(Topic ID: 157160)

Should Pinball be Considered a Sport?


By pinlink

3 years ago



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  • 438 posts
  • 138 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 46 days ago by pinlink
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    Topic poll

    “Should Pinball be considered a sport?”

    • Yes 143 votes
      37%
    • No 246 votes
      63%

    (389 votes)

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    There are 438 posts in this topic. You are on page 9 of 9.
    #401 3 years ago
    Quoted from PoMC:

    Call pinball a sport, or don't. In this day and age with men calling themselves women, and women calling themselves men, anything goes.

    Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

    Maybe this tune will help:

    #402 3 years ago

    Maybe I can slip you a little sports payoff
    to get you to change your vote

    Money-Shoes_(resized).jpg

    #403 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    There are no more points to address. Only the fantasy land in the minds of those who hold out hope under some delusion that flipping a pinball is somehow a "sport".
    It's not even debatable. And the comments you have made make me think you are totally full of crapola or.....
    You know what they say, "Ignorance is bliss"

    I'll just re-post the definition of "sport" - "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc."

    #404 3 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    So here's a different take on this. WHY does it matter one way or the other.

    It doesn't - it was started as a discussion - not an action that needs full closure.

    #405 3 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    They aren't "random" - they are all based on physics... some may seem "unpredictable" - but that not the same as random.
    The spin of the ball, the angle of the shot, etc, lots of physics going on in those examples, and none of them are random.

    And by that logic, the 'luck' in competitive pinball is very low. We do things like remove randomized rewards, we do things like avoid games where play order makes a big difference, etc.

    So just like you said about 'seeming unpredictable' - the physics of the ball's movement, the bounce, saving a drain or not... its all the same physics. To the lay, these things all seem like 'pure luck' - but the direction a ball leaves the sling, or ricochets is all well defined.. its just often difficult to **predict** in real time with certainty. Just like having a baseball player can struggle to gauge how a ball will bounce off the edge of the infield. They too get a 'bad bounce' when the inputs dictate the outcome is different than what we see most other times.

    It's akin to the age old debate with gambling and saying pinball is not random luck - its a game of skill.

    The element of 'the ball is wild' is not randomness, its all very well constrained by the same physics every time, but its the immense range of possible outcomes that make the ball's movements almost random.

    In the grand scheme, I think most of us would say there is an element of luck in the game... but luck in the sense of 'getting the bounce to go our way', not so much luck as in pure randomness. But that said, the heavy reliance on equipment/mechanical aspect in pinball that we accept failures in as part of the game.. that we could call luck

    #406 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    And by that logic, the 'luck' in competitive pinball is very low. We do things like remove randomized rewards, we do things like avoid games where play order makes a big difference, etc.
    So just like you said about 'seeming unpredictable' - the physics of the ball's movement, the bounce, saving a drain or not... its all the same physics.

    100% right.

    However, the follow-up post clarified my issue of randomness being inherently built into pinball. I was not referring to ball physics, I was referring to the fact that pinball is NOT JUST a function of the steel ball- the gameplay is greatly a function of software.

    I can't think of another "sport" who's outcome is so directly influenced by a software program....

    #407 3 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    I can't think of another "sport" who's outcome is so directly influenced by a software program....

    Wait, didn't this thread also establish that video games are "sports" as well?

    #408 3 years ago
    Quoted from lpeters82:

    With language, yes. How the vast majority of people use language is what defines it. For example, the word "nice" used to mean "ignorant" or "stupid". Now it means "pleasant". Is everyone that uses "nice" as "pleasant" wrong? No, because that is now what the vast majority of people believe it means. So was everyone that previously used "nice" as "ignorant" wrong? No again; because that was previously how the vast majority of people used it. It's not about finding ignorant people, it's about finding how the vast majority of people use language.

    If you were describing adjectives and impression terms... I see where you are coming from. But we are talking about sport as a noun and inclusive based on an accepted definition.

    In your example... you should be asking people 'what constitutes something as a sport' - so that the poll of the masses is to agree upon what the definition of 'sport' should be.

    When you ask 'is gameXYZ a sport' you are not clarifying the definition of sport.. you are asking the person to evaluate a condition based on their own accepted definition of sport.. including biases... and relying on their understanding of the game in question. You are not clarifying the definition of sport in this case.. you are sampling each person's own test of inclusion to a description that is not necessarily agreed upon.

    By asking a test of inclusion.. instead of an agreement of defintion.. It's an entirely different experiment and one that is horribly wrong if you are trying to define the definition of sport.

    Once you have an agreed upon definition of sport, to determine inclusion you would test the subject against your criteria. To ask a subject 'is pinball a sport' even with an agreed upon definition of sport is still horribly biased because it relies on the subject understanding what the game is, and does not remove any biases they may have.. its sloppy. You may get very different answers verse you asking if 'does pinball include an element of competition', etc etc.

    Its like asking "Was George Washington a good man". What is the definition of "good man"? Does the person even know enough about George Washington to even make a reasonable evaluation against their own interpretation of 'good man'. Scientifically it's a catastrophically poor test - it would only measure IMPRESSION and poorly at that if you don't have a well agreed upon metric ("good man" is not).

    Quoted from lpeters82:

    Perhaps I should have prefaced this with where I'm at in the debate. I think the real debate is about defining "sport". More specifically what is the minimum level of physical exertion that is required for something to be considered a sport

    That's fine... but using "is gameXYZ a sport" is categorically the wrong way to define it. It would be a way to start the discussion to break down criteria.. by working backwards from well accepted things we do think are sports.. but completely incorrect way to evaluate the inclusion of other test subjects.

    And the cite being referenced here is... the question of asking the general public to answer "is pinball a sport". So that is not an effort to define sport, but asking the public to evaluate a test, based on their knowledge of pinball (weak) and their definition of sport (biased). Hence.. a horrible research test.

    People are probably hung up on my use of the word ignorant.. I don't mean the people you are asking are stupid.. I mean they are WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE of the topic you are asking them to evaluate.

    #409 3 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    This is such a loose argument. So when a football is fumbled the bounce isn't random? The basketball bounces off the rim in a missed shot and that isn't random? Golf ball bounces off of irregular turf isn't random? Randomness isn't a factor in qualifying a sport, unless you are are talking about just plunging the ball and watching it drain without touching the machine.

    I think of sport in the way of the highest level. Imagine spending a lifetime training for something you make it to the olympics and get 3 drains pack your shit and go home. That's not a sport. Sports have randomness yes the ball can take a funny bounce but at least you hit it. You can lose a game of pinball and never had an opportunity to use a flipper. To me it's too random and not enough person vs person to call it a sport. Like I said even eSports are head to head, pinball is like a time trial on a track that has random things that can just push you off course.

    #410 3 years ago

    Found this online... it was survey done via reddit (so, pretty much MUST be true )

    Anyways, i think its an interesting factoid to this discussion:
    pinball_sport1_(resized).png

    Here's there good news for the "pinball is a sport" folks...

    At least competitive video games (closest thing to pinball) edged out competitive eating as a sport

    #411 3 years ago

    PINBALL_SFW_(resized).png

    #412 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Where most people get hung up on is what DEGREE of physical exertion should be necessary for them to consider it a real physical activity/competition.

    I'm a drummer, and you'll sweat your ass off drumming for an hour straight, and you'll be sore all over the next day if you're moving around enough. There is also a massive competition circuit for drummers. It seems to meet all the requirements of the definition. Still, I don't see drummers calling drumming a sport during competition. It isn't always about the degree of physical exertion. I guess the tie-in with music disqualifies it automatically.

    There are a lot of solo activity examples like this that don't fall into the sport category. The point I'm trying to make is that there seems to be no real rhyme or reason sometimes.

    #413 3 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    100% right.
    However, the follow-up post clarified my issue of randomness being inherently built into pinball. I was not referring to ball physics, I was referring to the fact that pinball is NOT JUST a function of the steel ball- the gameplay is greatly a function of software.
    I can't think of another "sport" who's outcome is so directly influenced by a software program....

    I wouldn't argue the influence is zero... but I would argue that in most circumstances in formal, high level competition, it is very small.. and not impacting to the outcome.

    We could say that the coin flip to determine first possession in a amercian football match is far more impacting.

    Timing and your ability to complete something on task is one of the big variances in pinball. The idea that somethings things just fall into place for you without you specifying trying to do it is a factor in pinball many might attest to 'luck'. That is another outcome that happens in pinball that has a very high probability of happening compared to other games.. which typically have far less # of things happening simultaneously.

    #414 3 years ago

    Extreme Sport Drumming is a sport

    World's_Fastest_Drummer_Logo_(resized).jpg

    #416 3 years ago

    I have a feeling that if we re-posted the question, the poll result would be different. I think some people have changed their viewpoint about the subject. Unfortunately they can't change their vote.

    .....and it's a sport. Not a classically defined sport, not the most physically exerting sport, not the most popular sport. But still a sport.

    If something falls into a classification and matches the definition of that classification, then it must categorized that way.

    #417 3 years ago

    Depends on which definition you use. If you go with the traditional "Something done for recreation" then Yes.

    #418 3 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Found this online... it was survey done via reddit (so, pretty much MUST be true )

    I think you cut off part of the image. I think Pinball was the final option to the right, just outside of view. That or it was never there. Either way, clearly not a sport.

    #419 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    If you were describing adjectives and impression terms... I see where you are coming from.

    I don't want to get hung up on this point but the nouns have also changed in definition.

    Quoted from flynnibus:

    In your example... you should be asking people 'what constitutes something as a sport' - so that the poll of the masses is to agree upon what the definition of 'sport' should be.

    Quoted from lpeters82:

    I guess that's really the debate at this point, "What is the definition of sports?"

    I proactively agree.

    Quoted from flynnibus:

    People are probably hung up on my use of the word ignorant.. I don't mean the people you are asking are stupid.. I mean they are WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE of the topic you are asking them to evaluate.

    That's how I understood your argument.

    #421 3 years ago

    So how many pinsiders wear a sports bra when they are playing?

    #422 3 years ago
    Quoted from bkfiv:

    I think you cut off part of the image. I think Pinball was the final option to the right, just outside of view. That or it was never there. Either way, clearly not a sport.

    IMO it is difficult to ascertain the position of pinball on the graph because the popularity of pinball as a whole is immensely small in this generation. Similar to if you had a graph polling people's favorite medium for music recordings and wondering why 8 track tapes don't appear in the results.

    #423 3 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    I'm a drummer, and you'll sweat your ass off drumming for an hour straight, and you'll be sore all over the next day if you're moving around enough. There is also a massive competition circuit for drummers. It seems to meet all the requirements of the definition. Still, I don't see drummers calling drumming a sport during competition. It isn't always about the degree of physical exertion. I guess the tie-in with music disqualifies it automatically.
    There are a lot of solo activity examples like this that don't fall into the sport category. The point I'm trying to make is that there seems to be no real rhyme or reason sometimes.

    It's not that it's no rhyme or reason.. it's that some of the criteria are really subjective, and the biases in what people want the outcome to be make it difficult for people to accept a pure methodical evaluation.

    If the criteria all align, yet the outcome is still largely unaccepted... then you should reevaluate your criteria and see if they are accurate and complete enough to answer all tests.

    Your drumming scenario is a great example of why polling the masses would lead to a skewed result. Do people outside the discipline even know how a drumming competition is 'won'? Or how they compete? Even tho most are familar with drummers, and probably understand they work, they have no idea what differentiates drummers, their skills, their differences, etc.

    As for the 'is it a sport' eval.. I think it highlights an interesting thing that maybe influence's people's opinion. I presume drumming competitions work on judging and scoring.. and that can be a factor in what people think. Since you probably don't 'beat' someone head to head.. etc.. maybe people think of it as a 'judged competition' instead of a 'sport'. But this is a great example where the definition is hard to draw the distinction and most people would just rely on their biases to make the judgement on 'is it a sport' vs including it or excluding it based on criteria.

    Cool example.

    #424 3 years ago

    Lets keep in mind that all sports can be done for recreation but it doesn't make them less of a sport when thrown into the competitive context.

    The two items I see people getting hung up on are

    1. The competitive aspect of pinball

    Being competitive against others is integral to the definition of a sport. No one can argue that pinball has no competitive aspect to it. Bringing up recreation as if it diminishes the sporting aspect is ignoring the fact that you can do *any* sport for fun and relaxation, and the recreational aspects of any activity don't diminish the sporting aspect in a competitive context. That part of the discussion should be mute at this point.

    2. The physical aspect of pinball.

    Most definitions of a sport only imply some level of physical exertion. While you can't sit on a counch and watch pinball play itself, you can sit on a stool at a machine and use physical reflexes to play the ball, and nudge a 300lbs box just enough to keep the ball in play but not enough to tilt.

    Lets go over a few definitions:

    "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."

    "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc."

    "a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other"

    "a ​game, ​competition, or ​similar ​activity, done for ​enjoyment or as a ​job, that ​takes ​physical ​effort and ​skill and is ​played or done by ​following ​particular ​rules"

    A more interesting conversation is when we cross over into video games as a sport. Pinball can be virtualized so that you can sit at a couch and the need to nudge a 300lbs box turns into a press of a button. Lets start by saying not all video games are competitive, a lot are just guided tours. Good examples are multiplayer team shooters, where the software acts as a medium for person vs person combat. A board game (chess, checkers, risk, etc) may involve strategy and competition, but they don't require any reflexes, so are classified as games. Back to pinball... it requires top notch physical reflexes to be a top player it's tough to argue it is not a sport by any definition. In that one can probably argue that multiplayer team shooters are also sporting activities.

    The lines are already starting to get blurred... in the past we were used to only seeing sports like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, boxing filling arenas and convention centers with competitive participants and fans, but now we are seeing competitive video gaming and pinball filling similar venues... and the continued development of AI and robotics are ushering in an even more grey area of competitive sporting events. Drone wars, robot wars, they are physical and they are competitive.

    #425 3 years ago

    Sitting by the creek, taking turns shooting at empty beer cans with your beer drinking buddies could be considered a sport.
    It's competitive and requires skill. Doubt it would ever make on to ESPN but maybe a reality show?

    #426 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    In your example... you should be asking people 'what constitutes something as a sport' - so that the poll of the masses is to agree upon what the definition of 'sport' should be.

    flynnibus, you're awesome. Your post #408 is one of the most articulate and well-reasoned posts I've read. A great summary in fact.

    You write very well and have made many great comments in this thread. But to what gain, my friend? Honestly, let it go. At this point, writing is little more than masturbation. Just pleasuring yourself without actually ever *accomplishing* anything. But hey... if you enjoy it... keep on, brother.

    Peace.

    #427 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    So how many pinsiders wear a sports bra when they are playing?

    Damn, I'll be sure to wear one next comp I have. Good suggestion.

    Genuinely a good idea. The more I think about it the more appealing the idea is

    image_(resized).jpeg

    Not a sponsor.

    I mean, anything to stop that extreme jiggle lol

    #428 3 years ago
    Quoted from scottslash:

    flynnibus, you're awesome. Your post #408 is one of the most articulate and well-reasoned posts I've read. A great summary in fact.
    You write very well and have made many great comments in this thread. But to what gain, my friend? Honestly, let it go. At this point, writing is little more than masturbation. Just pleasuring yourself without actually ever *accomplishing* anything. But hey... if you enjoy it... keep on, brother.
    Peace.

    If I was looking to accomplish something... pinside would be the last place I'd be investing the time This is just discussion in a topic that has no meaning on anything except for people to ask themselves the question.

    I'm trained in science.. writing hypothesis, algorithms, and testing them is what I do. I'm counted on to write logic that accurately catches the intended target.. and in today's world, do that in a way that is machine friendly. Some people simply don't think that way when it comes to designing stuff and just go with emotion/gut. That doesn't work with software, systems, etc.. and they can't stand when people do break it into repeatable tests.. because they simply don't think that way. Lucky for them, people that do, design their safety systems, software, cars, etc

    If you want to poke fun at real, unncessary, problem analysis.. this scene from Silicon Valley does it well

    #429 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    I'm trained in science.. writing hypothesis, algorithms, and testing them is what I do. I'm counted on to write logic that accurately catches the intended target.

    That explains it.......

    Silicon Valley, one of my favorite shows.

    #430 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    So how many pinsiders wear a sports bra when they are playing?

    Yes, but it's not a bra. It's a Manzierre.

    #431 3 years ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    Yes, but it's not a bra. It's a Manzierre.

    IT'S CALLED THE "BRO"!

    #432 3 years ago

    Lots of you seem to be using the argument of 'well, any of you who think that Pinball is a sport, must be really bad at real sports/don't know what real sports are, and feel the need to legitimise it in some way'.

    I'm sure Todd is on here, but thought his opinion was worth sharing as he seems to know what a 'real' sport is, scroll down to the 'Pinball Career' bit.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_MacCulloch

    It seems to me like the poll is a fair reflection of the community's response/opinion to the question 'should pinball be considered a sport?' The majority do not want/think Pinball should be considered a Sport.

    That is clearly a very different question to 'Is Pinball a Sport?' Some people think that the poll response is answering this question, which is clearly wrong.

    The majority (nearly 2/3d's) aren't interested in playing pinball competitively and don't want it to be a competitive thing as that will take the fun out of it. Fair enough. As we have always known, people are in the hobby for many many different reasons. There are many different bias's towards different areas of the hobby.

    My opinion, 'it's more fun to compete'

    #433 3 years ago
    Quoted from roadshow16:

    I'm sure Todd is on here, but thought his opinion was worth sharing as he seems to know what a 'real' sport

    Did you read this story about Todd? It seems to infer that pinball can be more demanding then NBA basketball. He clearly has the best prospective on this situation as a professional athlete and a top ranked pinball player. He stated that he even thought his aheletic experience in the NBA would help him deal with the pressure of pinball competition. It didn't. Pinball is a challenging sport in its own way.

    #434 3 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    I can't think of another "sport" who's outcome is so directly influenced by a software program....

    Here's one: It was mentioned several pages earlier; Competitive slot machine playing/Slot machine tournaments.....

    #435 3 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Here's one: It was mentioned several pages earlier; Competitive slot machine playing/Slot machine tournaments.....

    I'm pretty sure I made that up

    But, again, thats also NOT a sport, nor are other actives that have about the same athletic exertion required as pinball:
    "competitive Frogger"
    "competitive tetris"
    "competitive Keurig coffee brewing"
    etc.

    3 months later
    #436 2 years ago

    Well I have the definitive answer!!!............after years of being able to log into Pinside at work, today it was finally blocked!

    And the reason???.............because it is now catagorized under "Sports"

    #437 2 years ago
    Quoted from hooch333:

    Well I have the definitive answer!!!............after years of being able to log into Pinside at work, today it was finally blocked!
    And the reason???.............because it is now catagorized under "Sports"

    Must be the opening of the Olympics? '

    Just wait until 2020.

    2 years later
    #438 46 days ago

    Update on this:

    Pinball will be shown on ESPN in August. This will be a 30 minute spot showing the Pro Circuit Championship

    https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190220/elk-grove-pinball-machine-makers-tournament-coming-to-espn-the-ocho?fbclid=IwAR0ZK6pHe_ZLT4XGAaxJIjnpNPpxuhxs09bGrFCgp6h9sgBCwEqGf-3JK54

    Also, you can now bet on Pinball!

    https://mybookie.ag/sportsbook/pinball/

    Does this make pinball more of a sport? I still hold the belief that if you are playing in a competition or tournament, then yes, pinball should be considered a sport.

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