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Subject: Ditching a disk = cheating? I (used to) say YES! rss

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I was playing with two friends the other night and a curious situation came up. Luckily I was the one sitting out or I would have been much more upset than I already was (which was considerable in any case).

Nate was winning the game and the round. He had a boatload of disks within the 15 circle and a couple of stragglers outside. Ryan's couple of disks were in very good defensive position on the opposite side of Nate's shooting quadrant. Ryan's one or two disks were outside the pins behind Nate's disks (closer to Ryan).

Obviously a very tense next shot. I was exitedly watching to see what would happen.

It's Nate's turn to shoot his last disk which was also the last disc of the round. Assuming he never took that shot his disks were in a position to net him the win. He decided that, given the circumstances, the best shot he could make would be to plink his disk through an empty area on the side and deliberately ditch his own disk.

I was flabbergasted.

I believe my reaction was to yell an incredulous, "What the hell are you doing?"

Now comes the "curious" part. It was, in fact, Ryan -the one who lost because of this "tactic"- that answered in his defense saying he would have done the same thing. The reasoning is simple enough: If he would have attempted to hit his opponent's disks he most likely would have touched a great number of his own and not actually hit them in the end, thusly wiping a good portion -possibly even all- of his points from that round giving his opponent a chance at a comeback.

I told them in no uncertain terms that this was, in fact, blatant disregard and disrespect for both the letter and the spirit of the rules. I explained that at ANY TIME an opponents' disk(s) are on the board you MUST attempt to hit it within a reasonable tolerance of good faith.

They both completely brushed me off as crazy thinking that what had just occured was completely valid strategy.

I told them both that if they ever tried that s*** with me on the other side of the board I would pack it up and go home. Call me a baby if you will but I didn't spend $200 on the best game I've ever played just to play with cheaters.

It's very odd since I've been friends with both of these guys for getting on 20 years now. I've played innumerable games with them and not once has either of them displayed any tendancy towards this kind of behavior. I understand that to them it was not, in fact, cheating and they thought I was being crazy so I guess I'm not actually calling them cheaters.

They both said that if I could show them "enough" support for my position they would change their minds and not use this tactic again. So, I need your support.

Which party is correct? Is this "cheating"? Is it directly in opposition to the letter (I KNOW it's against the spirit) of the rules?
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Uh, seems like they played fine to me. In Curling (the big on-ice olympic-level game most resembling this one) it's not uncommon at all for one side to deliberately throw a rock through the rings, making no attempt to strike an opponent's rock nor come to rest in scoring position. This is not a problem - it's a perfectly valid play.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
I guess I would say that doing this isn't against the rules, or the spirit of the rules.

From Crokinole World:

"If it is your shot and your opponent has one or more discs on the board, then your shot must contact at least one of his discs. If you fail, your disc is immediately removed to the ditch...Any discs shot into the ditch are out of play."

It seems pretty clear. If you do not contact an opponent's disc, your disc is out of play. I can think of plenty of dexterity games where one would reasonably make a similar sort of choice.

I understand your opinion that doing this is a little bit dastardly, but it seems perfectly "legal".
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Andy K.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
I would and have played it the way they did. That's not cheating.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
That's all well and good but you are making an assumption about one game based upon another. Yes, the two are very similar but they are not the same game. If they were they would both have the same name.

Curling is curling and crokinole is crokinole.

The rules straight from the World Crokinole Championship website state:

8. a.) As long as there are opponent discs on the playing surface, the contestant must shoot for and hit at least one. For the purpose of this tournament combination shots will be allowed. It is acceptable for the shooting disc to strike another disc (or discs) of the same colour, which then makes contact with an opposing disc.

b.) However, if during the contestant's shot an opposing disc is NOT struck, either directly or indirectly, the shooting disc is removed from the board. IN ADDITION TO THIS, ALL OTHER DISCS OF THE SHOOTING CONTESTANT WHICH HAVE BEEN TOUCHED IN ATTEMPT TO REMOVE AN OPPOSING DISC, ARE ALSO REMOVED FROM THE BOARD.

(bold and italics mine though not allcaps)

That seems pretty straight forward to me. You MUST attempt to hit the opponent's disk. If you do not (for example: deliberately ditching) you are not in compliance with the rules. Which leads to section 13:

13. Careless or deliberate contravention of the above stipulations may result in the forfeiture of a round or a game.
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David Molnar
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Completely unenforcible. How do you determine intent? There has to be something measurable. Even baseball's balk rule, which relies to some extent on the judgment of the umpires, depends on whether or not the pitcher's knee crosses the rest of his body. You say that Nate would have likely taken out many if not all of his own pieces. What if he "deliberately" only hit one of his own pieces? Where are you going to draw the line?

Also, your claim that Ryan lost because of this tactic is disingenuous. It sounds like the outcome had much more to do with the first 11 shots than the last one.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
I would have ditched the disk as well. Have you tried emailing the world championship website? If anyone has any authority on Crokinole rules, it would be them.

But if we say that you must shoot for an opponent's disk, how do you define that? I don't think you can. In pool you can make shots that don't directly help you win, but do put the ball in a bad position for the opponent. This seems similar.

If I wanted to ditch the disk and look like I was trying to hit with a shot through the center, it would be easy enough to hit a post and let it bounce back. Would you have had the same reaction to such an "accident"?
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Andy K.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Nazhuret wrote:
The rules straight from the World Crokinole Championship website state:

8. a.) As long as there are opponent discs on the playing surface, the contestant must shoot for and hit at least one. For the purpose of this tournament combination shots will be allowed. It is acceptable for the shooting disc to strike another disc (or discs) of the same colour, which then makes contact with an opposing disc.


Well that does back up your argument.

I'll continue to allow intentional misses in my play at home though because I'd hate to see the arguments that can arise:

"You intentionally missed!"
"No I didn't. I just bounced off the post. It was a poor shot!"

There must be judges at the WCC to make these calls.
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David Reed
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
I've seen it done and have done it myself. Since there are several sets of rules floating about, I can't speak to all versions, but I can speak to the version that came with my board. In those rules it is neither forbidden nor permitted. The rules simply require that a disk hit an opponent's disk to be retained. Missing in a situation where there is no shot possible (whether there is none that would allow you to hit the opponent's disk period or none that would give a likelihood of hitting an opponent's disk without the likelihood that you would do severe damage to your situation) strikes me as a strategy akin to sacrificing a pawn in chess. By shooting a piece straight into the ditch, you have also sacrificed your ability to score with it.

The question I would ask you is, "would you be as upset if the player had shot very close to the opponent's disk and still missed?" The times that I have deliberately ditched, the end result would have been the same - I still would have missed.

If this is an issue that bothers you then it seems that your group can agree on a house rule that forbids it. I can not sy that I see it as "cheating," though...
 
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
molnar wrote:
Completely unenforcible. How do you determine intent? There has to be something measurable. Even baseball's balk rule, which relies to some extent on the judgment of the umpires, depends on whether or not the pitcher's knee crosses the rest of his body. You say that Nate would have likely taken out many if not all of his own pieces. What if he "deliberately" only hit one of his own pieces? Where are you going to draw the line?


I see and aknowledge the point.

However, it still feels wrong to me. There are situations where something is so blatant there can be no question. This was one of those situations. Yes, he could have placed his shot in such a way that it could be argued he made an attempt while actually only trying to minimize his losses while not actually making an attempt. If he had done this I suppose I would have tricked myself into feeling better about it though it's essentially the same thing.
I recognize this as ridiculous and irrational but it's the natural outcome of such unfortunate ambiguity in rules such as these. Judgments must be made... Who is to make them and who judges the judge?
In a friendly game at the pub there is no real ref. I was somewhat acting in that capacity but we have no set rules that the acting ref's word is law and such no-stakes games likely would feel wrong if we did implement such a thing.

I suppose I could let this one slide since the fact remains I'll beat them 9/10 regardless. devil

Quote:
Also, your claim that Ryan lost because of this tactic is disingenuous. It sounds like the outcome had much more to do with the first 11 shots than the last one.


Another good point though it is somewhat beside the one I wished to discuss.

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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Ok.

I see that it is indeed a matter of subjectivity and as such is unenforcable.
I also see that in trying to enforce it I am being irrational and likely eroding the good will this fantastic game has engendered with all I have introduced it to.

Perhaps it's just my old days of Advanced Squad Leader coming through... There are no rules or charts governing emerging from manholes (Section B - 8.4 - 8.45) in Crokinole.
It's just "1-Shoot, 2-Have Fun".

Point conceded. We will play with this option and I will not freak out about it any more.

Thanks guys.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Nazhuret wrote:
It's Nate's turn to shoot his last disk which was also the last disc of the round. Assuming he never took that shot his disks were in a position to net him the win. He decided that, given the circumstances, the best shot he could make would be to plink his disk through an empty area on the side and deliberately ditch his own disk.

I was flabbergasted.


He made the play I would have made in his place.

Quote:
I believe my reaction was to yell an incredulous, "What the hell are you doing?"


He was winning.

Quote:
I told them in no uncertain terms that this was, in fact, blatant disregard and disrespect for both the letter and the spirit of the rules.


I'm not aware of any game rulesets having spirits and I'm not really sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of rules being haunted. Rulesets are just logical definitions, no more.

Quote:
I explained that at ANY TIME an opponents' disk(s) are on the board you MUST attempt to hit it within a reasonable tolerance of good faith.


So hit it off the pin, or make a wild shot and claim my finger slipped. This is ambiguous and unenforceable and the likely source of great arguments over interpretation of intent. That's bad. Quality competitive game rules should be not be (so) subjective.

You meant to do that!

No I didn't!

Yes you did!

...ad infinitum. We have game rules to avoid such silliness, not to create opportunities for yet more silliness.

Quote:
Call me a baby if you will but I didn't spend $200 on the best game I've ever played just to play with cheaters.


Umm. Baby?
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
Wasn't it just a friendly game of Crokinole? It's not like it was an official tournament with a million dollars on the line. If the two guys playing didn't see anything wrong with it, why the heck should anyone care?

Anyways, I would have ditched the disc as well.
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Alright already....

I've already gracefully conceded to all opposing viewpoints.

Nazhuret wrote:
Ok.

I see that it is indeed a matter of subjectivity and as such is unenforcable.
I also see that in trying to enforce it I am being irrational and likely eroding the good will this fantastic game has engendered with all I have introduced it to.

Perhaps it's just my old days of Advanced Squad Leader coming through... There are no rules or charts governing emerging from manholes (Section B - 8.4 - 8.45) in Crokinole.
It's just "1-Shoot, 2-Have Fun".

Point conceded. We will play with this option and I will not freak out about it any more.

Thanks guys.



Sheesh!
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Well, I guess the point has already been conceded, but I just want to add one more vote that this is perfectly fine. We have done this plenty in the games we play and have no problem with it.

Edit: I'd like to note that I wrote this post up BEFORE the point was RE-conceded.
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Re: Deliberately ditching a disk = cheating? I say YES!
I don't have this game, I've never even seen it, though it's waaaay up on my wish list.

I wouldn't read too much into the word "must".

In a lot of dexterity games, the phrase "player must ..." or "player has to ..." is followed by the penalty for failing to achieve the goal. But it's not usually intended to be forced as intent, just "you have to do this or you will suffer the consequences". Such rules are frequently given as an imperative, by linguistic convention and simply because it's more succinct in making the flow of play clear. eg at a pool table, you would tell a new player something like "you have to make the cue ball hit one of your own balls first". But if they choose to play short or to the opposite corner because they like the table layout and can't see a clear shot the penalty is merely an extra shot to the other player, not sanctioning and ending the game.

Edit: You concede faster than I can type. But I'll leave this here anyway. Cheers!
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So onto a further discussion of this type of rule. I find it fascinating really.

I really am not used to such ambiguity in rules of games. At least, not as obviously ambiguous as this one. I am not really much for sport aside from running and biking. I understand that a lot of sports and even many games have elements that must be decided upon a subjective level. It was just sort of jarring to encounter it in this instance when I was not prepared for it.

We had all read the rules and I figured we had all reached the same interpretation.

Interesting point, that, since it really destroys what I said at the top of this post. I only think I'm not used to ambiguity in rules of board games. But what actually happens is that we all usually talk about the interpretations as the problems occur and come to a consensus. This feels less like we are subjectively interpreting and more like we are all reading correctly when in fact we are all agreeing on a subjective viewpoint together.

In this instance two subjective interpretations were at odds and I was so sure mine was the "correct" one that I felt very put out.

I will make an effort to see others' viewpoints more clearly in the games I play. Ultimately we are all trying to get to the viewpoint that it's fun. Rules interpretations such as my original one are at odds with this goal.
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I think the rules coule use some rewording (this isn't the first problem I've had with this particular set of rules...)

I have to echo what clearclaw posted above: "Rulesets are just logical definitions, no more". The rules for a game like this should never tell you what your intent should be or make a judgement or enforcement of intent. They should tell you what outcomes define a legal shot and what outcomes define an illegal shot, and detail the benefits or consequences of each.


I compared to Curling because the way the game is meant to be played IS a lot like Curling. That this particular ruleset happened to imply that it had control of what you "must try to do" did not figure into my thinking, and it still doesn't. This game has existed a lot longer than that particular rulebook and I don't consider that rulebook to be gospel (for reasons that, by now, should be evident).
 
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though I do think it's the easy way out, the way I learned how to play was that it was allowed.

It's the same as taking a knee in American Football to let the clock run out, better safe than sorry.
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clearclaw wrote:
I'm not aware of any game rulesets having spirits and I'm not really sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of rules being haunted. Rulesets are just logical definitions, no more.

Here's one. The game of Ultimate includes the "Spirit of the Game" as an integral part of the ruleset. See, e.g., Rules of Ultimate, 11th ed. "Preface" and Section I.B "Spirit of the Game" available at http://www4.upa.org/ultimate/rules/11th_proposed
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Yeah, Ultimate's a strange one - a "Hippy Sport". And I'm sure if it ever got played at a major-professional or Olympic level, the whole "We police ourselves" attitude would be thrown overboard in favour of impartial officiating.
 
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mitnachtKAUBO-I wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
I'm not aware of any game rulesets having spirits and I'm not really sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of rules being haunted. Rulesets are just logical definitions, no more.

Here's one. The game of Ultimate includes the "Spirit of the Game" as an integral part of the ruleset. See, e.g., Rules of Ultimate, 11th ed. "Preface" and Section I.B "Spirit of the Game" available at http://www4.upa.org/ultimate/rules/11th_proposed


Ha HA!

BAM!

Seriously though... I know there are a lot of rules that reference the spirit of the rules. At this point in time I'm just a bit too lazy to look through all of my books to find them.

I'm not trying to back out of my concession. I'm just saying... It's not insane to make a point based upon the "spirit" of a rules set.
 
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Yeah, Ultimate's a strange one - a "Hippy Sport". And I'm sure if it ever got played at a major-professional or Olympic level, the whole "We police ourselves" attitude would be thrown overboard in favour of impartial officiating.


Well, that's a good point but it strengthens what I was originally saying I think. When not an "officially sanctioned tourney" the "spirit" of the rules should be adhered to.

When it is official you have an officiator to take the place of the "spirit".

I'm feel fairly confident that in a tournament my original scenario would have been arbitrated upon close to what my initial interpretation of the spirit of the rules was.

The ultimate point of the thread ended up being that since it's not official the spirit should be what everyone agrees it should be. If this differs from "official rulings" then so be it.

PS: "hippy" sport? hm.... I'd disagree but whatever....
 
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Nazhuret wrote:
mitnachtKAUBO-I wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
I'm not aware of any game rulesets having spirits and I'm not really sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of rules being haunted. Rulesets are just logical definitions, no more.

Here's one. The game of Ultimate includes the "Spirit of the Game" as an integral part of the ruleset. See, e.g., Rules of Ultimate, 11th ed. "Preface" and Section I.B "Spirit of the Game" available at http://www4.upa.org/ultimate/rules/11th_proposed


Ha HA!

BAM!

Seriously though... I know there are a lot of rules that reference the spirit of the rules. At this point in time I'm just a bit too lazy to look through all of my books to find them.

I'm not trying to back out of my concession. I'm just saying... It's not insane to make a point based upon the "spirit" of a rules set.


But its a bit too much melodrama to jump on some guys for playing like that, especially if both of them would have made the move. It did indeed, from your initial post, seem that you were acting like a "baby". They played the way they felt was best, and the way a lot of people seem to agree with, but saying that they can't play that way is about as much against the spirit of the game as what you think their rule is.

If you say, as you do here, there are a lot of ways to play the game, why should anyone be more accepting of the "Spirit of the Game" rules, if you aren't of the rules sets they go by?
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Nazhuret wrote:

I'm not trying to back out of my concession. I'm just saying... It's not insane to make a point based upon the "spirit" of a rules set.


According to the history, it's a Menonite game invented as a more wholesome game than those with dice or cards. The ultimate spirit is probably whatever promotes harmony by keeping the kids quiet and god un-offended. In this case; it's what's fun and promotes the least amount of malicious swearing.

Out of curiosity, I have written to the World Crokinole Championship website for their opinion.
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