League Rules for Monday Night Pinball
V4.08 (Last updated: 2021-8-31 by Dave Stewart)
L0.00 - Overview
L0.01 - Summary
L0.02 - MNP Mission
L0.03 - MNP Scope
L0.04 - Version History
L0.05 - Terms
L0.06 - Special COVID Rules - Fall 2021
L1.00 - Venue
L1.01 - Requirements
L1.02 - League Worthiness of Machines
L1.03 - New Venues
L2.00 - Team
L2.01 - Captains
L2.02 - Roster
L2.03 - Restrictions (Team IPR)
L2.04 - Expansion Team
L3.00 - Player
L3.01 - Conduct
L3.02 - Solo Players Looking for a Team
L4.00 - Season
L4.01 - Divisions
L4.02 - Standings
L4.03 - Playoff Seeding/Bracket
L5.00 - Board of Directors
L5.01 - Commissioners
L5.02 - Advisors
L5.03 - Advisor Selection
L5.04 - Current Board of Directors
Seattle Monday Night Pinball (generally referred to as just MNP) is a co-ed adult (21+) team league where each team has a host venue (such as a barcade or any other venue that has pinball and serves alcohol), which serves as the team's "home." Once a week for the duration of the season, each team will compete against another team in their league, either at "home" or as the visiting team at their opponent's home venue. Each team will score match points based on the results of the individual pinball games. At the end of each match, the team with the most points will record a win, while the other team will record a loss; a match may also end in a tie, which will record a tie for each team. League standings are determined based on a simple win/loss/tie record with cumulative match points as the main tiebreaker.
The mission of Seattle Monday Night Pinball is to provide the logistics needed to run a team league that allows pinball enthusiasts from the Seattle metropolitan area to meet each other at the major pinball venues within the area, through structured matches that have teams compete against each other for friendly competition.
L0.03.0: MNP is about pinball and more specifically, the pinball league. ONLY Pinball. There have been some misconceptions that MNP is a large organization with influence among the various venues in the city. That is not the case. MNP is neither a non-profit organization nor a corporation. Rather, it is simply a group of players who form the MNP Board, and volunteer their time to produce and manage the logistics needed to make the league happen. This includes creating and managing rules, producing the schedule each season, maintaining the software, and ensuring adequate communication among all the captains and players to coordinate a distributed league.
L0.03.1: MNP is open to all players regardless of an individual’s gender bias, social beliefs, political affiliations, mental or physical disabilities, or background. The requirements to play are that a person is over 21 and interested in pinball.
L0.03.2: As such, MNP will not take a stand for or against any issue that isn’t directly related to pinball, even when called upon in social media. Generally those calls will go unanswered. Any individual that is a member of MNP is welcome to express their personal views publicly, but all such expressions remain the view of the individual and do not represent the views of MNP, because MNP is not an entity or organization and as such, does not possess views on any social or political issues.
L0.03.3: The one exception where MNP does take a stand is with regards to the safety of players on league night. Any player that harasses, threatens, assaults, or in any other way poses an active safety risk to other players does risk being suspended or banned from the league. Note that this applies directly to the individual’s conduct during league night and at the league’s pinball venues in general on other nights. MNP does not do background checks on members or venues, and as such cannot guarantee the safety of every person in the league. But if a safety issue is observed and a complaint is filed, then those issues will be reviewed by the board. MNP does not have the resources to investigate any such safety issues that happen outside the scope of the pinball venues served by MNP, and will not take any action against individuals accused if those individuals have not posed any threat or safety risk to MNP players. Rather, such issues should be addressed directly with venues or through the legal system for very serious matters.
L0.03.4: There has also been a misconception that MNP can tell venues what to do. MNP has no authority to impose any restrictions on venues. Furthermore, it is not MNP board that chooses a venue. Rather, captains and their team choose the venue. MNP simply approves the use if they meet the minimum league requirements such as number and quality of pinball machines and open hours. If an individual or team has an issue with a venue, those issues should be taken up directly with the captain who selected the venue, or with management or ownership of that venue. MNP does not have the resources to serve as council, as the board does not include any lawyers nor experts to deal with such conflicts.
L0.03.5: No player or team may use MNP as a tool in their social or political activism, as MNP is not theirs to use in that manner. MNP belongs to all players and teams equally. The concept of a team boycotting another team or venue because they are not happy with a particular situation is not acceptable, as that affects the logistics of league play and even a single boycotted match that results in one forfeit can lead to unfairness among many other teams in the league, and affects the league integrity. As a result, any team that boycotts a match will be investigated and that team risks not having their team renewed in the following season. If a team has an issue with another team, captain, or venue, then it is up to that team’s captain to communicate directly with the people they have issues with. At best, if there are concerns about reasonableness, MNP board can sit in on those conversations and provide their unbiased view to help resolve issues.
L0.06.0: Due to the continued threat of COVID-19, the rules in this section will be applied to determine whether or not league will be played on any given week. These rules have been authorized for Fall 2021 season only and automatically expire at end of the season, unless explicitly extended by the MNP Board.
L0.06.1: The format and logistics for operating league do not allow for partial weeks to be played where some teams play, but others don’t, and there is no room in the schedule for make-up weeks. As a result, play each week will be ALL or NONE. If ALL teams are OK with playing that week at their scheduled match venue, then everyone plays. If even one team does not feel adequate COVID-related safety protocols are in place at the venue they are scheduled to play at, and no compromise could be obtained with the other team or venue, then league is CANCELLED for ALL. There will not be any makeup weeks.
L0.06.2: MNP has no authority nor resources to mandate any special COVID-19 rules. Rather, venues and captains are in the best position to do so. As a result, the minimum requirements for any league match will be the policies in place on league night at each individual venue. This does mean that the rules applied at different venues could be different, and more strict in some cases than others.
L0.06.3: Captains have the right to apply more strict rules for their own team rosters and subs. For example, a captain could choose to require vaccination of all team members, or require players to wear a mask in crowded rooms even if the venue’s rules for that night are not as strict.
L0.06.4: Home captains who do not believe their default home venue is safe due to lack of proper Covid-related protocols, or is closed for any reason, can request to move their matches to one of the other available league venues. Generally, there will be three venues each week with no matches scheduled, thus at most three captains can move matches. If more than three matches require moving, then league for that week will be cancelled for ALL.
L0.06.5: The home captain should inform the visiting captain on the protocols that will be in place that night. Visiting captains who are not comfortable with the protocols (whether too strict or not strict enough) should reach out directly to the captains of the hosting team, and attempt to achieve an agreement or compromise on what would be considered safe enough to make both teams comfortable. This should be done in the week leading up to the match. If an agreement cannot be reached and the visiting team is not comfortable playing at the venue for COVID-related reasons, then their issues must be brought up to the Captains Group for discussion as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours before the schedule league play.
L0.06.6: The Captains form the jury to determine whether or not league will take place. That jury must be unanimous to play; a single “don’t play” vote will lead to cancellation of the league for the night. That vote will take place in the Captain’s page between 72 hours and 24 hours prior to league play. Approximately 24 hours prior to league play (Sunday 8:30pm each week) but earlier if possible, an announcement will be made on whether or not there will be league play on Monday. If the vote is to not play, then exhibition matches will NOT be supported. The software will be disabled. The one exception to this timeline is if there’s a major change (such as sudden governor’s order) in the 24 hours leading up to league play that require a shorter time frame to decide.
L0.06.7: Teams that choose not to play after league has agreed to play for that week, either because they didn’t participate in the Captain’s jury vote or did not contact opposing team directly to negotiate an agreement and choose to skip the match instead, will be subjected to the unallowed boycott rules and thus at risk at not having their team renewed the following season.
L0.06.8: Weeks that are cancelled will NOT be replayed. Rather, suppose only 7 of the 10 weeks are played, then standings for playoffs will be computed for those 7 weeks only. The schedule will be followed based on the dates on the posted schedule on the MNP website. MNP Board could choose to adjust the schedule mid-season in response to cancelled weeks, in particular to try to retain a balance between home and away matches played by each team, in which case the posted schedule will be updated, and as always, play will be based on the dates of the schedule posted on this website.
L1.00.0: Each team in the league has a home venue. The venue must meet the requirements listed in this section.
L1.02.0: A machine is league-worthy if it meets the following criteria:
L1.03.0: A new venue will be evaluated for possible play upon request to the MNP Board. A board member will visit the venue and approve if it meets the Venue requirements.
L1.03.1: Once a venue is approved, a team can list that venue as their choice for home venue six weeks prior to a season. That venue can also be used as a backup location if an existing venue fails to have at least five working machines.
L1.03.2: If a new venue is not yet open six weeks prior to start of season, then the team must pick a different venue as their home, and make a request to move to the new venue once it is approved. If such a request is not made prior to the season start, then the team will need to wait until the following season to move to that venue.
L2.00.0: Teams consist of at least 8 roster players, and no more than 10. Of these, one player will act as the Team Captain. A second player must be named as a co-captain. A team can hold up to two unfilled positions and use subs until a suitable new roster player is found.
L2.00.1: The team must have a designated venue, which shall host the “home” matches. At least six weeks prior to start of a season, per published deadlines, both returning teams and expansion teams must declare their home venue.
L2.01.0: The team’s Captain and Co-Captain are collectively referred to as the team’s Captains. Captains are responsible for organizing their team and corresponding promptly with the league about rosters, scoring and scheduling. Captains also serve as team representatives in each of the matches.
L2.01.1: The captains must meet the following requirements.
L2.01.2: Captains must be declared for each team prior to season, as they are given access to Facebook Captains group to help coordinate the season, and special software access for league nights.
L2.01.3: If neither captain can attend league night, a substitute captain must be declared. It should be a roster player with at least one full season played. If there is no such player, then the player with the most experience should be named. Whoever is named should touch base with the opposing team captain prior to the match for a quick tutorial on using the software.
L2.01.4: Mid-season changes in captains, or a temporary substitute captain, need to be made at least 48 hours prior to the match to the Board, so that appropriate software permissions can be put into place for league night software.
L2.02.0: The names of each player on the team must be submitted by the captain to league officials six weeks prior to the start of each season.
L2.02.1: Roster changes may be made at anytime throughout the season. Roster changes must be made more than 24 hours before a match; otherwise players involved will fall under the substitution rules. Roster changes made within 24 hours, will be applied after the match.
L2.03.0: In an effort to maintain competitiveness throughout the league, team restrictions are used to prevent a team from loading up with too many top players, and helping distribute the top players to different teams across the league. For roster members, team restrictions are reconsidered each time there is a roster change. The new roster cannot violate the team restrictions, otherwise the change is not approved by the league.
L2.03.1: Following are the details of the team restrictions.
L2.04.0: A new team may apply for acceptance into the league, and must meet the requirements listed in this document. Deadline to apply is approximately six weeks before season starts; the date will be published on the website prior to each season. An existing team that is requesting a move to a new location must also meet the venue requirements listed in this document, and must apply for the change by the same expansion team deadline date.
L2.04.1: The spots are limited, and MNP will not necessarily wait for everyone to apply; thus even though a deadline date is specified, applying early does increase the chances of earning one of the expansion slots. If there are not sufficient qualified teams applying by the deadline date, the league may choose to not expand.
L2.04.2: The proposed captain or co-captain for a new team is responsible for submitting the team expansion application, and individual players interested in the team are responsible for individually signing up. Provide as much advance notice as possible to one of the board members of your intent to create a team. This will allow the board to inform you of any upcoming changes or concerns that can affect your expansion application.
L2.04.3: The application is to be emailed by the proposed captain to email@example.com, and must include the following:
L2.04.4: In order for each player to show they are committed to the new team, they should SIGN UP to confirm their interest, indicating the proposed new team as their first (and optionally only) choice. If the person is moving from another team, and would like to retain the spot on the other team if there is no expansion team, they should list that team as their second choice.
L2.04.5: Proposed Captains and Co-Captains should also request to join the MNP Captain's Facebook Group as Facebook messaging and Groups is the primary means for keeping in touch with captains.
L3.00.0: A person may substitute, or become a roster member for any team, at any time throughout the season, with the following restrictions.
L3.00.1: A player banned from one or more venues may still play in MNP, but will require a sub for any matches scheduled at a venue to which the player is banned. Furthermore, a player may not play as a roster member nor as a sub, for a team that has a home venue to which the player is banned.
L3.01.0: There is a conduct section in the Match Rules for Monday Night Pinball (M6.00 - Player Conduct). The player conduct described there should be honored any time playing at a Monday Night Pinball venue.
L3.02.0: Players who are interested in joining a team, whether it be an existing team with new openings, or a new expansion team, should SIGN UP to indicate their interest, or by sending a message to a league official personally confirming their interest. League officials can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Up to three teams or venues can be listed in order of preference. Also feel free to list areas instead of teams, like “South of City” or “Ballard”. Players will be contacted by team captains or league officials based on availability of spots. Ultimately it is a team’s captain decision, not a league decision, on any player joining a specific team.
L4.00.0: The regular season consists of 10 weeks of play. There is a fall season, beginning roughly around the beginning of September, and ending with playoffs in early December. There is a spring season, beginning roughly end of January, and ending with playoffs in May.
L4.00.1: The typical season schedule is the following:
L4.00:2: If a week is canceled for any reason (eg weather), then all regular scheduled weeks continue on date per schedule. The canceled week will be played as week 11, and playoffs pushed one week, with finals now on that makeup date.
Starting Fall 2021, the league will no longer have teams in divisions.
L4.02.0: League standings are maintained based on win/loss/tie record, with cumulative match points recorded as the first tiebreaker. A tie is worth half the value of a win.
NOTE: Since match points earned is used to break ties, it is important to play every game during match play. Do not end a match early simply because one team has earned enough points to record a match win.
L4.02.1: At the end of the regular season, if two teams have the same record and same number of match points, then their head-to-head result will be considered to break the tie. If they did not play each other, their record vs common opponents will be used to break the tie. If still tied, their points vs common opponents is used. If still tied, the league will flip a coin.
L4.03.0: The MNP Playoffs will declare two winners, an overall Grand Champion, and a B Bracket winner. The B Bracket (also referred to as simply B) is made up of 4 of the teams who do not advance past the first round of the playoffs (see L4.03.5). All teams that do advance beyond the first round is referred to as the A Bracket (see L4.03.4).
L4.03.1: The two MNP groups (Y and Z) are ranked separately primarily due to teams in the same group sharing the majority of same opponents. Teams in the other group have an entirely different set of opponents. With 27 to 30 total teams, the top 7 teams in each group move on to a combined playoffs, with each MNP group winner getting a first round Bye. Note: each MNP group winner is not eligible for the B Bracket, as their bye advances them beyond the first round.
L4.03.2: Playoffs consist of four weeks of play. Week 1 is Bracket Round. Week 2 will have the A Quarter Finals and B Semi Finals. Week 3 will have the A Semi Finals and B Finals. Week four will be the A Finals.
L4.03.3: Bracket Round starts with cross division play. Calling “Y2” Group Y 2nd Place, the seeding is Y2-Z7, Y3-Z6, Y4-Z5, Y5-Z4, Y6-Z3, Y7-Z2. In all cases, the team with the better record is the home team.
L4.03.4: The A Quarter Finals will consist of the two teams that received a Bye, and the six winners of Bracket Round. The 8 teams are seeded by their regular season record, then pairings are 1st Seed vs 8th Seed, 2nd Seed vs 7th Seed, 3rd Seed vs 6th Seed, and 4th Seed vs 5th Seed. The teams seeded 1st through 4th are the home teams.
L4.03.5: The B Semi Finals will consist of four of the six teams losing in Bracket Round. The four teams selected to play will be the four teams with the lowest average team IPR throughout the season. For this B Semi Finals, seeding will be done by lowest average season team IPR, such that the lowest value gets highest seed, second lowest gets the second seed, and so on. Pairings will be 1st Seed vs 4th Seed and 2nd Seed vs 3rd Seed. The teams seeded 1st and 2nd are the home teams.
L4.03.6: The A Semi Finals will consist of the four winning quarter finalists. Again teams will be seeded by their regular season record. The pairings are 1st vs 4th, and 2nd vs 3rd. Teams seeded 1st and 2nd are the home teams.
L4.03.7: The B Finals will consist of the two winning teams from the B Semi Finals. The team with the lowest average season team IPR is the home team.
L4.03.8: The A Finals night will consist of all four teams that played in the Semi Finals. The two winners play each other for the league championship. The other two teams play each other to determine 3rd and 4th place.
L4.03.9 The A Finals night is held at an independent location that is not home team for any of the four finalists. For purposes of what team selects 1st or 2nd, the team with the better record in each finals match will be considered the home team, even though the venue is not their home venue.
L4.03.10: The neutral venue for finals is selected by the MNP board using the following rules, if a single venue is used for both finals matches:
L4.03.11: Based on the above rules, the MNP board identifies the two neutral venues for the finals. The MNP board shall make the choice whenever two venues are 'tied' for highest priority (such as they both hosted 3 seasons ago, so in theory after equal priority from the perspective of how long ago they hosted).
L4.03.12: The final four A teams and final two B teams receive MNP trophies to hold onto for a season. The trophies must be returned at the start of playoffs of the next season for redistribution. If a team wants something to keep to memorialize a win, they are welcome to create their own trophy or plaque for more permanent display at their home venue. Funds for that must come from the team players or the venue.
L5.00.0: The league is a 100% volunteer operation, led by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consist of two types of positions: Commissioners and Advisors.
L5.01.0: Commissioners are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the league, and have indefinite appointments. They are responsible for organizing schedules, rules, format, teams, players, maintain the website, and respond to any issues that may arise during the season. A commissioner’s appointment ends if they voluntarily step down, or the rest of the Board of Directors has a non-confidence vote that a particular commissioner is not adequately executing their responsibilities and/or negatively affecting the league.
L5.01.1: Commissioners need not be roster members, and can remain commissioners as long as they continue with the daily and weekly duties their position entails.
L5.02.0: Advisors on the board of directors have one-year appointments, from June until June the following year.
L5.02.1: Advisors must be roster members. If they drop from a roster, they are subject to being replaced. An advisor selected mid season (per TBD method), will serve a shortened term, still ending June, after the Spring regular season.
L5.02.2: Generally there will be two advisors.
L5.02.3: Advisors responsibilities are as follows:
L5.02.4: An Advisor’s appointment may be renewed, by invitation from the commissioners; but at least two advisors will rotate annually.
L5.03.0: Following conclusion of the Spring regular season, the current advisors on the Board of Directors will step down, and the new advisors will take their place. They will be selected per the following procedure. The bulk of this procedure will be done confidentially by the current board of directors in the interest of respecting the privacy of individuals who are nominated but choose to decline invitations or are not selected. Final selections will be announced publicly once the new advisors are all selected.
NOTE: Any player wanting to be nominated, or wanting nominate another player, should make their case to a member of the board before the end of the Spring season.
L5.04.0: Current Commissioners are the following:
L5.04.1: Current Advisors with terms expiring in June 2022 are the following:
L5.04.2: Contact info: email@example.com. To contact chief commissioner directly, you may use Facebook Messenger (https://www.facebook.com/Stewie000) or Text Message (410-507-9020).