Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sports at the Masters and Sports Scoring in General

I've just seen the full results for the Masters and it's a shame that last year's record of perfect sports in both Fantasy and 40k was not repeated this year,

Two people in 40k and one in Fantasy failed to score perfect sports over the event.

I can only speak for myself but it takes a lot for me to give out a Sports hit these days. The last one I gave out was two and a half years ago for deliberate slow play. On the weekend all my opponents received max Sports from me. In one game there was a few niggles but not enough to incur a penalty in my book.

So if you are playing at an event what does it take for you to give out a sports penalty?

Generally I'll tell someone if they are spoiling my enjoyment of the game. Typically it will be for moaning or deliberately slowing things down. I expect rules discussions because we all either have areas where we don't know, make mistakes or forget. Personally I'll ask the Umpire and in this role I prefer if the Umpire is proactive in providing guidance or a ruling. I'd never sports hit someone for questioning a rule or action but I do expect them to abide by Umpire's decision once made.


  1. It happens all to often with sports scores.
    It wouldnt surprise me if some of the "less than perfect" sport scores didnt even deserve the rap.
    The current sports soft scoring is flawed in that it is so subjective. To often you will be marked down for tabeling your opponent, or questioning a rule. IMO if using the 5,3,0 mark, anything but a 5 should have to be justified.
    There seams to be two camps when marking, those that have to have a reason not to give you full marks, and those that have to have a reason to give you the full marks.
    The worst thing Ive seen is someone being bumped off the top because of a subjective sports score because one opponent marks harder than he should.

  2. The 5-3-0 system goes a long way to addressing those concerns. The jump from 5 (which is emphasised as expected) to 3 indicates a pretty major concern you have with your opponent's behaviour. I know that in Hagen's case it was for slow play, which honestly is not undeserved.

    IMO, this system is much better than any other system used previously in NZ because the expectations are more clearly spelled out, and it is near impossible to ping an opponent 'just because'

  3. I also encourage a forgiving approach to sports scores - things can get quite tense at tournament play, you can't really blame someone for the odd profanity or fist pump in the spur of the moment, so long as they've made a good effort to be otherwise affable and have a decent game.

    I would also like to see a markdown of any sort accompanied by a justification, and presented to the offending player anonymously at the end of the tournament. That way they can work on it for next time rather than never really know, you know? And at least then you'd get a better idea if it was a fair markdown or not.

    Phil's sports scoring system is pretty darn good overall though as it's quite clear what expectations are. From my experience the NZ fantasy tourney players are a pretty awesome bunch too.

  4. "Phil's sports scoring system"

    Hmmm ...not quite. Don't upset the dinosaur ;)

  5. >.<

    Well 'tis the limit of my experience sadly.

    The system used at NiCON was along the lines of "need a reason to score max", rather than "need a reason not to score max", which I name the 'Carl' system. As a result the sports scores were all over the place.So I had to name the other on the only other TO I've come across!

    Apologies :)

  6. I've taken my medicine.

    I'll accept slow play, but not *deliberate* slow play.

  7. This is the 'Blair' version (to use a Tim-inism) played in Tauranga, 5 yes/no questions that I thought was quite good at the time.

    After every game. each player will answer the 5 questions below

    The questions are Yes/No.

    1. Were all rules queries resolved amicably and without too much argument? (Referral to the umpire is not cause for a No answer.)

    2. Did your opponent always state what they were doing clearly when rolling dice? Did they roll in plain sight, remove failures before counting successes, roll scatter dice close to the point of impact, etc

    3. Did your opponent move their units correctly? I.e. State the intended move, measure from a fixed point to a fixed point, then move. Did they move their fast cavalry, skirmishers and other “odd” units the correct distance each time? No "rubber ruler" movement?

    4. Did your opponent have an acceptable speed of play? Did they deploy swiftly, did they move units play quickly and efficiently

    5. Did your opponent play the game in the right spirit? Did they maintain a sensible approach and demeanor when things were not going their way?

    probably a little wordy but in the right vein I think... I agree though, that if you are not going to give someone full points you should have to justify it...

    There is the otherside, where you don't give someone a sports hit and you should have, not sure what is worse though

  8. That's an older "Pete Dunn" sports system :-)

    I think it still works well and has the added advantage of you being able to use it to provide specific feedback.

    I have a pretty simple approach to sports scoring. You are there to provide your opponent with a fair contest, not necessarily to entertain them.

    The system used at the Masters is a simple system for "experienced" players - which everyone at Masters should be. The default is a "5". You should score that every game. If you didn't score 5 in a game it means something upset that opponent. Where it occurs if I was Umpire I would have discrete word yo the player who marked his opponent done to check that it appears justified. And then ask them whether they still want to Sports hit. If so then that's that.

    If I got Sports hit I'd definitely revisit my games to see whether I felt it was deserved. And then move on.

    Example - At Convic three years ago I was given a "0" for Sports because i let my opponent (a GW staffer) charge my Wraiths although he had no magic weapon. When I found out (after event and when I sought feedback) it was clear it was his problem rather than mine. I chalked it up as no further action required on my part.

    I've been playing tournaments for 10+ years. In that time I have come across only three people that I believe systematic marked people down for Sports. One of those is in Australian 40k and is known as the "Double Torpedo" and the other two were in the NZ Fantasy scene and have thankfully grown out of it.

    With sports scoring I think that the first question when hit is to determine if its valid. The second is to learn and then move on (ignore it if its vindictive).

    Personally I'll always tell someone if I sports hit them - and I haven't for three years - and I'm always happy to tell any opponent my perceptions of their play.

  9. I've been playing in tournaments for an entire year now (well just over) and i've been hit once because my opponent was rolling badly. I tried to get him to enjoy the game but he didnt have a bar of it. He made the game unenjoyable for me but I didn't hit him for it..

    I prefer the 5-3-0 system because it means you really need a reason to mark someone down.

  10. I've sports hit only a few times in my dozens of WHFB and 40k tournaments. Once I recall when the player was very disorganized, late for our game, and was generally argumentative.
    Another time was when the player continually argued the rules with me time after time, despite being wrong. He wouldn't accept that I could be right, or that we could get the TO to make a call. It made our game long and stressful, and at points I just let him do what he wanted as arguing with him was too much hassle!

    There have been plenty of times when my opponent is grumpy and sullen because they are losing the game, but I have some empathy for that and don't tend to mark them down.

    I quite like the 5 questions system. It's quite clear if I mark a 'no' for 'did your opponent play at a reasonable speed' or 'did they make their moves accurately' and shouldn't need any checking from the TO.