Belles & Chimes Oakland is a women's pinball league based in downtown Oakland, CA.

We are part of the national Belles & Chimes network of women's pinball leagues, founded right here in Oakland in 2013.

During league seasons, we meet every other Monday at the wonderful Five10 Pizza, located at 400 15th Street in downtown Oakland.

We are always excited for new members, and you can join at any point during the season - all you have to do is show up for a meeting!

You can keep up to date with Belles & Chimes Oakland news and get reminders about upcoming meetings by signing up for our e-mail newsletter.

About Belles & Chimes


Mission

The mission of Belles & Chimes is to provide a fun, social environment for women to play pinball together.

Eligibility

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!

Venue

We meet at Five10 Pizza at 400 15th Street in Oakland.

Five10 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 Oakland has exclusive use of the upstairs pinball area. There are two pinball machines downstairs in the bar area where friends and guests can play.

Cost

Season dues to play in Belles & Chimes Oakland are $20, and should be paid at the first league night. This money goes towards paying for league t-shirts, awards and prizes.

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.

Guests

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.

How to Join

We hold 8 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 $20 dues fee will receive the season's league t-shirt. Each season's t-shirt is exclusively available to qualified players.

We also hold a tournament and party at a location other than Five10 following the completion of each season. In order to be invited to the party, players must have attended at least three Belles & Chimes meetings during the league season.

How it Works


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 100 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.

Meeting Format

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.

Qualified Members

All players who attend at least three of our eight regular season meetings and pay the $20 dues fee are considered a qualified member for that season.

Qualified members will receive an exclusive Belles & Chimes t-shirt, available only to players who qualify in league each season. We have a different shirt every season!

Post Season Party and Tournament

Following the completion of each league season, we celebrate with a party and tournament at a different pinball destination somewhere in the Bay Area. For refreshments, players bring food and drink potluck style.

At the party, we distribute awards and prizes for performance during the league season. We have awards for first through third place in both A and B Division, as well as for the best performing new player and most improved player from the previous season.

Machines at Hi-Life

Currently, the game lineup upstairs at Hi-Life is: Game of Thrones (Stern 2015), Wheel of Fortune (Stern, 2007), The Simpsons Pinball Party (Stern, 2003), Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997), The Shadow (Bally, 1994), White Water (Williams, 1993), The Addams Family (Bally, 1992), Swords of Fury (Williams, 1988), Future Spa (Bally, 1979), and Melody (Gottlieb, 1967)

Meeting Schedule


We play two eight-meeting seasons per year, Fall and Spring, and one four-week mini season during the summer.

During seasons, meetings are held every other Monday at Five10 Pizza, located at 400 15th Street in Oakland, CA.

League meetings start promptly at 7:30pm.

Spring 2017 Meeting Dates

You can also subscribe to our Google calendar to get reminders about meetings.

January 9
January 23
February 6
February 27

March 13
March 27
April 10
April 24

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Summer 2017 Meeting Dates

New for 2017, summer season! We are holding a mini season in June at Stay Gold Deli, located at 2635 San Pablo in Oakland. Dates are: June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26.

We are still venue shopping for our combined Spring/Summer end-of-season party, but we're targeting Sunday, July 16th for the date.

Contact Us


Get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to bellesandchimespinball@gmail.com.

Odds & Ends


More Bay Area Pinball

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.

PinPin Women's Tournament

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. Belles & Chimes Oakland usually sends about six or seven players.

This year's PinPin Women-Only tournament will be held on Saturday, May 20th.

Belles & Chimes Oakland in the Media

  • A League of Their Own, East Bay Express, November 20, 2013
  • Oakland's Belles and Chimes is the first women's-only pinball league, Oakland North, December 2013
  • Best of the Bay: Best Pinball Wizardry, San Francisco Magazine, July 2014
  • Women's pinball league gives positive tilt to Bay Area scene, KALW Crosscurrents, November 11, 2014
  • Women take a place at the pinball table, Boing Boing, August 3, 2015
  • More Iron and Monsters or I Hear The Belles, Coast 2 Coast Pinball podcast, August 14, 2015