August 04

News : Professional and Amateur Pinball Association World Headquarters :

A little story on the history and story of PAPA and the facility in Pittsburgh.  Another shout out to a great time at Replay FX hosted and managed by the guys and women at PAPA.  Great job.   Looking forward to next year.

In many ways, the future of pinball lives under this roof.

Twice a year the doors open and the greatest pinball players in the world stream into the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association (aka PAPA) World Headquarters. Here in the massive 100-year-old warehouse space the best of the best pinball players go head to head to see who is the most talented, most determined, and in some ways, the luckiest pinball player in the world. It is here where the one and only “World Pinball Champion” is crowned.

Both pinball and PAPA have faced near extinction multiple times. Pinball itself was outlawed in New York and other parts of the county in the 1940s. In New York it wasn’t legal until 1976 when a famous court case demonstrated that it was a game of skill not a gambling device. (It stayed illegal in Seattle until recently, because everyone had forgotten the laws were still on the books.) Meanwhile as video games became more popular pinball faded away hitting it’s low in the 1990s. Many manufactures quit producing machines. Ultimately only one company, Stern, was left producing new pinball machines. Meanwhile the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association also hit its low in the 1990s. In 1996 the founder Steve Epstien was exhausted and decided to retire. The PAPA World Championships, which had been the premium pinball competition, simply ceased to exist.

Read the entire story and see more pics here :

Thanks to for the story and pics.