Pinball wizards: Lyman’s Tavern is hosting a pinball tournament this weekend

If you love pinball and cold beer, Lyman's Tavern is heaven. But the 16th Street Heights bar just got even better: It added Judge Dredd and Star Trek machines to its lineup of AC/DC, Attack from Mars, Avatar and Road Show. The reason for the expansion is a weekend-long pinball tournament benefiting Project Pinball, a national charity that puts pinball machines in children's hospitals.


Pinball wizards will flock to Lyman's Tavern on Saturday and Sunday for the bar's first pinball tournament. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The format is known as "Pinball Golf," which requires players to complete a series of tasks across the machines, such as activating the multiball play on Judge Dredd or scoring 25 million points on Avatar, using the fewest balls possible. (Full rules are available on the pinball site Pinside.) Registration costs $10 for members of the International Flipper Pinball Association, or $5 for anyone who's never played in a tournament before. Registration is done in advance so players can pick their "tee times."

There's a "side entry" tournament running on Saturday and Sunday: Competitors get to play two balls on Judge Dredd or Star Trek, and the highest score for those two balls wins. Entry into this tournament is $2 for one game, or $3 for both.

The competition runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and Lyman's will have $2 PBR drafts until 7 p.m. both days. They open at 11 a.m. for anyone who wants to come in early and get a bit of practice.

Lyman's owner Kevin Perrone says that Judge Dredd and Star Trek will be around for the next two weeks, though "I think I want to switch Avatar out for Judge Dredd when it's all said and done," he says. If this weekend goes well, there are more pinball events in the works, including a possible tournament during next month's D.C. Beer Week.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Fritz Hahn · July 23