Hi! On behalf of ref team 2018:
"Below a short recap of events and ref decisions leading up to and following the controversy between team Poland and the ref team in T9A, written by the refs.
Before the tournament we realize it's not defined how exactly penalties are to be handled. We then decide that we add them to the so-called "capped points", for maximum impact. We declare this during the captain's meeting before game 1.
After game 6 the refs started adding team penalties into tourney keeper for late result reports for game 6, as well as for yellow cards. Due to Poland having 2 yellow cards they got a penalty. This has been called a "surprise penalty", but really it was not. Poland was informed about receiving a 2nd yellow card before game 6 and it is clearly stated in the Tournament Pack in 2 places that there is penalty for each yellow card in whole team after first one.
This additional penalty for yellow cards makes Poland tie with Spain for first place, and forces us to use tie breakers. Tourney keeper first look at capped points (which refs had agreed is where penalties go), and if equal look at uncapped points. This is what was done last year and what (iirc) has been standard procedure for ETC in the last 8+ years. This is probably what people would tell you if you asked a veteran ETC player about tie breakers.This means that Spain takes the title for first place.
Tourney keeper results are updated and Polish players start realizing they will miss first place due to extra penalty and tie breakers. Cue lots of polish players arguing with refs about tie breakers and yellow card penalties. Trying to get the leg up through various different approaches and view points (pretty much "angle shooting"). Perhaps the most promenent argument was the one carried by the polish chairman (and player), that in fact result should be calculated on:
1, capped battle points with penalties
2, capped battle points without penalties
3, uncapped battle points
As far as refs were concerned at this stage, no one agreed that there should be any difference between capped points with and without penalties. The polish judge did not take part in the beginning of discussions since he was busy organising the award ceremony. The spanish and greek judges had to catch early flights and were no longer at the venue. The swedish and Danish refs make the call to stick to our original ruling of tie breaker and hand results over so that the award ceremony can be started.
About 10 minutes later, during the award ceremony, Polish players had found a sentence in the T9A tournament pack that could support their view of tie breaker. At this point the Polish judge declares he agrees with polish player's point of view, but that he isn't impartial and cannot vote on this. He in turn assumed that decision is made since both other refs clearly stated that they disagreed (when he said that we need to follow TP despite it being ... unexpected to say the least). After it was made clear that other two judges hold different opinion he left other refs to pass on ruling to the Polish Team and Chairmen. He is then busy with other things and not present for remaining discussions after this. The remaining refs assume this was deliberate decision to remove himself from discussions where he saw himself as biased.
In the Tournament Pack there are 2 ways of determining a winner - one for singles and one for teams. Singles being:
1. battle points with soft scores and penalties 2. battle points 3. Victory points
(I.e. first two point agreeing with polish chairman's original claim, but 3rd differs*)
1. battle points 2. victory points 3. coin flip**
This part of the tournament pack was not directly created by judges. It is a standard doc from T9A download site (with optional rules and guidelines for tournament play) that were copy-pasted into the ref pack by chairman Frederick.
At this point the award ceremony has started and we have to make a decision. There is no time to talk to chairmen, try to contact the missings refs that had to leave early, double check etc charters or other documents, old results from years ago, etc. We have make a call and we have to do it now. Our assessment of the tournament pack is that using victory points as tie breaker would be crazy. "Everyone" knows it's uncapped points! It's been like that for years and changing it to victory points and coin flips without properly telling people about it is clearly a mistake. The fact that the sections on singles tournaments differs so much from teams also indicates no one looked at this before copying it into the tournament pack. We therefore decide that we cannot use tie breakers from the tournament pack and instead use our initial ruling:
1. Capped battle points, to which penalties are added
2, Uncapped battle points
(3, Victory points)
Spain remains the winner. We announce this to the polish players and then leave in order to avoid dragging this discussion further (already 30+ minutes). A few minutes later the Polish captain comes up to the swedish ref in a very threatening manner and verbally insults him, the type of behavior that would have been an instant red card if it happened during the tournament. Refs decide to give him a yellow card (because at this point in time yellow card is more harsh than red card). This now puts Poland at one point below Spain and the whole discussion on tie breakers is now pointless).
The polish chairman wants to keep on discussing this with various chairmen and refs, and after another 30 minutes discussions where we mostly end up repeating the same arguments over and over with different constellations of refs and chairmen we end up agreeing that refs should make a written statement and chairmen will continue the discussion from there.
* The fact that 3rd tie breaker differs shows that polish players were grasping for straws initially. And the fact that uncapped points was assumed to be 2nd tie breaker even by polish players strengthens the claim that it's common knowledge and what most players would assume is the tie breaker.
** No polish player argued for using this version (victory points as tie breaker). This was taken as meaning that even they thought vp as first tie breakers were a clear mistake.
And after award ceremony discussions with Polish chairman was similar. He argued that the logical conclusion after discarding team tournament winner conditions was to use single tournament version. Refs argued the logical conclusion was to disregard whole tournament pack and use the traditional way.
As closing statement we want to say that it was an extremely hard decision made in a very stressful situation. For both sides of the argument we were to "lie" to players no matter what we did: either stick to tournament pack (which we all know that in practice no one read during games) and decide to follow unexpected untraditional tiebreakers without having personally and clearly informed anyone about this, or we were to disregard tournament pack and follow traditional, expected tiebreaks as implemented in tourney keeper."