Both players and tournament officials share the responsibility for maintaining a fair and consistent event, by understanding their roles in the event.
Penalty and Policy Guidelines are intended to educate the players and tournament officials on proper, expected behavior at events. These guidelines may not serve as a resource for players to attempt to take advantage of one another through “rule-sharking”, or otherwise attempting to influence the decisions of tournament officials.
“Rule-sharking” is defined as “using rules and policy in an attempt to gain an advantage, rather than to ensure fair and consistent gameplay.”
Tier 1 events (Official Tournament Store events, Duelist League, Sneak Peeks, etc.) are designed for casual play and light to moderate rules enforcement. Tournament Policy and Penalty Guidelines still apply at these levels, but the focus is on fostering a friendly and fun atmosphere for Duelists to play in. Judges at Tier 1 events should keep this in mind as they determine infractions and penalties.
Tier 2 events (Regional Qualifiers, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, World Championship Qualifiers, etc.) are prestigious events, and will have the highest level of rules and penalty enforcement. Players are held to the highest standard of play. Judges at Tier 2 events should keep this in mind as they determine infractions and penalties.
The Head Judge of the event has final say on all ruling and policy decisions. Once the Head Judge has made a decision, the decision is final.
Players should always do their part to ensure they are in compliance with policy, by reading policy documents and asking questions before the event if something is unclear. Players are ultimately responsible for the contents of their Deck, their actions and words at a tournament, and as such they are expected to take an active role in their own tournament participation.
Tournament fairness and consistency relies upon the judge’s knowledge of policy and their understanding of the penalties that accompany it. When a player commits an infraction, a judge should be able to correctly identify the infraction, administer the appropriate penalty, and educate the player about both the infraction and the penalty.
Click here to return to Tournament Penalty Guidelines.