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Toronto Pinball League (ToPL) Newbie FAQ


Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
Keswick, ON
What is ToPL?

ToPL (The Toronto Pinball League) is a weekly competitive pinball league. Every week the group meets, play pinball, some for fun, others competitively, but all enjoy themselves.

What does it cost to be part of the league?

For your first visit, league fees are exempt. After that it is $2 per week you attend, or $30 for the season which also covers entry into the playoffs, which alone would cost $30. There is a separate weekly $5 "host fee" which goes to the host for covering food and machine wear. If the league is hosted in a commercial operation (like Playdium) there is no host fee but you are still responsible for the $2 league fee if unpaid for the season, you also pay to play the machines as a normal customer. Try to bring exact change.

How many people are part of the league?

Depending on the location and size of collection, generally you can expect toplay with 15 to 30 people every week.

Where does the league meet?

When the league started, arcades still existed in many locations. Nowadays most league nights are in private collector's homes. It's a shame more pinball isn't played in the wild, but the size and variety of most home collections easily outshines the best arcades.

Most of the venues are someone's house, I just show up as a stranger at their door?

Yup! Usually you will see lots of cars parked out front so you know you have the right place! Sometimes there will be instructions from the host posted to the TOPL group, or posted on the door to their home about what you should do when you get there. When in doubt, knock. Most of the time if you are arriving before league time, there will be lots of people arriving the same time as you.

What time should I get there?

In general doors open at 7:30pm for some warm up games. League play starts at 8:00pm. Depending on the turnout, most nights the league portion takes about 90 minutes. Then after there is some free play until the host calls it a night.

What do I do when I get there?

Introduce yourself! And ask if someone can point out a league official so you can let them know you are there. They'll go over what you need to know and what will happen next.

So what happens next?

Once the league portion is ready to start, players are grouped in 4 or 3 player groups and play 4/3-player games on 4 machines. Points are awarded for the placement over those 4 games (first place gets 4 points, second place gets 3, third gets 2 and fourth gets 1 point). Your total points from all 4 games are added up for your night's score.

I'd like to come out but don't think I can be a regular

League rules allow you to miss 3 nights each season with no penalty on your scores, that gives most people lots of leeway for family/real life events. There's no minimum attendance, you can show up as little or as much as you like.

ToPL sometimes seems like some sort of secret society with the secret locations, private Yahoo group, etc, are you sure I will be welcomed even if I don't know anybody?

Most definitely! The only reason some of the information is restricted is because at the end of the day we are talking about private homes hosting the league. It would not be appealing to hosts to have their details broadcast for public on the net. That is why the Yahoo group is for members, and hosts details are given out on a need to know basis. The league itself is very open and welcoming.

So what should I do next?

If you haven't already, join the Yahoo group to be kept up to date on the league happenings and where the next locations are. Then just make the decision to come out, follow the tips in this FAQ and have fun!