A player is not in their seat at the beginning of a round, or has not completed tasks assigned within the time allocated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The players are given a time extension corresponding to the length of the tardiness.
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.
For more information: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2012/06/11/tardiness-kevin-desprez/
Downgrade: A player who arrives at their seat before 1 minute has elapsed in the round receives a warning.
Before we get into the philosophy of this downgrade, we want to explicitly call out that if you get two warnings for the same Tournament Error, that Warning is Upgraded. It is not explicitly called out here because it is in the Tournament Errors section. But in essence this downgrade allows a one time “oopsie” by the player. Philosophically Judges had been executing a policy of “0 with a heart”. What that meant was, if the player was genuinely trying to get to their seat, we allowed a little bit of leniency if a player was ~20 seconds late, as this penalty is meant to punish those not paying attention, as opposed to those really trying. However, this had two problems. The first is that it introduced some subjectivity into a ruling. The judge basically had to determine if the player had a genuine reason for being late. The second is that players caught on to this, and would argue for the subjective leniency, and try to make the judge out as being a jerk for not granting it. This downgrade removes both problems. Be sure to ask if a player has received this penalty prior in the day before assessing the penalty.