Those that like to shout at themselves be warned . . .


I got an extra minute with The Human Fund but blew my second question. If you do it again, I’ll study harder. d;^)

A lot of this is subjective. And you don’t need to yell to make new players head for the door. I virtually never have a reaction to a bad ball or game, although I occasionally will let out a quiet shit or F bomb. So quiet that you’d have to be right next to me to hear it. So if a TD reads my lips from 20 feet away, should I get a yellow card? Don’t ban swearing all together unless kids are there. And don’t hand out yellow cards if it’s a one time deal with no kids around.

When Josh occasionally goes off, it’s amusing. New players should be seeing us regulars smiling when this happens, which puts them at ease. As long as he doesn’t swear excessively or around kids, no harm, no foul in my book. That’s just how Josh plays.

We lost a player in league recently in a very subtle way. He was (randomly) grouped with two really good players and another player. One of the really good players, who is also a long time member of this league, was standing behind him and making comments as he played. The player didn’t say anything at the time, but I found out later the talking really rattled him. Enough so that he decided he wouldn’t come back to league. The incident happened in his second week of league. The player that was doing the talking had no idea that the talking was bothering the other player. He does it regularly, so most of us are used to it.

It’s not just yelling or swearing. We all need to be as welcoming as possible to new players. The friendliness of all the players I met when I first started competing is what drew me to the competive side. I’d name names, but I’m afraid I’d leave people out. I’ve tried to follow their example. We all need do our best to make the new folks feel as comfortable as possible. If you’re going to swear or yell, please do it with a smile on your face, because people will be watching.

  1. He seems to be standing very close to them as they play. I can see why that would bother some people on its own.

  2. Does he know her well (were they both joking around about it)? He didn’t make his comment until she was all trapped up so I don’t see a ton of harm in this particular case assuming they both are being light hearted about it. If not, she has/had every right to be bothered by it.

  3. Had this player stood close to opponents the whole tournament and made these very loud comments repeatedly I would say that needs some sort of TD interjection as it can be seen as deliberately trying to make an opponent drain their ball.


This is actually a pretty tough topic. I don’t like being distracted while playing. Period. But, I think I would rather deal with distractions than enforce a noise ban. We are still going to get distracted. I was making a qualifying run at PAPA a few years back (ticket system), when the game next to me broke down. A TD pops right into my peripheral and I drain when I look to see what is happening. Oh well. PAPA Classics scorekeepers shouting names every other minute probably distracted some people (I was one of the scorekeepers) but what were we going to do? If TDs want to address swearing that’s fine by me, but from a player’s standpoint it isn’t any more/less distracting. I can see other reasons for addressing it though.

Aside - I love competing. When I was in school I played sports year round. I played golf and chess, so I have experienced the types of competition where silence is enforced. I played basketball and baseball so I have experienced a loud competitive environment. I don’t subscribe to “It’s only pinball” and I would love to win every time I play. I want 20 minute ball times, amazing saves and multiple supers. More than anything I want to play mistake free and I rarely succeed. I get frustrated and occasionally verbal. If I get a warning for my behavior, I will deal with it. But I am willing to accept your outbursts if you accept mine.


The new Josh Sharpe when pinball hits ESPN…


Jared, thanks for sharing the link. (And it was great meeting you and getting to play a few games with you at Bat City)

I’d probably give a yellow card just for the whining. lol
In all seriousness, it looks/sounds like Eric makes his comment in an attempt to interact and be funny after Robin turned around while she was trapped up. I agree that it still could be judged as non-deliberate distracting – just because someone traps up and looks away from the ball doesn’t mean they’re wanting to interact with people watching.

From my experience in interacting with Eric, he’s been accommodating to my requests when we’re playing in the same group: there were at least two times that I thought he was standing too close to me when I was playing. So I asked him to give me more space, and both times he immediately did so. Throughout the weekend, he had not made any interjections while I was playing other than a “Nice shot” when I collected a Million from the Comet ramp on Cyclone.


I think for future tourneys, I’m going to borrow (or suggest, at those events I’m not organizing) the high-tech solution I’ve seen from others of putting down a masking tape line to clearly define how far back other players must remain from the pins being played.


I kinda wish locations did this – a line on the ground, regardless of any formal rules or signage associated with it, does a lot to guide where people walk or stand. Maybe I’d find myself accidentally mule kicking toddlers across the ice cram parlor less frequently.

Tangentially, that environment has done wonders for increasing my awareness over outbursts while playing. You quickly feel like quite an asshole when you drop an F-bomb or give the machine the finger while a kid’s birthday party goes on 5 feet behind you.


The line of tape is a great idea. @djriel will make himself available to travel out to any location and help set the appropriate metrics.


For DJ, what is that - like 6 feet? LOL


Look what I found in a box of old stuff from my parents… from my soccer refereeing days. Time to bring these bad boys to next league/tourney.


Pretty much hit the nail on the head for me. Everyone has their individual goals and definitions of “better” in any hobby (hell, this was the moral of Pokemon X/Y, where 4 kids all had different visions of what they wanted to do), and being the biggest streamer, best designer, an avid collector, etc. are all noble and respected paths.

I chose the path (at least to start) of being an encyclopedia of pinball rules because when I love something I kind of over-study it. Once the skills started to catch up, I decided I wouldn’t rest until I reached the upper heights of competitive play. I know that somewhere inside i have the ability to make it, but it’s going to take working on the finer points until the wheels come off.

On this path I know exactly what I’m capable of. I know I can nuke games, but to make that last rung I need to find the consistency in those scores. At some tournaments, knowing the “capability” vs “reality” gap gets frustrating if I’m going into the tournament to prove that I can reach that level. Sometimes this is muttering “stupid moves get stupid scores” when I had a good-ish game because I know that wouldn’t stand in Pinburgh A Finals. Other times it’s frustrated shouting and doing my best imitation of Jesus Quintana when Iron Man bricks a perfect ramp shot due to a mushroomed magnet and leads a good shot into an unsaveable drain. I can’t prove anything to myself if I don’t get to play!

Exactly. I swear and get frustrated one minute and I’ll be back to normal the next. Just have to get the willies out so it doesn’t impact my next ball or make me be a miserable grump! :sweat:

Sorry for the wall of text, but that G$ statement hit close to home from a competitor close by and I thought I might as well give the viewpoint of someone who gets frustrated sometimes and may be a Stone-lite with regards to the self-talking aspect. Do with that as you will. :slight_smile:

At Pinvasion this was the most elegant solution I’ve seen. Each bank is in a green masking tape box, and all the chairs are on the border of the box opposite the pins. A few dollars now will save you for the player hassle later!



fyi “Gaffer” tape is your friend for this type of stuff. Won’t leave residue, even on carpet. Zero cleanup.


gray area X widely varying sensitivities/sensibilities = difficult to standardize enforcement

Personally, tournaments without the “Not like this!” would be less interesting/entertaining, but it is a good discussion to have.


New pinball meme.

“Chief, I demand the CStone of Silence.”


<-- likes the Cone idea, doesn’t like what newer Sterns’ Multiball-flashing-LED mania would be like glare-wise under the Cone Dome!


As a note from a league official and TD’s wife and also volunteer and pinball player.

Do not take your aggression out on the machine either. Be respectful of other people’s property and of your surroundings. Nothing turns off a player more than someone abusing a machine as well as having a childish temper tantrum. We all get frustrated at one point or another but you do not need to be pounding and slamming a machine.