Adding tilt warnings to a ball


The software you are referring to (scoring points for targets and VUK hits) is not software written into it to specifically address the mode or situation. Those points for targets and VUK hits are the same regardless of situation, and the game does nothing “special” (as it does for AFM and Jackbot).

The rule you cited even goes on to definitively, specifically, refer to Spider-Man:

“On Spider-Man however, since there is no game rule written for that situation, this would be considered a stuck ball and the player should attempt to trap the other ball(s) in play and request assistance.”

Your last statement about opinion says that you know all this, yet chose to override the rule. This is fine, since NYCPC is not a Circuit event, but if you are going to override some of the IFPA/PAPA rules for an event, exceptions need to be noted in advance, rather than discussed after the fact.


Back to the abillity to adjust games states (tilt warning account, ball-in-play,…), I am affraid that it will appeal only to the absolute expert TD’s. Not saying you should not cater the the elite in this regard. But I foresee a lot of TD being downright scared to do any menu adjustements on an active game. And who will prefer to fall back to the general actions applicable to older games too.

I will suggest another approach to this. Paging all you game designers. Just don’t let it come to this situation - in competition configuration.

The reason pingames can tilt with a ball in the shooter lane, end-of-ball state etc. is historical, I guess, and because, why should the hordes on locations be allowed to get away with anything. The scare of an angry operator claiming that players are shoving his game around “and it did not tilt”.

Same with the 3-switch thingy. You want a game on location that does not work, to work.

But, if the game is set for competition play, work a couple of assumptions into the game logic. Assume the players are not vandalising hordes. Assume stock balls and other problems are delt with. Assume switches can be trusted a little more than average. So…

Have tilt bob hits masked off from next player-up state till ball-in-play state.

Have ball saved balls fed to the shooter lane not auto plunging (with ball saver paused and not resetting).

Have ball-in-play state at first switch registered.

Have limited ball search. No flippers, slings, kickback, shooter lane, lock release, drop target reset etc. Except on choiced exceptions (Road Show left mini flipper comes to mind).


Go read what Bowen posted … He nailed it.


Hi, spiderman-playing-finalist-with-the-stuck-ball here. I have a question about the rules here.

First off, for context, as someone much more used to how jackbot’s gate works, I assumed that the gate would open on its own eventually, and didn’t parse this situation while playing as “capital S Stuck, like auto plunge isn’t working, get a TD”, more like “stuck in the way a ball might be lodged between two pops and can be jostled out, keep playing”. I was also thinking about how bad of an idea it is to go for a closed sandman during single-ball play, and was surprised that I didn’t lose the ball in the process.

That said, out of curiosity, given that I was using the remaining ball trying to get the sandman’d ball unstuck instead of racking up jackpots, the rules for this section state: “A stuck ball during multiball often represents a significant beneficial malfunction, and intentionally taking advantage may result in a penalty.”

Given that I wasn’t intentionally taking advantage (e.g. by going for jackpots), what would other outcome/ruling might there have been?


A player “trying” to get the Sandman ball unstuck can miss that shot and hit a jackpot. Then miss that shot again and hit another jackpot. Then miss that shot again and hit another jackpot.

Per the IFPA/PAPA rules:
“For any balls stuck in multiball play, no attempts should be made by the player to continue shooting shots around the playfield trying to free the stuck ball unless directed to do so by a Tournament Director.”

With respect to intentionally taking advantage of a situation, that leads to player conduct issues. If it was inadvertent then there’s no additional consequence other than a voided game. If it was intentional, then you’re talking about being ejected from the tournament.


So I guess the question that remains, since she wasn’t trying to gain advantage from the situation, should her game have been voided?

I recognize the TD’s call was not to go that route, so at this point it’s purely a discussion of the letter of the law and the best way to handle this in future situations that may arise.


I use to be affriad of the menu on Sterns. I now embrace it, if I open the machine, I put it in the menu to stop the ball searches and accidental switch hits while I dislodge a ball until I am ready to place on a flipper. Learn and get confident with the tools at your disposal.


That’s TD disrection based on how material the advantage was. I’ll typically use Powerball mania as an example.

If I’m told a player is in the middle of Powerball mania with a stuck ball, and their score is currently 7.5 mil in PBM on ball 3, then I would likely let things stand. It would be advantageous for that player to get the game voided.

If that player had 750mil in PBM then voiding the game is the far more likely decision.


In general, the IFPA/PAPA rules allow for some leeway, as long as there is agreement. “Any beneficial malfunction which provides one or more players with a significant scoring or strategic advantage in a way that is not part of normal gameplay will void the score of the affected player(s), unless all immediately-affected players and tournament officials can agree on a suitable adjustment of the score or other elimination of the advantage.”

Some tournaments (Pinburgh, anyway) do not give the leeway so that multiple TDs can be consistent in these types of rulings across the entire event.


This might make some TDs cringe, but I’ll be honest: if I see a ball get stuck that could be freed pretty easily (like this trap behind Spidey’s 3bank), I’m going to immediately take a couple shots at freeing it, preferably before anyone notices, or “while” trying to trap up. If I am being told I must completely change my method of play from scoring to trapping, I will take advantage of any residual chaos to deal with the problem the old-fashioned way. If the deed cannot be done in a few seconds, I’ll focus solely on trapping.

This rule is a pet peeve of mine-- telling a player that, due to random bad luck, they MUST immediately begin playing in a certain fashion that is detrimental to scoring, or else be disqualified. I understand the reasoning, but it’s just a rotten situation in general.


While we’re here…what’s the preferred non-permanent method of disengaging the interlock switch? I’ve used tape before, and I’ve heard people use flipper rubbers.

I want to add it to all my older games, but have an easy on / easy off solution so I don’t fry anything when working under the playfield.


Cardboard and zip ties is my go to.


I have not tried these yet, but I am hopeful.

On sterns usually use old rubbers. On JJP you need to pop the interlock of of the clips and pull forward. Actually works well.


In the case of Spidey, there’s usually little incentive to do so. You won’t score any points off freeing the ball; if you drain all other balls, you might have to deal with a bad feed once the 3-bank drops during ball search; and there’s hardly anything timed that matters (except maybe if you’re about to finish a mode).

It’s not worth the risk.


The player didn’t intentionally try to take advantage of the situation.

I still don’t really understand how a determination can be made as to which games satisfy this requirement. On BKSOR there is software written into the game to address a situation where 2 balls become wedged in between the gate and are not resting on the castle VUK switch. It’s unlikely to happen but not impossible. What is this considered? @pinwizj


My understanding was that if the game acknowledges the stuck ball via a callout or providing additional scoring opportunities, then it’s play on?


What software is written into the game on BKSOR should you get into this situation, and then unstick the ball through skillful play?

Attack from Mars has a Dirty Pool award that addresses this exact kind of situation. Jack*bot has a Dirty Pool award that addresses this exact kind of situation.

If you have a “YOU FREED THE KNIGHT” award, or some kind of bonus beyond just recognizing the switch in the same way you would regardless of the situation, then it would be “PLAY ON” and the player would have the chance to execute that skillful act to cash in that ‘bonus’ OR choose to focus on other things with the ball in play at the cost of being rewarded this ‘bonus’.

I’ll add at a minimum, while one can argue you never know of every instance that can satisfy this argument, the IFPA/PAPA rules explicitly point out three machines where do make that clarification (AFM, Jackbot, Spider-Man).


To clarify, the risk I’m referring to is having the TD deal with opening the game vs just getting the ball unstuck quickly, myself. I agree on Spidey, there’s not much risk in trapping and allowing the TD to do their thing, but I’ve had games ended accidentally by TD error, and there’s always the problem of draining while switching styles and trying to trap. Point being, if I have a good game going and I don’t want to risk losing it, I’m going to try to get that stuck ball taken care of ASAP so there’s no chance the game gets wrecked while trying to pull the glass, etc.


I use gaffers tape.


I have made a few short M-M cables to bypass and connect the F-F connector directly. Run those for a few years on all my WPC machines without issues.