IPG 3.7 Tournament Error — Communication Policy Violation


A player violates the Communication policies detailed in section 4 of the Magic Tournament Rules and the judge believes their opponent has taken an in-game action or clearly chosen not to act based on the erroneous information. This infraction only applies to violations of that policy and not to general communication confusion.


  • A. A player is asked how many cards they have in their hand and answers “Three.” A few moments later, their opponent casts a discard spell and they realize that they have four.
  • B. A player keeps their Llanowar Elf in with their land, and their opponent attacks thinking they have no blockers.
  • C. A player casts Path to Exile, forgets to remind their opponent that that they have the opportunity to search for a basic land and, as a result, they don’t search.


Clear communication is essential when playing Magic. Though many offenses will be intentional, it is possible for a player to make a genuine mistake that causes confusion and these should not be penalized harshly.

A player may commit this infraction in situations where they have not spoken.

A physically ambiguous board state is not automatically a penalty, but judges are encouraged to tell players to fix ambiguous placements before they might become problematic.

Misapplication of a shortcut is usually not a Communication Policy Violation, as the default interpretation applies in ambiguous situations and the opponent is able to act on that shortcut. Any deviation from a tournament shortcut requires a clear explanation.

Additional Remedy

A backup may be considered to the point of the action, not the erroneous communication.