Tournament ruling- the intentional tilt.




Why would you choose not to enforce a rule? You may think it’s a bad rule, and maybe it should be changed, but deciding not to enforce a rule is one of the only truly unfair things a tournament director can do.


I think the spirit of this rule is really about things like extra GREED letters. In other words, tilting for an active benefit. The situation described here is a passive benefit – slightly increasing the odds that a bad situation doesn’t happen. So it would be very difficult for me to apply the strict penalty required by this rule.

If I had more experience dealing with rulings on plunging EBs, it’s certainly possible that I’d feel differently.

I agree with your point about the unfairness of not enforcing a given rule. I’m telling myself that as long as I apply the rules consistently to all players and all situations, and let players know ahead of time how my events might stray from the letter of the law when I might have a reason to think it could come up, that’s good enough. Maybe not, though.


The player deliberately tilted, and they had a reason to do so. The fact that the player deliberately tilted for a perceived benefit is pretty clear, otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.

I agree with Doug on this – setting up “plunge EBs” makes these situations possible, so it should be avoided.

It sounds as though many people disagree with the rule, so what should the rule be? Or should deliberate tilting just be allowed whenever?


Serious question, and I don’t know the answer. Is this rule actually ever enforced?

Go to 1:40:05 if the video doesn’t already take you there.


I believe that video is from a time before this rule was created.

What’s the reason for this rule? The only thing I can think of is to avoid drawing games out longer while the next player waits for the tilt bob to settle. My opinion is that that is not enough justification.


I’d definitely like to know how to get the rule changed as well, it just makes no sense. Also like I said it can be super subjective, like on TAF how can one tell that I was “saving” the ball vs. intentionally tilting?


Disallowing tilt during a ball that is actively played is a fine rule I guess, though like Ray and others have said, judging intent is difficult (are there any other rules that require judging intent?) . An exception to allow tilting a plunged EB seems reasonable to me.


I don’t see what the big deal is. So, an extra Greed letter instead of the bonus. So what? The player gets to make a choice as to whether the extra letter is worth more or not. That’s much like any other risk-reward decision in a game.

The problem here is assessing intentionality. In effect, if the rule stays, it’ll encourage good acting: “Oh my, I didn’t mean to do that!” And then TD’s are obliged to make a ruling that, to be accurate, would require reading a player’s mind.

That’s not a good rule, IMO, because of the impossibility of administering it objectively.


Deliberate tilting should be allowed. What’s the downside? If a player wants to intentionally forfeit their ball and bonus, perhaps even risk a tilt-through and associated DQ… let them. And as others have noted, it’s terrible to put a TD into the situation of having to decide whether a particular tilt was “deliberate … to derive some benefit”, or just a tilt while trying to save a ball… especially for the vast majority of events that don’t have playfield cameras for every game.


What about games where tilting releases locked balls? Probably the same answer. But it does feel a little less “no harm no foul” when player two tilts out the ball locked by player one so player 3 has to re-lock for multiball.

(I’m on team Tilt Away personally, but GREED letters aren’t the only things affected by tilts.)



Any player who intentionally takes advantage of a significant beneficial malfunction may be given a warning and/or have his or her affected entry interrupted and disqualified by tournament officials.

A stuck ball during multiball often represents a significant beneficial malfunction, and intentionally taking advantage may result in a penalty.

Any player who misuses a game feature in order to intentionally trap a ball during a multiball mode, such as holding in the plunger on Tommy in order to defeat the autoplunger, may be given a warning and/or have his or her affected game disqualified by tournament officials. Please note that intentionally causing ball searches is also prohibited (see “Delay” under “Player Conduct”).

Any player who intentionally interferes with tournament play or otherwise disrupts the tournament setting will be warned and/or ejected from the tournament, at the discretion of tournament officials.

Intentional delay is defined as time when the player is intentionally making no progress towards in-game objectives

I might have missed some.


Interesting. Doesn’t this rule make it illegal to time out a mode (at least if it takes more than 30 seconds)?


The golden rule … “Just make it look good and you’ll be fine” :wink:

Running back to the machine after forgetting to tilt out is about the easiest judge of intent I’ve ever had to deal with.


Other examples to think about if you want no tilts barred.

The gear six tilt bug on Mustang (although this is now fixed)
Tilting classic sterns before playfield is qualified.


Worst.Rule.Ever. If it’s that big of deal use another game.


It may make no sense to some people but not all locations have the time and/or manpower so set up all their games (some time up to 30) with EB just for weekly tournament to set them back on when they are done. Even more so since the tournament happens during a normal business night with plenty of casual players still playing… Competitive pinball player represent at best 10% of coin drop in locations so reasonable expectation needs to be applied here.
The rule above is in a perfect tournament setting world, but in most smaller/weekly type tournament it does not apply. EB cannot be allowed in the interest of time (Think Hobbit, LOTR…) so a “local” rule of plunging EBs is needed but varies between TDs and can be misinterpreted causing confusion and/or abuse.

It’s more a question for IFPA than PAPA side of the rules I would assume.


So, why require the EBs to be plunged? Why not just have the player play three balls and then record the score?


No, this rule has been in place since at least PAPA 13.

Again, I have no argument fine with changing this rule, my only argument is that a TD should enforce the rules that are in place. I also agree with Joe’s opinion about shooting the 5x swamp. :slight_smile:


If P2 earns extra balls and has to play them, they lose the advantage that comes from playing after P1 (knowing their score and tuning strategy).