Announcing the 2016 California Extreme tournament


Greg messed up on that one and he knows it already … We all do from time to time :slight_smile:

Minor malfunction, play on, apologize to Andrei for losing his locks, warn other players about the potential bad switch causing a search, fix it after the game is over, the end.


What do you do with the balls, @pinwizj ? Drain one of the player’s choice?


As a general rule player’s rarely get choices of anything . . . ever :slight_smile:

As a TD in that situation I would have him dump the ball on the flipper, make sure that it didn’t go to end of ball bonus, and then have him continue play with the ball in the plunger lane.


I feel like someone with some design skills could make a nice decision tree for TDs. There is a natural instinct to be fair and try to recreate a state where the malfunction didn’t happen. When in reality TDs should be asking Did it cause loss of turn? Was there unfair benefit? The classifying errors quick reference cards are great, but a feel a simpler summary covers 90% of cases.

Oh and the corresponding flow chart for players. It would have 2 steps.

  1. Accept the ruling of the official, treat them with respect and get on with your game.
  2. Complain to everyone you talk to for the next week and the internet that the ruling was BS.



Yeah, is what I was referring to with “The classifying errors quick reference cards are great”. But try using it to rule in the example from yesterday. It is partially “loss of lit feature”. Locks were lost and the table works well, but you need to read pretty far down to get there.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think it should start with the questions is this minor and is this beneficial. Basically, get the play-on cases out of the way first, then move onto the more complicated cases.


The skipping players that aren’t around when called is no big deal thanks to Karl’s software, IMO. You’re talking about 5 seconds of wasted time.


Software makes it easy, but the next person was often not around, or easy to find, then you are looking for 1 of 3 people. I didn’t mind the occasional person being away, that is understandable, but during one of my shifts the same person was never there on the first try. Based on discussion of those who know him or her, this is a common occurrence. It was more than 5 seconds.


Yup I will totally cop to being caught up in the heat of the moment on that one, and probably a bit of feeling bad for Andrei because of what a faulty shooter lane switch did to him.

If I had one piece of advice for any TD put on the spot to make a major ruling, it is just to take a second and just breathe. Stop what you’re doing, step back, think about what you know. If you’re really worried about messing it up, feel free to consult the printed rules. I did that earlier in the tournament when AFM rebooted in the middle of Andrei’s last ball. I was pretty sure I knew what to do, but I went back and checked anyways. That gives you the confidence to go forward and actually know that you’re doing the right thing. As soon as the Whirlwind ruling was over and I had a second to think, I knew I had screwed up. (This had nothing to do with @pinwizj texting me saying “GREG WHAT ARE YOU DOING???” of course.) Lesson learned.


^^^ THIS. Simply walking back to the tourney admin table to consult the rules or the handy dandy rules quick reference card (thanks @alwysmooth!) provides invaluable time to think and get away from the players to collect your thoughts.


Let’s try this…start counting now…:.Kevin Nickel, Kevin Nickel, Kevin Nickel. That was not more than 5 seconds :slight_smile:


Sounds like he is the Anti-Betelgeuse!


Thanks so much to @heyrocker, @JimiWolf and everyone else who contributed for an awesome tournament! I had a wonderful time.

A+++ to this year’s changes! Loved the limited entry and getting to spend more time enjoying the show, and cannot say enough positive things about having the big, separate space just for the tournament. Huge improvement in overall quality of the experience. Appreciated the location on the non-expo side of the hotel, which allowed me to go up to my room to rest while in a long queue.


Just seeing this comment now. Two points…

  1. Attempting to get control is not the same things as getting control. From section I.7…
    If the ball is inadvertently freed while the machine is open and drains without the player regaining complete control (stopped on a flipper), this will be treated as a major malfunction.

  2. Sometimes there are situations where you certainly DO want to attempt to get the ball back under control. For example, if you have Rule the Universe lit on Attack from Mars and some tourist butt-plunges your ball 3 (covered by the accidental interference rule in section 1.9), you absolutely have the option to jump in to try to get the ball under control. If you’re successful, you must continue your game (you can’t change your mind because you now want a compensation ball instead). If you attempt but fail to get control, you’re still entitled to a compensation ball.

[This situation was a bit different. You can’t play multiple balls if the machine still thinks you’re in single ball play, of course. I was just making up an example to illustrate the rationale for jumping in.]


“In the event the player takes over, he or she shall be deemed “in control” after declaring his or her intent, taking his or her position at the table, and making contact with the ball via the flippers.”

Yes, you can take over, but if you touch the ball with the flipper and drain, you are done. No further compensation.


I believe that section of the rules is in reference to taking over when a player has played out of turn.


Yes. There are only 2 sections that talk about control. That is from interference (which I believe covers Eric’s case 2), the other is from stuck balls when the machine is open.

“If the ball is inadvertently freed while the machine is open and drains without the player regaining complete control (stopped on a flipper), this will be treated as a major malfunction.”

Interesting that there are games like doodle bug where complete control is not possible.

Andrei’s situation was not either of these, but I would not have touched the machine.


What does Andrei touching the machine have to do with anything here?

His situation was only a minor malfunction, so no compensation is to be given.

If he never touched the machine, the ruling should be ‘play on’ with the ball in the shooter lane (assuming all other balls would have drained while Andrei wasn’t touching the machine). The fact he took control of the game and cradled that ball in play, he still would have had to dump that ball anyway and ‘play on’ with the ball in the shooter lane.


Of course it has nothing to do with the actual situation. I am just putting myself in that situation. I don’t know why there are balls in play on the machine. I don’t know if there is a ball in the shooter lane. What do I want to train myself to be my default response. I want my default response to be don’t touch the door, I mean machine.


That’s a dangerous response.

Assuming you’ve yet to address the machine then you’re fine.

If something ‘unexpected’ happens in the middle of your ball like balls being kicked out of locks via a random ball search . . . should you throw your hands up in the air because you’re not sure what’s going on is not a valid excuse for letting your balls go down.

Your goal should be to trap up, and then with the help of the TD you figure out why there are balls in play when maybe there shouldn’t be.