Only 1 player started in 2p match. Ruling?

In head to head play in a tournament, what happens when the 1st player starts only 1 game and this is not noticed until the end of the 2nd player’s ball?

This happened on the weekend and both players wanted to start again so I agreed. Is the ruling that the 1st player is DQd that game?

You done it right, per papa rules

In any multiplayer match on any machine, it is the equal responsibility of ALL players involved in the match to ensure that the correct number of players are started. If a game is started with the incorrect number of players, anything that occurs within that game is considered void, with no penalty to any player. At no time may players be added to the game once player 1 has plunged their ball into play. At no time may player 1 finish their game as a single-player. The game must be restarted from scratch, with the correct number of players started. Players may always ask a scorekeeper or tournament official to instead start the game in any final round. If the scorekeeper or official makes a mistake, the game will be terminated and restarted, with no penalty to any player. There will be no compensation or adjustment of scores or game state at any time.


Yep, restart, no penalty. Under the older rules, P2 would have been DQ’d for playing P1’s turn. I like the new rule much better :slight_smile:


An important clarification of the rule . . . the fact that both players wanted to start again has nothing to do with it.

The players have no option to play it out any other way, for example, deciding just to play the games complete one at a time.


Depends if you’re running PAPA rules or not… Which you probably should have decided before the tournament. :slight_smile:

Just a reminder to everyone that is playing and TD’ing… if the appropriate # of players doesn’t get started up prior to the start of P1’s plunge, then the P1 game is null/void, and the game is started over with a fresh game with the correct # of players and no penalty to P1, regardless of the state of P1’s single-player game. I was watching some of the great archive stream of BPSO over lunch, and noticed a case where P1 – very early in his ball – noticed he’d only put in one player. While cradled, he added the additional players, and also courteously turned around to the bystanders to give a thumbs-up / everything’s good now, and presumably to confirm with everyone that he could proceed. Certainly no ill intent from P1 in my opinion. Play continued.

While the late player additions are fine for casual play… for competition, this should have been a complete restart with 4 players. See rules referenced above. The chat noticed it, too.

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Curious the harm of this? It’s specifically mentioned in the rules, so I assume there is good reason. Just curious.

It gives the opportunity for P1 to be duplicitous and start a 1-player game, and then make the call to add more players after they feel they’ve had a good enough start to their ball 1. If they have a bad ball 1 and drain: “Oh bummer, looks like I only entered one player. I guess we have to start over on a fresh game.”


Definitely a much better rule than it used to be. I remember getting DQ’d in the playoffs of a big event after a 100M+ Ball 1 of ACDC because it was accidentally started as a 1 player game. Womp womp

DQ’d?! The old rule used to force P1 to play their game out. Yikes.

The rule change occurred partially because if P1 started a one-player game, then P2 walks up to play their turn thinking everything is fine, then P2 gets DQ’d for playing someone else’s ball.

Yep, this happened in 2014 at the Ohio Pinball Show. I expected I would get to play my game out, but as I was playing ball 2 I was told to stop by the TD with bystander ruling backup from @PAPA_Doug. I asked to see the tournament rules, but they weren’t available in writing. It sucked.

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Even without a duplicitous P1, adding players after P1 plunges would give a favorable bias to P1. Suppose players could be added if the mistake is noticed anytime before P1 loses B1, otherwise a new game is started. If P1 is having a long ball time (good ball), it’s more likely a bystander notices the mistake and more players are added and the game continues. If P1 drains quickly before anyone notices the mistake, then a new game is started once it’s realized. The effect is P1 is more likely to keep a good B1 and discard a bad B1.

Therefore, once it’s decided that P1 playing out a single player game is not an acceptable rule, then it follows that players cannot be added after P1 plunges B1 should be the rule if fairness is to be maintained.

Another aspect to this is that P1 could duplicitously start a single player game and use B1 as practice without penalty. The opponents can counteract this action by ensuring that the correct number of players are added before P1 plunges, and in fact it’s their responsibility to do so, as stated in the rule. If the opponents do not ensure the correct number of players are added, then P1 gets free practice and the opponents cannot complain.


Same here. DQ for me in the first state championship against Joe on Addams Family. Rules did state DQ if I recalled correctly. Chuck was TD at Lanes and Games.

I think it was a brief period where the rule changed from playing solo games to P1 DQ’d. Then it was changed to the current rule of game void before Pinburgh 2014.