Player In Control

As I support TD quite often I ran into a situation I didn’t know instantly how to rule on so I thought I would throw it to the larger community.

Game : Ghostbusters
Players : 2

Player 1 only hits start once, causing only a single player game. Player two steps up to machine with no way of knowing what player is up (unless they were watching the game), plays ball, in essence being in control of the machine and playing out of turn. This in my mind is a DQ for Player 2. (Stern please fix this, I know it says verbally “player two you are up” but otherwise no indication of player count.)

From what I read it would be TD’s call on to start a new game or not. If not, and player 2 is DQ’ed, this is an evil way to win in heads up battle.

Thoughts? Did I miss something?


The game is not valid unless started with the correct number of players.

Player 1 essentially got a free practice ball since Player 2 wasn’t paying attention. No penalty, start a fresh 2 player game.

Edit: This is much better than the old rule where I was DQ’d as P1 in this situation a few years ago after a 100M+ Ball 1 of ACDC in a significant tournament match.


sigh of relief This is exactly what we did. Both the main TD and I agreed was the right thing to do. Thanks for validating @jdelz !!

Also for ghostbusters it goes away from the skill shot screen to show who is up after about 5 secs of no flipper activity. Just a heads up if you want to know whos turn it is, and the scores.


A reminder that there is no need for all TD’s to memorize all these rules, or come up with some ruling and “hope” it’s the same as the general rule. The IFPAPA rules are available for anyone right here:

If you go to Paragraph 9 - Player Errors, you’ll find this:

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.

These rules are posted and available for a reason . . . use it! :slight_smile:


Thank goodness… I don’t remember what happened last night never mind memorizing all the IFPA rules. Appreciate the reply. Doesn’t get more clear then that. Was looking in the wrong paragraph when we did look. Live n’ Learn! Thanks @pinwizj :slight_smile: !

And to save time perusing the rules when in doubt, there’s also a very handy quick reference guide. It’s not the official rules, but it’s based on them.

Credit to @alwysmooth
You can find under Resources here: