Floor Rules

Magic-League.com Floor Rules Document


  1. Introduction
  2. Tournament Fundamentals
  3. Tournament Mechanics
  4. Online Mechanics

1. Introduction

Magic-League.com is a site run by players, for players. It provides a place for socializing, honing skills and tournament play whilst overcoming boundaries such as price, distance and language for Magic worldwide.

The purpose of this document is to provide a clear framework for both judges and players of the structure, procedures and policies that this site uses. This includes defining privileges, responsibilities and regulations in order to promote a positive environment with positive interaction and professionalism in both play and conduct.

Magic-League is a non-profit entity that is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Wizards of the Coast or the DCI.

2. Tournament Fundamentals

2.1 Sanctioned Tournaments

Magic-League runs a number of sanctioned tournament types:

Regular Tournaments (informally referred to as 'minis') are tournaments that are not scheduled in advance and can be run by any judge at any time. Regular tournaments have a K value of 16. Regular tournaments are always single elimination. The format of a Regular Tournament is at judges' discretion.

Trial Tournaments are daily pre-scheduled tournaments that offer byes or qualification to higher-level tournaments. These can be run by any level judge and players are held to a higher standard of conduct than regular tournaments. Trial tournaments carry a K value of 24. Trial tournaments are always single elimination.

Master Tournaments are bi-weekly tournaments that offer prizes to highly placed participants. Players are held to a higher standard of conduct than regular and Trial tournaments. Master tournaments have a K value of 32 and are modified Swiss with a cut to top 8. The Top 8 is single elimination.

Invitationals are tournaments that players must qualify for either through qualifier tournaments, being a member of a highly-ranked team or be highly ranked in a rating category. Invitationals offer prizes to highly placed participants. Invitational tournaments have a K value of 40 and are modified Swiss with a cut to top 8. The Top 8 is single elimination.

With the exception of Invitationals, all players are eligible to compete in all tournaments.

2.2 Publishing Player Information

During site registration and tournament registration, Magic-League collects information for internal use. Private information such as email addresses and IP addresses is subject to our Privacy Policy. Decklists are not published until the end of the tournament. Swiss tournaments which have a player cutoff may require players to participate in a coverage interview after a player cutoff before players can commence the single elimination matches.

2.3 Tournament Officials

All Magic-League judges are tournament officials, with the privilege to resolve problems within tournaments.
Administrators or moderators of playing softwares are not Magic-League judges per se.

2.4 Head Judge/Tournament Coordinator

On Magic-League, the Head Judge and the Tournament Coordinator are considered to be the same person: the Judge presiding over a tournament. The Head Judge's ruling may be appealed to a higher-level judge if such a judge is present.

The Head Judge's responsibilities include:

  • Help players when they have problems with the tournament mechanics
  • Pair rounds and run the tournament in a timely fashion
  • Be available to handle rulings in the channel of the event if needed
  • Inform the players if there are any delays or issues with the tournament

If the Head Judge is unable to fulfill their responsibilities with a valid reason, operation of a tournament in progress can be transferred to another judge provided that there is mutual consent. Some judges can place the operation of a tournament with another judge without consent if there is a valid reason to do so, such as when a Head Judge for a tournament in progress goes missing.

3. Tournament Mechanics

3.1 Responsibilities of Players

Players have a number of responsibilities during a tournament. These include:

  • Make reasonable effort in contacting their opponent at the beginning of a round
  • Conducting themselves in a polite manner towards their opponent
  • When playing with softwares that allow spectating, allow judges to join their games in order to settle problems.
  • Reporting matches after completing them

3.2 Entering a Tournament

When a judge opens entries for a tournament, a panel with a link to join the tournament will appear on the home page (the site may need to be refreshed for it to appear).

Players signing up for tournaments are required to provide their nicknames used on the application (if they are different from their Magic-League account usernames). Players signing up for constructed tournaments are also required to upload a deck list appropriate for the tournament format.

When the tournament begins, if it is a sealed tournament, there will be a link on the home page labeled "Build your sealed deck here". Players shall click this link and build their deck on the site. After they have submitted their sealed deck, players shall import it to the appropriate play application. If players have any issues with importing their sealed deck, they shall inform a judge.

3.3 Start of Match Procedure

At the beginning of a round in a tournament, the pairings for the round will be posted by the head judge, and on the Magic-League home page (players may need to refresh in order to see the pairings). Once a round in a tournament has begun, players are required to do the following:

  • Make reasonable attempts to contact their opponent. This may include sending them a private message using the /msg and/or /query commands on playing applications or IRC; and searching through the nickname lists available to find their opponent's name.
  • Agree on a play application to use. If players cannot agree on a play application to use, they shall join #judges4you on IRC and attempt to resolve the issue there. If the issue cannot be resolved, both players will be given a Match Loss for the current round.
  • Agree on a method of connection. This can include one player directly connecting to another player through an IP address, or both players connecting to a game server.
  • Connect to their opponent and play their match.

If a player is not present on the appropriate channel at the beginning of the round, they are not considered to have shown up for their match even if they have contacted their opponent via private message.

Players are required to acknowledge attempts by their opponents to contact them as well as make reasonable attempts to contact their opponent.

If players have contacted their opponent but have not successfully connected to their opponent, they may still be penalised for Tardiness.

3.4 Player Communication

Players are expected to communicate their actions clearly to their opponent throughout the course of a match. If a player is unclear about what their opponent is doing during a match, that player's opponent shall take reasonable steps to clarify what they are doing.

If players have any issues during a match, they shall contact a judge before attempting to fix any errors themselves.

If players lose their connection to their opponent during the match, they shall follow the steps listed in section 4.1 of this document.

Players are expected to conduct themselves with maturity during their match. If they have a disagreement with their opponent that they cannot resolve, both players shall seek assistance from a judge.

3.5 End of Match Procedure

If the time in a tournament round expires before a match is completed, the active player first finishes the current turn. Then, 5 extra turns are played, starting with the nonactive player. Then, for single elimination tournaments, the winner is determined as follows:

  • If one player has won more games than another player (1-0, 2-0 or 2-1), then each player reports the result of the match according to the number of games each player has won.
  • If both players have won an equal number of games (0-0 or 1-1), then the player with the highest life total at the end of the fifth extra turn wins the match. If both players have the same life total, the match continues with one additional state based action: "Any player who does not have the highest life total loses the game".
  • If a match is tied at 1-1 and game 3 has not started, game 3 will begin with one additional state based action: "Any player who does not have the highest life total loses the game".

For swiss matches, if the match is incomplete at the end of the tournament round, then the match is a draw.

If a judge awarded a time extension to a match, then the End of Match procedure does not begin until the time extension is completed.

Both players are required to inform their opponent that the round has ended as soon as they notice, and report the result of their match at its completion. Not reporting the result of the match at the end of the current round is considered unsporting conduct, and will be penalized as such.

3.6 Play Applications

Magic-League does not endorse or require players to use a particular piece of software when playing on Magic-League - players may use any application they wish. However, players are required to know how to use their application of choice when joining tournaments.

As part of Start of Match procedure, players are required to agree on an application to use with their opponent. If players cannot agree on an application to use, then both players are given Match Losses for the current round.

3.7 Time Extensions

Time extensions are awarded to players only in the following circumstances:

  • Players have waited for three or more minutes for a judge to show up to rule
  • A ruling takes a period of three minutes or more
  • A player has been found to be guilty of Slow Play

Any time extensions awarded to a match shall be extended as appropriate. In the case of Slow Play, the judge shall award a time extension of 3 minutes in addition to any other extensions.

Judges shall never award extensions of longer than 15 minutes.

3.8 Appeals

If a player does not fully agree with a judge's ruling, they are entitled to appeal the ruling to a higher level judge if one is present. A tournament shall not be disrupted while awaiting an appeal: if a higher level judge does not appear within five minutes of the appeal being made to handle an appeal, the original judge's ruling stands.

A ruling made by a level 4 or higher judge cannot be appealed.

A ruling can only be appealed once.

Online Mechanics

4.1 Connections and Disconnections

If players lose connection during the match, they are required to do the following:

  • If the playing application used by the players offers a reconnection, players have to make reasonable effort in using that option. This may include verifying their accounts with certain playing applications.
  • If the playing application does not have an option for a reconnection, players need to contact a judge for further assistance.

Players are responsible for their internet connections being stable.

4.2 Interaction With Game Materials

Players are expected to know the playing application they use well enough to not cause a unrecoverable bug/crash/errror. Players responsible for game crashing are penalized.

4.3 Log Files

Some play applications have the feature to log matches. If an application provides an option to have matches automatically logged, it is compulsory for all players to enable this feature.

If requested during a ruling, players shall save their logs manually (if they aren't auto-saved) and upload them to the log viewer. If a judge requires a screenshot, players shall take it and upload the file to an appropriate image-hosting site. If players are unsure of how to take a screenshot, they are referred to this link as a guide.

4.4 Deck Hashes / Security Codes

Some applications provide security codes to uniquely identify decklists. Magic-League's website generates security codes for decklists for both uploaded deck flists and deck lists submitted via Magic-League's sealed deck generator.

Where possible, players shall use the security codes provided by Magic-League to ensure that both players and their opponents are using the correct decklist. Security codes are available from the Participants page under the information for their tournament (accessible either by clicking on the tournament name on the home page or via the Latest Tournaments link).

Occasionally, some issues may arise between the way the site generates security codes versus the way play applications generate their codes. It is the responsibility of the player to make sure the code generated by the site matches the code generated by their play application. If the two codes do not match, the player shall immediately bring this to the attention of a judge. If this discrepancy is brought up before the tournament starts, the player may (at the discretion of the Head Judge) be allowed to submit the code generated by the play application and continue without penalty.

Appendix A - Document History

30th June 2016: Minor edits in Section 2.3 Tournament Officials

12th March 2015: General overhaul, generalized online interactions, no more connection to specific softwares. Changed End of Time procedure.

24th April 2013: Changed Interaction with Game Materials to explicitly state in what circumstances a targeting arrow may be used.

9th December 2011: Review of Floor Rules document

  • Steps to be undertaken by players in Start of Match procedure clarified
  • Section 3.4 renamed from In-Game Procedure to Player Communication, and modified to instruct players not to attempt reconnection first
  • Appeals changed to limit the time waiting for an appeal to 5 minutes
  • Connections and Disconnections changed to require players to take a screenshot before doing anything else
  • Appeals changed to allow only one appeal of a ruling
  • Several nonfunctional rewritings of subsections for clarity

24th July 2010: End of Match procedure changed to reflect changes to DCI policy.

4th December 2009: Initial publish of Floor Rules document

26th September 2009: Initial draft of Floor Rules document

Appendix B - New Set Releases

Because of the online platform with which this league is based on, it is possible to use information drawn from other websites to play with cards yet to be officially released by Wizards of the Coast. Magic-League allows judges to run tournaments using partial spoilers of these sets in order to allow for comprehensive testing prior to a set's official release, provided that the judges register these tournaments in the Other rating category. A new set is legal for tournament play as soon as a working patch generated from Gatherer is available from any major source and approved by the league.

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