When rules meet honor

1LDK

Vengeance
is a Top Team Rater
I mean, we all knew this was going to happen, so I decided to just get it done, for all the people who don't know what happen, let's recapitulate:

1) On Saturday 3 PM GMT -3, in the top 16 of OLT X, JustFranco vs INSULT were supposed to play to advance to top 8

2) For individual tournament, activity win can be asked 15 minutes later the initial time if the opponent hasn't shown

3) at 3:16, (1 minute after the obligatory wait) JustFranco calls for act win like the rules said

4) at 3:17, INSULT says he is here and asks to play (this is in INSULT's wall where this is happening)

5) The spectators know nothing, but turns out
1696770804189.png

He messed up the timezones and that's why he showed up late

Between point 4 and 5, some people start to pile up on JustFranco for trying to act fish and counting the time in top gameplay instead of going to play against his opponent, particularly, the tournament host Quite Quite

6) JustFranco comes back to the OLT thread and makes a post about how he logged off, and he was gonna take down the act win request and play against INSULT, but he found crazy that he was getting insulted by the people who were supposed to enforce the rules

7) INSULT wins, point 5 gets known and people start attacking Quite Quite for calling JustFranco a "twat" while being the tournament host

In this case, no actual written rules were broken, but the code of honor did because people wanted JustFranco to play with INSULT, and it seemed like it was not gonna happen until JustFranco came to clarify

What should we do?

On the thread, Lily suggested and (I quote)

maybe not the best way around it but simple fix w/o commenting on current situation (this will inevitably spin off into a pr thread but whatever):
act rules for standard rounds of cups/seasonals/whatever: 15 minutes no show = gone
act rules for playoff phases: 30 minutes no show = gone

15 minutes has proven time and time again to be too low when it comes to playoff phases that people put tons of work into to get to, but if you're making your opponent wait a whole half hour w/o any communication its kinda on you. team tours have different rules rn because once it gets to a point where it's taken more seriously (which team tours are) it becomes more important to get the games done than anything else, playoff phases should have the same logic applied
And Stone Cold suggested (and I quote)

Y'all are crazy lmao.

In an official trophy tournament, it should be the job of the tournament directors to do everything in their power to force the game to happen if the players in communication are bozos and somehow cannot uphold the documented scheduled time (Merrit i understand that's usually your goal to begin with ). An activity win is simply unacceptable at this level.

But here's a take - official tournaments like OLT represent the highest level of achievement possible in this hobby. Activity wins at this level shouldn't even be an option. Let's get rid of those in its entirety once you hit a certain stage of an official (top 32?, 16?) unless extreme circumstances occur of course.
From my personal point of view, I think mixing the 2 ideas sounds good, doing a catch-all 30 minute wait time before asking for act is a good idea, and also eliminate act wins once the tournament is getting molten hot, now, I'll admit that I'm relatively new, so I don't know that much about the code of honor and about other cases like this in the past, so if you have any other ideas or experiences, feel free to tell
 
Last edited:

Merritt

no comment
is a Tournament Directoris a Site Content Manageris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host
Head TD
Speaking personally not representing the TD team as a whole ect

Removing activity wins entirely isn't something that should really be on the table, considering how easily this can be used to disrespect another player's time and is also very likely to result in tournaments going way over schedule (see how long finals used to take semi frequently before actual deadlines were implemented).

An increase to 30 minutes wait in playoffs is more feasible, though at what point in officials should it switch over to this? For Classic and Slam, should it only apply to the actual playoffs, or should it also apply to the individual cups/opens? If so, at what point in those, quarterfinals or semifinals? For tournaments with a large top cut (such as this year's Smogon Masters which is Top 64) should it still apply to Round 1 of that? Should this be applied to the Swiss stage of OLT, or only the Top 16 onward section? For OST, which doesn't have a defined playoffs stage, should the 30 minute wait start at top 16, top 32, top 8, or where else?

These shouldn't be obstacles, but I'd like to see input on these questions from the community rather than having the TD team decide the answers to these questions semi-arbitrarily.
 
Last edited:

awyp

'Alexa play Ladyfingers by Herb Alpert'
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Top Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
RMT Leader
Speaking personally not representing the TD team as a whole ect

Removing activity wins entirely isn't something that should really be on the table, considering how easily this can be used to disrespect another player's time and is also very likely to result in tournaments going way over schedule (see how long finals used to take semi frequently before actual deadlines were implemented).

An increase to 30 minutes wait in playoffs is more feasible, though at what point in officials should it switch over to this? For Classic and Slam, should it only apply to the actual playoffs, or should it also apply to the individual cups/opens? If so, at what point in those, quarterfinals or semifinals? For tournaments with a large top cut (such as this year's Smogon Masters which is Top 64) should it still apply to Round 1 of that? Should this be applied to the Swiss stage of OLT, or only the Top 16 onward section? For OST, which doesn't have a defined playoffs stage, should the 30 minute wait start at top 16, top 32, top 8, or where else?

These shouldn't be obstacles, but I'd like to see input on these questions from the community rather than having the TD team decide the answers to these questions semi-arbitrarily.
30 Minute act should be applied on all official single tournaments (If you get this far there should be some leeway)

OST - Round of 16 - This is when people start paying attention to watching games (unless there are any notable matchups prior)

OSDT - Round of 16 - This is when people start paying attention to watching games (unless there are any notable matchups prior)

OLT - Playoffs (People literally work their tails off to get in the top 8 of every cycle, I think it would be fair to implement the 30 minute act call during the playoffs)

Masters - Since this is the first iteration of the masters this will be a bit more of an open mind but I think top 64 for at least the first season wouldn't be a bad idea, especially just to test it out and see if we should push it closer to top 16 / 32. It shouldn't be easy to get into the top 64 since we're cutting it down from 750+ participants.

Smogon Tour - Playoffs (Same idea as OLT, people work hard on a weekly basis to get in those top 16 spot, I feel like it would be fair to have a 30 minute time for act).

Smogon Classic - Playoffs (Same idea as Smogon Tour and OLT)

Smogon Grand Slam - Playoffs, same as the others.

I feel like it's pretty straight forward for anything that has a playoff phase (it only makes sense to give slightly more leeway to those who have gotten this far). OST, OSDT, and Masters are a bit more of just opinion of the people and I think Round of 16 could be a good starting point in terms of just conversation.

edit: Lady Salamence had a great idea which is essentially taking a the top 10% of every official tournament outside of things that have a playoff

1696779567630.jpeg
 
Last edited:
I personally don’t really care exactly what the time period is going to be for act, but making it different across different tours or in different situations is going to be messy. Im not sure anything is wrong with the existing rule anyways - you shouldn’t be more than 15 min late regardless of what tour it is without communicating a delay (at which point you do in fact get the 30 minutes). In the situation described here there was no emergency or anything someone just straight forgot - and without the act post after 15 min it was very possible they forget for the full 30 min anyways.

The current trend in these act topics has been towards valuing people’s time. It’s not hard to show up to play your game within 5 minutes, let alone 15 minutes. And if you’re going to be late the courteous thing to do is communicate this delay so that you get a full 30 minutes. That was the intent behind the current rule and it seems to work just fine. If we’re going to change it to be 30 minutes in every situation that’s fine too, no problem. But making it 15 for some situations and 30 for others seems bad - my time isn’t less valuable just because the tour I’m playing is one round further in - in fact it’s probably more valuable and people should be respectful of it.
 
Nothing needs to be done in situations like what happened in OLT this week. The rules were no issue. The activity win was and should be valid -- as was the community policing. Keep the rules as they are for activity wins. If you can't respect your opponents time upwards of 30 minutes you have deserved the loss. The community will continue to police cases where activity is being called for dishonorable reasons like in this situation. If JustFranco legitimately was playing on a time crunch and then his opponent shows up with 3 stall teams 17 minutes late, who is really being dishonorable?
 

pulsar512b

ss ou fangirl
is a Pre-Contributor
Nothing needs to be done in situations like what happened in OLT this week. The rules were no issue. The activity win was and should be valid -- as was the community policing. Keep the rules as they are for activity wins. If you can't respect your opponents time upwards of 30 minutes you have deserved the loss. The community will continue to police cases where activity is being called for dishonorable reasons like in this situation. If JustFranco legitimately was playing on a time crunch and then his opponent shows up with 3 stall teams 17 minutes late, who is really being dishonorable?
I agree with this post, I would also like to propose that in general people who mock people for taking their due right of an activity win face consequences. Every single time someone takes an activity win that is their right on a large stage people publicly make fun and demean them for using that right. People shouldn't be allowed to do that - that is deeply disrespectful. If your opponent doesn't show up to a time, that's their own damn problem and that's their responsibility. If they cannot handle that responsibility and drop the ball, they have no right to play.
 
People acting like making legitimate mistakes in scheduling and/or irl stuff happening is some sort of war crime. Meanwhile not trying to play because the rules allow it is blatantly unsportsmanlike.

Anyway, there's a really big question I wanted to raise in this discussion: if someone stuffs up their scheduling, how common is the scenario in the OP where they're just a bit too late?

The reason I want to ask that is I think it's more common for players who make mistakes/get caught up irl to miss times altogether than to show up 15+ min late. If it's more common for players to miss times altogether, then extending the wait time to 30 minutes makes this issue worse, since 30 minutes is obviously much more of a wasted commitment. 15 minutes is plenty reasonable imo, any longer and I'd rather reschedule than sit around wasting time.

What isn't reasonable is not making an earnest attempt to play the game out. Immediately requesting a win shouldn't be a thing and if the absent player makes an effort to reschedule, the other player should at least try to arrange something. I'd argue that simply implementing a rule against fishing for the activity win would be appropriate. Off the top of my head a definition might be "refusing to engage with an opponent who attempts to reschedule" though that probably needs a little more detail. Obviously if there's any ambiguity it would resolve in the favour of the player who made the original time.

Those are just my thoughts though, maybe my experience with how common certain types of scheduling issues are is different from what other people have observed
 

Greybaum

GENTLEMAN, THIS IS DEMOCRACY MANIFEST
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
if you schedule a time and then don't show up then your opponent is fully in their right to claim the win. this idea that "the rules let you fish" is insanity to me - that's not fishing, that's a lack of respect for your opponent's time. a bo3 can and often does take upwards of an hour to finish, let alone bo5 tours like slam, and im not spending the rest of the weekend hibernating - i got things i want to do outside of playing pokemon and often won't be able to free up more time on the day of just because my opponent overslept or finds it too difficult to minus 5 from a number between 1 and 24.

sometimes real life commitments get in the way and you have a genuinely good reason you can't make your game, but as evidenced by the franco situation people are way too quick to hop onto accusations of activity fishing - i do not trust any kind of system where subjectivity can be introduced like "rules against fishing for the activity win". if you don't show up for your series, too bad, sign up again next time.

i fully expect to be in the minority but id rather the time before calling activity to be reduced to 10 minutes; that's plenty of time to say "hey im gonna be a bit late please wait the 30 mins" or log onto a website. make it 20 or whatever instead of 15 if that's what people want but please make it consistent across tours, people have a hard enough time scheduling as it is and bringing inconsistencies like "more time for playoffs" is doubtlessly just going to give tour hosts more work for no actual benefit.
 
Ophion I'm not disputing that things should be heavily weighted in favour of the person who originally missed the time. It just seems to me that what's occurred in this case is indicative of not having any good mechanisms in place to respond to people who try to activity fish. If the response is for people to "pile on" and call people "twats" without having any way of stopping alleged unsporting behaviour, that really sounds broken to me.

As for lying about availability, that did occur to me tbh, but I think my idea is still better than nothing (there are probably better ideas as well tbh). I think such a rule would shift the default mentality for some players in order to play more games, some people just don't like lying, and it is something that could theoretically be punishable. I emphasise theoretically though, as I must concede that proving it would be practically impossible- short of someone idling on Showdown for extended periods after saying they're unavailable, I don't know how this could reasonably be demonstrated.

Just generally I don't agree with disrespecting people's time being the end-all argument people are treating it. You could just as easily say that not trying to play is disrespectful to everyone else involved in the tournament who are trying to play and earn their wins. I feel obliged to acknowledge that I have a... unique perspective when making that argument. Not saying that disrespecting people's time isn't bad though, to be clear
 
Last edited:

Ren

fuck it if i cant have him
is a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
feel like people are confused. the rules aren't there to make act fishing harder, they're there to make act wins more justified. imo act fishing is a weird term anyway - if your opponent doesn't show up, you're not fishing for act by calling activity lol you're protecting your time from bring exploited.

I feel like these sorts of threads about how the rules for activity are too limiting come up so often in PR and they always essentially boil down to "well they showed up SLIGHTLY after 15 minutes" or "person b was clearly on PS after" or "they listed later times when talking about scheduling" but when you schedule a match for 4:00, you're meant to show up then, if not a little early. you aren't scheduling for 4:15, or for the next time you see your opponent on PS, or one of the other times they suggested. the 15 minute buffer is there so you don't get punished if shit happens or if something does, you can let your opponent know. times are suggested at the time of scheduling so they can plan their week with the tournament game in mind. the nice thing to do is to play the series anyway, but sometimes people can't and we aren't really entitled to know why, that's their prerogative.

getting mad at someone for making a rightful act claim is INSANELY embarrassing btw.
 

Dorron

BLU LOBSTAH
is a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion
Show up to your games on time or tell your opp if you'll arrive late, it's that simple. If there's evident data of one of the players making the scheduling process a hell for the other then that's another different issue which could fall under act fishing, but not at all what happened with Franco. If you believe officials should be 30 minutes of wait over 15, that's completely fine, but make it an actual rule and leave clear that it's ONLY for officials. Finally, I'll also insult the players of the tours I host if they don't follow the rules the way I want them to.
 

roxie

https://www.youtube.com/@noxiousroxie
is a Tutoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
Does increasing the time really change anything?
but he found crazy that he was getting insulted by the people who were supposed to enforce the rules
The primary issue that occurred here isn't even the time. I understand both sides: getting an AW in a prestigious tournament like OLT sucks from a spectator's POV and people get upset, but JustFranco shouldn't be getting insulted by the individuals intended to enforce tournament policy. God forbid as lax stated in the thread, emergencies happen, but we have no clue what JustFranco has going on in his personal time either. Like its back and forth assuming between both sides and regardless if people get upset and spam "act fishing" on their keyboards; the rules never changed. I support a 30-minute timer for playoffs for all official tournament & circuit playoffs, but this doesn't actually address the actual issue of literal spectators, notably the host(s) getting upset because a player was following the rules. I love you QQ but from a host perspective, this post is really out of uniform because it paints the picture that it's okay for "us" to publicly and harshly judge someone for following the rules. "We are extending the timeframe for specific official tournaments because Insult was a few minutes late and was on the grounds for an ACT loss." What are the reactions/responses going to be when someone surpasses the threshold for the 30-minute timeframe? Let's be realistic, if the timer was 30 minutes, the reactions would've been the same. Whether you like JustFranco, that's up to you personally but bullying & publicly calling him out of his name to force him to play when he explicitly followed the documented rule is insane.
 

Merritt

no comment
is a Tournament Directoris a Site Content Manageris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host
Head TD
Please keep on topic of whether or not to change the rules regarding activity wins. The OLT situation is to provide context for why it might be worth changing, but this thread is absolutely not the place to discuss specifics of the JustFranco vs INSULT series.
 
I think it is legitimate to want to make activity wins more difficult to claim in playoffs stages of tournaments. We ought to think carefully about how to handle act claims that are made in semis, or even finals of a tournament. I dislike putting this on the shoulders of community policing, for two reasons. The community tends to pick favourites, there is nothing wrong with that, but you need rules that keep everyone in line equally. Secondly, somebody might just not care about the community backlash and still be correct under the rules to claim an activity win.

The reason I'm posting this is that if activity wins are to be made more difficult to claim, we need to be much stricter around the requirements for scheduling in playoffs. This would include stating clearly all days that you're available to play on, and the last time that you're available to play during the week. If Player X misses their scheduled time vs Player Y on Saturday, you need to know whether Player Y is actually available later on during Saturday or Sunday ahead of time. This must be known before the match would normally take place because otherwise Player Y is incentivised to play dead afterwards. Asking players to give more information during scheduling (ie all available times) can be used to give tournament hosts more information to make the correct call.

If you don't want act wins during really important stages of tournaments, you should also implement a strike system for missing scheduled times that applies across all tournaments, otherwise we risk conceding a lot of ground to players who feel comfortable wasting their opponents' time. Having a strike system can help provide a clear cut difference between a one-off occurrence and somebody who is continually inconsiderate to their opponents.

When you give people leeway in one regard, you need to take precautions elsewhere. Unfortunately this can't be as simple as just axing activity wins from playoffs, because that opens the door for some inconsiderate behaviour. It may just be simpler to extend the wait period to 30 minutes as per Lily's suggestion, this would give people slightly more flexibility but wouldn't require some large counterbalance. This is a good opportunity to think more carefully about the rulings in place. It's possible that only a minor change is the best course of action (I'm leaning towards yes), but doing things on a case by case basis or relying on community pressure are only band aids. We ought to be aiming for a stronger long term solution that's written in the rules.
 
If we do end up extending the period to 30 minutes in playoffs stages, which I don’t think we really need to do, please don’t allow for an additional 15 minutes if you communicate a delay. Just have the 30 minutes be the hard deadline. Asking someone to wait around for 45 minutes just because their opp is running late is extremely inconsiderate of their time. It’s already inconsiderate to show up at xx:27 etc.
 

peng

hivemind leader
is a Community Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
There's no winners here - scheduling is easily the worst part of this hobby and some people do take the piss + force you to allocate far more weekend time to sitting at a computer waiting around which sucks. That said, emergencies do happen and losing major tournament games due to 15 min activity windows, when your opponent has clearly allocated like 1 hour minimum free time to anticipate a bo3, also sucks. You know they're sitting there potentially free for the next 45 mins but unwilling to play.

My suggestion is as follows:

Bo1 series should stick to 15 minute activity window. If your opponent is late, absolutely fair to want an activity win.

For Bo3, I think a player should lose 1 game for every 15 minutes they miss. If a player is no contact 15 minutes past the agreed time, they start at 0-1 down in the series and play the remaining games. If they are 30 mins late, they lose the series 0-2 on activity.

This may be tough to implement but it seems like a close to ideal situation if doable. Both players are allocating like 1 hr for bo3 series so there's still plenty of time to get some pokemon played with a chance to win if you're "only" 15 mins late, but I think its reasonable that the active player goes into the series with an advantage.
 

HANTSUKI

satan saves xmas
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Championis a Past WCoP Champion
RUPL Champion
Rules are fine as they are. Time is our most important resource and if you miss your scheduled time with no explanation before/after, then it means either you don't respect your opponent enough or that you actually had something more important than pokemon to worry about.

As for the people criticizing someone for taking the win, they probably are not using their most important resource well enough.
 

Vinc2612

The V stands for VGC
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
I find it hypocritical that Player A, who made the effort to be there, should not care about his opponent's mistake. Their other responsibilities are not important, they can just reschedule, for the sake of the game.

But for Player B who missed the scheduled time, their other responsibilities suddenly become a big deal. Even if it's not about a responsibility (but just a lack of care), they just wasted Player A 15 minutes, let's play later since it's nothing! Player B is trying to get the games done now, so the world should comply to give him that opportunity!

Either Player B consider the tournament as something important. Then they should double-check their timezone calculation. Send a message 24h earlier "hey if I didn't mess up the timezones we are playing tomorrow at that exact same time, right?". If it's important, take the extra minutes to make sure those don't happen. It's not hard at all.

Or Player B desn't. They consider this as a hobby that's not worth more investment. It's a valid reasoning, "just a game etc", but no one should complain if some lack of care gets them the loss.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top