The Belgian Pinball Championship 2004

In 2004, we (my wife and I, together with some other volunteers), organized the BPO, the Belgian Pinball Open Championship.

In the past this event was always organized at a Collector Fantasies show. However, due to some problems at the 2003 edition, this was not possible anymore. As the Dutch Pinball Organization really wanted this event to happen, they had asked Nikky, as she handled DPO matters for Belgium, if we could organize a separate event.

Nikky is great in organizing things, so she arranged it.. although we encountered a lot of problems. As it was a separate event, an ideal room and pinball machines had to be found. And the BPO couldn't be 'open' anymore, this year it was only for members of the DPO who had subscribed in advance. No invitation, no entry..

Finding a suited location was easy, finding pinball machines was more difficult. There aren't a lot of dealers in Belgium. Borrowing their pins for a one day event was too much work for them. And the same weekend there was another show in Belgium, which didn't help either. Luckily an operator we know still has a lot of machines.. the only problem was that they were almost all broken, or had come straight off location !

So 2 weekends before the event were filled with repairing pins.. There were about 50 pins available, we only could spend time to fix the most important things.. So when the flippers, all coils and switches worked, we were already happy we had brought one back from the dead.
Click here to see some of the 'before' pictures.

The 'good' machines were going to be used in the competition, whilst machines with small problems could be played by other people.
Now we review this decision afterwards, it wasn't the best. Most people who came expected perfectly shopped machines, even for recreation. Instead they got games that came off route. So we had better spent a bit more time to fix only 16 machines on which the competition would be held, and have no recreational part, instead of trying to reach our goal of 40 (less or more completely) working pins.
But most people had a good time and were happy this event was able to happen.

The competition started with 60 people, divided in 4 groups. Everyone had to play 4 games, and the best 2 of each group went to the semi-final. In the end Roger Wijnands won, before Peter van den Bergh, Roy Wils and Norbert Broman. Final scores can be downloaded at the website of the DPO.

As we had to clear the room in a few hours time, we found a rather unconventional way to transport a lot of games back to the storage..

Getaway, Monster Bash, Fish Tales, Twilight Zone

Flintstones, Getaway, Theatre of Magic

Elvis and children championship

Monster Bash, row of pinball machines

Championship on Elvis

Championship on Elvis, final scores

winners of BPO 2004

winners of BPO 2004

winners of BPO 2004

winners of BPO 2004

pinball machines inside bus

pinball machines inside bus

pinball machines inside bus