Ruling question and benefit of the doubt discussion.

Good to know. I’ll make sure to never let my single ball come to rest on the zipper flippers when I’ve shot a ball back in the plunger. :wink:

I at least appreciate the notion of keeping the rule consistent for the sake of simplicity and not having exceptions to a rule of “Ball in the shooter lane during multiball? You must plunge it.”

The Fireball instance and Pinbot instance are slightly different in that (as you said) Pinbot was designed to possibly put the ball back in the shooter lane, whereas Fireball’s newton ball release specifically opens a gate that puts the right-side released ball in the shooter lane 100% of the time.

Yeah totally agree apples and oranges. Pinbot you aren’t going to do much damage with a one ball multiball. Fireball that is the closest the game comes to awarding an extra ball. If not disable that gate :slightly_smiling:

Pinbot increasing your vortex up to 1mil is a bit of a perk (or 700k is where I usually stop so I can plunge out 700/800/900/1m).

With a game that has either solar value turned down to one second or set at a fixed value, it can be one of the most valuable things to do in the game.

OK, time to break out the big guns harder questions.

What’s your OBLIGATION during WCS94 during Final Match?

What’s your OBLIGATION during JEDI battle on SWE1?

Those were the easy ones.

What’s your OBLIGATION during RANSOM?

What’s your OBLIGATION during Poker Championship? (That’d be Maverick, BTW.)

Germany scores more when you don’t plunge, so you really need to plunge away strategically.

Yeah I know, that’s why I specifically said OBLIGATION. They’re semi-trick questions.

Maverick, IIRC, scores 1M/drop * balls in play and 10M/hand * balls in play, but balls in play is treated as “1” any time a ball is on the shooter lane. When the ballsaver expires, though, (a la Ransom), you can better believe it’s worth leaving a ball in there to play 1-ball wizard mode. This was a tried-and-true occurrence during the very early years of FSPA (right @dbs?).

But… if you’re going to argue with me that you are absolutely MEANT to plunge that ball that got served to you in the shooter lane… you’d lose. :wink:

I’d say that the spirit of this rule is to minimize benefits of a ball in the shooter lane that won’t launch for whatever reason, so I wouldn’t apply it to WCS Final Match. Thus, no obligation at all. But it would be useful to point this out via a note on the backbox, or during pre-event announcements.

I would care far less on timed modes where the flippers die at the end of it (WCS and eP1).

In most cases that end up with the game in some sort of normal playing situation, plunge the damn ball (within 30 seconds, at your leisure, don’t be an asshole) :slight_smile:

WPPR creates assholes :wink:


LOL from what I remember there were still a fair share of them back in the 90’s :slight_smile:

Yeah I don’t remember ANYONE leaning on the plunger during multiball at PAPA 5. cough

Yes. If a ball airballed into the plunger lane and the player feels that’s advantageous to them, lucky break, make the most of it. If a ball airballed into the outlane and the player (almost certainly) feels that’s disadvantageous to them, tough luck. A completely symmetrical ruling that celebrates the ball being wild.

And as I mentioned earlier, a totally appropriate rule for league play. Leagues typically do not have playfield cameras and monitors. Leagues are often at locations where the machines are packed together and opponents do not have a clear view of the playfield. And I sure as hell don’t want to ask league officials (who are typically competing themselves and not watching every other player) to somehow magically divine whether the player was or wasn’t aware of where all balls were at all times.

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Or here’s another way to think of it: let’s say during multiball, a ball airballs into the very difficult and very lucrative Quintuple Ultra Mega Jackpot shot. Clearly a very lucky break for that player. Do you rule that to be an unfair positive malfunction and deduct the points or void the player’s game? Or do you say “that’s pinball, play on”? And how does this answer differ from the same basic event (an airball somewhere unexpected) that lands the ball in the plunger lane? In the former case, the player is awarded a zillion points that they arguably didn’t “earn”. In the latter case, the player is awarded… nothing, actually, except perhaps opportunity.


What, seriously?? People were doing that? God damn.

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It’s weird how much the rules have changed. I remember bang-back fest at the Phoenix pinball show tourney in '93 on TZ

Notifying the player there is a ball in the shooter lane is a courtesy IMO to keep the player from getting into hot water or a potential DQ situation. I feel that MOST tournament players have the awareness to know how many balls SHOULD be in play and if a ball has traveled to the shooter lane via an abnormal route. If you’re playing and you see it, immediately announce it so it is known you are making an effort to trap up/free up the flipper area and plunge it.

Eww. I recall death saves being legal at PAPA 4 then being illegal at 5 or 6. Bang backs on TZ, yow.

Reminds me of the first BAPA season where one guy, in a B-level league, was plunger-cheesing on Tommy to get one-ball multiball. He said there was nothing explicit in the rules about it … the following week there was a rule that he wasn’t allowed to do that.

Hehe Joe, I was just knocked out of states by an airball on whirlwind that landed on the bottom of the sideramp wireform for a million plus shot. Beneficial malfunction indeed!

The major flaw with FSPA’s rule is when a player knows the ball is stuck in the shooter lane (on Jackbot specifically) and doesn’t plunge it, then shoots jackpot after jackpot by playing a one ball game. That is in fact a very serious advantage and beneficial malfunction. And trying to excuse it by saying anything like, “well then they can’t get super jackpots” then my response is simply that they can plunge the ball to do so. I prefer the national set of rules we have in IFPA/PAPA consolidated rules because then when topics like this come up, all players and directors learn more and become more consistent. Throwing in exceptions like FSPA contradicts and damages that goal of a unified and consistent rule set. And don’t get me on the topic of major malfunctions and the way it’s handled at FSPA. Ugh

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I’m really confused by your reference to “exceptions”. The FSPA’s rule regarding stuck balls is remarkably free of exceptions or ambiguities: play it as it lies. The player CAN ask an official to free the ball if they wish. That’s it. Trivially easy.

Compare that to the current IFPA/PAPA rules regarding stuck balls - so full of exceptions and explanations, it has a rather lengthy dedicated section just to discuss it all. By those rules, a ball located under a flipper doesn’t have to be released, but a ball in the plunger lane does. A ball resting on an outlane post or center post during single ball play is not a stuck ball, but the same situation during multiball IS a stuck ball. Trapping a ball behind the visor in AFM is legal, but trapping a ball other places is not. (Presumably not even legal to trap behind the visor on Spiderman or Jackbot, since the rule very specifically calls out AFM – even though those other games have near-identical visors. Or are those games yet more exceptions?) Even the PAPA TV crew couldn’t immediately recall the rules around all this when they discussed it on a recent PAPA TV Live.

Tell me again which ruleset has the exceptions?

EDIT: I just read the couple dozen new messages in the “The unstuck - Stuck ball in Multiball conundrum” thread, debating various situations, penalties, exceptions, and confusions regarding the IFPA/PAPA stuck ball rules. There would be no such chaos if IFPA/PAPA adopted the FSPA rule for this.