What would you do? INDISC good and bad sportsmanship

I saw two examples of sportsmanship last night at INDISC, one good, one bad.

First the good one:

Zach was playing on Frankenstein and started 2-ball, which shortly after turned into 6-ball. He immediately trapped up and caught 4 of the 6, and motioned Jim to come over. He didn’t want the extra advantage the game gave him that should have been earned. I mentioned to them that the same thing happened to me on the first day of qualifying, so everyone was probably getting the same advantage (me not knowing the game well, didn’t even realize that it should not been that easy to get 6-ball). Jim conferred with Karl, and Jim came back to do an on the spot repair, and drained most of the balls. All of this took a while and probably threw Zach off of his game, and when the glass was back on, he did indeed drain pretty quickly. The person next to me said that was a class-act, not wanting any advantage not earned, and I agree.

The second example is one I am a bit afraid of calling out, the persons (let’s call them Person A and Person B) involved are well known and do an awful lot for the pinball scene on their own, but it bugs me that this happened.

A player was killing their last game of the night on a machine, it was about 5 minutes until qualifying would be complete, and at the end of ball 2, person A asked the player “does this game mean anything to your ticket?”. The player is shocked and answered “yes, of course it does, it’s my last game of the ticket”. Ball 3 gets fumbled soon after. Then, Person A plays a mediocre game right at the cut off time for qualifying. The conversation overheard after, was that person B asked person A to ask the player to throw his game, so that both of them would have a chance before the cut-off to get in their final entries. Their reasoning was that the player shouldn’t be playing if their ticket might not be relevant.

Let’s say the player who was originally playing the game, came from a far away place, spent thousands of dollars to be here, and had been battling these machines these past 3 days, really loves the game of pinball. These machines are set up perfectly for competition play and this player has been waiting years since Covid cancelled everything to have the right to do his best against the game and the competition. It does not matter to him if he did not qualify for the finals at this point, what matters is doing what he came here for, not to give up. He is going to do the best that he can and play his best game up to the last moment. That is, until someone asked him to throw the match.

You are the player, What would you do?


Assuming I understand this right. Someone was asked to throw their game and they didn’t. If I was asked that I would laugh, tell them they should’ve played better, then done my best to ensure my ticket finished strong.

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The second incident is clearly a backhanded attempt at collusion according to Chap. III, 3 of the IFPA rules. At the very least, it’s player interference, also a violation.

And, for the record, I don’t care what that person has done with or for the community, because this incident proves that player is ultimately out for himself.

And where the hell are the TD’s and scorekeepers in this scenario? Had I been there I would have shut this down instantly! This is why I constantly espouse that officials stay focused on ALL the players and games at ALL times.

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This is highly dependent on the number of volunteers and officials available to keep an eye on however many concurrent games are ongoing, as well as the many players around those games.

As a general reminder to those attending tournaments, please also volunteer your time to help.


You owe $1 into the Zach/Josh cookie jar :wink:


for 1 do you really want all players to have to know all games 100%? and fixing an issue that has been in place for most of qualifying? vs keeping it in the same state till the end?

as for 2 stalling for time can happen and one way to fix it is to have people in que at cut off time still get to play.

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Part 1 is good. Definitely what we expect from high level players to ensure a fair ground. What Zach did was smart and keeps integrity in the game which makes competing that much more fun. Definitely hard for everyone to know, but when it mattered he made the right move.

Part 2 is absolutely hilarious. Play better for one. If you seriously need to do this in pinball to try to gain an advantage that’s just awesome. Some people just need to compensate for certain things in their lives. Not my fault they aren’t happy in their life. I’m sure this has happened more times that we have caught, but it’s almost impossible to stop with the chaos. I’d say out them, let them bear the consequences of their decisions. There’s a logic behind this format and I agree with it. Every game, card worthy or not counts. You’re beating the average.


Is fair ground to fix at 10%+ 25%+ 50%+ 51%+ 75+% of the way into qualifying or is the fair move to keep it the same till the end?

Depends on the issue and that’s the call of the TD. If it goes to 6 ball every single time, I’d be inclined to leave it. If it was something intermittent, i would try to fix it or replace it.

Tough question to be honest. I’m not 100% familiar with the exact scenario. In theory, it should never happen to any game. I would assume the same rule would apply when it comes to a malfunction in herb style. If it’s ruled a major malfunction, once it’s found out the game is pulled and all scores stand. So as soon as possible is the best answer. The less of this variable in a tournament is best.

One reason I don’t play a lot of tournament ANYTHING (use to player poker, etc) is because of nonsense like what was alleged in scenario 2. In poker - people agree to final table standings and split purses, friends sandbag games and/or lose to beef up chip piles of their friends to make it to final tables - things like that.
Happens in any recurring tournament games where you have the same characters and friends who are there all the time. Agreed they should play better or stop playing in tournaments and let the clique of players each pony up $10,000 and play head-to-head on their own and don’t waste lay people’s time.

For me, pinball is about fun and not that much about competition.

For tournament play in general - when it comes to trying to get new lay people who want to play in tournaments - any kind - the fastest way to turn off getting new blood - players, entry fees, etc - is to have a good old boy network and/or sandbag/cheat.

If I were the player in scenario 2, to answer the question I would report them and play my best game ever.


Personally, that’s more of a motivation for me. We need good people in this or any sport. I’m more than happy to bully the bullies. It would only motivate me more to get better and stay in just to upset their network.


Don’t care who ya are or what the situation is, nobody should be be bothering anybody during an official game to try to bully them to step aside.

Especially when it doesn’t even matter. You’ve been playing pinball for 30 hours and you need to harass some poor noob just so you can get in another game you don’t need? I wouldn’t bother. I’d hit the showers and go grab a drink.


If someone asked me to throw my game I would’ve been doing an awful lot of trapping and thinking in that game afterwards and/or would’ve told them if they’d played better they wouldn’t be stuck trying to bully someone off a game so that they could squeeze in a last minute entry.


I’m (usually) not an A division player. Even when I can’t make finals, I care how I did in the tournament for the sake of my own pride. I would be offended if someone implied I should give up on a good game so they could get an entry in.


First, re Norma and “where are the scorekeepers/TDs” we had about 55 machines in four banks and 8-10 scorekeepers on average plus me and Jim (Karl was busy with video and scoring tech most of the time). No way we can see or hear everything like that. We REALLY would like more volunteers for everything in the future. How many people were on staff at PAPA?

Re Joe and letting people in queue at cutoff time still play, no way would that work. How many people in queue? One? Two? Ten? What if one game in the bank plays way longer than the others (as some did)? As it was, we needed that mere half hour between the end of qualifying and playoffs to have people already started at cut-off time finish their games, tally the results and determine if any tiebreakers to make the cut were needed (they were), then play those tiebreakers. Yes, it sucks to not get in all 4 or 5 games of your ticket, but anything done to stretch it would make things run later than they already do. We were way past our planned time frame every day due to a combination of machine breakdowns and good play. If anything, we may have to make qualifying shorter to accommodate the playoff durations. I do plan to revisit our schedule and see if changes are feasible, but with that many people playing, there’s only so much we can do without a major change in event format, e.g. limiting per-player entries. Do people realize that to spread out the lines and crowds, we had MORE games in each bank than PAPA ever did? Think about that.

Not trying to dump on either of your comments, we appreciate all feedback. It’s just that being on the inside, you realize your own limitations a bit more. Right now, our biggest challenge frankly is that we’re almost too successful for our own good, given how few of us are actually involved in running Indisc.

Keep the comments coming, though, we do strive to keep improving (once we recover from this year!).


maybe just one / the on deck slot
something like if you are next on game at something like at 0-5 min before end if you are next YOU WILL PLAY and any one after you may not.
cut off joining at que X time before?
or enforcing rules on stalling.
Just to stop someone with less then 5 min left from slow playing to kill time.

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But then don’t you just push the same issue a bit later? Eventually you have to tell someone “sorry, you can’t play.”

I donno, just my two cents.


Thanks for providing the background. I have run bingo games and chess tournaments in another life and feel for you but if you are a victim of your own success, expect that you may be putting off other new players who will go once and be done with it. It isn’t like there isn’t any competition for discretionary spending :).

Perhaps dialing it back to be more manageable may be a solution - not the best one but it is one solution. Good luck.

Any insight if time is a concern as to why EBs were allowed all over the place for so long?