2008 WBC Sportsmanship Award Nominees
Nov. 19, 2008

While lots of people get caught up in the quest for "wood," the folks listed below subscribe to a higher standard. These are the sportsmen and women of the WBC…the shining example of sportsmanship that we should all aspire to. These folks are the ones that make it all bearable for our GMs and contribute most to the friendly atmosphere of the convention. Their shining example contributes to the remarkable esprit de corps and camaraderie for which the WBC has always been noted.

Nominations are not accepted for individuals who conceded a victory to allow a beaten opponent to continue in an event in their place. While a player who allows another to play on in "his" place may well have good intentions, doing so is contrary to the purpose of a tournament. A player who concedes a won game is circumventing the rules of the event by dispensing byes in a non-random, unearned manner and is actually committing an unsportsmanlike act in the eyes of some. Such a kindness bestowed upon one player is actually grossly unfair to the other participants who had to win their right to advance and tarnishes the event as a true test of skill.

So without any further ado, let's present the class of 2008—and a classy group it is, too. The following individuals were just some of the many nominated for the reasons indicated below and owe their appearance here to both their own demeanor and the fervancy of their sponsors in relating it to BPA. Doubtless there are many more good sports at WBC than those we can acknowledge here. We limit the nominees to those endorsed by WBC GMs for outstanding sportsmanship and further reduce their number by selecting only the most fervent endorsements. These are supplemented by the Board of Directors and Convention Director.

As is our practice, all prospective BPA members are urged to vote for one of sportsmanship nominees listed below when submitting their 2009 membership form and voting for new Trial Events. All ballots are due by Jan. 1, 2009. Reward a good sport with our biggest prize…free lodging at the next WBC.

2008 Nominees

AMAZING SPACE VETURE/VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC: Barry Shutt was very pelpful to all players, especially those new to the game. Always calm, courteous and a credit to the WBC.

ANZIO: Bill Morse gave his time to all the grognards by keeping scores updated for all ten Grognard events with his updated computer printouts.

AUCTION: Jonathan Lockwood was mistakenly told he had qualified for the semis. When the error was discovered, he gave up his seat without question and proceeded to teach a youngster how to play the game.

AXIS & ALLIES: Ty Hansen is always a positive presence. His disarming manner, helpful comments, and calming influence helps keep the tournament atmosphere light and enjoyable. A true gentleman!

B-17: Ruth Evinger had flown for three years and eight missions without ever getting a plane safely back to Britain, but remained cheerful and upbeat as she flew her husband's plane in his annual spot in the squadron. This year, on her ninth try, she made it back home safely ... as did her husband Tim who had missed his first WBC last year while deployed in Iraq. Welcome back, Ruth AND Tim.

BATTLE CRY: Bill Edwards won a roll-off tiebreaker to determine who would advance to the semi-finals only to discover a scoring error that awarded the match to his opponent instead. Bill just laughed and consoled his opponent who was upset about winning in such fashion.

EMPIRE OF THE SUN: Tom Thornsen, besides being charming and sportsmanlike at all times, even supplied a prize for the event.

GANGSTERS: Jordan Halberstadt went out of his way over and over throughout an entire game to ensure new players did well and had a good time.

GETTYSBURG: Greg Smith is always willing to play anyone, regardless of the standings, and that is not something you can say about everyone in the Grognard events where who you play is as important as how you play and you often choose your own opponents. He also is a good teacher to new players.

HAMMER OF THE SCOTS: Harvey Harmon played all three preliminary rounds in the swiss portion of the event despite being eliminated from any advancement possibility after the second round and thereby eliminated a bye situation. Displayed great enthusiasm for the game. A real team player.

HERE I STAND: In 2007, the Here I Stand tournament was tainted by several games where the Ottoman and Haspburg players cooperated to collectively score tournament advancement VP, rather than face each other in battle. To combat this metagaming, we introduced a new "Natural Enemy" rule in 2008 which was quite effective at solving our Ottoman - Hapsburg issue. However we saw some side effects that the rule caused on England and France this year, so we will be not apply it to those powers in 2009. These side effects sure nailed Kaarin Engelmann this year. When the last card was played, she was sitting in the lead with England in her semi-final game, in perfect position to advance to the Final. We only had to resolve an unlikely French voyage of exploration (which would have no effect on a roll of 2 to 9 on two dice). Our French player rolled a 10, gaining 1 VP and thus tying Kaarin for the lead. Applying standard HIS tiebreakers, the French were declared the winner (higher VP total two turns before when the powers were not tied). Still, Kaarin's VP total of 22 was enough for her to advance to the Final in one of the three at-large slots. Except then the Natural Enemies rule kicked in, penalizing her 4 VP for France's win and knocking her out of the Final. She took this last-minute triple whammy exceptionally well, quietly moving on to her next event. Even if she didn't agree with the published tournament rules, she knew the right thing was to go ahead and enforce them (and then help us make sure they are fixed before next year).

JUNIORS: One of the scheduled Junior's events had a GM that was not in attendance, so the Juniors Monitor went in search of finding a replacement GM with 10 minutes to spare. Sean McCulloch happened to be in the right place at the right time or possibly the wrong place at the wrong time as she was able to persuade him to skip an event he was personally planning on playing in to help GM Formula Motor Racing Jr.  Sean was a great sport about the whole thing, was very gracious to the children, and did a great job stepping in at the last moment.  The monitor had asked six other people before she finally found Sean, and she was thrilled that he didn't think twice about saying yes. The Juniors Monitor have played against Sean in many games personally and finds him to be a gracious player whether he is winning or losing, and knows how to give pointers about a game without making the other players feel stupid or ridiculed.  Sean is a very good role model for the Juniors as well as all other gamers at the convention, and should be given serious consideration for the Sportsman of the Year.

LIAR'S DICE: Nicole Reiff made the semi-finals and waited patiently while everyone tried to psych her out. It's not easy being the young daughter of the WBC Plaque king ... it comes with a certain amount of baggage. Nevertheless, she handled herself with real grace and finished second. She likewise endured a trip to the "penalty box" and associated hooting well in Slapshot. A chip off the old block ...

MEMOIR '44: John Skiba played the Allies against Sylvain LaRose in Game 1 of their two-game 3rd Round Match and shorted himself one Allied Inf. This was not discovered by either player until setting up for Game 2. Sylvain said he would play without that Inf as well since John had. John thanked him for his offer, but said it was not necessary (after all it was his mistake). But Sylvain insisted, and, while winning the second game, lost the overall match by one medal.

PILLARS OF THE EARTH: Chris Moffa volunteered to take notes of boh the semis and Final despite failing to advance in his Team game.

RA: Tom Dunning missed the semis due to a medical emergency. He later returned and replaced a departed player - knowing he could not advance - to prevent an abandoned position from influencing a game.

SQUAD LEADER: Scott Bramley played four additional games (for a total of eight) so as to provide opposition for players with limited schedule opportunities even though he had no advancement chance himself.

TIGERS IN THE MIST: Jim Winslow coached all of his opponents and instructed them in the finer points of the game to his own disadvantage.

UP FRONT: John Emery is always the perfect gentleman, win or lose, and a classy representative for WBC.

WAR OF THE RING: Michael Sosa was the victim of a mis-communication about the start time of the next round and returned too late to be included. He took it without complaint - no small thing during a Saturday pre-con where other playing opportunities are limited.

WATERLOO: Mark Gutfreund suffered through three tough losses against top players and smiled at every opportunity. He persevered and made it it to the semis regardless ... a true gentleman and sportsman.

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