Revision: 1.0, Feb. 28th 2024. See attribution and license at bottom.

Why a Code of Conduct?

We’re pleased to be able to welcome people into our home, but at the end of the day, this is our home. It’s important to us to establish the rules of what and how we expect everyone to behave while here in a way that makes everyone welcome to enjoy the games and have a good time. Part of that is establishing what is and isn’t allowed here.

If you’ve played at a tournament, you’ve likely heard “Respect the games, and respect the other players”. While we haven’t needed to take it further than that in the time we’ve been hosting, it’s also important to establish — clearly — what we mean by that.

Respect the Players: Anti-Harassment Policy

Harassment and hostility will not be tolerated at TLP. We strive to create an accepting environment and do not allow harassment of any kind. Harassment includes — and is not limited to — offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, experiences, skill level, race, or religion. Harassment also includes deliberate intimidation, deliberate misgendering, stalking, harassing photography or recording, harassing electronic communication, inappropriate physical contact and unwanted sexual attention. Additionally, harassment transpiring in any pinball event, regardless of whether or not it is held at TLP, may be subject to the same repercussions discussed below at our discretion.  

Any harassment, expressed threats, or violent actions will result in immediate ejection from The Lower Playfield and a permanent ban from future events. Other possible grounds for ejection or ban include but are not limited to inappropriate physical contact, unwanted sexual attention, theft, racial slurs and other inappropriate behavior.

If you witness any harassment or questionable behavior, please notify Derek or Jordan as soon as you feel safe in doing so.  We will respond quickly and discreetly. 

Respect the Machines

We fully understand that emotions run high during pinball competition, and that slaps, saves, and nudges (even ones that can go far enough to tilt the machine) are part of the game. We also understand that rage tilts, outbursts, and high emotions happen. We do ask that you be mindful of other players and control those emotions without resorting to harassment (above) or abuse of the machines beyond the course of normal play.

Abusive handling of machines, outside the parameters of normal play is grounds for a warning/yellow card. Repeated warnings can lead to more severe consequences such as ejection or permanent ban. Depending on the severity of the incident, we reserve the right to immediately remove you from the tournament and restrict your ability to play at TLP in the future.

Interactions with TD’s and Officials

Any player who behaves rudely or inappropriately toward tournament directors may be warned, disqualified or asked to leave the tournament, at the tournament director’s discretion. Tournament director rulings are final and always in the best interest of fair play. Please remember that your tournament directors and league officials have years of experience and also have an official set of rules that they are making rulings from. You cannot win a rule argument with a tournament director as they are simply an extension of rules that were written long ago.

Many of the TD’s helping out at The Lower Playfield are volunteers and competitors who are assisting me to try to make the day run as smooth as possible. Please treat them with the utmost respect as well.

While I may not always get the ruling correct, I strive to be consistent within the tournament. I do welcome your constructive and measured feedback after the tournament if you feel something could have gone better or differently.

Expeditious Play and Personal Responsibility

Players are expected to report to their assigned game in a timely manner and to check in with the other player or players in their assigned group. Excessive delays of reporting to games, reporting results, or absences during gameplay after a match has begun will result in a warning. Repeated offenses will result in disqualification / ejection from the current competition.

Being a Good Sport

Win gracefully, lose gracefully, and don’t take competition too seriously. Excessive gloating, pouting, or complaining makes you look bad and interferes with other players’ enjoyment. Being an excessively poor sport to the extent that it impacts the play or enjoyment of other players may result in warnings or disqualification.

And Finally

Please don’t eat food out of our kitchen or fridge.

Acceptance of Rules and Policies

By participating in organized play at The Lower Playfield, players are affirming that they will abide by the rules of behavioral expectations. If a player has received warning(s) for violating the player code of conduct, they may be subject to becoming barred from future tournaments and events.

Attribution and License

Our revised and updated code of conduct is freely available for other leagues, locations, or tournaments to adopt and revise as they see fit. We only ask that if you do use our code as a basis for yours, you link back to this page. While I considered making this available as Creative Commons BY license, please consider this public domain with a request to credit this page and the Baltimore Pinball League as inspiration.

Our thanks to the Baltimore Pinball League, from which this was inspired and forked from. Without them, ours would not exist:


1.0 – Initial revision from the BPL original