A player acts in a threatening way towards others or their property.
Unsporting Conduct — Aggressive Behavior is pretty clear cut. Unlike Unsporting Conduct Minor and Major, where we issue infractions based on people being made uncomfortable or hurtful/insulting language (in addition to other things), Aggressive Behavior is based on physical actions or language used to suggest an intent to cause physical harm.
- A. A player threatens to hit another player who won’t concede to them.
- B. A player pulls a chair out from under another player, causing them to fall to the ground.
- C. A player makes threats against a judge after receiving a ruling.
- D. A player tears up a card belonging to another player.
- E. A player intentionally turns over a table.
These examples make it pretty clear what Aggressive Behavior might be. It also includes subtle threats, such as “I’ll be waiting for you in the parking lot when you leave tonight”. You don’t need to get too hung up on specific words — you know a threat when you see one. It’s also important to note that if a player damages their own property, while possibly intimidating, it most likely doesn’t fall under Aggressive Behavior and rather falls under Unsporting Conduct – Minor — unless they are doing it in a way that constitutes a threat.
The safety of all people at a tournament is of paramount importance. There will be no tolerance of physical abuse or intimidation.
The reason we issue a Disqualification for this type of infraction is because everyone should feel safe at any sanctioned event, and allowing someone to continue in an event after such behavior would discourage players from ever wanting to participate in an event again.
The offender should be asked to leave the venue by the organizer.
Keep in mind that your first priority is to defuse the situation. How to do this depends on the situation. However, you are not a police officer, and are not obligated to get involved physically. When this infraction occurs, that player’s day at the event is over. They will be disqualified. Be sure to collect a statement for the Investigations Committee if the player is willing to give one, and be sure to write your own. It’s also advised that the Tournament Organizer ask the player to leave the venue as soon as possible. An important distinction here is that the Tournament Organizer should be the one to actually make this decision. We can encourage the Tournament Organizer to make this decision, but our jurisdiction does not reach beyond the scope of the event. Once the player is no longer involved with the event, they’re no longer someone we, as judges, should be dealing with.