Ruling: Player says they didn't play their ball


As P1 in this I guess it’s time to stop lurking and finally reply to a thread.

There’s a lot of talk about players 1-3 being at fault somehow, playing out of turn or not making sure the right player is at the machine. I’m not sure how this applys to player 2-3 since they played in the correct ball. I also played the correct ball and can confirm that there was nothing weird about it. I plunged one time, no ball save was used (very certain of this because I ended ball 1 with 100k, not trusting that ball save again) and I played scarecrow, joker, and bat signal multiball on ball 3. My score went from 2m to 70m or so on ball 3, I don’t know the exact ball time but it had to have been over 5 minutes.

I guess the ruling says comp ball because no one can prove anything? But I watch the player before me play and walk up when they’re done playing. It was a the last game of the night and I can’t say for certain I saw P4 walk away from the game, but for some reason, likely watching P4 finish a ball, I walked up and played my turn.

The ruling was made, I don’t really care what it was or what happened. I just know it ended up being a heated discussion because there was a lot of blame being thrown around about who did what.

At what point does the player lose their right to say something? There’s no reason to allow something like “oh I didn’t play my ball” to be brought up 20 min and 3 players later. It caused a bit of chaos that drives a lot of people away from pinball, I’m not an angry guy but I’ll admit I lost my cool a bit in this situation because it felt unfair to give a comp ball for what seemed, in my opinion, a distracted player who had been drinking played a bad ball and forgot about it.

I’m not sure what the solution is, but comp balls shouldn’t just be given out because no one can say for sure a ball was played.


Never. But it’s up to the TD to know that given the circumstances, what the player says doesn’t matter at this point.

If the player that wants a ruling doesn’t ask for it in the moment or while the next player is playing, they’ve lost the opportunity to get a ruling.


Ok, just trying to envision any possible way a ball can cycle without anyone noticing. Other possibility could be, say, the DT falling and suddenly validating playfield… autolaunch, no ball save… the crime could be over within seconds and no one the wiser.

I’d probably rule no comp ball… if it’s close to being your turn, be near the game just in case.


Pinball rules and ruling are most definitely not simple. We’re not playing checkers here.

You know what other sport has complicated rules?


It’s a local bar league where it’s common to step away to go get a drink or have a smoke. P4 returns to find they have been skipped.
I think in these circumstances it’s appropriate P4 ask for a ruling as soon as they notice they have been skipped. In THIS case the TD was playing when P4 noticed. P4 brought it up with the TD as soon as the TD was available (and began discussing with others in the group before the TD was finished).
IMO P4 asked as soon as possible and should be given a ruling.


100% agree. I feel like that should only happen when a malfunction or otherwise is actually seen, or it’s reasonable to conclude that one did. There are too many questions here.