Discussion Worlds 2019 Finals Judging

Kenatta_tcg

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Obviously it was disappointing for many people to see how the finals played out with the 2 prize penalty costing Shintaro a game he very likely would have won. The real question is whether or not the penalty was justified. Because Shintaro had been previously warned of slow play that day a 2 prize penalty was the correct call, assuming the call should have been made at all. For a moment I want to review the interactions that went on in that round, as well as the interactions that occurred during the previous matchup between Shintaro and Tord.

Shintaro Vs. Henry (Finals)
19:10 - Shintaro begins promotion decision.
19:16 - Shintaro begins surveying opponent's discard pile.
19:40 - Shintaro ends surveying opponent's discard pile.
19:41 - Shintaro begins surveying his own discard pile.
19:52 - Judge interaction with Shintaro, which is then translated by translator.
(0:42 between start of promotion sequencing and judge interaction)
20:07 - Shintaro resumes after judge interaction and translation.
20:21 - Judge interaction and translation occur again.
(0:14 between play and judge interaction)
20:22 - Judge interaction resolved and play resumes.
20:33 - Promotion resolved by Shintaro
(0:11 between play and promotion)
20:37 - Shintaro halted in play and notification by judges of penalty begins.

Shintaro Vs. Tord (Semi-finals)
22:58 - Tord's deck is cut after action and begins decision on attack.
23:13 - Tord surveys opponent's discard pile.
23:12 - Tord ends survey of opponent's discard pile.
24:00 - Tord retreats out of decision to attack.
(1:02 with no interaction from judges)

What these numbers present are clearly different. First, is the fact that Shintaro was only given 42 seconds before a judge interaction, whereas Tord had 1:02 without any interaction from the judges. I'm not sure if the same judges were judging both matches, but regardless Tord did receive more time than Shintaro. Second, is the fact that judges interacted with Shintaro 2 times in the same amount of time that Tord received no interaction whatsoever. The total time of Shintaro's decision was indeed longer at 1:27 vs. 1:02, however when the interaction times are taken into account about 16 seconds of Shintaro's sequencing was interaction between judges and translator. This means the times for decision were actually 1:11 vs 1:02, which is very difficult to discern the difference between when not staring at a stop watch. Third, what stands out to me is not necessarily the fact that Shintaro was penalized, as he did delay after each interaction, and his total time excluding interactions did surpass 1:00, but rather the fact that Tord was not even issued a warning. If you watch the video of Tord's sequencing there are long periods where Tord takes no action of any kind (i.e. discard survey, question, movement of cards).

Let me clarify that this post is not in any way meant to disparage any of the players who worked hard to get there and played a grueling schedule, or even the judges who had to make difficult real time decisions, but simply to examine whether the same rules were applied fairly to different players. From what I saw in real time and what I found in examining both the videos, they were not.

I would be curious to see what you guys thought of the match. Opinions aside though, numbers don't lie.
 

Number51x

Blasting off at the speed of light!
Member
I would call Tord's senario a minute of pretty normal actions toward advancing the game in some way while I'd call Ito's a minute of basically indecision. Flipping through both players discards during between turn actions seemed pretty useless to me and more like he was stalling for time to think.
 

snoopy369

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
Just a side point (as a judge myself I won't comment on the specific decision): looking at discard piles is *not* considered a game action, and is considered to be included in the time you have allocated to make each game decision. You're welcome to look at discard piles at any time, but doing so does not grant you additional time; you're considered to have the responsibility to know what's in the discard pile generally.
 

Kenatta_tcg

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I would call Tord's senario a minute of pretty normal actions toward advancing the game in some way while I'd call Ito's a minute of basically indecision. Flipping through both players discards during between turn actions seemed pretty useless to me and more like he was stalling for time to think.

I rewatched the video just to see if that is true, and Tord appears to do nothing other than shake his head for just under a minute trying to decide what to do. I'm not sure what you are seeing but the time stamps I showed above don't really reflect that. He has a clean 38 seconds without any action.

All I am saying is that I think either both players should have been warned/penalized or neither should have.
 

Kenatta_tcg

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Just a side point (as a judge myself I won't comment on the specific decision): looking at discard piles is *not* considered a game action, and is considered to be included in the time you have allocated to make each game decision. You're welcome to look at discard piles at any time, but doing so does not grant you additional time; you're considered to have the responsibility to know what's in the discard pile generally.

Totally agree. Just saying that in Tord's situation he didn't do anything so it appears worse than the situation with Shintaro. As I noted above, I also am not suggesting Shintaro wasn't deserving of a penalty, only that I though that same decision should have been the case in Tord's situation (or in this case a warning as he had no previous warning) to apply the rules fairly.
 

Number51x

Blasting off at the speed of light!
Member
Just a side point (as a judge myself I won't comment on the specific decision): looking at discard piles is *not* considered a game action, and is considered to be included in the time you have allocated to make each game decision. You're welcome to look at discard piles at any time, but doing so does not grant you additional time; you're considered to have the responsibility to know what's in the discard pile generally.

Question to our judge then. What it the clock during turns vs between turns? Seems like Tord would have had a longer clock as I think you are only supposed to take 5 seconds to promote a Pokemon.
 

snoopy369

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
Question to our judge then. What it the clock during turns vs between turns? Seems like Tord would have had a longer clock as I think you are only supposed to take 5 seconds to promote a Pokemon.

Well, it's complicated... and I'm a relatively new judge, so maybe some more experienced judge could weigh in with more detail.

But from the rulebook, section 8.2:

https://assets.pokemon.com//assets/cms2/pdf/play-pokemon/rules/play-pokemon-tcg-rules-and-formats-en.pdf said:
Any mid-game effects, such as deck search effects and shuffling, are to take place in a
reasonable amount of time. If a judge feels that a player’s searching or shuffling time is
unwarranted, that player will be subject to the Game Tempo section of the Play! Pokémon
TCG Penalty Guidelines. A judge may issue a time extension on a match where a player is
playing slowly. The extra time allotted must be clearly communicated to both players and
recorded immediately by the judge.

Now, the Game tempo section says (section 8.4):

https://assets.pokemon.com//assets/cms2/pdf/play-pokemon/rules/play-pokemon-tcg-penalty-guidelines-en.pdf said:
The times given below are general guidelines; players attempting to compartmentalize their
turn in order to use every second of the time allowed for the items below are almost
certainly stalling and should be subject to Unsporting Conduct penalties.

* Performing the actions of a card or attack: 15 seconds
* Shuffling and setup, game start: 2 minutes
* Shuffling and deck search, mid-game: 15 seconds
* Starting the turn after opponent’s “end of turn” announcement: 5 seconds
* Considering the game position before playing a card: 10 seconds

Notes during a game should be taken using the same time limits listed above. For example, a
player making a note about a mid-game deck search must do so in the same 15 seconds
allowed for the action

That's what we have to work with. Again, I can't (and won't) speak to the decisions here, but that's the rules that are related to game tempo.
 

Number51x

Blasting off at the speed of light!
Member
Well, it sounds like Tord's situation was a bit more complicated and far more subjective ("reasonable amount of time") than Ito's. That 5 seconds to start the turn is pretty clear and he was WAY over that.
 
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CharlieBirdy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I feel that the decision reflects poorly on the spectacle, promotion, and presentation of the event. The Twitch chat in general seemed displeased at the lack of card play, and I almost would have preferred a highlight reel of all matches than 7 total.

And here's where I differ on organized ruling.
This was a highly watched event, for real prizes. The only prizes that matter, one could say. That means the decisions really matter. I'm not saying take the play clock away at the Superbowl, but when it is tied with 30 seconds left, calling a timeout to think makes sense. I think most fans want a smackdown that goes to the 12th inning.
Pokemon however, has no option for this, and the only one they have is brutal and blunt.

So, should Shintaro have called for a cup of tea? Yes, I think he would have killed for that. There's a bunch of us that probably would too.

Will Pokemon find a middle ground for pleasing it's fans and providing consistent, accessible rules? Meh?
 

Kenatta_tcg

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Well, it's complicated... and I'm a relatively new judge, so maybe some more experienced judge could weigh in with more detail.

But from the rulebook, section 8.2:



Now, the Game tempo section says (section 8.4):



That's what we have to work with. Again, I can't (and won't) speak to the decisions here, but that's the rules that are related to game tempo.

Yeah, my feeling was that both players went passed reasonable time for their actions. My disappointment wasn't so much in the fact that Shintaro was penalized, as I felt that was the appropriate action given the circumstances, but rather that in the previous matchup there was no warning issued of any kind in a time span that was clearly longer (42 for Shintaro vs 1:02 for Tord). Both were well beyond reasonable time, but only one was penalized. I think the lack of application of rules equality is something that Pokémon needs to address. Using those numbers as a base, even though they are only general guidelines, would mean Shintaro was notified 37 seconds late of changing turn, whereas Tord was not notified 47 seconds late after choosing to retreat rather than attack.

Its possible, as one of the posts mentioned earlier, that Pokémon needs to revisit these guidelines and make provision for players to exercise a moment to think on a major decision (possibly like 1 one minute time out per game or round per player).
 

Lucky Dan

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
If turn timers are so important as to need penalties like this, maybe they should just get chess clocks or some variant. That penalty really took away from the moment I thought. I almost felt him agonizing over his choices was entertaining in a way. Even big shots worry, etc.
 

CharlieBirdy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
It was the lack of a clock that made it so confusing for people just tuning in. For those who have not seen worlds before it's very hard to know exactly what's going on with the rules. This is what I was hinting towards when I said Pokemon making their rules accessible. If they expect the chess clock styleplay, they really need to standardize. It's only a 28 year old game, I know. Can't expect much from young things these days...
 

CharlieBirdy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
since no one addressed this;
what shintaro was looking for was custom catchers in the opponent's deck and welders in his. What all of the people watching at home new and shintaro didn't is that his opponents custom catcher was in the prizes preventing a second switch so a nagandele would have actually been a very safe bet
 
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