Often times a situation arises that has not been addressed before. When these situations occur a decision must be made on how to handle it. This is the most important decision, because it will set precedent moving forward. This week we as a coaches Board had to make a tough decision. A playoff match had a disconnect in the bottom of turn 13. Coach DiscoDavo was ahead 2-0 on his turn 13. Coach CommiCozy had 3 turns to pick up the ball and score 2 Td’s to force OT.
Normally in this situation we leave it to the coaches to decide whether to reset or not. If both coaches agree to a reset then the game is reset and played again no issue. In this situation, there was not an agreement on weather a reset should take place. The coaches board was asked to make a ruling.
When making a ruling like this we have to answer a few questions to ensure we get it right.
- Is it conceivable for CommieCozy to win the game from this point?
- Who bears the most responsibility when a disconnect occurs?
- What would allowing a replay do to the expectations of league games moving forward?
- What would denying a replay do to the expectations of league games moving forward?
- Would the decision be the same if it was DiscoDavo’s connection that had been lost?
The answer to question one is undoubtedly yes, It is possible. CommieCozy had the ball near the endzone. Assuming DiscoDavo was unable to pick up the ball, and even if he was able, CommieCozy could have scored on his 13, albeit a task that would be difficult. He would then have an opportunity on Defense. He would need at least 2 turns to make it to the endzone. In Those 2 turns he would need to grab the ball from DiscoDavo’s side and move it to the endzone. Again very unlikely, but yes possible. Also note, A Blitz kick-off event would make this feat considerably easier, but not easy.
The answer to question two is also a fairly easy one. Because of the environment in which we play bloodbowl, the only fair way to police this is to say that the person who disconnects is always more culpable in a situation like this. If we say anything otherwise, it will create an environment where people can disconnect their systems mid-game in order to get replays for matches not going their way. This is not what happened in this situation, however ruling that a replay should be given would set precedent moving forward.
Which leads us onto question 3. If we allow the replay we would set a precedence we do not want. Losing by 3 TD’s? Just restart the PS4 and claim it wasn’t your fault for a replay. Obviously we hope our coaches have higher integrity than that. We all have done things in anger we regret, so we don’t want to make that temptation an option to our coaches. A rage quit is a unacceptable. Again, this was not a rage quit; we understand that, however moving forward our decisions on matters like this must be consistent.
If we deny the replay, we again may set an unwarranted precedent. If you are up 2-0 with a few turns left against a bash team and you don’t want to lose anymore players, just power down the PS4 and get your win.….a dilemma which forces us to answer question 5
Would the decision be the same if DiscoDavo’s connection had been lost. The short answer is no, it wouldn’t. As we said earlier the benefit of the doubt in these situations will always go to the coach whose connection was stable. If we allow coaches the window to abuse the system, we are doing a disservice to all the coaches.
Ultimately we decided that no replay would be allowed and the game would stand as played. Although CommieCozy did have a chance to win, we felt it was small, and resetting the game would have resulted in an unfair spike in his chance to win. If the game had been in the 3rd turn, it would not have been as big of a burden to reset. We can look to other sport leagues where people make millions and billions of dollars to make decisions like this. We see that the official rule for the MLB is a game is considered complete after 5 innings or 55% of the game is played. In our measly little BloodBowl league, we have a match that is 81% complete and has a coach with a very clear advantage. In baseball, anything can happen. If a team gets rained out and losses in the 7th, what’s to say they don’t hit 4 HR’s in the 8th and win the game? Nothing really, its just the way it has to be to ensure timely completion and fan ticket refunds.
When making this decision we must also consider how to score the match. Leave it as is or make it a League managed Win for DiscoDavo. Because the disconnect alters the integrity of the playoffs, no matter what our decision is, we must make a decision that least alters the playoff integrity. If we allow a reset, all hurt players aren’t hurt (possibly they could be re-injured, possibly they wont). We also dramatically increase the chances of a different winner. If we move it to a league managed win, the players who should be injured for the next game won’t be, thus improving DiscoDavo’s odds against his next opponent. If we let the game stand, we are denying CommieCozy his MVP for what we have deemed as a complete game and DiscoDavo is getting an additional MVP.
We decided the least impactful decision on the playoffs was to leave the game as it stands. Yes, it is unfortunate that CommieCozy does not receive his earned MVP, and that DiscoDavo got an extra one, but we feel it has the smallest impact on the Integrity of the playoffs. Not saying the decision wouldn’t be the same in the regular season, it may or may not have been, but this instance we have to think about playoff integrity, which as I said earlier is diminished no matter the choice we make.
Because of the nature of a disconnect this late into a game, No decision would be without consequences. We tried to make the fairest decision with the least amount of impactful consequences.
A lot of discussion and thought went into this decision and it’s not uncommon for reasonable people to disagree. It’s ok to disagree with our decision; we just wanted to share with you our thought process on making such an important decision.
I would also like to take a moment and say again. We are not questioning the integrity of any coach. Disco and CommieCozy are both longstanding members of the MML and we understand both coaches point of view on the situation and respect those views. We do not believe there was any foul play in this situation, because if we did it would have made the decision much easier.
Final Ruling: No replay is granted. The game will be validated to stand as is.
MML Coach’s Board