2 tournament questions

I have a couple of questions for the experienced TD’s out there.

  1. NBA Fastbreak - I’m not familiar with the game but someone mentioned if you win a championship it gives you 100 points or something. If this is true, what’s the ruling on this? If you win it, do you earn the 100 point bonus?

  2. Tilt through warning - I remember reading about this recently but I can’t find the thread and I don’t recall the ruling. If the machines are set PAPA tight on the tilt and player 1 gives a solid nudge on the drain that results in a warning for player 2, what happens?

Thanks in advance!

“Any player who tilts their own ball, which then results in a tilt warning given to the following player will not have any consequences for the first offense. The player with the warning will be allowed to continue play as normal, or choose to have the ball played on a fresh game. Please note that games that allow for an additional ball to be added to the current game in progress, or for tilt warnings to be removed by a software adjustment, this solution will be used. A second offense by the same player anytime throughout the tournament, and it will be treated as a tilt of another player’s ball, with the rules from the previous paragraph being enforced.”

What is interesting is it specifically says tilts own ball, so there is a argument to be made that danger through without tilt (was that what happened on TNA?) does not fall under this.

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A championship gives you a ring. As I understand it either a ring supersedes points (so someone with a ring but fewer points on the board wins) or, by convention, a ring is worth 100 points (added to the score on the board) at the tournament director’s discretion.

I am not, by any means, an experienced tournament director.

This is what happened last night. The player drained, nudged the machine during a save attempt, not out of frustration and he did not tilt his ball, instead a warning register as player 2 stepped up. So in this situation no warning to player 1, and then player 2 still has the option of playing a fresh ball?

How does that fresh ball get played out? What’s the process?

If a ball cannot be added via software adjustment, take note of their score from 2 balls and then start a fresh game and add that one ball to their other 2 ball score.

I would handle this “warning drain through warning” the same as the tilt through warning.


From the IFPA/PAPA rules (https://www.ifpapinball.com/menu/rules/):

c. On the game NBA Fastbreak using basketball-style scoring, each championship ring collected by the player shall cause their recorded score to be increased by 100 points.

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Thanks Chuck. One more thing for this. Let’s say this is on ball 1. The ball is in the shooter lane, so Player 2 would plunge and not touch the machine and then add that score to ball 2 and ball 3, and then we would record that score and start a new game and play 1 ball and add that total. I just want to make sure we plunge and that score counts. Thanks!

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Yep. That’s what I would do. Just be clear and consistent with your rulings and you’ll be fine.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I think I have one final thing for now. I’ve read through the rules and didn’t see anything so figured I would ask. Players that are currently not playing, yet notice a game malfunction or a stuck ball during multi-ball on any tournament machine, are they allow to notify the player and/or a tournament director or should they remain silent?

A grand example of this happened a couple of weeks ago where someone got multi-ball on Getaway. During multi-ball one of the balls got stuck under a wire rail unbeknownst to the player. I was simply watching the game and saw it jump behind the rail. Should I have said something out loud or not?

Tell the player or TD immediately. I think it’s the only instance where you can talk to the player while they are playing. Calls it out so they can try and trap up.

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Yes, players not in the game are allowed to alert the TD about anything. They should generally not alert the player in the middle of their ball – however, as Chuck said, stuck balls during multiball are a bit of an exception, because they require such immediate attention. Shouting something like “Hey, stuck ball” would totally be fine.

Good questions! Here’s one that happened last night: playing Wheel of Fortune, the center drain gives a “Big Money” spin, and one of the things on the wheel is Extra Ball. An Extra Ball spins up, and a ball is served to the plunger. However, no other “extra ball” fanfare occurs, and there was no bonus count down. This tournament has a “plunge extra balls” rule – so the question is basically whether this is an extra ball or a ball saver. (Under PAPA/IFPA rules this is definitely a “play on” because they do not have any rules restricting extra balls.)


Wow, so much to learn and be aware of!

Good progress since last month :slight_smile:


It’s still not rocket science my friend!

Chad and I were the ones in DE last night getting the machines set up when those two questions came about. If I’m summarizing correctly:

  • NBA Fastbreak Championships give +100 points

In the event of a warning-through:

  • Offending Player Gets a Warning

Player who has the warning can either:

  • Play On
  • If machine has add-a-ball capabilities, tilt out existing ball before plunging and give another ball to that player
  • If machine does not have add-a-ball capabilities, tilt out existing ball before plunging and that players gets to play one extra ball starting from Ball 1 (with notable exceptions for games like BSD and certain games with final-ball extra scoring features).

Did I get that right?


I treat the Big Money extra ball like a Free Spin. My logic is that since 10m is another possible award from Big Money (and likely even more valuable than EB), and it’s not like I’m going to deduct that 10m from the players score, then extra ball should be play on.

(However, this is probably also influenced by the fact that it doesn’t end your ball and count up bonus and give you another ball…it immediately serves it into the shooter lane as it does for Free Spins).

I’m re-reading through this and saw @bkerins’s note on the WOF situation.

I had assumed that all Extra Balls in the SCS should be turned off, not because it was a rule restriction but to keep pace-of-play reasonable. What are other states doing in that regard? We set up our machines as follows:

  • Extra Balls Off
  • Disabled Start Button Resetting Game (where possible)
  • Two Tilt Warnings Before Tilt
  • Tournament Mode On (where possible)

Essentially, the things on this list: http://pinholicsanonymous.com/Machine%20Settings%20Checklist.pdf

Anything else we’re missing that others are doing?

Most tournaments turn extra balls off, or have them plunged to keep the pace of play reasonable, but there are no rules requiring you to do so. The Big Money extra ball on WOF cannot be turned off, and the game treats it more like a ball save than an extra ball (ie: no bonus countup).

The only thing I’d add to your list is: turn off “lost ball recovery” or equivalent. So if there is a stuck ball, the game won’t give up on it and plunge a new one into play. Also it’s good to have the player hold the flipper button if a ball is being retrieved, even if they don’t have a ball on the flipper (so the game will think that they do).

Also if you can disable interlock switches that cut power to the flippers, that’s a good idea too. Then you can put a stuck ball on the flipper before closing the game back up.



Tournament mode should make it always spin 100K.

And, yes, extra ball from that feature is treated as a ballsaver as most have noticed.

“Giving TDs headaches for over 10 years now!”