Rules Question: Trapping up for a tech while your flippers are being attacked in Dialed In

@stevevt proposed I start a thread about this situation since it came up in a game.

Should start at 5:17

During this multiball on Dialed In, the ball becomes stuck up in the Theater area in multiball. I wind up draining pretty soon after and getting the ball kicked out by the magnet on ball search. The interesting part comes with the flippers being zapped. Say if I were to trap up on the right flipper as I had an attack incoming, would that be an issue?

If a ball becomes stuck during a multiball mode, the player should attempt to trap the other ball(s) in play and request assistance.

I’m not familiar enough with the game to understand the attack pattern. Maybe this really isn’t a big issue and the attacks wouldn’t keep coming if you had a trap and weren’t collecting jackpots.Can anyone clarify what happens and what they would assume needs to be done in this case?


Ha! Interesting conundrum.
Analyzing the purpose of this rule:

  • Prevent a player from taking advantage of an unintended one-ball multiball state.
  • Trapping up is meant to safely detain the active ball(s) so that the player doesn’t lose them while a tech frees the stuck ball.
  • But in this case, trapping up may not be “safe”

My first thought is that the player should be allowed to attempt to transfer the ball to the other flipper to avoid the unsafe scenario caused by DI flipper attack. But then you run into the problem of a failed post transfer leading to additional single-ball play time in a multiball state, with the player having the ability to claim (whether true or not) that they didn’t mean to collect that additional Super at QED.

I think I’d still allow the player to attempt a flipper transfer.

Note to self: when playing DI multiball in stuck ball situation, trap up on the flipper with the attack line that’s furthest away.

Maybe tournament code can be added to stop the flipper attack when no switches are hit for a period of time?

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WOZ no hold also could be a problem. I don’t know if any other games have a no hold buffs during multiball.

Good point. P3’s Lexy Lightspeed also has a no-hold flipper multiball (Shooting Range mode)

Attacks only happen after a jackpot, so if no attack is happening, one won’t just show up. If one is coming, just post pass it.


You always have the option to try and free the ball yourself by hitting it with the other ball, or in this case just getting another ball into the pops.

My opinion is that players should always make an honest attempt to free the ball before calling a TD over, I’ve seen too much footage where freeing the stuck ball would be trivial but the player still gets a TD involved due to the advantage of having the ball placed on a flipper or back in the shooter lane.

No you don’t.

Paragraph 7. Stuck Balls includes:

“No attempts should be made by the player to continue shooting shots around the playfield trying to free the stuck ball if that ball is deemed to be stuck under this rule.”

Giving the players an honest attempt to free the ball, gives them honest attempts to accidentally hit 3 jackpots while missing the stuck ball they are aiming to release. Stuck balls have to be dealt with as a stuck ball regardless of whether you’re in multiball play or not.


Since when? Rules changes like this need to be publicized better. I review the IFPA rules every six months or so, and this never stood out as a change. At some point the rules said explicitly that attempting to free a stuck ball was fine, and I’ve seen people do it in major competitions.

Also, that’s crap. My opinion, but it’s crap.


It’s definitely been that way since before IFPA12 in 2015, because I made an incorrect ruling letting Jorian shoot a stuck ball free when I shouldn’t have (so far greater than 6 months).

Your opinion may be that it’s crap . . . the pinball gods unfortunately disagree with you, and IFPA/PAPA follow whatever the gods tell us :slight_smile:


I will drop this here, not because Josh needs proof, but this certainly came up in the past.

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While I know it’s in jest (and agree with the rule at hand) this sort of phrasing and deferral of responsibility to a nebulous authority when an IFPA/PAPA decision is questioned tends to be extremely off-putting.

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No deferral of responsibility intended. I’ll own it 100%, full stop. Anyone that doesn’t agree should feel free to use their own rules.

My off-putting response was triggered by the level of opinion that was previously offered :slight_smile:

Back to your regularly scheduled programs…Huge IFPA news less than a week away :slight_smile:


What, you are going to increase the IFPA tithe to $2? :wink:


Check it out,

3 dollars

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Last bids, gentlemen…

Adding a rage suppress button to all IFPA profiles


A “Suppress player” button, more likely?

What do the pinball gods tell us in this Dialed in situation?

IMO you can’t force the player to post pass.

A player is supposed to make their best effort to trap up, while not risking draining the ball which is their responsibility.

I wouldn’t fault a player for flipping away when the attack is about to strike. I would expect them to try their best to trap up as quickly and safely as possible after that. If another attack comes while trapped, rinse repeat until a TD can help you out.