DCITM Universal Tournament Rules
2000-2001 Tournament Season
Effective May 1, 2001
The DCI Universal Tournament Rules help maintain fair and consistent worldwide sanctioned tournament play for every game the DCI players' organization supports. The DCI Universal Tournament Rules apply to all games, in addition to the DCI Floor Rules specific to each game. In order to maintain this tournament system, participants and officials must treat each other in a fair and respectful manner, following both the rules themselves and the spirit in which they were created. Players who violate sections of the Universal Tournament Rules or the appropriate game's DCI Floor Rules will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines and further DCI review.
Note: Please see Appendix B of the DCI Universal Tournament Rules for definitions of terms in this document.
1. GENERAL DCI TOURNAMENT RULES
2. DCI-Supported Games
The following games are supported by the Universal Tournament Rules:
- Magic: The Gathering®
If you do not have the appropriate game-related section of the DCI Floor Rules, visit the tournament section of the DCI website at www.thedci.com to download a copy.
3. Player Eligibility
Any player is eligible to participate in a DCI-sanctioned event except for the following:
- The tournament organizer of record (unless he or she is judging in an event that uses the three-judge system; see section 19);
- The head judge and any other listed judges of record (exception: see section 19-Three-Judge System);
- Players currently suspended by the DCI;
- Wizards of the Coast® and Hasbro corporate employees;
- Former Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro corporate employees (until three months after their last day of employment at Wizards/Hasbro);
- Wizards of the Coast (including The Game Keeper®) retail store employees must consult with their employers for sanctioned-event participation rules.
- Immediate family members regardless of location of residency and persons living in the same household as Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro corporate employees are not permitted to participate in any premier events or in any event offering an invitation to a premier event. Refer to the definition of "Premier Events" in Appendix B for further information.
- Employees of distributors (outside of North America) and strategic partners must consult with their local Wizards of the Coast office for sanctioned-event participation rules;
- Playtesters of card sets used in the event (until one month after the official release date of those card sets);
- Other players specifically prohibited from participation by DCI or Wizards of the Coast policy (for example, already qualified players may not participate in Magic: The Gathering Pro TourTM Qualifier tournaments).
- Invitation-only tournaments, such as Pro Tour events, may have additional criteria regarding player eligibility.
4. Necessary Tournament Materials
Players must bring the following items to a tournament in order to participate:
- A visible and reliable method to maintain and record game information (tokens, score counter, pen and paper, and so on).
- A valid and unique DCI number registered in the participant's name.
Note: New players must register for DCI membership at their first tournament. Players may only have one DCI number. Tournament organizers must report any player using more than one DCI membership number.
- Any materials specifically required for a particular tournament format, as required by the game's DCI Floor Rules or the tournament organizer.
Example: Players need to bring their assembled decks to Constructed tournaments.
Players and tournament officials may not wager, ante, or bet on the outcome of any portion of a tournament.
6. Publishing Event Information
Wizards of the Coast, Inc. reserves the right to publish event information such as the contents of a player's deck as well as transcripts or video reproductions of any sanctioned tournament. The tournament organizer is also permitted to publish event information.
7. Document Updates
The DCI reserves the right to alter these rules, the DCI Floor Rules of any particular sanctioned game, as well as the right to interpret, modify, clarify, or otherwise issue official changes to these rules, with or without prior notice.
10. TOURNAMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
11. Event Knowledge Responsibilities
Competitors, judges, and organizers involved in sanctioned tournaments are responsible for knowing and following the most current version of the Universal Tournament Rules, the DCI Floor Rules for the appropriate game, and any other applicable regulatory documents, including the game rules for the appropriate game.
12. Tournament Organizer Responsibilities
The tournament organizer for an event is ultimately responsible for all tournament operations and event reporting for the event. The tournament organizer's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Selecting the site for the event
- Providing all materials to operate the event (product at Sealed-Deck events, and so on)
- Retaining all tournament results for one full year after the event's completion
- Reporting to the DCI of all event results, including the winner, in a timely manner
- Staffing the event with appropriate personnel (including finding an appropriate head judge for the event)
- Advertising the tournament sufficiently in advance of the event date
13. Player Responsibilities
Players must follow the rules interpretations and guidelines for play set forth by the DCI, the head judge, and other tournament officials. Players are expected to behave in a respectful and sporting manner at all times. Players who argue with the head judge or other tournament officials may be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines. Players are not permitted to waive penalties on behalf of their opponents. The judge must ensure that the appropriate penalty, if any, is imposed.
14. Spectator Responsibilities
Spectators are expected to remain silent during the course of a match and are not permitted to communicate with players in any way while a match is in progress. Spectators who believe that they have observed rules violations should inform a judge, but they must not interfere with the match. Players have the right to request that any person, other than tournament officials, not observe their match. All such requests must be made through a judge.
15. Judge Responsibilities
All judges have the responsibility to deliver fair, impartial rulings and to assist the head judge and other tournament officials in any area that is required to ensure a smooth tournament. Judges must take action to resolve any rules infraction (whether a violation of the DCI Floor Rules or the rules for the appropriate game) they notice or that is brought to their attention.
16. Head Judge Responsibilities
Officially sanctioned competition requires the physical presence of a head judge during play to adjudicate disputes, interpret rules, assign penalties, and make other official decisions. The head judge may, with the tournament organizer's agreement, appoint any number of other judges to help in the performance of the head judge's duties and to perform other tasks the head judge may require. The head judge is responsible for reporting all warnings issued at the tournament to the DCI directly, or through the tournament organizer's event report.
The head judge and the tournament organizer can be, but do not have to be, the same individual. The head judge is the final judicial authority at any DCI-sanctioned tournament (see section 15-Judge Responsibilities).
Although it is beneficial, the head judge does not have to be a DCI-certified judge. Certification is only available to Magic: The Gathering judges at this time. For information on becoming a certified Magic® judge or finding a certified judge in your area, please contact the DCI judge certification and training administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 204-7365.
17. Appeals to the Head Judge
If players should disagree with a judge's decision, they are free to appeal the ruling to the head judge. The head judge has the right to overrule other judges' decisions. Players may not appeal to the head judge before the judge responding to the situation renders an initial decision. The head judge's decision is final.
18. Lengthy Rulings
If a judge uses more than one minute to make a ruling, he or she may extend the match time appropriately. The extra time must be clearly communicated and recorded immediately by the judge.
19. Three-Judge System
The three-judge system has the following restrictions:
- The event must have at least eight, but no more than sixteen, players.
- Premier events are not eligible for the three-judge system. Refer to the definition of "Premier Events" in Appendix B for further information. Note that Friday Night Magic events may use the three-judge system.
- The three-judge system may be used only in one-on-one tournaments, and not in multiplayer events.
- Events that use the Elo rating system and the three-judge system are limited to a K-value of 8.
- Organizers choosing this system must announce its use before the tournament begins and identify the three judges as head judge, secondary judge, and tertiary judge.
- Tournament organizers may participate in events they sanction only if they are using the three-judge system and work as a judge within that event. These types of events are the only ones in which judges and/or tournament organizers are allowed to participate.
When using the three-judge system, the head judge makes all of the rulings, except when a decision is needed in a game in which the head judge is participating. If a ruling is needed in a head judge's game, the secondary judge makes the call. The only time the tertiary judge makes a ruling is when the head judge is playing against the secondary judge.
20. TOURNAMENT MECHANICS
All shuffling must be done so that the faces of the cards cannot be seen. Regardless of the method used to shuffle, players' decks must be sufficiently randomized. Each time players shuffle their decks, they must present their decks to an opponent for additional shuffling and/or cutting. At the judge's discretion, players may request to have a judge shuffle their cards rather than pass that duty to their opponents. By presenting their decks to their opponents, players state that their decks are sufficiently randomized.
After decks are presented and accepted, any player who does not feel his or her opponent has made a reasonable effort to sufficiently randomize the deck must notify a judge. The head judge has final authority to determine whether or not a deck has been sufficiently randomized. The head judge also has the authority to determine if a player has used reasonable effort to randomize the deck. If the head judge feels that either the deck has not been sufficiently randomized or that a player has not made a reasonable effort to randomize the deck, the player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the Penalty Guidelines.
To aid in randomization, the DCI recommends that players always shuffle their opponent's decks.
Once opponents have the opportunity to shuffle and/or cut the other players' decks, the cards are returned to their original owners. If the opponent has shuffled the player's deck, that player may make one final cut.
Players are expected to be in their seats when each round begins. Players arriving at their seats after the round begins may be subject to tardiness penalties listed in the DCI Universal Penalty Guidelines. Players who fail to arrive at their seats by the end of any round will be dropped from the tournament.
At team events, if one or more members of a team are not in their seats by the end of the round, that team is automatically dropped from the tournament.
23. Pre-Game Time Limit
Prior to each game, competitors have three minutes to shuffle their decks and present them to their opponents for additional shuffling and/or cutting. This three-minute period includes sideboarding, if applicable, but does not include shuffling an opponent's deck or resolving any Mulligans-if the appropriate game's DCI Floor Rules specifically allow Mulligans. Any Mulligans or shuffling of opponents' decks must be done in a timely manner before the game begins. Shuffling requirements specified in section 21 apply during these steps.
If the head judge determines that a player exceeded the time limit on purpose and is stalling, that player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
24. Mid-Game Shuffling Time Limit
A one-minute time limit exists for all shuffling and deck-searching that occurs during a game. If a judge determines that a player's shuffling time is excessive, that player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines. Shuffling requirements specified in section 21 also apply.
25. Conceding Games or Matches
Players may concede a game or match at any time within the following guidelines. The conceded game or match is recorded as a loss for the conceding player. If a player refuses to play, it is assumed that he or she concedes the match.
The following actions are prohibited:
Players who engage in these actions will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
- Offering or accepting a bribe or prize split in exchange for the concession of a match
- Attempting to determine the winner of a game or match by a random method, such as a coin flip or die roll
Players may only agree to split the tournament prizes in exchange for concession of a game or match if all of the following conditions are met:
- Splitting a prize in exchange for concession is only permitted in the final match of the single-elimination portion of a tournament (this means there are only two players remaining in the entire event). It is not permitted at any time in Swiss-only tournaments.
- Offering to split a prize in exchange for concession must be done in the presence of a judge.
- A prize-split agreement in exchange for concession must involve only the prizes associated with the first- and second-place prizes.
- A player may not introduce any incentives other than the prizes associated with the tournament.
Example: The first-place prize in an event is one box of boosters, and the second-place prize is $50. The two players in the very last round of the single-elimination portion of the event may decide to split the $50 and the box of boosters any way they wish. The decision to split the prizes must be done in the presence of a judge. They are not permitted to make an agreement that involves $150, as that is outside of the prizes associated with first and second place.
Players are allowed to share prizes they have won as they wish, such as with teammates, as long as any such sharing does not occur as an exchange for concession of a game or match.
Prizes may be reallocated in a manner other than originally announced by the tournament organizer only if all players remaining in the event agree on the new prize distribution. A concession may not be made in conjunction with any such redistribution of prizes. For example, if all of the players in the Top 8 single-elimination portion of a tournament decide to split the first- through eighth-place prizes equally among themselves instead of following the original distribution announced by the organizer, they may do so as long as no matches are conceded in exchange for the prize split.
26. Withdrawing from an Event
Players choosing to withdraw from an event must inform the scorekeeper before the pairings for the next round are generated. Players leaving the tournament after the scorekeeper begins pairing for the next round receive a match loss in the upcoming round, and will be removed from the event after that round.
27. Intentional Draw
Players may mutually agree to accept an intentional draw at any time before the match results are submitted. This agreement should not be regarded as a violation of section 41. If an offer to intentionally draw is declined, the match must continue as normal without any further coercion to accept the offer. Declaring an intentional draw has the same results for competitors as playing to a draw. For example, if two players choose to draw during the Swiss rounds of a Magic tournament, each would receive 1 match point. See the DCI Floor Rules for additional game-specific information.
28. Taking Notes
Players are not allowed to take written notes of their opponents' decks or actions, with the exception of the following items:
- Their opponents' names (and other relevant personal information)
- Their opponents' DCI numbers
- Which player played first and the number of Mulligans used
- Status of the game (such as mana in pool, poison counters, honor totals, life totals, whether a land has been played, and so on)
- The number of turns that have elapsed.
29. Electronic Devices
The head judge or tournament organizer may choose not to allow players to participate with electronic devices (such as cellular phones, pagers, and/or portable audio units) turned on.
30. TOURNAMENT CARD STATUS RULES
31. Cards Allowed
All cards in a player's deck must be produced by the game's manufacturer, or a partner that is approved by the DCI. The DCI Floor Rules for the appropriate game will contain additional information if necessary.
32. Card Interpretation
The head judge is the final authority regarding card interpretations. See the DCI Floor Rules for the appropriate game for more detailed rules regarding how cards should be interpreted. If the head judge determines that a player is using non-English-language cards and/or misprints to create an advantage by using misleading text or artwork, that player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
33. Card Elevation
Players must keep their cards above the level of the playing surface at all times, including during sideboarding. Revealing your hand to your opponent is not considered to be a violation of the DCI Universal Tournament Rules.
34. Proxy Cards
The use of proxy cards is not permitted except under the following conditions:
- If a card becomes accidentally damaged or excessively worn through play in the current sanctioned tournament, the judge may provide a proxy replacement card at his or her discretion, or require the player to sleeve all of his or her cards before play continues.
- If a card opened out of sealed product for use in a Limited tournament is misprinted, miscut, or otherwise damaged in a way that would cause the card to be marked, the judge may provide a proxy replacement card at his or her discretion.
Players are not permitted to create a proxy. When a judge creates a proxy for a player, it is included in the player's deck. The original card is kept close at hand during the match. When the proxy is in play, replace it with the original. When it returns to the player's deck/hand, swap it with the proxy. This replacement method helps ensure that the opponent is able to clearly see the intended card and to avoid confusion.
The term "proxy" includes counterfeit cards or any card that is not a genuine game card. Counterfeiters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
35. Card Sleeves
Players may use plastic card sleeves or other protective devices on cards. If a player chooses to use card sleeves, all cards in the player's current deck must be placed in the sleeves in an identical manner. If the sleeves feature holograms or other similar markings, cards must be inserted into the sleeves so these markings appear only on the face of the cards.
Once a match begins, players may request that the judge inspect an opponent's card sleeves. The judge may disallow a player's card sleeves if the judge believes they are marked, worn, or otherwise in a condition or of a design that interferes with shuffling or game play. To avoid confusion, a card sleeve may also be used to mark a player's card if the card is in an opponent's playing area.
36. Turned Cards
If a card must be turned as a part of the game rules to denote a particular effect, it must be turned approximately 90 degrees or 180 degrees, whichever is most appropriate for the game.
37. Game Markers
Game markers, such as tokens or reminders of a game effect, may not be designated by cards with identical backs as the cards in a player's deck if the deck is unsleeved. If the deck is sleeved, game markers may not have sleeve backs identical to those on the cards in the player's deck.
No game markers of any kind may be placed on top of or in a location that obscures a player's deck. A judge may disallow the use of game markers that may cause confusion with regard to the state of the game.
40. TOURNAMENT VIOLATIONS
Cheating will not be tolerated. The head judge reviews all cheating allegations, and if he or she determines that a player cheated, the head judge will issue the appropriate penalty based on the DCI Penalty Guidelines. All disqualifications are subject to later DCI review, and further penalties may be assessed.
Cheating includes but is not limited to the following intentional activities:
- Receiving outside assistance or coaching
- Looking at opponents' card faces while shuffling or cutting their deck
- Taking inappropriate notes (see section 28)
- Collusion to alter the results of a game or match (see section 25)
- Misrepresenting cards or rules
- Using marked cards/sleeves (see section 44)
- Drawing extra cards
- Manipulating which cards are drawn from your deck or an opponent's deck
- Stalling the length of a turn to take advantage of a time limit
- Misrepresenting public information (point totals, number of cards in deck, and so on)
42. Unsporting Conduct
Unsporting conduct is unacceptable and will not tolerated at any time. Judges, players, spectators, and officials must behave in a polite, respectable, and sporting manner. In addition, players who use profanity, argue, act belligerently toward tournament officials or one another, or harass spectators, tournament officials, or opponents, will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines and will be subject to further DCI review.
43. Slow Play
Players must take their turns in a timely fashion. Whereas taking a reasonable amount of time to think through game strategy is acceptable, playing excessively slow or stalling for time is not. If a judge determines that a player is playing excessively slowly at any point during the tournament, the responsible player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
44. Marked Cards
A card is considered marked if it bears something that makes it possible to identify the card without seeing its face, including scratches, discoloration, unnatural bends, and so on. If a player's cards are sleeved, the sleeves are considered part of the cards, so:
- For cards placed in clear sleeves, both the sleeve and the card must be examined to determine whether a card is marked.
- For cards placed in opaque-backed sleeves, just the sleeve must be examined to determine whether a card is marked or not.
Any card that is cut differently from the other cards in a player's deck may be considered marked if the entire contents of the deck is not placed in non-marked, opaque card sleeves. For example, Alpha cards are considered marked if they are mixed into a player's deck with cards from other sets at a Magic event. However, Alpha cards are not considered marked-and therefore do not have to be in opaque sleeves-if the entire deck consists of Alpha cards.
If a differently cut card has caused its sleeve to become worn differently than other sleeves in the deck, that card (and sleeve) are considered marked.
The head judge has the authority to determine if a card or series of cards in a player's deck is marked.
50. GENERAL CONSTRUCTED TOURNAMENT RULES
51. Previous Printings of Current Cards
Players may include cards from previous printings if they appear in current card sets allowed in Constructed play by the appropriate game's DCI Floor Rules-as long as they do not have features that create "marked" cards (section 44).
52. Constructed Deck Registration
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to register their decks and sideboard (if applicable) upon arrival at a tournament. Registration records the original composition of each deck. Once a tournament official receives a player's decklist, the deck may not be altered. Failure to properly register a deck will result in the head judge applying the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines. The DCI recommends (and in the case of enhanced K-values, the DCI requires) that organizers check a reasonable number of decks against their decklists each round.
60. GENERAL LIMITED TOURNAMENT RULES
The rules in this section apply to all Limited tournaments, including Sealed-Deck tournaments (section 65) and Draft tournaments (section 70).
61. Limited Deck Registration
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they receive in a Limited tournament. Once the cards are registered, players have a limited amount of time to prepare their decks before play begins. Any cards players receive that are not used in their main decks are considered to be their sideboards. The DCI recommends (and in the case of enhanced K-values, the DCI requires) that organizers check a reasonable number of decks against their decklists each round.
62. Card Use-Limited Tournaments
All cards players use in limited events must be received directly from tournament officials. Players must receive the same number of decks and/or booster packs from the same card set(s) as all the other players participating in the tournament.
Players may use only the actual cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament, and any additional specifically provided by the tournament organizer (for example, basic lands in the Magic game). Players may not trade or replace the cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament with any other cards, even if the replacement is an exact copy. If a card is damaged or otherwise considered "marked," players must comply with section 63-Abnormal Decks, Boosters, and Cards.
63. Abnormal Cards or Boosters
Players who have an abnormal number of cards in the decks or booster packs they receive must inform the head judge, who may replace the deck or booster pack at his or her discretion. If a player receives a "marked" card (section 44), the head judge may replace that card with a proxy card at his or her discretion. (See section 34-Proxy Cards.)
Neither Wizards of the Coast nor the tournament organizer guarantees any specific distribution of card rarities or frequency in a particular booster pack or deck.
64. Early Departure
Once a player in a Limited tournament has received sealed product, he or she may not withdraw from the event prior to the first match. Violation of this rule results in the offending participant receiving a loss for the match on the official tournament record (the opponent receives a win for the match) and being dropped from the tournament.
65. GENERAL SEALED-DECK TOURNAMENT RULES
Not all DCI-supported games feature Sealed-Deck tournaments. Check the Limited Tournament Rules section of the specific game's DCI Floor Rules for more information.
66. Deck Construction
Before tournament play begins, each player receives an assortment of sealed product. If decklists are being used, players have 20 minutes to register their decks. Each player then creates a tournament deck that meets the Sealed-Deck size requirements found in the game's DCI Floor Rules. Players have 30 minutes before the event begins to construct their decks.
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to play in their main deck and/or sideboard. Failure to properly record the cards being played in the main deck will result in the head judge applying the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
67. Sealed-Deck Swap
A Sealed-Deck event may require participants to perform a sealed-deck swap. In a sealed-deck swap, players do not play with the decks they originally receive at the event. Instead, the sealed product-as well as deck-registration sheets-are handed out to all players in the event. Players open their decks and record the contents on their deck-registration sheets. This process is called "registering a deck" and twenty minutes is allowed for it. A tournament official will then collect the sealed product and the corresponding deck-registration sheets. Next, 10 to 20 percent of the decks are handed back out to the players who registered them. The remainder of the decks are handed out randomly to all players who do not have a deck. It is perfectly acceptable for players to receive their original decks back at this point. This entire process is called a sealed-deck swap. Players will then construct decks from the product they have at this time.
70. GENERAL DRAFT TOURNAMENT RULES
Not all DCI-supported games feature Draft tournaments. Check the Limited Tournament Rules section of the specific game's DCI Floor Rules for more information.
71. Player Distribution
Players assemble randomly into drafting circles (called pods) of roughly equal size at the discretion of the tournament organizer or head judge. A tournament official then distributes an equal amount of booster packs to each player in the pod.
Players within a pod may only play against other players within that pod.
Players may not talk or communicate to others during a draft. As players draft the cards, they must place their cards in one orderly pile in front of them. Drafted cards may only be reviewed between the drafting of each pack.
72. Draft Card Selection
Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player a random card from the pack the player is selecting from.
73. Deck Construction
Once drafting is complete, players have thirty minutes to build decks from the cards they selected. These decks must meet the Limited tournament deck-size requirements specified by the appropriate game's DCI Floor Rules. The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to use in their main deck, as well as all cards they drafted.
74. Booster Draft Procedure
At a signal from a tournament official, each player opens the booster pack specified by the official and counts the cards. If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack, he or she must immediately notify the judge, who will replace the pack. The player chooses one card from the booster pack, then passes the remaining cards face down to the player on his or her left. The opened packs are passed around the drafting pod-with each player taking one card each before passing-until all cards are drafted. Once a player has removed a card from the pack, it is considered selected and may not be returned to the pack. Players may not show their card selections or the contents of their current pack to other participants in the draft. Players are not permitted to send signals of any kind to other participants in the draft regarding any information about their own picks or what they want others to pick.
After each player's first pack is drafted, a tournament official will instruct players to open the next specified pack and draft in the same fashion, except that the direction of drafting is reversed. This process is repeated until all cards in all booster packs are drafted. For example, if five booster packs of Pokémon: JungleTM cards were being drafted, the first, third, and fifth pack would be drafted clockwise and the second and fourth pack would be drafted counterclockwise.
When drafting packs from different card sets, draft the card sets in order of their release. For example, if drafting a pack each of Urza's SagaTM, Urza's LegacyTM, and Urza's DestinyTM cards, the first pack (drafted clockwise) would be Urza's Saga, the second pack (drafted counterclockwise) would be Urza's Legacy, and the third pack (drafted clockwise) would be Urza's Destiny.
75. Rochester Draft Rules
Once a player has indicated his or her drafting selection by touching a card, he or she may not select a different card.
Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player the "oldest" card still remaining from the booster pack.
Example: The pod judge lays out cards from a booster pack. The cards can be considered to be in chronological order (1-15), where 1 is the first card placed on the table and 15 is the last card placed on the table. If a player fails to draft in a timely manner, the cards on the table are examined by the pod judge and the first card that was placed on the table is given to the player. If that card has already been selected, the second card that was placed on the table is given, and so on.
During a Rochester Draft, players must always display the most recent card they drafted in the current pack face up. When all cards are drafted from the current pack, players may move their cards from that pack to any position.
76. Draft Table Preparation
Booster packs are divided into groups before the draft table is set, with the number of packs in each group equaling the number of players participating in the draft. If the draft consists of packs from multiple card sets, each group must consist of packs from the same card set.
In preparation for each pack being drafted, the pod judge lays out its entire contents face up on the table, with the cards facing the active player (see Section 77-Rochester Draft Active Player Rotation). Players are given twenty seconds to review the cards before drafting begins.
77. Rochester Draft-Active Player Rotation
The player drafting first from the cards presented on the table is called the active player. The first active player is the participant in the first seat, designated by the judge. All players in each drafting pod serve as the active player once for each booster pack group (see Section 76-Rochester Draft Table Preparation), with the active player moving between players as follows:
- in a clockwise direction for the first booster-pack group (beginning with the first active player);
- in a counterclockwise direction for the second booster-pack group (starting with the last active player in the first group);
- and returns to a clockwise direction for the third booster-pack group (beginning again with the first active player).
78. Draft Order
The draft order moves in a horseshoe pattern, beginning with the active player, continuing around the table to the last participant in the group who has not yet drafted a card. The last player in the group selects two cards, instead of one, before drafting continues in reverse order, moving back to the player who began the drafting (the first person who drafted from the pack). After all cards are drafted or each player has two cards from the current booster pack (whichever comes first), the table judge clears the drafting area and prepares for the next booster-pack draft.
Example #1: Eight players are seated around a table. They are numbered 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 in a clockwise order. The active player is Player 1. The first booster pack for Player 1 is opened and placed face up in front of Player 1. After the twenty-second review period has expired, the draft order is as follows:
|Player 1-card 1||Player 6-card 6||Player 6-card 11|
|Player 2-card 2||Player 7-card 7||Player 5-card 12|
|Player 3-card 3||Player 8-card 8||Player 4-card 13|
|Player 4-card 4||Player 8-card 9||Player 3-card 14|
|Player 5-card 5||Player 7-card 10||Player 2-card 15|
The next pack to be opened would be Player #2's first booster.
Example #2: Seven players are seated around a table. They are numbered 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 in a clockwise order. The active player is Player 1. The first booster pack for Player 1 is opened and placed face up in front of Player 1. After the twenty-second review period has expired, the draft order is as follows:
|Player 1-card 1||Player 6-card 6||Player 4-card 11|
|Player 2-card 2||Player 7-card 7||Player 3-card 12|
|Player 3-card 3||Player 7-card 8||Player 2-card 13|
|Player 4-card 4||Player 6-card 9||Player 1-card 14|
|Player 5-card 5||Player 5-card 10||number 15 is then removed from the draft.|
The next pack to be opened would be Player #2's first booster.
80. DCI SANCTIONING RULES
Tournament organizers must follow the rules in this section when sanctioning events with the DCI. The DCI reserves the right to cancel sanctioning for any event at any time.
81. Sanctioning Deadline
To ensure sanctioning approval, tournament organizers must apply for DCI sanctioning at least twenty-eight days prior to the event.
82. Participation Minimums
For select games, the DCI requires a minimum amount of player participation for the event to be included in the appropriate set of ratings and rankings. These minimums are as follows:
Magic: The Gathering
For singles events, a minimum of eight players must participate.
For team events, a minimum of four teams must participate.
A minimum of four players must participate in tournaments for any other DCI-supported game, unless the organizer is using the Three-Judge System (section 19).
90. EVENT REPORTING RULES
Receiving event reports in a correct and timely manner is fundamental to accurate and up-to-date DCI ratings. Tournament organizers must follow the rules outlined in this section when reporting their events.
91. Organizer Records
Tournament organizers are required to keep copies of all tournament reports for DCI-sanctioned events they run for a period of one year. These records serve as backups in case event results are lost.
92. Event Report Deadline
Event reports are due to the DCI within eight days of the tournament's conclusion. Tournament reports not received by the DCI within eight days are considered late, and are listed in the DCI tournament database as "Not Received" for fourteen days after the event.
93. Delinquent Tournaments
Event reports not received within fifteen days are listed as "Delinquent" in the DCI tournament database. Organizers with delinquent tournaments may lose their ability to sanction future events.
94. Invalid Tournaments
Players' match records at events that become invalid will not count toward their DCI ratings and rankings.
The DCI reserves the right to invalidate reported results of any sanctioned tournament for any reason, but will usually do so only when fraudulent or incorrect results are reported by the organizer. Additionally, the DCI reserves the right to invalidate any event reports not received within thirty days of the tournament date.
95. Event Status Updates
Tournament organizers and players may check on an event's reporting status by visiting the DCI website at www.thedci.com. Additionally, the DCI sends regular updates to organizers informing them of the status of each of their sanctioned tournaments. If an organizer's event appears as "Delinquent" or "Invalid" on this report two months in a row, the DCI will investigate the organizer's reporting history and issue sanctioning penalties as appropriate.
The DCI reserves the right to adjust penalties on an individual basis due to extenuating circumstances and it reserves the right to change this policy without notice.
96. Mandatory DCI Numbers
All tournament participants must be assigned a DCI membership number prior to participating in a sanctioned tournament. Results reported with temporary player numbers, player names, or placeholders will not be included in the DCI ratings. Membership cards may not be faxed to the DCI.
97. Tournament Reports and Event Invitation Lists
Tournament reports must be received by the deadlines specified in the Ratings Deadline and Publication Schedules provided on the DCI website (www.thedci.com) in order to be included in the ratings calculations used to generate invitation and bye lists for premier events.
Appendix A - DCI Rating & Ranking System
Elo Ratings System
The DCI produces Elo ratings for the following games:
Magic: The Gathering
The Elo player-rating system compares players' match records against their opponents' match records, and determines the probability of the player winning the match. This probability factor determines how many points players' ratings go up or down based on the results of each match. When a player defeats an opponent with a higher rating, the player's rating goes up more than if he or she defeated a player with a lower rating (since players should defeat opponents who have lower ratings). All new players start out with a base rating of 1600. The DCI uses the following equation to determine a player's win probability in each match:
|Win Probability = ||1|
|10^((Opponent's Rating - Player's Rating)/400) + 1|
This probability is then used to recalculate each player's rating after the match. In the equation below, players receive 1 point if they win the match, 0 if they lose, and 0.5 for a draw. Players' new ratings are determined as follows:
Player's New Rating = Player's Old Rating + (K-Value * (Scoring Points - Player's Win Probability))
All players are rated at the beginning with the first match in which they play. Further ratings are calculated chronologically from that first match.
The DCI ranks players in geographic regions (continent, country, state, city, and so on) based on their Elo ratings to determine the top players in each area.
Appendix B - Definition of Terms
Ante Card: Any card that mentions "ante" in the rules text of the card. These cards usually have a game mechanic associated with a player "anteing" a card. Ante cards are found mainly in older Magic: The Gathering expansions.
Banned Card: A card that is prohibited by the DCI in the indicated format. For example, the card Channel is banned from DCI-sanctioned Type 1 Magic tournaments. This means that Channel is not allowed in any deck in Type 1 Constructed Magic tournaments.
Constructed: A tournament in which players bring their own decks to the tournament. Decks are built from a large pool of cards, depending on the exact format.
Cutting: One time only, removing a single portion of a deck and placing it on top of the remaining portion
without looking at any of the card faces. Anything more than this one cut is considered a shuffle.
DCI: Organization dedicated to developing and maintaining tournament structures for Wizards of the Coast trading card games. Formerly an acronym for Duelists' Convocation International, the name is now simply the DCI.
Enhanced-K Tournament: In events for games that use the Elo ratings (Appendix A), organizers may pick from a specified list of K-values to increase or limit the effect of match results on player ratings. Tournaments must meet certain criteria in order to receive an enhanced K-value.
Game Begins: A game is considered to have begun once all players have presented their decks to their opponents for shuffling/cutting.
Head Judge Determines: Decision based on the head judge's opinion.
K-Value: The maximum number of points a player's rating may go up or down based on the results of a single match within an event that uses the Elo ratings system (Appendix A).
Limited: A tournament in which players build their decks at the tournament from cards they have drafted or opened from packs. The three most common Limited formats are Sealed Deck, Booster Draft, and Rochester Draft.
Main Deck: The deck a player presents to his or her opponent during the first game of a match.
Match: A series of games between two players that will determine a winner. In many cases, the match winner defeats his or her opponent in a best-two-out-of-three series. See the appropriate game's DCI Floor Rules for more specific details.
Match Begins: A match begins when a tournament official announces the start of the match.
Premier Events: Any event that Wizards of the Coast offers only to select tournament organizers or is open only to a select group of players (based on invitations, for example). Premier events can include, but are not limited to: World Championships, Continental Championships, National Championships, Regional Championships, State/Provincial Championships, Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour events, Pro Tour Qualifiers, Grand Prix events, Grand Prix Trials, Junior Super Series Championships, Junior Super Series Challenge tournaments, storyline tournaments, Friday Night Magic events, and Prerelease tournaments. Please see Appendix A for more information on the Floor Rules for each Wizards of the Coast game.
Promo Card: Any playable card that is released by the manufacturer separate of any given card set.
Proxy Card: A card used during competition to represent another card; also counterfeit cards, or any card that is not genuinely produced by the game's manufacturer.
Public Information: Refers to information that is available to all players in the match, such as statistics or card text that participants are required to share with tournament officials and opponents according to the rules of the appropriate game. For example, in most games, the number of cards in a player's hand is public information.
Rating: A numeric value published by the DCI that indicates a player's past performance in sanctioned tournaments.
Ranking: A value, based on a player's DCI rating, that indicates a player's position relative to the group he or she is being measured against. For example, a player may be ranked in first place in the city of Hamburg, Germany, but may be ranked in eighty-fifth place when compared to all of Europe.
Restricted Card: A card that is limited by the DCI to one per deck in the indicated format. For example, the card Black Lotus is restricted in DCI-sanctioned Type 1 Magic tournaments. This means that only one Black Lotus is allowed per deck in the Type 1 format.
Round: The period during which match play takes place.
Round Begins: The time posted and/or announced by the head judge or tournament organizer for all players to be seated and ready for match play.
Scorekeeper: The scorekeeper is a tournament official whose responsibilities include: receiving and recording all match/game results, constructing player seatings, ensuring accurate entry of match/game results, withdrawing players from the event, and so on. Tournament officials, such as the head judge or tournament organizer, may also be the scorekeeper for the event.
Single Elimination: A competition structure that eliminates players after one match loss. It may be necessary to award byes in the first round to create a situation in which there will be only two undefeated participants playing off in the last round of the event.
Swiss Rounds: Competition structure that allows players to participate in every round of the tournament. Single-elimination final rounds may follow Swiss rounds in some tournaments.
Tournament Begins: Once the onsite tournament registration closes, the tournament has begun.
Tournament Official: Any person who is empowered to maintain the tournament. This includes, but is not limited to the tournament organizer, scorekeeper, other scorekeeping staff, head judge, and all other judges (section 10).