Hella ♥ Pinball

A starter guide for pinball fans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here, you'll find information about local leagues, events, and other ways to connect with fellow pinheads.

Where to play

Find spots near you on the Bay Area Pinball Map, a crowd-sourced list of machines and locations throughout the Bay Area.

Our favorite spots all offer 30 or more games spanning a variety of eras. Each of these locations is worth a special trip to visit:

Connect with other pinheads

The Bay Area has a friendly, welcoming, and growing pinball community. Whether you're looking to improve your play or just want to meet other enthusiasts, it really is more fun to compete!

We'd love to see you at an event soon.

Pinball Tournaments

Competing in a local tournament is a great low-commitment way to meet other players, regardless of your skill level. Most tournaments are beginnner-friendly and welcoming to first-timers. Tournament players are generally excited to see new faces in the mix and will happily share strategies and gameplay tips when asked.

  • IFPA Calendar: This is the best resource for finding scheduled tournaments in the Bay Area and beyond. Tournaments sanctioned by the International Flipper Pinball Association will be listed here at least 30 days in advance of the event. By playing in any event on this list, you will become a world ranked pinball player!
  • Bay Area tournament schedule: Community-maintained Google calendar listing upcoming local tournaments.

Pinball Leagues

Compared to tournaments, leagues emphasize the social experience and tend to have a more casual vibe. In the Bay Area, we have several leagues that are open to everyone, a team pinball league, and specialty leagues for women and youth players. Most local leagues welcome drop-ins and allow new members to join at any point during the season.

Open Leagues

Specialty leagues

  • Bay Bridge Pinball: Team pinball league. Teams of 6-10 players battle one another onn Tuesday nights at various locations in Oakland and San Francisco. Facebook group.
  • Belles & Chimes: Women-only league that meets Monday evenings in Oakland and San Francisco. Facebook group
  • Monterey Flipper Ladies Pinball: Women-only league that meets Wednesday nights at Lynn's Arcade in Seaside.
  • The Little Flippers: Monthly open play meetup on Saturdays at The Flipper Room in Concord for kids 5-12 and their parents. $5 entry per person, all games set on free play during the event.

Selfie Pinball Leagues

Selfie leagues are a way to enjoy the fun of competition while playing on your own schedule. You play the designated tournament machines at your convenience, take pictures to record your scores, and submit them online to get ranked against other players. Some selfie leagues award prizes to the top ranked players at the end of a season, while others hold in-person playoffs to determine final standings.

  • Concord Selfie League: Monthly selfie league at The Flipper Room in Concord. Usually five games per month, top three finishers earn TFR Wooden bucks that can be used for pinball swag and other goodies in the shop.
  • Oakland Summer Selfie League: Summer 2022 season runs through Sunday, August 7, 2022. Includes machines at Emporium Oakland, Hoza Pizzeria, Legionnaire Saloon, Radio, and Wolfhound Bar. Cash prizes for overall best finish, as well as two categories of novice awards. Facebook group
  • San FranSelfie League: Monthly selfie league at locations across SF. Includes games at Alamo Drafthouse, Emporium SF, Free Gold Watch, Gestalt, Outer Orbit, and The Detour. In-person finals at Emporium SF open to anyone who submits 3 scores during the season. Facebook group


Pinball expos are a great place to discover new-to-you games and play rare machines. Enthusiasts from throughout California bring their games to share with other pinheads. Typically, you can buy a one-day or full show pass. Once you're in, everything is on free play. Pinball expos often have associated tournaments as well as talks or panel discussions from folks in the industry.


As fun as it is to connect in person, we know it's not always practical for everyone. Use these resources to stay in touch with other players virtually.

  • Pinball in the Bay Area Facebook group: People use this group to share events, games for sale, information about new machines or locations, and so on.
  • Bay Area Pinball Slack: Slack community for local league and tournament players. If you're looking to get into competitive play and want to join the discussion, send us a message at hellaheartpinball@gmail.com to request an invite. Let us know where you play most often and what your favorite game is.
  • Tilt Forums: Not Bay Area specific, but a great online forum for pinball enthusiasts. Discussion focus is mostly on competitive pinball. Features in-depth wiki rulesheets for most if not all new machines.