Games not displaying dangers


The difference is that rule is referencing the “Playing out of turn” clause. This is not an explicit case of playing out of turn since the game logic dictated the plunge (albeit from another player’s action).

The “out of turn” rule generally assumes the game is in a stationary form at that point, with the offending player sitting with a ball on the flipper/in a holding mechanism before the control is passed off.

You can house ball on a fair amount of games; should that lead to you getting a beneficial ruling if you try to control an auto plunge?


There is no rule to address this specific case, so the playing out of turn clause seems to be the most similar case. In both situations the player is faced with a ball in play that they didn’t initiate.

It’s not a case of a beneficial ruling. It’s a case of the player choosing between taking over the ball in play or having it treated as a major malfunction. A player can choose to take over, but until the ball contacts the flipper the player is not “in control” and is allowed to change his/her mind and choose the major malfunction option. The rule seems pretty specific about this.


This is not playing out of turn. This is the game choosing to launch a player’s ball when they are not at the machine. Unless a player steps up and initiates another player’s turn, there is no playing out of turn penalty to apply.

This particular thing happens multiple times per year at events like Pinburgh, and it is consistently ruled the same way: if the player touched the machine, it is their turn. If they didn’t, it’s a major malfunction. It does not matter whether the player gained control of the ball.

We usually review this specific case and ruling before the start of Pinburgh each year with the opening announcements.

I agree with you that the language could be made more clear about major malfunctions. Perhaps something more specific can be written into the rules about this case. But the case is already known and consistently ruled upon, and your interpretation is not the one used by IFPA or PAPA.