Ruling Question: Playfield Validation Bonus Collect

This is a scenario that came to mind from playing Star Trek Bally at Magfest this weekend.

Star Trek Bally has a switch in the shooter lane that will award Collect Bonus every time it is triggered after a switch in the playfield is hit for validation. Because of the location of the switch, the ball can be soft plunged to hit it, and return safely to the shooter lane repeatedly without risking putting the ball into the playfield.

Now, at a certain point early on in the weekend I noticed that my score was 500 before I plunged the ball, because it looked like me hitting the flippers had caused perhaps a pop bumper or a slingshot to fire. I notified the TO and it was ruled to play on and subtract the points after. And as I plunged the ball I got 1000 from the bonus collect by hitting the switch in the shooter lane. The game wound up being less than my best game so none of this mattered in the end.

Now, say later in the game I have built up my bonus and I hit the bonus collect shot. The ball is at rest in the shooter lane. I start smacking the game to try to fire a sling or something. If one fires I soft plunge bonus collect switch and get possibly up to a 150k bonus collect or something crazy. If nothing happens I wait 30 seconds for the tilt bob to settle and try again.

I assume the ruling here is that the game will not be considered valid if I play it this way and the game will need to be adjusted to prevent any switches from firing without the ball in play. What is my responsibility as a player in this scenario where I could possibly take advantage of a game in this way?

You should notify a tournament official when you notice something like this. And of course, don’t do this:

Mystic is another game where a random sling firing can create a pretty big advantage by toggling the eyeball/pyramid selection on the target banks. I try to make sure that our Mystic doesn’t randomly fire a sling via flipping vibration.

If the question is “Can I cheat?” . . .the answer is NO :slightly_smiling:

Anytime a game is experiencing questionable behavior, good or bad, bring it up immediately to a TD.

I find one of the popular switch issues to be the Stern opto switch issues. Seems like whenever we use POTC for IFPA, the ship usually starts to self register. If someone asked me if they could smack the cabinet to get it to register for them I would probably advise them where the exit was :wink:


Add Stern ST to that list. Warp ramp opto swtich can get stupid generous.

Also add to that the disk entrance opto on Tron. Free jackpots galore!

The mixmaster on CSI the same

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Want to ask some follow-up questions here.

What about if a player doesn’t know or notice this happening. They hit the bonus collect shot. Hit the flippers a few times, and do a full plunge, collecting bonus twice. They do not realize this is abnormal behavior. In a wild pump and dump format like magfest, if I discover this issue, how can it be enforced for prior games? I think my question came up because I realized it was possible that this happened on games previous to mine.

Ball stuck on playfield. Can this not be placed in the shooter lane now?

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Ball can be put in shooter lane. But only on rare occasions. Like when the ball is plunged and gets stuck at the top gate. Other than that, they’ve gone away from allowing shooter lane placement unless absolutely necessary (interlock). I think it’s a good thing. Some games it’s very valuable to get a free shot at getting up top.