Yellow Cards, behavior and penalties


Along that same logic. What other sport penalizes a player for saying a bad word? I think that’s ludicrous too but here we are.

The bigger part of that topic is we don’t want an announcement to be made as we don’t want to have to stop what we are doing and gather as a group just to see the yellow card. Put it on the brackets if you want but don’t stop play for it.

Also, the other part (and to me) more important part of where the conversation went is the tracking of yellow cards and them building. Since each TD will want to manage what is and isn’t a yellow card at their tournament I strongly disagree with that approach. Only if it’s consistent across the board will I entertain that idea.


Every single sport has penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct


Tennis penalizes for audible cussing, but it’s not a “2 and done” situation like yellow/red cards.


I had a feeling that would show up with the recent tennis debacle. You are correct, but those don’t come until after a warning comes. And if you watched that occur you will see that their was A LOT said that was directed at an official that lead to those circumstances. Here we are penalizing people for not even directing it towards a person or an official. Two very different things and yet in those cases it far exceeds what some of the examples here would deem a yellow card or even straight red cards.

You may want to redifine “every”. Tell me again, what did all those football players get penalized for with all the F-bombs that they threw out to the crowd after scoring a touchdown at their opponents teams field? How about how many they got for their cursing after making a great play? This is all about perception and being positive role modes (remember earlier in the thread) and I’d easily argue they are on a bigger branch when it comes to being role models to kids then some dorky guy in an arcade.

Football is just one example. Baseball, soccer, rugby, tennis, ping pong, bowling, cornhole, I could go on. All televised and very visible acts of frustration made with no penalties given until the situation becomes egregious and continued.

But, I’ll give this to you, yes, all sports have some sort of sportsmanship guidelines but the vast majority of them wont penalize a player to the levels we are talking about in this thread for yelling a curse word or a gesture that is deemed not desirable.


Praise in public, reprimand in private

Do that and you avoid making any reprimand situation worse, and avoids any TD “being a dictator, look at me, I’m in charge, pound my chest” perceptions. Some players could take being publicly ‘humiliated’ very wrong and there are TDs out there who would then react negatively making everything worse. Talking privately to someone avoids that without further embarrassing them. Some will say that embarrassment is important to get their behavior to change, but it’s unnecessary and the private conversation will be more effective than anything grandiose and public.

Other players might not get the supposed benefit of a public embarrassment, but players will notice the sidebar between player and TD, and word will get around without making a scene.


Pretty much every successful company follows this business principle.


and if pinball players in an IFPA competition were employees of a business, that would be a valid approach. but since they’re not, it’s not. penalties are public in competitions and sports.


Sports that have a history of a standard of decorum. Pro golf and tennis both have rules about profanity. Many more have rules about language towards officials too.


You can always deal with ‘real time’ situations in private unless it needs to be escalated to the larger group… and still make the history of the situation public after the fact. This avoids the escalation element, while still serving the grander purpose of ensuring the deterrent and knowledge sharing happens.


I think our issue is less “you roughed the passer” and more of the mindset of the people in question during competitive play. We’re looking at reforming how pinball is played and viewed, in which official reprimands are only a tool in the collective toolbox.

In a Steelers analogy, Bud Dupree isn’t a bad guy for getting penalized (even though they’re usually at critical times), but he’s definitely under question for the non-penalizable offense of " I was at your girl house laid up, wat u gone do ."

At some point we can get into formalities, but we’re not “sports” to the point where most penalties are outside the realm of culture/behavior. Let’s use everything we’ve got to fix that before it’s too late.


Interesting you mentioned Pro Golf. Remind me again, what penalty did Thomas Pieters get for breaking his club at the BMW event a couple months ago? This is just the most recent example I’ve seen as I don’t watch golf as much as I used to but that happens as well as slamming of golf clubs into the ground, throwing balls off into the water as well a A LOT of cursing. I’m assuming you’ve never been to a PGA tour event to make that example. But it is a good one as golf is a “gentleman” sport and yet those players are not penalized (strokes added) for those actions which IMHO are more destructive then what we are discussing here.

So you really think we need an announcement of a penalty? Hey everyone at Pinburg come gather around so I can tell you about a yellow card we just issued. Yup, that makes A LOT of sense. Put it on IFPA website by highlighting it yellow or red where the points are issued but stopping play to make an announcement of this is just plain ludicrous to me. It’s a waste of time and severs no purpose other than to potentially create a bigger scene than necessary. And I don’t want that crap announced over the speakers while I’m playing either as that could be very distracting.

And if you think some people may not handle things the same in private vs publicly you are VERY wrong. If you give me a yellow card for something I feel isn’t deserving in private then I may just take it but if you want to publicly shame me for it I promise you that will not be the end of the story as I will feel the need to defend myself. Any person that takes pride in their reputation would do the same thing. Thus making a simple situation much stickier.

What we have here, IMHO, is a couple of people in a forum, that really isn’t the voice of the community as a whole but just a more vocal certain side of that voice, wanting to change the culture of a sport that doesn’t need your interaction due to a perception issues with almost no proof that it’s causing the problems you say it is. You say it hinders the growth of pinball and I don’t see any evidence of the growth of pinball struggling. So, why don’t we spend some real time looking at what isn’t bringing new players to pinball. That is everyone’s new fascination with limited entry match play tournaments. That you can quantify on how it’s not allowing new blood into the sport as things are selling out in hours (more proof the growth of the sport isn’t hindered). You can’t get new people in when they have no opportunity to play as events are filled up by the usual players a day after it’s opened up.


You might find this quote appropriate

"It’s a matter of image,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has readily admitted when the subject has come up in the past. “I don’t think we need to have it out there every single time one of our players is fined for something. One of the things that has helped make our sport popular is the image of our players as being gentlemen. Most of the time they live up to that. On the rare occasions when they don’t, we don’t need to be pointing it out to the public.”

From an older article

You don’t hear about it because the tour has a history of not disclosing it… and its a contentious topic if their approach is the correct one.

Another more recent article after the leadership change.


Yeah, maybe fines (which are so minuscule they don’t matter). We are talking penalties here which in golf would equate to added strokes. To my knowledge, that has never happened to where a player was given a penalty for an action that didn’t cause destruction to the course, slamming your club into the green comes to mind as one I’ve seen penalized.

And again, they wont make an announcement over the loud speaker at a golf course that Phil just got a 1 stroke penalty for throwing his club which is kind of the line we are talking about here.

Your transparency in pinball goes towards the reporting of standings showing the cards issued. I think @YeOldPinPlayer does a great job of that in our league. He issues the card in private and then reports on it in the standings. I have no desire to be part of that and I have already found that the people that do are generally the ones that just want to gossip about it.


It’s very likely he was fined. Tiger Woods was fined for spitting. Other players have been fined for swearing.

This article discusses why golf might be better off if those fines were made public, because of the increase in poor behavior, and how suspension might be a preferred penalty.

[reads rest of thread, sees article already posted]


I think we can all find an article or two to support our stances. In the mainstream media that’s not hard with how divided peoples perspectives are.

I ask this though. If this type of behavior is killing sports then why is the general attendance for golf dropping (except the majors obviously) but the Phoenix Open kind of shows a different story. That stop on the course is always PACKED and most notably packed on the 16th hole. This to me is some proof that some people actually enjoy seeing some people where their emotion on their sleeves and the ability to give it back to them. Their is a reason why it’s the “Greatest Party in Golf”.

I think before we spend to much time on how the penalized should be given out we should all be on the same page on what the penalties should actually be. Not doing so you wind up like the NFL. #claymathewsroughingthepasser


How does a yellow card made public equate to an an added stroke?

Also, you and I play in the same league. I give out some of the yellow cards and make all of them public. In the two years I’ve known you I don’t recall a time when I would have given you a yellow card. IMO it’s good that you’re thinking about the possibility of an eventual DQ for bad behavior but doesn’t the fact that we’re discussing it now indicate people are likely to curtail their behavior before that DQ happens? Yes, it’s putting a little extra mental pressure on players. Hopefully that extra mental pressure will reduce yellow cards.


i think you are very much in the minority if you think loud profane outbursts and violence are a credit to the game and belong in tournaments. i think most people will be glad to get rid of them, and failing that, get rid of the players who can’t control themselves.

your rant that there is no problem / that there’s no proof that violence and shouted F-bombs actually bother anyone is kind of insulting, when i and many others have already stated earlier in this thread we’ve heard people complain about it.

i can remember specific conversations with multiple people, both new players and people who have been playing MUCH longer than i have, complaining about this very thing. telling me first hand that it either turned them off permanently from competitive pinball, that it made them feel uncomfortable, that it was the most distasteful part of playing in the league, and so on. One person told me they switched the location they played at due to dudes being too aggro about losing, rage tilting and shouting. and another told me they quit playing competitively all together for the same reason.

are you saying i am making these conversations up, or are you saying you don’t care if you make lots of people so uncomfortable that they don’t want to participate?


Was an analogy to the conversation. The equivalent to a yellow card in pinball would be the same as a stroke added (penalties) vs just fines (which are not equivalent to a yellow card).

I’m not to worried about myself but I’m speaking up as I’m kind of growing tired of a small group of people changing things for everyone. I think it’s time people stand up for what they feel is right even if the change may not impact them personally. As a society we sit back to much and I’ve hit my breaking point of just sitting back. In this case I feel as though the main action here is taking away peoples personalities and ability to let off steam.

I think you know best that I have no issues with violent situations, harassment or even someone going on a F-bomb rampage but that’s not where I feel this conversation is at.


No but why are your experiences more valuable than mine? Yes, I’ve heard the same thing but I have also heard the opposite tone. Not to mention that you ignore the trails of this thread. I have no issue with “violence” being removed or loud profane outburst but what some here are deeming offensive are not to that level. Slapping a lock bar as you walk off is not “violence” and saying “F*&^” as you drain in a key part of your match is not really what I would call a loud outburst. Shoot, some people have posted video’s of very minor stuff where some people are stating it should be a yellow card and even sometimes a straight Red. THAT is why I am still here fighting this line of logic.

I have ZERO issues with the intention but I do have issue with how inconsistent it will be enforced and the gray area it produces. If you want any integrity in our rating system we need to all be one the same page, for which we are not even close to right now.

I don’t want to see the joke we call the NFL rules commission creep into Pinball. And that is what I feel coming…

I’ll add. Leagues and Tournaments are VERY different platforms. At a league that is supposed to be a more fun laid back enviroment but anyone should know that a tournament is all out competition and people will be more on edge and will show frustration as their is more on the line for them.


The IFPA rating system makes no provisions for what ruleset a tournament is run using. They make rules about format and try to cut out exploits, but leave it up to the players to vote with their feet.

Feel free to run a tournament were you put a $100 bill on the apron and encourage everyone to slam the glass. If you break it you win the side prize. Then players can choose if that is an environment they want to play in.

The conversations here have nothing to do with the rating system, it is around having open conversations for TDs to learn from each other so each can define the environment they want to create.