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Penalty

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There are 5 types of Penalties:

  1. Caution (Special circumstances only)
  2. Warning
  3. Game Loss
  4. Match Loss
  5. Disqualification

Judges must use only these penalties, and may not create or implement new ones.

A. Caution

A Caution can be used instead of a Warning, for Tier 1 events. The Caution is intended as a teaching tool for newer players, and does not need to be tracked on the Match Result Slip. Judges should share information on Cautions amongst themselves, to ensure players are being properly educated.

Cautions may not be used for Tier 2 events such as Regional Qualifiers and Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series tournaments. A Caution is given to a player at a Tier 1 event who commits a minor infraction.

A Caution is given if the judge believes the infraction to be minor and unintentional (See Unsporting Conduct for exception). A Caution should always be followed by a brief education of the player, explaining why the penalty was handed out and that a further infraction can lead to an upgrade. An upgrade to a Caution is a Warning.

B. Warning

A Warning is the most commonly utilized penalty. A Warning is given to a player who commits a minor infraction. A Warning itself does not have a large impact on a player or a tournament, but it serves as a training tool for players and allows tournament staff to track a potential problem.

A Warning is given if the judge believes the infraction to be minor and unintentional (See Unsporting Conduct for Exception). A Warning should always be followed by a brief education of the player, explaining why the penalty was handed out and that a further infraction can lead to an upgrade. An upgrade to a Warning is a Game Loss.

C. Game Loss

A Game Loss is given out when a player has committed an infraction which is not severe enough to forfeit an entire Match or to be removed from the premises, but has a significant impact on the game. A Game Loss is appropriate for situations where a game state is irreparable due to the actions of the player receiving the penalty.

If a Game Loss is given out during a game, the player forfeits the current Game. If this penalty is given out in between Games of a Match, the player forfeits the upcoming Game. If the penalty is given out before a Match, the player forfeits the first Game of the upcoming Match.

In the case where a Game Loss is applied before a Match, neither player may use their Side Deck prior to the beginning of the first played Game. If a Game Loss is applied during a Match and the Match winner has not been decided, both players may use their Side Deck prior to the next Game.

This penalty is given if the judge believes the infraction was unintentional (See Unsporting Conduct for exception). A Game Loss should always be followed by a brief education of the player, explaining why the penalty was handed out and that a further infraction can lead to an upgrade.

An upgrade to a Game Loss is a Match Loss.

D. Match Loss

This penalty is given for an infraction that seriously impacts the game, but does not require the player to be removed from the tournament. Only a Head Judge may give out a Match Loss penalty, with the exception of a Match Loss tardiness penalty. If the Head Judge feels that applying the Match Loss penalty to the current round is not severe enough (player commits the infraction as he is about to lose a Match, for example), they may apply the penalty for the upcoming round.

If a player simultaneously commits two infractions, one of which merits a Match Loss and another which merits a Game Loss, the judge should give the Match Loss penalty first, followed by the Game Loss.

This penalty is given if the judge believes the infraction was unintentional (See Unsporting Conduct for exception). A Match Loss should always be followed by a brief education of the player, explaining why the penalty was handed out and that a further infraction can lead to an upgrade.

An upgrade to a Match Loss is a Disqualification.

E. Disqualification

A Disqualification is the most severe penalty that can be given. A Disqualification is given for severe infractions that require the player to be removed from the event or the venue. A Disqualification is usually given when a player intentionally breaks tournament rules, or as an upgrade from previous penalties.

Judges will need to investigate carefully to determine whether or not a player is intentionally breaking a rule.

All attendees at a tournament may be considered to be players, and are subsequently subject to the same penalties and infractions. Therefore, attendees are not exempt from a Disqualification penalty. An attendee does not need to have been enrolled in a tournament in order to be disqualified from that tournament.

The infraction does not need to have occurred inside the venue as long as it impacts upon or connects to a Sanctioned event.

KDE reserves the right to suspend players from KDE’s Organized Play program for misbehavior not connected to a specific event.

There are two types of Disqualification penalties:

  1. Disqualification (With Prize): This penalty is only given out through the upgrade process. A player who commits the same infraction multiple times throughout an event and has their penalty upgraded to a Disqualification, is always with prize unless the upgrade was due to an Unsporting Conduct infraction.
  2. Disqualification (Without Prize): This penalty is given out when a person intentionally breaks tournament policies. This includes, but is not limited to, Cheating and Unsporting Conduct behavior. The person will be dropped from the event, and in most cases, required to leave the venue.

Only the Head Judge may disqualify a person from an event.

If a person is disqualified, a written statement must be filled out by any and all persons involved, including opponents, spectators, judges, tournament officials, etc.

It is the Head Judge’s responsibility to collect these written statements from those involved and send the statements to Konami’s Card Business Tournament Data department within 7 days of the event.

Only the KDE Penalty Committee can suspend players from KDE Organized Play.

F. Upgrading and Downgrading Penalties

Only the Head Judge of an event may upgrade or downgrade a penalty.

Upgrades should only be given to a player repeating the same infraction during the course of the same event. A Head Judge may downgrade a penalty under extreme circumstances, but should follow these guidelines in order to remain impartial and consistent. A Head Judge may choose to be a bit more lenient in the upgrade process during a Tier 1 event, choosing not to upgrade the penalty after the second infraction.

If an event extends across more than one day, all days should be considered to be the same event, and penalties should continue to be upgraded.

Click here to return to Tournament Penalty Guidelines.

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