PinFest Tournament 2019 - A Stern Pro Circuit Event


And that’s where I feel the powerball mixes things up. It takes a 1-2 shot game and makes it more interesting.


It’s not a 1-2 shot game though. You need to hit all the other shots to make those valuable. The game is designed to let that pay off for skilled players if they can catch and aim well. There’s a reason the kickers don’t just feed the pops

Mixing stuff up can be good if you’re making the players use extra skills, or go for other strategies, but the powerball doesn’t do that. Mixing up for its own sake is pointless


Well to each his own of course, but I don’t find flail-fest luckboxes all that interesting, which is what it sounds like this game is with a powerball in it. I’d rather see skill over who has the best luck or fastest reflexes.


Far from a flail fest. The powerball did 2 things, made the game play faster and made the kickout from the saucer random instead of a direct feed to the flippers every single time.


Ah, yes. You’re right – that’s the standard setting according to the manual. On the Team One we had at TPF, we couldn’t get it to penalize the ball in play + 1 ball, so we loosened the tilt slightly and made it Tilt Ends Game.


Well, as long as the ball was never kicked SDTM, I can’t really argue that it was wrong, just… different. (SDTM kicks happen on some games with badly aligned saucer kickers, and will elicit more rage from me than just about anything else). I would still prefer making games harder by other means; faster doesn’t necessarily mean better. For example, the kickout maybe could have been adjusted to send the ball to the tip of the flipper, or into the slings, for a nice randomizer effect.


Papa never bastardized a game because they ‘like to do things differently and go against the grain’. They did it to make games that would usually be unsuitable for tournament play usable. I never saw a game with a powerball other than TZ there and I don’t recall ever hearing of it being done.

One oddball game in a bank is fine, so players can avoid it if they don’t want to play it, but more than one odd game will scare off players. I put a powerball in my Genie for one event. Genie is a floaty wide body that you can’t make too steep, even with rebuilt flippers, or you can’t hit the upper drops with the lower flippers. The powerball sped up games and because it’s such a big playfield, players could quickly adapt to the faster play. Bonus collect saucer kickout did not change.


This is how it was. One game in main, one game in classics.


Players can’t avoid it if someone chooses it in finals. You’re going to penalize/eliminate someone because they’re not familiar with the physics changes that occur utilizing a ceramic ball.

The owner of a game that volunteers it for a tournament should keep it stock and let the TD decide in collaboration with the owner if necessary what changes should be made. An owner shouldn’t unilaterally and arbitrarily put in power balls because they like it. The event is about the players/participants, not about an owner wanting to protest the way a game was designed to play.


I’d guess if the TDs had an issue with it they would have changed it back.

Some guidelines or standards from the circuit body would help in this regard and a million other things. As it is now it’s simply the wild west.


physics change with superbands vs titans vs stock, change with new vs old rubbers, change with playfield pitch, insert cupping, mylar, etc


I think if you were to survey 100 people and ask them if they prefer to play a game with the ball the game was designed with or put in a power-ball the majority of people would say to use the ball the game was designed to use. The intent of putting the power-ball in the game/s was a personal preference of the owner. Until I see evidence that proves people prefer power-balls over steel balls in EM’s I’m going to stick with what I think.


To varying degrees. Not as much as a powerball


Making people stop mid game to switch games would be reason enough for me not to participate.

I don’t see how this helps anything. It literally makes every turn take the most amount of time possible… as every turn can not progress faster than the slowest player.

It also disrupts any rythym on a game for a player.

It’s like a marriage of two bad things. What does this offer as an advantage to do in a finals format? The only thing it does is ensure all games start the last ball at the same time.

Next round still can’t start until all games are finished… so having games finish at the same time as the slowest game doesn’t change anything.


That entire argument could be why a game shouldn’t have silicon bands… or even things like pinstadium flashers too


Yet every tournament, learning how a certain example of a game plays is part of the competition… and adapting your strategies accordingly. Just like you adapt to your real time competitor situation, you adapt to the field conditions.

I’m not for the powerball in the games… but these justifications being thrown out are weak sauce.

As designed?

All things players study as they practice or watch other people play to pickup on.


100% spot on. You should be able to adapt to any situation you step up to for pinball because no game is going to play as designed or expected.


Within a certain variance i agree. To put powerballs or glo-balls in a game “just because” will annoy some people and create negative outcomes. If you want to argue with a participant that they need to adapt at the event to an arbitrary decision you made, have fun.

As it comes to superbands etc ive been at some circuit events where we’ve replaced all the flipper rubbers on the games to standard red ones, ive been to others where this didnt happen. As Levi mentioned there is no enforcement of certain specific requirements of how a game is setup. I just wouldn’t set them up proactively with the intent to make them play wildly based on a minority. If the majority of players/organizers at an event like to use power-balls, go for it. It just isn’t something I’d prefer. I own a TZ and the power-ball plays much different than a steel ball.


I’ve seen powerballs in tournament oldies before, I don’t see why everybody is making a stink about it now. Pintastic Bobby Orr two years running comes to mind.

It is what it is. I thought the 8-ball played fine, it was fun.

We haven’t decided yet whether or not we’ll go with Chad’s powerball mod when he brings that game to NYCPC.



You do whatever you think is best man! No feelings will be hurt, and if you use the silver ball, I will adapt. Just play better.