Tournament ruling: broken glass

In league tonight we had a broken glass incident when someone hit the lock bar.

We ruled that it was a malfunction because the glass wasn’t tempered. The op was actually happy it was discovered while he was there. We gave the player a yellow card, but did not give a zero on the game.


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Glass breaks. Sometimes it’s during a game, like so. Recently the glass on a Stern Kiss shattered and no one was near it, and I had one shatter in my hands when I was taking it out to unstick a ball. If it happens during a game, that game can’t be played anymore. I don’t think a player deserves any point penalty, but yellow card is an acceptable thing to get.

Either someone slapped the lock bar REALLY hard or that glass was already going. It also looks like maybe the player missed the lock bar a bit? I work in glass R&D for a living, so either there was a flaw (unlikely, given stuck balls/maintenance would have found that immediately) or someone got really salty.

Definitely worth no penalty/yellow card. And a yellow card to the op for not having tempered glass in the game; that stuff is nigh impenetrable from the viewing angles.

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At Pinburgh 2014 a player broke glass by banging their head into it.

It was ruled a catastrophic malfunction, no yellow card, no zero, even though the player who did it insisted that they should be disqualified or thrown out of the event. (They weren’t.)


I agree with this ruling on the machincal part of glass breakage , catastrophic malfunction- no card no zero . However, the player conduct or etiquette rules are an issue (or by) for the TD to assess.


If the glass is tempered and installed properly (no defects/ debris in channels, foam on lock bar), there is no way a player should be able to break the glass using only his body. A fist pound, or even a head butt shouldn’t break the glass. Unless a player whips out a Buck knife and breaks the glass with that, I would never give out a yellow card.

Fist pound on the glass is a classic reaction to a bad ball. We’ve all seen it, if not done it. Head butt is fine too IMO. Frustration happens regularly in pinball. It’s part of the game.

I understand that the people who have been doing this way longer than me feel heahbutting the glass and fist pounding the glass after a drain is part of the game, but why? Just because people have always done it? And if it’s always been acceptable, what happens if there’s no beer seal on the game or if someone gets a concussion from bashing their head into the game? Wouldn’t it be easier to just do away with these than keep them around? Like an unsportsmanlike penalty. I get my example may be extreme and rare, but they technically could happen.

If you have to take your frustration out on a game, just walk over to the game next to the one you’re playing and rage shake that one. I saw @pinwizj do this at PAPA and it was not only hilarious, it does zero harm to the game or player.


That’s called “The Hegge” . . . learned it from one of the greatest :slight_smile:


Also sounds kind of a dangerous thing to do. I would never want to deliberately break any glass with blunt force, at least not without some form of protection. I mean, everybody knows how sharp glass shards are.