Player accidentally takes first turn

Discussion in 'Judges' Chambers' started by Stephen Carpenter, Jan 3, 2018.

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  1. Stephen Carpenter

    Stephen Carpenter New Member


    We have two juniors playing in a local weekly tournament. Player A wins the coin-flip, and decides to play first. The players draw their opening hands, and Player B starts playing. She draws a card and attaches an energy to her active Pokémon. At this point, she realizes that Player A was actually supposed to play first, and calls a judge.

    The judge investigates and finds that Player B was not intending to cheat (ruling out Unsporting Conduct). When asked why Player B started playing first, she says "Oops, I forgot". Because they are juniors the judge decides not to issue a penalty, as it's a simple mistake.

    My question is what to do for a proper fix. If the judge rules to rewind by putting the energy back into Player B's hand and placing a random card from the hand on top of the deck, is this appropriate? If the judge rules that Player B has not gained an advantage from going first (i.e., doesn't get to attack first, etc.), and to continue playing through Player B's turn leaving the game-state as is, is this appropriate?

    Why or why not? Is this supported by the documents or common judge practices? Thanks!

    - Steve
  2. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Well, you're already moving far off the Penalty Guidelines by deciding that "a simple mistake" doesn't earn a penalty.
    Let's start there.

    The Penalty Guidelines assume that EVERYTHING that earns a penalty is a simple mistake, with the notable exceptions of cheating and some Procedural Errors.
    One should always start with the Penalty recommended by the Penalty Guidelines and then adjust upwards or downwards in severity if appropriate.

    So, let's take a look at what is recommended here:
    The actual error was starting their turn first, but that entailed the draw of the card at the wrong time and the attachment of the energy card.
    The attachment of the energy card is totally reversible, so that penalty could be rolled in with the penalty for the extra card draw.

    Drawing an extra card was recently moved from Game Play Minor to Game Play Major since it was determined that it is an error that is subject to high probability of abuse. At a Regional or above, it would earn a Prize Penalty right off the bat.
    But you are not at a Regional. You are at a local tournament.
    And the penalty for Tier 1 is Warning.

    Now, the next thing to decide is whether to increase of decrease the penalty. As noted, the potential benefit is very low, since the player is not on their turn.
    However, I don't see much benefit in downgrading it from Warning to Caution, either. You could do that, but if you do, you should still issue AT LEAST a Caution.

    Maybe you are not thinking that a Warning or a Caution is a Penalty, but they are. They serve to alert the player that it is important to not make mistakes without hitting them over the head about it. It also tracks the player through the event and if they make a number of minor errors, at some point a judge would be justified in upping the penalty level. Novice status can be taken into account in this potential escalation.

    Now, as for the fix: The current fix is that the card is revealed and shuffled away.
    I kind of see your thinking that the exact card to be replaced in the deck is uncertain and that they player would be drawing it again the next turn anyway, but what if their opponent is going to play an N or some other card like that which will change what card would be drawn next?

    I'd recommend sticking with the "reveal and shuffle" that is in the current guidelines.

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