Photo Story — Ladies of the Pinball Night

Grace Kramer✨
Oct 30, 2017 · 2 min read
Dominique Shaddock plays pinball at one of Seattle’s newest Women’s Pinball Tournaments on Oct. 20, 2017 in Seattle, Wash.

Seattle’s bar scene has lately gotten a lot more colorful lately as its pinball scene has exploded. One faction looking to direct the influx of people in the pinball community are women. They want to shape pinball into a haven away from the toxic baggage found in some gaming communities. Their preferred weapon of choice? Inclusive Ladies Night Tournaments. While Fremont’s Add-a-Ball has had Babes in Pinland for nearly four years running, other bars are adding tournament nights. Greenwood’s Hounds Tooth Public House has added 10 pinball machines in the last year, and just started hosting monthly women’s tournaments. Featuring cash prizes and jello shots, organizers like Megan Czhar and Maureen Hendrix hope they can build up the burgeoning pinball scene by bring new women into the fold.

Women practice pinball at the Hounds Tooth Public House’s 3rd monthly women’s pinball tournament on Oct. 20, 2017 in Seattle, Wash. The women’s tournament had a $5 buy-in, but featured prizes of up to $100 for the winner and a jello shot to all participants. Friday’s tournament was the most well attended tournament yet at Hounds Tooth, with 17 total participants.
Megan Czahar, left, and Maureen Hendrix, right, talk to each other as Czahar preps for the tournament. Hendrix hosts Babes in Pinland, a women’s tournament held monthly at Add-a-Ball. According to Czahar and Hendrix, their weapon of choice for hosting a tournament is an iPad. “The scene is pretty welcoming as a whole,” says Hendrix.
Ashley Weaver, right, asks Megan Czahar, left, who her next opponent will be in the tournament. This is Weaver’s first time at this tournament, but she loves playing pinball at 8-bit Arcade in Renton. “I love these women’s tournaments,” Weaver says, “there’s such camaraderie.”
Megan Czhar plays Charlie’s Angels during a match-up. Megan has only been playing pinball seriously this year after she got invited to play on the Hounds Tooth Public House’s pinball league team, the Hell Hounds. She started hosting the Hounds Tooth’s Women’s Tournament in August.
A close-up of Czahar playing pinball.
“To promo babes in pinland we try to use pictures of women in pinball that aren’t overly sexualized, which is hard," says Maureen Hendrix, the organizer of Babes in Pinland, which is Seattle’s largest women’s tournament. Charlie’s Angels is one of those rare pinball machines Hendrix uses to promote the tournament.
Dominique Shadduck plays on a sanded-off version of Eight Ball Deluxe during the tournament’s third round. “This machine is really hard because you can’t even see your score,” says Shadduck. The machine is on loan from Grand Champion Games, who also sponsored the Hounds Tooth’s tournament.
Ashley Weaver, left, and Dominique Shadduck, right, wait for their competitors to finish during their 3-time knock-out matches.
Contestants trickle outside in-between matches to smoke and chat. Hendrix estimates that the pinball scene has grown about 20% in the last four years.
Nickki Davis, right, gives advice to a new pinball player after defeating her in a match. “Pinball is all about fighting your instincts,” she says. It was common to see competitors huddle together swapping tips and tricks after matches.
From left to right, Maureen Hendrix, Brooke Borcherding, Karla Rivers and Hannah Hatch pose after placing in the top 4 of the women’s tournament.
Karla Rivers shows off her $100 cash prize.

Grace Kramer✨

Written by

Freelancer, student, YouTuber with @stopskeletons, pokey puppy, kitchen goddess

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