Weiß Schwarz

【Special Article】Welcome to the floor rules! (Vol.3)

Welcome back to the third and final part of the special introduction to floor rules!

What exactly are floor rules? Well, they are the regulations which a fighter/player agrees to whenever they take part in an official tournament!

This article references the floor rules dated August 1st, 2017. We will be covering the more complex parts in a simpler, easier to understand manner, so sit back, relax, and absorb as much as you can in order to prepare for your next big tournament!

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★Tournament Level

Many of you would have heard of the term “tournament level” during the course of playing a card game.
In general, tournament levels determine how strict a judge or official metes out the punishment for various infractions, and judging for any tournament gets stricter if the tournament level is higher. (However, do take note that does not mean judging is not up to par in lower level tournaments!)

There are a total of three tournament levels, 1. 2, and 3. For Bushiroad’s official or sanctioned tournaments, they are classified as follows:
・Tournament level 3
National finals and world finals
・Tournament level 2
Main tournaments held at major events (e.g. tournament where the winner moves on to the national finals, and so on)
・Tournament level 1
Other tournaments besides those mentioned above (e.g. shop tournament, side events at major events, title cups and so on)

Now, what exactly is different between level 1, and level 2~3 tournaments?
・Tournament level 1
Just have fun playing! If you make any mistakes with the rules, just take care not to do it again!
・Tournament level 2~3
Follow the rules at all times! Check and double check before making any mistakes!

Just take note of these basic points and you will be alright! For fighters who aim to take part in national finals, do read and follow the rules for each fight, and play with a deeper understanding of the regulations!

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★Penalties

In order to explain this topic smoothly, we had to take some time explaining the tournament levels. This might seem like a heavy topic, but please try to go through this entire section.

There are many types of penalties, and we will be taking a close look at two of them, “verbal caution” and “warning”.

“Verbal caution” is normally issued when there is a small mistake made with regards to the rules.
An example of this is when a judge says: “You forgot to stand your cards. Be careful next time.”
The important point here is that part of the rules is explained to guide the fight back to a proper game state, instead of a penalty.

“Warning” is normally issued when a mistake occurs with regards to the rules and causes a certain amount of impact on the progress of the game.
An example of this is when a judge says: “You were late and not present when the fight began, so a ‘warning’ is issued. Take care not to be late, or you will be issued a loss if you are late again for any of today’s matches.”

If any of the games are greatly influenced, loss of matches may have to be meted out, but that is not something that the organizers are looking forward to.
Therefore, the judges will inform the fighter “not to do it again,” and the fighter must take heed not to “repeat the offense again.” This is the main reason behind a “warning.”
Now, when someone tells you that “it is a warning,” it is natural to be shocked and feel a little dejected. In these cases, just take note to be extra careful from then on in your game, and everything should turn out fine.

What happens when a mistake with regards to the rules does take place during a fight?
Once the mistake is discovered, raise your hands and call for the nearest judge, of course!

For mistakes with regards to the rules and regulations, a judge should work towards rectifying the situation so that the fight may resume, and after resolving the issue(s), issue the corresponding “verbal caution” or “warning.”
If it is ruled that the fight cannot continue, a match loss can be meted out in order to determine a winner. Such a decision will depend heavily on the tournament level.

・Tournament Level 3
Reverting the game state is restricted to minor infractions and neither fighters gain any advantage.
・Tournament Level 2
Excluding complicated situations/scenarios, reverting the game state must be carried out as much as possible.
・Tournament Level 1
Reverting the game state must be carried out.

In order for the judges to keep a balance in their decisions, the reason behind the penalties and how to mete them out are listed. Let’s work towards meeting these guidelines during the actual running of events.


“Verbal Caution”

A verbal caution, or caution for short, is a penalty for very minor infractions. It may be regarded as a penalty, but the main reason for a verbal caution is to enlighten fighters and guide them towards the proper actions. If the fighter receives one or more cautions for the same infraction within the same tournament, I can be upgraded to a “warning” at the discretion of the judge.

“Warning”

A warning is a penalty for a bigger infraction than cautions, but not too severe. A warning is given to a fighter when he is an interference to the tournament or has committed moderate infractions. Warnings are to be recorded in case of repeat infractions and upgrades.

If the player receives a warning level penalty for the same infraction within the same tournament, it can be upgraded to a “loss of game”, “loss of match” or “disqualification” at the discretion of the judge. With regards to the infractions stipulated in ‘Section 3”, all infractions listed under the same sub-section are regarded as the same infraction. For multiple warnings given to non-listed infractions, it is up to the discretion of the judge if the penalties should be upgraded.

e.g.
A warning for “3.5.1. Failure to Reveal Cards” and a warning for “3.5.3. Looking for Extra Cards” was given to the same fighter. As these 2 infractions fall under the same sub-section “3.5. Penalty for Revealing/Moving Cards in Zones”, it will result in an upgraded infraction.

e.g.
A warning for “3.4. Forgetting to Resolve Automatic Abilities” and a warning for “3.9.1. Common Tardiness” was given to the same fighter. As these 2 items fall under different sub-sections, it will not result in an upgraded sub-section.

※Contents may change during version updates.


★New Ruling for Penalties
Previously unstated in the floor rules, the following 2 sections were added to address very common questions such as “Conveying Incorrect Information”, and “Card Sequence is Altered”. Furthermore, cases which involve “Made it so Cards Can be Distinguished” such as the stock area of Weiss Schwarz will be detailed in the above mentioned section.

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Conveying Incorrect Information

Correct information such as power values, number of cards, which effect is given to which card and so on must be conveyed to the opponent correctly. In the event that incorrect information is passed on, and thus affecting the game, penalties will be meted out to the fighter accordingly. If the correct information is conveyed before affecting the game, then no penalties will be given.

3.2.1. Minor Infraction
3.20.1. Minor Cases

〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution
Level 2 and above Caution ~ Warning

e.g. Declaring 7 damage instead of 6, but the damage was canceled at the 4th card during damage resolution, therefore the outcome was not affected.

Instances where the fighters’ strategies will not change even if the correct information had been conveyed or will not cause a situation where a particular fighter is advantageous, would fall under this category.

3.2.2. Major Infraction

e.g. Declaring power was 9000 instead of 6000, causing the opponent to use up more cards or abilities than necessary.

Instances, where the fighters’ strategies will clearly change if the correct information had been conveyed, would fall under this category.

As a result, if an illegal game state is reached or winding back the game is required, refer to the next section.

※Contents may change during version updates.

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Card Sequence is Altered

There are certain areas where the sequence of cards must be maintained, and if the sequence is affected and changed in any way, it is known as altering the card sequence.

3.6.1.1. Small Number of Affected Cards

〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution ~ Warning
Level 2 and above Warning ~ Loss of Match
〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution
Level 2 and above Caution ~ Warning

e.g. In an effect where the top 2 cards of the deck is checked and placed back to their original position, the sequence is altered.
e.g. Cards in the clock are shuffled.

If it is possible to revert back to the original sequence of the cards, then it shall be reverted back to the original sequence.

If the original sequence cannot be achieved, the order of cards is decided in a random manner, or reveal the cards and have the opponent choose the order, with the judge making sure that the player who committed the infraction does not gain an advantage.

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Large Number of Affected Cards

〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution ~ Warning
Level 2 and above Warning

e.g. Deck is dropped from your hand and the cards are scattered.

If it is possible to revert back to the original sequence of cards, then it shall be reverted back to the original sequence.

If the original sequence cannot be achieved, the judge shall first determine the cards that are supposed to be in specific positions. Shuffle all other cards, then return the cards with their known positions in the sequence back to their original positions.

As a result of the card sequence being altered, if those cards are mixed with cards from other areas, the game reaches an illegal game state, so please refer to another section.

※Contents may change during version updates.

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Made it so Cards Can be Distinguished

〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution
Level 2 and above Warning

e.g. Only 1 card in the stock is placed facing a different way or is obviously staggered from the rest of the cards in stock.
e.g. Multiple cards in the deck are placed facing a different way from the rest of the deck.

For cards with a fixed sequence in an undisclosed area, cards must be placed in a manner where they are indistinguishable from each other. When the cards are placed on top of each other, they must be placed with no breaks in between, and although high precision is not required, care must be taken to ensure that the position and placing are similar.

If a specific card is distinguishable or such a possibility exists, the orientation and position of the card must be adjusted to render it indistinguishable.

※Contents may change during version updates.

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We have received enquiries on the Weiss Schwarz stock area and how the cards should be placed from time to time.
It has always been treated as kind of a gray area in terms of rulings, but have since been included in the latest version of the rules for the sake of clarity. For those who have a habit of placing cards the wrong way in the stock area, do take note that this is no longer possible with the current floor rules. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

★Reason behind this article

Many thanks to all the fighters out there who have taken part in the major events. This article was made possible by consolidating the feedback received from the recent events!
With the comments obtained, meetings/discussions were held internally in Bushiroad International.
From here on, possible improvements may be implemented to ensure all fighters out there have a conducive environment to have fun in!


★Shuffle
Regarding the act of cutting as confirmation, as well as shuffling, we have received some feedback on the parts which state: ‘objective is not to re-randomize’ and ‘should not spend as a randomizing shuffle’.
For these statements, the floor rules were adjusted to retain the meaning of not taking up too much time shuffling, but at the same time to avoid giving the readers the impression that the deck should not be shuffled. On top of that, various shuffling methods have also been listed.
Shuffle(Excerpt)

A fighter must give his or her opponent a chance to either cut(an example of cutting would be to split a deck on the table into smaller stacks, then putting them back together again) or shuffle his or her deck after he or she has shuffled it as a confirmation.

Methods of the shuffle is to be decided by the fighter shuffling. In order to achieve randomization, it is highly recommended to use a mix of different shuffling methods listed below. It is not required to use a mix of different shuffling methods for a confirmation cut or shuffle.

“Hindu Shuffle”
Moving packets of cards to the top of the deck. Do this for multiple times as a repetition. Highly recommended to do this shuffle at the start and end when performing the other shuffle methods listed here.

“Deal Shuffle”
A shuffling method where cards are dealt into various separate piles one card at a time, then consolidating all the piles into a deck.
The recommended method for the beginning of any rounds. As a suggestion, try splitting into 5 piles or 7 piles. If certain cards are grouped together before this shuffle, there may be a chance that this method will not serve the full purpose of a shuffle, so please do not use this method if the deck is in that state. If this shuffle is used during a fight, take extra care to do it fast so as not to be ruled as slow play.

“Faro Shuffle”
Splitting the deck into 2 piles and combining them back into 1 pile again by force, weaving the cards into each other. This shuffle may be possible to perform in an instant, but if the cards are held vertically during this shuffle method, the front of the cards can be seen, so extra care and consideration must be taken to avoid this when performing this shuffle. On top of that, when pressing the cards together, do handle the cards with care.

※Contents may change during version updates.

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Basically, the fighter will decide on the shuffling method which he or she would like to perform. Said shuffle must also take place within a suitable amount of time.

★Sequence in Territories Where Used Cards are Placed
Regarding the placement of several specific cards together, plans have been made to include a note to ensure fighters do not proceed with their matches in this state as it could easily lead to incomplete shuffles, and potentially be regarded as cheating or the suspicion of cheating.
For this particular topic, it is always under debate here in Bushiroad, and we have had the following comments from fighters as well:
“By putting them apart, it is easier to count them.”
“Shuffling is done thoroughly even if the cards are arranged separately.”
“By reducing the number of the times grouping and separating the cards, the number of times I felt the deck had an incomplete shuffle were reduced.”
As such, we have covered a similar topic in the first article, which lists the advantage of taking time to shuffle the deck. For the time being, the discussions will continue, and any further changes will be done in future revisions of the floor rules pending feedback and any issues that may arise from upcoming events/tournaments.

★Sequence of Cards in Territories Before and During a Shuffle
Same as the above segment, it falls under the “Placing Cards in Sequence” section, and is generally used in level 2 and above tournaments, but considering that it defers slightly from the topic, a caution is issued at level 1 tournaments.

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Placing Cards in Sequence

〓Default penalties〓
Level 1 Caution
Level 2 and Above Warning

e.g. Placing trigger units evenly before shuffling the deck.
e.g. When shuffling the main deck, intentionally shifting specific cards which are close together evenly in the deck.

Just like the examples provided above, you cannot change the order of cards in an area or zone where such an action is prohibited, even if you shuffle the cards afterward.

※Contents may change during version updates.

★Regarding Revision Changes

The revisions in this current version of the floor rules seek to address the topics which have been brought up over the course of the past year, and certain issues were encountered at the bigger events.

This article’s main purpose was initially intended to cushion the impact of having to read the entire floor rules, as well as to highlight the main areas fighters should look out for when taking part in an actual tournament.
In fact, through these articles, some fighters have actually gone back and read the entire floor rules all over again just to make sure that their doubts have been answered. Of course, with the feedback obtained, further changes will be considered for future revisions.

Now, the rules are not perfect by any means, and through future tournaments and further feedback/comments, the team will consider changes and amend the phrasing/rulings accordingly.

Bushiroad strives to improve the fight environment even further for all the fighters out there, starting with one of the critical components of any tournament, the floor rules. More sanctioned and official tournaments are in the works internationally, so do take part if you have a chance to! And here’s to many great fights ahead!

We have now come to the 3rd chapter, and the end of the floor rules introduction articles.
There may still be some points which we have not covered fully, but we would like to thank everyone for taking your time to join us on this journey. Hopefully, we may return to cover some more topics in the future! The staff here in Bushiroad hopes to meet the fighters some day at any of our events internationally! It’s always a joy to hear from the fighters!

For future revisions of the floor rules, please feel free to check out each card game’s official portals. Many thanks to all the fighters out there loving and playing Bushiroad’s card games!

Bushiroad International
Development Team