What's the Correct Ruling?

So I ran in to a few interesting situations last night during league and was wondering if my rulings were correct.

  • We play a total of 4 games. Everyone has been instructed to wait until all teams have finished their game prior to starting the next. They have also been instructed that if you want to hang out and play after leagues, to wait until the last team finishes for the night before playing a game.

Needless to say, one of the groups finished game 4 and one of the players decided to go up and play the replay his group had just earned on Star Trek. He ended up starting the game before his group had recorded their scores.

They obviously had to replay the game, but should there have been some penalty assessed on the player since he was the one that screwed things up for his group causing them to have to replay the game?

  • During a match on Kiss one of the players was getting a fortuitous bounce out of the star target scoop. The ball popped out of the scoop, hit a target and landed right back in the scoop. This happened enough that she was awarded and played 2 Love Gun multiballs so it went on for awhile. I did notice her slightly nudging the machine when it would get kicked out, but it didn’t look like enough to influence the ball.

One of the other players was upset because he thought that something should have been done. It’s obviously not a stuck ball and I can’t penalize her for getting lucky. I told him that it was a “Play on” situation and to suck it up. :grinning:

  • During a game of Ghost Busters apparently a switch went rogue and was validating the play field prior to the ball launch. Normally I wouldn’t even bother asking about this because it’s another play on situation, but the skill shot is really important. The validation screwed them out of having an opportunity to not only pick their skill shot, but even collect the skill shot. My ruling was to play on. It only happened twice.

Should I have handled things differently?

I don’t think what you ruled was wrong, but I would have given the player a zero. I wouldn’t want to establish a precedence that would allow this as a potential exploit if someone had a bad game. I personally have done something similar, I slid a machine on ball 3, and after my tilt I went to reposition the machine and somehow accidentally hit the start button. I took a zero on that game.


I’m curious: Was knowing the exact scores rather than just the relative finishing position of the 4 Star Trek players relevant to your league format?


The GB thing might be an issue with the captive balls that was resolved in the newest software. But on that and on Kiss you definitely made the right decision.

On Star Trek that’s an edge case (i don’t think there is a specific rule about restart after game completion) but I would rule it a DQ, using the rule that would apply if it happened during the game in progress.


Thanks everyone. In retrospect, I probably should have DQ’ed the player that wiped the scores.

It might have effected the number of points handed out for the game. We knew the position, but not the scores, so I wouldn’t be able to determine who gets the bonus point. We use the FSPA scoring where bonus points are awarded.

We have the newest code on Ghostbusters, so that shouldn’t be the issue. I’ll have to see if I can get the operator to take a look. I noticed the drop targets wiggling when they were in the down position for some reason, so that might be the issue.

For ghostbusters if I got multiple reports of it I’d pull the game. The times that it did happen though, play on.

You did all the right things IMO. in the Star Trek case I probably would’ve gotten with the group to try and get them to agree on the finishing positions and bonus points. If they couldn’t agree, replay the game with the guilty party excluded and getting a zero.

This. In my experience, there’s rarely been a game where everyone doesn’t know where they finished. Even if it’s approximate scores: P1 had 13M, P2 had 17M, etc (vs knowing that it might have been 13,248,390 and 17,021,740), most people remember their approximate scores from the game that they just finished playing.

Oh, and sadly, yes, the player that restarted the game and wiped all the scores should get a zero.


Yup, remember, you’re not trying to judge intent, so a willful action that causes data to be lost has to be treated as intentional interference IMNSHO.


I tend to read IMHO as In My Honest Opinion, but your use makes me think it is In My Humble Opinion.

Anyhow, I think the Kiss issue isn’t so easy. Imagine the mech had a cover on it, instead of being clear, so you couldn’t see what was happening. Does that change the ruling? If I am reading this correctly, her ball was in the starchild area through an entire multiball, remained in the area after the multiball and started another one? That seems stuck to me.

I know that when Jorian had a ball going crazy on the Whirlwind pop-bumper in multiball the official ruling was ‘that’s pinball’ but Jorian made the decision to free it. The announcers even said that he could burn out a flipper coil by trapping balls for a long time. So even if the ruling is ‘that’s pinball’ for this, the advantage gained by a player is incredible. Not only will they play a one ball multiball, but they will start a new one when it’s over. Is there really nothing to address this?

Re FSPA scoring, I agree with Snailman, the other players are likely to remember enough of the scores to determine the bonus point; people usually keep track of that when it’s close. And yes, he gets a zero.

Re Kiss, I assume this was to start multiballs, not during multiballs. Even if she nudged with intent to help it repeat that, I’d say play on, but adjust the game between rounds if an opportunity to do so exists. Lots of other games have saucers or other kickouts where the player can try to get a repeat, so this is a standard tactic when possible. The games are just supposed to be designed so that it’s not that easy.

Re GB, I’m with Bowen, your call was right.

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I actually did ask the Star Trek group their scores, but as soon as I did, I found that there was a discrepancy between what players thought there score was for the game. I got the “I had 11 million” and then someone else says “I thought you had 13 million?”. When that happened, I figured that they should play it over again.

@G_Money You are correct, it would get kicked out of the hole, hit a bumper and land right back in the hole again. That continued over and over giving her 2 multiballs back to back. So it wasn’t technically stuck, which is why I said “Play On”.

I know it technically wasn’t stuck. But it was within the confines of that mech for a very extended time, and I believe that if the mech was covered, it would be considered stuck. I don’t think the machine behaved correctly when it awarded the 2nd multiball, though I guess it is a minor malfunction. I am just thinking - that is the worst multiball for this, because you can do everything you need to achieve the super (and then be awarded the super) while that ball is stuck.

As others have said, you absolutely need to DQ the player that started the new game if you cannot agree on the final position - it’s a bad idea to set a precedent that you can maybe get away with forcing a re-play by hitting the start button.


I agree with the consensus here, you did fine overall. The Ghostbusters glitch is clearly a minor malfunction, since it didn’t result in the loss of ball in play, machine reset, etc. I’m not sure I’d even consider the Kiss thing a malfunction, but if it is, it’s certainly minor, for the same reason.

Re: restarting the game… I’d definitely consider that Interference, which by FSPA rules is a “serious violation” that’s tallied over the course of the entire season. First (or second) violation results in a machine score of zero. In the League Manager software, enter DISQ for the offending player’s score (or choose “disqualified” from the popup menu).

If the other players involved really can’t remember and agree to their scores closely enough to figure out the finishing order and bonus point situation, I guess there’s no choice but to replay. Good reason to encourage players to record scores on the scoresheet as each player finishes their last ball.

Sounds like an exciting league night! :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone for their help.

@joe It was definitely interesting, that’s for sure.

We’re now having a problem with Kiss where Gene’s head only registers Lock shots and not mode shots. The operator is trying to track down the problem, which is apparently an issue with the optos at the entrance. I doubt it will be fixed by tonight, or even the tournament this Saturday.

With that said, is the standard thing to notify everyone of the issue so they can adjust their game strategy accordingly? I don’t see a need to pull it because we really need 4 machines, the same issue effects everyone and you can always choose other modes that don’t require a shot to his head.

Yep. Same for everyone.

4. Known Malfunctions
Any malfunction or unusual behavior that is determined to be relatively minor but unusual enough to merit comment may, at the discretion of tournament officials, be posted for players to be aware of before playing the affected machine. Players who have played the machine before this notice is provided will not be allowed to replay the machine nor to replace it with play of another machine. The occurrence of any posted malfunction will be treated as a minor malfunction unless it worsens or interacts with another feature to yield a major malfunction.

The one problem I see is with GB not allowing a player to get the skill shot.

Consider this scenario: Entering ball 3 two players are having good games and have over 500 Million. If one player get to shoot the skill shot and the other doesn’t that equates to a potential loss of points of over 100 Million (20% of score if in a mode and shooting the right orbit). IMO, this constitutes a significant point loss.

I guess my question would be, is there a point where scoring potential turns a minor malfunction into a major?

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That is a very good Q. Does anyone know the answer?

Don’t use GB in tournaments. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: