(Topic ID: 43113)

I'm hosting a tournament for 12/13-year olds. Advice?


By jar155

6 years ago



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  • Latest reply 6 years ago by RonB
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    #1 6 years ago

    This Wednesday night I'm hosting an event where about 12 kids, age 12 and 13 will be over at my house for a pinball tournament. As far as I know, none of them really know much about pinball, and I don't think they really know what to expect. Has anybody here had any events with that sort of age group and experience level?

    I was thinking of taking 5-10 minutes up front and explaining a few basics, such as how it's better to flip one at a time, not to just hammer on the flippers continuously, and define a few things (lock, hurry up, etc.). Do you think I'd just lose them doing this, or would it make for a better next couple of hours?

    Aside from that, any general tips at dealing with so many newbies at once would be nice.

    #2 6 years ago

    1) Purel hand sanitizer.
    O'wise, let 'em bang away.

    #3 6 years ago

    Every group of kids is different, but knowing nothing else, I would make it three games. First place on each game gets 12 points, 2nd 11 points, and so on. Then top 4 play in a championship round.

    To keep things orderly, you can put a piece of tape on a poker chip and write the kids' name on the tape. These can be lined up on the game to keep track of order.

    You could also do team tournaments, like four 3-player teams, and each player gets to play one ball for their team. With that many kids/teams, I would probably do Round Robin (each team plays all the other teams and the outcome is determined by which team has the most wins)

    When talking strategy with kids I keep it super, super simple. I point out maybe one or two key shots in the game worth going for, such as the center shot on Creature (move your car) or the right saucer (snackbar, unlimited millions, etc, like. The kids who take to pinball will ask more and then I tell them more.

    #4 6 years ago

    I'd explain very little except:

    - how to start a 2 player game; they learn the game better when watching as well as playing.
    - to wait for ball to come and flip/swing at it at like baseball
    - explain 1 simple objective, e.g. the skill shot, or how to blow up AFM's spaceship

    Then just turn them loose.

    #5 6 years ago

    When my kids have had birthday parties and such, I've had prizes for the highest scores but I didn't do it in an organized tournament format. If your whole purpose is to have a tournament, then what you are saying makes some sense along with needing to come up with a competition format. If you are having a general party and want to encourage the kids to play the pinball machines here is what we do:

    We explain to the kids that there will be a prize(s) for high scores at least one of my games. This would include usually about 5 pinball machines and 5 video arcades. Some kids are interested in playing these for long periods of time, while others are just as interested in ping pong, pool, foosball, and xbox360 in the basement. Free choice is fine, however in my house only guests playing the pins/vids can be rewarded with a prize. In my game room I have a chalkboard with the name of each pin/vid written and a space for player name and high score. As players knock one another off the board, they update it with name and score. At the end of the night, I'll draw out the name of a random game or 2 from a hat and whoever has the high score on that particular machine wins a gift card or other prize.

    This format does a few things. It keeps people from hogging a particular machine all night. It encourages everyone to try as many games as possible. And it often results in some random person that just happened to do well on something they may have gotten lucky on.

    #6 6 years ago

    Lot of red bull, monster, and pizza.

    Justin Bieber music in the back ground.

    It wont get any better than that

    #7 6 years ago
    Quoted from maddog14:

    Lot of red bull, monster, and pizza.
    Justin Bieber music in the back ground.
    It wont get any better than that

    Do not give kids Red Bull, you will regret it, the last thing 12-13 year olds need is more energy!!

    #8 6 years ago

    Watch out for Mr. Herbert

    Herbert-family-guy-684449_1024_768.gif

    #9 6 years ago

    I would say turn on computer and show them 5-10 minutes of game play by Bowen from the Pinball archive. Let them see how the pros do it. It will open up their minds in terms of possibilities. You can try and sit there and explain all the rules-but it will go in one ear and out the other ear. I have notice the attention span towards pinball machines with the youth to be difficult-to say the least. Let them play and see what happens? It is great that you are doing this-we need the pinball bug to bite the next generation.

    #10 6 years ago

    I'd explain only the very basics to them and then give them each a few practice games on the machines to learn things for themselves. Once the tournaments over I'm sure the kids who did well and figured out some shots will start showing their friends how they did it and what to aim for.

    #11 6 years ago

    .. Foam-Ear-Plug_20090692097.jpg

    #12 6 years ago

    Maybe borrow a Bally Playboy, a DE Playboy 35th Anniversary and a Sega Playboy maybe toss in a Sexy Girl, then you will only have to run the tournament once.

    #13 6 years ago

    Oh yeah and minimum of two adults everywhere at every time..... In case Mr Herbert shows up, or claims of Mr Herbert showing up more likely.

    -1
    #14 6 years ago

    My advice is to get an Xbox 360.

    #15 6 years ago

    Load up pinball hall of fame on an xbox or ps3 and they'll be much more likely to play it.....unfortunately.

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    I was thinking of taking 5-10 minutes up front and explaining a few basics, such as how it's better to flip one at a time, not to just hammer on the flippers continuously, and define a few things (lock, hurry up, etc.). Do you think I'd just lose them doing this, or would it make for a better next couple of hours?

    If you keep it brief, you won't lose them. No chimp flipping, always add in extra players when possible and one or two quick pointers per game.

    Quoted from jar155:

    As far as I know, none of them really know much about pinball, and I don't think they really know what to expect.

    With that in mind, I would keep it strictly for high scores on each game. Keep in mind that 12 or 13 year old kids will catch on fast. By the time you invite them back a second time (some will want to come back), there will be a few 'pros' among them. Then you can get more into a tournament format.

    This is a great age group to get kids started on pinball. That's how old I was when I got started. Good for you for making the invite. Feel free to take lots of pics and/or video and post them here afterward. Pics of empty game rooms suck.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    My advice is to get an Xbox 360.

    Quoted from ink_blot:

    Load up pinball hall of fame on an xbox or ps3 and they'll be much more likely to play it.....unfortunately.

    Many kids these days are starting to figure out that video games suck. It's a very good time for pinball recruiting. At this age, it's easy money. Hide the video games and you'll have them hooked in no time.

    #18 6 years ago

    In my old neighborhood, I was always working on pins in my garage with the door open. The neighborhood kids would wander in and play the working ones while I was tearing down and rebuilding another. After living there for about 6 years, pretty much all the kids from 12 through 18 were hooked on pinball and they'd always be asking me if I had new games in. A lot of parents would drop by and play with them and then ask me about helping them to get a machine too.

    #19 6 years ago

    I would concern myself about the ratio of twelve year old girls to boys.

    #20 6 years ago

    I am wondering if they will be interested in Pinball for longer than an hour. Analog games dont seem to take the same attention hold that screen games do. I would suggest maybe offering up some mini style non-point based tourney's that rely more on accomplishing goals rather than score. This will help teach them the tactics of the game, while giving them objective based goals that aren't usually obvious to new players.

    Just now noticing this already happened, so how did it go?

    #21 6 years ago

    He's still cleaning up and recovering!

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