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Rules & Regulations
« on: May 21, 2016, 05:27:59 pm »

(This thread is locked. If you have comments please post them in the current "season has started" thread.)

I. League Structure

Each League season lasts for 6 weeks, and is followed by a 2 week break. Players are divided into groups of at most 6 players. Groups are arranged in tiered divisions. There is a single A division, 2 B divisions, 4 C divisions, 8 D divisions, up to 16 E divisions, and up to 32 F divisions. Divisions are determined by a seeding algorithm depending on level on the Shuffle IT client (, with time zone taken into account in the lower divisions (D, E, and F).

At the end of the season the players with 1st place ranks promote to the next level, while players ranked 5th or 6th place demote. E division demotions (to F) will possibly be more lenient depending on the number of players.

II. Match Structure

Each player will play one match with each other player in their division. Matches consist of 6 games, with each player going first 3 times. The League recommends playing the first game with random starting players, and then alternating starting players manually. Each player is receives 1 point for each game they won, and 0.5 points for each tie for that match.

The League standard is to play games on Dominion Online with VP tracking enabled on randomly generated kingdoms using all cards that either player owns (the default on, no matter who hosts the table). These standards should be followed for all games unless both players agree to alternate arrangements. Games may be played without VP tracking, in person, with only a limited set of expansions, particular kingdom cards you want practice with, etc., but both players must consent. If you wish to make arrangements that differ from the League standard, you should make this clear to your opponent when scheduling your match.

The League suggests completing all 6 games of a match on the same day, but this is not required. When scheduling, keep in mind that a matches typically take 1.5-2 hours. After completing a match one of the players should post the result (via Google forms sent to each player at the start of the season) as soon as possible.  If a match is started, but not completed, the partial result, including the number of times each player has gone first should be posted in the Partial Results thread. When the match is completed, the partial result should be removed.

III. Standings

During the season, the standings for each group will be automatically updated as players complete matches. The players in each group will be ranked based on the average number of points they have received in each match. Ties are broken in the following order.
  • Number of total points from matches between the tied players
  • The sum of the number of points received in each match multiplied by the total score of the opponent from that match.
  • Coin Flip
At the end of the season, players who place 1st in their groups will promote to the next higher division, and players who place 5th and 6th will demote to the next lower division. For instance, the players who place 5th and 6th in the A group will demote to the B division, and the players who place first in B1 and B2 groups will promote to the A division to take their places. We might possibly be more lenient in the lower divisions depending on overall numbers.

IV. Joining, and Leaving

You're not required to own any cards in order to sign up, and who owns what will not have any influence on how players are placed into groups.
When a player joins for the first time, they are placed in a division based on the availability of spots and their level on the Dominion Online Leaderboard.
At the end of each season, players must indicate if they intend to stay in the league, or leave for the next season. You will not automatically re-enter the next season without specifying your preference. Please indicate whether you intend to return for the next season or not in your division's scheduling thread before the end of the season.

Available spots that are created when players leave the league will be filled with players in the following order:
  • Players who left the league after a prior season within the last year (up to six seasons before the new one) are inserted at the level they previously earned.
  • Players who are joining for the first time, or who we were unable to place based on criteria #1 will be inserted into remaining openings by their rating on the Dominion Online leaderboard.
  • The player or players who had the best score(s) in their division among those who placed 2nd are promoted.
  • The player or players who had the best score(s) in their division among those who placed 5th skip demotion.

V. Scheduling

A suggested schedule will be posted in your group's scheduling thread with a specific player to play each week. There is no requirement to follow the suggested schedule, but it is recommended not to fall behind the one match per week pace. Each group will be assigned a league moderator. If you have any scheduling issues, or if your opponent does not show up for a scheduled match, please inform your moderator.

If you are placed in a group with a player you are close friends with, please schedule your match as early as possible in the season to eliminate any temptation for collusion. You can also inform a league moderator if you anticipate this type of issue and the League will make an effort to place you in separate groups.

VI. Playing Competitively

All players in the league are expected to complete all of their matches as competitively as possible. There are times when it may appear that your remaining games cannot affect your standings, but this is very seldom the case. The average points per player in a full group each season is 15, and 6 points are at stake in each match. In some groups, the difference between 1st and 6th place has been less than 2 points at the end of the season.  Even if your personal promotion/demotion status is guaranteed, it is still not acceptable to complete games non-competitively. It is possible for the result of any match to determine the fate of another player by way of the tiebreaker points. It is unfair to other players in your group if you do not complete your matches properly. Players who are found to have forfeited games or matches, colluded with other players, or posted results that were non-competitive in other ways may be banned from the league for up to 4 Seasons depending on the severity of the offense. Repeat offenders may receive a longer ban period or be permanently banned from the league.  If anyone suggests recording a result that you feel is in violation of this policy, please report it to your League moderator immediately.

VII. Incomplete Games

If a game unexpectedly ends because either Dominion Online breaks down or one of the players accidentally disconnects (internet connection lost, computer crashes, ...) please use the following guidelines.
  • Discuss the game together with your opponent. Was the game completely open, or was either player ahead? And if there was a lead, was it small, significant or almost insurmountable?
  • Based on the players assessment of the game, you may chose one of the following options.
    • If you decide game was even or the lead was small, simply replay the game.
    • If you decide one player had a strong lead, report this game as 0.75-0.25 in favor of the leading player.
    • If you decide one player had a very significant lead, then that player should be awarded a win for that game.
  • We know that arbitrating this process with your opponent may be scary. Determining the state of a Dominion match is not a very scientific process especially when the players that have to make these decisions are competing. An ideal result is not possible when disconnects are involved, and there is no expectation of a perfect outcome. The purpose of this process is to give clear guidelines for players to adhere to when resolving the situation. If you really feel like you were ahead, and your opponent feels the same, then you are entitled to some equity and this process attempts to provide that.
  • Please know that in coming to an agreement may require one player to lose some equity. E.g. If you estimate there you have a 5% chance to win a game, then resigning it due to a disconnect may not feel great because you have given up a chance you had to win that game. It's still the most fair option, because 5% is a lot closer to nothing than to 25%.  We do not allow match results more precise than 0.75/0.25 because estimating win chances in these situations is very imprecise.
  • If you and your opponent cannot come to an agreement about the game state, you can chose to defer the decision to your group moderator. Your moderator won't enjoy making this decision for you, so please make every possible effort to come to an agreement with your opponent. Both players should post their thoughts on the game state in their group's thread and which result they think is best before sending a message to the group moderator. Make only one post with your opinion. There will not be any extended discussion about the game. The group moderator will make a decision based on the players statements and their own evaluation of the game. This decision could be a win/loss, replay, tie, or 0.75/0.25.

VIII. Late Finish Penalties

The official deadline to report your match results is the day after the official deadline (a Monday) at 15:00 UTC, so that people from the western-most time zones can easily finish and report matches which they started playing on Sunday night.

Players who are responsible for finishing their games late in two consecutive seasons they play will get their overall score reduced by 1. This penalty will only count for the own total and own average score and not for the calculation of any tiebreakers. Responsibility is determined by the group moderator, and any players who believe their opponents are responsible for the delay should send their moderator all relevant communications for evaluation.

If late game results are not reported within a week of the deadline, the responsible players are considered to have dropped out mid-season, with more severe penalties as described in the following section.

IX. Dropping Players Mid-Season

Players dropping out during the season have a significant negative impact on their group. Unfortunately, some must drop out, or become inactive and have to be removed by the moderators. It is difficult to deal with matches that have been played by a player who has dropped because the matches they played and failed to play can have a significant impact on the group standings. The following rules are used for dropped players:
  • If the removed player has not played any matches, they are simply removed and the remaining players in the group will play one fewer match. If possible, the moderators will seek to replace them with another player from the waiting list.
  • If the removed player has played fewer than 3 complete matches (18 games), any games they played are voided, and the remaining players will play one fewer match.
  • If the removed player has played at least 3 complete matches (18 games), the results will be retained in the standings. In addition, so as not to compare any players with different numbers of games played, any unplayed games with dropped players will be simulated by averaging the average winning percentage of the dropped player and the average losing percentage of their opponent in all games they did play. The dropped player is then considered ineligible and finishes below all other players, including possible demotion in any subsequent season in which they might return.
Players who drop mid-season will be banned from participation in the next 2 League Seasons. If a player drops out within the first week of the season or is in good standing with the League (i.e. has played in prior seasons without drops or late finishes) the ban period may be reduced or eliminated per the moderating team's discretion.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 08:54:49 pm by samath »


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Tips for Scheduling Matches
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 05:30:14 pm »

Tips For Scheduling Your Matches

Players apply very different strategies to get their league matches scheduled. Some methods may work out better then others, but it's clearly best to be flexible. Not just in the scheduling, but also in your scheduling strategy. Just because something worked last season doesn't automatically imply it will work again. Different people will cause different circumstances and may call for a different approach. Please be willing to switch during a season, multiple times if necessary.

post I'm online now. Anybody wants to play?
This is what I call the opportunistic strategy and can be very effective during the first couple of weeks of a season.
In fact, I would call it the best possible strategy for the first week. Sometimes people get to play a lot of their matches this way, without any scheduling involved.
It is probably more effective when you are in the same timezone as the rest of your group.

post I would like to play a game on Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Anybody?
A little more committing is to announce some times you could play and wait for someone to respond. This is my personal preferred method.
With a bit of luck someone responds either on the forum or by PM. Make sure to specify a timezone if you're not all in the same one.
Note that such a post is much more effective if you actually specify (multiple) time slots.
Final arrangements will probably be made after someone responds by PM, so you don't always have to be 100% sure you can keep all your announced time slots open.

PM Hi Mr. X, when would you like to play our match? I could play on Tuesday or Wednesday evening.
When approaching to the end of the season a post on the forum becomes less effective. There's probably just one or two players left for you, and you should just PM them.
Try to specify at least a couple of options for the times / days you can play.

The suggested schedule
Stick to it if it helps you. If you intend to, you should probably announce it on the forum and start using Personal Messages for scheduling right away.
If someone in your group wants to stick to the schedule, please do respect that wish.

Unresponsive opponents
If someone in your group continues to be unresponsive, both on the forum and to PMs, it's time to inform your group moderator.

falling behind schedule
Sometimes it happens, even with the best intentions. You may have had a very busy personal schedule, or some of your matches got cancelled, or your opponents just didn't respond for a while. All of this can happen to anybody. But the most important thing is: please do communicate about it. Post on the forum to explain it to your group, or at the very least PM your group moderator.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 12:27:08 am by Deadlock39 »
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