Yellow Cards, behavior and penalties


I was wondering when those cards were going to come out. Pretty sure not one single person here has said yelling the N word or progressing negative terms towards a woman was acceptable. We are talking 100% about people talking to them selves or saying - Fuck out of frustration.

Those that are so sensitive to this are just way to freaking sheltered. I have an 8 and 2 year old. I don’t cuss in front of them and when people do around them I don’t get all up i their face about it. Not my place to tell them what to do. Seems like most parent would rather avoid the conversation of “Daddy, what does Fuck mean.” than to take that opportunity to explain what it’s about and to impose your beliefs onto your child on what is Ok and not OK to say.

Shoot, theirs A LOT of offensive shirts worn to pinball shows. Are we going to start banning them as well and have a dress code?

At the end of the day this issue is not that huge but I dig in here as I don’t want to see what’s next down the pipe. You get this and then someone else is offended by something that’s none of their business so we make more rules and it spirals out of control. Just grow some thicker skin, you will be better in the long run…

I’ll use this example again, I 100% do not like to be around people that drink more than they should. It makes me very uncomfortable. Do I bitch and complain to get them removed or not allowed to drink at shows or events? Nope… I just don’t associate with them.


A newer player didn’t return to my league because of the violent outbursts of another player (which I did nothing to curtail). The more seasoned players were annoyed about the outbursts, but viewed it as acceptable.

By allowing this behavior, I was hurting the growth of my league.


By a single person and I can’t speak to every single situation, I can only speak to the ones I’ve been personally involved in.

While I can 100% understand how some of my previous behavior would have turned off people, and I have been told as such, I’m speaking specifically about the recent behavior in the clip above that was met with nothing but laughter.


Context matters in that Adam’s behavior in a bar tourney with all adults and alcohol being consumed would be considered quite normal. At a tournament with kids/family… not so much. Adam already mentioned he’d avoid tournaments with stricter rules, and that really is the best way to handle it… just behave as the location expects, and avoid events that don’t jive with your mindset on how folks should act.

At big tournaments, behavior should be conservative towards “family” and not “bar,” just because you don’t know who all is there.


What is your argument exactly? That we need to codify a rule that prevents tournament directors from awarding a yellow card to players yelling “fuck” in their tournaments because it’s a slippery slope?


Not at all, you are free to be offended, your free to feel it is offensive. My point is I’m also free to not see it as offensive and act accordingly.


Thought it was clear. I think it’s a dumb rule to begin with but “if” it’s one that will be added to tournaments that it needs to be “consistent” across the board.


Your views don’t change reality though. It’s an offensive word, by definition. Your feelings about the word don’t change that. Some people may not be bothered by the word, but the behavior is unwelcoming all the same. It costs you nothing not to drop f-bombs while playing pinball in a public space or on a public stream.

I’ve had to turn pinball streams off before when my kids have walked into the room, which is already teaching them that pinball might be more of an adult thing. That’s not great.


See, ya’ll keep missing the point. Nobody is arguing against a “Violent outburst”. We are debating things like what Adam posted. That was not directed at anyone and if you felt personally harmed by it then I say you are way to sheltered and will struggle greatly in the real world.


Why not take the opportunity to teach them about the word, where it’s appropriate and where it’s not, how to use it correctly and the context of why that matters. That’s what I would do.

If the decision is that it’s never acceptable ever that’s fine and that’s your choice, but I don’t see the value in trying to shelter them from it.


For me, I’m not personally harmed by it. It just something I decided to try and limit at my events based off the feedback I have received over the years from players in my area. We’ve lost a lot more than one player due to that kind of behavior turning them off to competitive pinball.


Ah, thanks. I’ve been in and out of this thread so many times that I’ve lost it.

This thread has been helpful for me to see that I have allowed some behavior was detrimental to the health of my local scene. I think for the overwhelming majority of tournaments, the pendulum is on the “overly permissive” side…and that discussions like this might help it swing back the other way.

If we start implementing rules that are unexpectedly (and without warning) ejecting players for swearing, then it has swung too far in the other direction.

Context definitely does matter, which is why it would be difficult, if not impossible, to draw a perfect line in the sand.

As long as directors continue to communicate clearly, use good judgement, and no one is trying to abuse the rules to their advantage, then everything is all good. I don’t think we need to protect against “going too far” until we see abuses becoming commonplace.


What is interesting is that the rules say outbursts are unacceptable, which is how you describe the behavior. There is the phrase “polite and sensitive” which who knows what that means. Yes, indecent language is called out as a worse type of outburst, but saying fuck is not against the rules.


I don’t have a problem with the clip, so I guess I should be okay in the real world.

However, if that was at the type of events that I run at my local barcade, and if other players at my events felt uncomfortable around that, I’d sure as hell try to work out a way to keep them happy and engaged in my local pinball scene rather than politely telling them “good luck in the real world”.


I actually wouldn’t be surprised if these changes didn’t actually hurt the growth of competitive pinball. Most kids could care less about pinball so this isn’t exactly a family sport. Do I wish it was, heck yeah, but fact of the matter is it’s not and other peoples behavior isn’t the reason why it’s not. Most kids don’t want to sit around hours on end to play a handful of mins on a game. They rather be on their dang smart phones (I hate those things!)

But… What I do see is a bunch of (generally speaking) middle aged men and women that want to get out, be themselves, open up and participate in some competition. Thus why I see the majority of players drinking while participating. You make things to PG then those people are going to find something else to do. I know a lot of people that fall in this category.


I think you push away as many as you retain, so it really comes down to what we want this hobby to be. Do we want it to be rowdy or not? Apparently we’re struggling to find a balance that works for both.


If that was true we wouldn’t be growing.

I’m not saying there isn’t a middle ground, I thought my clip above was that middle ground, apparently not, it’s self deprecating, received well, non violent and directed wholly and entirely at myself

But as I’ve said before, this:

Is not ok and should never be acceptable


Hey y’all! I think we’ve started to focus too specifically on “yellow cards for individual instances of swearing,” which is a small component of the larger discussion. I’d encourage everyone to move on to greener pastures within the discussion rather than a continued back and forth that could get more contentious.

In the interest of starting that conversational shift, some thoughts: I think @ryanwanger brings up a good point for those of us who are running ongoing leagues or events that have a community aspect to them. As someone who is responsible for my weekly event being a fun and welcoming experience for everyone (and “everyone” ranges from a 10-year-old child to a mid-60s collector, from brand new players to someone with the IFPA ID of 82 84, [ETA: sorry Greg]), yellow cards are just one tool in my arsenal. If someone’s outbursts while draining, or treatment of opponents, or personal conduct at the event are causing discomfort to the larger group, that’s something we as tournament directors can address behind the scenes first, through private conversations and clear expectations about what behavior is acceptable. Yellow and red cards can curtail behavior in the moment and demonstrate what behavior isn’t acceptable, but the larger community maintenance doesn’t only rely on official violations.


We don’t want it to be like a study session at the library.

Yellow carding the top 50% of offenders would be taking it way too far. Yellow carding the top 1% would absolutely make it more inviting to the bottom X%. (Not sure what X is, but it’s larger than 1).


Paint doesn’t dry… It cures :slight_smile:
Yes, that was my attempt at being witty and bring in some humor. yes, I know, I suck at it.