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PokeDad
07/03/2010, 12:19 PM
From the "I'd like to know…." thread in the National Championships folder and the "Judge Quality" thread in TCG News & Gossip Discussion:



"when judges or staff make mistakes nothing happens" - qnetyk



"It sucks man. The judging can seem extremely unfair" - Alex2k



"I know full well what judges go through and what they have on their hands...it's not really that difficult…I made this thread really for anybody that had a problem with staff at Nats …when something is done unfairly or a mistake is made on the part of the staff, I want to make sure it is known" - qnetyk



"a lot of judges that judge higher level events such as nationals still don't know the correct rulings for a lot of things…many examples of judges getting very obvious rulings wrong…judge behavior is an important thing that needs addressing" - Leaf



"Some judges are just too incompetent to be judges, while others are rude and have no social skills what so ever" - TheGeneral



"in a Modified Format side event at Nats…I got into a disagreement with the judge…After a few minutes, I noticed another judge…and called him over to confirm the ruling and he supported me." - ShadowCard



"I have come to known the pokemon rulings and judging to be painfully inconsistent…pokemon judging definitely is a little lacking" - Team Rocket Prodigy



"we haven't had the best judges here" - Hatter



"My friend appealed to the head judge on a large ruling at Regionals 08 I believe possibly 09 I forget…the the call was incorrect." - Team Rocket Prodigy



"An incredible amount of judges are amazingly ignorant of the game. They just become judges because, well, it pays better than winning actually winning a tournament" - The Ralts



"when you get a lot of players complaining about how a lot of judges make the wrong calls consistently, or don't take necessary steps to perform their duties correctly, then you have a problem…the original intention of this thread was not to bash judges, but to come up with a solution to make judging better overall, because it obviously needs improvement." - Leaf



"What a load of crap. I could name 10+ people right now…(one of them is 10) that could do a much, much better job then many judges I've encountered…there's a problem when a judge at Nationals (main event) doesn't know that Unown G was errata's…I also find it amazing how insane the support is for judges" - The Lurb



"the thing everyone is complaining about is the how the judges who AREN'T good are left to continue being terrible without penalty" - The Ralts

I appreciate that these are open forums, and in no way do i want to stifle free and thoughtful speech; but reading over some of the comments left in some of the threads created after the US National championship, I have found a considerable measure of judge bashing, and almost what seemed to be piling on, in what I imagine is a disproportionate sentiment to that held by most of the players who played at this year's tournament.

I was a judge in the Junior division this year, and bounced nearly every ruling off another judge before sharing it with the players involved. I had one ruling that I could see did not sit well with one of the players involved and asked him if he would like to appeal my ruling. I referred to the penalty guidelines, without exception, to determine the correct penalty any player earned during play, and I had access to the compendium at all times. My goal is to afford each player a fair and equal opportunity and have little to no impact on the game. I can say, with absolute knowledge, that every judge I served with in the Junior division had the same commitment to excellence, skill, and passion for the game and their role in it as judges. I am proud to have been included in this group of consummate professional quality solicited volunteers. I am certain that the quality in the Senior and Master division matched that in the Junior division, knowing and greatly respecting a good number of these judges from previous events worked together. I sat in meetings and listened to deliberations as penalties were discussed, and know the caliber of the people who others see fit to denigrate.

Personally, I find a number of the comments left by some to be insulting to the judges as a whole.

If you have a specific problem with a judge, a ruling, an attitude, a behavior, then write the powers that be and be as specific as you can; Customerservice@pokemon.com is where you send your message. While I am sure that TPCi gives every message sent complete consideration, sending a message intending to improve the game, as opposed to dripping with bitter complaint, will probably assure a more thorough complete consideration of your message.

I am creating this thread as a counterpoint to the other threads that already exist. If you had a good interaction with a volunteer, staff, judge, or TPCi personnel, go ahead and leave a quick note here in the thread. I'm just trying to get a little positivity for those who gave up their week so that so many could have a great time playing this kid's game we all love so much.

Thank you in advance for keeping this thread positive. Just a line or two, or a quick sharing, if someone helped make your tournament a little better.

Bolt
07/03/2010, 12:38 PM
criticism that isn't constructive will get nothing done, imo.

one thing i overheard at nats was a pace of play warning (possibly prize penalty) given without a complaint from any player. shouldn't there be at least a complaint from a player before a prize penalty?

ApachePrime
07/03/2010, 01:05 PM
I will be the first judge to come out and say it:

I judge because it is necessary. I prefer to play, and Judging is work. I would still judge if the "pay" were lower. To be honest, I would judge Battle Roads and Pre-releases for next to nothing. My PTO is an extension of my family, and if she asked I would gladly help for free. I greatly appreciate that my PTO puts forth the effort to make sure our Judging staff feels appreciated.

At the same time, because I feel this is working, I put in a lot of extra hours "off the clock". I check the Gym twice daily and read almost every thread in Ask the Masters just to make sure I'm at the top of my game. When I'm wrong I call another friend of mine who judges and we discuss why I was wrong. I feel that this extra bit is important to me as a player and as a judge.

Even with all of that extra time and research I put into my "job", I still often check with my HJ and if there is a dispute our local policy is to provide the compendium as proof. If I am AT ALL unsure, I will include another Judge. I think a huge part of judging is an attitude that I am not infallible. If a player has a dispute, I will get them rock solid proof of the correct answer. I would like to see more judges adopt this attitude. Too many bad situations come from stubborn decision-making.

Most importantly, like the OP is saying here: I appreciate any and all constructive feedback, and would like to do my job as a Judge to the best of my ability.

On to my contribution to this thread as a player: I had little interaction with Judges this year at Nats, but I have to say Lawman had his staff working their butts off. The Judges were actively judging, and keeping track of a surprisingly large number of games. I had a judge catch my opponent attach a second energy in one match, after a nearly 5 minute turn. My opponent and I were both baffled and got a good laugh that the Judge caught it and neither of us did.

Also, Bolt, a pace of play warning does not require a player complaint. If you are taking super long turns, you are violating the rules. If a judge notices a player attach twice in a turn, and corrects the issue with a warning, how is that different? Both situations are breaking the rules, and require judge intervention.

nnaann
07/03/2010, 01:20 PM
Isn't it possible for there to be a mix of good and bad judges? I know judges who have never made a wrong ruling, give alot to the game and are definately appreciated by the player base. Others can make wrong rulings, not keep up to date with the Pokegym/new rulings etc.

Bolt
07/03/2010, 03:39 PM
Also, Bolt, a pace of play warning does not require a player complaint. If you are taking super long turns, you are violating the rules. If a judge notices a player attach twice in a turn, and corrects the issue with a warning, how is that different? Both situations are breaking the rules, and require judge intervention.

Ahhh, I can understand that. But I also feel like 'pace of play' is more subjective than energy attachments. There are some situations that require more thought than usual and no rulebook can account for that. I get the letter of the law idea...but I'm wondering if people feel that there are times where leniency should be given. I certainly do.

P_A
07/03/2010, 04:52 PM
I'll admit it's almost impossible to not make a wrong ruling. In my 8 year history, I remember 2 that I've made, but perhaps I've made more. It's not because I don't care to keep up with the latest rulings. It's not because I don't care about the outcome of any particular match. It's not because I don't care about the players, and making sure the tournament results aren't fair and accurate. Not to toot my own horn, but when it comes to judging, ask anyone in our area about who the best judges are, and my name is on a very short list. I DO care about all those things posted above. And any judge worth his/her salt cares about those things as well. Good judges utilize all the resources that are available, care about the players concerns, is a good listener (has a good tableside manner - instead of what the doctors have), is looked up to as someone you can get answers from, and is willing to admit when they are wrong. There are a few like that here in Ontario, and I'm supremely happy that's the case, since at Canadian Nationals coming up next weekend, I'm finally gonna get the chance to give up judging to be a player. Mistakes happen. I know I've made them in the past. I also know I'll sooner or later make others. I hope I'll be forgiven for making them, but I'll always try my best. That's all we can do. Someone has to give up their ability to play to help judge so others can play. I'm glad I had the opportunity to help out. I guarantee those who haven't experienced judging, if given the chance to do so at both large and small events, would find it is not quite as easy as they imagined. I hope you all get the chance to do so at least once in your time as a pokemon player. As to the contributions of the judges at any Nats, I'm sure they tried to do their best. They don't always see everything, nor do they always remember all the rulings. Sooner or later the rulings will go against any one person, whether we like it or not - I've ruled impartially against my son often enough to know. Good luck to all you judges out there. Keep trying your best. It will definitely show. Good sportsmanship is something that can be exhibited by all - both players and judges.

EDIT: Oh, and BTW, I don't judge because of the pay, otherwise I would have had a few scholarships, and invitations and trips to worlds, and large trophies, and great numbers of boxes given to me. Hmmm, that sounds funny somehow. Oh yeah, maybe it's because that isn't the case - we don't get "paid" like the players do. I'll have to try and remember that somehow.

Prime
07/03/2010, 05:31 PM
Ahhh, I can understand that. But I also feel like 'pace of play' is more subjective than energy attachments. There are some situations that require more thought than usual and no rulebook can account for that. I get the letter of the law idea...but I'm wondering if people feel that there are times where leniency should be given. I certainly do.

There are guidelines, but I don't think any judge issues slow play penalties after one slow action. The way I did it was watch the match and see if the player takes more time than expected over multiple actions. If you think about it, 10 seconds more on one action isn't much, but on 6 actions in a role, that adds a whole extra minute to the turn. That's when a judge steps in.

And again, slow play has nothing to do with stalling. Well, they are similar, but they are not the same thing. Slow play is just playing slow, for good reasons or not. We issue penalties for slow play just so the game gets back on track and so both players have a fair and equal amount of time in the round.

hueglin
07/03/2010, 05:38 PM
I wasn't at Nats, so I can't give any feedback about that. I can say that I have never had a problem with any of the judges, at any of the tournaments I have been to. It's kind of unfortunate to read the first response post, in this thread that is supposed to be about positive experiences, has yet another complaint about judging. I guess it is just a thankless job.

Trican
07/03/2010, 05:52 PM
I've had great experiences with judges in my area. As a player I've been under the Judging eyes of Totoro and (I think) R_A, and both were quick and accurate in their rulings. Even their Judglings(?) were good at calls. None of them were rude and all were open to hearing the side of the players out.

As a judge I worked with again R_A and Totoro. R_A is a fun judge and knows his stuff. I will say in my first judging assignment Totoro had to get on me about paying closer attention to time (not having a stop watch handy ftl) so that tells me he doesn't take slack from his judges.

I know people will have a bad taste about things in their mouth for different reasons. I remember playing in a STS and missing Top Cut by 1 coin flip. In turn I don't rely on any cards that rely on coin flips. Someone lost a cut due to a judge call against them, they'll complain about judges.

That is not to say that some judges don't just make a bad call, but I do feel part of it is sometimes players looking for a source of blame. Heck I still tell that coin flip story to this day haha

Bolt
07/03/2010, 06:04 PM
There are guidelines, but I don't think any judge issues slow play penalties after one slow action. The way I did it was watch the match and see if the player takes more time than expected over multiple actions. If you think about it, 10 seconds more on one action isn't much, but on 6 actions in a role, that adds a whole extra minute to the turn. That's when a judge steps in.

And again, slow play has nothing to do with stalling. Well, they are similar, but they are not the same thing. Slow play is just playing slow, for good reasons or not. We issue penalties for slow play just so the game gets back on track and so both players have a fair and equal amount of time in the round.

Slow play and stalling, I feel, are best separated by judges who also play competitively (so I appreciate the judges who do play as many tournaments as possible) - and I know there's for sure a difference.

What I'm getting at is when two great players face off, especially in some match-ups, the turns are sometimes going to end up longer. You make what feels like a strong play, then your opponent drops a vicious counter. Then what? This is a game of strategy and some turns require more thought than others. One turn might require 10 seconds of thought, while another requires 40. The next may require 5.

I completely understand that it is a judge's job to make sure the game carries on at a regular pace...but if a player's opponent has no objection to that pace, I feel that a judge shouldn't directly interfere.

amphyrules
07/03/2010, 06:10 PM
Slow play and stalling, I feel, are best separated by judges who also play competitively (so I appreciate the judges who do play as many tournaments as possible) - and I know there's for sure a difference.

What I'm getting at is when two great players face off, especially in some match-ups, the turns are sometimes going to end up longer. You make what feels like a strong play, then your opponent drops a vicious counter. Then what? This is a game of strategy and some turns require more thought than others. One turn might require 10 seconds of thought, while another requires 40. The next may require 5.

I completely understand that it is a judge's job to make sure the game carries on at a regular pace...but if a player's opponent has no objection to that pace, I feel that a judge shouldn't directly interfere.

What do you know, you cost me worlds!

Drew Holton
07/03/2010, 06:13 PM
The main problem is that none of the judges have any idea how to play at a high level and therefore are completely unqualified to tell when someone is playing slow. I haven't seen the guidelines for slow play, but based upon how the penalty was called at Nationals, they are horrible and honestly need to be completely redone. The amount of time it takes to do a move changes significantly depending on what the game situation is and any set time limit guideline is utter BS as a result.

For example, a prize penalty was called on me during top 128 after I did a thirty-five second Cyrus's Conspiracy. The game was incredibly close (3-3 on prizes) and my decisions for the Cyrus's would have an incredible impact on how the game would carry out. First off, thirty-five seconds isn't even long for a Cyrus's in my opinion since a player has to make three significant choices. In my deck alone I played three different types of basic energy, five different supporters and four different TGI cards. The numbers of possible combinations is vast and combined with state of the game at that moment, I probably could have justified taking a much longer time in making the decisions. The judge however thought differently, and when I appealed to the Head Judge it didn't seem like they cared about my side of the story at all. The said something along the lines of "Well its been a prize penalty all day, so I'm not going to make any exceptions." Also for the record, my opponent had not complained once and had nothing to offer when asked about the situation. Now, I don't know if any of the judges involved in the situation have any high level play experience, but I highly doubt it considering how completely justifiable my play was considering the card and game situation.

The number of complaints against judges, particularly about how slow play is handled, would dramatically decrease if they had any idea how to actually recognize improper slow play. The player reaction, as noted by the OP, has been almost universally horrible so clearly something needs to be done by POP to rectify the situation. I would suggest better guidelines as a start and probably better judge training. The head judge in my situation had clearly already made up his mind to support his judge before he even reached the table. This should obviously not always be the case. I know this judge will probably come and share his thoughts (Lawman, I believe) but I'm just calling it like I see it.

Prime
07/03/2010, 06:26 PM
The guidelines are just that, guidelines. I can't speak for all the judges, but I don't follow them to a tee. I understand some situations require more thought and time. I think many judges do also.

One reason for a slow play penalty is to get the penalty in the system. Even if it's just a warning and the slow play doesn't decide the game, having the person's name in the system allows for the other judges to watch for the person in the future for any future signs of slow play.

I can't speak on individual rulings, as I didn't have a hand in them myself.

The_Lurb
07/03/2010, 07:26 PM
Way to put every valid post together. Oh and thanks for chopping many of them up so they sound worse. Although I don't have a problem with supporting the GOOD judges because they obviously deserve it there are many flaws in the judging system that need attention to be brought to them. Not nerfed by some "omg every judge is so amaaaazing 1!11!1!!!" thread. Like was also said in the other thread, we appreciate the judges who care and are good, not the ones that make mistakes constantly or large mistakes.

hueglin
07/04/2010, 06:17 AM
Way to put every valid post together. Oh and thanks for chopping many of them up so they sound worse. Although I don't have a problem with supporting the GOOD judges because they obviously deserve it there are many flaws in the judging system that need attention to be brought to them. Not nerfed by some "omg every judge is so amaaaazing 1!11!1!!!" thread. Like was also said in the other thread, we appreciate the judges who care and are good, not the ones that make mistakes constantly or large mistakes.

If there are specific judges who consistently make bad decisions (which I am not denying there are), then players should make a private complaint to Pokemon International. If enough people make separate and private complaints about a particular judge's credibility, then I am sure they will look into it. The problem with posting complaints in a thread is that it just becomes one big gripe session with very little focus.

The problems you see with the judging guidelines are a different matter. I think making a thread about how the judging guidlines could be improved would be a very good idea.

Box of Fail
07/04/2010, 08:35 AM
Why are there always 'appreciation' threads/ posts in defense of POP and judges, or frankly, whatever people are complaining about? They're really unnerving, People should whine and complain incessantly even if whatever is being complained about is of high quality... I NEVER cease complaining, because regardless of how outstanding something is, it can be improved, and negativity leads to more improvement than positive feedback.

PokePop
07/04/2010, 09:35 AM
Why are there always 'appreciation' threads/ posts in defense of POP and judges, or frankly, whatever people are complaining about? They're really unnerving, People should whine and complain incessantly even if whatever is being complained about is of high quality... I NEVER cease complaining, because regardless of how outstanding something is, it can be improved, and negativity leads to more improvement than positive feedback.

I guess your name is more literal than I thought.
How often do they let you out of the box?
:frown:

Leaf
07/04/2010, 09:42 AM
I don't think these discussions should be used to say that judges as a whole are bad, but as we can see, there seems to be a consensus that judge quality could be improved. I don't think that judges should take these posts offensively, I think they should see them as a constructive criticism.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 09:57 AM
...... if they had any idea how to actually recognize improper slow play.......


but I'm just calling it like I see it.

Improper slow play? Slow play can never be anything other than improper. Your whole argument is based upon some sort of idea that there is such a thing as proper slow play. SLOW PLAY is always wrong. Which is why you wont find me at the top tables, but that absence doesn't mean I'm not aware of slow play. I'm acutely aware that under pressure I am unable to maintain adequate pace. That I need time to analyse a complex situation. Time that I am not allowed if I am to maintain adequate pace.


nothing wrong with calling it like you see it, but when you put in that you "haven't seen the guidelines" that really weakens your case.

DarthPika
07/04/2010, 10:07 AM
The guidelines are just that, guidelines. I can't speak for all the judges, but I don't follow them to a tee. I understand some situations require more thought and time. I think many judges do also.

One reason for a slow play penalty is to get the penalty in the system. Even if it's just a warning and the slow play doesn't decide the game, having the person's name in the system allows for the other judges to watch for the person in the future for any future signs of slow play.

I can't speak on individual rulings, as I didn't have a hand in them myself.

But is the slow play always a fair call? I got a warning for slow play this year at states because the judge thought I was taking too long on my Cyrus. It was about 95 degrees in the venue, I wasn't using the greatest quality of sleeves and they were sticking. My pace of play with everything else was well above average. I had JUST told my opponent that I was having trouble looking through my deck, and he had no problem with it at all. Even after we both told the judge that the pace of play was fine, I still got the warning. Are your really going to say that it's necessary to give a slow play warning so I can be watched for slow play later on when I was playing at a perfectly acceptable pace?

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 10:08 AM
Some moves take longer than others and it would be correct for a player to slow their pace in order to figure out the proper course of action. You are simply incorrect in stating that slow play is always wrong. This fundamental error in the system as it exists is something that really needs to be corrected in the future.

Pressure should have nothing to do with a person's pace, and if that was why you were playing slow, then that would be improper slow play. Complexity has everything to do with proper slow play. The more options available, the more time that is needed to make a decision.

Even if I had seen the guidelines, I'm sure its just a set of "proper" time limits for actions, which is what I'm arguing against in the first place. There is no need for me to know the exact time limits to make my argument.

Bolt
07/04/2010, 10:09 AM
Improper slow play? Slow play can never be anything other than improper. Your whole argument is based upon some sort of idea that there is such a thing as proper slow play. SLOW PLAY is always wrong. Which is why you wont find me at the top tables, but that absence doesn't mean I'm not aware of slow play. I'm acutely aware that under pressure I am unable to maintain adequate pace. That I need time to analyse a complex situation. Time that I am not allowed if I am to maintain adequate pace.


nothing wrong with calling it like you see it, but when you put in that you "haven't seen the guidelines" that really weakens your case.


That almost makes it seem like there is no distinction between thinking for 20 seconds and stalling for 20 seconds, which I know isn't the case. The point of this issue, at least on my end, is that there SHOULD be some kind of leniency given in terms of time if a player is making a legitimate gameplay decision AND if the opponent has NO objection to the length of time needed to make that decision.

I'm feeling a vibe of players vs judges here, which I'm hoping isn't the case. We as players DO appreciate all the hard work that judges/staff/organizers put into these events...but since we're unhappy with the way this specific issue is being handled, we feel the need to speak up.

DarthPika
07/04/2010, 10:13 AM
Drew, I support your view 100%, but I don't think a lot of people quite comprehend this. I can't even begin to tell you how many machamp/kinga/other fast deck players kept wanting me to rush through my turns faster when I was using SP, while they wanted to take the exact same amount of time to perform the simplest of moves. Technically, they couldn't be called for "slow play", because their pace of play was with in the guide lines. However, when you have such a limited amount of options, it's ridiculous to take a turn worthy of a SP deck when all you're doing is playing a supporter and attaching an energy.

I think our guide lines are broken, and badly need to be fixed.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 10:20 AM
other than installing chess clocks (which will likely never happen) and having a judge sitting at every single match watching for 'thinking' vs. 'stalling'...just how do people suggest this be 'fixed' within the limitations of the tournament (number of judges, need for match time limits)?

i'm hearing a lot of 'this sucks'...but not how to fix it (assuming this is something that really needs 'fixing'). how about some solutions?

'mom

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 10:22 AM
Drew and Bolt and others...what you are missing is that judges cannot be mind readers. Judges are not allowed to decide if a particular point in play is complex or not.

Bolt how is a judge supposed to tell the difference between the silence of thinking for 20 seconds and the silence of stalling for 20 seconds? How do you know if the opponent is happy with all the time that youi take away from them with your thinking? The opponent may have read the penalty guidelines and be expecting the judges to apply them evenly and fairly to all players.


=========
It may be harsh but if you play a complex deck and you can't make the decisions in time then play a simpler deck until you can keep up an acceptable pace. Like I said I wont get to the top tables because I can't work a complex deck in the thinking time that is available to me and every other player. Does that Suck? Well it sucks for me, but that is my problem to deal with and should not cause my opponents to have insufficient time to play their own deck.

It is a timed game and my choice of a complex deck should not take time away from the opponent to play their deck.

TheGeneral
07/04/2010, 10:24 AM
To the OP -- I don't see what the deal is about what I said. I stand by my comment in your post. I didn't say every judge is like that; In fact, I've met some awesome judges. But more often than not I've run into incompetent judges who are rude and think they are superior because they are "judges."

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 10:39 AM
@The general this is why
more often than not..... see ? you just damned the majority. You just damned more than half the judge staff at nationals. remove a few of the big names like BDS that everyone knows and who is left to form that "rude" majority?

ARMondak
07/04/2010, 10:42 AM
Drew and Bolt and others...what you are missing is that judges cannot be mind readers. Judges are not allowed to decide if a particular point in play is complex or not.

Bolt how is a judge supposed to tell the difference between the silence of thinking for 20 seconds and the silence of stalling for 20 seconds? How do you know if the opponent is happy with all the time that youi take away from them with your thinking? The opponent may have read the penalty guidelines and be expecting the judges to apply them evenly and fairly to all players.




It shouldn't take much to determine a crucial moment in the game. As much as a high level judge is around the game, they should be able to observe when a tight game is occurring and thus allow things to play out within reason. I have a problem with judges liberally handing out harsh penalties at high level events for 'slow play'. Slow play is obviously not a good thing, but at a tournament like Nationals extra care should be taken in determining moves due to what is on the line. If someone is excessively playing slow over a period of time that is an issue, but I don't think judges should be so quick to jump the gun on these types of issues.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 10:45 AM
I am firmly against asking judges to make a subjective judgement based upon if they have spotted the play or not.

You are correct that slow play should be assessed over a period of time and not on a single brief delay.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 11:00 AM
I think a crucial aspect that people are missing is that taking long=slow playing. We all know that slow play doesn't always equal stalling, but we have to remember that taking long turns is not always playing slowly. It is often required to take a long amount of time to make a correct decision (see Drew's example with Cyrus)- and this is not slow playing. It's playing correctly, and it's stupid that because it doesn't follow an arbitrary "guideline" it MUST be punished.

The guidelines are named such for a reason. If players don't have any voice to explain the situation, or if both players are left unhappy with a judge ruling, clearly there was a mistake or poor ruling made. If Drew's opponent didn't feel Drew was taking advantage of the clock- why would the judge? I would think the opponent, a competitive player would have more incentive and ability to spot slow playing.


=========
It may be harsh but if you play a complex deck and you can't make the decisions in time then play a simpler deck until you can keep up an acceptable pace
I'm not Drew, but I definitely felt that was pretty insulting. Drew is one of the best players in the _world_, and he used a deck he used all season. Clearly, if ANYONE should be playing SP it is Drew. Yet you are saying he should use a simpler deck because there was a complex situation that required additional time to think through? The entire section of that post you made you look really bad in my eyes. Drew Holton is one of the US's best players, especially for SP, and here you are virtually insulting him for playing a deck you are insinuating is too complex for him (due to his not playing at an "acceptable pace" for ONE action).

Acceptable pace? To whom? Clearly it was acceptable to both opponents. It only wasn't acceptable to some arbitrary guidelines and a vehement judge. Maybe you, or the rules, should be re-evaluated?

Jaeger
07/04/2010, 11:14 AM
I think a crucial aspect that people are missing is that taking long=slow playing. We all know that slow play doesn't always equal stalling, but we have to remember that taking long turns is not always playing slowly. It is often required to take a long amount of time to make a correct decision (see Drew's example with Cyrus)- and this is not slow playing. It's playing correctly, and it's stupid that because it doesn't follow an arbitrary "guideline" it MUST be punished.

The guidelines are named such for a reason. If players don't have any voice to explain the situation, or if both players are left unhappy with a judge ruling, clearly there was a mistake or poor ruling made. If Drew's opponent didn't feel Drew was taking advantage of the clock- why would the judge? I would think the opponent, a competitive player would have more incentive and ability to spot slow playing.


I'm not Drew, but I definitely felt that was pretty insulting. Drew is one of the best players in the _world_, and he used a deck he used all season. Clearly, if ANYONE should be playing SP it is Drew. Yet you are saying he should use a simpler deck because there was a complex situation that required additional time to think through? The entire section of that post you made you look really bad in my eyes. Drew Holton is one of the US's best players, especially for SP, and here you are virtually insulting him for playing a deck you are insinuating is too complex for him (due to his not playing at an "acceptable pace" for ONE action).

Acceptable pace? To whom? Clearly it was acceptable to both opponents. It only wasn't acceptable to some arbitrary guidelines and a vehement judge. Maybe you, or the rules, should be re-evaluated?

Well said, pretty much saved me from typing a few paragraph.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 11:25 AM
Ryan. Lots of players take the view that they are allowed to play slowly because. XYZ... The XYZ are typically lots of reasons that are fair to them but not to their opponent.

Lots of players ABSOLUTELY believe that a complex deck means they deserve more of the clock each round. From Drews post it appears that he believes that a complex situation allows extra time. It doesn't. There was no insult intended so why make it into one? If a player and I specifically included myself in the section you took offence too cannot operate a complex deck without falling foul of the slow play guidelines then other than picking up penalties the only option is to play a simpler deck.

Judges don't decide what is acceptable pace. Players don't decide what is acceptable pace. POP does. Every time it comes up I argue against the presence of "brisk" in the guidelines yet the "brisk" requirement remains. Every time maximum turn times get suggested I argue against them. So far I've failed to get rid of brisk but at least the unseen efforts of many have prevented the introduction of fixed turn times.

I have never penalised any player for going over a time limit on a single incident. Pace of play can't be assessed in a few seconds on one card play.

There is nothing in the guidelines on allowing players extra time because a judge thinks it is a complex situation or a player claims the situation is complex. Not should there be. I will do everything in my very limited power to prevent the growth of a belief from players or judges that such a change would be beneficial.

Bolt
07/04/2010, 11:27 AM
Bolt how is a judge supposed to tell the difference between the silence of thinking for 20 seconds and the silence of stalling for 20 seconds? How do you know if the opponent is happy with all the time that youi take away from them with your thinking? The opponent may have read the penalty guidelines and be expecting the judges to apply them evenly and fairly to all players.


A judge probably can't tell the difference, but if there is no complaint from the opponent, shouldn't that make the call easier? The lack of a complaint is my issue here, not just time in general.

MrMeches
07/04/2010, 11:27 AM
Hmmm, me thinks that at times, Players do not notice their opponent's nod in approval when penalties are being handed out or the little gesture when they want their opponent timed. Not that I gave Drew his, but almost every Warning for Slow Play I noticed given by Staff was acknowledge by the opponent in acceptance. Were they verbal, no, but when I am playing (btw, have won several BRs and Cities and Top Cut in others so does that qualify to your high level of play standards?) and a Penalty is handed out, I do not give the Judge a verbal 'Thanks' as I do not want my opponent thinking I am going to continually call a Judge or trying to get advantage by using the Rules to my advantage.

I agree that Slow Play is difficult to spot and that is why at Many Tier 2 events, Judging Teams monitor this. Trust in knowing that PL are not just handed out. The player is evaluated over a course of several turns by different Judges, then times compared and Finally a decision made on the outcome of the Penalty.

I have had my fair share of flames on the 'Gym as a Judge, and I accept them all as we do play a competitive game and it comes with the territory. Hence the ongoing joke of having "Grilled Fish" for dinner. However, I will stand by any of the Team I work with on the calls made, Good or Bad, as even players make mistakes in the eyes of other players.

Here is the thing, all Judges get reviewed at each event. If you noticed, the Judges at this years Nats had some New and some Repeat. If you as a Player have a specific concern(s) about a particular Judge, feel free to contact Customerservice@pokemon.com and let them know. When using the link, be specific to the situation YOU encountered and how it was dealt with.

Enjoy OUR game and Happy 4th!

Fish

evil psyduck
07/04/2010, 11:28 AM
I hear a lot of complaining and how only top players should be judges.

How about those of you doing the complaining come up with a solution that will work and those of you who think you are top players stop playing and do some judging?

I can hear it now if that happens. I don't want to judge anymore they don't give enough compensation for it.

Some people just aren't happy unless they are complaining.

Diaz
07/04/2010, 11:30 AM
I think that sometimes issuing penalties isn't the right solution to the problem. In a lot of situations I think a better solution to slow play would be: judge sees slow play, walks over, issues a firm caution to the offending player, and offers the opponent the option of a 2 min time extension, then keeps a little bit of a closer eye on the game.

I know of multiple situations in which a player received either a caution, warning, or penalty, where the opponent actually mentioned to the judge that everything was ok and that there was no need for interferences.

On the general topic, I had an above average experience with judges at nationals this year. I'm often one to take issue with what I feel are dubious calls made by judges, and really lean into the top tear judges for their mistakes. This year, however, I didn't really have any major problems with rulings made, and it made my nationals experience much better.

Sir Bidoof
07/04/2010, 11:38 AM
I know some great judges (that's to you Mr. Arena) but I've also heard of some stupid rulings. Here are two ruling examples during major tournaments that were obviously wrong.

At a States in 2007 I think it was, Thomas evolved a Umbreon Ex and did not use the power. However, his opponent complained and it was ruled that he had to make him switch. This cost him the finals match.

At Worlds that same year, Thomas played down Vaporeon Ex and did not announce the power. However, his opponent shuffled his hand into his deck assuming it was used because he played the pokemon down. However, this error did not result in a game loss, when game losses have been the punishment for these errors in tournaments as small as Battle Roads.

I do not remember the judges, as these were a few years ago, and I was only there for the one at States, but are these dispoutable as showing that there are judges at major tournaments thatshould not be judging.

I am not saying that most judges are bad; most are good. However at tournaments of these levels, the judges should be able to get rulings these obvious, or they shoul not be judging these tournaments.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 11:48 AM
Ryan. Lots of players take the view that they are allowed to play slowly because. XYZ... The XYZ are typically lots of reasons that are fair to them but not to their opponent.

Lots of players ABSOLUTELY believe that a complex deck means they deserve more of the clock each round. From Drews post it appears that he believes that a complex situation allows extra time. It doesn't. There was no insult intended so why make it into one? If a player and I specifically included myself in the section you took offence too cannot operate a complex deck without falling foul of the slow play guidelines then other than picking up penalties the only option is to play a simpler deck.

Judges don't decide what is acceptable pace. Players don't decide what is acceptable pace. POP does. Every time it comes up I argue against the presence of "brisk" in the guidelines yet the "brisk" requirement remains. Every time maximum turn times get suggested I argue against them. So far I've failed to get rid of brisk but at least the unseen efforts of many have prevented the introduction of fixed turn times.

I have never penalised any player for going over a time limit on a single incident. Pace of play can't be assessed in a few seconds on one card play.

There is nothing in the guidelines on allowing players extra time because a judge thinks it is a complex situation or a player claims the situation is complex. Not should there be. I will do everything in my very limited power to prevent the growth of a belief from players or judges that such a change would be beneficial.

extra time? any time frame is arbitrary- there should be no EXTRA time. its either adequate time or not- the action is either too slow or not. if a person takes 30 seconds to complete a 3 part action with thousands of combinations, that seems okay. its not about getting MORE time because it is complex. more time on an arbitrary amount of time is nonsense, and it's not surprising you pick that point to press on.

the action a player makes is either slow playing or it isnt. falling within an arbitrary set of numbers does nothing to justify a penalty to me. a competent assessment of the situation is what will suffice. the guidelines are precisely that- they are guidelines because there is a clear SPIRIT of the law. some people want to try to hold everything merely to the LETTER of the law instead. an action is between 10-15 seconds? if its over its instantly slow? bulllllll.

i understand its necessary to have ideas of numbers- but they are ideas. they are to assist those in determining slowplay, but they should not themselves determine slow play- and i see this happen often.

moreso, isnt the judge there to make the play more fair? if an opponent has no problem with it- it seems like we are taking the preference and desires of the judges over the players. their very purpose is being undermined here.

--
I don't think this is any reflection of a lack of love towards judges and (P)TOs. The OP asked why there were so many cherrypicked negative comments? Well, because they were each in reference to an observed "poor ruling".

As far as loving the staff/TOs and stuff, i think we all do!

One of my cards/sleeves went missing, and POP _GAVE_ me a new set of PR sleeves! My really friendly opponent even helped me sleeve and re-sleeve and we got an 8 minute extension. That was an awesome ruling, and I definitely appreciated the sleeves and the whole process. In fact, all in all, I had great experience with the judging staff this year.

There was one guy who was a bit rude and dismissive, but there will always be instances of that.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 11:52 AM
I know some great judges (that's to you Mr. Arena) but I've also heard of some stupid rulings. Here are two ruling examples during major tournaments that were obviously wrong.

At a States in 2007 I think it was, Thomas evolved a Umbreon Ex and did not use the power. However, his opponent complained and it was ruled that he had to make him switch. This cost him the finals match.

At Worlds that same year, Thomas played down Vaporeon Ex and did not announce the power. However, his opponent shuffled his hand into his deck assuming it was used because he played the pokemon down. However, this error did not result in a game loss, when game losses have been the punishment for these errors in tournaments as small as Battle Roads.

I do not remember the judges, as these were a few years ago, and I was only there for the one at States, but are these dispoutable as showing that there are judges at major tournaments thatshould not be judging.

I am not saying that most judges are bad; most are good. However at tournaments of these levels, the judges should be able to get rulings these obvious, or they shoul not be judging these tournaments.

'i heard'...'i think'...'i don't remember'.

first: are these judges still judging?

second: are you (general you) the same player you were three years ago, skill and experience-wise?

...no?

so why are those judges (who you can't remember) considered to be the same, skill and experience-wise as they were then?

and more food for thought: the judge pool can be stretched thin when it comes to a large event like regionals where the events are all held on the same day. what if they gave an event and everyone wanted to PLAY?

we judges/staff/TOs/PTOs all do the best we can do; we're human. nice to feel the love...=/

jmho
'mom

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 12:04 PM
Ryan, Drew and others argued that it couldn't be SLOW PLAY because the situation was complex. The guidelines specifically instruct that complexity is not a defence.

In the case of slow play the judge is there to ensure that the opponent is not disadvantaged.

I 100% agree that a single overrun should not trigger a SLOW PLAY penalty.

I disagree that it is safe to conclude that the opponent is happy with the situation if they stay silent.

===
Personally I prefer the DCIs philsophy statement on SLOW PLAY
All players have the responsibility to play quickly enough so that their opponents are not at a significant
disadvantage because of the time limit. A player may be playing slowly without realizing it. But then that isn't a surprise as it lacks the "brisk" term that I try to get removed from our guidelines. If you remove the brisk bit from our guidelines.
Players should take care to play in a manner that keeps the game pace brisk, regardless of the complexity of the situation. A player who takes too long to make decisions about game play runs the risk of putting his or her opponent at a disadvantage due to the round’s time limit. but other than that brisk statement there is nothing to choose between them.

bullados
07/04/2010, 12:07 PM
Ryan, I'm going to time the length of 15 seconds for you by holding down my dash (-) key. Let's see how long 15 seconds really is...

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That was 480 dashes. Holding it down for 15 seconds. This is not an especially fast computer (3 yr old HP laptop running Vista). Try it out for yourself. You'll be surprised at exactly how long 15 seconds truly is.

Another assumption that you're making is that all players are high level players. News flash: THEY ARE NOT. In fact, I'd venture to say that most players out there don't really understand what Slow Play truly is. That is at least one of the reasons Judges exist. To inform players of the rules and regulations and to enforce them as consistently as possible across the entire event.

Are we perfect at this goal? No. Show me a single game that requires non-automated Judging where the Judges themselves ARE perfect. That's called living in a dream world. Do we do the best that we can with the tools that we're given? I'd like to think that we, on the whole, do.

Once again, if there are any problems with the Judging staff or with one Judge in particular, email PCI using their customerservice@pokemon.com email address. I'm certain that every email is reviewed, and every issue is taken to heart as much as possible. Please, though, only report issues to which you have first hand knowledge. It makes the entire process that much more efficient.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 12:13 PM
Ryan has hit on one of the main problems. Most judges adhere to the guidelines very strictly when most of the time they should not do so.

When I say that most judges are not top quality players, I'm simply referring to their lack of play experience. This leads to an inability to know how long an action should take or how complex a situation really is. As a result, horrible mistakes are made when a judge feels the need to make a judgment call on something like slow play. Most judges are 100% accurate on specific rulings and are not lacking in that area of expertise.

As Diaz said, a simple time extension would be a very easy solution to the problem. POP cannot argue that they are going for a timely event when it took over an hour for each round of Nationals to be completed. A five minute extension would not add too much more time to the day.

Also, I don't know if judges are aware at how huge of a jump it is from the first warning to a prize penalty for the second "offense." Not only was I never made aware that there was such a jump, but the jump itself is way too harsh for a judgment call type offense. A prize penalty can swing a game dramatically, while something simple like a time extension does not have a direct impact on the game.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 12:16 PM
'something simple like a time extension' might not have a 'direct impact' on one game, but multiply that across every round of a 1300 player tournament and see how it impacts the *event*...

'mom

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 12:22 PM
Drew, I can't comment on your experiences at USA Nationals or other USA tournaments. I can with 100% confidence say that the judges I worked with on staff at Worlds were not at all strict on the specific thinking time examples in the penalty guidelines. So if those same judges were involved at USA Nationals then I'd be surprised if a strict regime was imposed on the players.

@mom, a problem that will constantly beset this thread is that it is a mix of the specific and the general. Drew and others will probably argue correctly about the impact of a brief time extension on a specifc case is minimal. I know that your comment is made about the general case and that you would add a small time extension if warranted. But will the players see that distinction? I've yet to see any acknowledgement from the players that the guidelines we are all given is that complexity is not a defence.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 12:24 PM
Well I hope the staff would be preparing for the next round while the last few games are finishing up. It already takes them 20-30 minutes in between rounds as it is, so maybe if that nonsense was streamlined a bit, the time could be found without impacting the event at all.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 12:29 PM
Well I hope the staff would be preparing for the next round while the last few games are finishing up. It already takes them 20-30 minutes in between rounds as it is, so maybe if that nonsense was streamlined a bit, the time could be found without impacting the event at all.
'that nonsense'? how are the next round's pairings supposed to be made, printed, posted and the next round's match slips printed/cut/distributed when all the previous round's match results aren't in?

please enlighten us to as what 'nonsense' we should be doing while waiting for 'your' match to complete...when slip results are already entered in TOM as they are turned in.

@ian: obviously, that distinction is not seen.

'mom

evil psyduck
07/04/2010, 12:34 PM
And add on to those listed above the players who do not fill out the match slips correctly or leave without filling them out.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 12:42 PM
If it takes twenty minutes to do the things you listed, then something is obviously wrong.

Please don't insult the player's intelligence with petty insults. I am offering constructive criticism, something imperative for an organization to run successfully. You are choosing to ignore our valid complaints and furthermore you insult me at every opportunity.

NoPoke, as Vergel stated, has said horrible things about me in this thread, but I will choose to ignore his comments. Please address the issues with an open mind, something apparently impossible on the 'gym.

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 12:42 PM
"the thing everyone is complaining about is the how the judges who AREN'T good are left to continue being terrible without penalty" - The Ralts
Just taking this moment to enjoy the humor in this quote being part of the basis of a topic about how people are attacking all judges. lol

I remember a few topics from this year.
A states where 3 people were all discovered to have decklists that were off by one or two cards:
The 2 local players got to keep playing and the out of state player got a DQ.
Some PTOs and Judges circled the wagons and started shouting that there was nothing wrong about how it was handled.


A player at Nats getting penalties just because the opponent said he had already used Claydol and the Judge simply took whatever the opponent said as gospel when handing out penalties.
The player was promptly attacked and told it was all his fault because he didn't appeal it to the HJ.

A telling snippet in regards to the Houston Regs.

I had a lot of fun at this years Regionals! Minus all the fun that went on, I went 4-4 with MANLY Ga-Ga, but sad to say the judges in my opinion were not the best... Even though we had some judges seemed to be "new" at this. While in the tournament, I heard some of the players ask to see the compendium, as though they did not agree with the ruling that they were given, but the judge responded with "I don't need the compendium," being extremely positive with the ruling they had given, even though they were incorrect. For example, in one of the matches, Andy M. played Azelf and used the power Time Walk. The judge walked by, picked up the match slip, and said "So are you scooping?" The judge should not have interfered with the match, and waited to see if the match was done. This is only one of the many "bad" judging calls that took place. Hopefully, next year Regionals will improve from the mistakes that happened this year, and I am looking forward to it!

People don't have problems with all judges (not the sane people anyways), but there are bad judges that simply continue to be bad judges and it seems like just about every staff-oriented person on Pokegym jumps in to defend the staff of any other event, regardless of what happened.

People have trouble with the growing, "blue wall of silence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_wall_of_silence)" mentality in regards to how staffing issues are handled.

When a topic comes up where somebody was harassed by a judge at an event and I can safely assume that there will be at least one post attacking the victim for not doing enough to fix a problem that shouldn't have ever existed, then something is seriously wrong.

People are potentially missing trips to worlds over bad judging calls and they are attacked for it because of some notion that anything against one judge is something against all judges.

After all of those people bringing up real problems and being attacked for it, groups of people are finally asking why there are constant issues with judges and now the good judges are picking up a persecution complex over something that was never aimed at them in the first place.

There will always be whiners who get angry when a judge makes a good call and it costs them a game, but creating a wall to shield yourselves from addressing real problems is seen as less than satisfactory by many people it would seem.


Just the two cents of some crazy guy though, so take it how you will. lol

Prime
07/04/2010, 12:48 PM
I don't understand what the players expect the judges to say in this thread and threads like this. The players bring up examples of other judges doing weird things and expect the other judges, judges totally unrelated to those possibly making mistakes, to answer for them.

Whatever the judges say, it won't appease the disgruntled players.

Might as well let them just keep thinking the judges are lame, no talent players, egomaniacs, while the judges keep running those events smoothly and getting no thanks for it.

PokePop
07/04/2010, 12:56 PM
If it takes twenty minutes to do the things you listed, then something is obviously wrong.

Please don't insult the player's intelligence with petty insults. I am offering constructive criticism, something imperative for an organization to run successfully. You are choosing to ignore our valid complaints and furthermore you insult me at every opportunity. .
Two way street there Drew.
Shall I review your comments in this thread and pull out all the insults you're tossing around left and right without any concern with how insulting you are being?

Let's just take the last one: "all that nonsense".
You assume that time is being taken up with nonsense. You don't ask.
Just toss off a thoughtless insult.

Then turn around and take petty offense at any reply to contradict any statement you've made?
This is not the World Cup. Stop falling down on the ground in agony whenever an opposing remark passes within three feet of you?

As for ignoring "valid complaints", how long are you going to ignore the point that the Guidelines specifically direct judges (and players) that complexity is not to be considered?

Ignorance is also a two way street.

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 12:58 PM
I don't understand what the players expect the judges to say in this thread and threads like this. The players bring up examples of other judges doing weird things and expect the other judges, judges totally unrelated to those possibly making mistakes, to answer for them.

Whatever the judges say, it won't appease the disgruntled players.

Might as well let them just keep thinking the judges are lame, no talent players, egomaniacs, while the judges keep running those events smoothly and getting no thanks for it.

I agree with that one, but many of the judges on Pokegym make a habit out of blindly defending other judges and go out of their way to make excuses for them.

With that in mind, it kind of looks like wanting to have the best of both worlds.
"You can't say that because I know this judge would never do this/everybody makes mistakes/you should have appealed to the HJ/don't whine on here about it."
"You can't expect me to say anything about this because I'm not involved with this discussion."

Thanks for proving my point about that whole, "blue wall of silence" thing.
An attack against any judge is an attack against all judges.

People have gone out of their way to specify that what they have said does not apply to all judges, but I guess accepting that they are not attacking everybody would kind of make a lot of that misplaced anger look rather silly. :lol:

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 12:59 PM
If it takes twenty minutes to do the things you listed, then something is obviously wrong.

Please don't insult the player's intelligence with petty insults. I am offering constructive criticism, something imperative for an organization to run successfully. You are choosing to ignore our valid complaints and furthermore you insult me at every opportunity.

NoPoke, as Vergel stated, has said horrible things about me in this thread, but I will choose to ignore his comments. Please address the issues with an open mind, something apparently impossible on the 'gym.let's see: masters at us nationals was 2 flights, times ~8 pages of pairings per flight, times the number of pairings boards in the hall.

print, collate, tape them together, get them posted to all the boards and get all the 800+ players seated before the round can begin; print/cut/distribute match slips to each table.

again: what part of this was the hive/runners/staff supposed to have done BEFORE all the results are in?

i didn't see you answer that question, just throw accusations of 'insults'.

like it or not, this is the REALITY of what goes on 'behind the computer' at an event. 20 minutes is too long?

'mom

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 01:05 PM
If the match slips are the laggard part of the operation, then the surrounding operations should be improved to cope with time disparity needed for the match slips. Getting printers that print off rolls would eliminate the need for all the taping. Or perhaps incorporating more electronics would do the trick. You are failing to see how the operation can be improved and simply see it how it currently exists.

I acknowledge that how the guidelines exist now, that "complexity" is not a valid excuse. Again you are seeing stuff how it currently exists and not how it should exist. Perhaps complexity should be added as a valid excuse.

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 01:06 PM
let's see: masters at us nationals was 2 flights, times ~8 pages of pairings per flight, times the number of pairings boards in the hall.

print, collate, tape them together, get them posted to all the boards and get all the 800+ players seated before the round can begin; print/cut/distribute match slips to each table.

again: what part of this was the hive/runners/staff supposed to have done BEFORE all the results are in?

i didn't see you answer that question, just throw accusations of 'insults'.

like it or not, this is the REALITY of what goes on 'behind the computer' at an event. 20 minutes is too long?

'mom


Depends on what printer you use at the event. lol
[/nerd humor]

Seriously, some people don't know how much work really goes into every event behind the scenes and when an event goes of flawlessly, nobody notices anything but their own games.
I can only imagine the headache of running the computer at Nats. lol

Staffing is pretty much organized chaos at any big event (it can look like a hot mess at times, but it is going according to plan). lol

That being said, there really are some terrible judges who get to keep judging when they shouldn't.
There are also some highly competitive players who say that the staff should only be comprised of highly competitive players. . . but would give up their chance to win a trip to worlds in order to judge.

Meh, both sides keep hitting some kind of unreasonable points on this one.

EDIT:

If the match slips are the laggard part of the operation, then the surrounding operations should be improved to cope with time disparity needed for the match slips. Getting printers that print off rolls would eliminate the need for all the taping. Or perhaps incorporating more electronics would do the trick. You are failing to see how the operation can be improved and simply see it how it currently exists.

I acknowledge that how the guidelines exist now, that "complexity" is not a valid excuse. Again you are seeing stuff how it currently exists and not how it should exist. Perhaps complexity should be added as a valid excuse.
Not to sound rude or anything, but are you planning on buying every PTO/HJ a printer that prints off rolls?

In the time I was typing that people were being unreasonable, you decided that PTOs should all go out and buy a special type of printer that they would probably only ever use at big events. lol

Cyrus
07/04/2010, 01:12 PM
There's a very thankless element to what judges do. Even if the staff gets 99.9% of the rulings right on a given day, there's still that one ruling that will be left sour with someone, and so he/she may jump to conclusions and berate the entirety of the judging that day.

This is something that doesn't even go away if judges were to ever become paid employees of TPCi, because most of the staff at Nationals are already pretty familiar with being smart, resourceful, and careful in their "non-pokemon" lives.

Granted, it's just as unfair to call judges saints for what they do, since everyone knows of a "that guy" who is the epitome of bad judging. However, it's really more good than bad by a long shot.

Box of Fail could've stood to word what he said much better: it's not that being negative does anyone good, so much as being critical. And being posting on a message board "is" usually more directly effective in getting across your point to the judge or judges you're critical with (assuming you know who they are).

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 01:13 PM
you're saying having OP purchase *special* printers which use *special* paper will be so much more effective than using a stock monochrome laserprinter which uses ordinary 8.5 x 11 paper?

and what happens when things go wrong, as they ALWAYS do?

'mom

PokePop
07/04/2010, 01:14 PM
I acknowledge that how the guidelines exist now, that "complexity" is not a valid excuse. Again you are seeing stuff how it currently exists and not how it should exist. Perhaps complexity should be added as a valid excuse.

You are accusing judges of judging badly, so it is you who is discussing this in terms of "how things now exist".

If you wish to take this into a discussion of how things should exist in the future, that's a whole different discussion.
Please do so.
But that doesn't get paired with comments that judges that don't top cut all the time can't appreciate the complexity of the choices.

So, are we moving to discussing the future now?

ShadowCard
07/04/2010, 01:17 PM
NoPoke, I like this description from the Penalty Guidelines better than the one that uses the term "brisk":
7.4. Game Tempo
The pace of a Pokémon TGC game should be moderate and lively, ...

@ PokeDad: Please include the link for my quote so that it is not read out of context. Ultimately, it wasn't the missed ruling that bugged me but instead the judge's refusal to check on the ruling and his insistence that he was correct.

In the judge's defense, he was the only judge remaining for the side event. I think we were the last side event of the night. The judge that I noticed was "off the clock" and just happened to be walking around.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 01:18 PM
I was simply stating a solution to the problem that SD-Pokemom kept bringing up. Its probably not the only solution but was the first I thought of, and obviously did not consider budget. Also, as you stated it would probably only be necessary at big events so it would be something POP invested in for Nationals/ Worlds. I did not intend the topic to veer off into this area, and apologize about it. However if it was going to continue being brought up as if there was no way to avoid spending twenty minutes in between rounds, I felt the need to show that there are indeed ways to trim the time.

Again, my main beef is with the current guidelines and their improvement.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 01:22 PM
how much of that '20 minutes' between rounds is the time it takes players to be seated?

'mom

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 01:23 PM
Drew

1st I agree that the between rounds stuff is a problem. I would disagree with you if I thought you were implying that tournament staff were not sensitive to the between rounds time and doing everything they can to resolve it. I don't believe you are though I could read your post that way. Staff do everything they can to minimise the between rounds time. It isn't always enough :(

Fast laser printers plus slow taping vs a slow continuous feed printer? Which one is better?? fast continuous feed printers cost a fortune. (thousands)


2nd: If complexity is allowed then how? Slow Play is already a somewhat subjective call and to fix it by making it more subjective doesn't seem likely to work. Surely the last thing you want is any judge deciding when you should make a play because they have decided how they would play your hand at that moment? That is the part I don't get about the appeal to complexity as a defence.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 01:30 PM
Ryan, I'm going to time the length of 15 seconds for you by holding down my dash (-) key. Let's see how long 15 seconds really is...

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That was 480 dashes. Holding it down for 15 seconds. This is not an especially fast computer (3 yr old HP laptop running Vista). Try it out for yourself. You'll be surprised at exactly how long 15 seconds truly is.

Another assumption that you're making is that all players are high level players. News flash: THEY ARE NOT. In fact, I'd venture to say that most players out there don't really understand what Slow Play truly is. That is at least one of the reasons Judges exist. To inform players of the rules and regulations and to enforce them as consistently as possible across the entire event.

Are we perfect at this goal? No. Show me a single game that requires non-automated Judging where the Judges themselves ARE perfect. That's called living in a dream world. Do we do the best that we can with the tools that we're given? I'd like to think that we, on the whole, do.

Once again, if there are any problems with the Judging staff or with one Judge in particular, email PCI using their customerservice@pokemon.com email address. I'm certain that every email is reviewed, and every issue is taken to heart as much as possible. Please, though, only report issues to which you have first hand knowledge. It makes the entire process that much more efficient.
lol, you can change the settings on your keyboard to influence how fast it repeats itself and how long it takes to start repeating...

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 01:30 PM
I was simply stating a solution to the problem that SD-Pokemom kept bringing up. Its probably not the only solution but was the first I thought of, and obviously did not consider budget. Also, as you stated it would probably only be necessary at big events so it would be something POP invested in for Nationals/ Worlds. I did not intend the topic to veer off into this area, and apologize about it. However if it was going to continue being brought up as if there was no way to avoid spending twenty minutes in between rounds, I felt the need to show that there are indeed ways to trim the time.

Again, my main beef is with the current guidelines and their improvement.
With regards to my more recent posts in this topic, please keep in mind that I can't stand the, "circle the wagons" mentality every time somebody has a complaint about staff (no matter how valid). lol

If you consider that the staff can punch in the winners/losers for every match that has been reported prior to the end of the round, but they can't have the program pair the matches for the next round until everything is in, and then they still get to print up match slips for every match (no small task at something like Nats) and they still have to post the pairings and allow enough time for the players to be seated. . . 20 minutes isn't that insane.
Don't forget that the staff normally has some type of time limit (a rented venue is only rented for a certain amount of time) that players normally aren't even aware of.

Like I said, organized chaos.

Good judges/PTOs make an art out of running an event and if the biggest complaint that anybody has is that there was about 20 minutes between rounds, it was a good day and you had good staff.
Of course, none of that excuses bad judges from being bad judges, but you need to understand that staff at big events don't just sit at a table wearing powdered wigs, talking about the vertical jump of Clefairy.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the constructive comments NoPoke.

This will be my last comment on the round time. While any big changes will probably cost a lot of money, POP clearly has some sort of budget for big expenses if they have two huge inflatable Pikachus. A good printer, while costing a lot would last for some time and perhaps streamline the event a lot more. Of course regular printers would need to be available in case something did go wrong. Anyways, thats my last comment on that sort of thing.

I believe that in a complex situation a player should be able to explain their train of thought clearly to the judge in order to justify their moves. A player will generally have several plans when carrying out a play, such as specific cards they are looking for when searching the deck, and if a judge thinks they are playing too slow, the player should be able to clearly explain their thought process. Simple aimless looking through decks/discards would be identifiable when the player is unable to explain their moves. I realize that a player might not be able to explain their moves with the opponent around so perhaps they could be pulled aside for a minute or two. A judge would then be able to decide whether the move warranted the amount of time that it was taking. (Edit: This would also be more of a 15+ thing I imagine since younger kids might not be able to explain clearly)

Additionally, the slow play penalties as they are, are way to harsh. A prize penalty is crazy in my opinion. There should be several warnings and a clear explanation that the next penalty is going to be a prize or game loss penalty when it gets to that point.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 01:50 PM
Drew its $10,000 for an entry level model . POP would need more than one. Those big inflatables look good value compared to fast continuous laser printers that are only used a couple of times a year :( I would complain bitterly if POP spent that kind of money on printers or if they spent $100,000 on a good one.

PL is the next step up from a warning. As it is the first penalty that really bites it should never be given lightly. But that isn't an arguement that it should never be given. Of course I don't know the specifics of your situation so please don't read this an attack on you when it isn't. I'm still taking in general: warnings can escalate into PL.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 02:00 PM
Drew its $10,000 for an entry level model . POP would need more than one. Those big inflatables look good value compared to fast continuous laser printers that are only used a couple of times a year :( I would complain bitterly if POP spent that kind of money on printers or if they spent $100,000 on a good one.

PL is the next step up from a warning. As it is the first penalty that really bites it should never be given lightly. But that isn't an arguement that it should never be given. Of course I don't know the specifics of your situation so please don't read this an attack on you when it isn't. I'm still taking in general: warnings can escalate into PL.

there are a lot of ways to reduce time/costs, IMO.

instead of printing on 8.5*11, use 8.5*14 (legal)?

why is it 10k for a good printer? what kinds of printers do they have now?
i could buy a a few COPIERS for 10k- where are you getting this info from?


my pops owns a ups store, and im working at one on campus that does ridiculous print jobs. 10,000 dollars is a lot and i dont quite believe that you would need to drop that at all. its printing black and white- a standard hundred dollar computer printer already does about 25ppm- so how long does it take to print off the rosters and walk over to the posters and physically hang them?we don't need 100+ppm if we are printing off 6-10 pages at a time. the speed of the printer is nothing. the 45 seconds it takes to tape the pieces of paper together are nothing.

seriously, how hard is it to print off like 6 or 7 pages and tape them together? the long amounts of time between rounds should have nothing to do with printers or hanging anything up.

in total, with a printer for each age division, the printing should take 1 minute total. print them, in order, tape them. 60 seconds to do. for a thousand bucks you could buy 12 printers and have 6 for masters, 3 for the lower divisions each, and there should be NO PROBLEM printing off really fast. to say it would cost like 10,000 to really speed up the printing process doesn't seem right at all. it neglects basic distribution of tasks. creates a much harder to achieve solution than needed.

Ruiner
07/04/2010, 02:15 PM
Ok, I'll preface this simply: I read the original post, and the first page of responses. I'm not going to pick apart and address specific citations throughout the thread, and try and address the main topic at hand, so if what I am saying is a bit redundant due to what others have already added, I apologize.

First, from having experience both as a player at events, and from working with judges at a variety of levels of events, I can note there is a VAST range of quality amongst judges. There are a number of great judges, and there are a number who I really would not want interfering in my games. I feel this differing in quality is alright at Battle Roads, and City Championships, and even States to a degree, as judges need to start somewhere, and get experience. Very few people can just jump in and be a great judge, they have to get their experience somewhere. I do not feel Nationals is one of those places. I've seen at least a few people at Nationals this year who I felt were far from the best choices to be judging the event. I also saw a good number of great choices.

Sadly, there is no excuse for " subpar judges" at a National level event. I feel that a lot of the staff choicing stems from seniority opposed to how up to date and in practice a judge is within the game currently. The game has really evolved in the past few years. As a result, so have the demands on judging. Let me go on a slight tangent now:

Turns take significantly longer than they did 3 years ago. The problem we are facing lies not in that a majority of players are simply "playing slow", it is simply that the game has evolved into such a complex series of decisions that the 40 minute time cap for a game is simply not realistic. In playtesting, an SP mirror match, with roughly even starts, played between two very good players, can take close to 2 hours to play "to the best of their ability". I understand that time constraints are a necessity, and therefore players have to play faster than desired to compensate. The fact of the matter is this: At a tournament, players are not playing at a "standard pace". They are rushing. To fit a game in 40 minutes, a close game, is requiring players to play outside of their comfort zone. When a very tough situation occurs, due to the stakes of these tournaments, it is completely understandable for players to revert to actually needing to put their full thought into decisions, not using their hasted pace that the time limits enforce. If you have 1,000 dollars on the line, and a tough decision occurs, do you really expect a player to not put their full thought into a crucial move? And is it justified to then judge that speed according to how fast they are pressured to play during less crucial turns? I'll answer that for you: No.

I think the issue is less with the judges, and more with the guidelines they are told to enforce. The current enforced "approach" to pace of play is terribly outdated, and really needs revamped. Lets analyze another popular "game of skill" for a moment.

Look at Chess as an example. Watch any competitive game, at a high level. Is there anything even remotely resembling a "standard pace of play"? The opening turns are near autopilot: They have practiced specific openings down to a tee. Certain moves are instinct. These moves are near instant. Some require a brief analysis, and then a quick move. Then, you have other turns, where a player will sit for an extended period of time ( longer timed games, as long as hours ) analyzing a game state, and then, that players next X number of moves are already pre-determined, and rapid fire in execution. It is better, strategically, to "think ahead" in a game. Moves are not made " one by one", where a standardized "20 seconds per move" would be appropriate, they are interconnected. In order to correctly choose how to resolve a Cyrus's Conspiracy, you have to plan out the next couple of turns. Do you want to stock up on a second PokeTurn for a few turns from now, or the extra Energy Gain? How about the extra Spray? Which is going to optimize your ability to win. SP decks have the crippling issue that every decision is crucial. Due to the strength of an SP decks game depending on its ability to fluidly replace threats, and the extreme number of resources associated with getting them on line, every turn, every tiny decision becomes far more crucial. It isn't like getting out as many of your stage 2 Pokemon as possible and using your best attacks as possible each turn. The way the decks play are so much more intricate than any deck we've seen in the game before. How a player is "judged" while playing this shouldn't be with the same guidelines as someone using a simpler deck. That isn't to mean that deck choice deserves special priveledges in regards to judging: Its simply re-enforcing that it isn't turn length that should be the primary focus on determining "stalling", but whether a player is actually STALLING. It is a different set of guidelines that needs to be addressed when making the decision as to whether a player is actively thinking and contemplating, or merely eating up time.

Returning to Chess, a game of pure skill and no luck: the approach taken by Chess Masters, and Grand Masters is one where you take a long period to plan a series of turns, then execute them. If you are playing GOOD POKEMON, you are doing the same. The idea that a player should be restricted to a monotonous 20 seconds between every play is completely counter-intuitive to how good in game strategic processes occur. If a player is fortunate enough to be able to rush through a good number of turns on "autopilot", it isn't right to then punish them for actually having to take a long turn.

If neither player has an objection to the play of pace within a game, I firmly believe that a judge has no right to intervene. It has already been stated that it is unreasonable to have judges at every table to watch every game, so it is a necessary evil that Judges have to summarize a scenario based on what they were able to witness. Its a required "margin of error" when dealing with judging decisions. A judge is forced to see a small "snapshot" of the game. I understand this has to be. But if your admitting such handicaps, shouldn't it also be obvious that a players opponent is actually a better judge of how the opponent has been playing? You know, the person who actually has been watching the game the entire time?

If both players are comfortable and experienced in the game, there should not be unneeded judge interjection. This is a much greyer area regarding new players, or those who may be too timid or inexperienced to handle the situation correctly. By the time you are in the top 128 of Nationals though, these types of interference really are not called for. If you have Pooka vs Ness in the finals of a tournament, they are perfectly capable of maintaining their own game.

Having played a lot of tournaments in the past few years, let me point something out: There is less Stalling than the current witch hunt calls for us to believe. A majority of "issues" that get judge attention are not actually a player stalling. I honestly feel that more undeserved penalties have been given than instance of stalling "caught" based on the current guidelines.

This brings me back to the point that, despite the fact that yes, I feel there are some judges who are a bit suspect, that the problem isn't in the judges performance as a whole. Its easy to dwell on the bad decisions ( and yes I feel there have been quite a few ) because those stand out far more than the less impactful " good" decisions. And at that point, it is easy to take those complaints over situations and turn them into a blanket opinion of the staff as a whole.

The issue is the suggested "guidelines" to how to approach judging. I feel this is a scenario of killing the messenger. The problem is the message. While the approach may have worked fine in 2006, the game is vastly different now. The approach is outdated and needs overhauled.

Now, I've addressed my "criticisms" and offered very few "solutions" yet. That is because the solution isn't clear. I do feel it is clear we have a problem. I think that the problem hasn't been addressed due to the fact that both sides involved have turned it into a personal issue: " bad judges" are not the same as " bad guidelines" and clearly, when the people who have the most influence over policy feel like they are being personally attacked, the odds of change coming from it are low. I will try and come up with my ideas for what should be a good change of policy, and post them shortly. Until then, there is some food for thought. I'm headed out with friends to go see fireworks later, but heres another tidbit to look into. Look up the Kotov Syndrome. Then, consider its application to Pokemon, and how the time limit, and the more hawking pressure/presence of judges can impact that.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 02:24 PM
Ryan the suggestion from Drew was for continuous feed printers as a method to eliminate the taping step. It would work too if you can buy a fast enough continuous feed printer. Which do exist. The problem is the price.

1300 players. At 50 players match records per page that is 26 pages, times how ever many copies are posted to avoid crowding. I'll guess at four copies so that is 100+ pages each round just on match records. With four computers and a single printer on each you need a throughput of at least 25ppm. You also have to factor in the first page out delay that makes increasing the number of printers not as effective as it appears. The print step is probably going to take 2 minutes from button push on TOM to paper grab from the output tray of the printer. This has to be completed twice between rounds so is a fifth of the 20 minute between round turnaround time.

The printers are on the critical path. Taping is on the critical path. Getting to the display stations is on the critical path... No individual step takes a lot of time but they all add up because they are all on the critical path. Which was why I addressed Drews suggestion of eliminating the taping step with a different print technology. It works but comes at a heavy price. I didn't point out that it doesn't eliminate a lot of time but as you have done so I don't need to.

Division of labour works too but the supply of labour between rounds is not unlimited. Division of labour has its limits too: if it takes 1 person 10 minutes to do a task how long does it take two? How about ten?


The idea that a player should be restricted to a monotonous 20 seconds between every play is completely counter-intuitive to how good in game strategic processes occur Where is this idea coming from. Not from me or other staff I've associated with. Isn't there just a possibility that it is a straw man that is coming from the players?

Yoshi-
07/04/2010, 02:31 PM
I wonder where you got the kotov syndrome term from :P

I absolutly agree with this post. Unfortunatly timeout is always a nasty thing, one player will always feel like he got betrayed or cheated. Id so love to play a tournament without timeout (or a timeout that just happenes in extreme cases like 2 hours(shedinja)). What do you guys think, how long would a round take without timeout?

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 02:49 PM
I feel like they are probably just being inefficient. How are the match slips being printed?

On 8.5*11 pages, then being cut? I hope not. There are lots of small printers, ones on the scale of printing out 3x5, and it seems like these would be ideal for printing. Thermal printing would be really nice as well. You can buy a nice thermal printer for 200 bucks. 5 thermal printers printing 'receipts' of much slips at " Up to 354.3 inch/min Up to 472.4 inch/min - max speed" with built-in cutter (that leaves a tiny attachment between the pieces- no more cutting, simply unroll and hand em out). I just don't see how this can be a problem, and don't see how 10,000 would be needed to fix the problem ;). 1300 players, at about 6 inches for a match slip is about 7800 inches of printed material (match slips) per round. Let's say we have 5 thermal printers doing 360 in/min- all the match slips are done printing in 5 minutes. That's at the minimum speed with 5 new thermal printers- getting them used or in bulk would further reduce the price. As far as the rosters- that should be a piece of cake. 500 bucks for 5 new printers doing 25ppm is more than enough. Tape em up in 15 seconds (each- *5, and how many are you even doing? probably not too many more than 10 sets or so) and walk over to hang them. That's 1500 bucks for all new equipment to print everything off in like 5 minutes or less for any task. Thermal receipt paper isn't that much money either. ( http://www.amazon.com/Thermal-Paper-Receipt-Printers-carton/dp/B0035OOWNE ) 50 rolls for 17 bucks, 960in a roll. This 16 bucks would last 6 rounds. You could probably do all of Nationals on 100 rolls.



You don't need a continuous feed printer- a lot of the excess time could/should be trimmed by better distribution of labor. I wonder how many and what types of printers and computers and budget they are allocating, and if it couldn't be done better or more efficiently? Time is a huge issue- imagine if we could cut down this large amount of time in between rounds- the issue of slow playing would be a lot less important.

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 02:58 PM
if you have Kotov syndrome then you are thinking too much. :D

thermal printer technology is S..L..O...W (I used to service industrial thermal printers)

and so it doesn't feel like I'm just being negative and critical of your ideas. The switch to legal should be considered as that ought to work.

PokePop
07/04/2010, 03:05 PM
Ryan: I've worked a huge number of big events. Both for WotC and for Pokemon.
A 20 minute turnaround, including seating time, for an event the size of US Nationals is not an issue.
Half, if not more, of that time is the players finding their seating assignment, getting to it, getting set up and ready to play.
You're putting a significant portion of the time onto one element.
It just ain't gonna make a significant difference.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 03:17 PM
For the record, I was not including sit down time in my 20-30 minutes. Also, different printers is just one possible suggestion on how to cut down time. I'm sure there are more options.

evil psyduck
07/04/2010, 03:19 PM
Then explain what exactly are you including in that time? When do you consider a round as being over?

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 03:21 PM
The time from when all the matches are over and the seating area is empty until the next rounds pairings go up.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 03:32 PM
Ryan: I've worked a huge number of big events. Both for WotC and for Pokemon.
A 20 minute turnaround, including seating time, for an event the size of US Nationals is not an issue.
Half, if not more, of that time is the players finding their seating assignment, getting to it, getting set up and ready to play.
You're putting a significant portion of the time onto one element.
It just ain't gonna make a significant difference.

I was referring to
posts 46 (http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1750708&postcount=46) and 48 (http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1750719&postcount=48)

I wasn't trying to put the significance there- it seems others did? I really hope it's something other than the printing and posting that is taking up the large amounts of time between rounds- but that was the main defense raised. Sometimes it's even longer, pushing 30+minutes... Moreso last year.

We wonder why.

Chairman Kaga
07/04/2010, 03:37 PM
Ryan has hit on one of the main problems. Most judges adhere to the guidelines very strictly when most of the time they should not do so.

This is backwards thinking, really. The guidelines are there for a reason, and as a head judge I need a very good justification to deviate from them.


A states where 3 people were all discovered to have decklists that were off by one or two cards:
The 2 local players got to keep playing and the out of state player got a DQ.
Some PTOs and Judges circled the wagons and started shouting that there was nothing wrong about how it was handled.

I quote this as an excellent example of the above point. Without being involved I will assume that there was a good reason behind the scenes, but on the surface this looks like playing favorites. The penalty recommendations exist in large part to help temper some of the inherent subjectivity of penalties, and to help encourage more consistency across all judges at all events. That in turn helps prevent situations from looking like this.

Any time I choose to go with something other than the recommended penalty, I make my reasoning clear to the player and write that same reasoning on the penalty report I submit to Organized Play. If it's a Junior player, I try to involve the parent as well, so there is understanding with all parties. The parent can also help when a particularly harsh penalty is simply mandated by the situation.


People don't have problems with all judges (not the sane people anyways), but there are bad judges that simply continue to be bad judges and it seems like just about every staff-oriented person on Pokegym jumps in to defend the staff of any other event, regardless of what happened.

I wholly agree there are some judges out there that have no business being in the role. These are also not the judges you are going to find at Nationals level. (Yes, as much as we want to complain about some select judges at Nationals, there is far worse out there.) But bad judges are just problems anywhere they go. Poor judging discourages growth. If a bad judge does it one way at a Battle Road, then you (as a newer tournament player) step up to the next tier (with competent judges) and find something completely different, you might just decide that this game isn't worth the hassle.

The good news is that there are initiatives being developed to improve judge training and consistency. But these take time to deploy, and even then there are (sadly) some judges that are simply not among the teachable.

My personal goal is to ensure that myself and all of my judge staff are capable of operating at the Nationals level. Even if they never do get invited to that, I want to see consistent judging from the local level all the way up to the highest tier of play. The penalties assessed may differ between a Battle Road (Tier 1) and a Regional (Tier 2), but the level and quality of the judging behind them should not.


If you consider that the staff can punch in the winners/losers for every match that has been reported prior to the end of the round, but they can't have the program pair the matches for the next round until everything is in, and then they still get to print up match slips for every match (no small task at something like Nats) and they still have to post the pairings and allow enough time for the players to be seated. . . 20 minutes isn't that insane.

QFT. The next round can't be paired until every result from the prior round is in. That means waiting on time extensions, sudden deaths, etc. This is also why they are reticent to give time extensions except in the most egregious of cases.

20 minutes is a pretty good turnaround on an 800+ person event. People that are complaining about it have some rather unrealistic ideas on how such a large event should operate.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 03:38 PM
so now it's not the '20 minutes' but a LONGER time?

more reasons: re-pairings? match result corrections? unsigned match slips whose results need to be verified? slips with no winner circled, or both players circled? drops/no shows/'oh, i changed my mind i don't want to drop after all' slips?

...and of course this is all going to be STAFF fault of course since TOM entry should be perfect every time...

'mom

PokeDad
07/04/2010, 03:51 PM
Chronological postings:


Take all complaints to OP via their email. Customerservice@pokemon.com works.


If you still believe an error was made, email OP and tell them. Customerservice@pokemon.com


If you feel that a judge is detrimental to your area, we need to know about it so that we can look ino the situation and come to our own conclusions.


Plain and simple, if a Judge messes things up and makes bad calls, TPCi won't bring them back.


If you have a specific problem with a judge, a ruling, an attitude, a behavior, then write the powers that be and be as specific as you can; Customerservice@pokemon.com is where you send your message.


If you as a Player have a specific concern about a particular Judge, feel free to contact Customerservice@pokemon.com and let them know. When using the link, be specific to the situation YOU encountered and how it was dealt with…we are continually evolving and this includes the Admin area. You the Players help that, but only when done correctly which is using: customerservice@pokemon.com.


If you as a Player have a specific concern(s) about a particular Judge, feel free to contact Customerservice@pokemon.com and let them know. When using the link, be specific to the situation YOU encountered and how it was dealt with.


if there are any problems with the Judging staff or with one Judge in particular, email PCI using their customerservice@pokemon.com email address. I'm certain that every email is reviewed, and every issue is taken to heart as much as possible. Please, though, only report issues to which you have first hand knowledge.


here are bad judges that simply continue to be bad judges and it seems like just about every staff-oriented person on Pokegym jumps in to defend the staff of any other event, regardless of what happened.

People have trouble with the growing, "blue wall of silence" mentality in regards to how staffing issues are handled.

When a topic comes up where somebody was harassed by a judge at an event and I can safely assume that there will be at least one post attacking the victim for not doing enough to fix a problem that shouldn't have ever existed, then something is seriously wrong.

People are potentially missing trips to worlds over bad judging calls and they are attacked for it because of some notion that anything against one judge is something against all judges.

After all of those people bringing up real problems and being attacked for it, groups of people are finally asking why there are constant issues with judges and now the good judges are picking up a persecution complex over something that was never aimed at them in the first place.

There will always be whiners who get angry when a judge makes a good call and it costs them a game, but creating a wall to shield yourselves from addressing real problems is seen as less than satisfactory by many people it would seem.

The judges at Nats and Worlds are as dedicated to being as close to perfect as possible, and acknowledging that mistakes can be made most of the judges are good and smart enough to check their egos at the door and seek ruling confirmation from other judges, guidelines, and any other resource available.

Every judge I know would point you to TPCi with any judge complaints or criticisms. Hopefully, judges who make mistakes can get the training they need, and unrepentantly bad judges - the ones many of you describe - can be identified and moved into other staff or volunteer roles.

Over and over, judges have come into these threads and asked you, told you, cajoled you, everything but begged you to contact TPCi directly with your specific recounting of firsthand experiences.

If you have been critical of judges in any of the three ongoing threads being used to air complaints about and criticisms of judges, perhaps you critical posters can post the time and date of your sent message to TPCi. Im sure it predates your post here; I expect each of you are responsible members of the Pokemon community, as dedicated to improving the game as the people above who provided the address to send your comments.

I can not imagine an instance where a person simply posted complaints here, but without any real interest in improving our game - having failed to provide specific instances of judge malfeasance to TPCi.

I included Jeremy's quote above for contrast. Jeremy, a typical poster from the 'complaints aplenty with a heathy dash of insult' camp, has chosen to ignore the multiple attempts by judges to have players contact TPCi directly. There is no 'blue wall of silence,' our shirts were red, we are involved in vigorous debate, and we have asked you over and over again to become involved in improving a situation that, seemingly, a number of you persist in claiming is near intolerable and all pervasive.

I do appreciate that a number of our more experienced, more intelligent, and more responsible posters have tried to interject a little balance into this thread. It is not only greatly appreciated, but it lends greater weight to any criticisms you make.

Although this thread did not go where I had hoped, I imagine I was too optimistic that the entire original post would be read, this has been another illuminating thread, offering a glimpse into the various perspectives that exist in our game.

Agree or not, thanks for posting.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 03:55 PM
This is backwards thinking, really. The guidelines are there for a reason, and as a head judge I need a very good justification to deviate from them.
The good justification might be the PURPOSE of the rules/guidelines? If both players are satisfied with the pace- why are you overstepping your boundaries and undermining your very purpose by intruding and assigning a penalty (this is a general you)? The guidelines are there to help explain what might constitute, and what is usually an acceptable amount of time. They should not determine, but should help determine when slow play is occurring, as I said earlier. When you begin to mold your thoughts and purposes around the law/rules, it shows a problem. The guidelines are the help- you should remember that.


I quote this as an excellent example of the above point. Without being involved I will assume that there was a good reason behind the scenes, but on the surface this looks like playing favorites. The penalty recommendations exist in large part to help temper some of the inherent subjectivity of penalties, and to help encourage more consistency across all judges at all events. That in turn helps prevent situations from looking like this.

Any time I choose to go with something other than the recommended penalty, I make my reasoning clear to the player and write that same reasoning on the penalty report I submit to Organized Play. If it's a Junior player, I try to involve the parent as well, so there is understanding with all parties. The parent can also help when a particularly harsh penalty is simply mandated by the situation.



I wholly agree there are some judges out there that have no business being in the role. These are also not the judges you are going to find at Nationals level. (Yes, as much as we want to complain about some select judges at Nationals, there is far worse out there.) But bad judges are just problems anywhere they go. Poor judging discourages growth. If a bad judge does it one way at a Battle Road, then you (as a newer tournament player) step up to the next tier (with competent judges) and find something completely different, you might just decide that this game isn't worth the hassle.

The good news is that there are initiatives being developed to improve judge training and consistency. But these take time to deploy, and even then there are (sadly) some judges that are simply not among the teachable.

My personal goal is to ensure that myself and all of my judge staff are capable of operating at the Nationals level. Even if they never do get invited to that, I want to see consistent judging from the local level all the way up to the highest tier of play. The penalties assessed may differ between a Battle Road (Tier 1) and a Regional (Tier 2), but the level and quality of the judging behind them should not.



QFT. The next round can't be paired until every result from the prior round is in. That means waiting on time extensions, sudden deaths, etc. This is also why they are reticent to give time extensions except in the most egregious of cases.

20 minutes is a pretty good turnaround on an 800+ person event. People that are complaining about it have some rather unrealistic ideas on how such a large event should operate.

That would be great if that made any sense. Drew and others said IN BETWEEN rounds. Time extensions and sudden deaths mean, inherently, that the round isn't over. He even clarified himself and said the time between the playing area being EMPTY and the time the player pairings are put up for the next round. Using any defense like waiting on time extensions is just wrong. No wonder you think you're right- you completely misrepresent everything lol.



so now it's not the '20 minutes' but a LONGER time?
Yeah, it's any amount of time. I know I've waited longer than 20 minutes in between rounds. I know I've waited more than 30 minutes.


more reasons: re-pairings? match result corrections? unsigned match slips whose results need to be verified? slips with no winner circled, or both players circled? drops/no shows/'oh, i changed my mind i don't want to drop after all' slips?
Most, if not all, of those are bad points. Slips with incorrect results? Unsigned slips? The vast majority of those problems and matches (actually, the vast majority of all matches) finish under 40 minutes. Id say more a large portion finish with at least ten minutes left. Before the round is even over the 40 minute mark most of the slips should be reported, etc. Not only should those physical slip discrepancies be dealt with AT THE TABLE (why is a runner getting a slip that isnt properly noted?) and never make their way to the computers, but the minute number that actually do make it that far should make it there well before the round is even over- before extensions and rulings, etc.

I can see a re-pairing needing 5 minutes or so to work on. I still don't see a justification for a 30 minute break in between rounds- and this is NOT counting any time AFTER the pairings are posted or before ALL games are completed for an age division.




It's not that I think any of the staff is lazy or anything. But we do have a right to wonder why it takes so long at times. There is probably great reasoning- I just don't think we've seen good arguments yet. My/our? guess is that the process is probably a bit inefficient.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 04:13 PM
the US nats events have gotten bigger and bigger each and every year...but as a whole round turn-times have NOT gotten longer, but shorter.

sure there's the always the few exception rounds to the rule, but imo this past nats was the smoothest-running one of all the ones i've staffed (since 2005).

'inefficient', really? =/

'mom

NoPoke
07/04/2010, 04:23 PM
I'm sure the process is inefficient with 1300+ people involved that is just about guaranteed. My guess as to what goes wrong is that small errors take lots of time to discover and fix.

-----

One way to speed up between round times would be to not bother with posting match records and have players live with whatever was on the slips.

Incorrect slips could be treated as double losses rather than try to resolve the outcome.

Players accepting a small error rate on match results as entered into TOM would help. Entry errors could be corrected after the round starts but would not change the pairings.

------

Time - Cost - Quality . You can have any two without too much difficulty. All three is hard.

All of the suggestions I made trade off quality against time. The continuous printer suggestion trades cost vs time. I'm sure there are others. Note that I'm not advocating any of the quick suggestions as a solution. Trade Offs aren't really solutions.

Lawman
07/04/2010, 04:29 PM
For the record, I was not including sit down time in my 20-30 minutes. Also, different printers is just one possible suggestion on how to cut down time. I'm sure there are more options.

We have 40 min rds. Every rd had games go to SD in MAs. Dont forget about games w/ extensions. As HJ, I had to keep my personal stopwatch going to call out time for the games with ext's. I then left the timer going until the next rd was paired and players filing in to the seats. The ave was 1 hr. to 1 hr 5 mins every rd, except one with the repair issue.

Keith

EDIT: I will add. The rd when we had the repair in one flight, we started the other flight as quick as we could. The flight with the repair started 7 mins later.

ryanvergel
07/04/2010, 05:39 PM
the US nats events have gotten bigger and bigger each and every year...but as a whole round turn-times have NOT gotten longer, but shorter.

sure there's the always the few exception rounds to the rule, but imo this past nats was the smoothest-running one of all the ones i've staffed (since 2005).

'inefficient', really? =/

'mom

i will agree with the bolded

iamapwnda
07/04/2010, 05:59 PM
I thought Nationals was a relatively well-judged event overall. There were definitely some exceptions but when the whole judging committee got together to decide stuff I felt it was mostly unbiased and consistent with the rulebook. Definitely though it is hard to tell which judges are good and to even get a lot of candidates to judge in the first place, look at FIFA and the terrible refs in the World Cup, they probably pay the refs tons of Euros and screen from a pool of thousands of decades-long experienced people, and they still screwed up so many important calls. I think it's unrealistic to expect judging quality to be any better than it was at the past Nationals, but maybe some better systems for censuring judges, disputing rulings, and more fair rules could help things.

Lawman
07/04/2010, 06:14 PM
The main problem is that none of the judges have any idea how to play at a high level and therefore are completely unqualified to tell when someone is playing slow. I haven't seen the guidelines for slow play, but based upon how the penalty was called at Nationals, they are horrible and honestly need to be completely redone. The amount of time it takes to do a move changes significantly depending on what the game situation is and any set time limit guideline is utter BS as a result.

For example, a prize penalty was called on me during top 128 after I did a thirty-five second Cyrus's Conspiracy. The game was incredibly close (3-3 on prizes) and my decisions for the Cyrus's would have an incredible impact on how the game would carry out. First off, thirty-five seconds isn't even long for a Cyrus's in my opinion since a player has to make three significant choices. In my deck alone I played three different types of basic energy, five different supporters and four different TGI cards. The numbers of possible combinations is vast and combined with state of the game at that moment, I probably could have justified taking a much longer time in making the decisions. The judge however thought differently, and when I appealed to the Head Judge it didn't seem like they cared about my side of the story at all. The said something along the lines of "Well its been a prize penalty all day, so I'm not going to make any exceptions." Also for the record, my opponent had not complained once and had nothing to offer when asked about the situation. Now, I don't know if any of the judges involved in the situation have any high level play experience, but I highly doubt it considering how completely justifiable my play was considering the card and game situation.

The number of complaints against judges, particularly about how slow play is handled, would dramatically decrease if they had any idea how to actually recognize improper slow play. The player reaction, as noted by the OP, has been almost universally horrible so clearly something needs to be done by POP to rectify the situation. I would suggest better guidelines as a start and probably better judge training. The head judge in my situation had clearly already made up his mind to support his judge before he even reached the table. This should obviously not always be the case. I know this judge will probably come and share his thoughts (Lawman, I believe) but I'm just calling it like I see it.

If you had even taken the time to read the penalty guidelines, I would make a better response. Bottom line, we as judges know and acknowledge that the FIRST deck search will and should be the longest. A good player will go thru the contents of the deck and know what at least 4 of his prizes will be, A player that doesnt do this sets themselves up for a major game play error on their part bc they will play/look for X card when they should have known already it was prized. I didnt need "time walk" to know what my prizes generally were (on the times I get to play).

To say the judges dont understand the gamestate is like me saying you Drew, dont know how to play your SP deck properly. That would be ridiculous. Likewise, as an ACTIVE judge (again, the way we are told to judge per the guidelines AND TPCi OP brass), I dont need a player to signal me to watch pace of play. We watch this already. But, we do appreciate and NEED players to call us over to observe pace when they feel it isnt going as fairly as it should be.

I will "call it as I see it" Drew. You state we may need better guidelines, but you admit that you dont know them yourself! Wow....how does one debate with an unarmed man? As to your particular ruling, those circumstances were specifically discussed in staff meetings pre tourney and again, going into rds 8, 9 and topcut. Mid/late game searches when you have Cyrus'd 2 times before, used SP radar, communication, bebe's etc. How long should we let you search after 5-8 prior searches?? Sorry, YOU dont get to choose how long. That would be unfair to your oppo. Ask Kettler.,,,,I'm sure he wishes his oppo played a BIT faster as time was called on his oppo's turn and he lost. Kettler then asked for a time extension. Nope....too late. The rules are clear. Next time you want to "flame on", please come prepared with more than "the top players know how to play and judges shouldnt stick their noses in". I'll remember that when you have an event cancelled near you bc no one was around to "judge".

Keith

---------- Post added 07/04/2010 at 09:17 PM ----------


I thought Nationals was a relatively well-judged event overall. There were definitely some exceptions but when the whole judging committee got together to decide stuff I felt it was mostly unbiased and consistent with the rulebook. Definitely though it is hard to tell which judges are good and to even get a lot of candidates to judge in the first place, look at FIFA and the terrible refs in the World Cup, they probably pay the refs tons of Euros and screen from a pool of thousands of decades-long experienced people, and they still screwed up so many important calls. I think it's unrealistic to expect judging quality to be any better than it was at the past Nationals, but maybe some better systems for censuring judges, disputing rulings, and more fair rules could help things.

And maybe we need to censor "bad/sloppy" players too? Or just the slow playing ones? You know, tourneys would be alot more efficient if players stopped screwing up gamestates like using a trainer with spiritomb active, claydoling w/o claydol on the field, shuffling their hand away, drawing extra cards, etc etc.

We should really only let the "good" players come play at Nats. :nonono:/end sarcasm

Keith

Box of Fail
07/04/2010, 06:19 PM
One of the biggest issues is judge intervention without complaint from either player. Quite frankly, if I know my opponent is cheating (just for the sake of an extreme example), and I don't call a judge, not only is it my fault, but I don't feel a judge should have the right to assign a penalty to my opponent without my consent, even if the tolerance of foul play is doing a disservice to other potential victims. If I have no objection, he could be drawing five cards a turn for no reason for all I care - should I allow him, a judge should not step in and set the game right. And I certainly don't want a warning myself for failure to maintain the game state, which under the current rules I most certainly would receive.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 06:22 PM
One of the biggest issues is judge intervention without complaint from either player. Quite frankly, if I know my opponent is cheating (just for the sake of an extreme example), and I don't call a judge, not only is it my fault, but I don't feel a judge should have the right to assign a penalty to my opponent without my consent, even if the tolerance of foul play is doing a disservice to other potential victims. If I have no objection, he could be drawing five cards a turn for no reason for all I care - should I allow him, a judge should not step in and set the game right. And I certainly don't want a warning myself for failure to maintain the game state, which under the current rules I most certainly would receive.you have GOT to be kidding me...=/ so much for integrity of an event...

'mom

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 06:32 PM
I included Jeremy's quote above for contrast. Jeremy, a typical poster from the 'complaints aplenty with a heathy dash of insult' camp, has chosen to ignore the multiple attempts by judges to have players contact TPCi directly. There is no 'blue wall of silence,' our shirts were red, we are involved in vigorous debate, and we have asked you over and over again to become involved in improving a situation that, seemingly, a number of you persist in claiming is near intolerable and all pervasive..
In all fairness, I've actually been pretty nice lately. I do admit that a little too much of the old angry vet bitterness comes through at points though. lol
In this topic I've been pointing out that while I do dislike some things, the staff at major events bends over backwards to create a great experience.
I say that as somebody who has done a bit of judging (I used to judge all the time before I went to work for Uncle Sam).

The only times that I ever had a negative experience with staff at any event, I made sure to contact WotC/POP (depending who was running things at the time).

That being said, if you really want me to quote a number of posts where PTOs/judges attack people who complained about a bad judging call, I can do that (I'd rather that fact can be accepted as fact without people screaming, "prove it" every time somebody says the sky is blue though).

If you noticed, the phrase, "blue wall of silence" was actually a link to the wikipedia page for it.
It is very applicable to how some people on here act the moment that anybody questions anything that a PTO/judge may or may not have done.
Even knowing nothing of the situation, some people around these parts like to attack people who are unsure of judging calls at a given event.

Once again, not all PTOs/judges fall into that one, but you probably won't convince anybody that none of the event-staffers on this site behave in that manner.

I am very sympathetic towards the staff, but I'm still going to have concerns when a judge refuses to consult the compendium for a ruling (no judge is infallible).

With all of that being said, please remember that I was not specifically talking about the staffing at any one event.
Good judges/PTOs are some of the hardest working people I've met (and I have met more than a few of them) and for all they product they may get from running all of those events, they also don't get too much use out of that product because they are running all the events. They are the first ones at an event and the last ones out at the end of the night.
That being said, bad judges are still bad judges and yes, it will leave a bitter taste in a player's mouth when they get shafted by a bad judge, just to be attacked for daring to be a victim when they bring it up on pokegym.

EDIT:


you have GOT to be kidding me...=/ so much for integrity of an event...

'mom
After reading Box of Fail's post, all I can say is, THIS.
With passive judging, you get lots and lots of problems that could have been corrected earlier had they been caught.

Box of Fail, let's run with that one and see what happens. . .
B.O.F.: "Judge! I just noticed that my opponent has been cheating and using two Cosmic Powers with only one Claydol for most of the game"
Opponent: "No I haven't"
Judge: "Since I can't actively judge, I don't know who is lying. . . so I'll just keep on eye on the game from this point on".

Wow, that sounds like fun (for people who try to cheat their way to the top maybe).

Box of Fail
07/04/2010, 07:03 PM
That's not what I meant at all. A judge can come in and ask a question or point out a mistake; I merely object to the assignment of penalties if I subsequently ask for the judge to be lax on my cheating opponent.

Judge: Hey, you have six benched Pokémon dude. How long has that been for?
Oppo: Only two turns.
Judge: Did you use Cosmic Power since benching that sixth Pokémon?
Oppo: Yes.
Judge: Was it deliberate?
Oppo: (for argument's sake) Yes, I thought I could get away with it. I'm sorry.
Judge: I'm sorry but that's a disqualification, which also means a game loss for this round.
Me: I'd prefer if you let it slide. My opponent's a good guy at heart. I don't want an unearned win.
Judge: Cheating is damaging to the event as a whole. By letting it slide you are disrupting the whole tournament and setting up more potential victims. I will assign the penalty regardless of your wishes, for the good of the game.

THIS is what I object to. Judges taking matters into their own hands when the so-called 'victim' of the cheating act is not offended.

Top Cut Comics
07/04/2010, 07:10 PM
I have read EVERY single post in this thread.... It is a lot to absorb....

I will try to help bridge the gap between player and Judge....

One thing before I go any further.... Its funny how all the bandwagon players have stopped posting in this thread when the Judges were asking for solutions to their problems. It’s easy to criticize when everyone else is doing it. Not so easy to offer up good arguments or solutions. I would love to see the roles reversed.

Drew, Ryan, Chris, You guys are awesome, and bring up some very valid points. I am going to touch on some of them below.

As a player, there is a clear difference between “slow playing” and simply “playing slowly”. Player experience is what usually determines the difference. The longer a player has been playing, the better they are at controlling all the possible win conditions, including the clock. Unfortunately, the current guidelines do not separate the two classifications. It will not allow a judge to discriminate between a new player (who simply doesn’t know what he is doing and taking long turns) or an experienced player (who knows advanced strats and needs time to think them thru). This rule is good for this very reason.

Prior to the match time change, to 40 minutes, Pokemon has unintentionally allowed its players to stall as a legitimate win condition. Judges were ignorant to this as a very obtainable win condition for many decks. Then we increased round time to 40 minutes and stalling became less of a factor. It became even less of a factor when GG was sent to tier 2. Games are considerably faster than they EVER were in the past. Problem is, some judges are just now catching on that stalling WAS a problem and now it seems to be the “topic of the month” which makes them prowl for it a little more.

Judges have to be very careful though. If they do not interject when they see the game slowing, they are accused of allowing a player to “stall out” another player. But if they do interject, they are criticized much worse. Where is the right answer? I think training all players to call a judge for potential slow playing EARLY IN THE MATCH is a must. Otherwise you leave it to the judges observations. Just like in boxing, you don’t want to leave it in the judges hands.

Drew, I had the same issue as you at worlds 2008. I had a terrible judge manning the table I was sitting at and issued me a warning on my first turn for taking too long on my Roseanne’s. You and I both know that what you set t1 vs. a particular matchup can determine a winner. I was so heated. I asked for the head judge and explained that my opponent was not at all concerned about the time I was taking, why should the judge be? He clearly pointed it out. No difference between slow playing and playing slowly. I hated to hear it but he was right. To avoid further problems with the same judge I asked that another judge monitor my table to avoid any retaliation from this particular judge later in the match. The head judge agreed and had the judge moved. No more problems after that.

I personally like the guidelines as they are set up. I will explain this comment below….

Mom, Pop, Keith, you guys have done some great things for the game AND its players. I will try and show the other side below....

The problem is that we have not gone back and re-evaluated the way players are using time during a match. I would be willing to bet that a seriously small portion of the player base has lost a game on time due to blatant stalling since the time change. Only seems that some judges may still be holding players to the same level as when stalling was predominate. It seems to me that we are a little behind the game when it comes to time evaluation. I think this is something that PUI will look into and make a decision based on what is best for all involved. Players, Judges, PTO’s and overall venue time.

If there were no guidelines, where does it stop? A player could literally play a trainer and think, play an energy and think, play a supporter and think, claydol, think, think some more then think. You are really opening a HUGE can of worms for all players to completly take advantage of. I completely agree with you Chris, that the SP mirror is extremely complex. However, if it cant be played within the guidelines that are set, it should NOT be a choice for said player. Sorry man, I am not taking anything away from Drew’s ability as a player. I know he is one of the best to ever play. However, there are people who currently play SP within the guidelines that are set and who are also successful doing so. The guidelines do not need to be changed, as this will effect everyone. Possibly another deck choice would be a better play. If this were not Drew we were talking about you would have to agree. Think about it. Especially if you were on the other side of the table and a bad player had an SP deck. Then you proceed to lose because he had to “think” about every move. You would not be happy.

People, judges bust their humps at these events for all of us. Sure there are some terrible ones out there. However, without the players sending in feedback to PUI, NOTHING will be done to them. You all have the voices to ensure that poor judges are no longer judging. I simply don’t see anyone using it properly. Coming to the gym and spamming up a thread is NOT how you ensure you have excellent judges at the next event. Emailing any issues to PUI with specifics will do just that. Now that I am on the other side of the table, I can assure all of you, PUI does listen to its players.

One last thing…. Something as simple as announcing to all players that there are still “X” in sudden death could really decrease the amount of complaints from players about lag time between rounds. I would say nearly all players who have finished before time are less apt to blame the tournament staff for lag time if they are informed of “WHY” the time is lagging. A simple announcement like….. “3 matches still in sudden death” could go a long way.

Jimmy

---------- Post added 07/04/2010 at 09:16 PM ----------


That's not what I meant at all. A judge can come in and ask a question or point out a mistake; I merely object to the assignment of penalties if I subsequently ask for the judge to be lax on my cheating opponent.

Judge: Hey, you have six benched Pokémon dude. How long has that been for?
Oppo: Only two turns.
Judge: Did you use Cosmic Power since benching that sixth Pokémon?
Oppo: Yes.
Judge: Was it deliberate?
Oppo: (for argument's sake) Yes, I thought I could get away with it. I'm sorry.
Judge: I'm sorry but that's a disqualification, which also means a game loss for this round.
Me: I'd prefer if you let it slide. My opponent's a good guy at heart. I don't want an unearned win.
Judge: Cheating is damaging to the event as a whole. By letting it slide you are disrupting the whole tournament and setting up more potential victims. I will assign the penalty regardless of your wishes, for the good of the game.

THIS is what I object to. Judges taking matters into their own hands when the so-called 'victim' of the cheating act is not offended.


Sorry for the double post....

So if someone is robbing a bank and no one is offended.... Should the police NOT get involved. Most adults call it being PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. Most judges are trying to ensure no wrongs go without being addressed.

Think of the larger picture. If we allow this player to "get away with it" that sets a presedence for all other players to feel like they should also receive that treatment. Just because you dont have a problem with it, doesnt mean the rest of the player base will feel like you do. You obviously must feel like you could win that particular game as well. Otherwise, I highly doubt you would let that slide. If you let it slide once are you willing to let it slide every time?

Think.... LARGER PICTURE....
Jimmy

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 07:18 PM
That's not what I meant at all. A judge can come in and ask a question or point out a mistake; I merely object to the assignment of penalties if I subsequently ask for the judge to be lax on my cheating opponent.

Judge: Hey, you have six benched Pokémon dude. How long has that been for?
Oppo: Only two turns.
Judge: Did you use Cosmic Power since benching that sixth Pokémon?
Oppo: Yes.
Judge: Was it deliberate?
Oppo: (for argument's sake) Yes, I thought I could get away with it. I'm sorry.
Judge: I'm sorry but that's a disqualification, which also means a game loss for this round.
Me: I'd prefer if you let it slide. My opponent's a good guy at heart. I don't want an unearned win.
Judge: Cheating is damaging to the event as a whole. By letting it slide you are disrupting the whole tournament and setting up more potential victims. I will assign the penalty regardless of your wishes, for the good of the game.

THIS is what I object to. Judges taking matters into their own hands when the so-called 'victim' of the cheating act is not offended.
it's not all about you: it's about the integrity of the event as a whole. not to mention the next victim, or the ones in the previous rounds...

if you want to play by 'anything goes' house rules, play elsewhere than in a sanctioned premier event with substantial prizes on the line.

'mom

Prime
07/04/2010, 07:26 PM
One last thing…. Something as simple as announcing to all players that there are still “X” in sudden death could really decrease the amount of complaints from players about lag time between rounds. I would say nearly all players who have finished before time are less apt to blame the tournament staff for lag time if they are informed of “WHY” the time is lagging. A simple announcement like….. “3 matches still in sudden death” could go a long way.

Jimmy

Or they could look at the gaming area, and see 3 games still going on with judges sitting or standing around them.

How hard is that to do?

Lawman
07/04/2010, 07:29 PM
Jimmy: I get what you are saying. The scenario you explained in 2008 on your 1st search would not happen this year. Judges HAVE adapted. We understand the 1st deck search (or at least the better judges and the ones on my staff this year @ Nats bc I told them!) is the most important one of the match bc players catalog what is missing. It is important to know if 2 of 3 claydols is prized, or 2 of your 4 RCs along with Nidoqueen. We do allow longer searches at that time. Players understand this too.

Trust me.....we take this seriously. IF I were to have given Kettler a time ext in his T128 (or was it 64?) match when he asked for it when time was called, not when the warning was given during the match, I would have been roasted here by the other player and rightfully so. Imagine if the oppo also learned/knew I was a member of HT online? Sheesh...talk about sour grapes! Look, I applied the rules as they are and do it fairly. I dont look to see if it is a friend or foe.

Keith

Top Cut Comics
07/04/2010, 07:35 PM
Or they could look at the gaming area, and see 3 games still going on with judges sitting or standing around them.

How hard is that to do?


Prime, I am sorry but I have to side with the player here. Especially at an event like Nationals when there are SOOOO many players. Most standing around the perimiter of the tournament area.

I do it at my Yugioh events of 200+ players and it helps tremendously. It takes the focus off the tournament staff.

Jimmy

PokeDad
07/04/2010, 07:58 PM
First, thanks for the solid post Jimmy.



If you noticed, the phrase, "blue wall of silence" was actually a link to the wikipedia page for it.
It is very applicable to how some people on here act the moment that anybody questions anything that a PTO/judge may or may not have done.
Even knowing nothing of the situation, some people around these parts like to attack people who are unsure of judging calls at a given event.

As your link was to a page describing actions as "errors," "misconducts," "crimes," "illegal," "brutality," "criminal," "corruption," and "cover-ups," you might guess why I chose to quote your post for contrast, I found it gratuitously insulting to the judges you were comparing with the police officers of L.A.'s Rampart division. Really? You went out of your way to include a link that associated the conduct of this year's Nats judges with a felonious criminal enterprise. Love hyperbole much?

WotC/POP is the past. Did you have any comments about the judging at this year's Nats?

While I acknowledge that some judges may have felt a need to defend themselves against unwarranted one sided attacks made by people who played the game in such a way as to earn a penalty in the past, and while I acknowledge that there are judges who have made a mistake in a ruling, I would hope it can be agreed that most (98-99%) of those issues happened in the past and aren't really relevant to this threads original post.



I'm still going to have concerns when a judge refuses to consult the compendium for a ruling (no judge is infallible).

Can you please cite an example of a judge in the main event of this year's US Nats who refused to consult the compendium?

I get that you are trying to modify the tone of your posts, balance the criticism with compliments. I'm sure I am not the only person who appreciates you kinder moderate tone. Thanks.



PTOs/judges attack people who complained about a bad judging call

Again, I'm not looking for ancient history. I've read a judge respond to a player who didn't get to his seat before a mandatory game loss (when 800 others found their seats}, and a judge point to the penalty guidelines when responding to a slow play penalty. I'm not asking you to prove past bad acts by anyone; I would like you to point at examples of judges attacking players who complained about a bad call in the main event of this year's US Nats though. Not tons of examples, just two please.



bad judges are still bad judges and yes, it will leave a bitter taste in a player's mouth when they get shafted by a bad judge, just to be attacked for daring to be a victim when they bring it up on pokegym.

I would empathize with you, but I am not aware of any cases stemming from the main events of this year's US Nats where a player was shafted by a bad judge, then attacked for bringing it up on the 'Gym. While the proper course of action is to report examples of "shafting by a bad judge" directly to TPCi by email, I suppose there may be some salve in turning oneself into a martyr. Having said that, I really think you owe the US Nats judges a) some examples of their bad calls, b) examples of the "shaftings" you reference, c) concrete examples of criminal wrongdoing, and d) examples of judges attacking players who complained about rulings stemming from main event play at this year's US Nats.

Virtually all of the complaints are about events long past, while the thread was started to talk about the judging of this year's US Nats. While I have seen responses to complaints, I have not seen a single example from anyone of a bad call, "shafting," refusal to consult the compendium, or attack on a complainer stemming from this year's US Nats.

There are a host of intellectually disabled persons who love to complain, and will go on about something they heard from a friend who heard something about something that may have happened and feel that this third or fourth hand one sided report is worth referencing when they post to threads. I am coming to recognize these posters names and am able to skip right over their posts now.

Again, if anyone was the victim of a bad call, got "shafted," or had a judge refuse to consult resources when requested or bring in a head judge if an appeal was requested, in the main event of this year's US Nats, then please contact TPCi directly by email, being as specific as you can, to help make the game better for everyone. If you are going to complain in this thread, how about limiting your comments to the main event of this year's US Nats? While you may still carry the scar from the game loss your best friend suffered in a City Championship due to a bad call back in the WotC days, no one else cares; let it go. Finally if you are going to complain here, please be specific; and perhaps provide a possible solution to the problem you present. Thanks all.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 08:09 PM
no one who was making the claims of "30-45 minutes" between the end of one round and the beginning of another is going to respond to lawman's post (http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1750997&postcount=84)?

'mom

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 08:09 PM
My first tag for slow play was definitely within the first few turns of the game, so at least one judge didn't get the memo. Also I did ask Lawman to assign a different judge to the game and he flatly denied my request.

---------- Post added 07/04/2010 at 11:21 PM ----------

Double post - sorry.

Also over the course of the game, your deck's inventory changes dramatically. As such, an important search mid/late game will often take just as long as a 1st turn search because the player is reminding themselves as to what options they have left. Perhaps you could incorporate that knowledge into your judge instructions.

SuperWooper
07/04/2010, 08:21 PM
I think that sometimes issuing penalties isn't the right solution to the problem. In a lot of situations I think a better solution to slow play would be: judge sees slow play, walks over, issues a firm caution to the offending player, and offers the opponent the option of a 2 min time extension, then keeps a little bit of a closer eye on the game.

I don't have much to say, but I wanted to throw my support behind this post. Time extensions are more reasonable than prize penalties where slow play is concerned because adding time to the match doesn't affect the board in any way. Returning to a proper pace of play may be more difficult after a prize penalty occurs, depending on which game out of three is being played and who the offending player is.

PokePop
07/04/2010, 08:32 PM
I don't have much to say, but I wanted to throw my support behind this post. Time extensions are more reasonable than prize penalties where slow play is concerned because adding time to the match doesn't affect the board in any way. Returning to a proper pace of play may be more difficult after a prize penalty occurs, depending on which game out of three is being played and who the offending player is.

POP directed staff to use this method a couple of years ago at major events.
But it impacted the time flow of the events, so POP directed staff to discontinue the use of it as an "easy fix" and to focus more on training players to play timely via the penalty guidelines.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 08:41 PM
Knowing that I only get 15 seconds for a search mid-game does not change my argument. Sure I was given the correct penalty for the guidelines as they exist, I am only asking that improvements to the system be considered. There are obviously a number of players that feel slow play as called now is a problem.

ShuckleLVX
07/04/2010, 08:52 PM
Because you are bothering me with your incessant insistence (heeheee, that sounds funny...) that the whole "new printers" thing will make a significant difference, I have to do this to you.

This will be my last comment on the round time.

For the record, I was not including sit down time in my 20-30 minutes. Also, different printers is just one possible suggestion on how to cut down time. I'm sure there are more options.
Next, we come to


I believe that in a complex situation a player should be able to explain their train of thought clearly to the judge in order to justify their moves. A player will generally have several plans when carrying out a play, such as specific cards they are looking for when searching the deck, and if a judge thinks they are playing too slow, the player should be able to clearly explain their thought process. Simple aimless looking through decks/discards would be identifiable when the player is unable to explain their moves. I realize that a player might not be able to explain their moves with the opponent around so perhaps they could be pulled aside for a minute or two. A judge would then be able to decide whether the move warranted the amount of time that it was taking. (Edit: This would also be more of a 15+ thing I imagine since younger kids might not be able to explain clearly)


I have to say, this is comedy gold. After your insistence that the time between rounds is too long (See: Printer Argument), and in order to alleviate slow play penalties, you want to have players get up, walk away from their tables, explain each move to a judge, then sit back down, make the move, get up, move away, explain the next move, sit back down, make the move, etc.? And you know that the players who take a long time making one move will take a long time on other moves too, so it's not like this would only happen once.

Let's see what that does. Say, 5 games are under scrutiny for slow play. That's 5 judges that will need to keep their attention riveted to these specific games so they can chat it up with players regarding their strategy. The other judges then need to pick up that slack, slowing down calls on any number of games. Lets say that slows down another 5 games that will need time extensions. Not to mention the time extensions needed to have players wander from their tables mid game to talk to judges! All of that eats into between round time. Don't worry though, the printers will fix it!

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 09:04 PM
Pokepop was referring to my time like it included sit down, This warranted making my 20-30 minutes more specific.

Also the printer thing was just one example of how to possibly alleviate time between rounds. If people are going to tear that suggestion apart, I will offer a few more solutions. First, projectors showing the pairings on a wall (I have seen this at smaller events, don't know how it would translate to a large event). Also POP could place TV's similar to those already used in the VG area around the tournament area and have the pairings appear on screen. Perhaps place the hive in a more central location (obv still next to a wall) and have the TVs around it. Feel free to tear down these suggestions as well.

Sorry I am the only one trying to offer up solutions in the thread. Its a small wonder that anyone posts on the 'Gym at all anymore.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 09:09 PM
so, a bank of tv screens like at an airport's arrivals/departures info? for *800* pairings?

a wall projection would have to scroll. again, how is that time effective for players who miss the first (...or second, or third) go-round and then have to WAIT for the page to scroll through the rest of the pairings to get back to theirs before they can be seated...as compared to printed pairings on a board?

'mom

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 09:14 PM
Say they have a 40 inch or so TV. You could definitely divide the TV screen into three columns of pairings and have a complete flight displayed on just one TV with a similar font size to that used currently on paper. Players just walk up to the TV like they would to the pairing board.

Also could have multiple projectors to avoid scrolling. Again I said I didn't know how it would translate to a large event.

PokeDad
07/04/2010, 09:16 PM
Knowing that I only get 15 seconds for a search mid-game does not change my argument. Sure I was given the correct penalty for the guidelines as they exist, I am only asking that improvements to the system be considered. There are obviously a number of players that feel slow play as called now is a problem.

Drew,

I appreciate that you have accepted that the judge acted appropriately, and I understand that your issue is with the penalty guidelines and the time allotted for game actions.

I will share that I was witness to similar feelings by judges that the guidelines could use a change here and there.

Consider what recommendations you would like to see, think about how the change you propose would effect the game and larger tournaments, and send your desired guideline alterations to TCPi.

While a change may not follow immediately, outline scenarios and justifications for the changes you would like to see. Cutting and pasting from your posts in this thread would almost write your note to TPCi. Your perspective as one of the game's top players is valuable.

I am sorry if the penalty had an adverse insurmountable effect on your game/match outcome.

Drew Holton
07/04/2010, 09:25 PM
Pokedad,

Thankfully the penalty had no affect on the match, although it could have (he took the wrong prize, despite having used Azelf earlier).

I have been outlining a number of situations since my incident and was in fact planning on contacting Pokemon regarding my issues after Worlds.

SD PokeMom
07/04/2010, 09:39 PM
I have been outlining a number of situations since my incident and was in fact planning on contacting Pokemon regarding my issues after Worlds.no, do it NOW.

'after worlds' is cutting it close, if not too late imho: the new tournament docs take effect for the new tourney year starting september first.

any changes to the pen guides/tourney rules must be discussed/written/edited/proofed BEFORE they go 'live' on the site, which usually is before the new tourney year starts 9/1.

'mom

SteveP
07/04/2010, 09:43 PM
Do you want to know the absolute fastest way to get the pairings out? Build texting into the tournament software. Cost might be prohibitive, but it would be really cool to text everyone their pairing info.

Jeremy Badeaux
07/04/2010, 10:11 PM
Pokedad, I'm starting to think that you're trying to troll me.
I described an attitude on these forums as being like the, "blue wall of silence" and you say that I'm comparing people to cavemen wearing badges.
If you aren't trolling, that is just one weak strawman.

You quoted so much of what I said and kept saying to show you examples from the Nats that just happened (because obviously anything that happened before Nats was so long ago that it's completely irrelevant).
Unfortunately, you missed one quote (funny how you forgot the one part that would have shown how trollish your shouts of, "show me when it happened at Nats" really were).


With all of that being said, please remember that I was not specifically talking about the staffing at any one event.
Feels weird to quote myself. lol

I've played competitively and I've judged my fair share of events, so I am saying what I am saying with the experience from both sides of this.
Trying to troll me does nothing to disprove anything that I have said and I would really appreciate it if you would stop already.

I do have to say that your moving of the goalposts was kind of clunky though.

Chronological postings:
Over and over, judges have come into these threads and asked you, told you, cajoled you, everything but begged you to contact TPCi directly with your specific recounting of firsthand experiences.

If you have been critical of judges in any of the three ongoing threads being used to air complaints about and criticisms of judges, perhaps you critical posters can post the time and date of your sent message to TPCi. Im sure it predates your post here; I expect each of you are responsible members of the Pokemon community, as dedicated to improving the game as the people above who provided the address to send your comments.

I can not imagine an instance where a person simply posted complaints here, but without any real interest in improving our game - having failed to provide specific instances of judge malfeasance to TPCi.



The only times that I ever had a negative experience with staff at any event, I made sure to contact WotC/POP (depending who was running things at the time).



While you may still carry the scar from the game loss your best friend suffered in a City Championship due to a bad call back in the WotC days, no one else cares; let it go. Finally if you are going to complain here, please be specific; and perhaps provide a possible solution to the problem you present. Thanks all.

You bring up that nobody here has a right to say anything negative unless they contact PTCI with their grievances, I point out that I actually have done that when I've had issues, and you respond by saying that the last event I personally had an issue at was too long ago so it doesn't matter and you throw in that trollish comment trying to claim that I'm sore over a city championship under WotC.

Very clunky, very obvious trolling, and a complete lack of finesse when moving the goalposts.
1/10

Seriously, I need for you to stop going Glenn Beck on me if I'm going to carry on this conversation.
It's funny that as soon as I bring up something somewhat negative about how some judges/PTOs act, you pretty much start trolling me and throwing around insults while trying to invalidate everything I say through outright mistruths.
Almost like some kind of wall that I referenced earlier. lol

SuperWooper
07/04/2010, 10:19 PM
POP directed staff to use this method a couple of years ago at major events.
But it impacted the time flow of the events, so POP directed staff to discontinue the use of it as an "easy fix" and to focus more on training players to play timely via the penalty guidelines.

That's interesting - thanks for the info. I wonder, though, if the biggest tournament of the season is the correct venue for "training players" to do anything. Ideally speaking, if time extensions are okay at smaller events (where the training should be occurring), they should be acceptable at the larger ones, too.

On the other hand, I can't begin to appreciate the complexities of running an event like Nationals on a schedule. Time extensions do seem impractical, especially during Swiss matches. Perhaps they could be used exclusively during the top cut, where there is (I assume) less pressure on the coordinators to keep things moving.

travis3290
07/05/2010, 12:16 AM
Do you want to know the absolute fastest way to get the pairings out? Build texting into the tournament software. Cost might be prohibitive, but it would be really cool to text everyone their pairing info.

but that requires a cell phone.

TheGeneral
07/05/2010, 01:20 AM
No way...bring some Kadabra's back to Pokemon and use them for match pairings -- telepathy anyone?! Fast and easy.

ShuckleLVX
07/05/2010, 01:55 AM
but that requires a cell phone.

I like the idea though. Even if half of the players could get pairings via Text, that would cut out crowding at pairings boards and speed things up. Tough to implement, but cool.

Bolt
07/05/2010, 02:01 AM
Reading over the posts in this thread, I still get a vibe of 'players vs judges' here. I think that the goal is for the exact opposite to be the case. All of us love this game, or we wouldn't participate.

What competitive players are saying here (I will include myself in this group, as I haven't judged a major tournament in years) is that we feel that there is an objectivity applied to something we feel to be subjective. I will take a section of Jimmy's post as an example.


A player could literally play a trainer and think, play an energy and think, play a supporter and think, claydol, think, think some more then think.

Going into a game, there is an understanding that both players have a combined 40 minutes to work with. A large amount of the thinking, in theory, would be done within the first couple turns (once each player knows what they're up against). But there are also times when your opponent drops something NOBODY would expect (like an Electrode SW, Jimmy).

Yes, usually those first couple turns will be the longest, but there ARE going to be turns late in the game that take longer. The Pokemon TCG isn't mechanical enough (thank goodness) where you can analyze what's left in your deck and run from there. One of the main contributors to this is the ever-expanding card pool (we had a GIGANTIC format this year), another is the ever-expanding player base and rising skill levels.

There is an understanding that there must be guidelines in place in order to keep tournaments running. All I've been saying is that in grey-area issues such as questionable play speed, there should be an objection before a penalty. The counter-argument to this has been "well if a player is cheating, should a judge not step in?" or "if a crime is being committed, should the police not step in?" These issues are FAR more black and white than the grey area of thought process (and also delve into morality discussion).

I would like to thank all of you who take time out of your busy lives to keep this game going. I appreciate what you all do so much. But if I experience something I'm not happy with, why not bring it up for discussion!

PokePop
07/05/2010, 07:11 AM
Pokedad, I'm starting to think that you're trying to troll me.
I described an attitude on these forums as being like the, "blue wall of silence" and you say that I'm comparing people to cavemen wearing badges.
If you aren't trolling, that is just one weak strawman.

You quoted so much of what I said and kept saying to show you examples from the Nats that just happened (because obviously anything that happened before Nats was so long ago that it's completely irrelevant).
Unfortunately, you missed one quote (funny how you forgot the one part that would have shown how trollish your shouts of, "show me when it happened at Nats" really were).

Feels weird to quote myself. lol

I've played competitively and I've judged my fair share of events, so I am saying what I am saying with the experience from both sides of this.
Trying to troll me does nothing to disprove anything that I have said and I would really appreciate it if you would stop already.

I do have to say that your moving of the goalposts was kind of clunky though.

Jeremy:
I've appreciated your posts in this topic for the most part.
You are making an attempt to see both sides of the issue and not just look at it from the player's point of view.

But this topic is specifically supposed to be about judging at this year's US Nats, so I think it is fair of PokeDad to call judging issues that happened in years past to be off topic.
Heck, strictly speaking, since this was supposed to be a counterpoint topic to another one that was already calling out judge issues, all of these judge problems are off topic!
Which, if you think about it, kind of kills your "blue wall of silence" point.
The key point of a blue wall of silence is... silence.

What you are really complaining about is a "blue wall of support", where judges tend to try to point out what might else have been going on in a particular situation that led to a call in question.
That's what judges will generally do in public.

What gets done in private, is a lot of these situations do get discussed and guidance is given on how things may get handled better in the future.

But you're unlikely to see judges dressing down other judges in public because that would be unprofessional.

Think about it. Do you really want judges ripping into other judges left and right in public based on one-sided postings about some "horrible thing" that was done?
Sometimes it was a horrible thing that was done, but I've seen many cases where the "horrible thing" was a horrible misrepresentation or misunderstanding of what actually happened.

On the Gym, as long as things are kept respectful, we allow all of these things to be discussed and aired, and if the judge in question wants to pop into the discussion and set records straight, great.

Prime
07/05/2010, 07:56 AM
Prime, I am sorry but I have to side with the player here. Especially at an event like Nationals when there are SOOOO many players. Most standing around the perimiter of the tournament area.

I do it at my Yugioh events of 200+ players and it helps tremendously. It takes the focus off the tournament staff.

Jimmy

There are a ton of different sounds at an event like Nationals. Doing this, you'd have 3 age groups announcing every X minutes that there was still #X of games going on, a long with the Pokemon VGC announcing stuff, and side events announcing stuff.

You really think it's harder for a player to take a 2 minute walk to the area, take a glance, and walk back?

Or, they could look at the clock. If it's still going, the round is still going. If the time has stopped or has been reset to the normal time, the round is over.

The only difficulties a player should have with knowing when the round is going to start is if they are not in the same room, and have ventured out to the vendors. But if they are there, they wouldn't even hear an announcement over the mic from the playing room. So, it doesn't matter which system they used.

At a tournament, it is the player's responsibility to keep track of when the next round starts. It's not the judge's responsibility to go find all the players and tell them to come back.

ryanvergel
07/05/2010, 08:53 AM
I like 'airing grievances' publicly, because I really like mass communication and information exchange in coming up with solutions. What good is it to come up with a narrow scheme that probably isn't entirely well-conceived, when I/we could offer suggestions and see how they might actually work, how they are received, etc.? I feel like this thread was intended to brainstorm... if we had any conclusive arguments/ideas we WOULD have sent them. I think most of the schemes and stuff discussed on the thread are half-baked, but well-intended.

The penalty "guidelines" are bad, outdated and are probably misused a lot of times. The importance for the time constraints is so important because there is probably inefficiency elsewhere (self-admitted, as the duration between rounds has gone down yearly- clearly the process is becoming MORE efficient, but it still obviously has a way to go (probably)).

I know the POP higher-ups read this. They will definitely read THIS thread. Does my e-mailing my suggestions vs airing them here do that much of a difference? is the difference even GOOD?

SD PokeMom
07/05/2010, 09:05 AM
emailing your suggestions to the customer service address quoted so many times already is the official way of registering your complaint(s); posting here is NOT.

i'm sure TPCi has some kind of internal tracking system for issues recieved vs. solved. posting here isn't going to get your complaint into the actual queue, much as we enjoy have the OP folks reading and posting to our forums.

'mom

gehami
07/05/2010, 09:39 AM
Do you want to know the absolute fastest way to get the pairings out? Build texting into the tournament software. Cost might be prohibitive, but it would be really cool to text everyone their pairing info.

OMG, u r facng Bobby Max, LOL. :) :) !!

DarthPika
07/05/2010, 09:43 AM
Sadly, ever time I've emailed them, I get this overwhelming feeling that they really don't care.

Hatter™
07/05/2010, 09:43 AM
In reference to the OP, I have emailed TCPi about the judging situation, and a PTO has informed me, that if you let them know in a factual matter what is going on, they will do some sort of action and look into it.

PokePop
07/05/2010, 10:05 AM
I like 'airing grievances' publicly, because I really like mass communication and information exchange in coming up with solutions. What good is it to come up with a narrow scheme that probably isn't entirely well-conceived, when I/we could offer suggestions and see how they might actually work, how they are received, etc.? I feel like this thread was intended to brainstorm... if we had any conclusive arguments/ideas we WOULD have sent them. I think most of the schemes and stuff discussed on the thread are half-baked, but well-intended.

The penalty "guidelines" are bad, outdated and are probably misused a lot of times. The importance for the time constraints is so important because there is probably inefficiency elsewhere (self-admitted, as the duration between rounds has gone down yearly- clearly the process is becoming MORE efficient, but it still obviously has a way to go (probably)).

I know the POP higher-ups read this. They will definitely read THIS thread. Does my e-mailing my suggestions vs airing them here do that much of a difference? is the difference even GOOD?

discussing things here is fine.
I'm just saying that expecting judges to throw other judges "under the bus" is unlikely to happen, and expecting it to happen and getting upset that judges stick up for one another is an immature expectation.

Especially when the complaints are phrased as "most judges...", "incompetent" (when later on admitting that they were following the guidelines), and when details of the complaints shift as responses to them are made ("20 minutes between rounds" --- "Oh, well, it was really much longer than 20 minutes" - followed by the HJ giving actual data from timing where it was really 20 minutes all along except for one round with a pairing issue)

Speaking for myself, I take judging issues very seriously.
It's actually the whole reason that the Compendium exists! Because we were aware of judging issues that were rampant back in the old DCI days, when it was mostly MTG judges running Pokemon events and they had no idea of the intricacies of the game and were all making rulings by the seats of their pants, quite often the wrong rulings.

So the entire subject is near and dear to my heart.
But to be honest, it's hard to take serious nebulous, over-broad declarations that most if not all of the judges in the country are cretins that would have a hard time flipping a coin without putting their eye out.

So, if we want to have a civilized discussion about real issues and the pluses and minuses of how to go about making changes, I'm all for it! :thumb:

Jeremy Badeaux
07/05/2010, 11:04 AM
I gotta say if you didn't call over a head judge, you have no one to blame but yourself. You didn't do all that you could to prevent a bad ruling. I advise that if you play in a big tournament such as nationals(or ANY tournament ) you look carefully over the floor rules and know your rights as a player.

With that said, I don't see a point in this thread.If the head judge came over and made a bad ruling(he didn't) you would have something here, but all this is, is a sob story

If it helps, that post is from a topic about something that happened at Nats.
Even if it isn't always a Judge/PTO doing it, things have gotten to a point where it's a safe bet that anybody with any question about something that happened with judging will basically be attacked by somebody on these forums (in this case, being told that the deficiencies of the judge are the player's fault because he/she didn't call the HJ).
Lawman came in and did a great job of handling the situation.

Of course, I don't know how much merit the topic did or did not have, but neither did ColdCoates when he/she went into attack mode.

That topic did a great job of showing that no matter what happened, somebody will always find a way to blame the victim around these parts.
The overwhelming majority of PTOs/Judges that I've met are great and I'm not advocating that they should dogpile on any accusation of judging shenanigans, but in the same way that I wouldn't ask them to attack one another like rabid animals, I would also ask that the vocal few who attack the victim would step back and take a slightly more neutral approach to dealing with such topics.

I am sorry about contributing to the massive threadjack though. lol

PokePop
07/05/2010, 11:17 AM
Welcome to the internet.
People take up opposing positions to other people.
I think its a safe bet that there are arguments on other sites, except maybe the points of contention are different.
Am I right?

Do I agree with what everyone says on "my" side?
No. While calling over the head judge is a good thing to do if you don't agree with a judge's ruling, I don't take the position that "it's your fault".
On the other hand, it does greatly limit potential remedies.
The number one remedy that could have been taken at that point in time was in fact to appeal to the head judge.
It's like someone saying:
"I crashed into a wall and the car didn't keep me from breaking my leg"
"Did you put your foot on the brakes to try to stop or slow down?"
"No, but the airbag and seal belt should have kept me from breaking my leg".
Maybe so, but the first order of business is to know to press on the brake next time!

MrMeches
07/05/2010, 11:26 AM
Sometimes I think we ALL lose focus on what is really trying to be accomplished, Bridging the Gap between Player and Judge to make a more solid Game for everyone!

Judges defend Judges just as much as Players defend Players. It is easy to find faults and designate how horrible things were, as Judges and Staff, we could point this out of some players actions... the only thing is you won't be Judging again for awhile.

I recommend in the Future, instead of the collective "WE" going at it with one another about how poor this or that was, we try to focus on what can be done to help IMPROVE our beloved game. That is what TPCi really wants, not a bunch of "children" (and I am talking all sides) in the classroom pointing fingers about who put the tack in Teacher's Chair.

As it has been mentioned, TPCi has put in place a review system for Judges and it is an effective tool to help minimize these types of issues. However, I encourage "YOU" to use the Link for Customer Service that has been provided in multiple posts and let TPCi know. They do "hear" you and implement many of the ideas provided. I understand it is difficult when your not in the room when it is discussed, but they are discussed. The best way to approach it is in a Positive way though. Use specfic personal examples and if you have names, include them so they can address the person directly if needed.

The only additional thing I ask, let TPCi know what you ENJOYED as well! Give them something to know at least one thing went nicely.

Ultimately it is OUR Game they provide the avenue, but we drive the cars. It wasn't 800+ ppl from TPCi that made Nats so Great... it was each one of US... Staff and Player alike!

Fish

Squirtle
07/05/2010, 11:42 AM
Well, after reading the entirety of this thread I'm not going to dice anyones post. I'm just simply going to make a big blanket reply.


I think it would be accurate to say that I am one of the fastest players in not only Florida, but maybe the entire country. I very rarely have my games go to time. I was absolutely shocked that my t128 game at nats went to sudden death.

With that being said, I don't buy the whole "I have no many options with my deck search that it's ok to take more than 30-45 seconds for my trainer." When you get to that state in the game, you know what you're after long before you even start your turn.


With that being said, there ARE a few occasions where (even a top tier player) doesn't know what to do. It's happened to me several times just this year. It is very unfortunate when that happens, but if the opponent doesn't say anything then I think it is best to leave the situation be.

My opinion bottom line:+

If your opponent is playing far slower than you would like, wait out the first turn and see if it persists. A lot of times the first deck search takes 1-2 minutes to establish prizes. if it persists call a judge. There have been many times in the past I've asked my opponent to speed up in the first ten minutes of the game.

My opinion bottom line 2:

If neither player is complaining about pace of play, I would say don't get involved. It's a no win situation.

I think the penalty guidelines are just fine, becuase they are just that... GUIDELINES!

I could be wrong, but I don't think they were designed to be followed as a "Bible" per say. They are there so judges have an idea of what to base their penalties on. I think over the course of the past few years that has been forgotten.



cut the judges some slack... without them we wouldn't have a game.


If you have a problem with something during a tournament, appeal to the head judge.

After the tournament?


customerservice@pokemon.com

Jaeger
07/05/2010, 11:51 AM
I think the situation should be looked as a whole. I mean if a player is pushing the limits every chance they get, I mean taking 15 seconds every time is one thing. I would say a majority of my searches take maybe 10 seconds tops, I would certainly think taking 30 seconds for 1 tough search shouldn't be a problem expecially if I'm way under all my other times.

---------- Post added 07/05/2010 at 01:52 PM ----------


Do you want to know the absolute fastest way to get the pairings out? Build texting into the tournament software. Cost might be prohibitive, but it would be really cool to text everyone their pairing info.

I know this is a joke, but I really do like it.

Jeremy Badeaux
07/05/2010, 11:56 AM
No. While calling over the head judge is a good thing to do if you don't agree with a judge's ruling, I don't take the position that "it's your fault".
On the other hand, it does greatly limit potential remedies.
The number one remedy that could have been taken at that point in time was in fact to appeal to the head judge.
It's like someone saying:
"I crashed into a wall and the car didn't keep me from breaking my leg"
"Did you put your foot on the brakes to try to stop or slow down?"
"No, but the airbag and seal belt should have kept me from breaking my leg".
Maybe so, but the first order of business is to know to press on the brake next time!
I do agree that appealing to the HJ is the intelligent thing to do, but comparing a player not calling the HJ to a person crashing into a wall because they didn't hit the brake isn't exactly equal.

I'd say it's more like if somebody went to a car dealership and gets caught up in how busy everything is. They neglect to get the carfax report (maybe they got caught up in the commotion, maybe it just slipped their mind) and later find out that the car was stolen property.
Yes, the person neglected to do something important, but that doesn't mean that it was ok for the dealership to be selling stolen property in the first place.

I will go ahead and note that I am not accusing judges (or any other entity) of stealing things or attempting to sell stolen things, or any other related activity.
I seem to have this magical knack for attracting people who like to completely misrepresent obvious things for the sake of argument. lol

Not all blame has to be at one location only.
In this case, you could say that the blame is 20-30% customer (for not being an informed customer) and 70-80% dealership (for being the ones actually doing the wrong thing).
Yes, the customer does get some of the blame, but the majority still needs to be laid at the feet of the person who actually did something wrong.

Of course, when you only know one side of the story, you can't really place any blame anywhere. lol

PokePop
07/05/2010, 12:34 PM
I can accept your alternate analogy.

SteveP
07/05/2010, 01:04 PM
I added some levity a while back in this topic (text the pairings each round to the players' cell phones or iPods) because even though I haven't judged in over two years, I know it's not an easy job. Peolpe are often questioning you, sometimes even your fellow judges and TOs. Some of the toughest calls are very subjective in nature, like the slow-play or stalling penalties.

Most judging calls are simple and straighforward. Some are borderline, and no matter what call is made, there will be "boos" from the players and crowd. On rare occassions, calls are absolutely wrong. When that happens, what's the proper justice? I guess it depends. If the judge realizes the mistake and repents, that doesn't necessarily make it right, but at least it's absolutely necessary if that judge wants to continue judging, or get any respect from the players.

IMO, if there's a "river" between the players and the judges, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In some competitive sports, there are rules that judges don't socialize with the players and vice-versa. Why? It's absolutely essential to help judges make impartial, unbiased rulings, or at least to give the appearance of such.

I like the analogies going on here (ie., car crash, car dealership). It shows how the opposing sides view judge-player interactions differently. Neither is wrong or right, just different perspectives.

Bottom line for me: Judges make mostly good calls and players are mostly sportsmen, even though there are rare exceptions.

Box of Fail
07/05/2010, 04:12 PM
I acknowledge that how the guidelines exist now, that "complexity" is not a valid excuse. Again you are seeing stuff how it currently exists and not how it should exist. Perhaps complexity should be added as a valid excuse.

See, this is what I have a problem with. It is absolutely okay for a player to miss a worlds invite because they were not given 'adequate' time to make an extremely complex and game-deciding decision. Clearly, if you need to take several circumstances into consideration before making the decision whether to Cyrus for the Spray or the Poké Turn, and thus exceed the supposedly unreasonable time limit, you are not skilled enough to play said SP deck. Remember, the time limits are NOT designed to allow players to play to the best of their abilities. They are designed to pile pressure onto an already nerve-wracking decision and require players to adapt to the restriction. The time limit is not meant to adapt for rational player needs. Players are supposed to adapt to the time limit, not vice-versa. The fact that you have trouble deciding on a crucial part of the game at hand does not and should not justify taking up the reasonable amount of time for making that decision as per your standards. If you are forced to play without the time to evaluate every option at your disposal and deduce the most logical play, then so be it. That is not a problem to the game, just something to be considered when making your deck choice.

SteveP
07/05/2010, 04:23 PM
...The time limit is not meant to adapt for rational player needs. Players are supposed to adapt to the time limit, not vice-versa....
Well said! Ditto!

If two slower-than-normal players are playing each other, and the pace of the game is going slow, regardless whether both players are slow, the judge can, and probably should, give a caution. The rules are very clear that game-play needs to be "lively." IMO, complexity is not a valid excuse to play "unlively," nor is the excuse that both players are playing "unlively."

PokePop
07/05/2010, 04:35 PM
OK, now we're getting into something that can be discussed and options reviewed.

Before I get started, I'll note that while I don't have the top table experience that top tier players have, I have some and in fact was given a slow play caution by my very own partner, BDS, because I was taking too long thinking over my options in a complex deck against an eeveelutions deck, also a complex deck, so I do get where you're coming from.
However, he was right to give me the caution,.

We have competing needs here.
There is a need for players to be able to review their choices and options and make the best decisions.
There is also a need for events to move along in a timely fashion. There are venue restrictions as well as the bulk of the other players (who would be waiting around for long periods) to be considered.
With small events, these competing needs can be somewhat flexibly dealt with, since there are only a few rounds and the venue time limits are unlikely to be bumped into.

However, as events get large, either a big Cities or States, most Regionals, and certainly US Nationals, the needs of the venue and the flow of the event start to take on pretty major importance. At Worlds, getting off schedule can cause major issues. They are going to meet their schedule and if you can't help them meet that schedule, then you aren't going to be staffing that event again!

So, bottom line, untimed rounds are off the table.

They've already extended the time limit from 30 minutes to 40 minutes (for Swiss) and I think they were using 75 minutes for elimination rounds, correct?
Personally, I've seen games going to time dropping from 30-40% of Masters to less than 5%, so I think the time changes have had a positive impact on the game.

Also, as noted by other judges, the first few turns of a round are treated differently for deck searches as it is known that players need the opportunity to review their deck contents and formulate their basic strategy.

OK, so beyond that, the most common suggestion that I'm seeing from players is that if both players are happy with the pace of play, judges should stay out of it. Would that be fair to say?

The issue with that can be with lower age groups, especially JRs, and non-top tier players, who could be taken advantage of by more experienced players.
Now, I'm not saying this makes it a deal breaker, but I am saying that it is something that has to taken into account.
Comments on these points?

kyroid
07/05/2010, 04:39 PM
To be honest, I have only had one bad call against me. It cost me the match, and possibly the tournament. But, even though that happened, I just let it go. It's Pokemon, a card game for players of all ages. Sure, sometimes the judges may make a bad call, but not because they want the other player to win, it may be because you did not tell the judges what was going on in throughly. I believe there are no bad judges, they do this for the players. They could play, but no, they do it for you.
-Kyroid

Jaeger
07/05/2010, 04:43 PM
See, this is what I have a problem with. It is absolutely okay for a player to miss a worlds invite because they were not given 'adequate' time to make an extremely complex and game-deciding decision. Clearly, if you need to take several circumstances into consideration before making the decision whether to Cyrus for the Spray or the Poké Turn, and thus exceed the supposedly unreasonable time limit, you are not skilled enough to play said SP deck. Remember, the time limits are NOT designed to allow players to play to the best of their abilities. They are designed to pile pressure onto an already nerve-wracking decision and require players to adapt to the restriction. The time limit is not meant to adapt for rational player needs. Players are supposed to adapt to the time limit, not vice-versa. The fact that you have trouble deciding on a crucial part of the game at hand does not and should not justify taking up the reasonable amount of time for making that decision as per your standards. If you are forced to play without the time to evaluate every option at your disposal and deduce the most logical play, then so be it. That is not a problem to the game, just something to be considered when making your deck choice.

I guess we could all play scrub decks like Shuppet :rolleyes: I played Holton at Nats and had no problem with him or his rate of play, not a huge fan of his Aarons Collection though.

annisarich
07/05/2010, 06:03 PM
Ask a certain Pitcher for a certain team in Detroit how to handle the mistakes a human official can make.

BTW that call stood and thats official. ;-)

ShuckleLVX
07/05/2010, 06:06 PM
Didn't he get a car out of that though?

vanderbilt_grad
07/05/2010, 06:18 PM
Judges get love in the reports threads all the time. Just look at the props. A huge number of them usually have someone or even all the staff at a given event. You just don’t see random threads that are like “My local judge is AWESOME!”

On the other hand folks who want to highlight a particular problem usually would rather create a specific thread rather than derail a report or have the issue buried in a longer post. That’s why there are always complaint threads.

OP is doing things to improve consistency. That’s why you see things like the Judge’s Seminar at Nats, good staff like Lawman being chosen to run Nats, and even things like Biggie posting here. The issue in this thread though is that there is a perception that NOT ENOUGH is being done. That there are bad judges (and no I’m not talking about YOU if you are a judge reading this) … and that these same folks keep causing problems year after year. Most players are annoyed by bad new judges (and I’ve been one of those myself) but they are exasperated when mistakes get made over and over again usually by the same experienced folks … or about things like how slow play is called that seem to linger year after year. They complain … and nothing seems to happen. That post about the Blue Wall of Silence was spot on. That’s exactly the atmosphere that’s being created by staff in these threads.

IMHO there is no need for anyone on staff to jump in and rush to defend all judges. It just makes staff here look silly. There are problems. Denying it makes you as much a part of the problem as the guys who don’t take the time to do a good job like you do. I hate these threads on the gym because the are exactly the opposite of customer service. Regardless of the validity of the complaints all the rush to defense by staff does is make the folks who have legitimate grievances feel worse and feel less like playing the game or trusting the folks running it.

Take the high road. Listen. Tell folks that you know things aren’t perfect but that OP is working to make it better.

Drew Holton
07/05/2010, 07:07 PM
I agree with most of what Pokepop's most recent post suggested.

Additionally I would like to suggest one possible change to the guidelines. As the guidelines currently exist, there is no distinction from a card that searches for one thing (Bebe) and a card that searches for multiple things (Cyrus). There is just a blanket 15 seconds to search and shuffle. I would be very interested in seeing some sort of distinction made for multiple cards taken. Perhaps keep the 15 seconds for a single card and then add 5 seconds for each additional card that can be taken. In this case Cyrus would be allowed 25 seconds which would acknowledge that it often times does take more time than just a single search card.

At this point one could argue that a card like Pokemon Collector only searches for one type of card (Basics) which requires less time but under my suggested change it would be allowed 25 seconds since it searches for three cards. So I will offer up another alternative that is only slightly more complicated. The distinction could be made between different types of cards taken instead of number of cards overall. In this case Cyrus would still get 25 seconds since it searches for three types (energy, trainer, supporter) while Pokemon Collector would have a reasonable 15 seconds again.

Thoughts?

PokePop
07/05/2010, 07:21 PM
Well, to keep it manageable, I think you're either doing x amount of time per card searched for, or x amount of time per search effect (card played). And what three basics to search for can be three decisions, especially with some of the tool box decks I've been seeing.

MrMeches
07/05/2010, 08:34 PM
Drew, that is great suggestion. It could be worded in a manner of Multiple Item search cards and Single Item Search Cards.

Just want to point out, that most experienced Judges do not jump into Slow Play calls without monitoring over the pace of several plays and then confirming with another member of the Judge Team. Do all Judges do this, possibly not, but they should work towards using this method.

So based on your suggestion, if the Time Guideline was extended for Multiple Item Deck Searches, this would definitely be a step in the right direction for Players? It is a great idea and one that should be passed along using the Customer Service email.

Fish

Jaeger
07/05/2010, 09:18 PM
I really respect it when Judges expecially top Judges come and listen to players opinions. As players I think we have a much better understanding of how the "game plays" at high levels and are able to make suggestions to help improve aspects of it, as judges you have a much better understand of what ideas are realistic and how to implement them. I think with colobaration we can continue to improve the game we all love.

SteveP
07/05/2010, 09:53 PM
....

OK, so beyond that, the most common suggestion that I'm seeing from players is that if both players are happy with the pace of play, judges should stay out of it. Would that be fair to say?

The issue with that can be with lower age groups, especially JRs, and non-top tier players, who could be taken advantage of by more experienced players.
Now, I'm not saying this makes it a deal breaker, but I am saying that it is something that has to taken into account.
Comments on these points?
That's an interesting question. What if both players are playing slowly? Slow-playing and stalling are there to stop players from monopolizing the game-time, so what can a judge legally do if BOTH players are playing slow? Or, should they even do anything? IMO, it falls into the "offsetting penalty" category. Make the call, give both players the caution/warning so that they've been put "on notice" for possible future penalties, but don't apply any game-altering penalty.

Lawman
07/05/2010, 10:14 PM
I dont mind the addition of single search cards vs multi search cards for the guidelines. Again, as Fish pointed out, if you get a warning for slow play, it usually isnt bc of just one infraction. It is noted over several moves. You may not even realize a judge has put you on a silent clock. Judges work in teams (or should, when the staff size allows) to weed out slow play/stalling.

Keith

SteveP
07/05/2010, 11:27 PM
There are two aspects at play when determining slow-play: 1) taking time to complete actions, and 2) taking time to complete your turn. Per the rules, pace must be "lively," but players must also be careful about monopolizing the clock (by taking long turns with lots of actions just because they can).

Naturally, searching for three cards will take longer than searching for one. Maybe 15 seconds for the first search and 10 seconds for each additional search.

NoPoke
07/06/2010, 12:52 AM
With more examples specifying this time or that time in the guidelines then it becomes MORE likely not less that judges will follow the indicated time. Unless those times are rediculously large you will get more penalties for slow play when you shift the emphasis in the guidelines from the philosophy of acceptable game tempo and the opponent not being significantly disadvantaged to a table of examples. Be very careful what you ask for because you may just get it :(

Do most games complete within the round time?
What should determine who is judged the winner in a close game?

Consider a mirror of a pair of complex decks and two good players. This is the type of game that is most likely to go to time. So who should win? How about the player that makes the fewest errors? I prefer that to altering the penalty guidelines so that it becomes the player who had most of the clock. If the penalty guidelines are altered in that direction then I expect there will be a rise in accusations of STALLING. Worse I expect that the actual incidence of stalling would increase so the accusations would be justified. It can be argued that a draw is a fair assessment of an inconclusive outcome at time. I'd like draws back not just for this reason but the reintroduction of draws opens the possibility of match play in the swiss.

To add more fuel to the fire I disagree that a Bebe's Search is inherently a simpler card to play than any of the multi card search supporters. More decisions does not make them into harder decisions. One good decision at a key point in the game often swings it.

The player perspective is that at critical points the player needs more thinking time to avoid a bad play mistake.
The OP perspective is that such extra thinking time has to come from somewhere: either the opponent or the event schedule.

Jaeger
07/06/2010, 07:52 AM
If one key search and choosing the right card can swing a game, how is one key search choosing 3 cards important cards not harder?

SteveP
07/06/2010, 07:55 AM
There are guidelines to how long a typical action should take. There are NONE to how long a typical turn should take. Good or bad, that's just where judges must focus (length of actions) when determining slow play. Currently, if players are monopolizing the clock by taking long turns, the only way judges can penalize slow-play or stalling is to check for these kinds of actions:

- Actions with no effect on the game
- Lots of unnecessary actions, "just because I can"
- Continually taking the full extent of the action time-limits

---------- Post added 07/06/2010 at 03:06 PM ----------


If one key search and choosing the right card can swing a game, how is one key search choosing 3 cards important cards not harder?
I agree, but Nopoke makes a good point. Some actions are more complex than others, but to what extent do we make new guidelines? We can have a general guideline like the "golden rule" (do unto others...), or we can have detailed guidelines like the "Mosaic law" (you can only walk 500 paces outside your doorstep on the sabbath). With a general rule, judges are more free to "interpret" slow-play. With so many specific rules, the "spirit of the law" is lost in a volume of words.

NoPoke
07/06/2010, 10:13 AM
@jaeger: With Bebe's you can only get one card. Get it wrong and there is no alternative. With Collector if you make a sub optimal pick of one of the three you still have the other two. Further if you have both Bebe and Collector in hand the difficult decision is much more likely to be between which of the two supporters to play. This amounts to having to plan out the search before you execute it and not as you go through the deck. Apart from the very first search or after a memory failure I would expect the the best players will all insist that they plan out their plays in advance and for the elite that they plan out more than one turn in advance. Good players already know what they are searching for when they go into their deck. It isn't a decision that is made during the search.

I am not an elite player and way off my best, yet even I know what I'm going for when I go into my deck. Memory failure and miscounting means it sometimes isn't there - but those are mistakes that I have to live with.

If the guidelines are adjusted for "hard" supporters then what of the even harder decision of choosing between them. This is a slippery slope that very quickly requires judges to know what is in players hands and to engage in far too much mind reading.

@SteveP: there is no guideline turn time yet I bet that we all have an idea of what it is. Draw, attach, evolve, Powers, retreat, attack: the totality of that lot does constrain maximum turn times that are consistent with a moderate to lively pace. [ I can't bring myself to use the brisk word :D]

SteveP
07/06/2010, 12:06 PM
The argument that "I know it when I see it" about excessive turn-time is baseless if you can't point to specific actions or series of actions, under the current guidelines. For example, a judge can't legally say, "You're taking too long to complete your turn, so I'm giving you a slow-play penalty." Specific actions must meet any of the criteria in the three bullets from my previous post (no effect, unnecessary, full extent).

---------- Post added 07/06/2010 at 07:13 PM ----------


@jaeger: With Bebe's you can only get one card. Get it wrong and there is no alternative. With Collector if you make a sub optimal pick of one of the three you still have the other two. Further if you have both Bebe and Collector in hand the difficult decision is much more likely to be between which of the two supporters to play. This amounts to having to plan out the search before you execute it and not as you go through the deck. Apart from the very first search or after a memory failure I would expect the the best players will all insist that they plan out their plays in advance and for the elite that they plan out more than one turn in advance. Good players already know what they are searching for when they go into their deck. It isn't a decision that is made during the search.

Well, the retrieval process alone (minus the decision process) requires more time when you get multiple cards verses just one card. That alone should mean more time is needed to complete the action, even if it's small. :wink:

jeffrey123
07/06/2010, 12:29 PM
Was my quote not of quality? SOMETIMES the judging may SEEM unfair. Not "boo hoo the judges suck theyre bad etc"

The love is when a bunch of players are able to gather at states/regionals/nationals, and have a good time thatnks to these judges who take time out of their lives to ensure that pokemon players will have a great time at whatever event they may go to. Personally, I have been (imo) unfairly ruled, but it's not like I hold grudges forever and ever. Big deal, it happens, and the judges are still great. It's not like they get paid...

PokePop
07/06/2010, 05:36 PM
For example, a judge can't legally say, "You're taking too long to complete your turn, so I'm giving you a slow-play penalty." Specific actions must meet any of the criteria in the three bullets from my previous post (no effect, unnecessary, full extent).[COLOR="Purple"]

Guidelines work both ways Steve.
A judge can "legally" do what they think is right if they think they need to.
Now, if a judge goes "off the reservation", they'd better have a darn good reason to do so, one that they feel comfortable possibly explaining to POP management.

I have done so, defended it, and my ruling stood and was supported.
But that should be the exception.

SteveP
07/07/2010, 08:19 AM
Guidelines work both ways Steve.
A judge can "legally" do what they think is right if they think they need to.
Now, if a judge goes "off the reservation", they'd better have a darn good reason to do so, one that they feel comfortable possibly explaining to POP management.

I have done so, defended it, and my ruling stood and was supported.
But that should be the exception.
I beg to differ. Judges are bound to the rules, just like the players are bound to those rules. There might be flexibility in how you apply penalties, based on circumstances, but judges can't go outside the rules just because they "think" it's not right. A couple years ago while judging at a Regionals, I was blasted for even considering a penalty against someone who was using an all-Japanese deck (causing a disruption). Even though the rule has changed since then, at the time, there's was very little that I could do.

Now, I will accept the argument that PTOs have the ability to "go off the reservation." They are the direct extension of TPCi. And, although TPCi (and PTOs) supports the rulings of their judges, that doesn't make all rulings right (see the caveat in their support statement saying "...even when they're wrong").

Judges need to point to the rules to support their rulings; otherwise, what's the use for having the rules? If they go outside the rules, they need to call TPCi (or talk to the PTO) beforehand and get approval. Getting approval "after the fact" seems just plain wrong to me -- it's not even an exception. Ex post facto, anyone?

Lawman
07/07/2010, 08:50 AM
@SteveP: What is there to Q w/ PokePop? He said the GUIDELINES are there to be used. He said he did this ONCE and was backed later by TPCi. He isnt saying go wild and ignore the guidelines. He just said IF you do, you better have a good reason. We all agree the "rules" are there to be followed as guidelines. The "rules" also allow for deviations in them, depending on tier level and age/experience.

Dont tell me you have never softened a recommended penalty when dealing with a new JR????

Keith

SteveP
07/07/2010, 09:05 AM
@SteveP: What is there to Q w/ PokePop? He said the GUIDELINES are there to be used. He said he did this ONCE and was backed later by TPCi. He isnt saying go wild and ignore the guidelines. He just said IF you do, you better have a good reason. We all agree the "rules" are there to be followed as guidelines. The "rules" also allow for deviations in them, depending on tier level and age/experience.

Dont tell me you have never softened a recommended penalty when dealing with a new JR????

Keith
I'm not going "all hard" on PokePop. He made his comment in response to my initial statement that judges can't "legally" tell a player that their turn is too long (without pointing to specific actions) and give them a penalty. There are no turn limits -- only action limits.

And yes, the application of the penalty is completely within the power of the judge. That's not what I'm refering to. I'm talking about applying a penalty to a situation that is either 1) not listed as a penalty, or 2) directly or indirectly allowed within the rules. As an example, see what I said about the use of Japanese cards. Two years ago, there was no limit to how many you could use, so I would be absolutely wrong to penalize someone for using an all-Japanese deck. I would've needed to argue "long and hard" about how such a situation caused disruption (which I did at the time in a topic here on PokeGym).

That's my point. Judges have leeway within the rules, but they can't step outside the rules, not without TPCi or PTO permission -- permission that I think should be granted before-hand, not after the fact.

NoPoke
07/07/2010, 09:46 AM
actually there are only action examples in the guidlines. Examples that are incomplete. The guidelines are silent on if a turn limit can be justified or not.

Two years ago you were able to penalise an all JP deck - but it would not be an easy call for ANY judge to make.. Players are not allowed to disrupt a tournament or engage in gamesmanship. I'm sure that the changes were in response to growing complaints from all sides about the use of Japanese cards. Complaints that would have highlighted that judges were not confident in applying a penalty for disruption/gamesmanship so it was made explicit.

If the penalty guidelines are being used then almost by definition a rule has been broken.

Lawman
07/07/2010, 10:24 AM
I didnt allow an all japanese deck a few years ago at either a State or Regional where I was HJ. Saw it in deck check line and went...oh no, we arent going there. He had 19 or so translation cards. Even ones where it was 1 japanese and 1 english. I made him use the english card for the 1 card selections in his deck. Caught zero flack over it then. IMO, an all japanese deck in a tourney of States or above will be disruptive and we had tools to use in the guidelines then too.

Keith

meganium45
07/07/2010, 10:43 AM
Very nice to see so few complaints about people being stalled out at the event.

The problem, as I see it, is that the judges are beginning to make it to the learning curve.

I know in my section of Nationals, no prize penalty was given on any slow play incident unless it was earned. We had quite a few of them earned. I think I qualify as a better player, and not only a judge, who can understand when there is a tough match and choice to be made, and when someone is just feeding me a line.

I know in speaking with Kim and Keith, for prize penalties to be handed out, they had to be earned.

Prize penalties were never handed out at the first instance, and we gave a LOT of the benefit of the doubt, but at some point, you call the dog the dog.

I don't think anyone can screech that they were tagged on their first offense, or any such nonsense. This was the one area where I think the judges from the Masters, of all experience levels, were on the same page. Sure, I am sure there were a few warnings given where that were "borderline" and a few situations that were let go that were "borderline" which is expected in any subjective call.

Oh, and for the comment about the Detroit pitcher, and how he "handled" his bad call. He was sent down to the minors to get his head on straight. Distaster on the mound since that game. Judge calls really do matter, and effect players in all games. We know that, and the vast majority of us take our positions extremely seriously.

Vince

LOLZ
07/07/2010, 11:42 AM
@All- No matter what the TPCI team, PTOs and Judges do, from Battle Roads all the way up to Nationals/Worlds there will always be players unhappy about something. 1300 players at Nationals this year, an increase from last year, only prove that TPCI is doing something right.
IMO- I thought nationals was amazing, thank you to everyone who was involved in putting on this event.

@Slow Play Complaints- If there weren’t guidelines addressing slow play (and stalling) issues and how Judges should handle them the amount of complaints about “stalling” and “losing on time” would increase.

Follow the rules, play quicker and their shouldn’t be problems. Also consider your moves while your opponent. I judge more then I play however when I do get a chance to play I know 90% of my plays before I draw my card to start my turn. During my opponents turn I know they can do X, Y or Z. So I figure if they do X or Y I can do P, Q and R. If they use move Z I’ll have to do S then P, Q and R. When my opponent comes out of left field with W or I draw into M or N I am in that 10% where I don’t know what my next play will be, in this case I will take that extra 10 seconds to come up with the better play. When I play my games rarely go to time.

I end with this- IT IS ONLY A GAME

-Lolz

Jeremy Badeaux
07/07/2010, 12:25 PM
I end with this- IT IS ONLY A GAME

-Lolz
I would like to start by saying that you must be very popular, as I have heard many tales of people doing things for you ("for the LOLZ"). :thumb:

Steve, I think you probably could have justified a penalty against the player who brought an all-Japanese deck to an event (unless the player was from Japan or some similar circumstance).
A few Japanese cards are cool, but there is no arguing that a completely-foreign deck is downright disruptive.

I guess I don't have too much problem with a HJ going off the reservation on the rare occasion, just so long as he/she can show they had good reasoning to do so.

As far as the stalling issue, I can't give you a specific amount of seconds that a turn can be, but I can tell you when I see it.
If a player has already used their energy attachment, already retreated, has only one option for an attack, used all powers/effects currently in play, knows they will be unable to avoid a loss on the next turn, and proceeds to spend 5-10 minutes thinking about all the nothing they can do. . . . that time/specific scenario doesn't need to be in any guideline for a judge to know that it's stalling.

As much as I like the notion of more specific time requirements on actions, it also leaves the door open for severe gamesmanship.
If a player does a long, drawn-out series of moves and goes just short of the time limit with every single move, is it stalling? How could you give a penalty for stalling when the rules say it isn't technically stalling?
The more experienced judges would undoubtedly find a way to deal with it, but it would cause problems for a number of the younger judges.

If a person has been playing at a, "lively" pace all game, they are only winning by one prize, and when they find out time is about to be called, they start playing at a much slower pace (though still within the guidelines), what would you think?
Gamesmanship, Stalling? How could you show it when he/she is playing to the same limit as everybody else?

PokePop
07/07/2010, 04:30 PM
@SteveP: What is there to Q w/ PokePop? He said the GUIDELINES are there to be used. He said he did this ONCE and was backed later by TPCi. He isnt saying go wild and ignore the guidelines. He just said IF you do, you better have a good reason. We all agree the "rules" are there to be followed as guidelines. The "rules" also allow for deviations in them, depending on tier level and age/experience.

Dont tell me you have never softened a recommended penalty when dealing with a new JR????

Keith

Just to clarify. I recognize that my statement was provocative and could be dangerous if someone takes it as license to go nuts with their rulings.

I'll note that I made the ruling in consultation with other top judges and defended my ruling to POP before actually making it (since it was at a large event) so it was "pre-supported", not supported later.

I consider all of the potential implications before varying from the guidelines and only do it with serious consideration. Not something for the novice judge to do.
And, as noted, not without consultation.

Most of the top judges make themselves available via cell phone for consultation and even though I'm on the Rules Team, I often consult with other high level judges and often get calls in return.
Judges don't have to make any hard decision alone as long as they have access to a phone.

SteveP
07/07/2010, 05:47 PM
...Judges don't have to make any hard decision alone as long as they have access to a phone.
Yup, that's a great practice Mike.:thumb:

If you're unsure, make the call.

As for the all-Japanese decks pre-this-season, you guys made very gutsy calls to disallow them, calls that I was prevented from making by my fellow judges and PTO. In hindsight, I feel the no-call was the proper thing, due to the lack of support by the rules (at that time) -- that is, the allowed, legal use of Japanese cards trumped the disruption argument -- IMO.

---------- Post added 07/08/2010 at 01:06 AM ----------

@Jeremy, that's why slow-play and stalling are tough calls for judges to make. When giving the penalty, the first thing the player is going to ask is "Why?" Without a turn-limit, the judge must point at specific actions within the turn that caused the penalty. Judges can't just say, "It feels right."

Nevertheless, I know the guidelines specifically state that it is not legal to do all your actions "to the full extent of the recommended time limits" (or similiar words).

Jeremy Badeaux
07/07/2010, 07:10 PM
@Jeremy, that's why slow-play and stalling are tough calls for judges to make. When giving the penalty, the first thing the player is going to ask is "Why?" Without a turn-limit, the judge must point at specific actions within the turn that caused the penalty. Judges can't just say, "It feels right."

Nevertheless, I know the guidelines specifically state that it is not legal to do all your actions "to the full extent of the recommended time limits" (or similiar words).

I agree, but I'm trying to say that no matter how much the rules micro-manage how many seconds you can take for every little action, stalling calls will always be a pain for a lot of judges.

Admittedly, I seem to have done a terrible job of saying it in my previous post. lol

Lawman
07/07/2010, 08:22 PM
Yup, that's a great practice Mike.:thumb:

If you're unsure, make the call.

As for the all-Japanese decks pre-this-season, you guys made very gutsy calls to disallow them, calls that I was prevented from making by my fellow judges and PTO. In hindsight, I feel the no-call was the proper thing, due to the lack of support by the rules (at that time) -- that is, the allowed, legal use of Japanese cards trumped the disruption argument -- IMO.

---------- Post added 07/08/2010 at 01:06 AM ----------

@Jeremy, that's why slow-play and stalling are tough calls for judges to make. When giving the penalty, the first thing the player is going to ask is "Why?" Without a turn-limit, the judge must point at specific actions within the turn that caused the penalty. Judges can't just say, "It feels right."

Nevertheless, I know the guidelines specifically state that it is not legal to do all your actions "to the full extent of the recommended time limits" (or similiar words).

You bring up a good point Steve. Go through the proper chain of command on site before you make a call. No judge IMO should be calling outside the bldg w/o clearing it 1st with the HJ/PTO running said event.

Keith

P_A
07/08/2010, 03:35 AM
The resources are there to get beforehand - if the head judge does not have access to the compendium and the penalty guidelines AT THE EVENT, then something is seriously wrong. Either the PTO or the Head judge aren't doing their job good enough. Then if there are judging situations that come up, a consensus of the judges can usually take care of most other situations, but we must realize the head judge is the control mechanism. If he/she still is having problem with an issue, then a call can be made as a last resort. Remember that all of this eats up time. An outside call doubles your time for a ruling since you must explain the situation all over again to someone who is not at the event. Time management at the venue might stop a call outside the building, and the judge ruling may have to be done without the benefit of a phone call. That's why it's so important to use the resources available to us.

Now that being said, that doesn't excuse a rushed ruling. You take the time necessary to do a proper ruling based on what knowledge you have, so the integrity of the event is at it's best.

bullados
07/08/2010, 07:18 AM
I agree, but I'm trying to say that no matter how much the rules micro-manage how many seconds you can take for every little action, stalling calls will always be a pain for a lot of judges.

Jeremy, please be specific about the calls you're referencing. Most of the calls are for Slow Play, not for Stalling. There is a difference.

SteveP
07/08/2010, 08:45 AM
Jeremy, please be specific about the calls you're referencing. Most of the calls are for Slow Play, not for Stalling. There is a difference.
The big difference is that stalling is intentional. Beyond that, I'd say they're pretty much identical. If you find intent to cheat, make the "stalling" call; otherwise, it's slow-play. Correct me if I'm wrong.

---------- Post added 07/08/2010 at 03:57 PM ----------


The resources are there to get beforehand - if the head judge does not have access to the compendium and the penalty guidelines AT THE EVENT, then something is seriously wrong. Either the PTO or the Head judge aren't doing their job good enough. Then if there are judging situations that come up, a consensus of the judges can usually take care of most other situations, but we must realize the head judge is the control mechanism. If he/she still is having problem with an issue, then a call can be made as a last resort. Remember that all of this eats up time. An outside call doubles your time for a ruling since you must explain the situation all over again to someone who is not at the event. Time management at the venue might stop a call outside the building, and the judge ruling may have to be done without the benefit of a phone call. That's why it's so important to use the resources available to us.

Now that being said, that doesn't excuse a rushed ruling. You take the time necessary to do a proper ruling based on what knowledge you have, so the integrity of the event is at it's best.
Agreed! Getting it right is more important than timeliness.

I've never judged at a major event here in Colorado where the PTO hasn't provided multiple printed copies of the rules and latest compendium. For lesser events, such as BRs, he provides them online. Personally, I prefer them online because they're easier to search - although it's generally faster to consult fellow judges when you're unsure.

---------- Post added 07/08/2010 at 04:04 PM ----------


I agree, but I'm trying to say that no matter how much the rules micro-manage how many seconds you can take for every little action, stalling calls will always be a pain for a lot of judges.

Admittedly, I seem to have done a terrible job of saying it in my previous post. lol
Naw, I got you. It's a pain because you have to observe and/or investigate. Plus, for stalling, you have to find intent. Finally, you have to be prepared to justify the ruling. All this effort takes time, which is the big pain. :frown:

bulbasnore
07/08/2010, 10:35 PM
We understand the 1st deck search (or at least the better judges and the ones on my staff this year @ Nats bc I told them!) is the most important one of the match bc players catalog...

And, this (limit does not apply to early game searches) is what we taught at the basic judge seminar, too. Because this is the clear implication of the guidelines.

Slow play calls are made on a pattern of exceeding the guidelines, according to the judge manual. We teach that a pattern is judged on a minimum of 3 or more significant overages of the per play guidelines. Then, you look at the PG for the suggested starting penalty for that Tier of event.

At Nats, AFAIK, the few folks who got a PP for slow play got a warning before that. Our pre-determined approach was that Slow Play was cross-checked with another judge making an independent assessment before PP. That's two judges (minimum and sometimes 3) independently finding a pattern of slow play exceeding the guidelines, as above.

Those are right that are saying this: if the guidelines are off from what they should be, get POP to change them. A discussion here is a good forum for ideas and for registering your opinion, but a cogent note to POP is also useful. If it needs to say, 'only if one player objects', or 'time per card' or whatever, make the cases that get it printed in there. Until then, the judge is supposed to learn and apply the guidelines given. This is for consistency across the program.

Personally, I'd feel like it was irresponsible if the MA judge staff meeting had said, "OK, folks, this is T128, so don't call slow play unless one player objects to pace." From my perspective, by the time one player gets torqued enough to call the judge on that, we're in the last few minutes. At that point, if the person is stubborn enough to not play within the guidelines, and let the judge do a proper assessment of slow play over 3 or more moves, they um, get a warning and the other player loses the match and claims they were stalled out.


That's interesting - thanks for the info. I wonder, though, if the biggest tournament of the season is the correct venue for "training players" to do anything.

Let me take the other side of this... this is why judges need to give the Tier 1 calls on Slow Play at BR & Cities, etc. If someone comes from an area where the per play guidelines are unknown or the staff doesn't know how to practically implement them, some folks are going to be startled and thrown off when they hit an environment where they are known and used properly.

And whoever said, slow play guidelines should be applied early game is right -- and early rounds, too. Consistency throughout the event, and throughout each round is the goal. Is the reason things seem like they got tight late that it took a while to make the first observations that showed a warning was earned before the later double independent observations showed a prize penalty was earned?


I like 'airing grievances' publicly, because I really like mass communication and information exchange in coming up with solutions. ... Does my e-mailing my suggestions vs airing them here do that much of a difference? is the difference even GOOD?

In general, doing both is good. In the case of specific incidents, my advice would be public discussion is fine, but private direct report is essential.

To the player who wrote that POP doesn't seem to care... they care. No inside info: they may or may not agree with every report, they may not find every report sufficiently detailed to be actionable, but I'm as sure as I can be from this distance that everything gets read. I can tell you from personal experience and firsthand report of colleagues that questions are asked, discussions had and directions given. Do speak up directly to POP. There are just a handful of them and a zillion of us, so I think they can't respond to every issue raised, but I'm pretty confident they read them all thoughtfully.


He made his comment in response to my initial statement that judges can't "legally" tell a player that their turn is too long (without pointing to specific actions) and give them a penalty. There are no turn limits -- only action limits.

Agreed. I don't find turn limits in the guidelines and I think generating some turn time limit and not actively applying the per action guidelines is not only unnecessary/not useful, but nigh impossible to justify from the current set of directions given to judges by POP.

Chromecatz
07/09/2010, 12:24 AM
@All- No matter what the TPCI team, PTOs and Judges do, from Battle Roads all the way up to Nationals/Worlds there will always be players unhappy about something. 1300 players at Nationals this year, an increase from last year, only prove that TPCI is doing something right.
IMO- I thought nationals was amazing, thank you to everyone who was involved in putting on this event.

@Slow Play Complaints- If there weren’t guidelines addressing slow play (and stalling) issues and how Judges should handle them the amount of complaints about “stalling” and “losing on time” would increase.

Follow the rules, play quicker and their shouldn’t be problems. Also consider your moves while your opponent. I judge more then I play however when I do get a chance to play I know 90% of my plays before I draw my card to start my turn. During my opponents turn I know they can do X, Y or Z. So I figure if they do X or Y I can do P, Q and R. If they use move Z I’ll have to do S then P, Q and R. When my opponent comes out of left field with W or I draw into M or N I am in that 10% where I don’t know what my next play will be, in this case I will take that extra 10 seconds to come up with the better play. When I play my games rarely go to time.

I end with this- IT IS ONLY A GAME

-Lolz

Thats because you play SHUPPET.

continue

DarthPika
07/11/2010, 07:49 AM
Thats because you play SHUPPET.

continue

I've found many people who use such quick decks rarely appreciate how long some of the slower, more difficult decks can take to use. Heck, when I used kingdra back at regs, I had a total of 1 game come to time. Most of the time, it was either win or lose in the first few turns.