Bally World Cup Soccer 94 Pinball

Repairs, Restorations, Tweaks and Insights


World Cup Soccer is the first pinball machine that I bid for on eBay. I wasn't going to be around when the auction ended, so I bid several hours before the end of the auction. I decided my maximum price, but was immediately outbid. So much for getting a WCS, or so I thought.

A day or so later, I wrote the seller an email. I received a response saying the auction winner was surprised at the cost of shipping a pin and had backed out of the deal. After a few more email exchanges, it was agreed that I could purchase the game for my bid. I didn't need to worry about shipping because the seller was about 3 hours away. I took the road trip, picked up World Cup Soccer, and now it's mine.

What's Unique about World Cup Soccer?

Here are what I consider to be the unique aspects of WCS:

  1. Big spinning soccer ball on the playfield

  2. Roll over targets in the center of the playfield

  3. Magna-save (portrayed as your goalie grabbing the ball!)

  4. A goal with a moving goalie that blocks the ball

In addition to these unique features, WCS has

  1. Excellent dot matrix animation and audio

  2. A theme (soccer obviously) that is extremely well integrated into the game

Ball got stuck on Lock Magnet

When the pinball was "locked" by the magnet, it sometimes would not roll off the top of the magnet's top. This magnet is shown below.

This was caused by both a little wear on the magnet's top and the fact that the magnet was not pushed as far through the raised playfield as it should have been. I took apart the raised playfield and removed the clamp holding the magnet. This is shown by the first picture below. When removed, it became apparent the clamp had bent over the years, explaining why the magnet wasn't flush with the top of the raised playfield. Using a hammer, I was able to bend it ever so slightly. A picture of the straightened out clamp is below.

Over the years the metal piece developed a small pit and had a strange black substance on it. I used a metal file and smoothed the top. This also removed the strange black substance. Before and after pictures are shown below.

Top kickback light did not always work

The light PCB under the playfield had developed a small crack around the pin. This is a pretty common problem. I added some solder and fixed the problem. The first picture below shows the crack and the second picture shows the repair.

What Shape is the WCS Soccer Ball in?

Like most WCS machines, the soccer ball shows its age. Sadly, these things are almost impossible to find NOS. Here is a picture of the soccer ball.

Update 8/24/06: I got a new soccer ball! Below are some new vs. old pictures. This is followed by some pictures of the new ball.

The quality isn't perfect. As can be seen in the picture below, straight out of the box there are imperfections in both the black and white parts. The black part looks pretty delicate and I'm a little concerned it might start peeling off. Several of the black areas have "chips".

As long as it stays in the same condition, I'll be happy. It's a major improvement. Here it is installed. Looks nice!

Ball would get Stuck Behind the Goalie!

About 10 percent of the time, the pinball would get stuck when shot into the goal. The goal is shown below. Behind the goalie is a trough that the ball falls into. The next two pictures show the underside of the playfield where the trough is connected as well as the removed trough.

The problem was that the trough had taken such a beating over the years, some of the metal on the side was bent inward. If the ball fell into the trough anywhere other than where the damage was, it would fall down and roll past (or already be past) the damaged area. However, if the ball entered the goal right where the trough was damaged, it would get stuck. The first picture below shows how the damage caused the trough to bend inward. This slight bend would cause the ball to stick. I used a metal file and filed the protruding area away. The second picture shows the results.

The pinball no longer gets stuck in the goal! Problem fixed.

Can I see the Playfield?

Sure! Here it is...