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World Boardgaming Championships Gamemaster (GM) Guidelines Updated November 11, 2021.
 

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, setting the schedule for the game, and a GM polo shirt.

To GM an event, complete and submit an Event Form for the event you would like to GM.

Andy Latto provides a GM assistant Spreadsheet to ease in some of the onsite administrative processes. The 2022 version of the GM Assistant Spreadsheet will be available for download before WBC. This tool helps speed player registration and recording event results. If you have any questions or run into any problems, you are likely to get more support before WBC than during. E-mail andy.latto@pobox.com to keep abreast of the latest updates.

 
The following information is very important for GMs to read and understand.
 

To apply to be a Gamemaster at the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) submit a valid Event Form to the Convention Director. All event submissions are subject to acceptance by the BPA. If you have any questions, contact the Convention Director. Deadlines are as follows:

  • November 30 - New GM for New Event: If 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. Due to the cancellation of WBC 2020 and WBC 2021, the trial ballot will only consist of games for which an event form is submitted by November 30, 2021. There will be no automatic entries on the ballot for 2022.
  • January 15 - GM for ALL Events: Only events with a confirmed GM by January 15 will be run at WBC. Events are no longer reserved for the previous GM. The first person to submit an acceptable Event Form will be designated the GM.
  • February 28 - Newly Published Games: ALL NEW TRIALS MUST BE IN PRINT by February 28. Publishers must submit a copy of the game at the time of the event submission. Only events with a confirmed GM by February 28 may be run in the upcoming WBC.

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.

 

General Information

GAME TITLE: Name of the game being submitted. If the event is a century or legacy event, select the Game Title from the Drop Down Menu. If it is a Sponsored or Trial event, type in the name of the game. NOTE: Before November 30, you may submit an Event form for any game not currently listed as a Century or Legacy Event. (See the Orphan List.) Such games will be listed on the Trial Ballot and available for selection by Membership vote for those members joining the BPA between December 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021. 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. Ask the Convention Director if you have questions about the eligibility of an event.

Events that do not have a form submitted by January 15 will not be run at WBC. Any member may submit to run an event by completing the Event Form by January 15. 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 at the previous WBC or current WBC 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.

GM NAME: Enter your Name as you want it to appear on the Preview page, Kiosk, and in the Program.

EVENT WEBSITE ADDRESS: If you will provide a website for the event, list the website address. Regardless, all GMs must provide, by the established deadlines, a description of the event for its Preview Page (January 15) and an event report of a minimum of 400-words (August 31). Word documents of the reports are preferred. 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).

GM PHONE NUMBER: 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 the convention staff to contact you in case of emergency.

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.

To 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 byes.

Please select your play status from the Drop Down menu. Your options are 1) play in event and name 2 Assistant GMs, 2) do not play in the event, or 3) play in the event as an eliminator only.

GM GUIDELINES: Select whether you have read these GM guidelines from the Drop Down menu. Compliance with these guidelines is vital for all GMs.

ASSISTANT GMs: 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 non-advancing eliminator.

GM REMUNERATION: GMs receive one Free GM Polo Shirt. Select your shirt size from the Drop Down menu or select decline if you feel you have enough Polo shirts". GMs may order additional shirts. Enter the number you wish to purchase and the sizes you want Shirts are $5 for Small through XL, and $20 for 2XL and 3XL.

ADDITIONAL GM PRIZE SUPPORT: Some GMs also furnish additional prizes to supplement those supplied by BPA. This is permissible and appreciated.  Please remember that cash prizes are NOT allowed, because they detract from the spirit of the competition. Additional prizes will be listed on the event's Preview Page with proper notice. Select from the Drop Down meu if you will provide additional prizes, the Publisher will provide additional prizes, or there are no additional prizes.

PREVIEW PAGE GM INFORMATION: 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. Select from the Drop Down menu what information you would like on the Preview Page. No information is one of the options

KIOSK GM INFORMATION: It is helpful to players to be able to contact GMs about their events during the convention. It may help avoid delays and reduce confusion at the tournament. GM addresses, phone numbers, and emails are NOT published in the printed pre-registration form or program. Select from the Drop Down menu what information you would like on the Kiosk. No information is one of the options

Event Information

EVENT TYPE: This indicates what type of event this is. Options in the Drop Down menu are Century, Legacy, Trial, Sponsor Event, Vendor Event, or Exhibitor Event. Detailed descriptions of these can be found on the new Event Description

NAME OF SPONSOR, VENDOR, OR EXHIBITOR: Type in the name of the individual or company that is sponsoring the event. They must be a Sponsor, Vendor , or double Exhibitor Member Level to be able to add the event.

EVENT CLASS: Select the class from the Drop Down menu. The available classes are:

  •  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 1 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.

EVENT STYLE: Select whether you will run the event as a continuou event or a scheduled event.

  • CONTINUOUS: 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.

EVENT FORMAT: These are the formats allowed for tournaments run at WBC. No more than half of the total players in a tournament MAY qualify for a Semifinal round. For games that run heats that do not have a good way of implementing any of the heat formats, the convention director may grandfather in a different method. This exception must be pre-approved before submitting the event. Examples are Dune and Republic of Rome which don’t fit any of the heat formats. A description of the allowed event formats follows.

  • SINGLE 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. 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 teammates to avoid unfair alliances born of familiarity.
    • In two-player games, to ensure that frequent opponents—such as family members and teammates 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.

  • SINGLE ELIMINATION WITH MULLIGAN (SEM): This competition style is the same as Single Elimination with the following exception. Players may play in a mulligan round that is scheduled before the start of Round 1. If a player wins their Mulligan round game, they advance to the second round of the tournament. Losers in the mulligan round can re-enter the tournament in Round 1.
  • SWISS (SW): Any format of a pre-determined number of rounds in which players with the best records are paired against each other in every round. Players are free to drop out after any round of the event.

    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.

  • SWISS ELIMINATION (SWEL): A system using a number of continuous preliminary round games 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. 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.

  • FREE FORM (FF): Free Form tournaments are a type of Swiss Elimination tournament with Rounds 1 lasting several days. After Round 1, the top 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 participate 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 time limits.

    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 on the day and time 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 before the posted time of the Final.

    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: WINNERS ONLY (HWO): Players participate in two to four scheduled Heats. Players who win a game during a heat will advance to the next rounds, usually a Semifinal/Final round or just a Final round. Rounds after the heats are played as Single Elimination rounds. No alternates advance. 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 the next round may not use this method of advancement.
  • HEATS: MULTIPLE SINGLE ELIMINATION (HMSE): Each of two or four heats are played Single Elimination to determine one winner who advances to the next round. With two heats, the winners advance to the Final. With 4 heats, the winners advance to a Semifinal with Semifinal winners advancing to a Final.

  • HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):This is the new format for those that prefer playing a game multiple times. It is a format with two to four chances to enter Round 1, followed by Single Elimination rounds. The event will specify the number of players who advance to Round 2. The event MUST use the following standard set of tie-breakers to determine who advances to the single elimination rounds. 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.

    1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
    2. Most Second Places
    3. Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
    4. Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
    5. Fewest Heats
    6. High dice roll.

  • HEATS: MOST WINS - TIMING (HMW-T): This is the new format for those that prefer to play the minimum number of games and still advance in the event. It is a format with two to four chances to enter Round 1, followed by Single Elimination rounds. The event will specify the number of players who advance to Round 2. The event MUST use the following standard set of tie-breakers to determine who advances to the single elimination rounds. 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.

    1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
    2. First Win
      • First Heat played
      • Second Heat played
      • Third Heat played
      • Fourth Heat played
    3. Fewest Heats
    4. Most Second Places
    5. Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
    6. Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
    7. Highest total points ahead of second place
    8. High dice roll.

  • QUARTERFINAL REQUEST: Select from the Drop Down menu if you will be requesting a quarterfinal. 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. 

    ESTIMATED 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 will 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 accommodate the actual number of entrants.

    Enter the estimated number of rounds that the tournament will take to finish. For clarification, each heat is considered a round. Therefore, an event with four heats, a Semifinal, and a Final would have 6 rounds

    NUMBER OF PLAYERS ADVANCING TO THE SEMIFINALS AND FINALS: Enter the number of players that will advance to Semifinals of the event in the Semifinals box. Enter the number of players that will advance to Finals of the event in the Finals box.

    AVERAGE PLAYING TIME OF GAME: Specify the average number of minutes required for players to complete the game. Do not round up. This value MUST be less than the Round Lengths. Consider a single Round. Do not round up. 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.

    Scheduling

    REQUEST EVENT TO AVOID CONFLICT: Name of the game that you would like to avoid a scheduling conflict with. If the event is a century or legacy event, select the Game Title from the Drop Down Menu. If it is a Sponsored or Trial event, type in the name of the game. When possible, the Convention Director will honor such requests

    REQUEST DAY NOT TO BE SCHEDULED ON: Choose the day from the Drop Down menu that you would like to not be scheduled on.

    PREFERRED START SELECTIONS: For continuous style events, select the Day you want to start the tournament and the time you want to start the tournament from their respective Drop Down menus. Then enter the length (in hours) that you want each Round to be scheduled for.Those events requesting four heats MUST designate at least one of them for a 9 AM start.

    For scheduled style events, select the Day you want to start each Round/Heat that you are running and the Time you want to start each Round/Heat that you are running from their respective Drop Down menus. Then enter the length (in hours) that you want each Round/Heat to be scheduled for.  

    For Beginners Welcome class events, you MUST select the Day and Time of your required Demo from their respective Drop Down menus.

    For all other class events, if you wish to schedule a Demo, select the Day and Time of your required Demo from their respective Drop Down menus.

    ALLOW EURO SCHEDULING COORDINATION CHANGES: Eric Freeman makes the effort to co-ordinate the schedule for the Eurogames to help avoid conflicts for players playing similar games. Eric provides a listing of the agreed upon schedule to the convention director. Select Yes from the Drop Down if you agree to allow the Convention Director to use the final coordinated Euro schedule for your event. Select No to not allow any changes from the Euro Schedule and select N/A if you are not a Euro game or are not participating in the Coordination.

    EVENT DESRIPTION 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. This description must be emailed to the Convention Director with the event form.

    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.

    Event Logistics

    TABLE PREFERENCES: Select your two preferences for table size for your event from the Drop Down menus. Tables selections are:

    • 3' 7" Round
    • 5' Round
    • 6' Rectangular
    • 8' Rectangular
    • 4' Square
    • No Preference

    ROOM PREFERENCES: Select your two preferences for rooms for your event from the Drop Down menus. A copy of the Seven Springs map of rooms is included in the Form spreadsheet. Seven Springs Rooms selections are:

    • Alpine
    • Grand Ballroom
    • Any Salon Room
    • Salon - Chestnut
    • Salon - Dogwood
    • Salon - Evergreen
    • Salon - Seasons
    • Salon - Snowflake
    • Salon - Sunburst
    • Salon - Wintergreen
    • Ski Lodge - First Tracks
    • Ski Lodge - Foggy Goggle
    • Ski Lodge - Maple
    • Ski Lodge - Rathskeller
    • Winterberry
    • No Preference

    FINAL IN LAUREL: The Laurel Room is now used just for Finals to try to provide a better Final experience. Use the Drop Down Menu to indicate whether you are willing to have your final in the Laurel Room.

    ADDITIONAL LOGISTICS REQUIREMENTS: Enter any special requirements for your event such as a projector or microphone.

    Other Information

    PAPERWORK: A GM's job is never done until the paperwork is complete. An Event Results form and the Event Entry List are required to be completed and submitted to the Registration Staff before any prizes can be given out. Copies of these forms are in the envelope on the event's kiosk with extra copies available in registration. 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 . 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, 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 Event Result Form requests Sportsmanship nominees, an accounting of # entrants for the tournament, entrant numbers by Heat, and all games played. The form must also have the prize level circled. It is important to know the total number of games played and the total number of players in each.

    Event Report coverage of an event should consist of a minimum of 400-words 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 Event Results Form.

    Reports MUST be emailed to conventiondirector@boardgamers.org by August 31.

    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 following year.

    SIDE DETERMINATION: 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 waiting.  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 Page.

    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.

    TOURNAMENT TIE-BREAKERS: Draws are an acceptable conclusion according to the rules of some games, but they aren't acceptable for tournament play. At WBC, there is no 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 Page.

    KIOSKS: Each 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 Kiosk Hallway 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 event. Kiosks should always be returned to the Kiosk Hallway 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 disclosed.

    PRIZE 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. Only plaque winners may pick up their plaques by showing a proper WBC Badge. Centurions also qualify for a Centurion shirt. Winners can purchase or decline the shirt when picking up their plaque.

    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.

    SIMULTANEOUS PLAY: GMs MUST 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.

    LATE ARRIVALS: GMs 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 the final call as to what is a reasonable accommodation 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).

    ACCESSORIES: Do 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. Players should not be allowed to use Ipad's or computers while participating in a tournament game. To improve the perception that everyone is playing fairly, GMs are encouraged to adopt the following procedures in games requiring dice rolls:

    • 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.
    • 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 a GM’s 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 NOT TOLERATE 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, if necessary.

    CONDUCT: 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 may adjudicate any game that will not be complete within the established timeframe.

    BADGES: 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. Entrants who refuse to provide the photo for WBC to include on their badge are required to show photo identification along with their pictureless badge to enter the event. Any GM failing to enforce this rule will be banned from future GM responsibilities.