The mission of Belles & Chimes is to provide a fun, social environment for women to play pinball together.
Belles & Chimes is exclusively open to women players. There are no requirements relating to pinball skill or playing experience. We welcome women of all levels, including total beginners!
Hi-Life is conveniently located two blocks from either the 12th Street or 19th Street BART stations, and one block from most of AC Transit's major bus lines.
During league meetings, Belles & Chimes has exclusive use of the upstairs pinball area. There are two pinball machines downstairs in the bar area where friends and guests can play.
Season dues to play in Belles & Chimes are $30, and should be paid at the first league night. This money goes towards paying for league t-shirts and space rental, awards, prizes, and refreshments for our end-of-season party and tournament.
Players will also be responsible for the cost of games played during league nights. Hi-Life has a change machine that takes $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills.
New players trying out the league or visitors from out of town are welcome to come play as a guest at any meeting for $10. If a guest decides to join after visiting, their guest fee will be credited towards membership dues.
We hold 10 meetings per season. New members are welcome to join at any point, just show up to a meeting!
All players who attend at least three regular season meetings and pay the $30 dues fee will be eligible to complete in our end-of-season tournament and will receive the season's league t-shirt.
The short version is that we get together every other week, hang out, and play a bunch of pinball!
We do keep score, but the emphasis is on being social rather than competitive. Our league includes all types of players - we have members ranked in the top 500 of pinball players worldwide, we have members who had never touched a pinball machine before joining, and everything you can imagine in between. It's just about having fun playing a game we all love together.
Belles & Chimes meetings last roughly two hours.
At league meetings, players are divided randomly into groups of 3 or 4. Each group plays multiplayer games on five machines.
For each game, the player with the highest score receives 4 points, the second highest score gets 3 points, third gets 2 points, and fourth receives 1 point. In a 3-player group, the highest score receives 4 points, lowest score receives 1 point, and the middle score gets 2.5 points.
At the end of the night, each player's scores are added up for their nightly total.
All players who attend at least three of our ten regular season meetings and pay the $30 dues fee are considered a qualified member for that season.
Qualified members will receive an invitation to our end-of-season party and tournament, and a Belles & Chimes t-shirt. We have a different shirt every season!
We celebrate the end of each season with a party and tournament at a different pinball destination somewhere in the Bay Area. For refreshments, players bring food and drink potluck style. We have awards and prizes for achievements during the league season, and for winners of both the main and side tournaments at the party.
For Spring 2016, our end-of-season tournament will use a "best game" format. Between 5 and 8 machines (depending on the number of players) will be selected as tournament games, and each player will play every game once and record their score. Once everyone has played all the games, the scores for each game will be ranked from highest to lowest, and players will be assigned points based on how their scores compare to everyone else's.
After everyone has played through the tournament bank, all players will have the opportunity to replay one machine of their choosing in an attempt to improve that score.
Players who attended at least five regular season meetings will have the opportunity to replay two machines, and players who attended eight or more regular season meetings will get to replay three games.
Currently, the game lineup upstairs at Hi-Life is: Game of Thrones (Stern, 2015), The Walking Dead (Stern, 2014), The Sopranos (Stern, 2005), Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997), Johnny Mnemonic (Williams, 1995), Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992), The Addams Family (Bally, 1992), Swords of Fury (Williams, 1988), and Melody (Gottlieb, 1967)
We play two ten-meeting seasons per year, Fall and Spring.
To qualify for participation in our end-of-season tournament, players must attend at least three regular season meetings and pay the $30 dues fee.
You can also subscribe to our Google calendar to get reminders about meetings.
League meetings start promptly at 7:30pm.
We're still working on securing a venue for our end-of-season party, but targeting Sunday, December 11th for playoffs.
Get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are so lucky to have a fantastic pinball scene in the Bay Area! In addition to Belles & Chimes, we have several co-ed pinball leagues and frequent tournaments.
The best way to learn about our many pinball opportunities is to visit Hella Heart Pinball, where you will find a list of Northern California pinball leagues and all the currently scheduled pinball tournaments in the area. You can also sign up for monthly e-mails listing upcoming pinball events.
Since Belles & Chimes started in 2013, we've seen an explosion of women-only pinball events all over the US (and beyond)! Below is a list of all the currently active women's leagues, regular tournaments, or events that we are aware of. If you know of one that isn't on the list, please shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com and we'll get it added. Always excited to hear about more women's leagues!
Women pinheads should also all be aware of the annual women-only tournament at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas put on by Colorado-based pinhead Trailer Tom of PinPin Films. Women from all over the country travel to compete in a one-day tournament for a brand new-in-box Stern pinball machine! It's always a great time, and a wonderful opportunity to meet lots of other women pinheads. Link for the 2016 tournament will be added when available, but the expected date is Saturday, May 21st.