Another penalty post

Discussion in 'Professor Forum' started by ScythKing, Apr 26, 2004.

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  1. ScythKing

    ScythKing Member

    Here's the scenarios:

    (1) The players are in setup, the flip for first has been made play has not yet begun. Player 1 draws a mulligan but fails to show it to the opposite player and shuffles his initial draw back into the deck. The penalty was a prize loss (Player 1 puts up an extra prize, player 2 takes a prize) even though they had not yet started or even put down prizes.

    (2) The game is in progress. Player 1 plays a TV Reporter and puts it on top of the discard pile. Player 2 makes an issue of the card not being in the play area. Player 1 gets flustered and accidentally shuffles his whole hand into the deck. The judges get called over. The penalty? Play without a hand.

    Now my opinion is this:
    (1) A warning would be sufficient since game play had not begun.
    (2) Allow the player to draw 3 as it was agreed the TV Reporter had been played, then discard one as per the card text.

    My thought is that with the lack of guidelines some judges are being pretty heavy-handed with the penalties. Opinions?
  2. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    That says it all, right there. I'm assuming these incidents happened at your State tourney? I think having the "REL" (can I say that or is it (c)DCI? ;) ) higher at a touney like a State championship is certainly acceptable...

    I just hope we have actual Penalty Guidelines to use by the time the Gym/Stadium Challenges come along; IMO NOT having them available, with trips at stake is going to be a judging nightmare! Does anyone want to be in the situation where a penalty is being argued with a self-proclamed rules lawyer or the Pokémon equivalent of a soccer mom/dad when a trip is in the balance...with no written guidelines as backup? :(

  3. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Like PokeMom says....

    Without Guidelines, we're stuck with using the DCI Penalty Guidelines, which is probably VERY close to what we'll get when POP releases their own guidelines. Hopefully, judges will use them so that we're all "on the same page."

    Regarding your scenarios, I say that your first scenario borders on Cheating. Of course, you'd have to prove that (or show that this player has a trend of declaring mulligans without showing their hand). Also, the first scenario could be viewed as an unwindable infraction. Falling into that category, some judges could deem the infraction penalty to be a game loss / prize swap.

    In your second scenario, shuffling your hand into your draw deck is unwindable if it can't be determined what was in your hand. It's just "too bad" if a player becomes flustered and does something by mistake. "Them's the breaks." In this scenario, playing without a hand is a valid penalty. Depending on the circumstances, I could even see a game-loss / prize swap penalty being applied. For the prize swap penalty, I could even see a judge allowing the TV Reporter to be used after the improper reshuffle occured.

    We'll always have some judges applying different and/or harsher punishments. That's just life. Even the DCI Penalty Guidelines often leave the severity of the penalty up to the judge. So, Infractions should ALWAYS be standard, but Penalties should ALWAYS be discretionary, IMO.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2004
  4. bulbasnore

    bulbasnore Administrator Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Sit 1 - I think I agree with the judge. Not showing the mulligan _could_ be a way to flush a loser starting hand. Because of the obvious game advantage that can give, I would provide the penalty.

    Sit 2 - Not sure I have enough info about that one. First, player gets a warning for the misplay (shuffle) and then some friendly advice to 1) play the card as written (into play area not discard because a double supporter play, same turn, with supporters going in the discard would likely be another game loss/prize swap if it wasn't unwindable) and 2) take a deep breath, try to recover, but if not at least enjoy the rest of the game. Next, look at game situation. Is the player facing decking? a potential GardEx with feedback? Other circumstances where no hand is an obvious gain? I apply prize swap. Otherwise, the warning stands and he draws 3 discarding 1. Definitely within the Judge's judgment as to whether to allow the card to play or not.

    Hopefully relevant side note:
    At CA StC, I had two Prof. Oaks Res. and 1 Elm' Training method in my hand. I played the Elm's training declared POR, and shuffled in my hand. Opponent said 'What is this!!' and called the judge. I was allowed to continue w/ warning, no hand, but to pull an evo for the Elm played. The fluster from this blew my game, but a friend came by after and gave the 'deep breath/pause' advice which saved another match for me later on and I made T8.
  5. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Wow bulbasnore, you actually got a break in your ruling (using a Prof Elm's Training Method for a POR). That's a game loss / prize swap penalty (unwindable infraction) in my book if the player's opponent didn't know the player had a POR in his hand. If I were you, I would've been relieved, not flustered.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2004
  6. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    I hope they review the prize swap situation.

    A 2 prize swing for some of these infractions is rather harsh. Allowing your opponent to draw a prize should be penalty enough.

    Maybe the prize swap could be the second offense, and a prize penalty the first....who knows? Like I said, I am working on "proposed guidelines" that I should have up tonight, for all to comment, and butcher, and improve. Not trying to "force" my rulings and choices, but want to get the ball rolling, as I hear nothing from PUI.

  7. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    M45, judges have always had the descetion to lessen a penalty. Personally, I think the guidelines should only specify the MAXIMUM penalty. Judges can then reduce the penalty according to the situation.
  8. ScythKing

    ScythKing Member

    That's the point I hope to make here. The old penalties were *suggested* maximums. The degree went with the rel of the event.
    I personally disagree with both of the rulings that I mentioned as too harsh. In the one game play had not even begun. Theorizing that someone could have been flushing a bad hand on purpose is counterproductive as we should are essentially stating that we feel cheating was involved - so they are all guilty automatically. This can only cause resentment with an honest player who made a dumb mistake. Remember this is supposed to be fun - not a character assassination. We have all made boner mistakes and we all have a sense of what is just. Exceed that level and it causes resentment.
    In the second - when both players agreed that the TVR had been played - telling the player they must forfeit their hand but still be able to use the TVR would have been fair. Making them play with no hand is just plain harsh and spiteful considering they already feel dumb for throwing their hand away. On one hand they can put the blame on themselves, when a harsh penalty is invoked (adding insult to injury) now they have a real target for their anger - and it is no longer themselves.
    Anyone besides me remember when we had to endure the harsh penalties of clueless disrespectful Magic judges? I personally don't want to be like that. I have heard comments from judges like "they deserved to pay for such a stupid mistake". I'm sorry - that is not a good attitude - don't let the competitive atmosphere turn you into a mongol warrior that shows no mercy.
  9. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member


    Seeing as how both of those situations and penalties are the same as the ones I had at the Georgia State Championships, in fact the two that most stick out in my mind, I assume that my judgment is being called under question. Would you mind confirming this or denying it?

    1: I've had some lengthy experience with this difficult call. I had a player at GenCon 2003 FAT event, where a 15+ player (who made it to the finals later on) did not show their hand when he mulliganed. It was later discovered that he had marked cards.

    Mulliganing without showing your hand to the opponent is usually deemed as cheating. As well, it's an irreversible action, something that nobody can fix. At the Georgia State Championships we had two different players called on not showing their hands. One of those players repeated this offense throughout the swiss matches. I consider that to be cheating. On the other hand, we had a player who was obviously of a younger age facing a player with a fairly good reputation (STS Champ, etc). When the call was reported that the younger opponent didn't show their hand to another judge, we established that the age difference did not play an important factor in determining the penalty. We already set a precedent earlier for the action (Prize Loss) and to maintain consistency we had to give the same penalty. Severe Procedural Errors like this result in stricter penalties, as well as the chance of cheating.

    2: Supporters are to be placed in play, exactly like Stadium Cards. I give cautions and then warnings to players who do not do this, simply because it will result in a call of cheating when another Supporter is played. From my experience, judges should spend most of their time watching matches for the position of prize cards, the placement of Supporters, and the visibility of attached energy. All of which can result in serious problems in game play.

    However, I was not called on this minor procedural error, but was alerted when the player shuffled his hand into his deck. Again, this is another severe procedural error that can not be fixed. I based the penalty on the way the WotC's Master Trainers dealt with Cleffa's "Eeeeeeek" without flipping for the opponent's Baby Power, as the entire hand was shuffled into the deck with both calls.


    I agree these penalties were harsh, but were needed. A judge's role in a tournament is to teach and educate players to play correctly. My goal is to minimize the chances that I have receive a call from opposing players, unless absolutely needed. This was at a State Championships, with quite a bunch of prizes on the line, but that does not change my rule enforcement level. All judges, at any tournament level, should assign penalties for these two severe procedural errors so that the player learns not to continue breaking the rules of the game. The only thing that had me worried was the correct application of the prize penalty, if the player in question should put one prize card out and the opponent take one OR if only the player in question should place one extra prize card out, the opponent not drawing anything. Without an active and accessible POP Penalty Guidelines, what one judge deems to be a minor offense could be considered a game altering offense at another event. But again, those are only guidelines. While the two calls you brought forth seem simple, there is always the aspect of human nature. Every tournament has different players, with different motives, experience, and past problems. Floor Judging is a much more immersive and difficult than answering those two questions on paper or in writing. Seeing as how most of you were not attending the Georgia State Championships, Scyth included, I'd imagine your specifics on the event would be quite vague. I felt, as did the team, that the rulings and penalties were accurate and correct. Of course, if either of the attending players from Tennessee have a problem with my rulings, feel free to contact [email protected].
  10. Feraligatr

    Feraligatr New Member

    If it is considered cheating by not showing your hand when you mulligan, how do you rule when player A mulligans and says they showed their hand but player B says player A did not (either player B is telling the truth or lying to get a prize/prize swap) ?
  11. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    You'll need to use your best judgement to decide who's lying.
  12. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    When it comes down to he said, she said arguments like Feraligatr pointed out, it often requires the assistance of other participants and players eyewitness reports. Player A could have cheated, but there's no way to verify it since the hand is gone. Player B could be lying or missed the opponent's steps to show the hand to them. What other participants see and hear really determines the answer to that call. If that doesnt answer the problem, I would imagine I would give Player B the option of mulligaining along with Player A.
  13. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Give them both a caution.
    If one is making a habit of cheating, they will collect penalties, with each one ratcheting up.

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