Tuesday, March 8th, 2022, Lyons Township High School Pinball Club in Western Springs, Illinois had an IFPA sanctioned pinball tournament. I am an educator of 16-plus years. During, and after my career in education I have wanted pinball machines in schools to be used as educational tools in addition to their entertainment value. It’s a great way to introduce new players to the game and show them how fun the hobby is.
To see not only pinball machines in a high school, but also to see them being used in a tournament setting, well that’s just a number of things that are relevant to my interests coming together. There is no way I could have missed seeing this. Many students tried their skill and luck to play a round of six games in a best game/high score format. This was an official IFPA tournament, so it was open to all players, not just students. I didn’t play, but I helped out with scorekeeping, and also I recorded this “guerilla media” cell phone livestream of the final game on Hot Wheels by American Pinball. (I do some commentary starting a few minutes into the action.)
There were a total of 42 players that attempted the six games on offer. The games were: Cactus Canyon, Hot Wheels, Attack from Mars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, and Monster Bash. After qualifications were done, the top 8 players played a one-game semifinal. The top 2 from each group moved on to the Grand Final to see who would win the day. Check out the qualification results here on Matchplay.events. Congratulations to Joshua Henderson (highlight for spoiler) who took the win!
Congratulations also go to the tournament directors and the sponsors who help put this event together. I hope they continue to have more of these regularly to help new players and students get into the game of pinball in a fun, friendly, familiar environment.