Those crazy flipper fingers and supple wrists are being put to the test on the pinball circuit that includes Chemainus and Cedar.
Playing the silver ball in league and tournament competition has become a passion for so many who grew up around pinball machines but also members of the much younger generation who are learning more about it.
Shawn Orza, who owns the Wiffle Games store in downtown Chemainus, says the pinball craze is alive and well on the Island and coming out of a shell with COVID restrictions being eased. Orza has pinball machines both in his store and in The Public Market in Chemainus arcade.
The arcade opened during the early stages of COVID in 2020.
“The intention was always there,” Orza said about starting a league. “Now we’re starting to take off.”
The Mid-Island Pinball League has taken shape between Chemainus and Cedar, following a plan put in place a few years ago with the formation of The Victoria Pinball League.
Dan Bitterlich is the godfather of the VPL, said Orza.
“He introduced himself to me and explained how pinball leagues work and sort of planted the seed. With lots of his help, we’ve had a few tournaments.”
Orza will be hosting a tournament on Saturday, April 30 at Wiffle Games and the Public Market.
“There’s actually a pretty big following,” he added.
There’s a chance for players to gain points and go to provincials within the International Flipper Pinball Association for those so inclined.
Orza included his friend Tyler Bates from Black Diamond Antiques in Cedar for the hosting of tournaments as well and brought in machines to his store.
“I encouraged Tyler to help with the Mid-Island Pinball League,” said Orza.
“The idea is to grow it – build the awareness and bringing it back,” he added.
There’s not any room for spectators at this point, but Orza is considering the possibility of an outdoor festival of some kind next summer to give pinball a wider exposure.
For now, anyone is welcome to join the Mid-Island Pinball League. More information is available by contacting Orza by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.