Disrespectful Semi-Final Spectators

This is something that has really been bothering me since Saturday. After Josh Sharpe finished playing High Hand, Jack Danger announced the next player, Tim Street. Immediately after, the guy in orange said, “Does anybody care?” The others around him (arrows on them) began to snicker. I was sitting directly in front of them. I turned around and said as nicely as I could, “I do.” There response was elevating their snickering to laughter. I’m not sure if they thought I was being sarcastic, or just wanted to be mean to me as well. Either way, I thought their behavior was disgusting.

Tim might not be as popular of a player as Josh, but he worked just as hard to get on that stage, and was deserving of respect. I know guys like Josh, Keith, Steve, etc. are part of the reason pinball is where it is today, but to disrespect a lesser known player like that is uncalled for.

For pinball to grow, people need to embrace the idea that it isn’t always going to be the same famous players at the top.


I edited this post to remove the photo of the players in question. While I commend a discussion on this topic, I don’t see any point in shaming or “outing” individuals in the pinball community for the purpose. In the past when we have had these discussions, even when they involve known bad actors who have been banned from multiple events, we have not done this. Please do not replace this photo, but do please continue the discussion.


understood. I will not repost it.

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The clique mentality is super strong in pinball… has been around for decades unfortunately.

Unfortunately there is an element of ‘groupies’ too which seem to thrive on attaching themselves to ‘famous’ people :confused: which only seem to make things even uglier.

The behavior you describe @pinballr is saddening. The disrespect towards others is hateful and only negative.

The #1 reason I like Pinburg over PAPA is the social aspect! Getting to not just see people from afar, but getting to play with and chat with people from all over. You get to see people year after year and even tho this is the only time we are together, it’s nice to see people you recognize from times past… even if they aren’t on the final’s stage!


That’s utter BS and exactly what is not needed in this hobby. Thank god behavior like that is at an absolute minimum in my experience.

I was for sure rooting for Josh (he’s never won a major I believe), but had I not, Timothy would’ve been my guy. Love an underdog story. But yeah, behavior like that is terrible and I’m glad you said something even though it probably won’t make them change their ways.


Great response to the rude spectators, @pinballr. Unfortunately, ignorant and rude people tend to do ignorant and rude things.

I love seeing “unexpected players” get on a good run and excel at a huge event like Pinburgh. I think I first saw Tim Street play at PAPA around 3 years ago… he was very solid then, and has been getting steadily better since. Great to see him up there in the semi-finals, along with Luke Nahorniak (and Luke, if you’re reading, my apologies for mangling your name on the broadcast! I’ll practice it for next time :wink: )


I know Tim personally. I’ve played with him in both tournaments and casually. His rules knowledge is incredible and he is an amazing pinball player. He was in the top 8 in Pinburgh and the final 4 at Pinvasion. These guys didn’t recognize the name. Give it a few years and they will know that name quite well.


I remember some dude wearing an orange shirt (I think??) screaming “WOOOO!!” every like 5 minutes during the finals, it was super super fucking annoying. Wonder if that was the same guy.


Ironically, this is the same reason I like PAPA over Pinburgh


For me, i don’t find endless queue waiting as social as hanging out with new individuals for two hours at a time… followed by most people being within a few block radius all night. The ‘speed dating’ of grouping people is great for socializing outside your norms :smile: IMHO


Jack Danger? :wink:


Jack Danger?? (Kidding) :slight_smile:

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Damnit KME beats me at everything!


I’ll tell Gene X to calm down. :wink:


As a PAPA player, I agree with you about the social aspect. Competing is nice, but just as good to balance out competition with simple fun among other people.


Thats just bad. Why did they not get removed from their seating? You should have reported them to the organisers.

What, for saying “Does anybody care” and sniggering?

While I dislike that behavior, if a TD had indeed walked up to these guys to reprimand them and I had been there, I would have walked out in protest. Pinburgh is a pinball tournament. It is not the thought police, ultimate arbiter of sportsmanship, or the keeper of moral standards in the USA.

At almost every event I go to, pinball or otherwise, I encounter people whose behavior I disagree with. Unless what these people do is egregious in the extreme or illegal, I generally hold my tongue. Because the people I disagree with have as much right to their opinion as I do to mine. If I can’t handle that, it’s probably best if I move into the wilderness and live as a hermit…


I wouldn’t have wanted to remove them for comments either (unless personally disparaging) but I have to wonder if application of a breathalyzer would have been instructive here. As Saturday rolls on, the collective BAC of show attendees rises. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that a few blitzed people decided to crash finals and cause a scene.

The main problem with this kind of stuff is that competitive pinball hasn’t figured out what it should be:

  1. Played in a reserved and quieter environment, where spectators and competitors are mostly silent except for between turns (like in Chess, Billiards, Bowling, etc.)?

  2. Or should it be a more raucous and energetic environment, with players and spectators free/encouraged to make noise?

Similar to the discussions about how much noise a player should be allowed to make during gameplay before it is considered disruptive to other players. AKA Is it a sport or not?

Tough call because pinball combines elements of both kinds of games, and attracts tournament organizers and players of a wide range of sensibilities.


I got a ‘warning’ for the volume level of me verbally expressing my feelings while playing, although NOT officially a yellow card. I took it as a moment to be proud that I kept my language clean :wink: