Event Form Guidance |
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Event Selection FAQs
So, you want to be a GM? Welcome to the club of the most underpaid, over-dedicated boardgame
Game Masters in the world. But we are also the best—because we are volunteers who do it for
the love of the game and the hobby—not to collect a quick buck for collecting event tickets.
What do you get out of it? Nothing except the satisfaction of seeing the event run by someone who
cares…and a neat GM polo shirt.
The following information is very important for GMs to read and understand.
Only members of the BPA may act as a GM for an event. Basically,
all we ask is that you do the deed from start to finish even though you’re not getting anything out of it
other than a warm, glowing sensation for helping the hobby and seeing this type of event take place.
Volunteerism is what makes the BPA work. You’ll be expected to pay for your own membership
and lodging plus “work” your event without compensation. Through experience, we have found
that this type of GM does the best job of running events at WBC.
To apply to be a GameMaster (GM) at the World Boardgaming Championships
(WBC) submit a valid Event Form to BPA via the Internet or via postal
mail to the Boardgame Players Association (BPA), 1541 Redfield Road, Bel Air, MD 21015. All applications
are subject to acceptance by the BPA. If you have any questions, contact BPA at
email@example.com. Deadlines are as follows:
- New GM for New Event: If, by Nov. 25, a GM volunteers to run an event that was not offered
in the previous year, that event will be listed on the Trial Ballot for possible inclusion in the
coming year. Review the Orphans Page to determine if an event requires an Event Form to be listed
on the ballot. Note that all qualifying events from the prior WBC that fail to make the Century
cut will automatically be listed on the ballot.
- Newly Published Games: ALL NEW TRIALS MUST BE IN PRINT by March 15.
Publishers must submit a copy of the game at the time of the event submission.
Only events with a confirmed GM by March 15 may be run in the upcoming WBC.
- GM for ALL Events: Only events with a confirmed GM by March 15 will be run.
Events are no longer reserved for the previous GM. The first person to submit
an acceptable Event Form will be designated the GM.
Let’s work our way down the Event Form and explain everything
there is to know about GMing at WBC. Event forms should be submitted as early as possible.
the box after you have read all of the guidelines listed in this document. Compliance with these guidelines is vital for all GMs.
GAME: Name the event.
Unless you are a vendor or sponsor authorizing a new event, it must be a Century Event or one of
the Trial Events selected by membership vote during December. NOTE: Before Dec. 1, you may submit an Event form for
any game not currently listed as a Century Event or Continuing Trial. (See the Orphan List.)
Such games will be listed on the Trial Ballot and available for selection by Membership vote. Selection as a Trial Event is
NOT automatic. Such new events are limited to board and card games of a non-generic nature. Collectible card and miniatures
games are not eligible. Multiple Events in the same game are allowed only if they are sufficiently different in rules or number
of players. The minimum requirement for hosting a variant tournament is that the variant MUST have been published
and a copy of those rules must be available from the GM before the convention to any player who requests them and be posted
to the Event's Preview Page. All Events are subject to BPA approval.
Inquire if you have questions about the eligibility of an event.
Events are reserved until Dec. 31 for GMs who ran them satisfactorily in the preceding year. Those
GMs claim their event by renewing membership and completing an Event
Form by the deadline. Events that are not claimed by the deadline
may be run by any member who competes an Event Form by Feb. 28.
If more than one member volunteers to run the same event, the Convention Director will use his discretion
to select a GM. Earlier submissions will be given extra weight. GMs may run only one
event at WBC per year, with exceptions granted by the Convention
Director for veteran GMs on a case by case basis.
A limited number of Junior Events are run
for attendees who are 12 and younger. Any game may be run as a Junior Event,
provided it is suitable for children of that age group and is available
in sufficient numbers to allow all children present to play. All
Junior Events are run as Coached events and only members who are
adept at teaching games to children should volunteer to run them. All
Junior Events are subject to the approval of the Convention
Director and the Junior Program Coordinator.
WEBSITE ADDRESS: If you will provide a website for the event, list the address. Regardless,
all GMs must provide by the established deadlines a description of the event for its Preview
Page and a 400-word (or longer) After Action Report. GMs who do not meet these
requirements jeopardize the standing of their events (Century Events
become Trial Events and Trial Events are not eligible for reinstatement the following year).
These numbers will only be published with your permission. Otherwise, they will be for the Convention Director's use only.
If you will carry a cell phone at the convention, provide your phone number to enable convention staff to contact you in
case of emergency.
All GMs, regardless of playing status, should indicate the names of two assistant GMs. Choose carefully!
These assistants must be prepared to take over if for any reason the GM is absent and must rule in any case involving
a game in which the GM is playing. Assistant GMs are especially crucial for those games where time limits will require adjudicated
finishes because it is much easier for players to accept a decision by a panel of three than by one person. It spreads
the responsibility and frees the GM from the guilt of a close decision. There is safety in numbers.
Only list Assistant GMs who have expressly consented to act as such for the coming year.
Do NOT make any assumptions that someone will serve as an assistant. If you fail to
designate two Assistant GMs before the event starts, you should NOT play in your own event in any role other than a
A. ADVANCED: Experienced players only.
Rules will not be explained. Neither GMs nor players will teach the game to beginners during the event. GMs are
encouraged to remind players about the Event Class to discourage anyone who ignored the printed warnings, especially in multi-player games.
This is a courtesy to players who come to the event prepared to play without instruction and will greatly speed play.
B. BEGINNERS WELCOME:
Players must have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled
teaching demonstration. GMs are encouraged to remind players about the Event Class to discourage
anyone who ignored the printed warnings, especially in multi-player games. This is a courtesy to players
who come to the event prepared to play without instruction and will greatly speed play.
GMs who run B Class events must list at least one one-hour demonstration day/time when you
or an Assistant GM will be available to instruct players in our Demo area. The time should be no more
than 24 hours before a scheduled first round heat. You may NOT substitute instruction during or just prior
to the event. If no one appears for a Demonstration within 15 minutes of the scheduled start
time, you may cancel the demonstration. Scheduled demonstrations give new players a chance to learn an event,
but allow the tournament, itself, to run more quickly, which is better for experienced players.
C. COACHED EVENT: Inexperienced players welcome.
The game will be taught to anyone present at the scheduled starting time. GMs may also schedule a demonstration for the Event.
Coached events generally require more time and effort to run and can be upsetting to more
experienced players impatient with delays. Announce at the outset, that all players are expected to abide by the C rating and
help newcomers. Class C should only be attempted for the simplest games or those for which the GM has
enlisted additional help in instructing players in need of help. It is not realistic to expect all players to be willing to aid new players.
A description of the allowed event formats follows.
ELIMINATION (SE): This competition style can be used for both two-player and multi-player games. It is
the ideal style for long games, and usually the most practical style for Events with many entrants. Participants play
until they lose a game. Winners in a Round advance to the next Round. Thus, the number of players per Round is continually getting smaller.
However, fans of some games would rather keep playing even after they lose once, so other formats may be preferable if you:
- Can handle the added complexity and time requirements.
- Realize that you can’t limit the number of entrants at start.
- Maintain a safety margin to ensure that your event will end no later than Sunday at 4 PM.
Multi-player tournaments using SE Competition Style may advance alternates in order to field the ideal number of players
for the next round (i.e., 5 or 25 in a five-player game). BEFORE the tournament begins, the GM MUST
establish the criteria for selecting the highest alternates and post the criteria in the Event Preview and on the kiosk.
All brackets should be established BEFORE the tournament begins. It is NOT acceptable to simply pair winners as they finish;
otherwise, players can time their games to avoid playing someone. The GM is responsible to decide BEFORE the tournament begins if brackets should be
created via random draw, seeded by past performance, or determined by some other criteria. GMs should keep in mind the following guidelines:
- The traditional approach for head-to-head Single Elimination pairings is to match the best against the worst through
each bracket. For example, in a 16-player event, the top rated player would play the 16th-rated
player in Round 1. Although this results in the fastest games, it has the unfortunate side effect
of not being much fun for the newbies who get fed to the sharks in Round 1. Further, it causes lopsided
games that are less fun for both players. This method tends to discourage players from returning
year after year and may damage an event's long-term prospects.
- Another approach is to match players of equal ability. The drawback is that three of the four best-rated
players in the event will be eliminated in the first two rounds. Further,
the road to the Final tends to become progressively easier. On the positive side, those eliminated
early will be free to enter other events.
- If brackets will be determined by random draw, make a public show of lottery-style
drawings to convince people they are truly random.
- In multi-player games, the GM should make an effort to separate family and friends
to avoid unfair alliances born of familiarity. Badges always include the hometown of each player
to aid in such grouping decisions.
- In two-player games, to ensure that frequent opponents—such as family members
and friends—are not matched together early (why travel to play a frequent opponent), split the
field into two brackets such that Pool A and Pool B meet only in the Final. Allow players to mutually
exclude one other player so that they are in different Pools.
- If insufficient copies of the game are available for the number of entrants,
do not match game owners with each other. Have them set up their games and hold drawings to find each of them an opponent.
An advantage to Single Elimination play with fixed brackets
over Swiss formats is that when two matched winners finish they can start
the next round early. Single Elimination two-player game Rounds are usually
scheduled for continuous play, but there is often the flexibility for
players to schedule at their convenience, especially as the number of players involved decreases.
Any format of a pre-determined number of rounds in which players with the
best records are paired against each other in every round. A fair tie-breaking
system is very important. More than one tie-breaker is required. BEFORE the tournament begins,
the GM MUST establish this criteria and post it in
the Event Preview. When possible, also post them on the kiosk
for the convenience of players at the convention. GMs should never create tie-breakers on the spot because
they should have created them ahead of time to avoid the appearance of misconduct.
Players are free to drop out after losing a game, but the rounds continue for those willing
to stay. Due to the time required, this format is recommended only
for games with the most ardent following and is usually reserved for dedicated
mini-cons where there are no other events to siphon off losing players.
ELIMINATION (Swiss-Elim or SwE): A system using a number of continuous
preliminary games in Round 1 in order to advance a pre-determined number of players into Single
Elimination Rounds. In many cases, the Swiss Elimination Competition
Style may advance alternates in order to field the ideal number
of players for the next round (i.e., 5 or 25 in a five-player game). BEFORE the tournament
begins, the GM MUST establish the criteria for selecting
the highest alternates and post the criteria in the Event
Preview. Round 1 MUST adhere strictly to the printed schedule,
but the Single Elimination Rounds can often be scheduled at the convenience
of the players and GM. This format is highly recommended for games
with a devoted following who would
be disappointed by early disqualification
from a Single Elimination format.
Indicate on the Event Form the
number of games that will take
place during Round 1 and the duration
for each of these games. Also provide
information about the number of
players that will advance to Round
2. If GMs do not provide this information, a default
number will be used. A GM
who has a formula for advancing
a different number (e.g.,
20 or 25 for a 4- or 5-player game),
depending on the number of participants,
should indicate the two numbers in the field, with
a slash between them. BEFORE the tournament begins,
the GM MUST submit the criteria to the Convention
Director for approval. Such criteria
must be clearly described
in the Event
Preview. When possible, also post it on the kiosk
for the convenience of players
at the convention.
FORM: Free Form tournaments are a type of Swiss Elimination tournament
with Round 1 lasting several days. After Round 1, four players advance to two rounds of Single Elimination play. Rules for advancement must be approved by the Convention
Director and clearly described in the Event Preview. When possible, also post
them on the kiosk for the convenience of players at the convention. Free Form events are very taxing on both the GMs and convention facilities. As such, their number is limited. Special approval by the Convention Director is required to use this format.
In order to participate in a Free Form tournament, players must appear at the kiosk within one
hour of the scheduled starting time. Match pairings for each game will be determined by the GM, subject to the availability
of opponents. Players may particpate in more than one game
during the same day. When opponents are assigned, they must
determine when they will play their game during the day and
inform the GM. If they cannot agree on a reasonable start
time, they will be required to begin the game within one
hour. If an assigned opponent does not appear for a mutually
agreed upon start time, a player who has appeared must go
to the kiosk and inform the GM. After the GM is informed
and after waiting 15 minutes at the kiosk, the missing player
forfeits the game to the waiting player. Results of completed
games should be reported to the GM as soon as possible. Results
not reported to the GM by the next scheduled starting time
or by 11 p.m. on the day before Round 2 begins, whichever
comes first, will not count toward the tournament. GMs have
the right to adjudicate any game that extends beyond established
GMs must post a list of qualifiers and alternates to the
kiosk by midnight of the day before
Round 2 begins. Qualifiers who will
withdraw should inform the GM as soon as possible and remove
their names from the list, to provide time for alternates
to be notified of their opportunity to play. Any qualifiers
or alternates who fail to check-in at the kiosk by 9:30 a.m.
on the day Round 2 begins forfeit the opportunity to play.
Each player is responsible for checking his status on the
kiosk in a timely manner. After reporting to the kiosk for
Round 2, players may mutually arrange to play their semifinal
game at a convenient time; however, all semifinal games
must be completed by 6 p.m. on the same day unless ALL semifinalists
agree to hold the Final at 9 a.m.on the following day. Barring
such agreement, the Final will commence within one hour of
the completion of the last semifinall game.
Free Form scheduling format allows players the most freedom
in scheduling choices; however, it
also requires players to be punctual
and considerate of others. Consequently,
GMs who use Free Form scheduling
must exercise time and diligence
to reduce tournament disruption and
friction between players who do not
mutually agree on playing times.
As such, it is not recommended for
inexperienced GMs. Tournaments with
a Free Form schedule benefit when
the GM remains near the event kiosk
throughout the period allotted for
Round 1 in order to arrange and record
matches of convenience. Typically
this format is only applicable to
very long or very short games.
HEATS: A type of Single Elimination tournament that provides two to four scheduled
opportunities (Heats) for players to participate in Round 1. GMs must specify the method of advancement for the next round and explain it in the Event Preview. NOTE: In many cases, it is necessary to advance alternates in order to field the ideal number of players
for the next round (i.e., 5 or 25 in a five-player game). This format increases number
of entrants by making the event more accessible with numerous starting times. It works well with multi-player
games, but is NOT generally accepted for long two-player games.
Events using Heats are penalized in the Prize
level and Century qualifying formulas to offset their
advantage in attracting more entrants. (See Century formula.)
Heats are only used for Round 1 play. Round 2—typically the semifinal—and Round 3—typically the Final—are
played as standard Single Elimination rounds.
Note that GMs may schedule a quarterfinal Round only when the number of players participating in the tournament during the previous
year warrants it. All scheduled quarterfinal Rounds must be approved by the Convention
Director in advance and must appear in the schedule. Quarterfinal Rounds may not be inserted ad-hoc—regardless
of the number of entrants. This policy is a courtesy to other GMs who are trying to attract players
and to players who can make better use of their time playing to win in another tournament rather than playing for second or third place in a quarterfinal game to advance to a semifinal. It is also necessary to prevent wasting facilities needed for other events on scheduled quarterfinals
that are seldom filled due to no-shows.
Method of Advancement
Method of Advancement applies ONLY to events run with Heats. A description and examples of the allowed methods and tiebreakers follows. NOTE that in NO case may a multi-player GM add an ad hoc extra round (e.g., quarterfinal) to reduce the number of players.All rounds must be scheduled in advance.
Heats: Winners Only (HWO) - Only the winners from each heat advance to Round 2—no alterates advance. For example, the Circus Maximus tournament advances to the Final only the winners from each table. EVERY winner advances. There is no limit on the number of winners that can be accommodated. Further, anyone who comes in second may not advance, even if person who finished first has won previously or chooses not to play in the Final. Any tournament that cannot accommodate all winners from the Heats in Round 2 may not use this method of advancement. Indicate the number of heats and the duration for each heat.
Heats: Multiple Single Elimination (HMSE)
- Each heat is played Single Elimination to determine one winner who advances to the next round. For example, there are two heats of Paydirt—one for the AFC and one for the NFC. Each of those Heats is played until there is only one winner. Only those two winners advance to the Final (i.e., Superbowl). This method of advancement is only appropriate for short games. Indicate the number of Heats in Round 1, the approximate number of rounds in each Heat (based on the expected number of players), and the duration of each round in the Heat.
Heats: Most Wins (HMW) - A tournament with multiple chances to enter Round 1, followed by Single Elimination rounds. Indicate the number of Heats in Round 1 and the duration of those Heats. GMs should also specify the number of players who may advance to Round 2. (If GMs will base that number on how many winner emerge from the heats, indicate more than one number, e.g., "16/25".) Any GM who needs to trim the field or identify alternates to fill out the field, must use the standard
set of tie-breakers below. The first criterion is "Most Wins." GMs should carefully review the tie breakers in order to be able to apply them properly. Standard tie-breakers enable players to make more educated decisions about which
tournaments to play and whether or not they qualify to advance to later rounds of play.
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered);
- Win in first Heat entered;
- Win in second Heat entered;
- Win in third Heat entered;
- Win in fourth Heat entered;
- GM specific tie-breaker, provided it has been clearly described in the Event Preview;
- Average finish in all heats entered (e.g., a 2nd and two 3rds = 2.67 and beats two 2nds and two 4ths = 3); and
- High dice roll.
For example, if Monsters Ravage America had four Heats in Round 1. Players who won four games would advance before players who won three games. If the GM decided to advance 16 players to Round 2, and more than 16 players won four games, then the remaining tie breakers would be used to determine which of the players would advance. NOTE: It is rare for all qualifying winners to appear
for the advanced rounds, and an alternate list at least as
long as the number of advancing positions is wise.
Heats: Most Wins with GM-specified Tie-Breakers (HMW/G) - A tournament that advances players into Single Elimination Rounds. GMs should specify the number of players who may advance to Round 2. (If GMs will base that number on how many winners emerge from the heats, indicate more than one number, e.g., "16/25".) Any GM who needs to trim the field or identify alternates to fill out the field, must specify all of the tie-breaking procedures after the first requirement of Most Wins. Tie-breakers must be specified in the events preview page and approved by BPA no later than March 15 or the event must use the
standard set of tie-breakers. For example, if Monsters Ravage America had four Heats in Round 1. Players who won four games would advance before players who won three games. If the GM decided to advance 16 players to Round 2, and more than 16 players won four games, then the remaining tie breakers would be used to determine which of the players would advance. NOTE: It is rare for all qualifying winners to appear for the advanced rounds, and an alternate list at least as long as the number of advancing positions is wise. GMs MAY NOT add an extra, unscheduled round in order to advance the optimum number of players. GMs must use specified tie-breakers to advance the proper number of players.
Heats: Single Win (HSW) - A tournament that advances players into Single Elimination Rounds. GMs should specify the number of players who may advance to Round 2. (If GMs will base that number on how many winners emerge from the heats, indicate more than one number, e.g., "16/25".) Any GM who needs to trim the field or identify alternates to fill out the field, must use the standard set of tie-breakers, below. The first criterion is "Win in First Heat Played." GMs
should carefully review the tie breakers in order to be able to apply them properly. Standard tie-breakers enable players to make
more educated decisions about which tournaments to play and whether or not they qualify to advance to later rounds of play.
- Win in first Heat entered;
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered);
- Win in second Heat entered;
- Win in third Heat entered;
- Win in fourth Heat entered;
- GM specific tie-breaker, provided it has been clearly described in the Event Preview;
- Average finish in all heats entered (e.g., a 2nd and two 3rds = 2.67 and beats two 2nds and two 4ths = 3); and
- High dice roll.
NOTE: It is extremely important for the GM to post a list of qualifiers and alternates for advanced rounds
on the event kiosk in a timely fashion. Players who win the first heat they play in are likely to
advance to the next round. Players who win a heat will always have
an advantage over players who finish lower. For large tournaments, players
who have more wins are more likely to advance than players with fewer wins. In most cases, there is no disadvantage
to participating in more than one heat.
This Method of Advancement for Heats allows
ALL players (both winners and non-winners)—but does not require them—to play
the game again during Round 1 by participating in another Heat. There is generally not
a disadvantage for participating in more than one heat.
Indicate on the Event
Form the number of Heats that will
take place during Round 1 and the
duration for each of these Heats.
Also provide information about the
number of players that will advance
to Round 2. If GMs
do not provide this information,
a default number will be used. A GM who has a formula
for advancing a different number
(e.g., 20 or 25 for a 4- or 5-player
game), depending on the number of
participants, should indicate the
two numbers in the field, with a
slash between them. BEFORE the
tournament begins, the GM MUST submit
the criteria to the Convention Director
for approval. Such criteria must
be clearly described in the Event
Preview. When possible, also post it on the kiosk
for the convenience of players at the convention.
Extended example: GMs may find the following
tips useful when seeding players for advancement using the tie-breakers listed above.
Our example event is a four-player game with four heats. There are up
to total 24 table winners qualified for 16 semifinal slots (fewer if
one or more players wins more than once). The records of some players
are illustrated in the table below:
|Players in Event and Tie-Breaker Calculations
NOTE: Not all players shown.
||Won First Heat Played
(e.g., % of 2nd place score)
To seed all of the participants and
determine which of them qualifies
to advance, fill in the grid (or
use the Entry List), indicating each
participant's finish. For each Heat,
add participants who have not played
a previous Heat to the bottom of
the list. Use a dash ("-") to indicate
any Heat the participant did not
When any participant wins the first
Heat he or she plays, put an "X"
in the "Won First Heat Played" column.
These are the players who are at
the top of the list of qualifiers
to advance to the next heat. Those
players have been moved to the top
of the list below for illustration
purposes. It is not necessary to physically reorder
Keep track of the total number of wins
for each player in the "Total Wins" column. This
number could change after each Heat for anyone who plays
in more than one Heat. All players who won their first
heat played, are sorted by the number of wins they have
in the tournament.
Depending on the GM-specific tie-breaker,
you may need to track it for each
game played. For example, if the
tie-breaker were "Percentage
of Second-Place Score ",
it would need to be recorded for
each player for each Heat played.
If it were "Brought
Copy of Game", it could
be recorded once, with players bringing
games to more than one Heat receiving
extra points. "Average
Finish" could be calculated after
|Seeding Order for Tournament
NOTE: Not all players shown.
||Won First Heat Played
(lower avg. indicates higher finishes)
HWO is a type of Single Elimination
tournament. Thus, the first six players are at the top
because they won the first Heat they
played. Just as with a Single Elimination
tournament, winning the first game
played is key to qualifying for the
next round. Among those six players,
players with the Most Wins are listed
higher, followed by players who score
highest on the GM Tie-Breaker and
then by Average Finish.
Qualifying after the players who
won in their first game played are
players who have the Most Wins during
Round 1. This rewards consistency.
(As in Players B, A, and M.) Players
with the same number of wins, but
who didn't win in their first heat
played, are ranked based on when
they won (participants who won after
playing fewer heats—regardless
of which Heat— are ranked higher). That is why Players
G and F placed above Player D and
why Player D is above Player E. To
rank participants who tie for the
first two tie-breakers (as in Players
G and F), use the GM Tie-Breaker,
which must have been clearly described
in the Event
Preview. If participants are still
tied, use Average Finish.
(Thus, Player G qualifies before
Player F.) If participants cannot
be ranked based in Tie-Breakers 1-7,
use a die roll to break the tie.
Generally, no more than half of the
total players in a tournament should
qualify for a semifinal Round. Remember,
it is rare for all qualifying
winners to appear for the advanced
rounds. An alternate list at least
as long as the number of advancing
positions is wise. In at
least one case at WBC, a player
who was the 25th alternate advanced
to a semifinal game and won
Worksheets will be provided to assist
with calculations. Contact the Assistant
Convention Director with questions.
ROUND: An extra Round that occurs
before Round 1 and allows winners to
skip Round 1, advancing directly to
Round 2. Losers of a Mulligan
Round are not penalized
for their losses. Thus, all players
who play in Round 1 begin with
no losses, regardless of performance
or participation in a Mulligan
Round. Mulligan Rounds are often
used for Single Elimination tournaments,
guaranteeing players the opportunity
to play at least two games and
providing them a chance to reacquaint
themselves with the game without
penalizing them for a loss. It
also allows Mulligan Round winners
a break between rounds. Typically
not appropriate for events with very large attendance
that use tie-breakers to determine
which players advance. Events
using a Mulligan Round are penalized
in the Prize level and Century
qualifying formulas to offset
their advantage in attracting
more entrants. (See Century formula.)
Only Single Elimination tournaments may hold Mulligan Rounds.
continue with breaks of not more than an
hour until a winner is determined. No Round
will begin after midnight without the consent
of all players. The next Round must
continue at 9 a.m. the following morning.
Continuous scheduling is recommended for
most tournaments since breaks between Rounds
will tend to increase attrition of players
wandering off to enter other events.
SCHEDULED: Play has scheduled breaks of six hours or more
between rounds. This Scheduling Format is
recommended for long multi-player games
where continuous play becomes too much of
the same thing. The tournament is limited
to three such breaks. Requested breaks of
less than six hours are considered Continuous format.
Length & Duration
NUMBER OF ROUNDS: At
WBC, there is no limit to the number of
players who may participate in a tournament,
provided there are enough copies of the
game available. No player who registers
by the scheduled starting time and brings
a copy of the game should be turned away
without a documented reason that can be
defended to the Convention Director (e.g.,
such as unreasonable behavior). Thus, for
two-player games, it
may be difficult to predict the exact number
of rounds required to complete a tournament.
GMs should make an educated guess, based
upon previous participation or other data
points. Be prepared to lengthen or shorten
the number of rounds to accomodate the
actual number of entrants./P>
ROUND LENGTH: When
estimating the length of each round, err
on the long side to accommodate even slow
players. Allow extra time for seating players,
collecting score sheets, and slow play. Round
up to the nearest whole hour. GMs should
announce the schedule and stick to it. To
ensure all games end within the scheduled
period, announce that the round will end
at a given time and give warnings 15 and
30 minutes before that time. Do
not allow excessively slow players or late
arrivals to delay an event beyond the scheduled
doing laggards a favor, you perform a disservice
to the rest. When necessary, GMs should
be prepared to adjudicate slow matches. In
making any decision, note which player or
players have caused the delay, and give faster
players the benefit of the
doubt for close calls.
ACTUAL PLAYING TIME: Actual
average playing time is used in Century calculations.
Specify the average number of minutes required
for players to complete the game. Do
not round up. This value should be less than the
Round Length, which must accommodate all
players, not "average" players. Consider a single Round. Do not round up. Must be less than
Round Length. For example, average playing time for a Round with three games that end in 3 hours and
one game that ends in 1 hour is 2.25 hours, not 3 hours.
TIME: GMs may may designate a preferred
time for their event to start. Event Forms
that are submitted earlier are more likely
to be assigned the requested schedule.
GMs should also indicate in this area
any time when they ABSOLUTELY cannot run
the event—perhaps because of arrival and departure
times. Most GMs get
their requested time slots, and most schedule
changes are only by an hour or two. Start
times must be at the top of an hour (e.g.,
1:00 instead of 1:15 or 1:30). Those events requesting
four heats MUST designate at least one of them for a 9 AM start.
In general, smaller
events that can be completed within a span
of six hours or less should avoid morning
starts for starts later in the afternoon
or evening. When running MESE events, consider
scheduling at least one Heat later in the
week to provide an opportunity for late
arrivals to play. For shorter events
that can be run from start to finish in
a few hours, GMs should consider Sunday
morning or Saturday starts.
Allowing the Convention
Director to schedule at
the most appropriate time, as facilities allow makes orchestrating
the convention much easier and may increase
event attendance by reducing overlaps with
SCHEDULING CONSIDERATIONS: GMs
may request that their events be scheduled
in close physical or temporal proximity to
one other event. When possible, the Convention
Director will honor such requests; however,
the likelihood increases if GMs have coordinated
their schedules BEFORE the Event Form is
submitted. In addition, GMs may designate
a single tournament that should not be scheduled opposite
TRIAL EVENT SCHEDULING: GMs
of Trial events should indicate their Preferred Start
Times; however, the Convention Director
will schedule the event to reduce conflicts
and maximize facility use. Such GMs may exclude
one day and one event from conflicts
with the tournament, but they MUST be
willing to run the event as scheduled. GMs
who are unwilling or unable to comply with
such scheduling may withdraw their events.
Any event that is withdrawn will be replaced
by an alternate, at the discretion of the
GM Playing Status
Some believe that
propriety is best served if GMs do not play in their own
events. GMs may choose to not participate; however, they
should not feel obligated to sit out. Not only does BPA allow
GMs to play in their own events, we encourage it. GMs come
from the ranks of the players who enjoy an event. If we excluded
everyone who ran an event from playing in it, we would have
an even more difficult time recruiting the GMs that make WBC what it is. However, if you are a playing GM, you MUST predesignate Assistant GMs to oversee any game in which you play.
SIMULTANEOUS EVENT: If you want to play in another
simultanenous event, be sure to list it here. There is
no guarantee that this event can be scheduled for your
convenience, but your selection will be taken into consideration.
those contemplating the above ethical question, consider playing
as an “Eliminator" ( i.e., an entrant who is ineligible
to win overall, but who can eliminate others, entering play
only as needed at any point). This method works well in reducing
uneven tournament fields and providing the optimum number of
players for each game/round and is MUCH preferred to issuing
REQUIREMENTS: Proper scheduling requires knowing the Number of Games Per Table and the Optimum
Number of Players Per Game. The best person to provide that information is the GM.
Specify a first and second choice. Do
not assume the Convention Director knows the proper answer for participants in the as
often as possible. Please make accommodations,
when necessary, to make the available tables work for your tournament.
Tables selections are
- 8x30 Rectangular
- 6 Rectangular
- 5 Round
- 3ft7 Round
- 3 Square
- 6x5 Rectangular
- 8x5 Rectangular
- Other Multi-Table Combination - Specify in Notes
Room choices are granted in order of commitment. That means GMs who return their Event Forms early are more likely
to get the room assignments they request.
Specify a first and second choice. In most cases, more than one tournament will
take place in a room. Events are scheduled
for a finite period. Ensure that a room
is cleared before the next event is scheduled
to begin. It is a courtesy that all GMs should
grant and expect. Available rooms include
- Ballroom: Largest area grouped with many ongoing events.
- Salon: Medium-sized area for large event or grouped with similar events.
- Conference: Smallest area - usually holding only one event
- Theater: Tiered seating. One event per room.
It is vital that GMs carefully
consider how to resolve any questions BEFORE their
tournament begins and document this information
in the Event Description. Thus, the Event
Description should contain detailed descriptions
of any errata, Frequently Asked Questions,
House Rules, requirements for advancement,
any non-cash prizes offered to participants
and similar items that are important to players.
Submit this description to BPA by March 15
for posting to the WBC site. Use the Event
Form or e-mail the description to the Convention
Director. It is preferable to use the same Event Description
as used the previous year if no changes are necessary; however, before
checking the box, examine last year's Preview
Many misunderstandings and much confusion
can be avoided if the Event Description is
accurate and up-to-date. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE
the importance of the Event Description to
players. GMs are encouraged to post a printed
copy of the event description, including
any updates, to their kiosks.
In two-player games, sides should not be resolved randomly
or by player choice. Instead, players should bid increments
of Victory Points, supply, combat factors or other game resources
for the right to choose a particular side. That way no player
can gripe about receiving the perceived disadvantaged side.
In multi-player games, some random method should be used for
choice of sides or seats. In either case, the method of side
determination should be specified on the Preview Page.
BYES: Byes should
be avoided or postponed whenever possible. Always keep
the most people playing and the least people
also “GM Playing Status”.
Ideally, an “Eliminator” can be provided in the
form of a playing GM or other party—perhaps an earlier
eliminated player—to prevent byes altogether. However,
if an Eliminator is used in one round to
prevent a bye, an Eliminator should be used
in all rounds where byes might otherwise
occur. GMs should describe their policy for
regarding use of byes or eliminators on the Preview
If a bye is required in
the first Round of a Single Elimination event, it should be
given to the most recent past champion present, as listed on
the event kiosk. If additional byes are necessary, they should
be given in order of past champions until all past champions
have a bye. A champion who elects to pass on his or her right
to a bye is not allowed to postpone its use until
later in the event. Any additional byes should be given to
participants who have provided copies of the game. No person
can receive a second bye until all remaining players have received
one. In Swiss or Swiss-Elim events after the first Round, byes
should be offered to players with the worst records to ensure
that players who finish the highest are less likely to have
received such a benefit. Regardless of format, GMs must treat
a bye as a full win.
Draws are an acceptable conclusion according
to the rules of some games, but they aren't
acceptable for tournament play. At WBC, there
such thing as a tie. A plaque cannot be split down the middle. On
the Winner's List, each of the top six places must have one—and only
one—recipient. GMs are
responsible to create tie-breakers to resolve the top six places of their
event, particularly when there are fewer than six players in the Final. There
are many valid ways to determine final standings, but unless GMs announce
them ahead of time they leave themselves open to charges of bias. In elimination-style
events for two-player games, GMs may determine
3rd- thru 6th-place based on the final standings of the player causing elimination.
Thus, players who lose to the eventual champion place 2nd, 3rd,
or 5th, depending on the round when they lost.
Players who lose to the runner-up finish 4th or 6th. If players are tied
after using all GM-specified tie-breakers, resolve the ties with a winner-take-all
dice roll. All tournament tie-breakers
should be specified on the Preview
It is helpful to players
to be able to contact GMs about their events
before the convention. It may help avoid
delays and reduce confusion at the tournament
itself. GM addresses, phone numbers, and emails
are NOT published in the printed pre-registration
form or program. To make such information
available on an event’s Preview
Page, check the appropriate boxes on the Event Form. Otherwise,
this information will NOT be made available
to the public. No selection will result in
NO contact information being listed on the Preview
& Beyond the Call of Duty
lists extra things you can do to go the
extra mile. They are not not mandatory
or even expected, but if you are interested,
checking the boxes will allow BPA to work
with you. Gamers are the life blood of
the convention. If BPA can assist you in
getting the word out to a local Game Store
or Gaming Club, we would be glad to accommodate.
If we all brought one new gamer to the
convention next year, it would
be even better.
Letting us know if you use the electronic
versions of our public relations material
allows us to devote our resources where they
are the most valuable.
Some GMs also furnish
additional prizes to supplement
those supplied by BPA. This is permissable
and appreciated. Commencing in 2014, such extras will also be credited to the Century formula fofr prize level and Century status consideration. (See WBC Frequently Asked Questions for infofrmation about how events are selected for WBC and the Century formula.) Please remember that cash
prizes are not allowed, because they detract
from the spirit of the competition. Additional
prizes will be credited on the event's Preview
Page with proper notice.
GMs receive one Free GM Polo Shirt in the size indicated. If
you feel you have enough Polo shirts,
Necessary”. GMs may order additional shirts for the listed fee. Contact
the Convention Director.
event has its own kiosk, a three-sided
display, listing past winners, alternates,
elimination brackets, qualifiers, or whatever else a GM
might need to provide information to players.
GMs should pick up this kiosk from the
Paradise Terrace before their tournament
begins. The kiosk is used both as a beacon
to help players find the event in a large
room and as a message board for the GM
to post information for players. It is
the best place to post lists of Qualifiers
and Alternates. One side of each kiosk
contains a plastic pocket containing all
paperwork GMs need to run their events.
DO NOT tear the envelopes or remove them from the
kiosk. Extra forms are available from the Registration
Desk. GMs should return any completed
forms to the Registration Desk as soon
as possible after the conclusion of an
should always be returned to the Paradise
Terrace when not in use, including after
each Round. If you want your Cell Phone #
printed on your Kiosk, be sure to indicate that on your event form. Otherwise, it will not be
STATUS: The top Centurions names are memorialized on
the BPA Champions Photo Spread, which is
displayed at WBC and in our Archives.
Winners of all Century Events
receive a shield plaque. Plaques may
also be awarded for lower finishers in
Century events. The number of plaques available
is based on the number of player-hours
logged in that event at the preceding WBC
and is listed in the program. Centurions
also qualify for a Centurion
shirt. Winners can decline the shirt when picking
up their plaque. However, Centurion shirts must be ordered in specific sizes in a timely fashion so those who leave WBC without making arrangements for their shirt forfeit that prize once the order has been placed.
Winners of Trial and Junior events receive smaller plaques.
GMs must turn in all paperwork to the Registration Desk before
any prizes can be awarded. Even when only one plaque is available, GMs must provide the names
of the top six finishers for the event. Ties must be broken before the paperwork is presented.
(See Tournament Ties, above.)
PLAY: GMs should NEVER allow
ANY player to participate in two
events simultaneously. While it may not
cause problems for the GM, it
inevitably inconveniences players in those
events and creates hard feelings. Players
who qualify for advanced Rounds in different
events with conflicting schedules must
choose ONE event to play and forfeit
all of the others. GMs may allow
players with conflicts to schedule games
at off hours—such
as after midnight—but only if all involved
players agree. GMs who violate this rule or allow players to violate
it may be barred from future GM duties.
may use their discretion when someone
who arrived after the scheduled starting
time asks to participate in the tournament.
Some formats can
accommodate late arrivals fairly easily.
However, do NOT allow
late arrivals to, in any way, inconvenience
others by delaying the start of the tournament.
NEVER award a bye to someone who arrived
late and who would not
otherwise have qualified for it. It is
permissible to allow several players to
start a late game and adjudicate the
finish to ensure that the Round ends within
the scheduled period. Keep in mind that
final call as to what is a reasonable accomodation
is up to each GM to decide, balancing
obligations to all players—including
those who were on time—against
the need of the late-arriving player(s).
not expect players to furnish chess clocks
or other accessories. Written records or
notes (including those kept on a computer) that are not
part of a game’s
original equipment are not allowed, except
as deemed necessary by the GM. To improve the perception
that everyone is playing fairly, GMs are encouraged to
adopt the following procedures in games requiring dice
- Players should use dice cups, towers, and round-cornered dice. If provided, both
players must use them.
- If dice cups or towers are not available, all dice rolls must be thrown
(not dropped) into a box. If any dice miss the box or are cocked, all dice must be rerolled.
- Games requiring simultaneous rolls by both players should be resolved using
different colored sets of dice being the attacker—to avoid charges of purposely missing the
box after seeing an opponent’s roll.
- Official dice should be made available to all players. No substitution of dice or
dice limited to one player’s use should be allowed.
KIBITZERS & DISCIPLINE:
Allowing bystanders to give information to
any player or to hassle or otherwise distract
a player is prohibited. GMs who see this
taking place should announce that
onlookers are welcome only if they remain
silent. Those who violate this rule should
be removed from the premises. A GM’s
authority is unquestioned in his or her
tournament. A player who disagrees with
ruling has the right to request a ruling by majority opinion of the GM and
the GM’s two designated assistant GMs. Beyond that, there is no appeal. BPA WILL TOLERATE NO DISSENSION. A player
or bystander who becomes unruly should be removed—not by the GM—but
by Hotel Security. Summon the Convention Director or Hotel Security immediately,
GMs should monitor their players to see if anyone is being abrasive or unsportsmanlike
in any way. Such conduct should be met with a warning that any further such
behavior will result in disqualification. Before taking such action, ask
Assistant GMs to confer with you regarding the situation and deliver the
verdict as a committee decision. Any GM
unwilling to protect his or her players from
such behavior should not be a GM.
Any player who
leaves a multi-player game in progress
before the scheduled end of the Heat
or Round without advance permission from
the GM should be barred from that event
in future years. All
players should be reminded of that penalty
before play begins. When necessary, GMs
any game that will not be complete within
the established timeframe.
Compared to many conventions requiring individual event tickets, WBC events
are gamer friendly with a minimum of bureaucratic red tape. However, GMs
must never allow
anyone to enter an event without a valid badge, regardless of the excuse
or the identify of the individual. Any
GM failing to enforce this rule will be banned
from future GM responsibilities.
A GM’s job is never done until the paperwork is complete. An Event Results form (.xls; .pdf), which is a combination
Entry List/Winner’s Claim, is in the envelope attached to the Event Kiosk.
GMs can use the “has game” column to help assign matches. Whenever
possible, allow players to use their own copies of a game instead of lending
them to strangers. Circling the “Heats Entered” numbers
helps GMs record the number of games played. Keep the following in mind:
- Do not allow players to sign the Entry List (.xls;
.pdf). It is not a signup sheet! The
GM must legibly print the names and badge numbers of all participants.
Print-outs of computerized entry lists are allowed.
- The same person should never be listed more than once on
an Event List (.xls; .pdf),
regardless of the number of Heats or Rounds played.
- All paperwork must
be turned in to the Registration Desk within
one hour of the conclusion of an event.
- The Winner’s Claim (.xls; .pdf) requests Sportsmanship nominees,
an accounting of all games played and event
details. The latter two items should be
submitted, preferably by e-mail, within
four weeks of the end of WBC. It is important
to know the total number of games played,
the number of players in each, and the
AVERAGE playing time of a game.
coverage of an event should consist of a 400-word
(or longer) report featuring interesting
anecdotes that occurred during play, house
rules in effect or under consideration
for future use and statistics regarding
bids or play balance. In order to write
a good report, GMs need to plan in advance
methods for gathering the information.
Requests for written details from participants
is rarely forthcoming, though GMs may ask
an assistant to handle the writing duties.
Providing players with forms requiring
statistical data pertaining to the games
helps compile an interesting account
with useful information. Refrain
from commenting on entrant numbers or finalist
places since this information is already
provided by the BPA based on the information
on the Winner’s
Reports should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or
mailed to BPA, 1541 Redfield Rd, Bel Air,
GMs who do not
submit reports in a timely fashion are
suspended and may not GM the event the
following year. They also penalize their
event by dropping Century Events to Trial Status and
making Trial Events ineligible for inclusion the