Volunteer hours & player decisions @ BPSO 2018

But as @ryanwanger said, that was the plan. Didn’t happen due to an act of god.

I honestly feel that having a scheduled break in the middle of qualifying for volunteers would have been a nightmare. I think it would have pissed off the maximum number of people, even more so than outright cancelling the volunteer hours.

Putting the hour at the end of the day was the best option available and I don’t think it’s remotely close.


Trent’s plunge-off could offend someone from another group, but I can’t see him or another player really caring about the couple points this gave the other players in that round. It doesn’t affect who advances in the tourney, and the WPPR difference is negligible in the long run. What he did seems more in good faith than other scenarios.

At a circuit event I have been in a Ball 3 plunge-off scenario where Player 3 is a good buddy with Player 1, and I was Player 4(well in the lead). I was counting on Player 3 to play his ball and easily advance past Player 1, giving me an extra point and a chance to advance to the next round. However, Player 3 already had enough points to make it into the final 4, and he wanted his buddy in the final 4 as well, so he just plunged the ball, made no effort to score points, and didn’t play it out, ensuring I had no shot. Sucks, but what could anyone do about it?

Either of these scenarios might challenge the “play in good faith” rule @unsmith quoted - but I can’t see what the ruling would be or how a TD would penalize that player. Ultimately, I guess it’s up to the player to put their-self in the best position possible to minimize the effects of these kinds of scenarios. I can’t see how someone could be penalized for that, because we’ve all had self imposed “house-balls” at some point or another that was our fault. It seems the only real way to eliminate these scenarios is a 1 vs 1 State/National championships style finals bracket. I personally think PAPA or Pinburgh style finals with groups of 4 are more fun, especially to watch, but it does lead to some crappy scenarios.

I think that statement makes this a whole different situation. Trent wasn’t playing kingmaker with his plunges; he simply wanted to go to bed. The 2nd person to get through will be the winner of the other 3 players on the game.

This situation is in that grey area of collusion and I’d be questioning the reasoning behind it.


I think you’re spot on here. It’s not like a player would openly admit to purposely not playing to their best ability. There have been some really sketchy things I’ve seen over the last few years that you just kind of have to let go, even though it was blatantly obvious what was going on simply because people can’t prove intent to enforce that rule. It really sucks, especially when it alters the outcomes of matches.

Brian Dominy and I would disagree with that :slight_smile:



That is clearly and obviously player collusion, and would be illegal in any tournament worth its salt.

As for “what could anyone do about it,” you complain to the TD. Loudly.

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“Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?”

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I totally hear you. But playing devils advocate against myself - it was an early solid state game where in theory a player could house ball it. The player did flip once or twice, but it was obvious(my opinion) they weren’t there to play the ball out. We all crap out on a ball from time to time or greatly undershoot our abilities. I don’t think that was the case here- but if a TD was watching it with a magnifying glass what is the line where “they had a bad ball” and “they purposefully drained or didn’t reach X score”. I had a solid feeling, as I saw the player carefully examining the scores going into the final game, and before that ball to see how it’d shake out. It’s very subjective though, and if it’s not defined anywhere(that I know of) what the penalty for that scenario is, what is the TD supposed to do even if they do deem a player in breach of that rule? Asking as a player and as a TD, as I often host finals tournaments in this format. As a TD, I’m not sure I could DQ said player because who’s to say my opinion on his intentions should cause him to be DQ’ed?

It is what it is, I’m not upset about that particular scenario, I should have played better to avoid it. Sometimes you get the lucky break in PAPA format where the scores fall your way and you sneak by, sometimes you find yourself just missing out for any number of reasons. I chose to respond mostly because it challenges me as a player and as a TD as to what is the proper course of action.

Yeah, that’s the trouble with it. As you noted, it’s fairly easy to put on a good show and not try on purpose.

I don’t have a good answer on what prevents this. It’s very very hard to prove collusion, unless you have some bulletproof evidence like the two players talking with witnesses about it or something like that.

How about if a player is guaranteed to advance or guaranteed to not advance before game 3, they have to play their full game 1st? This prevents some collusion scenarios.

Another option is force the player into choosing 1st position. That could be unfair to the player with choice of position though who wants to go 1st in a game where open locks are beneficial.

There’s other potential self benefiting scenarios where a player that has guaranteed to advance is still playing for something meaningful.

In the Trent situation . . . if Trent is sitting at 6 after two games, and the other people in the group are:

My mom --> 4 points
My son --> 3 points
Keith Elwin --> 1 point

Game 3 and Keith is blowing it up, guaranteed to land himself a big 4 pointer and finish with 5.

My son just can’t take the pressure anymore and totally collapses. Behind by a mile after two balls. He’s totally done at 3 points for the round.

Trent’s sitting just behind my mom for 2nd place going into ball 3 with my mom in the clubhouse. If Trent passes her, then my mom and Keith have a playoff to see who advances. If Trent tanks that last ball, it gives my mom two points and she advances with 6.

Is it okay for Trent to tank on purpose because he feels that he has a better chance to win the tournament with my mom as one of the 4 finalists over Keith?

If Trent was forced to play his full game ahead of the rest of the players, he wouldn’t have the ability to analyze this kind of situation should it present itself.


If you think the answer is yes then you need to do some revision of the IFPA rules …

  1. Interference, Collusion & Cheating

Any collaborative effort between players in an attempt to unfairly affect the outcome of the competition, or to “lock out” a third player, or to otherwise refrain from making the best possible competitive effort on each and every game played, will be looked upon very poorly by tournament officials, and may result in disciplinary action, including disqualification and/or ejection from the tournament.

Yes, I realize this was posted earlier. And I realize that you’re going to say “competitive effort” means trying to improve YOUR personal chances of winning the tournament. That was the same argument the badminton players used in London 2012 when they were disqualified.

Where is the collaborative effort in @pinwizj example?

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Point taken. But is it then ok for me to tank to get my buddy to advance as long as he doesn’t ask me to do it? That doesn’t seem right.

No, but as a practical matter it can’t be enforced. TD asks if you did that, you say no. If you admit it then you should be penalized.

Maybe all pinball should be played in a private booth (like voting). No scores shared until the end of each round of play. Regardless of tournament style.

Sounds practical.

There isn’t one, but that wasn’t the part of that section of the rules quoted.

EDIT: I guess you could read that stanza as three examples of “Any collaborative effort between players in an attempt to X” but I think the point is that you should always try your best on every game you play. Of course, it’s murky what “your best” means.