our resources avilable for special events!
Our collection of games, our museum and our expertise in restoring, maintaining and operating the South's largest collection of vintage coin-op machine is available to partner with others in the area! If you're operating a corporate event and looking for a truly UNIQUE venue or need vintage or modern games, or have a movie production that's looking for special items for set decoration, WE CAN HELP! We have extensive experience doing movie productions as well as corporate events. We are also looking for a public venue where we can set up a very special, unique array of vintage pinball and other devices. We can offer a very attractive and lucrative arrangement with someone in the area who has experience and resources! Club owners, investors, entrepreneurs, restauranteurs.... contact us to set up a meeting and let us show you how to have one of the most unique businesses in the country. Location won't matter. People will come from hundreds of miles around to visit this place. If you have resources and are intrigued, Contact Us
Active Projects
Below is a sampling of the active projects taking place within the Mystic Krewe. These are not all that's going on. If you would like to participate, contact us.

  • Sewing Group - Meets semi-regularly on Tuesdays working on various sewing projects from cloths and quilts to leatherwork and beyond.
  • Video Editing & Production Study Group - ongoing weekly meetings to learn beginner, basic and advanced videography, using HD cameras and Adobe Creative Suite CS6 (Premier Pro, After Affects, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Pinball Repair - Ongoing sessions showcasing basic and advanced pinball and video game repairs. Members come by at their leisure and we tackle various projects.
  • Music Group - MK members comprise a number of popular bands in the area as well as aspiring musicians. We regularly assemble to learn, teach, share and jam in the studio.
  • Basic Electronics/Micro Controllers by example - We're working with the Beaglebone microcomputer, the next generation over the Raspberry Pi, and learning basic electronics and embedded systems by developing a few simple and useful devices. Our flagship product will be a super-intelligent custom A/C thermostat/humidistat.
  • Computer-controlled DMX systems - Using computers to control lights and FX controllers.
  • Stained Glass Workshop - preparing for a class on how to make stained glass art.
  • ProTools and audio recording systems - The ongoing setup and configuration of our multi-track digital studio and podcasting system.
  • Construction and woodworking - We are designing and building custom desks and other fixtures, as well as working on unique artistic pieces and furniture to resell.
  • Mobile Applications Development - Android and IOS development groups are forming to begin learning and designing mobile apps, forming business ventures around these projects.
  • .... and more!
Want to help?
In our quest to celebrate learning, creativity, responsibility, personal advancement, sharing and helping each other and our community. Please consider giving what you can. Any token donation goes a long way in helping cover our expenses and increase our impact on the community. It means so much!

While financial donations are the most critical at this point, if you have other material items or resources to offer our group, please contact us! Thank you so much!!