Announcing the 2019 NYC Pinball Championships


From the perspective of an outsider, it seems correct to void the game (even if complete) if there’s a reasonable suspicion that all player scores are suspect due to malfunctions, which is what we have here.


Why does there seem to be a pattern of broken games but players not reporting the issues? We need to institute a whistleblower policy?


I think it may have to do with the streaming. I couldn’t see the games too well on the TV because I wasn’t sitting very close to them. It’s much easier to see everything today on my computer watching it back. By the way great job Marc!


Major explanation boom



Guessing not many people know Rolling Stones well enough.


My group played it in the previous round and I witnessed none of that stuff (and I was hovering, not just my own game), and I definitely didn’t in qualifying. AFAIK, it was a very new issue.

IMO, that clip you shared was pretty damning and I agree with the decision. Nor can I fault jerry for not noticing the scoring while comboing licks. …now, the single ball multiball? I probably woulda trapped up sooner, though it’s obvious Jerry is a very flowy player…so I dunno.


The problem I see is that you had 3 complete game scores and not enough evidence to say that any of them were bad–at the time of the ruling. The fourth score was from a player advised to play on. I have a personal example from a Pinburgh ruling with a similar setup and a completely different ruling (not that you are bound by a Pinburgh ruling at your tourney), and the only difference is the video. But notice that in real time, nobody noticed the issue with the extra LICKS. You can say the evidence is damning, but listening to the announcers, it doesn’t seem so.
My question is, do we have two sets of rules now? One for if we have video evidence, and one for if we do not?


I think your question is should we use video to make a ruling if we think video may provide better evidence.


I like my phrasing better, but let’s take your phrasing. Very few games in a tournament are under camera. Usually 1/4 or 1/6 in the playoffs. I’d be more willing to allow video evidence if we had every playoff game under camera. Because we still end up with 2 totally different rulings if one group is being recorded and one group isn’t. I think, as a TD, I want to be consistent, and even if I sacrifice accuracy, I’m making the same ruling in similar situations.

I’ll give a somewhat ridiculous example :slight_smile:
The rules say if I get an unearned multiball, I can play it (so long as the game is in a multiball state). But if it happens again in the same game to me or someone else - that’s a game breaker. If player one got an undeserved multiball, but nobody realized it, then I got one, and we realized it - called a TD and got the Play On ruling, nobody else got one - game scores are valid. But if the TD had access to video, he/she could make a ‘better’ ruling and end the game, right? Same circumstances different result.

Are we okay with this if a TD’s access to video evidence is luck of the draw?


At the venue, a good amount of people were baffled as to why since the score he put up in that mode was practically impossible given the number of shots. I was thinking it was orbit-related until Raymond’s issues came up.

It was not reported to a TD (to the best of my knowledge, I had my back turned to the game to watch the TV)


I think this is going to fall under TD discretion. I know that I’m open to any and all evidence I can get my hands on to determine if there’s something consistently wrong with a game (that’s still in progress).

If I’m hearing from everyone that there’s been a ton of weirdness with Stones during all of finals, the first thing I would do is thank everyone for not telling me before this moment in time (in my most sarcastic voice possible).

If there’s 27 Twitch clips that someone can point me to in that moment to show me multiple malfunctions happening, I would have no problem throwing the game out on the spot. At that point the evidence supports multiple beneficial malfunctions on the same game, etc.

The timing for all of that to happen would be BEFORE the game is over IMO.

If this all goes down AFTER the game is over, as TD I would be like “It’s all your faults this piece of shit game stands. Rolling Stones is out going forward until further notice.”


As a TD of many events, I BEG BEG BEG players to let me know of any weirdness that’s happening in a game. Even if you didn’t ask for a ruling when it happened, come to me after the fact. Even if we’re not able to figure out what’s going on, at a minimum we’ll be on alert that the machine is acting “funny” so we’re prepared for a future malfunction related ruling.


Yes, this. And notably, P3 has locked into last place and P1 has locked into third. Assuming what’s been said (noticing scoring issues and first addressing any malfunction during P4 ball 3), the restarted game should have been between P2 and P4, for first and second.

“In the event that any players completed their game before the machine became disabled, and their finishing position on that game has been determined, that finishing position will stand and that player will not participate on the substitute machine.”


Sorry, I meant to clarify, I was referring to the announcers. They didn’t notice in real time.


Thanks Tim!

And another reason it wasn’t brought to the attention of a TD or Tim sooner was my unfamiliarity with Rolling Stones and how scoring exactly works. As soon as the thought of a broken switch or malfunction started to pass through twitch chat I did run to notify Tim that something was up.


I’ll even take some accountability here as a viewer. As soon as I saw THIS I knew it was fucked:

(start at 4 hours, 34 minutes, 55 seconds)

I should have texted Timmy immediately - “Dude, opto problem on Stones, check it out NOW before it causes future disasters”.

Bowden’s reaction is priceless, as is Sean Grant’s commentary on Steve’s successful Super Skill Shot :slight_smile:

Next time I’ll be sure to heed my own advice . . . #SeeSomethingSaySomething


Should we be taking accountability as a viewer to step in and influence a pinball match? I feel a bit uneasy going up to/messaging a TD and going “hey, the game’s acting up” if I’m not involved in the game at all since I shouldn’t be the one influencing how a game plays out.


For me I’m all about one thing . . . getting to TRUTH.

Tim is one of my friends, and putting him in a position to be as knowledgeable about a situation as possible is something I would hope anyone would do for me if the situation presented itself.

I think the slack channel for rulings help is an extension of this. I see enough activity on there that TD’s are actively asking outsiders for help that are absolutely influencing decisions being made in those events.

TRUTH IS ALWAYS RIGHT. Anything that helps get us there is an asset IMO.


All of this raises an interesting if dull question:

Should the higher ups at the IFPA home office in Chicago be taking a bigger role in remotely officiating pinball contests?

Should players be allowed “Challenges” that send the officiating question back to IFPA HQ?

Can young Sharplings be trained to handle these duties?


My wife doesn’t have a Tilt Forums account, but wanted me to pass this along . . .



Back to praising the awesome job the NBP crew did. Upgrading to the main ballroom made a huge difference and getting papa games was a smart idea. Top class event. I love that NBP has a vision for their event, and they go with it. Even if it isn’t the choices I would make, I appreciate that they deliver on their vision. Never change! The Horror will be back next year!