Player: 4 (4 player game)
Situation: Known game malfunction
Player 4 was playing ball two on Supersonic - this game was on stream at the time so all scores and switch hits were verified. The ball was going into the right outlane - the player shook the game in an attempt to save the ball from the outlane. The ball rolled over the right outlane switch and awarded points - between the time that the ball hit the switch and the ball reaching the trough the machine resets itself starting a one player game. No bonus was awarded as the ball had, again, never triggered a trough switch.
Some important notes -
this particular game was known to do this in tournaments past, the malfunction had not occurred after an entire weekend of playing the game - the shake was not intended to try and reset the game.
The gate on the right outlane was not open
All scores at the time of the malfunction were available
I am leaving all scores/tournament situations out of the description as they should not impact a ruling.
The TD was called over to make a ruling on the game - and that ruling will remain hidden to keep any minds from being swayed while looking for the appropriate IFPA ruling. As a whole we are just curious what the IFPA ruling would be.
The possible outcomes:
Seeing as how all scores were available - player 4’s ball is considered over and all players start a new game with 1 ball remaining. Scores from that one ball are added to the scores tracked down from the stream and player 4 loses any bonus count
Player 4’s ball was not over as the ball never registered in the trough and the ball never registered as over, therefor he is awarded a compensation ball - a new game is started where players 1-3 play one ball and player 4 plays 2 ball. The scores are added to those found on stream.
For Option 1 -
*the ball had rolled over the outlane (OL) switch (verified) and player 4 could not of made any legal move at that point in order to save the ball
*This makes the assumption the ball is either over when the ball rolls over an outlane switch or there is no human available maneuver that would keep that ball in play
For Option 2 -
*It seems obvious that the ball should be over - but many games do not end ball when an outlane switch is triggered - think Kickbacks/Ballsaves/gates/etc. Supersonic does have a gate in the outlane that can save a ball after an OL switch is hit. Other games, like shallow troughed gottliebs, have a natural ‘bangback’ that can occur to kick the ball back into play
*An argument can be made that in the case of a ball resting between an IL/OL post that the player can choose to forfeit their ball as the ball is deemed ‘in the OL’. A counter argument can be made saying that even if a player chooses to forfeit their ball that ball is not technically over until the TD has rolled it over the OL switch and the bonus counts and the game moves to the next player.
IFPA rules are very black and white - they rarely ever take game state into account (outside of determining how to proceed with the remainder of the game) - so even saying that the gate was not open should not have any impact on the final ruling. If the gate had been open - would that change the ruling after the OL switch had been triggered? What if the ball did bang back into the playfield - odds may be 1 in a million - but IFPA rules don’t allow you to play odds (you can’t consider what ‘likely’ would happen)
We know you cannot add points to any game manually - so there is no option to ‘add bonus’ and play on - so I do not see any other outcomes, since it was on stream, to this event. Granted had this not been on stream the entire game would of been played over.
So - I posit the question - when is a ball officially over?