The Belles of Space City will host a women’s matchplay pinball tournament at the Houston Arcade Expo, the Interstellar Showdown.
Women of all ages are invited to a cosmic battle of skill that will test their mastery of gravitational fields over metal spheres. Battle-ready earthlings will target jackpots and nudge their way around the unknown terrors of outer space to avoid the deep black hole straight down the middle. If you have what it takes to be a space cadet, register today for the Interstellar Showdown!
This matchplay tournament will take place during the Houston Arcade Expo with qualifying rounds on Saturday, November 13 and finals for the top 8 on Sunday, November 14. Check in on Saturday between 3-4pm or between 7-7:30pm at the tournament desk where an entry fee of $10 will be collected. We will meet in the tournament room at 7:45pm for announcements and a group picture so the tournament may begin promptly at 8pm. Games on both the show floor and the tournament room will be used. It is our intention to use the games in the Space City booth for the qualifying rounds and the games in the tournament room for finals; however, any game on the floor or in the tournament may be used should the need arise. Check in for finals is at 9am Sunday morning.
Ladies may preregister online or register in person at the tournament desk during the Expo. We will limit the tournament to 44 players with a waitlist. We reserve the right to increase the number of players if suitable games become available for competition. Online registration will open at noon on Saturday, October 9. There is no cost to pre-register.
Because this tournament will run at the same time as the second half of the Space City Open finals, any woman qualifying for these rounds should notify a tournament director if they would like to withdraw from the women’s tournament and play in the open finals instead.
While registration and announcements will be in the tournament area, most qualifying rounds will be played on the showroom floor in the Space City Booth. Women’s finals will be held in the tournament room on Sunday morning.
The entry fee will be $10 paid at the tournament desk during check-in. No refunds will be given. All players must also purchase entry into the Expo. Trophies and prize money will be awarded to the top four finishers. After expenses, the prize pool will be distributed as follows:
1st – 40%
2nd – 30%
3rd – 20%
4th – 10%
The tournament director will be responsible for managing and organizing the tournament. The tournament director will also be responsible for making any rulings in the event of malfunctions and errors. The tournament director has the final say. If a game requires a ruling that the tournament director is directly involved, the ruling will be deferred to the assistant director.
Director: Elizabeth Dronet
Assistant Director: Raleigh Palis
Match Play Events will be used to organize the tournament. The software will assign groups and arenas for each round. Players may submit results at the conclusion of a round after verifying with a fellow competitor that the submission information is correct.
At the beginning of the tournament, the tournament director will select a set of games to be used that day. Selection will be determined based on the condition of the game. Games that have key scoring features that are broken or are producing odd behaviors will not be used in the tournament.
Extra balls will not be played in this tournament. If you are awarded an extra ball, you must plunge it. You cannot touch the flipper buttons before plunging. You may try ONCE for a soft skill shot. If the ball does not make it out of the shooter lane on your first attempt, you must plunge the second time at full strength. It is the player’s responsibility to ensure they do not play extra balls by accident. If a player plays an extra ball by accident, they must take a 0 for the game.
If a ball becomes stuck during single-ball play, wait for 3 ball searches and then notify the tournament director for help. The ball will be placed on the right or left flipper, determined by the side of the game the ball became stuck on. If the flippers are unpowered, it will be placed in the shooter lane.
Pinball machines are mechanical in nature, and thus often produce unintended behaviors. Moreover, many of these machines are very old! If a game malfunctions in any way (e.g., flipper breaks, debris on field, game reset, etc.), please ask the tournament director for a ruling. The director will attempt to repair the machine without sacrificing the game. If this cannot be done, a new machine will be drawn and all progress in the original game will be scrapped.
Our tournaments are sanctioned by the IFPA. Participating in Belles & Chimes events earns points toward the World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) system specifically designed for Women-only events. Visit the IFPA website to learn more. Note that players must email the IFPA to identify themselves as a woman to be listed in the women’s ranking. The value of the tournament will be determined by the number of rated players in the tournament and the ratings of those players. The estimated TGP for this tournament is 96%.
Love playing pinball? Our Belles and Chimes women’s group holds events in Houston year-round. Join us for some fun!