Ruling: Tilt before any switches activated


Apologies if this has been covered before, but a search did not yield any results for me.
On Meteor, the player plunged and the ball made it all the way down to the left outlane area without activating any switches. At this point, the player tried to save the ball, but caused the game to tilt. Despite the tilt, the game served that player another ball (his score read 0 so he definitely did not trigger any PF switches).

  1. Is this expected behavior?
  2. What is the correct ruling? Player is allowed to play the ball again or must plunge it and walk away?


So Meteor is an old Stern that has a software feature that prevents loss of ball on a tilt through. In this case, though no switches were passed over, the player made an attempt to save their ball. As far as I’m concerned this means they have played their turn, hit a 10 point switch and drain the ball. Otherwise that’s intentional tilting to gain benefit and I’m sure there’s something about that in the ifpa rules.


The only way of knowing if the player intentionally tilted is to ask. They could have simply been trying to save their ball from going down the outlane (which they should be trying to do with little risk to any sort of big end of ball bonus). TD should ask the player if they intentionally tilted the ball to ensure themselves from validating the playfield.

If the player says “No”, then it’s play on.

If the player says “Yes”, then it’s a DQ from the game and issue either a yellow or red card for player conduct.


The problem here is that this ruling potentially rewards the most convincing liar.


In practice, I find it very unlikely that anyone would intentionally Etch-A-Sketch to a successful outcome, but maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd.


I do like to think that this sort of thing doesn’t happen as well. Experience has taught me otherwise.


Depends on what you mean here.

“Players trying to gain an unsporting advantage if they think they can get away with it”? Sure, a non-zero amount.

“Players trying for this particular unsporting advantage if they think they can get away with it”? I just don’t imagine it’s ever going to come up.


I have watched players lie through their teeth in tournament situations. I have witnessed the same players bragging about it afterwards, showing off how clever they were.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. Sportsmanship is something for people to aspire to. It is not something for people to trust in.


We’re you the TD? Was the TD made aware of this?


No, I wasn’t the TD. One of the braggers was the TD :frowning:


Yuck. Well that’d probably be the last tournament I played in that they ran then.


You got it in one :frowning:


So if I let a ball drain out the outlane my turn is over, but if I tilt while trying to stop the ball going down the outlane I get another ball?

No sir, I don’t like it …


Just another reason the “no intentional tilt” rule needs to go. I still have not seen any convincing reason why the rule exists other than it’s what the “pinball gods on high” said.


On classic sterns only. And not even every one at that. And this also assumes it has not hit any other switch on the way.


Another reason for the “no intentional tilt” rule involves sandbagging as well. I realize that like the other discussion going on about balls stuck during multiball, this involves player intent and is easy to game, but I think its important to acknowledge in the rules that this is our intent for how matches should play out.


You must be new around here. :wink:

Every time concerns with ruling on intent are raised, they’re dismissed with “gentleman’s sport” hand-waving.


It’s there because on some games if you tilt it will kick out locked balls that could have been used by the next player. It’s a strategy to prevent lock stealing that some players used.


though don’t you think if you intentionally tilt your ball before it hit the outlane switch to get a 0 switch ball save that it would be wrong? Or just a great pinball move! :slight_smile:


I vote smart pinball move. You could also use this programming to feel out a tilt on a game you didn’t get a practice ball on.