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Subject: Is cheating acceptable under these circumstances? rss

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Confusion Under Fire
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Let's imagine this rather nice thought. There is a national league for warboardgamers where the top 100 or so play each other week in and week out. At each of these head to head games is an umpire. At the end of the season the prize money is given out to the lets say the top 10. Now the prize money is exceptionaly high, something in the region of first place £1,000,000 down to £100,000 for 10th.

The organisation that runs this event decides that to help to eliminate cheating anyone found to be making a false move will have that particular unit removed from the game. OK now I hear cries of disqualification and elimination, but please bear with me. Lets now also assume that if the unit makes an illegal attack on an opponents unit and destroys it, that the opponents unit is removed and the decision cannot be revoked.

OK I am getting there

So a player could make an ilegal move, destroy his opponents unit and then both units would be removed from the game.

Would this be in your eyes cheating, after all both players know the penalty and both players may utilise this foul play.

My opinion and I hope the opinion of all BGGers is that it is downright disgusting and it would never happen if the large amounts of money were not involved.

Now let me take you to a parallel thought, and I apologise beforehand to anyone who is ignorant on what I am about to say. (I did look for a youtube clip to show the event but none was available). In a recent English Premiership football match between Manchester City and Chelsea the defender John Terry cynicaly pulled down, almost rugby tackled an attacking player who was heading towards the goal and had a possible chance of shooting. Now this is not an attack on John Terry or Chelsea but in footballers in general. This sort of behaviour seems common place in football and maybe even sports in other countries too. Now John Terry was given a red card and ordered from the field of play, it was as I am sure most will agree unexpected but I wonder if this sort of cynical behaviour should be stamped out with the use of a red card.

The rules are obviously not tough enough, in the wargaming example above we would not hesitate to ban players who cheated yet in sports we allow our tribal tendancies to overcome our gentlemanly behaviour.

So in the 2 examples above should we ban gamers who cheat regardless of wether they are playing boardgames or are playing a money driven sport?
 
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Erik D
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In the college level of American football, a pass interference penalty will be, at most, 15 yards and a first down. If the cornerback recognizes that a pass will be far greater than 15 yards and he has no way of legally preventing the wide receiver from catching it, he may intentionally interfere with the pass to prevent a touchdown.

Rules are set for fair play and, in the case of most sports, player safety. If there's a problem with rules being broken, they'll be changed or abolished.

In your wargaming example, the penalty for cheating may not be harsh enough. If there ends up being rampant cases of people cheating the system, they'll eventually either update the game rules to allow that strategy or simply make the penalties harsher.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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whatambush wrote:
In a recent English Premiership football match between Manchester City and Chelsea the defender John Terry cynicaly pulled down, almost rugby tackled an attacking player who was heading towards the goal and had a possible chance of shooting...Now John Terry was given a red card and ordered from the field of play, it was as I am sure most will agree unexpected but I wonder if this sort of cynical behaviour should be stamped out with the use of a red card.

If Terry was the last defender, then the Red Card should have been expected. I'm guessing this was the case. Otherwise, Terry probably would not have taken that calculated risk. (I did not see the play, however.)

Quote:
This sort of behaviour seems common place in football and maybe even sports in other countries too.

Yes, but you also have the flipside, where players are faking injury in order to receive the call their way. shake

Quote:
The rules are obviously not tough enough, in the wargaming example above we would not hesitate to ban players who cheated yet in sports we allow our tribal tendancies to overcome our gentlemanly behaviour.

So in the 2 examples above should we ban gamers who cheat regardless of wether they are playing boardgames or are playing a money driven sport?

I would say the rules are tough enough, but maybe increase the fine for multimillion dollar salaried players. The red card forces Terry to sit out the next match. That is the same as a board game player being banned for cheating. Besides, let's not forget that in sports, especially ones with contact, adrenaline can cause players to be more aggressive than they otherwise would be. You can get caught up in the heat of the moment. It's very easy to commit a foul and not intend to.
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J C Lawrence
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I'm failing to see the problem here in either example. If you don't like the rules of the game, then change the game (rules).
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If the rules describe the penalty for the infraction, then I can't see how it's cheating. Both sides know the rules and it's clearly stated what possibilities exist.

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Matthew Kloth
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It isn't cheating if their is a rule for it. If moving incorrectly results in piece removal then that's a rule. Why get pissy if the other guy is just playing by the rules.

If that much money was on the line you need much firmer rules for cheating. Any kind of reasonable error that you could make by accident should be penalized with the 3 strikes and you're out. If the other player doesn't catch it before moving, the illegal move stands (if he does catch it the move is undone and the illegal player's turn is lost). Both cases result in a strike.

You can't penalize based on victory points or other things that effect the standings because that means a winning player is allowed to cheat up to the amount he is ahead. That's the problem with your first example. You can make it first strike and you're out.

Even X strikes isn't perfect. I personally would use the strikes if I needed to. If I had no strikes going into the final game I'd use them to get ahead. I play to win.

If blatant cheating (no reasonable way it could be construed as an accident)is discovered then the player is kicked out immediately.
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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Desiderata wrote:
Besides, let's not forget that in sports, especially ones with contact, adrenaline can cause players to be more aggressive than they otherwise would be. You can get caught up in the heat of the moment. It's very easy to commit a foul and not intend to.


That's a very good point, even cynical challenges like this one may be driven by a sudden heightened sense of "it's me or him"

 
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Confusion Under Fire
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Desiderata wrote:
If Terry was the last defender, then the Red Card should have been expected. I'm guessing this was the case. Otherwise, Terry probably would not have taken that calculated risk. (I did not see the play, however.)


I am sure that was what many people thought who watched the game, there were possibly 1 or 2 defenders that could of reached the attacker before he reached the goal. It later came out that the referee had given Terry a red card for "serious foul play" rather than for a "professional foul" This is given for a foul which is deemed dangerous. I did not consider it a dangerous tackle.

Straight red cards cannot be downgraded to a yellow, so Chelsea will have to successfully argue that Terry did not deserve a yellow in order to succeed in the appeal. It seems likely that Terry's red card will stand and he will miss the next 3 matches.

 
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Confusion Under Fire
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erak wrote:

In your wargaming example, the penalty for cheating may not be harsh enough. If there ends up being rampant cases of people cheating the system, they'll eventually either update the game rules to allow that strategy or simply make the penalties harsher.


This is my point exactly, we would not allow such a "loophole" in boardgaming, we would change the rules yet in sport we happily go along with the fact that a player may accept punishment for being unsporting.
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Confusion Under Fire
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clearclaw wrote:
I'm failing to see the problem here in either example. If you don't like the rules of the game, then change the game (rules).


Change the rules of football?

If only I had such power

The wargame example was to draw a parallel with sport
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Confusion Under Fire
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MusedFable wrote:
It isn't cheating if their is a rule for it.


I see what you mean but I disagree. The rule in question is a penalty and not a rule, you could then argue that it becomes part of the rules by its very inclusion.

But if someone then cheats and there is no penalty then how do you punish them? You say your banned from the game but they can then argue back but there was no ruling as to what happens if I cheat. If you state beforehand that you get banned for cheating then according to your statement that then becomes part of the rules and is not classed as cheating. It is a catch 22 situation.
 
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I think a major difference is that in a board game you can almost always reverse engineer the position of the infraction and move on as if it didn't happen.

This is tougher in sports, so the compromise solution arises.
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whatambush wrote:
It later came out that the referee had given Terry a red card for "serious foul play" rather than for a "professional foul" This is given for a foul which is deemed dangerous. I did not consider it a dangerous tackle.


whatambush wrote:
John Terry cynicaly pulled down, almost rugby tackled an attacking player...

You really don't consider it a dangerous tackle? From your description, it sounds like the red card was warranted, whether or not he was last man back.

To address others' points, I think that there can still be cases of cheating, even when a rule prohibits something. For example, this case, and similarly, "clipping" in American football are cheating, even though there are rules in place to prevent them.
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erak wrote:
In the college level of American football, a pass interference penalty will be, at most, 15 yards and a first down. If the cornerback recognizes that a pass will be far greater than 15 yards and he has no way of legally preventing the wide receiver from catching it, he may intentionally interfere with the pass to prevent a touchdown.

Well, for what it's worth, and I'd have to look up the NCAA rules to compare to High School, but in HIGH SCHOOL football, if the referee determines that the Pass Interference was clearly intentional and deliberate, the rules allow an additional 15 yards to be tacked onto the penalty.

Although to be fair, I've never personally seen this applied, but I think it was put there specifically to cover a situation like you describe - intentionally interfering as the "lesser of two evils".


In the case of the O.P., though, I think the rule in question may be poorly written, if it truly does allow for the loophole mentioned.


In High School Football, there is a rule for "unfair acts" that aren't explicitly covered by the rules, but are against the spirit of the game and such. It says that in those cases, the referee can put forth any penalty he deems appropriate, including the awarding of a score. (One situation that is kind of discussed is if time is running out, and the defense is just barely winning, but is backed up against their end zone; they could TRY to repeatedly go offsides, just to waste time and let the clock run out, but if they are repeatedly doing so, this would qualify as an "unfair act", and the referee's could do something about it; depending on the situation, this could mean awarding a touchdown, or simply not allowing the clock to restart until a legal snap happens.).

Such a rule may be beneficial in some tournaments with complex rules. Sometimes, an objective human mind may be needed. If a tournament judge sees a player abusing the "remove the unit" penalty, I think the tournament rules should allow the judge further recourse to prevent the act in a more serious manner.
 
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There is a long and accepted history of "playing the rules" in sport. Some easy examples of the top of my head...Basketball players will foul on purpose late in the game to send the shooter to the foul line hoping he will miss and give them the ball back. It is a "foul", but also a very accepted strategy.

Rugby League players will "lay in the tackle" to give their team mates time to get back in position. Sometimes it is even a blatant penalty which will cost them field position...but the guys just need a few seconds to catch their breath and regroup.

Baseball has many rules to exploit for advantage...best story to illustrate; Supposedly Cal Ripken Jr was pitching in high school game in a losing effort. Seeing a storm approaching during the bottom of the 4th inning he throws over to first again and again to stall for time. The storm hits, game is called, and as it didn't get to the 5th inning it is a "no game". Cheating?

There are of course many many more examples.

The point seems to be in sport, as well as life, the penalty is meant to discourage the action...but if you are willing to pay the penalty you have added to your strategic choices.
 
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ozjesting wrote:
The point seems to be in sport, as well as life, the penalty is meant to discourage the action...but if you are willing to pay the penalty you have added to your strategic choices.
A lesson I remember Daughter the Elder learning at around three or four. She was told "if you do X you will not get Y". She spent a while deciding whether X was worth more than Y to her. On that occasion X won out cool
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I'm not sure the sports analogy works.

Typically, an athlete intentionally breaks the rules (knowing full well that a penalty will follow) because something disastrous is about to happen. An offensive lineman might pull down a blitzer to prevent him from getting a vicious blindside hit on the helpless quarterback. A defensive back might tackle a receiver to prevent him from breaking wide open for an easy touchdown. In other words, the action is taken to prevent a catastrophe.

In your example, it seems like the "cheater" is gaming the system to gain an advantage. It's not really cheating, but it's unsavory, in my opinion.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Maksimov wrote:
Desiderata wrote:
whatambush wrote:
John Terry cynicaly pulled down, almost rugby tackled an attacking player...

You really don't consider it a dangerous tackle? From your description, it sounds like the red card was warranted, whether or not he was last man back.


It wasn't a rugby tackle. Not even almost. The laws of the game say the following:
Quote:
"Using excessive force" means that the player has far exceeded the necessary force and [/b]is in danger of injuring his opponent[/b]. A player who uses excessive force must be sent off.
Watch the incident and tell me if you can honestly say that Terry was in danger of injuring his opponent. If he wasn't, it wasn't a red card offense. If it was just reckless play, it's a yellow card offense. The laws of the game also say:
Quote:
A player must be sent off if he prevents an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by holding the player.
Doesn't quite fit the description, does it? I mean, with Carvalho just meters away from the incident and he was between the goal and the City player...AND it wasn't exactly a goalmouth scramble. I think it sounds more like this bit from the laws of the game:
Quote:
A caution for unsporting behaviour must be issued when a player holds an opponent to prevent him gaining possession of the ball or taking up an advantageous position.


Just my "rules lawyer" type of view on it without my blue tinted glasses on. Yellow would have been quite enough and red was over-reacting from Halsey.


I agree totally with what you have just said, I even said in my opening comments that "it was as I am sure most will agree unexpected" the incident took place just a few yards short of the halfway line but I then followed that up with "but I wonder if this sort of cynical behaviour should be stamped out with the use of a red card".

My comparison with boardgaming was apart from us all being boardgamers was that we would never tolerate this sort of behaviour on a games night. Yet it is seen every week maybe even every match in a football game. There have been a few good points to why this may be such as adrenalin and it being a physical sport.
 
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ozjesting wrote:
There is a long and accepted history of "playing the rules" in sport. Some easy examples of the top of my head...Basketball players will foul on purpose late in the game to send the shooter to the foul line hoping he will miss and give them the ball back. It is a "foul", but also a very accepted strategy.

Rugby League players will "lay in the tackle" to give their team mates time to get back in position. Sometimes it is even a blatant penalty which will cost them field position...but the guys just need a few seconds to catch their breath and regroup.

Baseball has many rules to exploit for advantage...best story to illustrate; Supposedly Cal Ripken Jr was pitching in high school game in a losing effort. Seeing a storm approaching during the bottom of the 4th inning he throws over to first again and again to stall for time. The storm hits, game is called, and as it didn't get to the 5th inning it is a "no game". Cheating?

There are of course many many more examples.

The point seems to be in sport, as well as life, the penalty is meant to discourage the action...but if you are willing to pay the penalty you have added to your strategic choices.


This is an excellent argument which brings to mind an English manager who used to cut the grass length according to the opposition. An opposition who played a passing game and he would let the grass grow to the maximum allowed. He even had the grass grow to different lengths on different parts of the field, eg if the opposition used the wings more etc.

The other thing to think about is if we did not have any arbituary incidents in the game then Saturdays would be pretty dull affairs.
 
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