128 votes, rating 5.6
The official FUMBBL tournaments are incredibly fun. It's very cool to see how so many teams apply to participate, and the amount of talking that goes on with respects to who will win what group, and listening in on the spectator chat in the high-profile games. Most participants seem to have a great time and the staff gets a fair amount of praise at the end of the tourneys.
Of course, I don't usually post these rants only to praise you all, do I? :)
This time around, I would like to bring up some of the things that annoy me about being on the staff team for these tourneys, be it the majors, minors or SFCs and Smacks. Being significantly larger, the majors are where these problems tend to crop up most.
First off, we have the people who apply, get a spot and then disappear, or make no effort at all to play the match. I mean sure, timezones are going to create some issues but I half-expect people to be prepared to adjust their schedules at least to some extent. Compromising shouldn't be too hard, should it? We recently switched over to mid-week round deadlines in order to make the weekend more accessable to the tourney participants. Is it too much to expect participants to make an effort to schedule the games?
Second, we have occasions where someone just plain refuses to play a match for whatever reason. On FUMBBL, we have an open-play environment. Cherry picking to an extent is something that is protected by the policies of the site, and we don't force people to start games. However, by applying to tournaments this is obviously waived and coaches should expect _very_ tough opposition. After all, the majors are the playground of the strongest teams on the site. If you, as a coach, are not prepared to meet these monster teams in the first round, you should not apply. Tournaments are NOT cherry picking environments. Those of you who read my rants can easily imagine the rhetorical question I'd use here (Hint: See the above paragraph), so I won't bother.
My third little peeve is something that came up just recently. Someone approached us with allegations that their next opponent had cheated in the past. After some discussion, it turned out that this person did not want to play the opponent. An attempt at trying to get the opponent disqualified from the tournament? You make the call...
And yes, there are more issues that the staff has to deal with. For example, we get approached by two coaches who are paired up. Both seem to want to play the game, and are being polite and level-headed about it. As staff members, we try to find a way for the match to be played, and in certain cases give a time extension to the coaches in an attempt at getting the matches played. Yes, we actually want as many matches as possible to be played in the tourneys. But the thing is, we cannot be responsible to schedule 100s of matches and this simply has to be dealt with by the players. What we do expect, though, is to be kept informed of problems. If the deadline for the round comes up and we have no conclusive way to decide who's at fault, then we have no other option than to forfeit the match in someone's favour. This is done by a die-roll and we simply do not favour anyone when this happens. As someone said before: "The show must go on" (Bonus points to you if you know who coined the phrase).
While I'm at it I'll mention one final thing. After we (the tourney staff) has made a call in these situations and pushed someone through the tourney, we often get approached by the person who got forfeited out of the tournament. Usually, they don't bring their happy face though, and we end up spending 30-60 minutes explaining what we did and why. Of course, most of these people will be muttering at the end of the conversation and the staff are obviously biased.
You still reading? I'll try to get to some kind of point then :). Essentially, I have two separate points to make.
First: The staff spends hours on end to make these tournaments happen. We take the tourneys very seriously and work very hard to make them fun for all of you, and in return we expect you to take the tourneys seriously as well. Sure, it's "just a game"; but tournaments are competetive by nature and most people who participate actually want a fair chance at it.
Second: The staff are not out to get you. We truly do try our best to make the tourneys run smoothly. Do we make mistakes? As always, the answer is yes. We do, however, admit mistakes that were made given the information we had at the time of the "call". There are, of course, cases where a dieroll had to be made, and the wrong coach got pushed through. This is unfortunate of course, but nothing we take responsibility for. We do what we can to be fair, but we do need to be kept informed in order to make the correct call.
I urge you all to take the tourneys seriously. The staff does, and most participants do. I don't want to be forced to implement a harsh set of rules for tourneys, but I will if it needs to be done.
Thank you for reading.