Tournament ruling- the intentional tilt.

The Cat-Paw maneuver. I think I read that on Fun With Bonus…

Well it seems like there won’t be a change in the PAPA/IFPA rule, and there doesn’t seem to be interest in adding a “plunge EB” rule to that ruleset either. Rather, it seems like there’s encouragement that local rules simply override in that case.

So that being the case, here’s my draft for use in the NWPAS Satellite Series, in which EB’s are enabled at most locations. We’re able to disable them for the tournaments at the show itself, but not at the promotional tour events that happen prior to the show.

For other TD’s who need local rules to handle plunging extra balls, please review, and let’s see if we can create a pretty standardized “local rule”. Also if you see flaws with how this is written, please offer corrections, I’m all ears.

Any extra ball must be plunged, unless specified otherwise on a note on the backglass. When an extra ball is to be plunged, the player may touch flipper buttons to setup skill shot, then plunge ball in attempt to get the skill shot. The player may also choose to tilt the machine prior to plunging in lieu of skill shot and end-of-ball bonus, but a tilt anytime after a first plunge attempt will result in disqualification. Once ball is in motion the player must step back and cannot touch the machine, unless the ball returns back to plunger lane and is not auto-plunged, at which time they can re-attempt a skill shot.


Looks reasonable. One comment is that your text doesn’t specify a penalty if the player touches the machine once the ball is in motion (besides the manual ball save clause) … I presume DQ, but it should be explicitly noted.


What if a game’s auto-plunger is malfunctioning and you get a ball back in the plunger lane due to a ball saver? This is a thing that’s happened in our weeklies due to a TSPP with a malfunctioning autoplunge on location. Also, PAPA 19 C Division Finals had a MET with a flaky autoplunge that wouldn’t clear the lane.

You should consider the situations where the game infinitely plunges, due to playfield not getting qualified. I have seen this on DH (for millions every autoplunge) and other games. What should be done? Call over a TD, presumably. What are you going to do? Tilt, flip for them, take the glass off the qualify.

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I’ll be that PITA and point out that a lot of games (especially auto-plunger-only), mostly B/W (but all JJP games do as well), autoplunge the ball on a tilt warning. I believe this started off as compensation for a broken launch button.

So, maybe just say that you can start the process of tilting, but must see it through if you get a warning or something, because someone will get caught up by that technicality, believe it.


For years this drove us nuts during IFPA WC setup.

Zach would be in charge of tilts, and would always just start a game up, and test the tilts with the ball in the plunger lane. We would then be like WHAT THE F*CK when the game would start autolaunching on a flipper button press. We would test the switch, do a factory restore and all would be well.

Then surprise surprise during the practice sessions players would be testing the tilt during their 30 second warmup, often times with the ball in the plunger lane, and then we would get complaints that round about balls autoplunging during their game.

Finally figured out it was exactly this.


Back from dead. This happened to me on Sunday on Metallica. Plunged the EB and started crank it up. See my suggested rule change/clarification below.

Funny thing is I remembered this thread, told everyone I can’t tilt out, and was trying to figure out the best way to avoid hitting the hole. I plunged into lanes and it drained but the ball save was on. Ball plunged and then came out of pops to the left under Sparky, hit a sling and fell into the hole. Bwahahahahaha!!!

I joked all night about ‘tripping’ as I walked up to the machine and ‘accidentally’ tilting my ball as I plunged.

Having re-read this thread, I now have a different view/interpretation of the rule governing tilting to the ‘benefit’ of the player.

In my opinion, tilting to avoid a feature from starting that you earned through playing the previous ball does not qualify as ‘benefiting the player.’ The player earned a feature or mode to be qualified/ready. Tilting isn’t adding any value or benefiting the player other than retaining the state of play. If tilting the ball caused CUI to become qualified because of some code feature that ‘awarded’ a snake shot for example, then that is benefiting the player by effectively adding a phantom shot, as in TAF with Greed.

I think as a TD that is the best way to interpret the existing rule. _

“If tilting intentionally results in completing a shot or other feature that was not actually made/earned by the player, the tilt it is beneficial to the player and illegal. If tilting intentionally releases captive/locked balls in a multi-player game, it is considered player interference and is illegal. If tilting intentionally retains game state, it is legal.”


@PAPA_Doug, @mhs, @pinwizj
I think the above language is a legitimate rule change update to properly distinguish what is or isn’t allowed with intentionally tilting, based on the spirit and intention of the existing rule (based on everything I’ve read in this thread). If game state is retained, then how can intentionally tilting be considered beneficial? I would rule it the way I’ve written it above using the existing rule based on the my TD interpretation of beneficial, but adding the language above (if you all agree with my interpretation) might help spell it out for other TDs for consistency.


Too complicated IMHO… and still leaves that wildly ambiguous “intentionally” concept that can be easily abused. Just scratch the rule entirely. If a player tilts for whatever reason, they forfeit their bonus, play on.


To avoid the “too complicated” issue, we could have an “alert, this is a state-preservation tilt” rule. This is actually quite similar to contract bridge where one must “Alert” certain unusual bids to your competitors [or where you can call the director for a specific ruling on something irregular at the time].

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Doesn’t the rule also keep players from testing the tilt on games that register tilts before a game has started or is that a different rule? Rules Shmules!

The @dbs Dave Stewart solution was to add to all of our weekly tournaments that have EBs on that we follow “ifpa/papa rules EXCEPT you can tilt an extra ball if you declare you intention BEFORE plunging the ball”. Since normal ifpa/papa tournaments don’t have EBs, they don’t need this exception. Location pinball does have EBS, so this exception is necessary.


Anyone is free to create a custom rule for this situation for their specific tournament. In official IFPAPA play, EBs are turned off, or they are played.


Yeah I think for location leagues or tourneys without ability to turn off EBs, this is the way to go.

Digging this up again-again because it happened to me on Metallica this weekend, yes I plunged off my extra ball (into the pops) and it didn’t linger quite long enough, the autoplunge made it into the scoop and started my crank it up for me. :tired_face:

@Snailman advised I should have tilted before starting the ball, which I considered but as far as I was aware at the time that would have gotten me DQed if it wasn’t specifically called out in the event rules, which it’s not. Alas.

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We use a “may tilt EBs” rule in my league. In fact I added it to our list of IFPA rules exceptions after reading this epic thread the first time!

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If you’re in this situation where you might accidentally start a feature you don’t want on your EB, call over the TD and ask if it’s okay to tilt out in this situation.

If they say yes: lucky you.

If they say no: send them this thread, and follow up two hours later to see if they’ve changed their mind.


I forgot how much people hate this rule. :melting_face:

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What’s your stance on it? Do you just not enforce it at tournaments you run ?

I’ve never encountered it. And I’ve done it exactly once.

But I’ve read enough situations of it being abused to know there needs to be some sort of rule for it. Like radical or other games that change the game state for other players based on the tilt. Still slippery cause you still have to judge intent. But easy to just ask and take them at their word (or play one player games, etc)

I guess I think I would like the delays wording amended to cover short plunging, intentional tilts for classic sterns, etc that if it’s deemed you’re holding up the event (either TD discretion or set a time to like 1 min or something)

But outside of delays, I don’t see any merit to this rule whatsoever. And the other instances above can be solved by playing 1P games.