By Richard Hammond and Judy Morrow of Washington, Missouri, USA

If you are up-to-date with the Pinball News, you may recall that my article about the pinball art exhibit currently open until July 16, 2006 at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, USA, was considering holding a pinball tournament using some of the machines on display. A great idea . . . the games were built to be played weren't they? Well, they did it and I was once again fortunate enough to attend.

It was held on Saturday, June 17. Some of the players and supporters were from nearby towns but some, like me, spent 2 or 3 hours driving to get to the museum to play in the tournament. There were 16 participants and my hopes were high that I'd finally have an "A" pinball game when it counted. Sure, I was probably the oldest one in the tournament but maybe I'd get lucky! Even if the top prize were only a trophy, it'd be nice to be able to boast that I'd won a pinball tournament, or any kind of tournament for that matter!

Actually the top prize was $100 AND a trophy. Second prize was $70 and a trophy and 3rd prize was $40 and a trophy.

The rules were easy to follow. There were the usual rules, stuck ball, tilt, etc. The entrance fee for the tournament was $10 for one score sheet. The sheets listed the 5 games to be played. We played randomly on the machines from 1 PM until 5 PM. All scores were recorded by a roaming score keeper. Additional score sheets, another entry, could be purchased for $10. Points were awarded for the top 5 scores on each game. The top score received 5 points, 4 points for next highest and so on down to 1 point for the 5th highest score. The points were totaled and compared to determine the 3 tournament winners.

Most participants entered more than 1 time. I only bought 2 score sheets but that was enough to make me realize that it wasn't my day, again. Oh well, it's fun to participate and . . . to dream. Actually if it wasn't for guys like me those high scores wouldn't mean anything!

The 5 machines were:

Apollo, Williams, EM, 1967
Capt. Fantastic, Bally, EM, 1976
Black Hole, Gottlieb, SS, 1981
Indiana Jones, Williams, SS, 1993
Simpsons, Pinball Party, Stern, SS, 2003

Tournament play

Tournament play

Tournament play

Our host, curator Kevin Sharp, awarding 1st place to
Perry Wood of St. Louis, Missouri.

Perry Wood
1st place

Rob Craig, Pop, Marion, Illinois,
receiving 2nd place honors.

Scores were posted on a laptop computer spreadsheet and were visible for anyone to see as the tournament progressed. One or two participants left the museum as they saw they didn't have a chance to be one of the top three winners. I imagine they had a long drive ahead of them and something to do when they arrived home. I stayed. Glutton for punishment? No, I was planning this article and had already made plans to spend the night in Mt. Vernon.

As the points were being totaled after the end of play, the judge discovered that there was a tie between Eddie Holt and Ken Hall for 3rd place. Ken was still there but Eddie had left. Luckily, someone had Eddie's cell phone number and a call was placed. Maybe he wasn't too far away to return for a playoff.

He returned and the game that caused the tie, Black Hole, was put back into service. The crowd gathered around to watch the tie-breaker.

Rob Craig and Eddie Holt anxiously watching Ken Hall's playoff game.

Playoff contender Ken Hall watching Eddie play his round.

The tie breaker is over!
3rd place is awarded to Ken Hall, Vienna, Illinois.

Ken Hall, Perry Wood, and Rob Craig.

It was another wonderful day at the Cedarhurst exhibit. My feet and legs were worn out from standing all afternoon but there were games to play and lots of pinball people to talk with.

There were some non-pinball people there too, including a reporter from the local newspaper. Greg Norfleet of the Mt. Vernon Register-News interviewed a few people at the tournament (including myself, hope I didn't misspeak) and wrote an interesting feature article about the afternoon and the exhibit as a whole. When he approached me he said he'd taken my picture and wanted to use it along with my comments about exhibit. After seeing the picture that he used in the article I can understand why he passed on using my photograph.

The link to the Norfleet article:
was still active on
26 June 2006 but I don't know how long they leave such things on their site.

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© Pinball News 2006