Quoted from rosh:
I wonder what iteration of the White Water insanity falls ramp they added the 'exit' so that if the ball did not make the climb successfully it could exit, and I wonder at what point they decided to add the small 'cover' piece to keep the ball from flying off on the way down. Maybe they got that right the first time, I don't know, but my point being, when you make this stuff, you don't know what you don't know.
It was there from day 1, I guarantee it.
It should be obvious from any amount of time spent thinking about these things, heck even PLAYING them, the number 1 rule of pinball is: The ball will find a way to get there. My best most recent example was on a Metallica I was playing on a league night: Shot 2 balls up the orbits during multiball, post came up for at least one of them and shot the ball up and impossibly stuck behind sparky's chair. Just like nature will find a way, the ball will find a way.
That being said, it is almost impossible to envision a scenario where a ball airballs up onto the insanity falls ramp, and I have in fact never seen that happen. I did have a very weird shot, once, where the ball hit the glass early (earlier than it normally does) and did not have velocity to make it back up the other side, so it dribbled for about 10 seconds and finally fell out. Only time I've ever seen that. But can you imagine how stupid your game would look with a ball just sitting there not doing anything (eventually it would've been 3 balls = game down)?
Stern is correct in using one of the trendiest buzzwords in their recent PR... There's a lot of tribal knowledge in pinball, and stuff like an insanity falls ramp without a bailout just simply does not get designed.