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 Post subject: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:24 am 
Master of the Order
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I have noticed an annoying trend. This trend seems to be perpetrated by more experienced players rather than lesser ones.

People start their games early, before the judge has started the timer. I see it all the time, and it drives me nuts. It's really not that hard to just wait the one or two minutes and have everyone start together.

I hear the excuse (or rationalization) every time, "We'll finish before time anyway". But what if you don't?

Case in point - this happened at Chicago Regionals. I had the bye - so I actually sat and watched it happen. 4 matches started early - I called them out on it and every one one them gave the excuse that I mentioned above. Well I don't think this is acceptable. Especially considering that only ONE of those games actually did finish on time.

Essentially - when you get right down to it, this is cheating. You may honestly think you will finish in under an hour - but that doesn't give you the right to start early. Everyone gets the same amount of time, and this must be enforced. Anyone starting a game early should get an official warning from a judge and have time removed from their game.

Experienced players should really know better, but they do it because it is never enforced. We need to start enforcing this.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:08 am 
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While I don't believe I was one of those people that started early (1, because I don't remember you calling us out. And 2, because I don't think I would ever give that excuse) I can't be for certain because most of my games I watched until other people started because I never once heard the judge call start. If someone else started early and I was watching them, it's quite possible I started early as well.

I also had the stop watch on my phone going as to not cheat on time.

Understandable and would agree, we should all start at the same time but that doesn't fully fall on the weight of the players, some of that has to fall on the judge not only for enforcing it but also clearly stating so all can hear when it is time to start.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:37 am 
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sthlrd2 wrote:
While I don't believe I was one of those people that started early (1, because I don't remember you calling us out. And 2, because I don't think I would ever give that excuse) I can't be for certain because most of my games I watched until other people started because I never once heard the judge call start. If someone else started early and I was watching them, it's quite possible I started early as well.

I also had the stop watch on my phone going as to not cheat on time.

Understandable and would agree, we should all start at the same time but that doesn't fully fall on the weight of the players, some of that has to fall on the judge not only for enforcing it but also clearly stating so all can hear when it is time to start.


You actually actually started at the correct time.

I do agree that this needs to fall on the judge. Judge needs to be loud and clear, and needs to watch for early starters. Warning for the first time it happens, game loss for the second, ejection for the third. We as a community need to get serious about this or nobody will obey this rule. And yes, it is a big deal, it is cheating.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:56 am 
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The judge, after all the pairings are announced, should indicate how much set up time there will be. That way people have a general idea of when the official time will start.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:24 pm 
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I agree, Tim. There should at least be a caution warning for a game play error, and they should be told to stop playing until time begins.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I agree, Tim. There should at least be a caution warning for a game play error, and they should be told to stop playing until time begins.


Are there any penalties and penalty systems in the floor rules?

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:22 pm 
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Ok, Tim, I'll bite. Was there a specific situation where this caused a problem? You usually don't post like this otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:36 pm 
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The issue IMO is how long do we have? Last I checked, set-up time was included in the 1 hr time. So when the judge says I am giving you an hr that means we should be able to start. However at some events, we wait until everyone is set up and now a round lasts an hr and a half distorting the "timing" of the tournament. So at those events we get to play longer (by how much ever set-up time there is) in each game. And I have been to some tournies where it has been announced that each round is slightly longer than an hr and to start when you are set up.

So we should really decide how this "should" work. Should we get an hour from when both players are set up (meaning rounds will last 1 hour and 15 to an hour 30)? Or should we get an hour and a few mins for set-up? Should we get an hour from pairings announced? Until we figure out how it should work (at all major tournies not any one in particular)

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:38 pm 
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urbanjedi wrote:
The issue IMO is how long do we have? Last I checked, set-up time was included in the 1 hr time. So when the judge says I am giving you an hr that means we should be able to start. However at some events, we wait until everyone is set up and now a round lasts an hr and a half distorting the "timing" of the tournament. So at those events we get to play longer (by how much ever set-up time there is) in each game. And I have been to some tournies where it has been announced that each round is slightly longer than an hr and to start when you are set up.

So we should really decide how this "should" work. Should we get an hour from when both players are set up (meaning rounds will last 1 hour and 15 to an hour 30)? Or should we get an hour and a few mins for set-up? Should we get an hour from pairings announced? Until we figure out how it should work (at all major tournies not any one in particular)



I usually include set-up time myself-otherwise it gets insane how long people will take to set-up. When they know they're losing time (or facing a slow play warning) it moves rather quickly.

I'm usually only super-anal about it at Gen Con and am more laid back depending on the venue.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a skirmish before judge has started the timer.
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:11 pm 
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I don't think this is an issue. Are all events (outside of Gencon Champs) super serious? Maybe at one time, but not now (several years out in a "dead" game).

I think the judge sets the tone for a tourney. If someone starts 60-90 seconds early, so what.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:24 am 
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Engineer wrote:
I don't think this is an issue. Are all events (outside of Gencon Champs) super serious? Maybe at one time, but not now (several years out in a "dead" game).

I think the judge sets the tone for a tourney. If someone starts 60-90 seconds early, so what.



Yeah gotta agree with this sentiment. We're all serious at these events and we all (for the most part) know the people we are playing, I have a hard time finding any issue in people starting a couple minutes early.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:22 am 
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In the later rounds of the day everything starts to slow down. If my opponent and I are setup and everyone else is lagging behind I always start early. I don't think it's a problem at all, in fact I think I should be rewarded for being prompt.

I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a punishment for someone starting early. Are we really going to call out and scorn someone for starting 2 minutes before everyone else? Seems a tad strict.

I mean, if the game starts 10 minutes before everyone else starts then ya that's too much. I usually have to drive at minimum 2-3 hours to play minis live. So I like to get done quickly. If starting a few minutes earlier then other games is what I got to do I'm doing it every time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:02 am 
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Weeks wrote:
In the later rounds of the day everything starts to slow down. If my opponent and I are setup and everyone else is lagging behind I always start early. I don't think it's a problem at all, in fact I think I should be rewarded for being prompt.

I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a punishment for someone starting early. Are we really going to call out and scorn someone for starting 2 minutes before everyone else? Seems a tad strict.

I mean, if the game starts 10 minutes before everyone else starts then ya that's too much. I usually have to drive at minimum 2-3 hours to play minis live. So I like to get done quickly. If starting a few minutes earlier then other games is what I got to do I'm doing it every time.


I don't think that is Tim's issue. I think it's about the fact that some games that start early go to time. So essentially those players are getting more than an hour to play.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:02 am 
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Weeks wrote:
In the later rounds of the day everything starts to slow down. If my opponent and I are setup and everyone else is lagging behind I always start early. I don't think it's a problem at all, in fact I think I should be rewarded for being prompt.

I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a punishment for someone starting early. Are we really going to call out and scorn someone for starting 2 minutes before everyone else? Seems a tad strict.

I mean, if the game starts 10 minutes before everyone else starts then ya that's too much. I usually have to drive at minimum 2-3 hours to play minis live. So I like to get done quickly. If starting a few minutes earlier then other games is what I got to do I'm doing it every time.


Well the thing is this is a tournament setting. It is unfair to your fellow competitors for you to start early. What happens if you get a 3pt win because you started 2 minutes early? That alone is enough to knock someone out of a top cut. If that case were to happen it would be a travesty.

As far as a tad strict I personally think the tournament game needs to be tightened down a good bit... Maybe that is something that could be done in the next floor rules.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:12 am 
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audrisampson wrote:
Weeks wrote:
In the later rounds of the day everything starts to slow down. If my opponent and I are setup and everyone else is lagging behind I always start early. I don't think it's a problem at all, in fact I think I should be rewarded for being prompt.

I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a punishment for someone starting early. Are we really going to call out and scorn someone for starting 2 minutes before everyone else? Seems a tad strict.

I mean, if the game starts 10 minutes before everyone else starts then ya that's too much. I usually have to drive at minimum 2-3 hours to play minis live. So I like to get done quickly. If starting a few minutes earlier then other games is what I got to do I'm doing it every time.


Well the thing is this is a tournament setting. It is unfair to your fellow competitors for you to start early. What happens if you get a 3pt win because you started 2 minutes early? That alone is enough to knock someone out of a top cut. If that case were to happen it would be a travesty.

As far as a tad strict I personally think the tournament game needs to be tightened down a good bit... Maybe that is something that could be done in the next floor rules.



To continue on David's note (and part of the reason I am so strict as a judge at GC): isn't it equally unfair to fellow competitors when they have to wait and wait while you slough up to the pairings, meander around for your opponents, trudge to a table, chat, pee, carefully examine your opponents squad, realize you've left your lobot at the lost table....the list goes on.

Trust me you don't want strict in the floor rules. There is only one controlled variable at which I can center any sort of ruling on: You have X time from the time pairings are posted.

And what is that X time? 1 hour? 1 hour and 5 minutes? Someone is still going to get more time than another.

Any other way would be tedious on both the players and the judge.

Players will have X minutes to find pairings and set up.

Someone still has to sit around and wait, others still won't have enough time.

It's really not that hard to call over a judge and say "hey, my opponent isn't here etc etc" and for the judge to award extra time should it so benefit the waiting player. I've had to do it once or twice each year.

Generally, my rule of thumb is that players are to wait for my call to start. I will usually call it when 2/3s of the tables are set up. It's pretty quick, if anyone's starting early, they;ve maybe moved 2 or 3 pieces. If 2 or 3 pieces give you a 3 point win...then it's likely a three point win anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:24 am 
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Ive been playing competive gaming events for years. I totally want stricter rules. As far as set up time, I don't think 5 minutes set up time is crazy. If the worst case scenario happens then the judge can award extra time at the end of that one paticular game.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:30 am 
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audrisampson wrote:
that one paticular game.


This phrase will pop up consistently no matter what changes. As is, the conversation was likely started for (see above quote) and (see above quote) will always exist.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:42 am 
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The_Celestial_Warrior wrote:
audrisampson wrote:
that one paticular game.


This phrase will pop up consistently no matter what changes. As is, the conversation was likely started for (see above quote) and (see above quote) will always exist.


Very true.. but in the case of a strict time limit that one game will at least have a reason for starting late. As far as reasons to start a match late it should be something like a medical situation (such as being sick at the event, or a MAJOR phone call such as work or a serious family issue). If it is from lobot reserves or losing a figure.. well that is the players problem and shouldn't affect the tournament. Missing figs those figs can be substituted with a figure of the same base size.


In the case of an infraction that isn't excused they should be given an extra two minutes to resolve the issue. If that player is not ready and playing within the two minutes then each two minutes after the first they are not playing their opponent should be given ten gambit pts. After ten minutes it should be an auto loss.
With starting early I do like the warning system that was mentioned earlier in the thread.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:59 am 
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The basis of our Floor Rules came from DCI, which are the same guys who control Magic, one of the stricter floor rules out there. The penalties and guidelines are technically still in place, but in a lot of areas DCI did not carry over a lot of the Magic rules. A lot of the times, we see very little need to use them as they are often too heavy handed.

Really, if there is a player unhappy with how something is judged they could find the appropriate citation in the DCI floor rules and show the judge. The judge should abide by it at that point (should, not have to).

In basketball, there are guidelines for calling fouls, but anyone watching the Heat last week can tell that those guidelines are still widely interpreted. Some refs call this a foul while others wait for things more serious...same in judging. See the second quote in my sig minus the part about crying.

I tend to reference that within the confines of a single judge, though in some instances (actual floor rules) within the judging group. Knowing how and what is expected from any given judge, how that person will run and call events etc.

Do you want me to go back to the days when the judges actually had to be certified? That would be strict and those that are calling for "Strict" need to be aware of this and the much larger ripple effect this is going to have.

My philosophy is that I need to be much more aware of the individual communities and the fact that they know what is best for each of their groups. IF your group demands strictness, then give it to them, but be aware of changes as you cross group lines.

I'm saddened that I will not be judging the champs this year as everyone is quite aware of what I expect and I make it very clear prior to the event as well. I feel that I strike the balance that satisfies both parties in this thread.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:12 am 
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The_Celestial_Warrior wrote:
The basis of our Floor Rules came from DCI, which are the same guys who control Magic, one of the stricter floor rules out there. The penalties and guidelines are technically still in place, but in a lot of areas DCI did not carry over a lot of the Magic rules. A lot of the times, we see very little need to use them as they are often too heavy handed.

Really, if there is a player unhappy with how something is judged they could find the appropriate citation in the DCI floor rules and show the judge. The judge should abide by it at that point (should, not have to).

In basketball, there are guidelines for calling fouls, but anyone watching the Heat last week can tell that those guidelines are still widely interpreted. Some refs call this a foul while others wait for things more serious...same in judging. See the second quote in my sig minus the part about crying.

I tend to reference that within the confines of a single judge, though in some instances (actual floor rules) within the judging group. Knowing how and what is expected from any given judge, how that person will run and call events etc.

Do you want me to go back to the days when the judges actually had to be certified? That would be strict and those that are calling for "Strict" need to be aware of this and the much larger ripple effect this is going to have.

My philosophy is that I need to be much more aware of the individual communities and the fact that they know what is best for each of their groups. IF your group demands strictness, then give it to them, but be aware of changes as you cross group lines.

I'm saddened that I will not be judging the champs this year as everyone is quite aware of what I expect and I make it very clear prior to the event as well. I feel that I strike the balance that satisfies both parties in this thread.


I'm very familiar with the DCI floor rules and well to be honest I love them. Sometimes they can be really rough and I will admit there was a time I called a judge on myself on an issue that got me a game loss for an infraction. However those rules are clearly defined and as a player no matter where you go you know what rules will be enforced and how they will be enforced. Actually the one time I turned myself in I told the judge the penalty that should be enforced for my infraction since he didn't know it off the top of his head.

I totally think judges should be certified. That creates a unified situation across the board. Right now the way things are we are running our events is exactly like the refs of the Heat series or the strike zone in baseball. When you have all the regionals mainly made up of travelers that creates some really awkward situations.

You refer to a ripple effect, just to clarify what do you effects are you thinking of?

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