Jeff Murphy (L), who is hosting a four-strike pinball tournament at Noa Noa Sept. 11, and Scott Woods, owner of Noa Noa, pose with a Hot Wheels pinball machine Friday. A pinball machine just like the one pictured will be raffled off at the tournament. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Jeff Murphy (L), who is hosting a four-strike pinball tournament at Noa Noa Sept. 11, and Scott Woods, owner of Noa Noa, pose with a Hot Wheels pinball machine Friday. A pinball machine just like the one pictured will be raffled off at the tournament. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Pinball’s popularity has spiked thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and on Sept. 11 there’s going to be a pinball tournament at Noa Noa Restaurant.

Prizes for the four-strike pinball tournament are $400 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third place, according to host Jeff Murphy.

“Pinball is really popular right now,” he said. “With COVID, pinball had a resurgence. People were stuck at home and they remembered it or they got into it. There’s a lot more people out there wanting to buy machines now.”

There also will be a raffle for a Hot Wheels pinball machine valued at over $6,000, assuming that at least 71 entries are fulfilled; otherwise the raffle prize will be pro-rated (see official rules for further details). The pinball machine is still in its box, though a similar one will be used in the tournament. A person doesn’t have to be present to win the raffle, he said.

Entry fee is $102. The entry fee will go toward the prize money and to help offset the cost of the raffle prize. Coin drop is required on the pinball machines.

“If you do well in the tournament, you have the opportunity to win additional raffle tickets,” Murphy said.

He said the doors for the tournament open at 11 a.m. for anyone who hasn’t pre-registered and for players to get some practice time in. Murphy said he would prefer if participants could pre-register. The tournament will begin at noon in Noa Noa’s banquet room and goes until 8 p.m.

This is an International Federal Pinball Association sanctioned event so regular pinball tournament participants will receive points by participating.

Murphy said the tournament is modeled after the Fort Wayne Wizard’s World Pinball tournaments. Mike Burgess, owner of Fort Wayne Wizard’s World, and his wife will be participating in the Warsaw tournament.

All the pinball machines – which Murphy owns – will be in tournament mode. Some of the pinball machines are valued at $10,000 or more.

“I don’t want people to be intimidated because they’re not good pinball players,” Murphy said, adding that it’s an all-ages, family-friendly event.

The maximum number of possible participants for the tournament is 80. “I would love to have 80,” Murphy said.

Each participant will play on at least four different pinball machines, he said. Once a participant gets four strikes, they’re out of the tournament.

“People are welcome to stay and play games. The tournament will take precedence,” Murphy said.

There are no age categories for the tournament. Murphy said he has some “swag” from pinball companies he will give away at the tournament.

All the details for the event can be found on Facebook under Four Strikes Pinball Tournament.

Scott Woods, owner of Noa Noa Restaurant, 310 Eastlake Drive, Warsaw, will provide a snack for tournament from 2:30 to 3 p.m. There also will be food and beverages to purchase.

A band will be performing at Spike’s Beach Bar & Grill that night, Murphy said, so anyone in the pinball tournament will have free access to that.

Since the pinball tournament is on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Murphy said the theme of the event is “Pinball and the Towering Strength of the American People.” There will be a moment of silence at the start of the tournament.

To register, send name, phone number, IFPA # (if you have one) to Murphy at 574-453-7364. Send registration fee using PayPal via friends & family to Jeffmurphy1985@comcast.net, or Venmo to Lynn-Murphy-41. Contact Jeff Murphy with questions at 574-453-7364.