Overly brutal set-ups on tournament games


I know :smirk: I was pretty sure playing one ball games was a no go, but just didn’t have the IFPA verbiage handy. It got posted eventually. Haha.


Thanks for that!

There still seems to be a problem though. As far as I can see, this is mentioned only in the change log, but not the rules themselves? If so, I think that needs fixing. Otherwise, I will have to read all of the change logs in chronological order to figure out what the actual rules are.


Updated :slight_smile:


Out of all of the modifications you can do to make a game harder, I think adding lightning flippers should be about the last one you should try. This is probably partially because I play from muscle memory more than some other people, but it also seems to change the feel of the machine more than anything else you could do.

They did put a ceramic power ball in a Future Spa at NWPAS one year. A lot of people complained about that, but I kind of liked it.


So putting lightnings on changes the feel of a machine too much, but using a ceramic power ball is OK? :thinking: :confused:


It’s more like I acknowledge the power ball was a drastic change, but that I kind of enjoyed it. It probably didn’t belong in a major tournament though.


Yes? Often lightning bats are put on games like Spidey or TSPP. They do alter the feel too much on any game that didn’t come with them IMO. It’s an easy way to make ball times shorter. If you must brutalize a game, please leave the flipper bats alone.

Putting a powerball in an old floaty single ball 80’s game OTOH is fine in my book as long as everyone knows from the start. We used a Genie with a powerball once. Speeds up play somewhat and many (younger folks in particular) would argue that it makes the game more fun.

I’m going back to the wicked hard location I mentioned above Sunday. I understand many games now have lightning bats. Can’t wait. Trying to strategize for this place is pointless. The one who plays the best defense (keeps the ball in play) wins.


I out lightning flippers on my STLE at home to try to shorten ball times when I host my league. Lighting flippers are odd because they make the gap larger, but they make other things a lot easier. It is way easier to live catch from a right orbit shot on my STLE. This makes left ramp, right orbit really repeatable. They strangly make controlled play far easier and thus only minimally reduce ball times.

Maybe I should try 2"


100% agree on the latter. As a modification, that’s the intent.

In terms of the former, on “feel,” I don’t think it changes the feel of the game – it doesn’t change how the ball moves around the playfield and interacts with the different shots, targets, loops, ramps, etc. It certainly changes the “feel” of the flippers – where on the flipper you have to flip to hit certain shots, and makes some flippers skills harder (cradling, ski jumps) and other skills easier (live catching, as @gammagoat mentioned). But I’d argue that almost every different physical copy of a pin has a different feel of the flippers, depending on age of the flippers, type of rubber, coil, shaft, stop, etc. And as a player, you have to adapt to the feel of the flippers of any different physical copy, including two Spideys that both have standard length flippers.


I agree with you on this one… lightning flippers make the shots out towards the end of the flipper a little tougher and of course, the drain a little bigger. Pretty similar adjustments to make on any game with them, and not a whole lot different to adjustments that need to be made from game to game regardless of flipper length differences.


They make cradling and post passes noticeably harder, which are a big part of my game. There are plenty of other ways to shorten ball times. Open/ remove outlane posts, pitch, wax. I think I’d rather play a STLE with all those mods rather than one with lightning bats.

Seems like lightning bats punish control players the most. My eyes are getting older and my reflexes are getting slower, so ball control is the best tool I have. I will say that it’s nice to easily see if a game has them. Someone was selling bad ones (that broke easily) without the lightning bolts for a while. Haven’t seen those in years.


Thank you!


I do all of those as well. The real way to shorten ball times is hard software setting. If you have hard mission start and hard multiball it shortens times. Unfortunately, I don’t consider the hard mode start software to be clear enough (nothing tells you what to do) and consider it an unfair modification.


I disconnected the left outlane switch and that helped too as you cannot turn off the outlane save in software that I know of.


I saw what you did there. Clever!


One thing I just thought of - On games with black rubber on outlane posts that don’t get a lot of attention, the rubber almost feels dead and non-bouncy. Rather than removing outlane posts completely, could that be an option, to intentionally install dead rubber on slings and posts, areas you’d want the ball to just slide out instead of being bumped much? Could be an option for making games more drainy without needing to make other physical modifications.


We used to have some original, yellowed rubber on the post in the right outlane of a local IJ. It was completely brittle, made saves really hard


I have a tangential question coming out of this hypothetical: What would be the best way to report these results from a TGP perspective? I’ve run a variant of the “progressive strikes” format as part of a non-IFPA B-Division consolation bracket for our regional selfie league (10 strikes), but put a rule in place that says if we have a round that starts with four or less people, then we stop the “strikes” portion and we run a single game group match play game with game/order choice going to the person with the least strikes. This helps the event conclude quicker. If I were to actually try to run something like and submit for TGP, what is the best way to calculate if there’s a conscience choice to truncate a format? Number of actual rounds played? Some kind of “penalty” reduction in TGP because of the lack of actual games played?


Number of games the winner actually played. Include the 2x and 1.5x bumps where appropriate.


If you want a faster time for qualifying on games . Without changing much if you turned down the ball save multiball time to 5 seconds you will see shorter times on the new sterns. Just make sure you put a post it note on machine that this has been done.

If you have a tournament where qualifying ends on Saturday and Sunday starts the final rounds. We actually went back to factory settings and put rubber back on outlanes to make for some fun playing and not being as brutal compared to qualifying at a circuit event for Sunday.