View Full Version : fed up
March 2nd, 2005, 18:39
i have to laugh at the absurdity of how the league is handled. last session i wrote to all my opponents and told them when i was available and requested a specific day/time to play our match. well player x wrote back and said sun at 8 would be fine. so far so good. well when i arrived at netgammon at 8 to play our match that person was no where to be found. ok no big deal we'll play another time. well towards the end of the month i get an email from this player saying when they would be available to play. again i show up when they said they would be there and again no player. well on the last day of the session i check the standings and i find out that person has been granted a forfeit win over me and another person and has moved up from midpack to the top of the leader board. i really dont know what gets me more, players moving up with non existent wins or the fact im saddled with a loss in my statistics for a game i never played. dont get me wrong i dont mind losing, thats part of the game, but the league standings should be determined over the board not by who keeps the best email records. in the time ive played in the league ive never asked for a forfeit win and fully half of my losses to date are due to the fact that it was a forfeit.
March 2nd, 2005, 21:35
The fact is that with league play, communication is very important. Whether it is a quick follow up with a no-show player to re-schedule or to document possible forfeit requests. Let's face it, opponents are located from one end of the globe to another. It's not like running over to a neighbor's house to play a game when you see their car in the driveway. Besides, IBA has no way of knowing what has transpired between you and your opponent without that documentation.
What is ironic is if you had requested a forfeit against this opponent and there were no obvious disparity, neither one of you would have been granted the forfeit. The dual forfeit requests would have offset each other and no League Standing Credits would have been earned.
I do agree that if communication does not come easy for you, you probably won't be happy playing in the IBA League.
March 14th, 2005, 09:41
You probably should have checked you were talking the same time zones (CET?). At least after a no-show I send a mail to check just that. Could be you were both present at different times and your opponent is just annoyed you never showed up.
I do hate to ask for forfeits myself but in cases like this where there is a effect on standings I would challenge the forfeit. In fact, I'm starting to request forfeits these days just because people not mailing back for almost the entire month and then expecting me to play in the last few days bugs the hell out of me.
May 30th, 2005, 21:45
I appear to have been promoted from Division 4D to Division 3C, despite having had a pretty mediocre performance of five wins and five defeats, and I am closely followed by a series of people with rather better statistics, but who didnít manage to get so many matches played as I did. At the same time, one of these players presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he had made the effort to arrange games with four other players, who had not responded to his attempts to play. If others, who may have been equally meritorious in their efforts, had done the same, I am sure the table would have looked very different. I agree with GV_Eskimo entirely in that it requires a degree of organisation and administration that most players would not wish to get involved in, since they only want to play a bit of backgammon and have some fun. The trouble that arises is that the league is ultimately decided in an administratorís office, rather than on the backgammon board, and this factor should be reduced as far as possible.
In my view, playing oneís matches should be well rewarded over not playing them, winning should be rewarded much more highly than winning by forfeit, which should be considered only marginally better than losing. I suggest the following: Increase the prize to 4 points for a win. In this way you increase the mean prize for playing to 2.5 points, making it positive in comparison to winning 2 points for a forfeit, which should remain the same.
Now here comes the most important bit. Forfeits should be awarded automatically in favour of the player who has managed to play two or more matches more than his adversary, as almost without exception it will be the latterís fault since he isnít getting his matches played. The onus of proof should fall on the latter, and whenever he can demonstrate it, he should get the points for the forfeit. Whenever the difference of matches played is marginal, zero or one match, the forfeit must be actively sought from the administrator. By examining the cases dealt with so far, the vast majority were settled in this way. I havenít seen any case in which the player with fewer games played has been awarded a forfeit. It would also provide transparency for all players when the 28th of the month comes around, at which point arbitrary forfeits appear unexpectedly and I imagine can change everything. Whatís more, a load of what I can only imagine to be boring and undesirable administration would be removed.
There are many people playing in this league who are too unassuming to apply for a forfeit from another player. It does not seem reasonable that they should have to prepare a case against another player in order to get the points when they are clearly getting more matches played.
Regarding the 4 points for a win, this measure would turn the league very much into a matter of winning matches, and players who had lost a couple at the start would still be motivated to keep on playing since a couple of wins might make the world of difference to their standing, instead of falling by the wayside and neglecting to play the remaining matches.
Win 4 pts.
Forfeit 2 pts. (automatic if >1 total matches played than opponent)
Defeat 1 pt.
Thank you for your attention.
May 31st, 2005, 09:04
Automatic forfeits sounds like a very interesting idea. But when I think further along that line I'm not sure it has the effect intended. Only works well with fairly large divisions. Could make it easier for people to just skip their matches. In a sense, someone that is last in standings can have great effect just by winning an 8 cube against the leader so playing is definitely encouraged.
It could well be that making the last player in standings drop TWO divisions would have more effect. Optionally more than two forfeits would do that. Or then maybe all three ideas combined could create something good.
As far as 4pts/match is concerned I've tried a similar system for 5 months now and it works fairly well (basically it almost only differs in you using only positive numbers). I use (3/1 for a played match, 2/-1 for a forfeit and -2/-2 for not played or forfeit not granted). This month one of the players dropped from position 2 (if he would have been granted a forfeit) to second last. It was an even league so those 4 points really hurt.
I think it's a good thing we brainstorm the league rules every now and then. Maybe some day we manage to come up with something Tapper would jump up and down for :D
June 13th, 2005, 04:14
I've only just started in the league, but anyway, two more suggestions...
1. How about a "last chance" time-slot?
What I mean is, on the last weekend before forfeits are decided, an IBA host monitors the presence of league players who check in to the server for a couple of hours -- LONG enough for people to play about two games, SHORT enough that "disorganized" people and "poor communicators" have a specific unambiguous time to aim for, but also short enough that people can't rely on this time-slot to complete ALL their matches. Attendance or non-attendance at this "last chance" time-slot could also help administration of forfeits.
My suspicion is that if this was trialed, many matches would get played that currently end in forfeit, that has to be the spirit of the league. It makes it easier for people to make the effort to "catch up" a couple of matches if it has been a difficult month. I guess the main problem would be if people started to rely on this late time-slot to play MOST of their matches, the time limit should see to that.
2. How about a "Withdraw from THIS month's league" button on web-site?
However, I also suspect there will ALWAYS be something of a problem with people finding motivation to play matches when they are out of contention for promotion from the bottom division -- there is no DISincentive from relegation. Perhaps we could give people the chance to officially register withdrawl at the web-site, rather than expecting them to arrange times for matches they don't really want to play. This could mean forfeit information being available earlier in the month, with less "rude surprizes" for others in the final analysis. IBA members seem to be ladies and gentlemen who would make use of such an opportunity to be courteous to their fellow players.
BTW thanks everyone for your contributions to making IBA such a comprehensive and enjoyable backgammon experience -- director, web-masters, tourney directors, fellow PLAYERS and all those people we don't see! :-)
June 23rd, 2005, 04:23
Victory : 3 pts
Defeat : 0 pts
Unplayed : -1 pt
Furthermore, 2 ( or more?) consecutive months with mutiple unplayed matches result in forfeiture of a month's league play.
June 28th, 2005, 20:22
The vertical league in which promotion and relegation are based on points won in matches (incorporating negative points for matches not played, as suggested by TheCubist) should be accompanied by a 'horizontal' league, in which players drift between Divisions A, B, C and D etc. depending on the number of matches they fail to play. In this way, players in 'A' would be accompanied by communicative players who put the necessary effort into getting their matches played, while those in Division D would stew in their own juice with those who never get their finger out. Moreover, by setting a minimum number of matches played as well as finishing in the required top places in order to be awarded promotion to a higher vertical division the division of 'non-players' would become a kind of hell, escape from which would only be made possible by copious communication, retention of e-mail records and a positive determination to be more receptive to league play. My guess is that most players in this division would drop out and that many marginal players would wake up to their responsabilities and at least try to get their games played.
Divisions B and C would become much more palatable to play in and the final standings more credible, while Division A would be heaven, a joy to play in, with willing players getting the opponents they deserve.
Unplayed matches must be justified in oredr not to be considered forfeits for the purposes of the horizontal league, while forfeits for points should be utterly abandoned. This is the solution.
June 28th, 2005, 22:15
This is an excellent idea. As a (former) active player I like it a lot. It could of course backfire horribly and lots of people would start dropping out of the league because play would become so tedious at "D" divisions.
I did propose one improvement to Tapper to help with scheduling matches but it was shot down (for good reasons though). I'll still present it here in case someone can come up with a better way to improve it or perhaps if people think it's a good idea anyway no matter the possible bad effects.
As I wrote the software behind the .org site I've added a "average play date" to each player listed in a division. I'm the only one benefitting from this, i.e. it's not visible to other players. The idea behind and average play date is as follows:
I then know that gv_eskimo plays all his matches as fast as he can and he is easy to find online, thus I probably will meet him without scheduling. Magichand is probably easy to catch too whereas xyz (hope we don't have any such named player :-) often plays his matches very late or is hard to get hold of so it would pay off to try and schedule a match date with him straight from the beginning of the month. Quite a handy feature actually.
Also listing average unplayed matches wouldn't be too bad either.
June 29th, 2005, 07:29
Players dropping out through tedious inactivity would not be a problem. They only got into the Division D because they showed no interest in playing their matches, and so were 'dead wood' that needed clearing out anyway. If they wish to reform and become serious league players then they can escape from D the following month by supplying adequate documentation proving they have making an effort, albeit almost certainly in vain for that particular month. The league will only work if it is populated by players with an interest in playing. By their partial inactivity, which is even worse than complete inactivity, the remainder are a hindrance to the league's healthy functioning and only generate bad feeling. For example, in my division in June there is one player who has been consistently outstanding. He has succeeded in playing 8 of his 11 matches, only one match less than the most successful, who has played 9 of 11. Of these matches he won 6, a 75% win rate, which is unmatched by anyone else in the division. Thanks to forfeits to other players he will now finish third and will be rewarded by remaining in the same division next month. He has every right to feel utterly robbed by the forfeits and real disdain for the players who never tried to get their matches finished, or even hardly started in several cases.
Might he feel a small inclination to drop out of the league next month? Or lose any respect for it and stay in but not bother playing? There is a certain probability. It would be better to lose twenty uninterested players by shunting them out to the divisions where they belong than to lose even one as motivated as him. If a change in player quality does not come, then an infectious boredom will spread to previously enthusiastic players (Eskimo being just such an example) and will kill off the league, or at the very least drastically reduce it to a closed, by invitation-only affair.
Any comment from an IBA Director?
July 1st, 2005, 18:52
Quick comment from the IBA Director. lol
I am watching this discussion closely as it evolves. I am wanting to hear from as many as possible before I come to any conclusions; however, I have seen suggestions that I like very much.
I am asking the League Coordinator to please contact all of the current league players and direct them to this post to add their comments. We are talking changes that effect quite a few people and I would like them to have the opportunity to join in on this discussion.
One thing I would request is to please stay on topic. If you wish to change topics, please start a new thread so we can keep the discussions flowing smoothly and future league participants can also benefit.
Also, it would be extremely helpful is to identify which Division you are currently playing in. The perspective in Division 1 and Division 4 will be extremely different and that must be addressed.
I thank you all so much for your comments. This is exactly how IBA continues to improve.
July 18th, 2005, 20:37
Well, I have kind of been in the middle of this. I was leading the division that was decided by the 2 forfeit wins granted at that time. It knocked me to 2nd but I still advanced so I have kept quiet. So many situations are coming up where the forfeit requests may decide so many things that it seems an important issue. I think the suggestions so far in the thread are good. I do not feel a forfeit should count as much as a win. I played all my matches during the month I was knocked to 2nd. I was in Netgammon much of the time at the end of the month and I didn't see any of those involved present. Perhaps the -1 for unplayed matches would be most fair. I do appreciate that I am playing the worlds best players in IBA and all I have learned about the game.
July 21st, 2005, 03:15
I don't think the system as it stands is that broken, but I DO like the idea that a match won by forfeit should not have equal point value as a match won on the board.
Spacefrog, your idea of horizontal groupings with the dawdler's hell was VERY funny, but I really don't think it necessary. The forfeit system seems to have been effectively designed to take care of non-communicators, since those who don't bother setting up appointments will tend to lose more by forfeit and so move down in the standings.
I would like to speak in defense of those who don't always get their matches played. There are times when, because of work projects or busy seasons, I find it very difficult to plan ahead and it may turn out that I cannot arrange for all my matches that month. I have NO problem at all if someone claims a forfeit against me if I have not attempted to arrange or been able to keep appointments. I expect there will be months when I lose rank or drop one division because of necessary inactivity. I don't want to drop out of the league every spring just because of work. Please, friends, don't take it personally, if you have asked me to arrange a time and I have been unable, take the win and dont' feel bad about it.
August 2nd, 2005, 02:46
I have been involved in league play for almost as long as it has been around and find it very enjoyable. I unfortunately don't get to play in many tournaments and enjoy the monthly league play as a way to keep playing very competitive matches.
My frustration lies with the lack of importance so many place on league play. Because it varies when I can be on I always try to come on within an hour before a scheduled tourney time figuring I will be able to find at least one of the players in my division. But lately more often than not when asked a player will say sorry the tourney is starting in 1/2 hour and I'm playing in that.
I certainly understand the prestige of playing in a tourney and what it takes to win but there are multiple tourneys every day and only limited chances to play league matches. I would like to see league matches take precedence over tourney play when reasonable. If someone comes in at 20:55pm when a 21:00pm is about to start and asks for a league match then it is understandable but when a league match asked for prior to 20:30pm is asked for that's when I have a problem.
I like the idea of more points for wins than forfeit wins and I also like the idea of a minimum number of matches played to qualify in the standings each month.
August 2nd, 2005, 13:01
I can empathize with everyone complaining about the current league set-up, I have taken a month's leave mostly due to frustration. Finding opponents and scheduling matches is taking most of the fun away, and frankly, the last thing I want to do is spend the very last weekend of the month playing 6 back to back 11 point matches. Unfortunately, I don't have a solution..its seems the players who lose their first 3 matches of the month just bail the rest of the month, and some people schedules are just too hard to fit with mine (especially if we have a 6 hour time difference). If I happen to be away one or two weekends during the month, we have virtually no chance of finding a common time. I'm open to suggestions....I recognize that the league administrators are doing all they can with new ideas and rules to make it smoother, but it's still a very frustrating situation.
August 15th, 2005, 12:47
undefined I FOR ONE AM HAVING A TERRIBLE TIME WITH NG MAIL, I WOULD LIKE THE OPTION OF HAVING E MAIL ADDRESSES IN ADDITION THE USING NG MAIL. THIS MONTH I HAVE NG MAILED ONE PERSON 9 TIMES WITHOUT ANY COMMUNACATION IN RETURN. IT IS GETTING VERY FRUSTRATING TO TRY AND PLAY A LEAGUE MATCH AND HAVE ONE PERSON NOT SHOW UP UNTIL THREE DAYS BEFORE THE END OF LEAGUE.
BESIDES I CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THE NG MAILS TO TAPPER!! NO MATTER WHAT I DO IT DOES NOT MOVE.
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