I will say that was the correct ruling. I had a similar situation occur at Pinburgh 4-5 years ago. We were playing Frankenstein and Jerry Bernard made a really hard shove in an attempt to save a SDTM ball. The ball blew through the trough and into the shooter lane. Mark Steinman ruled it was a beneficial malfunction and that every player was allowed one. Jerry was allowed to plunge and play on.

That rule has now changed and the ball would be placed in the drain, if the ball kicks into plunger again the player can play on, otherwise the bonus would collect and ball is over.


Through-the-trough seems like a pretty different situation. Wouldn’t the OP’s situation be more akin to a shove-bomb to start well walker?


Frankenstein, I’m almost positive, uses a 2-stage under pf trough (it would’ve been their standard design for the era). I don’t know how a ball could’ve just shown up there unless his shove actually defeated the 1st stage feed to the VUK.

TBH, to me this is the bigger issue. It’s impossible for crowds not to say anything, I get that, but really everyone should’ve kept their mouth shut.

Tilting/shoving to gain advantage is how I look at it. I forget if the hard shove is ok or not (but the tilt isn’t??).

No question, people “should” keep their mouths shut. In fairly casual tournament settings, that is not likely.

Applying physical force to a machine in order to derive a benefit from the activation of a switch, stuck ball, or other other scoring feature shall only be permitted if the benefit can not be repeated continuously as determined by a tournament director. Nudging a machine so a locked ball moves and registers a switch causing a ball save, or nudging in order to manipulate a feature to begin a multiball would be permissible. Examples include shaking Bram Stoker’s Dracula such that the mist ball falls from its magnet starting multiball, shaking Avatar when a ball is in the Link assembly causing it to register, or shaking The Walking Dead causing the Well Walker to register a hit.

Shaking a machine repeatedly in order to derive a continual benefit from a loose switch or stuck ball is not permitted. For example, shaking Champion Pub such that the boxer gives free hits over and over allowing the player to score continually. Any player who intentionally takes advantage of a significant beneficial malfunction may be given a warning and/or have his or her affected entry interrupted and disqualified by tournament officials.


Still the correct ruling.

There was an extensive discussion on this topic a couple years ago

Unknown ball saves/Multiball starts can be investigated if the TD has evidence or directly observed the malfunction, but otherwise (or if the root cause can’t be found or tied to anything foul in the rules) the Family Guy Spider-Man mantra applies: “everybody gets one.”

Oh I remember. Cheat/exploit ball saves all you one but may god strike you down if you go for that GREED letter! Makes perfect sense!


I am glad to hear that the right ruling was made. What’s the GREED target controversy?

Any player who deliberately tilts or slam tilts a machine in order to derive some benefit to his or her own play, or the play of others, under these rules, will receive a score of zero. Repeated offenses may result in ejection from the tournament.

Tilting gives you an extra GREED letter on TAF.

AKA The “Make it look Good” rule :roll_eyes:


So, people would intentionally tilt just for a GREED letter? In spite of bonus collection?

Yes, it can be beneficial depending on the game situation… if you aren’t going to collect a mode bonus, tilting during bonus count gives the letter. I forget if the bonus still counts… I believe it does.

but I’m with keefer on this one… this is another area where the IFPA rules are trying to be everything and instead just make it convoluted. You either allow a behavior or not and live with the pros and cons. Not ban some flavors, but allow other flavors.

I think tilting for GREED letter is a perfect example of risk/reward and situational awareness that makes pinball so great. The player is sacrificing something to get a reward that’s better than what’s being sacrificed. Each player then has to be the judge – depending on game state – whether the reward outweighs the sacrifice.

I know this has been discussed to death, but while I agree with that sentiment on GREED letters, I disagree with intentional tilting in a situation like clearing the lock for an opponent on Radical.


Yup. I see both sides of the argument. But my statement above also applies to Radical: The player is sacrificing something (EOB bonus) to get a reward (depriving opponent of chance to steal something that they likely didn’t earn) that’s better than what’s being sacrificed.

Damn, Josh had a great ball after that Bowden tilt!