IPG 1.4 Backing Up

Some infractions in this document permit the judge to consider the possibility of a backup.

Due to the amount of information that may become available to players and might affect their play, backups are regarded as a solution of last resort, only applied in situations where leaving the game in the current state is a substantially worse solution.

A good backup will result in a situation where the gained information makes no difference and the line of play remains the same (excepting the error, which has been fixed). This means limiting backups to situations with minimal decision trees.

Only the Head Judge may authorize a backup. At large tournaments, they may choose to delegate this responsibility to Team Leaders.

To perform a backup, each individual action since the point of the error is reversed, starting with the most recent ones and working backwards. Every action must be reversed; no parts of the sequence should be omitted or reordered.

If the identity of a card involved in reversing an action is unknown to one of the players (usually because it was drawn), a random card is chosen from the possible candidates.

Actions that caused a player to learn the identity of cards at a specific location in the library are reversed by shuffling those cards into the random portion of the library unless they were subsequently drawn; cards being returned to the library as part of the backup should not be shuffled at that stage if their identity was known to only one player.

Backups involving random/unknown elements should be approached with extreme caution, especially if they cause or threaten to cause a situation in which a player will end up with different cards than they would once they have correctly drawn those cards. For example, returning cards to the library when a player has the ability to shuffle their library is not something that should be done except in extreme situations.

Some remedies state a simple backup may be performed. A simple backup is backing up the last action completed (or one currently in progress) and is sometimes used to make another portion of the prescribed remedy smoother.

A simple backup should not involve any random elements.