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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 previous performance in the League, taking into account time zone in the lower tiers (D, E, and F) and Dominion Online level for new players.

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 and Policies

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 receives 1 point for each game they won, and 0.5 points for each tie for that match.

The League standard is to play matches on Dominion Online, though you may play in-person. For games played online, spectators must be allowed for matches in tiers A, B, C, and D, and players cannot request to disallow spectators. Spectators are encouraged in other tiers, but a request by any player to disallow spectators must be honored. Players in all tiers are encouraged to turn the option to allow spectators to see their cards on and the option for players to see spectator chat off.

For games played online, the table should have the following settings by default, any of which both players can mutually agree to change before the game:
  • The disliked cards lists and banned cards lists should be respected, and the liked cards lists should not be. Except for the foregoing, Kingdoms should be generated randomly with all cards either player owns, from zero to two landscapes, and no specific cards or landscapes required.
  • The game should be unrated.
  • The victory point counter should be used.

A playing session is a series of one or more games between the same two players. A match may be played over one or more playing sessions. During an individual session, players may not adjust their cardlists unless mutually agreed upon. For the purpose of this rule, any consecutive games played between the same two players with less than 24 hours between them are considered to be part of the same session.

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 less than 6 games are played, the result of those games just played should be submitted in the same fashion. Multiple reports between the same two players will add to the full score.

We recognize that players from different backgrounds have different opinions on which undos, if any, should be allowed when playing Dominion. Therefore, players can choose any policy on what undos they will allow, as long as they announce it to their opponent ahead of time. In the absence of such an announcement, they will be expected to follow the default policy for the League, which is to grant undos of small numbers of non-information-revealing steps.

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.
  • If 2 players are still tied after the 2nd tiebreaker in a position with promotion or demotion consequences, they play a playoff match of 2 games. Each player starts once. If the players are tied after 2 games, they play one final game with random starting player in which player 2 wins ties. A player may choose not to play the playoff match, and thereby concede. If one player fails to respond promptly or is unable to play, that player will demote or not promote. If neither player responds promptly or both players respond but cannot arrange a match in the required time, moderators will flip a coin.
    If more than 2 players are tied after the 2nd tiebreaker, moderators will randomly order them.
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.

In addition, the top two finishers in the A1 division will play a second 6-game match to determine the Champion for the Dominion League for that season. For the purposes of determining the Champion (and only those purposes), the results of this match will be added to the results of the season, including updates to tiebreakers. The match date and time should be determined by the two players well in advance to allow for the moderator team to find a commentator team. Even if the outcome of the match is settled before the sixth game, all six should be played out for the purpose of spectator entertainment.

IV. Joining and Leaving

To join the League, you must join the Dominion (Card Game) Discord server. To join the Dominion Discord server follow this link:

Once you have joined the Discord Server you may sign up to join the League here:

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 Discord channel 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. Respectfulness

Players are expected to treat one another with respect at all times. Examples of poor conduct include swearing at another player or otherwise harassing them, excessively complaining about luck, rage-quitting and leaving a scheduled match, intentional slow-playing, or unexpectedly changing pre-match arrangements (such as undo usage). Player usernames also must not be offensive.

If another player acts disrespectfully towards you, you should contact your moderator as soon as possible. You are encouraged to provide screenshots of game chats or forum/Discord messages as evidence. If you find a username to be offensive, contact your moderator.

Violations of this rule will be adjudicated by a majority decision of the moderators. Depending on the severity of the offense, violating this rule may result in a warning, a ban of one or more seasons, or a permanent ban from the League. If your username is offensive, you will be told to change it prior to joining the League or before the next season begins.

VIII. Late Finishes

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.

If players are unable to finish their matches by the deadline, they must contact their moderator to request an extension for up to a week with information about when the late matches will take place. If such communication does not take place or late game results are not reported within a week of the deadline, the responsible players are considered to have dropped out mid-season, with 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 played no games, they are simply removed and the remaining players play one fewer match. If possible, the moderators will replace them with a player from the waiting list.
  • If the removed player played fewer than 3 complete matches (each match being 6 games), the games they played are voided, and the remaining players play one fewer match.
  • If the removed player played 3 or more complete matches (each match being 6 games), the games they played are retained and the games they did not play are 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.

Players who drop mid-season will be banned from participation in the next 2 League seasons. Dropped players finish last place in their division and will demote, which may affect their placement in subsequent seasons they return to. 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 and demotion penalty may be reduced or eliminated at the moderators’ discretion.

X. League Moderation

The League is moderated by a group of players whose role is to ensure the League runs smoothly. Moderators are allowed, but not required, to play in the League. Moderators are assigned divisions (never a division in the same tier they play in) to be the primary point of contact for those divisions. Their responsibilities include checking up on players who have fallen behind and removing those who are non-responsive for a considerable period of time. However, all moderators are able to assist players with any issues they face. When new or additional moderators are needed, there will be an open call posted to the forum. New moderators are chosen by a vote of the current moderator team.

League moderators are also responsible for adjudicating any disputed rules infractions. If a moderator decision needs to be made that affects the outcome of a game, the players should finish the game and the player who requested the decision may protest the game by contacting their moderator with a description of what occurred and the game number. The moderator team will review the game and make a ruling by a majority vote whether the game results stand or that the game must be replayed.

Whenever the moderators gather for an official meeting at which rules may change (at least once per season), the agenda of the meeting and the outcome of any votes, including the number dissenting, will be made public within a week of the meeting.

XI. Amendments

These rules can be amended for future seasons by a majority vote of the moderators. All such changes will be posted to the Changelog with an explanation of the change taking place. Exceptions to rules for the current season may be granted if and only if the moderators and all directly affected players agree to the exception.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 02:07:01 am by crlundy »


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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 in Discord 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.

Direct Message on Discord 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 discord channel becomes less effective. There's probably just one or two players left for you, and you should just Direct Message them.

PM on this forum Hi Mr. X, when would you like to play our match? I could play on Tuesday or Wednesday evening.
This PM can also generate an email to that user which provides an additional method of contact.
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.

Be present
Discord has a free app that you can download onto your smartphone or computer to assist staying updated with your opponent's schedules.  While playing in the league staying in contact with your fellow group members on discord will help all players stay in contact and provide visibility to moderators should any members of your group fall behind scheduling matches.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 06:35:36 am by 2.71828..... »
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