When the start button gets pressed mid-game

I’d like to hear opinions about this situation. I’m sure it happens all the time, but it hasn’t happened in my presence before, and I don’t see it specifically addressed by the rules.

This happened at INDISC in the B Division Semi-finals on the final game. The scores are 4-5-8-1. Player 3 is guaranteed to go through. Player 4 cannot advance.

The game is Taxi. Player 1 has around 400k, and Player 2 around 1.8m (I don’t remember 3 and 4 because they had nothing at stake here). Player 4 steps up to the machine for his Ball 2 and absent-mindedly presses the start button. He is DQ’d.

This is pretty bad luck for Player 2, who had a 1.4m lead over Player 1 with only one ball to play. The ruling is that “since we don’t have the scores”, the game will be restarted (without Player 4 who takes a 0).

I understand the ruling, and there was absolutely no foul play in this scenario (Player 4 felt terrible and looked miserable waiting out the results of the replayed game)…but of course, this is certainly an opportunity for abuse/collusion.

Some questions:

  • What if the broadcast booth had been following the action?
  • What if this was Theater of Magic, and Scorbit was active?
  • Could Player 2 have taken a photo before he walked away from the machine on Ball 2 to protect against something like this?
  • What if this had happened on Player 4, Ball 3? Could Player 1 refuse to agree that he had lost and force the game to be replayed?
  • Should we invent a Start Button protector to prevent this situation for games that can’t have restart turned off?

I would absolutely check here first as I think you start with the scores everyone had before the game was restarted then add the applicable number of compensation balls. If the scores cannot be gathered, new game with the DQ player out.

If the game has a quick restart setting I find this just as important to disable as is the interlock. If possible.

If you could easily roll back the tape and get the score quickly, and by quickly I mean within 5 mins, I’d take the scores and add a ball, otherwise new game.

No idea what this is :slight_smile:

Yep, I’ve done that

If a TD was watching (which they should be) Scores would have been recorded for players 1 - 3 and since the outcome of the game was already concluded and player 4 just DQ’d himself by restarting the game, no need to play a new one.

:expressionless: Feel free, but no one is gonna buy it :slight_smile:

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I actually did check with the broadcast booth and they had not been following along.

Scorbit is a new thing (coming out soon) that they had installed onto one game in the bank (which happened to be Theater of Magic). It outputs the game scores live via…magic.

Wouldn’t it get a bit silly to have every player taking a photo of scores after every ball?

Yep. But might be good as a CYA if you crush one of your turns to help make your case to not restart a new game.

Yes, that’s why the more astute TDs make notes of the current score throughout the game. Not just at the end of each ball, but during a ball in progress as well.

If you’re having a monster game and you notice no one is tracking it, as a player it definitely doesn’t hurt to have some proof handy if something major goes wrong.

…leans in to take photo of score and accidentally hip checks the start button…


enjoy your 0 :smiley:


This is happening more and more. I saw it more this weekend than I have ever seen (including myself).

As a TD I always photograph before I open a machine. As a player, I almost always photograph before I ask a TD to open a machine. If I crush a ball, I have started taking a photo.


My phone from Pinburgh is filled with pictures of mid-game scores.

Pretty much anytime I would be super bummed if the score got lost, I snap a pic.

And yes . . . it’s pretty silly . . . but the one time you end up saving your ass with it, it’s allllll worth it :slight_smile:


Not surprisingly, I was Player 2. The broadcast booth switched over to the restarted game partway into Ball 2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/218563859?t=5h11m30s

As the player 1 in this scenario - if this were ball 3, one could argue that all three players had finished their games, and with player 4 taking the 0, it would be possible to assign points based on what was essentially a finished game for everyone else (although without hard score evidence). If that’s what everyone agreed to, I’d be okay with the result, win or lose.

But yeah - with one ball to go, who’s to say myself or anyone else could’ve pulled off a massive ball 3? Leave it to RAY to show what could be done in one ball. :slight_smile:

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I believe I was TD-ing then and was recording the scores for another group at the time. We had both B-division and A-division playoffs running concurrently to save time; it was quite the zoo when we had 4 groups in each division going at once. I got some scores in one player at a time as groups finished, but not in all cases. [I think Karl was running the stream then and I don’t recall what Jim was busy doing.] In this instance, it would have helped to have a second scorekeeper. [Noted for next year.]

On the general issue of replaying games due to unrecorded scores, it’s similar to when there’s a slam tilt or game reset mid-game and people have to replay regardless of who was how far ahead. I’ve been on both the good and bad side of it, as well as having to make the call as a TD, and I agree it would be nice to have a better solution. The photo after each player finishes option is clearly a good one. Absent that, for games not yet on the final ball, the math person in me says it would be a definite improvement if the rule was changed to permit approximate scores to be used and added to any compensation balls played. As long as the final results were definitive within the range of error of the approximate scores, there would be no issue as to who won. If the final totals did fall within the range of uncertainty, then those players would replay the entire game from scratch. I estimate that such a replay would be needed less than 10% of the time.


I have seen this happen on No Fear a couple times on the Skydive mode where a player is trying to hit the extra ball button for the extra 25 Mil and sweet Mortal Kombat 3 hint. They accidentally hit the start button instead…whoops.


That would be the sportsmanly thing to do. But a less honest Player 1 could force a restart by disagreeing.

For sure. You could have. I still would have had the chance to answer too. :slight_smile:

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I certainly would have agreed to a moderate rounding error in Player 1’s favor because I liked the position I was in.

@BMU I have no expectations at any tournament that scores are being recorded between balls. Usually if the stage is large enough, it’s on stream anyway these days.

LOL good luck with this group :slight_smile:

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So if I’m losing poorly in this situation, I just need to stop playing when my score is close enough to someone else’s, and then force a restart? Seems exploitable.

No, only the players whose scores are within the error range replay the game, so the person you’re “losing poorly” to still beats both you and the other player you’re close to.