Ball saver and coaching


Yes, it’s coach signaling and can result in possible loss of point and loss of game after several warnings.

Wait what are we talking about.


Oh my! No cat videos, please!


Not alluding to any recent tennis match, of course :wink:


Could you imagine the outrage if I would’ve yelled ball save?!


Involuntary eye-rolling?


Absolute chaos. I would’ve been tarred and feathered on stage on stream.


I want to make this clear for everyone. Everytime I yell ballsave at all future events, I am not yelling at the player who turn it is. I am yelling at the next player to prevent them from going up to the machine and playing the wrong players ball.


That’s coaching. Disqualified :slight_smile:


Sorry about your luck. Then I would tell the guy that shouted ball save to try and not do that again and explain the ramifications of situation.

Edit. Looks like Brian said the exact same thing. Haha


Yes, I think that’s totally reasonable. Maybe the best option for a TD really is to have a firm stance before the event even starts.

The “ball save” shout can potentially be abused in group match play, where the performance of a player who comes after other players have played their ball 3 can affect whether another player will advance. In that case, it seems reasonable to be strict and come down hard on any outside interference from other players, such as the “ball save” shout. Otherwise, for pump-‘n’-dump qualifying and similar, it doesn’t really matter, and it seems reasonable to just let it go.

If TDs were clear about this up-front, I think players would appreciate it, and there’d be less potential for complaints.


This actually happened to me at Pinburgh in round 10. (@gammagoat, from memory, you were in my group.)

I played ball 1 on Terminator 2. Went well, I had two or three multi-balls and played for a long time. Eventually, I drained and walked away. All my co-competitors were watching, and no-one clapped or said “good ball” or anything. Just silence.

By the time it finally clicked with me, I was probably nearly five meters away from the machine and turned around, realising that there was still a held ball in the skull. So, I sprinted back to the machine, trying to get there in time. Too much momentum; I had to brace myself against the front of the machine to stop myself from literally falling on top of it and, of course, I tilted. Tilted really hard.

The machine sat there for what felt like ten seconds or more trying to figure out what to do next. I was fully expecting to see a tilt-through. Eventually, the machine decided everything was fine and ejected player 2’s ball, no problem. I had 78 million after ball 1, which was enough to win the game :slight_smile:

Moral: Never, never ever, walk away from a machine before the bonus count-down starts. And, even then, it might be a good idea to hang around regardless, just in case…


Completely agree. I’ll be adding this to my pre tournament speech for sure.

It will include exactly this:


And pay extra close attention on Walking Dead because if you don’t kill any walkers, there isn’t a bonus count.


Another piece of arcane trivia to add to the ever-growing stash. Thanks for that! :slight_smile:


Every time this happens to me (and it happens a lot), I think the game has malfunctioned until I see its on the next player/ball. Haha


I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here, and that’s to make sure you do all your coaching indirectly.


I’m watching Zach play on Eight Ball Deluxe in the Pinburgh final. He’s being quite aggressive even though he has the tournament won on bonus.

What not to do --> “Zach, don’t tilt bro, you got it on bonus!”

What you can do --> Look who’s sitting next to you . . oh it’s Adam Lefkoff . . .“Adam, did you know Zach has this locked on bonus as long as he doesn’t tilt??”


Haha, or hope the tournament is being livestreamed and tell the commentators to speak really loudly into the mics!


During the E Finals of Pinburgh I yelled “Ball save!” My opponent turned around, caught the ball and proceeded to put up a decent score. I’m not sure if anyone else in my group noticed, and I know the TDs missed it. It probably cost me a point, but I really didn’t want to win because someone walked away from the machine. Soon afterwards I was made aware that it would have been considered coaching and while I might have wanted to be a good sport about it, I was affecting two other competitors in my group that could have lost points because I was trying to be nice.

I shouldn’t have done it, but that also feels a little off to me. It’s pretty standard that in my local league or even some local tournaments that people will call out ball saves and even trap up a ball for the person that walked away. Most of us are friends, or at least friendly, and I feel like most folks are just trying to look out for one another. Maybe it’s a difference between more serious and more causal players or settings in general, but I can see myself doing this again in a situation where I shouldn’t just because it’s a habit.


Taako from TV, I think it gets easier to fine tune your instincts for casual vs serious play. It’s one thing if we’re doing bar league where coaching’s allowed, but when I’m watching an opponent in a real tournament, it’s like I’m looking at them through 6 inches of plexiglas. You know, no emotional connection, whether they blow it up or have a bad drain, whatever.


Yes, this is the reason why there is an announcement about “ball save!” right before Pinburgh begins each year. I get that we all want to be good sports, but in making that choice you take away from 2 players to give to 1. But it happens, a lot.

At IFPA 6, I was playing Stefan Karlhuber in game 5, tied 2-2. He’s up, last player, on Judge Dredd. Down 15 million, he completes “Battle Tank”, worth 30 million in bonus. He keeps going, eventually tilting when only down 4 million. Other players who knew the situation were watching intently, including those rooting for Stefan, and I’m grateful there was no coaching given in that moment.