Spanish Language Settings in Tournament

I played Stern Spiderman in a tournament not too long ago and one of the players in my group was eager to go first, as opposed to his normal strategy of going last.

I realized quickly that this was so he could put the game in Spanish Language mode.

I am familiar with the Spiderman ruleset, so it didn’t bother me, but it got me thinking.

The display and callouts tell you quite a bit about what you need to do in modes, especially things like “New Goblin”, etc. So putting the game in Spanish for a non-Spanish speaker who is not familiar with the game could increase their disadvantage as they would hafto base their play off lights on the pf, etc.

In a scenario like this, can a player request that the game be restarted in English or is language selection a benefit that the first player gets? This is of course assuming you are playing someplace where English is the primary language.

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I would rule this is player interference and restart the game. If I asked the player if it were deliberate and they said yes they would receive a score of zero. If it was accidental the game would be restarted.
9. Player Errors
A player error is any player action, purposeful or accidental, which affects the normal play or outcome of a game in progress.

Any player who deliberately interferes with the play of another player, through distraction, touching the machine or player, or disrupting tournament procedures, will receive a score of zero for the game.

Tournament officials will be the sole determiners of what constitutes interference and whether or not it is accidental or deliberate


As I mentioned elsewhere, I had someone do this exact thing to me with a different game in a match play tournament. They were not a Spanish speaking person but they were a much more experienced player than I was at the time, so I regretfully suspect it was done for strategic reasons. I didn’t say anything at the time because I was a novice and shy, but now I kind of wish I had. Now I’m wondering how common it is.

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Your Comment in that post (Was it the DI one?) was what got me thinking about it as it also happened to me.

Fortunately I know the rules to Spiderman.

I’m just curious to know how that falls rules-wise in a tournament setting.

It’s an interesting topic and better suited for its own thread instead of taking over the Dialed In camera discussion… so, good idea!

I wouldn’t agree with such a ruling. The player is certainly not taking any action outside of the normal operation of the machine. Maybe player 1 is a native Spanish speaker and prefers that, who knows. But unless a tournament has a specific ruling that English must be selected, it seems inappropriate to DQ a player for answering a question they were asked by the game software.


Assuming the TD has keys, language select should be turned off. Very easily done. If they have keys and it’s enabled, ask the TD nicely to turn it off. They may not have thought about checking that setting. If the TD doesn’t have keys, it’s generally not going to be too big of a tourney money or points-wise.

Has anyone in North America ever played in a tourney with someone who spoke Spanish but not English? I’m thinking no, so the Spanish option isn’t really needed in tournament play.

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By that logic, shouldn’t intentional tilts/slam tilts be legal?They are also built into the game, and could be used to handicap your opponents. Its a far more drastic example, and there was a whole thread about that recently, but just saying ‘it’s the normal operation of the machine’ already has been deemed ‘not a justification for legality in competition’. Much like the intentional tilt ruling, it may just be down to the discretion of a TD.

As someone who isn’t particularly familiar with Spiderman, having everything in Spanish would be a considerable handicap. If my competitor specifically chose Spanish to screw me, I feel it should be treated like any other attempt for a competitor to handicap me. Maybe a DQ is excessive (I’m not versed in that section of the rules), but I certainly wouldn’t call it ‘good strategy and fair play’ either.

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IMO? Absolutely ridiculous to call it interference or DQ a player for using an intended feature of the game. At the same time I would probably recommend turning it off to sidestep the issue entirely.

So question. We are in a four player game, and a best of three series. Top two qualify for finals. I win the first two games guaranteeing me a spot in finals, and you place second and fourth, with everything on the line in game three. If I deem you the biggest threat to me winning everything, and you have an absolute killer first two balls on game three, you’d be okay if I slam-tilt that game away, forcing a restart? Its an intended feature of the game, too. Hell, lets say I’m just plain spiteful, and losing horribly on all tables, and just don’t like you. Same thing. I could slam-tilt your great game away because the table lets me?

I agree with the ‘sidestep the issue entirely’, but that’s not always an option. One of the tournaments I’m in has no keys on-site, and the only employee thinks its appropriate to literally pick the table up and drop it to unstick a ball (clearly not a pinball player). Point being: sidestepping is often not an option, and a rule needs to be in place when it isn’t.

My opinion is that intentional tilts are legal, and that’s normally the rule of events I run. A player can choose to trade their ball in play and accumulated bonus for some change in game state that they consider beneficial (this is uncommon), or simply information about the sensitivity of the tilt bob. This philosophy also avoids the ambiguity of judging the “intentional” part of “intentional tilt”. I prefer keeping event rules as objective as possible, which means letting the machine itself be judge, jury, and executioner as much as possible.

Slam tilts are different in that they may deny other player(s) the right to play balls they are entitled to, and/or deny the ability to properly record players’ scores from the machine. While it’s true that slam tilt operation is part of the standard implementation of many games, so is the rule that “each player has the opportunity to fully play X balls per game”, and if there’s a conflict between those rules, I’d consider “X balls per game” to be higher priority. YMMV.

Back to the original question: turn off the player language select option if possible. If not possible, and you don’t wish to exclude that game from the tournament, feel free to publish a rule ahead of time stating the intended policy. (If this were done, my vote would be: selecting a language other than the mandated language voids the game, which is then restarted by the TD in the required language. No DQ or interference ruling.) If no such rule is in place, then play on.

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As I understand it, if I slam-tilt, the ruling would be DQ me from that last game, and the other three play another three balls on a fresh game. So there isn’t any conflict with the ‘number of balls’ rule, but it’s still a dick move. I just reset the playfield for everyone else, screwing over the player who had an amazing couple balls, but might not be able to repeat the feat. And I didn’t care about a DQ, because I already had enough points to qualify for finals. I would argue that this situation is absolutely ‘as the game was designed’, but still has no place in a tournament setting. Hence why ‘if the game was designed for that, do it’ isn’t a good basis for tournament rules.

Depends on the rules in force at the event. For example, if the PAPA/IFPA rules were in force, and player scores could be recovered from the machine after the slam, then it would be treated as a catastrophic malfunction, and affected players would retain their scores and get to add on the appropriate number of balls in a new game… so in that case, the situation you postulate wouldn’t work as intended by the slammer.

Certainly true. And most competition rulesets do have catch-all language that can result in the player receiving a warning and/or ejection and/or other penalty for behavior that is especially detrimental to the event.

I feel that philosophy is a great basis for tournament rules. The point of the tournament is to compete on those games – if we don’t generally support the game’s rulings, why the heck are we playing it?

I’d be fine with it. In that situation there’s a 100% chance I would have snapped a picture of all the scores of the game at that point in time if I had two killer balls, just to ensure I could keep my score should lightning strike and cause a reset.

Slam tilt away! :wink:

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