WCS - You make the ruling

Curious - what was the ruling you thought was wrong that another TD confirmed was wrong? The official rules state that it is up to the TD to place the ball and the player no longer has a choice. I’m not aware of any other rule that dictates where the ball is placed, although someone mentioned this past weekend that PAPA will place the ball on the same side as where the ball was stuck. Don’t know if that is official or just an informal rule used by PAPA. I like consistency though and will do that in the future at my tournaments.

It was a stuck ball on the right inlane switch that was placed on the left flipper. That struck me as odd, since I thought it was supposed to be placed on the flipper of the side of the game where it was stuck. That was later confirmed to be the rule and how it should have been handled.

I like the consistency of the rule and removing player choice from the situation.

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Did they give a reason for putting it on the opposite side? Are they assuming an inlane transfer or something?

This is not the rule. The rule says the TD has discretion about ball placement.

I agree that there was a mistake made in the discretion; at Pinburgh we attempted to use the same discretion in all cases. But it is not correct to say this was a miscarriage of the tournament rules.

He said it was TD discretion as to where it was placed. I left it at that.

Sorry if I’m misunderstanding, but this is the exact quote I received from Doug about the situation which led me to believe the rule wasn’t carried out properly.

“Based on what you are describing, the ball should have been placed on the right flipper. At PAPA events if the ball is stuck on the right side of the game it should be placed on the right flipper, left side is left flipper.”

There is no rule about this, only that the TD has discretion about ball placement.

As I said to @jdelz there was a mistake made in the discretion that Pinburgh tournament officials had all agreed to use together. The specifics of the discretion are not written into the rules.

Thanks for the clarification, Bowen.

So back to the original reason I brought up the stuck ball issue… Would it have been out of line for me to ask for a second opinion from another TD before the ball was placed on the left flipper and the game resumed?

Also, is it the responsibility of the TD to inform the player of the resolution before they carry it out? If I knew my only option was left flipper, I would have preferred to attempt to nudge it free to have it on the right side.

For the sake of painting the larger picture, the game was Cactus Jacks and I didn’t know a good way to transfer from left to right on those skinny Gottlieb flippers and needed the ramp shot. If it was a game where I could transfer easily, I wouldn’t have even remembered this situation.

  1. Major Malfunctions
    A major malfunction is a gameplay problem with a machine that results in the premature loss of ball in play in a fashion that is not a normal feature of the machine’s gameplay.

With that defining a major malfunction, im still confused why the player would be SOL?

It’s not a major malfunction because the magnet pulse did not directly cause a premature loss of ball in play.

It’s pretty clear that most people who have responded here agree with you, but I don’t see how this rule requires your interpretation as it’s currently written.

I don’t understand, what made him lose the ball? I assumed it was the flipper fell down from the cradle position and the ball just rolled into the trough.

There is a magnet near the left flipper on WCS. When that pulsed as part of the ball search, it tossed the ball off the flipper. Since I wasn’t watching I don’t know where it landed, but I assume on the right flipper, then rolled off into the center drain.

So, the magnet pulse caused premature loss of the ball then?

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The magnet pulse caused the ball to move. Not paying attention caused loss of ball.


How do you know if he paid attention the drain could of been avoided? I would of said major malfunction and gave them another ball from what ive heard.

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I don’t know for certain it would have, but I accepted responsibility for snoozing as it was likely to have been preventable.

I’m sure your ruling would have been appreciated by the affected player and met with a few eyerolls from the opponents.


I have never ever ever seen this happen. And I used to have a WCS. Never on that one and never on any else.

If this happens from a 100% static cradle (not saying the incident spawning this discussion wasn’t), it is a matter of a more than usual shallow flipper. And a more than usual strong magnet. Reeling the ball off a cradle into the abyss is not usual WCS magna save behaviour.

Looking back at Cayles remark. What if it’s a matter of combined player interaction and ball search influenced ball manipulation.

I would say no, because you believed it was not being done correctly. This was only one of three incidents I’m aware of when we didn’t have consistency in TD behavior, and it was discussed so as to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


There was a thread on this type of thing happening to Lyman on a WCS at a past tournament, assuming the same type of behavior happened to @jdelz without him realizing it… Lyman's MagnaPass. Unintentional? Serendipitous?