A player is not in their seat at the beginning of a round, or has not completed tasks assigned within the time allocated.
There are many parts of a Magic Tournament that revolve around time — 20 minutes for this, 10 minutes for that. Players are given sufficient time to accomplish tasks, and failure to complete these tasks within the time limits slows the event down. Most of the explanation of why this is an infraction is in the Philosophy section.
If a round begins before the previous round would have ended (due to all players finishing early), tardiness does not apply until the scheduled end of the previous round.
This happens rarely at competitive events, but occasionally all the match results are in with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Round started at 1:00, and at 1:40, everything is done. Let’s go ahead and start the next round! The problem here is that the announced end time was 1:50. It’s unrealistic to expect a player who finished early and ran to get some food to know that the round is starting early. Therefore, even if you start the next round at 1:43, people aren’t actually late until 1:50. When they show up, give the appropriate time extension based on the 1:43 start time, but the penalty based on the 1:50 start time. This means that it’s possible that starting a round early won’t result in any actual saved time, but it’s still more likely to do so than not.
If, before or during a match, a player requests and receives permission from a judge for a delay for a legitimate task, such as a bathroom break or finding replacements for missing cards, that player has up to 10 minutes to perform that task before they are considered tardy. If the player takes more than 10 minutes, a Match Loss will be applied. Otherwise, no penalty will be applied and a time extension given for the time taken.
This part here should be pretty self explanatory. If the player needs to perform a legitimate task, let them. Smoking, or buying snacks, or finishing a trade aren’t legitimate reasons. This also doesn’t mean that they have unlimited time. In fact, they should perform the task without delay. Impress upon them that they need to hurry back. They have up to 10 minutes to accomplish the task, at which point, if they haven’t completed it, they receive a Match Loss and are dropped from the event, the same as any Tardiness upgrade. This is to mitigate the impact to the event as long extensions impact everyone else. It is also to establish an absolute upper bound on how much time a player to perform the task. Now, that doesn’t mean the player can wander off and do other things as well. If they were given time to go to the bathroom, that doesn’t include stopping at the counter to buy a snack.
When the player returns, give the match the appropriate extension.
- A. A player arrives to their seat 5 minutes after the round begins.
If a player isn’t in their seat when the round starts, they are tardy. As we will see below, the Tournament Organizer/Head Judge may allow some additional time before this penalty is assessed, but 5 minutes is outside what is reasonable to allow.
- B. A player hands in their decklist after the time designated by the judge or organizer.
Again, time limits are in place for a reason. Players are expected to turn in lists at the appropriate time. Allowing them additional time to tweak their deck gives them an advantage.
- C. A player loses their deck and cannot find replacement cards within the first 10 minutes of the round.
In addition to being on-time for a match, a player is expected to be on-time with their stuff. However, if they arrive on time and discover that they have lost their deck or some cards, we do allow them time to go find replacements. This is not a Game Loss at this time. However, the player has a maximum of 10 minutes into the round to find replacements. If they exceed this time limit, give the player Tardiness with the upgraded penalty.
- D. A player sits at an incorrect table and plays the wrong opponent.
While you can try to make an argument that the player was on time, they still weren’t in the right place. I can be on time too, if I can be at the concession stand when time is called.
Players are responsible for being on time and in the correct seat for their matches, and for completing registrations in a timely manner.
We want players to be on time. Players should not be sitting around waiting for their opponents to show up. It’s unfair to the people who follow the rules. Also, because matches are 50 minutes, if a player is late, we give a time extension so that they have 50 minutes. This means the tournament as a whole can be delayed. Judges like the trains to run on time, so we treat Tardiness very seriously. We give it a Game Loss, so that players treat it seriously as well. If Tardiness was just a warning, there wouldn’t be much incentive to be in your seat at the start of the round after you decided to go and get food.
The same logic applies to turning in decklists. Players respond to incentives. And a Game Loss for not completing decklist registration is an incentive to be on time.
The Tournament Organizer may announce that they are giving the players some additional time before a penalty is issued. Otherwise, the penalty is issued as soon as the round begins.
Occasionally a Tournament Organizer (or Head Judge) will allow players a bit more time to get to their seats. This is generally used when there is something odd with the venue that hinders players moving around (too many people for the store, pairings in choke points, having to use a second room, etc.) If this is the case, it is announced at the beginning of the event, and doesn’t change. The length of the additional time is also variable. It used to be set to 3 minutes, but now Tournament Organizers have options. However, it is not recommended you go over 3 minutes. If there was no “grace period”, the penalty is earned at the beginning of the round.
The players are given a time extension corresponding to the length of the tardiness.
If the tardy player does show up, give the match an extension, even if there is a Game Loss. The players still get the 50 minute match that they paid for. They probably won’t need it, but they still get it.
Upgrade: A player not in their seat 10 minutes into the round will receive a Match Loss and will be dropped from the tournament unless they report to the Head Judge or Scorekeeper before the end of the round.
At the 10 minutes into the round, the player gets another Tardiness penalty, with a penalty of a Match Loss. It’s assumed that the player isn’t coming back, so please mark that the player is dropping on the match slip. It is best practice to let the player who got the win fill out the slip, with the judge marking “No Show” for the player who didn’t show up in the drop column, and putting the judge’s name on the line for the player’s signature who didn’t show up.
For more information: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2012/06/11/tardiness-kevin-desprez/