Ruling: Listening to the tournament stream while competing

I disagree. There’s no question that the information discussed on the stream could be helpful even to experienced tournament players.

If you watched INDISC recently, there were dozens of cases of rules discussed that even very experienced players may have known but didn’t remember while playing.

Just one example: when Sanjay Shah was playing Who Dunnit, Escher Lefkoff repeatedly pointed out on stream that Sanjay kept forgetting to use his Free Spin as an outlane save. Had Sanjay been listening to the commentary, it would certainly have changed that game.

Further, there are so many hobbyists streaming even tiny local tournaments now. You’ll see streamers with an audience of 3 people broadcasting a tournament with 8 players. Not all of these are experts.

But I’m not trying to dwell on the value of information on the stream (or the value of coaching in general, for that matter). Some players may certainly feel it would be too distracting to listen while playing; that is of course each player’s prerogative. I’m just asking about the whether it is acceptable under competition rules (and also whether it’s fair) to get information that way.


There are certainly one on one sports where the coach is allowed to shout instructions during the match as long as they aren’t disrupting the match. Fencing is one example.

The issue with pinball though is that the player can trap up during a game. Are you really going to allow a player to chat with someone on strategy for 30s while trapping up? I think that’s completely unreasonable and would have a very detrimental effect on tournaments.


Good example. Fencing or boxing is different though in my opinion because you are in direct competition with an opponent who is actively attacking you.

100%. This is what I envision when we talk about allowing coaching. Having a coach stand next to the game to give live instructions, or worse, as you mentioned, have the player trap up for any length of time while they discuss what to do next. That would be awful.


maybe give them max 15-30S timeout per game / ball to get coached or to look up notes. and longer and it’s an delay of game / GAME ONLY yellow card.

I could not disagree with this statement more. Rare and uncommon games are a huge part of the tournament experience, and having an oppurtunity to play on them is a major plus to many of mine and others tournament experience. Dont know the rules?? better find someone willing to explain them or learn to adapt. Nothing is more boring than tournaments with the same popular titles over and over and over again, with no surprises anywhere throughout the game.

It doesnt help that most tournament streams are just a relentless repeat of the rules.
eight hours of footage, half of that is the addams family, half of that time is repeating the rules.


Agree. I think being able to walk up and dissect a game you’ve never seen before and figure out how to score on it is a distinct skill. If there’s live commentary that helps that, I think that’s probably fine, because it’s information available to all.


If coaching was allowed, wouldn’t that dramatically increase game times? It is a huge advantage to be able to ask someone or consult the internet at any given point during a game and therefore everyone would want to use it. You could potentially stop five or six times during a game to shout out to your pals for what to shoot for as long as it was under the 60-second delay rule. It also sounds like a nightmare to enforce for a TD, because then you’d have to closely monitor whether or not someone was coming up on the 60 second delay mark.


Have a bunch of knowledgeable friends at the event? Great, you’re all set!

Don’t know anyone? Don’t speak the language of the region? You’re on your own.

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This is true of everything though… not sure why pinball would be any different.

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This is because viewers drop in and out and most only watch for an hour or so.

One solution is to specifically move the cameras to as many different games as possible, but this would mean not necessarily following one particular group throughout a full round (which personally I wouldn’t mind).

So easy to fix. Coach needs to stand back like all your opponents. Can’t trap up for any length of time that normally wouldn’t be allowed. There are some players currently that are human rain delays, but they are fine to do that for every shot the make. Wouldn’t make a difference if during that time they are told what to shoot next.

If you allow it, make rules so that it doesn’t disrupt the event or make it take too long. Just like anything else.

Have a 30 second broadcast delay that is out of sync with the game. Then if a player cradles up for 30 seconds waiting for the commentary to catch up, they get penalized for delaying the game.

All in jest. I find that the topic even exists amusing. :slight_smile:

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I do the same for baseball, but i dont need a rundown of the rules everytime i come back from the kitchen, and everytime a new batter comes up to the plate, everytime the ball is hit, and everytime the rules just got finished being explained.

Pinball participation also literally makes up less than half a percent of the total amount of people that play baseball world wide. Not sure if that’s a fair comparison when discussing accessibility to ruleset knowledge.

The rules of baseball are available online. Same as most pins. The accessibility is the same.

I’ll agree that most people are at least somewhat aware of the rules of baseball due to its popularity, and that in general more people know the game of baseball than any one game of pinball. My gripe is with the frequency of which the rules are explained. Even if I knew nothing about pinball or baseball, I would only need the rules explained once. Not every inning, both common tators going over the rules from top to bottom.

Obviously the rules should be explained, it just seems that “repeat the rules” is the go to for filling dead space in the commentary.

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It would be interesting to have someone experiment in a streamed event to see if they can get tips from commentators while actually playing pinball machine . Just to see if it is feasible or not to actually get tips while playing with headphones .

If it is feasible to get tips while playing then I say new rules need apply to tournaments with streaming or maybe there is a way to delay the broadcast so that it will not happen during event

Yeah… I already have myself pointing out the things I should have done 30 seconds ago, not sure that three other people saying the same thing is too helpful :laughing:

As Adam pointed out, perhaps where live commentary being blasted out in real time ala Pinburgh is happening, it raises some questions. The coacher gets the penalty though, right? Assuming the commentators are knocked out, at least the players can’t run afoul of the rules there :grinning:

and if there is betting on an event with live commentators then you must remove the coaching rules.

Golf (dialogue with caddy). Motorsports (via headphones). Boxing/etc (via shouting)

its one thing to know what to do or told what to do. Its quite another to execute on it. The coaching rule whilst I understand it the need for it, it simply doesn’t work at all. Adding to this is going in the wrong direction.

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