Wouldn’t this be considered a death save? It definitely looks like a death save to me except for holding up the right flipper. I’m just curious since the commentators mentioned that after it came back up between the flippers that it didn’t hit a switch. Making me think that you can get away with a death save as long as the machine doesn’t register any additional points.

It happens at 1:24:36.

If I had seen that as a TD, I would have given a yellow card.


i would say the major difference is that it wasn’t used to continue play after draining. I know others say the issue with death saves is that it’s an unnecessary large nudge, potentially damaging the machine, but I’ve seen at least a couple players who can very smoothly perform a right outlane death save without even getting a tilt warning.

however, the move was also a rage-tilt.

The point the announcers were making was that it was a death save, and if points had been scored after–it might have led to the need for a ruling (illegal points). So no, they weren’t saying death saves are okay if you don’t score points, they were saying if the ball had hit any switch and triggered points, it might have been an issue. Which may or may not have been true (if a TD had seen it, they might have made a ruling even without points scored).

That said, I agree this wasn’t being used to continue the ball, it was being used to express frustration. The thing about being a TD, you aren’t going to catch everything. I don’t think they saw this, so it is what it is. BTW - this is the definition of the death save on a right outlane drain.


Why though? It wasn’t machine abuse and he wasn’t trying to continue play. It looks like a pretty normal frustration nudge that just happened as the ball was in the sweet spot for a death save.

Would you have given a yellow card if it hit the bottom of the flippers, or is it just the fact that it bounced up between them that you think deserves it?

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I hate the no bangback / deathsave rule. I don’t think it was out of line for machine abuse. My read on that it was a deathsave. I have seen lots of location players who will bang back or deathsave when they drain either out of habit, or to keep practice or to show they could have done it. I don’t know the motivations, but my read was this fell that general area of deathsave with no intent to continue play.

Which is why I would yellow card instead of DQ.

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This is why I would think a yellow card is fair.

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Seems ticky-tack to me, but I guess every TD has different gray area on this sort of thing. I know I wouldn’t want to be bothered always looking for something like this, what I consider to be a minor non-offense, while trying to run an event.

Agreed. I doubt anyone would bring this to my attention or I would see it live, so it would most likely get no action.

Meh, it was definitely a death save, but he clearly wasn’t trying to continue his ball. More of a death tilt. As a TD I’ve witnessed something similar and gave the player a friendly warning. The bigger annoyance is unnecessarily tilting the game, which slows down the tournament.

As a player, I will say it is hard to suppress the automatic response to death save in tournaments. As soon as the ball drops down the right outlane I can feel my body brace itself for the quick left-right. I’ve pretty much stopped doing them altogether because of this. Once it became an unconscious response, I worried my conscious self wouldn’t have enough time to inhibit the response.


As I see it, if you’re going to have a shitty no-deathsave rule, you have to enforce it (I do not agree with allowing bangbacks). What if it had gone sling-sling-mode start? Probably not the biggest deal on GOTG since you get a mode at ball start anyway, but what if it was a different game and something significant happened like lighting a lock on WPT or something?

I skipped ahead and saw Zen took 2nd. In my mind, it’s a 0 even though it doesn’t “feel good.” But rules are rules, and we shouldn’t be enforcing rules based on outcomes or feelings. He did a death save and that’s it.

No offense to Zen, who I love. Just talking about this infraction.


Yes, it’s a death save, one of the more clear examples of it.

why a difference in your opinion of bangbacks and deathsaves?

I do agree with the view that a bangback is an abusive maneuver. Anyone who’s done it on a later-era DE game and had the lockdown bar pop out in their hand should agree with this. :wink: Plus possible injury to person attempting, little risk of game penalty (doesn’t affect tilt bob)… They’re pretty bad news.

Since moving the game to alter the ball’s trajectory is legal almost all of the time combined with the fact we (the community) have had to come up with all this ridiculous verbiage of when it is and isn’t legal now because of the drain point of no return, tilting for benefit (TAF), etc., it’s just another in a long list of arbitrary and silly reasons making tournament rules way more difficult than they should be. Let the game be the referee when possible.



This is definitely a Death Save – the player merely tilted during the Death Save.

The IFPAPA rule (III.7) states: “…these techniques are banned from tournament play.” I always thought that a Death Save resulted in a Zero for that player on that game (and not a yellow card, because the act of sliding a pin isn’t included in the list of Abuse of Machines). But it turns out: the rule doesn’t specify the consequence of performing a “banned” skill.

So given we have a rule that bans Death Saves, what should be the consequence of doing Death Save, whether successful or not: a zero on the game? a yellow card? Both?

My vote: you get a Zero. No yellow card. The threat of a zero is plenty of incentive to not do it.


It was a death save move, but it wasn’t a real attempt as he didn’t raise the left flipper. It was a reflex move done out of frustration, not a serious attempt.

If I was TD, I would let the player know I saw it, but wouldn’t issue a yellow card. Game hardly moved and it didn’t work, intentional or not. If he had made the save and didn’t tilt, I’d give him a yellow card and a zero for the game.

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Do you mean “made the save” as in play on, we probably all agree on that part. But if you mean “made the save” as in “ball went up, didn’t tilt and just drained immediately anyway”, that is a zero, then I find this problematic.

Mild abuse: No tilt, you get zero. Worse abuse: Tilt, get yellow card. It’s like saying: Don’t rage abuse, but if you do, do it hard.

Would you clarify?

If he had made the save without tilting and continued playing (scoring points), yellow card and a zero. Intentional or not, that was a death save move. If he had made the save without tilting and let the ball drain without scoring any points, I would just let the player know I saw it and he’s lucky it didn’t score any more points. Warning, not a yellow card.

The shove alone didn’t seem worthy of a yellow card IMO. He didn’t move the game much. I’ve seen much worse forward rage tilts that haven’t gotten a yellow card. Does the fact that his move looked like a death save alone make the shove more yellow card worthy? I hope not.

Reading through this thread makes me wonder if doing death saves is a dying art. I’m surprised I was the only one who noticed he didn’t raise the left flipper. I’d like to see someone attempt death saves with no tilt without raising the left flipper. That was a lucky bounce. Good luck trying to repeat it.

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Reminds me of this ol’ chestnut. Why is @zEn always getting himself into hypothetical dilemmas?


Unless you are already in last which is most likely, not always, when someone would knowingly do it. I know I’m going to blow some peoples minds (with my stance on yellow cards in general) but I feel it should be a zero and a yellow card.

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