Game Play Errors - The DVD Commentary

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120. GAME PLAY ERRORS


Game play errors are caused by incorrect or inaccurate play of the game such that it results in violations of the game rules. Many offenses fit into this category and it would be impossible to list them all. The guide below is designed to give judges a framework for assessing how to handle a Game Play Error.

Welcome to the DVD commentary to the Penalty Guidelines. I'll be going through the Game Play Errors section line by line, giving you more examples, advice, and a few behind-the-scenes looks at how the new Penalty Guide came into being. This article is not intended to be formal, or nearly as strict as the Guide itself. I may even ramble or talk about philosophy and subjects that are of no interest to you, or, God forbid, try to inject a little humor, for which I apologize.

Game Play Errors are a new concept introduced with this Penalty Guide. While we've been working on frameworks for well over a year, they came into being and were first tried in Worlds at Paris. Perhaps they should have been called "Paris Errors", but Paris already has the mulligan named after it, so that would be unfair. Plus, the acronym would be unfortunate.

Game Play Errors have jokingly been called "Toby's Buckets" in several judge communities, including irc. This gives me far too much credit for what was a group effort. My contribution was to point out that while trying to come up with a system based on the effect on the game was clearly hopeless, an approach that broke down the infractions into their underlying causes was a manageable system. If I'd come up with it an hour earlier, it would have saved a lot of high-level judges a lot of banging their heads against the wall. Once we realized the idea was good, the group was able to run with it. Jaap Brouwer managed to turn my ramblings into something coherent and it eventually became the infractions we'll be discussing below. Every high-level judge (along with many others) was instrumental in what you see today. Unless you hate it, in which case it's all Andy's fault.

All penalties in this section presume that the error was committed unintentionally. If the judge believes that the error was intentional, the appropriate Cheating infraction should be used instead.

The majority of intentional infractions will be Cheating - Fraud (and occasionally Manipulation of Game Materials). An important thing to remember is that Fraud requires the rules to be intentionally misrepresented, not that the play is intentional. If you play Terror on a creature with Protection from Black because you forget that the creature has Protection from Black, that's a simple Game Play Error, even though the play itself was intentional. If you knew that the creature had Protection from Black when playing the Terror, and were just hoping that your opponent would forget, then you are committing Fraud.

Additionally, you are not cheating if you make the play intentionally, but based on a misunderstanding of the game state. If you draw a second card because you forget that the Howling Mine was Disenchanted, it isn't cheating (unless, of course, you were aware and hoping to get away with it). That's not as explicit as it could be, and I'm hopeful we'll get a couple of clarifying sentences in the next update. Yes, there'll be a next update - we're hoping to release it quarterly, just like the other DCI documents.

The DCI believes certain infractions carry potential for significant advantage and/or ease with which a player could commit them without their opponent either noticing or stopping them. These infractions (such as Drawing Extra Cards) have their own separate penalties defined specific to their game types.

Technically, these infractions, such as Drawing Extra Cards, are Game Play Errors. Because of the way the Guide is laid out, they are in their own section, but it's reasonable to consider them as special types of Game Play Errors.

All remaining Game Play Errors fall into one of the following four categories:

These categories are sequential. Evaluate them in order and if you find one that applies, don't go further. This is also how to follow the instructions within Missed Triggers. Several possibilities may apply, so use the first one listed.

Also, if it isn't a violation of the game's Comprehensive Rules, it's not a Game Play Error. People try to put too much into here if they can't find the infraction elsewhere. If you can't find the infraction, it probably means that we don't believe it should be penalized.

1. If the error is a simple clerical error, it is Game Play Error -- Incorrect Representation.
2. If the game state is presently illegal, it is Game Play Error -- Illegal Game State.
3. If the error occurred as the result of a player forgetting a game trigger, it is Game Play Error -- Missed Trigger.
4. All other errors are defined as Game Play Error -- Game Rule Violation.

The original names for these categories were "Error of Representation", "Illegal Game State", "Error of Omission" and "Error of Commission", which clearly indicates that I have a sadistic streak in me somewhere. There may have been some confusion among the 70 or so multilingual judges in Paris, and the names were changed soon afterwards.

Both players are expected to maintain the game rules in a public zone, and to share some responsibility for any errors that may occur. As a result, no attempt should be made to determine or correct any advantage gained in assessing the penalty and associated procedures for fixing the offense.

Even if you think you always know the exact way to mitigate every infraction that may come up, you still can't, unless you're willing to go out and teach every other judge in the program how to do it. Some of them live in beautiful vacation spots. Others live in Palo Alto and you'd be sleeping on the couch.

Remember, both players allowed the error to occur. This is an important philosophical distinction, as it removes much of the concept of 'blame' and takes away incentive to fix the game state to try and mitigate advantage.

Additionally, a fifth type of Game Play Error - Failure to Maintain Game State - should be issued to the opponent where specified by the other four infractions.

Errors made in a non-public zone should have their penalty upgraded. This reflects the danger to the game state from an offense that only one player is able to notice.

Though morphs are technically in a public zone, the information when they are face-down is private, so infractions involving them should be upgraded. This is the most likely application of this rule, though it also applies to face-down cards in the removed from game zone and some random errors such as shuffling your hand into your library by accident. Seriously, people do this occasionally.

Because of the diverse nature of Game Play Errors, care should be taken when upgrading penalties. Game Play Error penalties should not be upgraded for different offenses that fall under the same category of infraction.

What counts as different offenses will vary somewhat by REL, as well as how aggressively these penalties should be upgraded. At Competitive and Professional RELs, for example, targeting a creature with Protection from Red with a Fireball, and subsequently targeting a creature with Protection from Black with a Terror would be considered the same infraction for purposes of upgrading, whereas at Regular, they may be considered separate infraction. As a general rule, unless the circumstance is unusual, you shouldn't be upgrading Game Play Errors at Regular REL.

121. Game Play Error -- Incorrect Representation

Definition
Due to a minor clerical error, the game is somehow inaccurately represented in public zones, but the game state is clear to both players and the action ultimately legal.

I've been asked whether the new Penalty Guide supplants the concept of Ruling by Intent. It does not; it incorporates the concept into the base philosophies, most obviously here. Much of Incorrect Representation is the concept of game states where the action is clear, if imperfectly performed, and no advantage has been gained. Sounds like Ruling by Intent to me.

Ruling by Intet (do six damage to the player and let the opponent play the top card of their library) is still frowned upon.

If the error has affected game play or been allowed to continue to the point where ambiguity exists, it should be treated as a Game Play Error -- Game Rule Violation instead.

More from Ruling by Intent. Once ambiguity is introduced, the potential for advantage exists, and Incorrect Representation should not be used. How to determine if ambiguity exists? If you have to ask yourself, move on to the other infractions.

Examples

A. A player in a Magic tournament forgets to untap his land before moving to his upkeep.

Technically, a violation of a game rule, but nobody is going to be confused. As soon as they start to pay for something, someone is going to notice, if not sooner. Clearly, the lands should be untapped.

B. A player in a Magic tournament places a spell into the graveyard before it has finished resolving.

The classic Harrow scenario. Nobody has ever voluntarily declined to search after casting Harrow, no matter where they put the card. Absent a 'resolving' zone, the graveyard seems as good a place as any.

Gis Hoogendijk insists that the original card that had to be ruled this way was Natural Balance, to which we can only say "What's Natural Balance, Grandpa?"

C. A player in a Magic tournament forgets to put counters onto a creature that comes into play with counters on it.

This one actually happened. At GP:Phoenix, a player played a Helium Squirter and forgot to put counters on it. The judge passing by correctly ruled that a 0/0 with no counters on it should be put into the graveyard. On appeal I allowed the creature to remain in play, because both players were aware of the correct game state even though the physical representation was incorrect. Had another creature been cast by that player, this would not have been possible, as the game state would be ambiguous.

Philosophy
These errors do not have a significant impact on the game, but could cause confusion at a later point if not remedied.

Feel free to warn the opponent for Unsporting Conduct -- Minor if they attempt to rules lawyer any of this into a penalty.

Penalty
All Levels
Caution

Correct the erroneous representation.

Many of these errors will be corrected by the players themselves, without judge intervention. This is fine.

122. Game Play Error -- Illegal Game State


Definition
The ongoing state of the current game is illegal as a result of a prior misplay.

The key here is that the error, whatever it is, happened some time in the past, and continues to be illegal on the board. Both of these criteria need to be met. If the infraction just occurred, and no actions have been taken since, or the board is presently legal, this infraction does not apply.

Examples

A. In a Magic tournament, two copies of the same Legendary permanent are in play.

This often happens with Legendary Lands, as people will forget that they are Legendary. A bit of historical trivia: This happened in Honolulu (with Shizo, Death's Storehouse). It wasn't discovered until a few turns later, and the player who played the second one got a game loss because it was determined that they'd gained substantial advantage from it over the course of the previous few turns. This play (and ruling) can be considered a turning point, as it provided the impetus for David Vogin to push us to examine the basic concepts in the Penalty Guide.
B.In a Magic tournament, an Armadillo Cloak (cost 1GW) is enchanting a creature with Protection from Green.

Who is at fault here? Clearly the player who played the Cloak made the misplay, but the person who controlled the creature controlled the ability that made the play illegal. Even if they are the same player, the opponent should be paying enough attention to the game to catch an error such as this.

Pacifism would be the better example to illustrate my previous point, but Armadillo Cloak was chosen because if it's allowed to stay in play, it has an obvious effect on the game state (the life gain) that judges should not try to compensate for.

Philosophy
Both players share a responsibility in allowing the game to continue in this illegal state. Because many decisions and plans may have been made based on this state, no effort should be made to back up the game and fix it or try to compensate for the effects of the illegal state.

Penalty
All Levels
Warning

Apply state-based effects or other game-specific ways of making a game state legal.

Dreamblade does not have state-based effects, proving that it really is a game about nightmares, at least mine. Fortunately, it also does not appear to have the concept of an illegal game state, though it does have illegal actions. This may be changed as the rules of the game evolve.

In addition, the opponent of the player controlling the permanent making the game state illegal should receive a Game Play Error -- Failure to Maintain Game State infraction.

This will need to be fixed slightly in the next revision. It should say "In addition, the opponent of the player who made the play that caused the game state to become illegal..."

While the opponent for other Game Play Errors may not receive a Failure to Maintain Game State penalty (depending on when they alert a judge), they do here, as by definition they have allowed the game state to proceed erroneously.

123. Game Play Error -- Missed Trigger


Definition
A game event triggers, but the player is unaware of its existence and/or forgets to perform the actions specified by the trigger.

The Comprehensive Rules for the various games define triggers, but the usual clues apply - "When", "Whenever" and "At". If the game does not define triggers explicitly, look for events that happen as a result of something else occurring.

Examples

A. In a Magic tournament, a player has Braids, Cabal Minion in play. After he has declared attackers, he realizes that he has failed to sacrifice a permanent to Braids' upkeep trigger.
A canonical example, and one that has caused players and judges a lot of pain since she was printed. The reality-shifted version of her, as well as having hilarious art, is a may ability, or it would be an even better example.

Braids was always pretty messed up from a ruling perspective. If your opponent controlled Braids and you forgot to sacrifice a permanent during your upkeep, you received the penalty (often a game loss). Why? It isn't your trigger, but somehow, you were supposed to be responsible for it and your opponent, who had all the incentive in the world not to mention his own trigger (in the hopes of getting a better penalty later), was not complicit. If the new Penalty Guidelines does nothing else, making Braids work in a reasonable fashion will be victory enough.

Another painful trigger from the past - Dark Confidant - also now works without resorting to fiat.

B. In a Magic tournament, a player realizes that she forgot to remove the final counter from a Suspend spell.
This can cause some unusual situations, such as a creature coming into play in the middle of combat if the final counter is removed. This is fine, if a little weird, and will leave a legal game state once resolved.

While you can't use the strategic advantage in assessing penalties, you absolutely can in investigating for Cheating. If a player conveniently realizes that they forgot to bring a beefy suspend creature into play just as they're about to declare blockers, I'd be very suspicious of the timing. I'm not saying it's impossible, and the other player had a responsibility to point out the error earlier, but the investigation would be thorough.

C. In a Magic tournament, a player forgets to pay Cumulative Upkeep for a creature.

What to do with forgotten Cumulative Upkeep was a huge debate that went on for months. Initially we figured "eh, it hasn't come up in years". Oops. We explored a ton of strategies to make it work to the satisfaction of all the parties involved (and not everyone wanted it to work the same way!), and while no perfect answer exists, we think this approach is the best one.

Remember to put the age counter on before resolving the rest of the ability, as it's part of the effect.

D. In a Dreamblade tournament, a player forgets to sacrifice a creature to the Appease ability of Eater of Hope when it is spawned.

Because of the nature of the turn cycle in Dreamblade, most triggers are simply never going to resolve. Fortunately there aren't very many, but judges should be vigilant for players that attempt to abuse this.

Philosophy
Most games have "triggers" - actions that the game asks players to take as a result an event occurring. Because the representation of these triggers is invisible, players will miss them on occasion.

Penalty
All Levels
Warning

And away we go. Remember, apply the first criteria that describes the trigger.

If the trigger instruction is optional ("may") and specifies no consequence for not doing it, assume that the player has chosen not to perform the instruction and issue no penalty.

This has caused a bit of confusion. The "specifies no consequence" only refers to the ability, not anything else that might have triggered had the ability resolved.

The ability is still put on the stack, so if it had a target, one needs to be chosen. This is relevant for a few cards, notably Horobi, Death's Multiplayer Chaos Inducer.

May abilities that specify a consequence are usually pretty clear "You may do [foo]. If you do/do not, do [something]". There may be other phrasings, so use your best judgment.

If the trigger requires no choices to be made and has no effect on the visual representation of the game, assume the ability resolved at the appropriate time and issue no penalty. The visual representation consists of elements the players are able to see happening or in play, such as zone changes and adding counters to permanents, as well as life totals.

These are rare. The first thing to note is that life totals, even though they are virtual, are considered part of the visual representation of the game. This is because they must be announced when they change.

Here are two cards that are examples of these triggers. They are the two main classes I can think of, though there may be others.

  • Kami of the Hunt: if you play a spirit or arcane spell, Kami of the Hunt will get +1/+1. This trigger does not need to be explicitly put on the stack and is assumed to have happened. Obviously, if it becomes relevant information (such as damage being assigned in combat), players are required to reveal it.
  • Eldamri's Vineyard: With Vineyard in play, if you go to your Combat phase having forgotten it, you'll take the mana burn. The ability is not put on the stack at this point (which would give you priority to play spells and abilities), but is assumed to have resolved at the beginning of your main phase. There's an obscure card called Mana Drain that works this way too.
  • If the trigger has an instruction that specifies a default action associated with a choice (usually "If you don't ... ") resolve the default action immediately without regard to the timing rules for that particular game. For example, in Magic, such a default action would be resolved without using the stack.

    There are lots of these, including several keyword abilities such as Echo and Cumulative Upkeep. Basically, the assumption is that if you forgot the ability, you suffer the consequences whenever the missed trigger is finally noticed. Remember that the 'turn cycle' does not apply here - no matter when the missed trigger is discovered, you still do it.

    If there are unresolved spells or effects that are no longer legal as a result of this action, rewind all such spells or effects. Resulting triggers generated by the action still trigger and resolve as normal.

    Only rewind the stack to the point where the spell is no longer illegal. I cast a Whitemane Lion, and you Lightning Axe one of my creatures in response, at which point we realize the creature targeted by the Lightning Axe should have died to a missed Cumulative Upkeep trigger. The Lightning Axe is returned to your hand (as is the discarded card, if any), the land is untapped, but the Whitemane Lion remains on the stack (and may not be returning what the palyer originally planned it to). You may have to rewind some spells and abilities that are not relevant in order to get the now-illegal spells and abilities off the stack.

    If the trigger requires a choice that does not have a default action or a trigger with no choice will have an effect on the visual representation of the game, and the error is caught within the scope of a turn cycle (see below for definition), resolve the forgotten ability using game-specific timing rules. For example, in a Magic game, the forgotten ability would be placed on the stack.

    Pretty much a long-winded way of saying "everything else" in the realm of triggers. Lee Sharpe has been known to do this to documents.

    The player may not make choices involving objects that were not in the zone or zones referenced by the trigger when the ability triggered.

    This could be much more easily phrased as "you can't target something that wasn't in play when the trigger was supposed to trigger," but it needs to take into account untargeted triggers (such as "At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a creature").

    Abilities that trigger as a response to the playing or resolution of this trigger do not have this restriction. So, if you have a Grave Pact in play when you realize that you need to sacrifice to a Braids trigger, your opponent may choose any creature to sacrifice, even one that was not in play when Braids' trigger was supposed to resolve. Also note that the Grave Pact still triggers, even if it wasn't in play when Braids was supposed to trigger. Do not try to evaluate what 'should have happened'.

    If the error is caused partway through an action (such as choosing blockers in Magic, or a shift in Dreamblade), back up to the beginning of that action.

    This is to handle things like realizing that a creature was supposed to have been sacrificed while you are declaring attackers. Back up and redeclare all attackers. It's only likely to be meaningful during combat.

    If the error is discovered after a turn cycle, continue the game without resolving the forgotten trigger.

    It never happened. Nothing triggers as a result.


      Did a missed trigger
      Cease to be or not exist?
      Who cares? Burn for three.
      - Jaya Ballard, Zen Taskmage

    For Magic, a turn cycle is defined as the time from the beginning of a player's step or phase to the end of that player's next same step or phase. For Dreamblade, it is defined as a single phase.

    The concept of the turn cycle was an important breakthrough at Worlds that allowed us to define a framework for triggers, and Jason Ness deserves the credit. The reason it's so important is that it allows for memory of the trigger based on the fact that it's happening again the next turn. So, when you go to resolve a Suspend counter it will hopefully trigger the memory that you did not do it last turn. However, there's no going back further. You only remove two Suspend counters, even if you think you forgot in the two previous turns.

    If the missed trigger is not caught immediately, the opponent should receive a Game Play Error -- Failure to Maintain Game State penalty. The opponent may not be able to recognize that a trigger has been missed until after some other irrevocable action has been taken, and this should be taken into account in determining whether it was caught immediately.

    During your upkeep, your opponent has no way to know that you haven't resolved a Honden of Cleansing Fire trigger until you actually draw. Keep this in mind when trying to decide whether the opponent should also receive a penalty - they shouldn't if they call a judge right after the draw. This is a situation where the two players have different, but both legal, views on the game state. Until an action confirms the difference, the opponent has no way to know the game state is not legal.

    No attempt should be made to rewind the game state to the point of the missed trigger.

    We have moved past the trigger and decisions may have been made. Trying to rewind what has happened in a non-proscribed way leads to inconsistent rulings that are dependent on the skill level of the judge.

    124. Game Play Error -- Game Rule Violation


    Definition
    This infraction covers the majority of game situations in which a player makes an error or fails to follow a game procedure correctly. Note that this is different from entirely forgetting a game trigger, which is handled in Game Play Error -- Missed Trigger, or a situation in which the game state itself is illegal, which is handled in Game Play Error -- Illegal Game State.

    A reiteration of the process. If you've gone through the other possibilities and not found one that matches, the infraction is probably here. As long as it's a violation of the Comprehensive Rules.

    Examples

    A. In a Dreamblade tournament, a player forgets to pay extra spawn points for a miniature when that player does not have miniatures of the appropriate aspects in play or in the graveyard.

    B. In a Magic tournament, a player plays Wrath of God for 3W (actual cost 2WW).

    The fix is, of course to leave the Game State as is, unless someone catches it while it is being played.

    C. In a Magic tournament, a player does not attack with a creature that must attack each turn.

    Assuming it wasn't caught immediately and we've moved past this turn's combat, it is eligible to block. No forward restrictions should be placed on the game preventing a player from taking a legal action in a legal game state, even if they got to that state through an error.

    D. In a Magic tournament, a player puts Serra Avatar into their graveyard instead of shuffling it into their library.

    It stays in the graveyard.

    E. In a Magic tournament, a player plays a Morph that is later revealed to not have the Morph ability. (Note that this penalty should be upgraded because it occurred in a private zone)

    An elegant solution to Morphs that doesn't require too much extra rules baggage. Note that if the player plays the wrong card as a Morph and realizes it immediately, it's upgraded for being an infraction in a private zone, but downgraded back to Warning for calling a judge right over, which is consistent with our current philosophy.

    F. In a Magic tournament, a player fails to put a creature with lethal damage into a graveyard and it is not noticed until several turns later.

    The creature stays in play, which is one of the few cases, I think, where we diverge from how players play at home. Having it work any other way turned out to cause too many problems, and led us down paths that looked a lot like the old Procedural Errors. The opponent has strong incentive to be paying attention to the game state here, and this encourages them to call a judge as soon as it happens (or be paying enough attention to fix it themselves.

    G. In a Dreamblade tournament, a player fails to assign blades before moving on to assign damage in combat.

    Another lengthy debate. Are rolled blades triggers? Eventually, we decided that they had more in common with activated abilities and moved them here. Dreamblade rules expert Jeff Vondruska had hs work cut out for him in making it all work, but it seems a best fit here. If you catch them immediately (i.e. during that combat and before the dice are picked up, assign them, otherwise, they're forgotten.

    H. In a Dreamblade tournament, two locations are occupying the same cell.

    Dreamblade judging philosophy is still in its infancy, and many of the questions surrounding it were remarkably difficult. This one has already moved from being an illegal game state to here. Spawning a second location in a cell is not allowed, but it isn't clear that, should it happen, the game state is illegal and the game does not suggest a remedy for it. Expect to see Dreamblade examples updated and moved around as more data is collected and we have a better understanding of the issues.

    Philosophy
    While Game Rule Violations can usually be attributed to one player, they usually occur in a public zone and both players are expected to be mindful of what is happening in the game.

    Ugh, two "usually"s in the same sentence. I freely admit to clearly having an unhealthy love of adverbs, which strongly suggests that I wrote that line. Despite our best efforts, about four typos or inaccurate sentences slipped into the first release of the document. Collect them all to win fun and valuable prizes. OK, maybe not valuable. And probably not anyone else's idea of fun.

    There should be no incentive (and often a disincentive) for a player to sit on a penalty at this point. Of course, if they are sitting on something illegal in the hopes of bringing it up at a more strategically advantageous time, they are Cheating (Fraud).

    It is tempting to try and "fix" these errors and reverse actions that have since been taken in the game, but it is important that all judges be able to apply these penalties consistently, regardless of their skill in the game, and thus only errors that are caught immediately should be fixed.

    It goes beyond a consistency issue, even. Many judges are excellent Magic players, but confronted with a complex board position in a match between, say Fujita and Nassif, are they capable of grasping all the strategic nuances? If not, then they may inadvertently open themselves up to accusations of bias. By giving defined fixes, this possibility is eliminated.

    Penalty
    All Levels
    Warning

    If the error was caught immediately, back up the game to the point of the error.

    As I've mentioned, immediately means immediately. Once something else has happened, it's too late to back up.

    If not caught immediately, leave the game state as it is. Additionally, if not caught immediately, the opponent should receive a Game Play Error -- Failure to Maintain Game State penalty.

    125. Game Play Error -- Failure to Maintain Game State


    Definition
    This infraction is committed by a player who has allowed their opponent to commit a Game Play Error and has not pointed it out it immediately.

    There used to be an old (horrible) penalty called "Failure to Agree on Reality" that was designed as a crutch for judges if they couldn't figure out what had happened. Fortunately, it was replaced by the concept that a single reality could be determined, and that was the reality the judge decided on. I only mention it here because the penalty was given to both players, and Failure to Maintain Game State has historical antecedents there as a penalty that is never handed out in a vacuum. Do not issue this penalty to a player without issuing a companion penalty to the opponent, and do not issue this penalty to both players.

    This is another penalty that came out of the Shizo ruling at Honolulu, as David believed that the other player shared at least a measure of responsibility in allowing the situation to reach the point that it did.

    If a judge believes a player is intentionally not pointing out their opponent's illegal actions, either for their own advantage, or in the hope of bringing it up at a more strategically advantageous time, the infraction is Cheating -- Fraud.

    This also applies to teammates who may be watching the game. They are considered to have the same responsibilities as the player in maintaining a legal game state. Unlike spectators, teammates are not expected to call a judge to point out the error and can intervene directly, though they may call on a judge for assistance.

    Examples

    A. In a Magic tournament, a player's opponent forgets to discard a card to Masticore during their upkeep. It is not noticed until the end of turn.

    B. In a Dreamblade tournament, a player's opponent forgets to sacrifice a creature after spawning a creature with the Appease ability. The error is not noticed until the end of turn.

    The fact that both these examples are triggers is a coincidence. An opponent can receive a Failure to Maintain Game State penalty for any of the above infractions except Error of Representation.

    Philosophy
    Games are, for the most part, played in public zones. If an error is caught immediately, then the dangers of the ongoing game state becoming corrupted are much lower. If the error is allowed to persist, at least some of the fault lies with the opponent, who has also failed to notice the error.

    Penalty
    All Levels
    Warning

    Judges should not usually upgrade this penalty, as players will be reluctant to call a judge if they believe that they could receive a significant penalty as a result.

    Strictly speaking, it isn't an upgrade when you decide that the misses are intentional and move to Cheating - Fraud. I can't actually think of a good reason to upgrade, barring willful ignorance of the rules, but there needs to be some leeway in case someone discovers a situation that does call for it. Even the best players in the world miss errors occasionally and they should not fear calling the judge over.

    That about wraps up our commentary for today. Hopefully you found something enlightening within, and the concept of Game Play Errors is a little clearer. Thanks for reading this far. No doubt you can look forward to a followup where I churn out twenty pages on Failure to Discard (the final infraction to make this edition of the PG!) In the meantime, good luck with the new Penalty Guide and be sure to send us feedback. We used the experiences of hundreds of judges in putting it together, and further input is always valuable.

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