Commissioner’s statement of 2023 March 9 including upcoming rule changes

For the first time in a good long while, a substantial change to the rulebook is in the works. This change required particular care as it involves rules related to some of the core values of the league as I envisioned it, namely legal compliance and citizenship.

In a perfect world, those responsible for making laws at all levels (city, county, state, and Federal) would always get it right and the laws passed would be a perfect implementation of justice as seen by every sane citizen of society. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. Every once in a while a law is passed that egregiously and abominably fails in its purpose of implementing justice. Or, an existing law is interpreted or re-interpreted in an egregiously and abominably unjust manner.

Rule 21.1.3 regarding unlawful conduct, and rule 21.3 regarding fugitives and outstanding arrest warrants, were intended to protect the reputation of the Bayou City Pinball League as well as the safety of law-abiding players. However, in the face of egregious, abominable failures of the law, it only makes sense for such failures to be excluded from the scope of 21.1.3 and 21.3. Rule 21.6 is the result, which allows the Commissioner to make exceptions to these rules in such extreme cases as a last resort while we await the repeal, nullification, or more reasonable re-interpretation of such laws.

Effective with the upload of version 2024.03.09 of the rulebook later today, I am invoking rule 21.6 to activate the first two such exceptions (and hopefully the only two for the foreseeable future):

  1. Offenses under Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 170A (Performance of Abortion), any substantially similar laws of other states, and any substantially similar Federal law(s) if and when enacted; and
  2. Offenses under City of Houston ordinances under Section 20-251 et seq (Charitable Food Services, perhaps better known as the “homeless feeding ban”) and any substantially similar laws of other cities, counties, or states.

I expect these to be the only such exceptions for at least the remainder of 2024 and, of course, it is my hope that these exceptions become obsolete sooner rather than later.


Shawn K. Quinn

Commissioner, Bayou City Pinball League

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