The Seattle Pinball League is an all-ages group of pinball players in the greater Seattle area who meet (nearly) monthly on Saturdays for daytime pinball events, at the homes of various pinball collectors and players in the area.
Each event has its own self-contained handicapped tournament with cash payouts to the top 4. Additionally, the performance of all players in each event is recorded and tracked to determine overall handicapped player rankings for each year-long season. At the end of the year/season the top ranked players compete in a tournament of champions to determine the positions of all players and the overall winner of the league for that season.
Starting with 2023 events, SPL tournaments will no longer be submitted for World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) points.
The handicapping system makes the league accessible and fun for players of all skill levels. Handicaps are assigned to each player as a value between 1 (lowest ranked) to 5 (highest ranked). An unranked player starts with a handicap of 3, but that gets adjusted immediately after the first event. A player's handicap will raise or lower based on performance in the previous five events they participated in (including prior seasons). Players are grouped together in head-to-head competition against other players with similar handicaps.
Membership for the season is $35. Each event is then $7. Guests may attend most events without a membership, and the cost for guests to participate is $15 per event.
Please note the new email address for all SPL contact and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not yet on the mailing list, please send an email with your name and a request to be added.
Thanks everyone, so much, fora very successful return event in July!! We are now looking forward to the next event on Saturday, September 30, hosted by James Edes. Please join the mailing list for more information on pricing/attendance/etc.
Unfortunately, our planned November host has had to back out, so we are still looking for a host for that event. Ideally, we're aiming for one of the earlier Saturdays in November (prior to the holidays). If you're interested in hosting, please reach out to email@example.com and let me know!
Hi, Stephen Donaldson here. It feels like time has slowed to a crawl since Rod Olsen hosted the December '19 SPL finals, and yet here we are halfway through 2023. Since that day, I've spent 3 1/2 years waiting for the next SPL event - and we were so close to that day before the world changed. As we all came out of lockdown rubbing our eyes at the mere glimpse of sunlight, there were a lot of questions in our pinball community: Will our favorite arcades survive the financial strain? Will players feel too anxious to attend social events and tournaments? Is anyone still playing pinball, or did we get too proficient at our newfound Covid Hobbies (TM) to remember the sound of chimes and knockers at all? How many of us were still yelling "SPECIALS!" into the empty, silent void of our dining rooms and garages without anyone else around to celebrate with us??
The answers to all of these questions can be summarized by one concise statement: the Seattle pinball scene is the coolest, friendliest, and most supportive community I've known. There were fundraisers to keep the bars open. Operators rented out their games to keep their income flowing, and they let people continue to enjoy their favorite games from the comfort of their homes. The resulting boom in competitive players in our scene was marvelous - so many new faces showed up to MNP, local tournaments, and NWPAS.
But the whole time, as our emerald scene has experienced a renaissance of growth, one question went unanswered: ROD, WHEN IS SPL COMING BACK?!?
...So we waited.
Rumblings here. Whispers there. "My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Rod pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."
I found myself at Rod's place last month and asked him about SPL, one last time. The truth is, Rod had a goal with this league when he started it in 2006, and that goal was to build a community here in our neighborhood - to foster new friendships and comradery. Portland was the place to be at the time, but Seattle had potential. Rod squeezed that potential and helped build what we see and enjoy today. But these events, and the league as a whole, are hard work. Planning a year's worth of events, sending announcements and emails, prepping software, communicating with hosts and participants alike - it's a tall order. Rod accomplished what he set out to do. So he told me that if someone was willing to take the reins and hold on for dear life, he'd be happy to hand over the event - if there was still interest.
So, less than a month after that conversation, we're starting this thing back up. Do we need SPL still? I don't know if we need it just for the sake of building our community, but I do know that life is a whole lot more fun when I can spend one Saturday a month with a bunch of great people who want to come together in the name of the Flipper, the Bumper, and the Holy Post. I'm a giant and my feet are way too big to fit into Rod's shoes (I'm a size 15! :O ), but I'm going to do my best to "carry the torch" and all the other cliches that go along with the handing-over of something important. Dave was kind enough to send me an export of the website, which I've slightly remodeled, but it's mostly intact. Rod sent me the Members Email List, which I will treat with care and sensitivity. If you think you're on it and don't want to be anymore, no hard feelings. Email me at the new email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can answer any questions that you have or remove you. I did a purge of many old emails from people that haven't attended in a while, so if you haven't received an email but thought that you should, check your spam folder and then send me an email to ask to be re-added.
How is this going to run? Well, 2023 is already halfway over. I don't know about you, but I don't feel like waiting another 8 months for an event. 2023 is going to be our "let's play a free credit after we just GC'd the game" season; it probably won't be as good as the last one, but it's still pinball.
Let's keep SPL alive together. Let's grill some grub, tell some stories, and have a great time. We'll probably play a little bit of pinball, too.
See ya'll soon,
IMPORTANT DETAILS FOR THE 2023 "SEASON":
Since events are held in private homes, announcement of events (including location address and time) is only done through the SPL Members Email List, to members and guests who have played at least once recently. Public announcements will be made to Social Media only once per year, prior to the start of the season. For additional details, you must be on the SPL Members Email List.
Please note that while every attempt will be made to maintain the announced schedule, circumstances beyond our control could force changes. If any changes do occur, they will be listed here and emailed to the SPL Members Email List.
See the Information page for more details.
To contact SPL or to get information about upcoming events or to join as a member mid-season, send an email to email@example.com.