Responsibility of player when TD makes a favourable and questionable ruling?

I was playing in league. I had a stuck ball during multiball and craddled up the one ball and called the league official for a ruling. The interlocks were not disabled, and they suspected opening the door would kill my multiball. They ruled I should shoot me he orbit the dislodge the ball (stuck under gate). I did and continued my game.

My friends gave me a hard time afterwards for allowing the TD to make a ruling I would never had made. They thought I should talk the TD into opening the coindoor and ending my multiball. I’m I a bad person?

No, you should be allowed to shoot and dislodge the ball. The ruling was correct.


Context matters

In a weekly league, that is more casual, sure bend the rules a bit.

But that is 100% the incorrect ruling, ball is stuck, official is called over to free it, the interlock should be disabled, but if it’s not, sucks to be you, you lose your MB, ball is free’d play continues.


Huh? Some games kill your ball if the interlock is not disabled right? So in that case you open door, kill his ball, free stuck ball, then give him a comp ball?

Oh, for sure. But man, this is one of those absolutely stupid rules either way. A reasonable attempt to dislodge the ball should be allowed. There’s no way in league I’d make someone open the door and all the “letter of the law” types at league could start threads in anger for all I care.

In a tournament, yeah, you go full letter of the law.


you don’t get a compensation ball for a ball lost during MB, you only get a compensation ball if you ball in play is ended prematurely

How many jackpot shots can a player hit while attempting to dislodge their ball before it’s no longer considered reasonable? :slight_smile:


Who decides what’s reasonable? If the shot needed to dislodge the ball is also a Jackpot shot, is that reasonable?

The problem with reasonable is that it is much to subjective, you need rules that will be dealt out exactly the same way, every single time, subjective things like “what’s reasonable” offer to much grey area.

But yea like I said, context matters, in a league, let him try, who cares, it’s a single game out of a ton that are going to played and this single game most likely won’t be a huge difference maker in the grand scheme of things.

9 times outta 10 in this context as well the player drains as they attempt to do it anyway :slight_smile:

But at Nationals as an example (interlocks will be disabled I assume @pinwizj? :slight_smile:) if interlocks are not disabled, trap up so you can lose your MB :slight_smile:

If it was our league, we would give him one or two shots. If they can’t make it happen, open the door. We also have the luxury of not having anybody try to game the system by “missing” into jackpots. I still don’t understand that type of approach to playing pinball. But yes, I see how people would take advantage of that.

Rule #1 in our league is: Be cool.

It works.

A simple way to handle this which I’ve done before is have the player hit a shot that traps the ball, e.g. a VUK and then I open the door disabling power and we take care of the issue. If that is not possible, and cannot easily dislodged, or it would result in hitting jackpots to get it dislodged, then the coin door is opened. Or the player simply can’t hit the shot, eventually just open the door.


Pretty sure I’m paying you to disable them for us :slight_smile:

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Oh, and to answer the original question…your responsibility as a player is to accept the ruling and whine at Josh later. Always whine at Josh.


You mean like the TD being expected to rule on beneficial malfunctions based on ‘intent’??
Or a multiple ball situation being allowed outside of the MB mode because something was ‘earned’ or not?
Or definitions like ‘the TD may attempt to restore game state’ (but doesn’t HAVE to even if possible…)
The countless what are ‘allowed’ ball traps vs not allowed…
The what is abusing design vs allowed tricks in the design…
What is ‘their turn or not’ when a player isn’t at the machine, etc… what is coaching in turn or not…

Sorry… uniform applicability has not been the strong point of the IFPA ruleset in recent years… as it continues to keep adding exceptions and interpretations that favor strategies that been anointed or not. Would be better to just have a special rules list for games with particularly bad behavior you want to ban and have more binary rules. But the rules have morphed over time to favor the player more IMO vs just being black and white with ‘thats pinball’ as your 3rd bucket :slight_smile:

Sorry, just venting… because I don’t really think objectivity/simplicity has been the biggest voice in the rulings… but rather trying to minimize disruptions to what ‘ideal’ play/outcomes has been…


That’s what I’m saying. You open the door, flippers die, I’m dead. Comp ball.

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In this instance the stuck ball could be placed into the shooter lane and the door could be closed, however. Would you rather place it in the drain and award the compensation ball?

Okay so you’re saying my replacement ball is the one that was stuck? Okay that makes sense. I wasn’t understanding before.

I’m glad I disable all my interlocks so I don’t need to worry about this. Haha

Yeah old flipper rubbers over the interlock switches saves on so many headaches later and takes like 5 seconds. If you have the keys to open then you can disable the interlocks.

If it’s location play and you don’t have keys what else can you do besides watch the player and assume they are giving good intent/effort into freeing the ball?

Shake the ball out, award compensation ball if you tilt out.


Just to clarify the context (which I’m confident that Andreas intended), this “shake the ball out” and the compensation ONLY apply if it’s the TD shaking the ball out.


If they’re in multiball, you can force them to drain balls and see if a ball search will free it.