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Pinball budding slowly as a sports - Van der Byl 

by Rodney Pienaar 

The President of Pinball Namibia Association Salomon van der Byl has said that Pinball is struggling to grow as an unregistered sports code in Namibia as it is commonly associated with being an entertainment activity.

Pinball is a type of arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a playing field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball machine. 

The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. 

The association has so far only registered 35 members who actively take part in competitions which are held occasionally. 

“The game has not been exposed yet. You will see some of Pinball machines here and there, and it is only young kids who have an interest in the game.

“We have been trying to get sponsors to host a bigger competition since 2014, but the game has not been exposed much. That is one of the reasons sponsors do not want to come on board,” he said.

He further added that the association is planning to register the game of Pinball with the Namibian Sports Commission early next year to be registered as a sports code. 

Van der Byl expressed disappointment in the low turn up of spectators at the competition that was hosted this year.

“Most of the registered gamers are a circle of friends, and they all are based here in Windhoek so whenever we organise a competition we would choose a suitable venue that can accommodate all the players,” he said. 

He added that the organisation is planning on finding persons that love the game of Pinball to have them set up clubs within their respective regions to take part in the competitions as it will help promote the game to attract sponsors for game competitions. 

Many modern pinball machines include a storyline where the player must complete certain objectives in a specific fashion to complete the story, usually earning high scores for different methods of finishing the game. 

Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the playing field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the playing field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. 

The game ends after all the balls fall into the drain a certain number of times. Secondary objectives are to maximise the time spent playing.