How’s it going, everybody? I’m back this week to talk about something very important that I watched many players fail to utilize at the last YCS in New Jersey. If you’ve read the title, you should already know that I’m talking about the right to appeal. Some of you may remember an article I wrote awhile back about this subject but I think I either failed to get my point across, or many players simply didn’t read it. I can’t begin to tell you how imperative it is to know your rights as a player and to use them accordingly. So let’s dive in, shall we?
As a player, you are allowed to call a judge when you have a disagreement with your opponent. If you feel as though you are right, and the opponent isn’t accepting your logic, then don’t waste time arguing, just call a judge. Then, once a judge finally comes, make sure you explain to the situation to them in a clear and calm manner. Let him or her speak, and then decide how to proceed from there. If the judge rules against you, it may be best to appeal the ruling. This is the easy stuff, though; you should already know this. The things that I’ve seen slip by are appeals to the head judge for matters that have nothing to do with actual card rulings. Did you know that you can appeal any penalty given to you by a floor judge? If not, then I’m here to tell you that you can. You can also appeal to the head judge if you feel as though your opponent should be penalized for something that the floor judge might have let go. For instance, at YCS New Jersey, a very known player was about to be attacked for game during game two when he already lost game one—meaning this attack would end the whole match. He decided to call the floor judge at that moment and make accusations about his opponent having marked cards. Do you see the problem here? Let me point out a few things for you. This action is considered unsportsmanlike conduct! Period! The reason being, if you knew your opponent had marked cards this entire time, why is it that you waited until you were about to lose the match to call a judge about it? This is no different than knowingly letting your opponent forget to search for [ccProd]Sangan[/ccProd]’s mandatory effect. You are trying to take advantage of the circumstances and use them to your advantage.
In this instance, the player who called the floor judge for the marked cards was not penalized whatsoever. If the opponent was educated on how things work, he should have called the head judge and explained exactly what happened. It is not okay for someone to randomly say you have marked cards, or 39 cards, or an extra card when he or she is about to lose the game. Sure there’s the possibility that he or she may have just noticed the extra card, but you don’t randomly tell someone to count out their main deck, extra deck, or side deck when they say, “Attack for game.” That seems suspicious.
Players in San Diego were caught dropping their opponent’s cards on the floor while shuffling, and then stepping on them to ensure that he or she would never find them. They would play the whole match as normal until they were about to lose, and then suddenly, they would ask for a deck check. Things like this should raise a red flag, and if the floor judge isn’t catching on, then you need to appeal to the head judge. I know just about every head judge in this game, and they are all highly educated individuals who have the propensity to handle these situations quite well. This is where you have to apply logical reasoning and think about the circumstances. Some people will stop at nothing to win a game of Yu-Gi-Oh.
Have you ever had someone ask you for a translation of a foreign card? What about the translation for a foreign card that he or she plays with? Do you know that this could be considered sharking, and depending on what they are asking for, you can determine what their motives are? For instance, while judging a regional, I watched a player ask his opponent for a translation of Dark Hole. I decided to let another judge handle it because I wanted to see what he would do about this type of situation before I stepped in. The floor judge immediately asked the opponent if he had a translation for Dark Hole and the guy responded with, “No I don’t, but he played Dark Hole on me in game one. He knows what it does.” The judge then questions the guy who made the initial call, and he confessed that he did in fact play Dark Hole on his opponent in game one, but that he should still provide a translation for him just because the card is foreign. This may seem harmless, but it is a very common form of sharking. Not only did the opponent know what Dark Hole did, but he was also using the card himself. To make matters worse, he actually had his own Dark Hole in the graveyard from an earlier point in the game. Instead of just immediately playing it by the book, the judge should have used his reasoning to determine that the player was sharking. If you feel as though someone is sharking you, call the floor judge, see what he or she says, and if you feel as though it wasn’t handled correctly, then appeal.
One thing that I would advise you to avoid doing is arguing with the floor judge. We are all human beings so we all make mistakes. Sometimes you will come across a judge who doesn’t know the answer to your question, or he or she might give the wrong answer to your question/dispute. In this case, all you have to do is simply say, “I would like to appeal.” I’m not accepting losses because someone didn’t know how cards interact. Every time I walk around at YCS tournaments, I hear players complaining about how they lost because the judge told them the wrong thing. My immediate response is always the same, “Did you appeal?” And just about every single time, they respond with, “No, I didn’t.” When I ask why, they usually say something along the lines of, “Well there were like three or four judges there all saying the same thing,” or, “I didn’t think about it at the time.” That type of thinking is ridiculous. If you paid to play in the tournament, and you traveled out of state to get there—creating more expenses for yourself—then why let yourself lose to ignorance? Know your rights. Actually, to further expand on that point, it doesn’t matter if you did or didn’t travel or pay anything to enter the tournament; the fact is, rules are rules and you can appeal to correct the gamestate or put an end to players who like to shark. Believe me; you will not get in trouble for appealing. It might take some extra time to find the head judge, but it is so worth it in the end. And don’t worry about the clock because you will get an extension. There’s no reason to not appeal, so I’ll say it again:
Appeal, appeal, appeal, appeal, appeal, appeal, appeal. APPEAL!
Thanks for reading! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!
-The Dark Magician