How should phantom slam tilt / game resets be treated?

So this is on the final game of the 24 hour tournament. This is the bounty round since they give out money for the winner of each group. I’m on Stern Split Second. I’m on ball 2. I had a pretty solid ball 2, the ball was draining out the left outlane. I give it a little shimmy trying to shake it out of the outlane. The game instantly resets. Out of all the games there this weekend, this shake, to me, had a 10% chance to tilt, let alone restart a game.

The TD tests the game, he slams his fist on the front of the coin door, then shoves the game up and down and side to side, trying to get the game to reproduce what it did. He isn’t able to reproduce. He rules it a slam tilt. I argue that the game barely moved and since he wasn’t able to reproduce a slam tilt, why does he think my move caused a slam tilt vs the game resetting? He said that it exhibited the behavior of a slam tilt. I asked him if the behavior of a slam tilt was the same as the behavior of a game resetting? He didn’t have an answer to that and said he would research that for the next tournament and the ruling already was made.

Should the game be giving out a slam tilt for moves that little? How do you confirm with a game from the era that the game slam tilted vs a malfunction reset? Do you err on one side or the other when you don’t know? Do you take into account the amount of shaking that happened? Pretty deflating end to a long tournament.

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Slam tilt on split second will reset the game as if you turned it off and on. Since the slam switch in that game is part of the normal switch matrix, there can be situations where the switch matrix has a diode short in a way that would cause the slam switch to be read. All tournaments should just tape off the slam switches to start as they really have no business being a round-ender for someone who is just shaking in a normal manner.

That gives me an idea to add to the earlier tournament roms, just eliminate the slam switch ever doing anything - that way a switch matrix error in some other fashion can’t end your round.

Short answer on the malfunction reset vs. tilting - there is no malfunction checker. They didn’t have rom space available to do that. Usually when you get a malfunction in the software (and split second is buggy) - it freezes up vs. resetting. You can’t really predict/check what happened because there’s just no diagnostics available to tell you why it reset or what the program was doing.

Sucks, but there’s no ‘log file’ to review. The tournament should have been set up though so slam tilting isn’t possible. If it were, and it slammed anyway, that’s a minor since it happened once, and a major malfunction if it repeats… minors are usually ‘play on’… you would have just lost your ball in that case.

+1 to everything that @scochar said.

I’ll add that the TD should have tested the slam tilt via the switch to make sure the machine was actually capable of slam tilting and also to observe what it looks like when it does slam tilt.

What was the point of trying to reproduce the slam tilt via shaking if they were going to rule that it was a slam tilt regardless? Very strange, and really sucks that it happened at the worst possible time.

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I would like all slam tilts to be ruled malfunctions unless there is machine abuse. Games should be setup such that slam tilts do not happen without extreme force that would deserve a yellow card even without the slam tilt.

If you are slam tilting a machine, it is setup poorly, or it is malfunctioning (switch matrix issues, or inconsistent NC switch).


I should mention that the TD did do this. It reset the game. So it exhibited the behavior that I saw but we don’t know if it was a slam tilt or the game malfunctioning and restarting.

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This is a setup error by the TD. Stuff happens running tournaments is hard and sometimes you do not catch these things. I would rule a slam tilt and big fat zero for that game, get yelled at for a while for my incompetence and move on. Just some bad luck there.

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Absolutely brutal that it happened on the last game of a 24 hour event. That said, I’m guessing there weren’t a lot of spectators left at that point, but weren’t some of the other remaining players watching you play? Couldn’t they confirm that you didn’t make a big move?

Either way, it is a failure by the TD IMO, as others have mentioned. I was taught to either bend the slam switch blades way apart or tape them. No exceptions.

Your shimmy could’ve shaken a wiring harness in a way the TD’s slam and shake did not, cutting the power just enough to go poof. I’d think for a slam-tilt ruling, there should be some kind of actual slam.

Yes. The other players were mentioning that I didn’t make a big move.

Were the other players TD’s? :thinking:

Unless it’s a really aggressive shove, I’d be more inclined to rule this as a catastrophic malfunction. It is really unfortunate that Stern and Bally games of this era do the exact same thing for slam tilts and CPU resets making it damned near impossible to tell them apart.