Penalty Guidelines of Magic-League
Penalty Guidelines of Magic-League
Introduction:This document indicates how rules infractions are penalized. The penalties for these are standard, and should not be deviated from except during extreme circumstances along with the approval of a level 3 or higher judge.
Rules Enforcement Degrees
There are 2 degrees of rules enforcement, each corresponding to a type of tournament/match. They are as follows:
Regular- League matches and Minis are subject to Regular rules enforcement. The focus here is for testing and having fun. The penalties are more lenient than Competitive RED, but are still tracked and able to upgrade after repeat offences are committed in a short time frame. When ruling in these matches, the emphasis is on instructing the players in proper play habits and techniques. Players in minis and league matches are expected to have a basic working knowledge of the rules and a reasonable knowledge of their play application.
Competitive- Trials and Masters are subject to the Competitive rules enforcement. Players in trials and masters are held to a higher standard of behavior and technically correct play than Regular RED events.
Types of Penalties:
*Warning (W) - A warning is an officially tracked penalty used to inform league staff that a problem has occurred. All warnings are kept in the Magic-League Penalty Database. The judge issuing this penalty must explain the infraction, the consequences of repeating the infraction, and educate the player on how to possibly avoid the infraction in the future.
*Game Loss (GL) - A game loss is one of the more severe penalties on Magic-League. The player will lose the current game in progress. If a game loss is given between rounds of a tournament, the game loss is applied to the first game of the next round they play. Sideboarding is allowed, except when the penalty was issued prior to the start of game 1. The player who receives the penalty will have the decision of play/draw. Game losses are used in situations where the game cannot be continued due to a player's actions or where the potential for abuse is high.
*Match Loss (ML) - A match loss is an even more severe penalty on Magic-League. The player loses the current match in progress. If this penalty is given between rounds, the player loses the next match of that tournament that they would play. Match losses are used in situations involving repeat offenders, or situations that have a very high potential for abuse, but are not worthy of a disqualification.
*Disqualification (DQ) - A disqualification is the most severe penalty on Magic-League. The player is removed from the tournament immediately. Disqualifications are used in situations that damage the integrity of a tournament, for people who excessively repeat offenses, or for severe unsporting conduct. As part of the disqualification, the player automatically loses their match if it is still in progress. If the disqualification is in regards to a match which just completed (for example, it is determined that a player supplied false information to a judge for a ruling during the match), the player's last match will be changed to a loss if necessary. Judges do not need proof to disqualify a player if they are reasonably convinced that the integrity of the tournament is damaged. Disqualifications also may warrant a ban depending on the situation. If a player is disqualified after the cut to single elimination, no additional players are added to replace the disqualified player. Most disqualifications specify that the player is to receive no prize, but if a player is disqualified due to an escalation in penalization they may be eligible for prize at the discretion of League staff.
Repeat offenders of an infraction within the same subcategory can be subject to harsher penalties based on the frequency of their infractions.
Infractions in the category of Game Play Error upgrade on the third offense and again on the fourth or subsequent offense. For example, the third Game Rules Violation will upgrade to a Game Loss, the fourth or subsequent will upgrade to a Match Loss. Infractions in the category of Tournament Error upgrade on the second offense, unless other stated in the penalty. Unsporting Conduct - Minor will upgrade to a Game Loss on the second offense. Unsporting Conduct - Major will upgrade to a Disqualification and ban from league channels on the second offense.
Escalation only applies to infractions committed within a reasonable time frame that is at minimum the length of the event the player received the first offense.
The exception of the escalation of penalties at Regular RED are as follows: All penalties will upgrade to a Game Loss on the fifth offense and onward, with the exception of Unsporting Conduct which will upgrade on the second offense.
As it is the goal of Magic-League to emulate DCI policy when possible, you are referred to section 4.1 of the Magic Tournament Rules for player communication issues, and section 4.2 for shortcuts. You are also advised to look at section 4.3, which governs taking actions in an illegal order. For the purposes of sections 4.1-4.3, we will treat Masters as Professional level events. In addition, players are expected to be familiar with Magic-League's Floor Rules.
Players who are banned in a league channel for any reason are not eligible to compete in tournaments. Any player caught violating this rule will be automatically disqualified from the tournament, and will further be penalized for ban evasion.
From time to time, league staff may ban players for excessive penalty history. The length of the ban is at the discretion of the staff member who issues the ban.
100. Game Play Errors
101. Game Play Error - Missed Trigger
A player fails to demonstrate awareness of a triggered ability's existence the first time it would affect the game in a visible fashion. The point at which this awareness needs to be demonstrated depends on the impact the trigger would have on the game:
If the trigger has been announced or indicated at any point, is is no longer a Missed Trigger. Failure to resolve an announced trigger should be treated as Game Play Error - Game Rule Violation.
Triggered abilities that only create delayed triggered abilities automatically resolve without requiring acknowledgement. Awareness of the delayed trigger that they create must be demonstrated according to the criteria above. Triggered abilities that do nothing except create one or more copies of a spell or ability (such as storm) automatically resolve, but awareness of the resulting objects must be demonstrated according to the criteria above (even though the resulting objects themselves might not be triggered abilities).
Players may not prematurely advance the game state to attempt to cause their opponents to miss their triggered abilities; for example, if a player draws a card during his or her draw step without allowing an opponent to resolve an ability that would trigger in their upkeep, the opponent still has the opportunity to fulfill the required acknowledgement by doing so at that point.
The controller of a missed triggered ability receives a warning only if the triggered ability is usually considered detrimental for the controlling player. The current game state is not a factor in determining this, although symmetrical abilities may be considered usually detrimental or not depending on which player is currently being affected.
Remedy: If the triggered ability specifies a default action associated with a choice made by the controller (usually "If you don't..." or "...unless"), resolve it immediately using the default option. If the triggered ability is a delayed triggered ability that changes the zone of an object, resolve it. For these two types of abilities, the opponent chooses whether to resolve the ability immediately or at the beginning of the next phase. These abilities do not expire and should be remedied no matter how much time has passed since they should have triggered.
If the triggered ability creates an effect whose duration has already expired, or was missed prior to the current phase in the previous player's turn, the players should continue playing.
If the triggered ability is not covered by the preceding two paragraphs, the opponent chooses whether the ability is put onto the stack. If it is, it is inserted at the appropriate place if possible, or on the bottom of the stack. No player may make choices involving objects that were not in the appropriate zone or zones when the ability should have triggered (For example, if the ability instructs a player to sacrifice a creature, that player can't sacrifice a creature that was not on the battlefield under their control when the ability should have triggered).
Additional Remedy: At Regular, if the ability is a “may” ability, assume the player chose not to perform it. If the ability was not a “may” ability, it can be placed on the stack immediately unless the ruling judge determines that too many decisions have happened since it should have resolved or if significant decisions have been made under the assumption the ability did not happen.
102. Game Play Error - Looking at Extra Cards: Looking at Extra Cards: A player looks at a card they shouldn't have. Players should not be using this penalty to get a "free shuffle" or to attempt to shuffle away cards they did not want to draw. Doing so may be considered Cheating - Fraud. If a player was supposed to look at a set of cards but looked at too many, apply Game Play Error - Hidden Card Error instead.
Example: A player reveals the top card of their library accidentally.
Example: A player activates a Sensei's Divining Top that is no longer on the battlefield, and sees 3 cards before the mistake is noticed.
Remedy: Shuffle the randomized portion of the deck (which may include the cards that were seen, if they were part of the random portion of the library). This requires first determining whether any portion of the deck is non-random, such as cards that have been manipulated on the top or bottom of the library, and separating those. Once the deck has been shuffled, any manipulated cards are returned to their correct locations.
103. Game Play Error - Hidden Card Error: A player commits a Game Play Error that cannot be corrected by only publicly available information and does so without his or her opponent’s permission. This infraction only applies when an unknown card is in a hidden location both before and after the error. If cards are placed into a public zone, their order is known and the infraction can be handled as a Game Rule Violation. Order cannot be determined from card faces only visible to one player unless the zone in question contains only a single card.
Example: A player draws four cards after casting Ancestral Recall.
Example: A player looks at 8 cards while resolving a Dig Through Time rather than 7.
Example: A player chooses a card from Ancient Stirrings but forgets to reveal it.
Example: A player has more cards in his hand than can be accounted for.
Example: A player draws one too many cards after taking a mulligan.
Remedy: Draws are always traceable via the undo draw action -- Ctrl+Shift+D -- assuming that nothing else happened to the drawn card. If the card is known by both players, place the card back into the correct zone and downgrade the penalty. Otherwise, the player reveals the complete set of cards that contains the unrecoverable information and his or her opponent selects a number of cards equal to the number of excess or unverified cards. Those cards are returned to their original zone. If that zone is the library, they should be shuffled into the random portion. A simple backup to the point just after the error may be used if there have been additional parts of the instruction performed since the error, such as discarding or returning card to the top of the library. Once this remedy has been applied, the player does not repeat the instruction or partial instruction (if any) that caused the infraction. A player may concede or mulligan (if applicable) to avoid the additional remedy.
Upgrade: If a face-down card cast using a morph ability is discovered during the game to not have a morph ability, the penalty is a Game Loss. If the player has a card with a morph ability in hand, has not added cards to his or her hand since casting the card found in violation, and has discovered the error themselves, the upgrade does not apply and the card may be swapped for the one in hand.
105. Game Play Error - Game Rule Violation: Game Rule Violation is a catch-all category for game play errors which do not appear in any other place. These are commonly the result of making plays which are against the rules of the game. An error that an opponent can't verify the legality of should be remedied as GPE - Hidden Card Error. These errors involve misplaying hidden information, such as the morph ability or failing to reveal a card to prove that a choice made was legal. If the information needed to verify the legality is in a uniquely identifiable position (such as on top of the library or as the only card in hand) after the infraction was committed, remedy as Game Rule Violation without an upgrade.
Example: A player declares attacking creatures while controlling a Glacial Chasm.
Remedy: If the game has not significantly progressed, and reversing the game would not undo potentially complex plays, the judge may rewind the game to the point where the illegal action occurred. Judges are not to implement partial fixes, or fix games where game affecting decisions have been made, with the following exceptions:
In a situation where the effect that caused the infraction is controlled by one player, but the illegal action is taken by another player, both receive a Game Play Error – Game Rule Violation. For example, if a player casts Swords to Plowshares on an opponent's creature and the opponent puts the creature into the graveyard, both players receive a Game Play Error — Game Rule Violation infraction.
106. Game Play Error - Failure to Maintain Legal Game State: A player's opponent has made an illegal play, or a play which causes an illegal game state. It is Magic-League's philosophy that both players are responsible, though the player who undertakes the action is held more accountable. Players are required to remind opponents only when the game state has become illegal. If a judge believes that a player intentionally withheld this information to gain advantage, or to bring it up at a more advantageous time, the player is guilty of Cheating.
Example: A player does not remind his opponent that Faith's Fetters cannot enchant an Akroma, Angel of Fury when played.
Example: A player fails to pay the upkeep cost on a Pact before drawing. The opponent is not required to tell the player that the pact's trigger is on the stack, since the game state is legal up until the ability would resolve (losing the game is a legal game state). They are required to notify the player if the opponent fails to pay, but plays on, since the game state is then illegal (the player lost, but continues playing)
Remedy: Apply state based actions
Regular: Warning. This penalty is not usually upgraded.
Competitive Warning. This penalty is not usually upgraded.
111. Tournament Error - Illegal Deck: A player's deck is illegal if it contains an illegal number of cards (the exception being less than 15 cards in sideboard); contains cards illegal in the format played; or contains cards that would violate a game rule (such as the 4 card limit, or multiples of restricted cards), or is in a sideboarded state at the beginning of the round. Players who have the “transformed” side of a double-faced card in their sideboard for ease of use during play will not be penalized. It should be noted that players can make a token with the “transformed” side's name and it will display all characteristics of it.
Example: A player has 4 Mystical Tutors in a Legacy tournament.
Remedy: As part of the penalty, the player is required to make their deck legal for the format played. This involves removing all cards in violation and using only basic land to reach the minimum card limit for the format. The player then messages the TC the new security code, and continues play.
Additional Remedy: If the sideboard is larger than 15 cards, the player should correct their sideboard to be 15 cards and submit a new code to their TC. The new code must be used beginning with the next game played.
Regular: Game Loss
Competitive: Game Loss.
112. Tournament Error - Incorrect Security Code: A player's security code is incorrect if the code that appears in their play application is different than that which appears on site. Since the security code is the online equivalent of a deck list, if the code changes we must assume the deck has also changed. Players are responsible for ensuring that all of the cards in their deck have the same card name as listed on site.
Example: A player's deck has a security code on site of 3eb042c, but in the play application it is listed as 2acd44e.
Remedy: It is the responsibility of each player to check their opponent's security code before the match begins! We will not penalize a player for incorrect security code after both players keep their opening hands for game 1.
If the player corrects the issue with the security code within 5 minutes, or the issue is caused by an incompatibility between the site and the play application the player is allowed to continue the match.
Additional Remedy: At Regular, have the player play their current round with the incorrect code. If they cannot fix their code before the next round, they will be dropped.
Regular: Warning. See Additional Remedy.
Competitive: Game Loss. Upgraded to match loss if not corrected within 5 minutes.
113. Tournament Error - Tardiness: A player fails to respond to their opponent's message, or connect within the specified time limits set by Magic-League for their match.
Players can refer to Section 3.3 of the Magic-League's Floor Rules for instructions regarding the start of match procedure.
Example: A player does not make an attempt to contact his opponent using a private message within 5 minutes of the start of the round.
Example: A player signs up for a draft and either does not show up to draft or takes 7 minutes to join the draft link.
Remedy: If a player receives a match loss during Swiss rounds, they are dropped from the tournament unless they specifically tell the TC not to drop them. All tardiness penalties come with an extension equal to the length of time the ruling took along with the amount of time the tardy player took from the match being late. Players have the right to play for the full length of time of their round and should not be punished due to tardiness outside of the penalty given.
Regular: Game Loss at 5 minutes; Match loss at 10 minutes.
Competitive: Game Loss at 5 minutes; Match Loss at 10 minutes.
114. Tournament Error - Inactivity: A player does not respond to their opponent during a game within the specified amount of time. This penalty also includes announced inactivity.
Example: A player needs to answer a telephone call which pulls them away from their match for 6 minutes.
Remedy: Judges are to issue the penalty listed below, and are not to give time extensions. If a judge feels that this is intentional, the player is guilty of Stalling.
Regular: Match Loss at 10 minutes.
Competitive: Game Loss at 5 minutes; Match Loss at 10 minutes.
115. Tournament Error - Exceeding Deck Construction Time Limit: A player has not finished building their sealed deck on site after the allotted time has elapsed. Players entering a limited event are expected to be able to construct their deck within 20 minutes.
Example: A player has did not submit their decklist for a sealed trial before deckbuilding ended.
Remedy: If building takes them more than 5 minutes extra (the time allotted for inactivity), a game loss is added to the penalties listed below.
Competitive: Game Loss.
116. Tournament Error - Disconnection: The actions of a player caused a game in progress to become disconnected, and subsequent attempts to reconnect have failed.
Example: A player takes control of one of his opponent's permanents without waiting to be given control.
Remedy: As a guide, you are referred to theMagic-League Floor Rules. The player who causes the issue leading to the disconnection will be penalized. If the judge feels that a player intentionally caused a disconnection to gain an advantage, that player is guilty of Cheating.
Regular: Game Loss
Competitive: Game Loss
118. Tournament Error - Communication Violation: A player violates the Player Communication policy detailed in section 4.1 of the Magic Tournament Rules. This infraction only applies to violations of that policy and not to general communication confusion.
Remedy: If the situation is simple enough to safely back up without too much disruption to the course of the game, the judge may back up the game to the point of the incorrect information.
119. Tournament Error - Slow Play: A player takes longer than is reasonable to complete game actions. Players are required to play at a reasonable pace even if they are involved in an untimed round or turn. Problems caused by lag spikes, slow internet connection, or unfamiliarity with the program being used can be taken into account in downgraded this penalty on the first offense, but should not be taken advantage of. In the case of unfamiliarity with the program, it is not excusable at Competitive RED.
If a player believes that their opponent is taking an unreasonable amount of time, they should pause their match and bring the problem to a judge for the situation to be handled. Players need to remember that what may seem unreasonable to them may not be unreasonable to the judge staff. If a player wishes to simply ask their opponent to play faster before bringing them to judges, that is their decision, but it will likely not affect the ruling that is given when they do report to the judges.
What is determined to be an unreasonable amount of time is at the discretion of the ruling judge, along with any judge handling an appeal of the ruling. There is no concrete time limit to any action that a player may take.
Example: A player spends an unreasonable amount of time declaring blockers.
Example: A player's internet connection lags out and causes them to take no actions for an unreasonable amount of time.
Example: A player is new to using the program while playing in a Trial, resulting in them taking an unreasonable amount of time to proceed to their untap step and through their turn.
Remedy: In addition to the penalty, a time extension of up to 3 minutes is added to the match. If this action is intentional, the player is guilty of stalling.
Notes: Players are encouraged to report any problems they have with other players. The final authority on what level of unsporting conduct an action is covered by is the judge that applies the penalty. Also, unsporting conduct penalties will be additive during a reasonable period regardless of severity.
Example: A player receives two Minor Unsporting Conduct penalties in one day - The second is upgraded to game loss.
Example: A player receives one Minor then one Major Unsporting Conduct penalty in one day - The Major Unsporting Conduct is upgraded from game loss to match loss.
121. Unsporting Conduct - Minor: A player commits an action that could be disruptive to the tournament or make one of its participants feel uncomfortable.
Remedy: As part of the penalty, judges are to tell the player what the consequences will be for further infractions.
122. Unsporting Conduct - Major: A player takes action towards one or more individuals that could reasonably be expected to create a feeling of being harassed, threatened, bullied, or stalked. This may include insults based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. Threats of physical violence should be treated as Unsporting Conduct - Aggressive Behavior. It is possible for an offender to commit this infraction without intending malice or harm to the subject of the harassment. It is highly encouraged that judges do a thorough investigation when there is a possibility of this infraction being committed.
Remedy: Players committing this infraction may be banned at the discretion of a channel operator if this occurs in a league channel.
Regular: Match Loss
Competitive: Match Loss
123. Unsporting Conduct - Aggressive Behavior: Actions taken by a player which a judge deems as potentially threatening.
Remedy: As part of this penalty, the user will also be banned from league channels for an extended period of time.
124. Cheating - Outside Assistance: Outside Assistance is whenever a spectator of a game gives information that could be deemed helpful to players in the game while the match is still on-going. If one of the players in the match is determined to have sought out this assistance, they will also be committing this penalty.
Example: A spectator states in chat that Player A should attack Player B with just one of their creatures due to an on-board trick.
Regular: Match Loss
Competitive: Match Loss
125. Unsporting Conduct - Bribery and Wagering: A player offers anything in exchange for a result, or two players agree that the winner receive something after a match is played, or a player makes a wager regarding the outcome of a match or tournament they are playing in.
Example: A player offers to concede a number of casual matches for a concession in a Trial.
Remedy: Players guilty of Bribery will be banned from league channels.
126. Unsporting Conduct - Randomly Determining a Winner: Both players agree to use some random method to determine the winner of a match. This includes revealing cards from the top of their libraries to determine who should concede in a match.
Example: Two players decide to roll a die to determine who wins a match.
Example: Two players reveal the top 2 cards of their libraries to determine who would win if the game progressed to a natural conclusion.
Remedy: The offending players will be banned from league channels.
Note about cheating: A judge does not need concrete proof to find a player guilty of cheating. The judge only needs to be reasonably sure that cheating took place. The remedy for all cheating infractions include long term bans from league channels.
131. Cheating - Fraud: Fraud is cheating through any intentional act of misrepresentation. This includes lying to a judge, intentionally violating communication protocols, intentionally misreporting a match, intentionally making illegal plays hoping the opponent won't notice, and evading bans to join tournaments.
Example: A player plays a Pyroblast on his opponent's Murk Strider(is colorless), hoping that the opponent wouldn't notice and place his creature into the graveyard.
132. Cheating - Stalling: Stalling is the intentional act of taking advantage of a time limit. This is not the same as playing slowly, and this requires more evidence to prove.
Example: A player intentionally slows their pace of play down towards the end of the match while leading 1-0.
133. Cheating - Other: This covers all forms of cheating not previously mentioned. This includes running cheat programs.
v 1.0 - Initial Penalty Guidelines
v 2.0 - Change from 4 REL to 2 REL
v 3.0 - Change from 2 REL to 3 REL. Document brought into line with DCI practices.
3.1 - Added penalties for Failure to Draft and Slow Play. Added more in depth discussion.
v 4.0 - Document changed to mirror the recent overhaul of the DCI guidelines. Added Document History.
4.1 - Added Failure to De-sideboard. Corrected disagreement with infraction names.
4.2 - Differentiated between different types of missed triggers. Included not joining j4y as Unsporting – Major. Clarified the wording of Failure to Maintain Legal Game State. Added hidden information section to Rules Violations.
4.3 - Added Incorrect Security Code - Limited. Clarified descriptions to be less ambiguous. Rules enforcement levels renamed to more accurately match DCI descriptions.
4.4 - Added Failure to Build Sealed Deck. Included non-reporting as Unsporting Conduct. Changed Illegal Sideboard to a more universal penalty. Restricted the penalization of Incorrect Security Code to the beginning of the match.
decreased NoShow limit to 5/10 minutes
5.0 - Added ban lengths for certain infractions. Changed Improper Draw at Start of Game to match DCI penalty. Added section on Banned Players.
5.1 - Added Hidden Information Violation. Updated hyperlinks. Changed definitions of unsporting conduct and made it additive. Changed upgrade path.
6.0 - Document restructured to follow DCI practices.
6.1 - Removed multiple levels of rules enforcement, as they are redundant. Added lapsing triggers. Fixed Improper draw at start of game
6.2 - Replaced lapsing triggers with new trigger rule.
6.3 - Minor change to Unsporting Conduct - Bribery and Wagering
7.0 - Restructure to follow DCI practices. Rules Enforcement Level (REL) became Rules Enforcement Degree (RED). Switch to 2 REDs, singles and minis being Regular, Trials and above being Competitive. Folded Failure to Reveal into Game Rules Violation with upgrade. Drawing Extra Cards changed to Game Loss at Competitive if not able to be undone. Improper Draw at Start of Game changed to a forced mulligan for ease of application. Folded Ignoring an Official Announcement into Unsporting Conduct - Minor. Removed Failure to Draft. Added Communication Violation. Fixed Unsporting Conduct - Minor and Unsporting Conduct - Major to be similar to DCI practices, including Unsporting Conduct - Major having a penalty of a match loss. Randomly Determining a Winner updated. Introduced separate penalties for Regular and Competitive, with fixes that may change as well (indicated by Additional Remedy usually). Minor fixes will be incoming pending new documents, but none will likely change the application of penalties.
8.0 - Removal of Caution. Changed language to apply to Cockatrice in some areas. Changed handling of Improper Draw at Start of Game. Folded Shuffling an Ordered Library into Game Rules Violation. This penalty will be watched and re-added if it comes up often. Renumbered the end of GPEs accordingly. TE - Illegal Deck updated slightly. Reintroduced Unsporting Conduct - Outside Assistance. Players are encouraged to allow spectators who can chat in game to allow judges ease of joining and solving problems. Should this become a problem, this penalty will be revisited.
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