The player in this scenario did not ask for a ruling, but what should the ruling have been if he asked? It does not fall under the scenarios listed in the IFPAPA rules for stuck balls when they should be placed in the drain (on inlane/outlane post, on center post, in outlane, or stuck directly above outlane), so likely should be placed on a flipper if the machine is opened.
As an official, I think I would have given the player the option to nudge to free the ball themselves or allow me to bump the machine to free it (with the player being responsible if the ball drains). Is this what others would have done or would they place the ball on a flipper?
If I’m the TD, I wouldn’t risk “judicious nudging, tapping, etc.” and I’d just skip to opening up the coin door and putting the ball on the right flipper. The same way I wouldn’t risk nudging or tapping if the game had a super tight tilt.
Per most rules sets, including ifpa, player can ask a TD to free stuck ball in a position like this. Stuck ball would be placed on a flipper.
When you think about it, imo that is a fair and natural outcome. For a ball to come to rest in a position like that it generally has to be moving very slowly. If it were to not have balanced “stuck,” it would have very gently rolled left or right and still been in play.
I for once like to elect doing the above when possible. If I know for sure the ball can come out with minimum effort and no risk of tilting.
A ball isn’t really “stuck” if it can go back to being “in play” by the player or TD using normal gameplay moves.
Hahaha. I just watched the video clip. That hurt.
It’s interesting that in the case of this layout where the sling-top is high above the inlane/outlane post, a ball rolling gently to the right (toward outlane) is actually at great risk to go to the outlane. But I like the clear-cut rule as it currently exists, and give the benefit of the doubt to the player in this case.
As mentioned: always get a ruling.
As the TD in this case, I would have ruled it a stuck ball and was prepared to head over with the keys (to stick it on a flipper) as soon as I saw it. I was also surprised when @mwelsh went for the nudge but then I also made some puzzling decisions under pressure that night (8 ball… oops). My reasoning is that even though I could probably safely nudge it out, I’d much rather take an extra few seconds to place the ball on the flipper and let the normal flow of the game continue vs. risking a potential compensation ball—especially in a tightly contested final, with some very skilled players and respectable prizes on the line.