Missing scheduled times

MJ

Be water, my friend
is a Tiering Contributor
Just had this scenario happen to me once again:

It's Monday and the next open round is out, so I contact my opponent immediatly and we agree on playing today(Tuesday) at 5pm my time. So it's nearly 5pm and I contact my opponent on Smogon that Im already on the main server and under what alt, which I always do. Time passes and my opponent doesn't show up and doesn't contact me on Smogon either to give me notice of him being late or whatever.

Now how it's currently working, and what bugs me and a lot of people who don't have infinite time to play their games, is that it's Tuesday, so them missing the scheduled time doesn't matter in the slightest and I am forced to reschedule with my opponent "because there is enough time left until deadline". This argument is as ridiculous as its neglegable.
What is scheduling for then? Why does it matter if my opponent wastes my time on Sunday or on Tuesday? My time on a Tuesday is as valuable as my time on Sunday. If I take time out of my day to show up to a time me and my opponent agreed on, I'm expecting them to be there +/- 15 mins, and if not, I expect to be granted the win.
Miss a scheduled time on any other somewhat competitive game and you are out. No second chances, no excuses, it is your own fault for not showing up. It also doesn't matter that "life happens". It happens to everyone and its bad luck for you. Your opponent shouldn't be punished and expected to take time out of his week again because of you messing up. Mine and everyones time is valuable and as it stands, you can just ignore the scheduled time as long as it's early enough in the week.

I have on numerous occasions stated on a Monday that im available every day, then scheduled for a certain day and made other plans for the days I haven't scheduled a tour for.
Just because I said I'm free at the weekend on Monday doesnt mean I'll still be free at the weekend come Friday after my opponent misses the mutually agreed time for Thursday.

Being stricter on things like this would not only prevent unnecessary disputes but would also make a hosts job a lot easier because there would be clear rules on this. This is also not something that happens on occasion, Ive been playing tours consistantly for at least 3 years or so now and people missing scheduled times became "normal" at this point.
Personally I would like to see guidelines of what can be tolerated from poor scheduling/not showing up.

Now to be clear, I'm only talking about individual tours here.
 
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Genesis7

LOIC stay loaded
is a Tiering Contributor
As someone who has hosted dozens of tournaments, missed times will always be an aggravating factor when making activity win decisions, regardless of the missed time happening on a Tuesday or a Sunday. With that said I do agree with you in general. In the past 6 months or so I have noticed a lack of sticking to scheduled times. Asking to push it back, or showing up late, or not showing up at all and expecting you to be completely OK with it. This wasn't such a pronounced problem in the past as it was now.

I think the rise in this issue could be attributed to several things. Perhaps it is the aging playerbase? Back when I started playing around 2014 it was odd to see someone in university playing in a tournament, all of my friends and my teammates were in high school and didn't have many responsibilities past school and sports. Nowadays no one on my WCoP team is in high school for the first time ever. There aren't many new, younger players coming on to the scene and the usual suspects in tournaments all have jobs and responsibilities that come up at the drop of a hat. Maybe it is Discord? You can find nearly everyone who joins tournaments regularly on Discord and see if they are online, so the "play now? or i'll just see if you are online" mentality has run rampant. Tough to say for sure but schedules are definitely not being respected like they used to.

Very frustrating to waste an hour of my day waiting online for someone to show up for a hobby, or to have someone want to push a game back after I already blocked off our game time and made plans for the ensuing days. I think people have to realize that everyone's time is equally valuable and that unless it is a real emergency you should respect your opponent. Perhaps we could implement some sort of infraction system for repeat offenders (I think we can all think of some egregious examples of players like this), leading to a tourban if the person really can't correct their behaviour. I know something like this was implemented around 2015 for people who signed up for tours but didn't actually play, but it was never really followed through with.
 

teal6

銀河拳
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Championis a Past WCoP Champion
I've long since said that hosts should be more strict about giving activity wins when someone misses the scheduled time. It's incredibly irritating to have your time so blatantly disrespected, and it seems to happen from certain players far more than others. Ostensibly everyone scheduling in tours is mature enough to create a moderately balanced schedule - if you set a time and can't make it, it really should be an activity loss if the aggrieved requests it. They shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get the host to approve.
 

Shurtugal

The Enterpriser.
is a Tiering Contributor
If two people agree to a time & the opponent doesnt make it on time; regardless of whether there is time or not to reschedule, the choice of a reschedule should be up to the person on time whether they want to take an activity win or not.

However if that pressures players too much I would just default the person who didnt show as a loss. Strict time/schedule rules help tournaments run smoother and on-time. If you schedule a time to play your opponent and lose because you were over 15 minutes late, that's on you and nobody else. If real life comes up then: they could talk to TOs about the issue and address it case by case if it is serious.
 

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
On the one hand I appreciate that there should be some consequences for missing a time, but on the other hand I really, really dislike rules that discourage people from actually getting games done. I think being super strict with something like this will directly result in more activity cases and more people being hard-asses about scheduling (which in turn will exacerbate the issue of fewer games getting done). I consider any time someone advances in a tour without actually winning a game to be in direct contrast with having a competitive and fun tour. Sometimes it's unavoidable, and certainly you shouldn't be punished because of your opponent's flakiness, but I'm incredibly wary about adding any new rules that encourage people to fish for activity wins instead of actually playing the game. I also worry about encouraging behavior like refusal to wait if someone tells you they are running a little bit late.

I have more thoughts in general that I might write up later (including some ways we could change the scheduling rules to better avoid situations like this entirely), but I do want to point out that in my book, the first and most important priority is always getting the game done. I mean, that's why we have tours in the first place, right?
 
On the one hand I appreciate that there should be some consequences for missing a time, but on the other hand I really, really dislike rules that discourage people from actually getting games done. I think being super strict with something like this will directly result in more activity cases and more people being hard-asses about scheduling (which in turn will exacerbate the issue of fewer games getting done). I consider any time someone advances in a tour without actually winning a game to be in direct contrast with having a competitive and fun tour. Sometimes it's unavoidable, and certainly you shouldn't be punished because of your opponent's flakiness, but I'm incredibly wary about adding any new rules that encourage people to fish for activity wins instead of actually playing the game. I also worry about encouraging behavior like refusal to wait if someone tells you they are running a little bit late.

I have more thoughts in general that I might write up later (including some ways we could change the scheduling rules to better avoid situations like this entirely), but I do want to point out that in my book, the first and most important priority is always getting the game done. I mean, that's why we have tours in the first place, right?
A wise man once said "Never halfass two things, wholeass one thing". When you enforce people to properly schedule and show up on scheduled times, the people who are a pain to schedule with either get banned for that sooner or later or they become better at scheduling, since they finally have a reason to do it properly. Letting everything slip through consistently is such a bad habit.
I am sure rules can be made that allow us to not fully apply the same consequences in teamtours.

The Infractionsystem mentioned by Genesis sounds amazing to me and i am sure this can easily be applied in no time.

While we are at it we could think about the "my opp gave me win on wall" thing too, that shouldve been an actual punishable offense since forever and would fit perfectly in the infractionsystem.

I am pretty sure that would not lead to a noticable amount of "important" games played but would significantly improve the scheduling culture.

In cases of real emergencies or whatever an appropriate decision can still be made by the host/TDs.

Great topic, glad you brought this up MJ
 
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Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
An infraction or warning would definitely sit better with me than just auto-advancing someone because their opponent was 15 minutes late with six days still left in the round. I have no issue with creating consequences for missing times. I just don't want to create an environment where it's more to your advantage to NOT play a game than to play.

Another thing that we would need to do before going down this road (and this is something that we should do regardless) is clarify what is necessary before an activity claim can be made. We've done this a bit, especially regarding team tours, but I think it can be tightened up even further. We get a ton of activity claims where Player A claims activity because they were waiting around smogtours or whatever and Player B never showed up, despite the fact that Player B was online and active the whole time and could have easily been messaged. We also get a lot of issues where people just messed up something like a time zone difference that could have easily been resolved with better communication. I think we should codify what you should do when the scheduled time occurs. Something like:

  • At the beginning of the scheduled time, VM your opponent to confirm that you are online and provide any relevant information (what server you're waiting on, what alt to find you under, etc.).
  • If after XXX period there is no response, send a follow-up message, including how long you will be able to continue to wait for.
  • In team tournaments, you should also immediately tag the opposing team on discord if your opponent isn't present, to give them ample time to locate their teammate or provide a substitute if necessary.
  • Encourage players to use time zone converters and to schedule back-up times in case there are hiccups in scheduling, time zones, etc
If you still want to schedule casually because you're playing someone you already have an established relationship with, great, but make some set of standards as the minimum requirements before you can claim activity.

There are also other scheduling issues that are kind of related to all of this that need to be addressed as well. For example, one thing I've been seeing more of over the past year or two is people providing a bunch of vague times full of provisos and limitations, and then insisting after the fact that just one of those times (and always the one that their opponent happened to not be online for) was the One True Time. Basically, if we end up doing anything to make activity calls more strict, we also need to be a lot more strict about what constitutes proper scheduling and under what circumstances such a claim is appropriate.
 

teal6

銀河拳
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Championis a Past WCoP Champion
On the one hand I appreciate that there should be some consequences for missing a time, but on the other hand I really, really dislike rules that discourage people from actually getting games done. I think being super strict with something like this will directly result in more activity cases and more people being hard-asses about scheduling (which in turn will exacerbate the issue of fewer games getting done). I consider any time someone advances in a tour without actually winning a game to be in direct contrast with having a competitive and fun tour. Sometimes it's unavoidable, and certainly you shouldn't be punished because of your opponent's flakiness, but I'm incredibly wary about adding any new rules that encourage people to fish for activity wins instead of actually playing the game. I also worry about encouraging behavior like refusal to wait if someone tells you they are running a little bit late.

I have more thoughts in general that I might write up later (including some ways we could change the scheduling rules to better avoid situations like this entirely), but I do want to point out that in my book, the first and most important priority is always getting the game done. I mean, that's why we have tours in the first place, right?
I really don't think it's encouraging games not to get done, though? If people follow the scheduling guide (which is both written, and I made an entire video on it), you won't run into this. Propose 2-3 times, choose one definitively and mark a backup. If the person misses those both I really think it's incredibly unfair to the other player to say that they're "fishing" if they ask for an act win.

I actually agree with Shurtugal 's idea of the auto-win, but I know that would literally never gain traction so it's a non-starter.

An infraction system works as well, I guess, but I dunno. I'm a heinously punctual person (I show up to work roughly an hour before I'm to start) and lateness bothers me so incredibly much that I have to conclude my response here is disproportionate, but the amount of times I've been left on smogtours waiting for someone, only to get a PM two hours after the time is maddening. Luckily, I'm an incredible IRL loser and have plenty of time to play even if my opponent misses the scheduled time, but it honestly feels like being excessively late to games is the norm for a huge part of our community which drives me nuts.
 
Hang on now, 15 minutes late and granted the activity win despite 6 days being left in the week with excessive availability? I've been on both sides of this coin and around long enough now to know that this is just excessive. I've had enough situations where irl situations have come up that take precedent over this forum, i've also faced opponents where they have had the same issues and i have been completely fine with their irl issues to allow them leeway to not go screaming "activity win!!!" if they don't show up - see grand slam quarter finals vs elodin last year.

I think the main point I want to make in this thread is that when the idea of toying around for an activity win becomes more important than actually playing the game itself, for fun might I add, then where do you draw the line? At the end of the day - playing the game is the most important issue that needs to addressed. Activity situations exist because one player doesn't show the necessary activity to play the game or show significant effort to play the game. Showing up 15 minutes late does not sound like they don't want to get the game done - given context. I think the suggestions in this thread are excessive and not needed. I think hosts just need to be a little more encouraging on getting games player ultimately - not having people wait for an opponent to miss a scheduled time then hide offline despite playing other games during the period when the game can be played.
 

Adaam

I’m a computer-y guy
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
We should absolutely infract players who routinely miss scheduled times. While granting a win for missing a single time is a bit harsh, going unpunished is also unfair. It takes literally 30 seconds to load up smogon on your phone and let your opponent know that you have to reschedule. If you can't be bothered to do that then you shouldn't be playing in a tournament. So long as we don't punish players for attempting to reschedule before the game is planned for, this should not encourage wins without playing. It would be easy to safeguard yourself from an activity loss by simply letting your opponent know what's going on with you.
 

Shurtugal

The Enterpriser.
is a Tiering Contributor
I think being super strict with something like this will directly result in more activity cases and more people being hard-asses about scheduling (which in turn will exacerbate the issue of fewer games getting done). I consider any time someone advances in a tour without actually winning a game to be in direct contrast with having a competitive and fun tour. Sometimes it's unavoidable, and certainly you shouldn't be punished because of your opponent's flakiness, but I'm incredibly wary about adding any new rules that encourage people to fish for activity wins instead of actually playing the game. I also worry about encouraging behavior like refusal to wait if someone tells you they are running a little bit late.
I understand what you are saying, but I think it is important to look at where the OP is coming from here. This is a situation where both players agreed upon the day & time. I don't really see many opportunities for people to fish for an activity win if both parties are consenting to the day & time they're playing, y'know? In fact I think it is the opposite: players can be late/not show up to earlier scheduled sets and not be punished for it, giving them a higher chance of an activity win.

Take the given example:

Player A and Player B agree on a day & time, but it is earlier in the week. Player B fails to show up, and they are told to reschedule. Player A has made plans after they had set a time to play with Player B, and no longer can play at another time. Player A is forced to do one of two things:

1.) Forfeit the match, rewarding the player who was late.
2.) Cancel something/scrunch it in somewhere, resulting in them being underprepared in mindset/teams/etc having to force time, causing them to not play as well or lose.

You have to ask yourself: do you want more games (quantity) played, or more quality games played?

Besides, I think it is fair to enforce an auto-lose policy if both players consent to the same day & time to play. I'm sure there's some policy guidelines that talk about respect/sportsmanship somewhere on the site, but it should be expected that if you agree to do something at a certain time that you should be able to follow through. You should enter a tournament with the intentions of respecting everyone's time.

As for the late thing, maybe the late time could be discussed. It should be fair for players to plan working around whatever late time quota is allotted. for the sake of this post, let's say you can be up to an hour late to your set. An hour is a long time, fair IMO, and can be planned around in scheduling.

I think it should be OK to allow TOs to handle each circumstance case-by-case regarding extreme circumstances.

I understand my opinion might be a bit extreme & that you just want more games to be played. I can't help but feel like better quality/respect of games should be prioritized, and other competitive games usually have strict time rules. There should also be some sort of consequences to repeat offenders, too.

Thanks for listening to me, hopefully we can all work to coming to a solution to this issue.

EDIT: There should also be like a given timeframe which they can report that they cannot play at the agreed time so they could reschedule. Maybe like a X amount of hours prior or something, because while IRL does come up, if you don't notify your opponent then you should autolose imo
 
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Vinc2612

IT'S VINCE DUMBASS
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I'm afraid enforcing a loss would make scheduling harder with people who have conflicting schedules.

If the only time we are both available is right after I come back from work, I'd better not try to play at all, I won't risk the loss on a late meeting or a trafic jam.

Actually, I won't even try to schedule during the weekdays anymore, since the probability that "life happens" is higher. And if my opponent can't play on the weekend, my best move would be to say that the weekend responsabilities are usually more flexible than the weekdays ones, so he is the one who didn't try his best.
 

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