Game procedures for Juniors

Discussion in 'Ask the Rules Team' started by ilikegengar, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. ilikegengar

    ilikegengar Member


    Our league has a LOT of junior players. Many of them are new to the game. Our league is hosting a Battle Road event and I have a few questions.

    At one Battle Road there was an announcement that the penalties are stricter this season and are being enforced where cheating and coaching are concerned. Cheating is one thing but how far can a parent or observer go before a penalty is called? For example, can a parent say, “don’t forget to put out your prizes” or “draw a card.”? Is that coaching, cheating or spirit of the game?

    Our league had a fun tournament last weekend to get ready for the upcoming Battle Road. Acting as judge, I don’t know how many times I said, “draw a card first” and “no you can’t attack yet, you have to draw a card.” If a judge lets that detail slip is that a violation against the player? Will a judge remind a player to draw a card? What if a child leaves their seat to talk to a friend? (this happened!) What if a child is found to have outdated cards while he’s in a match?

    I’d like to clarify the rules on coaching and the subsequent penalties, so I can send them out to our Pokemon parents. This will help avoid some tears. Are the rules and penalties written down in a concise format?

    I'm not sure this is the correct forum for this sort of question but I really couldn't find another place.

    Thank you very much.
  2. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    This is exactly why penalty are given as guidelines.
    How you deal with an issue when it's an experienced older player or a brand new 8 year old, or a tournament experienced 8 year old are all going to be very, very different.

    With that said, TOs and Head Judges are given quite a bit of leeway in how they run their events.
    However, being very strict with a new 8 year old player is counter productive.
    The main outcome that one will see from that is that you lose that 8 year old player from the game.
    We obviously don't want that.

    On the other hand, judges cannot allow out and out coaching.
    Parents should be reminded to call a judge and to have them correct the players.
    If, even with a few reminders, a player is not capable of handling the game mechanics by themselves, then maybe they're not ready for a tourament yet.
    I do tell my parents that if their child is still learning the basics of the game, to not bring them to a tourament and to bring them to league instead.
    You have a bit of a quandry here, though, since the BR is taking place instead of the League, at the League site.

    One potential solution, if you have enough new players like this, is to run a side event where such coaching will be perfectly fine.
    These young kids are usually fine playing just for fun and probably will do better without the pressure.
    Of course, this cuts into the "attendance" at the BR, but if you really expect to see such levels of player assistance needed, it might be the best way to go.

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