I don’t think this is really any different to having a TD watching some games, but not others.

I’m all in favor of TDs having the option to review any available footage to ensure the correct ruling is made.


Here’s a similar example from a recent event.

I was TD in this instance and issued a yellow card. Agree/disagree? FWIW, the player was apologetic and accepted the ruling without protest.




That was the one I was talking about but didn’t want to call anyone out. And good lord, My mind has gotten unreliable, I really thought the ball went up to the right inlane when the move was made but I wasn’t watching on stream and was watching at distance.

Some would argue that version of MMr deserved it at that point. Before Jessie rebuilt the flippers and put normal flipper rubber on that game it was BRUTAL :slight_smile:


Long live the Death Save¡ #lazarusaintgotnothingonme


You hope for the Lazarus to grace you.

I am the Lazarus.



Definitely a death save, regardless of the player’s intent (he clearly had no intention of continuing play) or benefit therefrom. Those things are incidental. However, given the circumstances, I think a ruling of either a yellow card or a 0 would be warranted. This is why TDs exist, to make reasoned rulings in ambiguous situations. I would probably have gone the lenient route and yellow-carded, personally.


agree. ball was long gone before the machine was moved.


Also agree. The left flipper coming up completes the move. That was an attempt.

Ironically, the physical move was a lot weaker than the alleged move above. That could’ve been me. Besides issuing the yellow card, I might also take the player to the side and quietly suggest they work on their death save skills. d;^)


Or, the left-to-right shove of the machine places the hand in a position where the flipper button is pressed incidentally.

For everyone who is “sure” they can read minds and divine the player’s intent from watching an archived stream, I can come up with a plausible example to the contrary.


Luckily, the deathsave rule is not a player intent rule, it is a forbidden move. You don’t need to infer intent, just decide based on the actions if you consider it a deathsave.


Not if you want an enforceable, objective ruleset. You want rules that gauge not on intent, but on observable or verifiable measures.

Obviously things that get into player conduct are harder to be straight measurable, but you try to avoid intent as much as possible because it is so difficult to do so.


The behavior is known to be banned… you know it… yet you conciously do it. I wouldn’t give you any grace for reasoning of “its instinctive” to you. The rules are known… I’d give you the violation relevant to the infraction regardless of your “reflexes”


So, you need to determine if what you see is or is not a deathsave? How do you do that without intent?

From what I can tell, a deathsave must include two things:

  1. A push of the machine after the ball has drained but not yet in the trough, and
  2. At the same time as the push, a return of the ball back into play through the flippers.

Now, consider this completely plausible setup:

  1. I shoot a shot, miss and hit a standup, and get an absolute screamer back SDTM.
  2. My reaction is to slap-save, which I almost always do left-flipper first, and will look like a left-right shove.
  3. But I’m late because it’s a screamer, so the ball drains, and I get a Lazarus.

I challenge you to rule that a deathsave, or whatever illegal move you want to call that. By the actions alone, I shoved the machine after draining and put the ball back into play. But, it’s ludicrous to conclude I did that attempting a deathsave, or even did it on purpose.

For the record, I don’t consider either move shown in this thread to be a death save. Both look like rage tilts at the wrong time, with no intent to try to save the ball. I’d have no problem with talking to the player about machine abuse or unnecessary actions, but I’m never agreeing this is DQ or zero material.


No one would rule that a death save because that’s not a death save…


Ok, let’s expand the definition then. Does the ball have to be draining down the right outlane?


Well if you want to go strictly by the book, then it wasn’t a death save because he didn’t raise the left flipper. Look up any definition or video about death saves and you will see the left flipper raised.

I took that into consideration along with the fact that he pulled his hands and walked away immediately. Reflex told him to death save and his brain kicked in before he could complete the move. His punishment was loss of bonus.

Folks need to remember that because of the nature of the sport, the rule book will never cover every situation. This isn’t chess or checkers. Too many titles and too many potential situations. If you think you can go to the rule book for every situation, think again. I, for one, enjoy that aspect of the hobby. You never know what’s going to happen next. Be prepared to improvise.


If the ball has gone through the right outlane (right side only), then the ball may be retrieved if the player nudges the machine firmly and as quickly as possible to avoid a tilt and also holds up the left flipper. The nudge will cause the ball to come off the wall leading the ball to the center drain and hit the upraised left flipper, bouncing it over to the right flipper. Then just flip the ball (if you haven’t tilted) and you’ve performed a death save.


IPDB definitions are not used in the IFPAPA ruleset. It reads:

  1. Death Saves, Bangbacks, etc.
    Techniques known as “Death Saves” and “Bangbacks” are sometimes employed by certain advanced players. Because the effectiveness of these techniques varies from machine to machine, and because of the risk of injury to either player or machine, these techniques are banned from tournament play. In the event that a drained ball bounces back into play without deliberate player action, such as in the case of a “lazarus”, this is considered the mechanical nature of pinball and the ball may be played. If this situation occurs repeatedly, and there is question as to whether the lazarus ball was naturally occurring or induced by the player, tournament directors may end the game in progress and award a score of zero.

Playing word games doesn’t factor into it. What matters is whether the ball was brought back into player as a result of a deliberate player action. Doesn’t matter if a player has learned to master death saves without holding up the left flipper.