I said above that it was a death save move. Because he didn’t raise the left flipper and immediately took both hands off the game and walked away, I don’t think he was trying to do a save. Even one of the announcers said he wasn’t sure if it was intentional. It was a frustration move from my view.

Legal or not, do you think it was an intentional attempt at saving the ball? As a TD, that’s what I’d be asking myself.


I had a classics game with wide bottom outlanes (adjacent to the apron) once power outlane so hard that the game did a hands-free “death save” by means of the ball hitting the right angles.

Weird lazarii are a part of pinball, it’s all about intent. Center saves and Multiball shakes that incidentally cause a ball to pop up are okay, but giving the one-two shimmy in the trough is a no go.


What is with the ‘well if it worked… we penalize you’ line of thinking?

If the behavior is banned - the behavior is banned regardless of outcome/success.

No one says “You can interfere with another player… as long as the other player doesn’t lose his ball”

The only question should be is if it were a deathsave or not… not dependent on the outcome at all.


Intent is just as important as the act. I didn’t see any intent in that video. I’m sure he does fine death saves, but that wasn’t one.

Someone should do a tourney with all newer Stern’s all equipped with lightning bats. Better bring extra yellow cards for that event. Could get dicey.


I have done several death saves in competition, per reflex shall we say, and let the ball drain afterwards.

I would be fine being yellow carded for this for machine abuse or player conduct alike. And even voided for that game if it could be proved that I gained an advantage.

But a direct red card and adios, no, that is taking it too far. All things considered. For competitive pinball.


This made me think of a game like xenon which has that post down in the drain area that if the ball comes down the left outlane fast enough or with a nudge, it can go back into play. What would the rule be for this? Because it is off a post it is fine?


Trying to stir the pot much? Not one person here has said anything about this being an immediate Red card. The talk is about a “yellow” card and if it was a deathsave or not.


Good question as we have Xenon in our local events. I don’t think that post’s purpose if for saving the ball. So I would treat it as part of the apron and trying to nudge and use it is not allowed.


Anyone else wonder if their would be this much debate if it was Eric and not Zen that did this?


That is an interesting debate which may merit it’s own topic. I’m thinking more in line with the games that have that post but with a ball going SDTM. I will often times nudge up when it’s going to that post to try and save a ball (like a chill maneuver).


The discussion has been good, and hasn’t been based on the player. I think it would be similar regardless of who did it because this is a pretty sane place to discuss things objectively.

But you’re accusing someone else of stirring the pot? Haha


I’m sorry you can’t see it but that question is WAY more on point in this conversation than bringing up red cards.

People here are discussing the players intent as part of their justification. Maybe you can’t see that in the discussion but it is their many times. So it begs the question. A player that is more known to go past the line vs a player that is more zen (pun intended). Would that change the outcome? I’d argue that answer would be yes.


Here’s a discussion about those posts and whether players can use them: Gottlieb Trough Posts.


Do you mind explaining why you’d argue this?

You should realize that first of all, the TD didn’t see it, and second of all, none of the players in the group called for a ruling. Only one of the 3 announcers even noticed it, the other two weren’t comfortable that they even saw anything. Nobody here is advocating a retroactive ruling. It’s interesting that the rules don’t specify what should happen, so that’s why there’s been such a discussion. The harshest penalty proposed was a 0 on the game and/or a yellow card. So if it was Eric instead of Zen, what changes?

I think it is interesting that we’ve had some possible rule violations on stream that haven’t got caught by TDs. It really shows that it’s up to the players to pay attention to each other more than anything. A few streams back a player added players to a game after getting control of the ball–I can’t recall which tourney. No harm no foul, except that player was not in danger up and until the point when he added the other players. If he drains prior to realizing the mistake, oh well, wrong number of players = start over; which is precisely why that game should have been stopped and started over with correct player count.

I am not blaming TDs at all, because it is impossible to catch everything. Players that aren’t watching their opponents risk missing all sorts of things that TDs won’t catch either. Stuck balls in multiball, wrong number of players, a trough pass through that gets plunged, games behaving incorrectly, etc.

I agree with the idea that rules need to be as simple as possible. I agree with the idea that if a death save can be prevented by setup–it should be done as often as possible. I agree that the broadcast booth and/or the audience shouldn’t influence rulings.

Now for my different question. Should a broadcast be used to verify rulings? If Zen had continued to play and one of the players said (note this is completely a hypo - I don’t think anyone would do a death save and keep playing), “I think he did a death save,” What then? Review the tape to confirm? Or just ask the player - Did you do a death save?


General consensus is that there is too much partiality towards the group(s) featured for this to be a thing under current broadcast setups.

Most, if not all streams are not from a technical sense at the point where every group can be monitored simultaneously and the subsequent footage can be recorded for replay usage.


If we are going to play the hypothetical game, how about recovering scores in the event of a catastrophic malfunction?


I made that statement/argument as I’ve seen rules bent for certain player while others are held to the letter of the rule more often than I’d like to count. Some players are just on a shorter leash than others based off their previous experiences. And it was an honest question. If Eric would have done the move I truly feel people would have been less likely to dismiss it.

In this case I feel it’s a black and white situation. The ball drained out an outlane and a very distinct left to right movement was made right at the time the ball was entering the drain. I’m not thinking he was expecting the ball to go above the flippers but the move was text book for attempting a death save and should be ruled as such. This happened to a friend of mine at a recent tournament. He frustrated shook the game, the ball came above the flippers and a TD saw it. He was given a yellow card for this because it appeared to be an attempt at a death save. Neither of us argued that ruling.

On the line of a TD not seeing it. This part frustrates me. It was the final 4. In the finals you should have a TD or official at the games watching for situations like this but also to help with streamlining ruling or tech concerns. To me, that is part of running the event that when things become manageable you or an official is their. This is the case for every major tournament I’ve participated and even most adhoc ones too.


This I feel should be allowable and encouraged. If anyone has “proof” of the score prior to a malfunction then it should be used. This would include a stream or even someone that took a selfie to post online. If we have the score documented in any fashion it should be used if the situation would allow it.


It’s not final 4. This is the round of 16.


Fair enough, I thought it was the final 4.