Roger Sharpe is a pinball designer, professionally-ranked player, author, and marketer. He is the father of Josh and Zach Sharpe.

Sharpe is wildly credited for "saving" pinball; his demonstration of the game as skill-based overturned New York City's thirty-four-year ban on pinball machines in 1976. He designed games for Stern, Williams and Game Plan, and now does licensing work for pinball companies.

Roger Sharpe is the #277 pinball player in the world, according to the May edition of the World Pinball Player Rankings, although he was considered the best in the '80s. His sons, Zach Sharpe and Josh Sharpe are #5 and #19 in the world, respectively.


Sharpe is most famous for his work legitimizing pinball by demonstrating that it is a game of skill. In 1976, Sharpe stood before the New York City Council, with all the pressure in the world on his shoulders. He explained that if he pulled the plunger back just the right amount, the ball would go in a certain lane. He pulled back the plunger, and the ball went right into the lane he had pointed out previously. The head of the council announced that he had seen enough, and pinball was soon legal. The decision spread throughout the country, and pinball was soon legal everywhere.

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