What happened at the end of the women's NW finals?


I hope and would challenge the organizers to make some adjustments for next year so women have an opportunity to qualify and participate in the finals of the classics, open, and women’s divisions. I think this would result in an increase of women participants and be mutually beneficial to the organizers and participants.


If you can’t put together a small bank of games for the women’s you’ll have to end open qualifying at 9pm and have womens finals at 930pm on Sat.


This is exactly what we do at PPO and what I was going to propose - women’s qualifying is shorter with finals held on Saturday night.


Ok, no. I’m putting a stop to this. This thread is not about what hypothetical circuit events with hypothetical divisions should or should not do. This specifically is about what happened at a real event and the real world takeaways we can all learn from it, as organizers, broadcasters, and competitors.

ZenTron gave a viable suggestion to your question, Kevin.


As we discussed in private with Zoe and her group following their feedback, we are looking at options to provide a favorable environment for all the players. Cutting short qualifier or changing the schedule has broad implication across the whole tournament and may not be preferable for the players as a whole. We have a lot to take into account regarding organization and logistic.

We will make sure, whatever the outcome, that the format work with our schedule, our location and budget to meet the players need. There are always trade off that needs to be reviewed, with our last minute new location this year it is clear that we faced issued by having two separated room.


There’s any multitude of reasons why other tournaments don’t have women’s divisions, including (but not limited to) space and time, but I’ve found the largest reason is typically that they don’t feel there’s an audience for it. It’s more instructive to ask how the ones that do have women’s divisions do it than to demand all those that don’t implement a hypothetical specific to your situation.

So: PPO does shortened qualifying, with women’s finals on Saturday. PPO actually used to have a one day women’s tourney (on Friday, no less) until the female player base got so large. I know ClePin next weekend is doing a women’s only knockout tournament on Saturday afternoon. This is their first attempt at a women’s tourney as part of the show, and a bunch of us are going to drive out just for that.


Hi everyone, Meg here.

I just wanted to say that overall I had a great time at the Northwest Pinball Championships! It’s one of the largest pinball tournaments I’ve ever participated in and only the second time I’ve ever qualified for a women’s finals. I especially enjoyed scorekeeping during Saturday’s qualifying, and I got to meet tons of amazing people.

A lot happened in a short amount of time on Sunday morning, but I wanted to speak specifically on my decision to plunge-drain my final ball of JM. There was a moment during the whirlwind that I realized my competitor and friend was outside the building in tears. It was then that the game ended for me. Pinball, for me, is just that - a game. I put infinite more value in the sanctity of human feelings than trying to win $100 and an IFPA point. I was no longer concerned with my outcome in the tournament and chose to end my game.

It’s unfortunate the ways things turned out, but I truly believe there is room to learn and grow from everything that happened, and I look forward to participating in more tournaments in the future.


I woke up thinking about this today. I think it’s on a lot of our minds. I was at the Women’s Final. I was standing next to the players when they were picking game or position. And because I was there doing what we were all supposed to be doing–watching amazing pinball–I was standing over the commentators’ booth watching Nycole blow up Johnny Mnemonic on the overhead screen. For someone not directly involved I witnessed a lot of what happened.

I think we can deal with this without calling the players liars. They are not. We can deal with this without vilifying the commentators and other event staff. They are not vilians. We can deal with this without saying that the organizers don’t know how to run an event. They do. Several people are now the very public faces of this. I feel for them all and would not wish this on any of them. They will be dealing with this a lot more and for a much longer time than any of us.

This is not a controversy. This is not an Us versus Them (men/women, Portland/Seattle, players/organizers) situation.
Not to downplay a pervasive social issue but this is a something went wrong at a pinball tournament situation. Things go wrong at events all the time. Ques too long? More machines in the bank next time. Not enough score keepers? More score keepers next time. Machine X was set up Y way and was totally unplayable? Set it up differentlly next time. A group of players felt uncomfortable at the event. We’ll do something about that too.

We are usually able to deal with event issues with levelheadedness. Let’s try to do that here as well.


This is also what we did at Pinvasion. Qualifying ended a little earlier for womens so that their finals were the only finals going on at that time, We also had a designated TD for that finals.

Here is the schedule that we used:


At SFGE, I foolishly wondered why they would put together a separate bank of games for the womens division as I didn’t think they would get much participation. I was dead wrong. There were 23 players.


I don’t want to detract from the conversation, but I see no reason why classics finals cannot be Saturday night as another option. Plenty of tournaments do this. Yes, you cut qualifying time from main for some competitiors, but you know - we all make choices.

No finals should be taking place at the same time as another finals. Period. Full stop. I was very confused watching at home why this was happening in the first place, and I legit think that nearly every issue at hand could have been mitigated if this simple principle was adhered to.

I have opinions on everything else but will not speak to them out of respect for the players much closer to the discussion.


I think everyone who was actually involved needs to step away from the forum and sort this out in a less public way. At the moment no-one is looking good in my eyes from these events. It does nothing to help our community. Least of all it does nothing to address whatever concerns there may genuinely be about sexism.

Right at the top of the thread we have an accusation that this is all about sexism, and in Zoe’s long post she’s mentioned that although she’s going to make a list of incidents, we’re not allowed to talk about those incidents?

How does any of this help the discussion? Instead we’re left with a bunch of people that have been publicly labelled as sexist without any chance of reddressing their viewpoint.

As an organiser myself I can say this has left a terrible taste in my mouth and I have more than a fair deal of sympathy for those who are involved, and most likely innocent of these accusations. As others have said already, it’s possible sometimes that people can be jerks without having to be labelled as sexist jerks. It’s even more possible that sometimes people can say things to accidentaly upset others without any intention of being a jerk at all.

But I guess we’ll never know if we can’t talk about it.


NWPC is an event that has aimed to provide the best experience of high level world-class tournament pinball. Since Eden and I pulled back from running the event the new crew has pushed to continue that legacy (Awesome!).

“High level world-class tournament pinball” , for the NWPC, has always meant that certain priorities have needed to be weighed in order to best serve the goal of having a world class main event.

NWPC puts a premium of priority on Open, the main event which is available to all players, and secondly the classics tournament. Over the years there have also been other sub divisions, such as Novice, Women’s, as well as an actual B division.

In a perfect world, with unlimited time, money, staff and participating players, all of these events would be fully serviced. However, with the resources available, and the goal of prioritizing the events that accommodate the widest player base, the side events, including Women’s, are not always able to receive full support.

Over the years this has appeared to be a reasonable trade-off - Create the best main event we can that is for all players, and push to offer quality sub events catering to various groups of players. Historically the trade-offs, like running some events finals during other finals in order to maximize quality of the main have been acceptable.

I wont speak for the current NWPC crew, but as I am still minimally involved with the event, I am sure a discussion will take place to determine if the goals and priorities of the event are still on target, and if any or what changes should or should not take place in terms of structure.





who won the womans finals?


Nycole Hyatt.

And don’t let this detract from that. She played awesomely. Her game on Johnny Mnemonic was fantastic. Congratulations Nycole!


As someone else involved in the production I can back this up. Also it helps ease the burden on TDs/ scorekeepers by reducing the number of “high priority” divisions/situations at the end of a division’s qualifying time. Before flipping the switch I would talk to some of the women in this year’s tournament/potentially in next year’s tournament. “Would you prefer to play a Saturday final?” “What time works best?” “What are your major concerns with a Saturday final?” etc.


I see that the Cleveland Show may also have a potential problem, Sept. 7-10.

The Classics finals begin Sat. at 2:30pm. The Women’s Finals are at 4pm. Unless I’m incorrect, that could be problem, and not fair for women who qualify for both. If the times have been changed, then I stand corrected.


You stand corrected, the women’s tournament is now on the Friday. Was changed today


Ok great news! I was just on the tourney website and saw this (http://www.clevelandpinballshow.com/Pinball-Tournament).

Since it was changed today, I’m sure the website will reflect soon. Kudos to Tommy for the foresight to make this change to let all participate…well done! Looking forward to the show!


Not Tommy, Megan Brown. Not sure if she is on here or not.