Quoted from Jeremecium:
I'm convinced. It does fall in the area of coaching. So, if coaching is not allowed I can see notes being excluded, too.
I'm very much the opposite. Coaching in the sense of what is banned in pinball competition goes much further than anything notes on a scrap of paper provides. Someone standing there telling you not just what to shoot next, but giving encouragement, telling you how to adjust your game, your habits and mentality in the moment is *HUGE* compared to an emotionless sheet of paper you have to stop and look at mid-game.
Here's one way I look at this issue: This game has a lot of similarities to golf. There are the basics of the game: how to hit a ball, what clubs to use in certain situations, how to get yourself out of certain situations = all the various universal flipper/nudge skills. The beautiful green course laid out in front of you, like different pinball machines, can either be extremely familiar or completely alien. In competition, you aren't so much playing your opponent -- you're playing the course (AKA Table). You're competing in the sense of saying you can handle the course better than your opponent, in the moment. Your opponent pulls out a piece of paper with a map of the different holes, information on wind velocity, the slopes of the green, etc, etc, etc. A piece of paper containing information that is, in the age of the Internet mind you, widely available to everybody. Golf is not purely a competition of knowledge, and neither is pinball. Your refusal to mentally prepare for the courses you are playing and having the information readily available when you need it is something your opponent's shouldn't be penalized for. Golf, like Pinball, is not purely a competition of knowledge (like game shows or trivia). It's a competition of physical performance and strategy.
Unlike Pinball, however, Golf has caddies that coach the players anyways. In conclusion, Golf < Pinball. I think we can at least agree on that.