Rules and Policies
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These rules and methods of rank computation are protected under U.S. copyright laws.
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The Ranking System
    Case's Ladder has one of the simplest ranking systems ever used for competitive play. We call it a "Ladder" because each team has a unique rank or "rung" that represents their standing among other teams. The highest ranked team holds the #1 position. Someone ranked #2 is ranked below the #1 team. So, the goal is to "climb" the Ladder all the way to the top.

    • When you first join you are placed in the "Unranked" category of the Ladder.

    • You become "Ranked" after winning your first Ladder match. (Unranked teams can play each other and the winner becomes ranked at the bottom of the ladder.)

    • When you defeat a higher ranked team you move up half the distance between their rank and your own. Example

    • Your rank on the Ladder does not go down if you lose a match unless your opponent is ranked DIRECTLY below you.
      Example

    • When other teams beat teams above you and jump over your team in rank you will slide down.

    • Some special rules exist for teams ranked in the Top Ten. These rules will be covered in a later section.

Account Rules

    Since your Ladder account is where all your records are kept we have some special policies regarding it. These are very important and you should pay close attention to them.

    • E-mail Address

      • Your E-mail address must be kept current on the site, as it is the only way we have of contacting you. Use the 'USER EDITOR' if you need to change it.

      • If your E-mail address is found to be invalid your account will be penalized or removed.

    • Ladder Names

      • If your Ladder name is offensive to other users or contains profanity your account will be removed.

      • If your Ladder name is found to be abusive towards another user your account will be removed.

      • If your Ladder name is found to be too similar to an existing user's nickname you will have to choose another.

      • You are only allowed to change your Ladder name once per week.

      • Your Ladder name must match the name you use in chat and play your matches under exactly. This includes spaces, underscores and other keyboard characters. If it doesn't the match is invalid and your opponent is not required to report any losses to you.

      • teams should never report a loss to a name that is different than the one their opponent used during the match.

    • Inactivity

      • If your team hasn't played a match in 190 days it will be automatically removed for inactivity in order to keep the Ladder as dynamic as possible and give everyone a chance to move up.

      • Individual players who are not members of an active team are removed after 190 days of inactivity. If you are on an active team you will not be removed.

      • Removal for inactivity is completely automated. No exceptions are made to this rule. Our teams want an active league full of opponents who can be easily found.

      • We offer optional "Gold & Platinum Membership" programs. One of the benefits to these program is the fact that you cannot be purged for inactivity. This program is recommended for frequent travelers or those in the military. Signup information can be found here.

    • Multiple Users

      • We only allow a set number of accounts from one location. If this number is exceeded your accounts will be investigated and possibly removed. We have an automated security system to keep track of this information, and all new account info is logged.

      • It is illegal for one person to have multiple accounts or teams. Only one account is allowed per person, PERIOD.

      • It is illegal for more than one person to use or share the same account. You are more than welcome to each participate in the Ladder, but you will have to create separate accounts for each individual playing.

Team Guidelines

    The following rules are currently active for teams:

    • You may have up to 50 members on your team at any given time.

    • Up to 2 team members can participate in each match. Generally, the teams must be balanced to keep things fair (ie 2 versus 2, 3v3...NOT 3v2).

    • Only one player can be designated the captain at any one time. You may transfer the title of captain in the TEAM EDITOR.

Challenges

    Whether you are the one looking for a match or the one being asked to play there are some guidelines that need to be followed. Violating these could result in penalties. If you notice anyone violating these rules please feel free to contact us using the SUPPORT area.

    • Chat

      • The best way to find matches is to announce in chat that you are looking for a Case's Ladder match. You will see others doing the same. This lets everyone know you are interested in Ladder play.

      • When you are in a chat room trying to find a match you should be courteous and respectful to other people in the room. Repeatedly asking for a Ladder game tends to annoy people very quickly. This could make them not want to play you, and make it harder for YOU to move up the Ladder.

    • E-Mail:

      • Email challenges should be reserved for teams in the top 10 of the Ladder, and only used then if you have trouble setting up a match via the normal methods.

      • If you are found to be issuing challenges via Email excessively and without first attempting to get a match via the traditional methods you will be penalized.

    • Once Per Day: Once Per Day: You can only play the same team three times per day. You can play as many different teams as you'd like on any given day.

    • Verify Information: We recommend that you make sure potential opponents belong to the Ladder before starting your match. This way if you have a problem you will have all of the information you need to resolve it quickly. You can do this very easily using our find team utility. It's not a bad idea to write this information down after you look it up.

    • Priority: If you have multiple people challenging you at once you should play the person with the highest rank.

    • First Come, First Served: The priority rule for accepting challenges only applies when you have multiple challenges at the same time. If you are challenged by a team you should not go to chat and actively seek another team higher in rank to challenge, rather your team needs to accept the first challenger.

    • Specific Ranks: It is illegal to refuse matches based on Ladder rank. You may request a specific rank or range when advertising for a challenge, but you may not refuse a valid challenge simply because the challenger is not the rank you are wanting to play.

Playing a Match

    Once you have found an opponent and you are ready to start your match, there are some rules about the match to keep in mind.

    • Settings:

      • There are no illegal settings for Ladder matches as long as BOTH teams agree to them before the match begins. If someone starts the game with incorrect settings you should point it out and immediately return to chat. This will allow you to make sure you both understand what the other team wants. You can then restart the match.

      • We have set default settings for some games. If your game has default settings they will be listed in the next section. If any of these rules conflict with overall Ladder rules, the game specific rules apply.

    • Failure to Finish Match:

      • Once you start a match you are responsible for completing it. If you have to leave before the game is finished for any reason it is considered a loss and you need to promptly report it.
        Example

      • Although it does not happen often it is possible that you or your opponents may be disconnected from the game or the Internet entirely before your match is finished. If one team was clearly losing at the time of disconnect then that team should be a good sport and report the loss. If there was no clear winner at that point in the match and it is not a game that allows you to continue then a rematch would be suggested. For more information regarding the proper procedures in the event of a disconnect please visit our FAQ.

      • If one or more users in a match leaves the match and the game allows it substitute team members can be selected to finish playing that for the person(s) who disconnected. The person who left the match is only required to report losses to his/her opponents if they left voluntarily or were already clearly going to lose at the time they lost connection.

    • Opponents:

      • You are not allowed to play Ladder matches against people who live in the same household as you. You can play friends and relatives who do not live with you, but you should limit matches against them to one or two a week. Remember, the idea of the Ladder is to see how you stack up against players from all over the world--not across the street.

      • You are not allowed to partner with people who live in the same household as you. This includes anyone who plays from the same physical location, whether or not they actually reside there.

      • You are not allowed to report losses to anyone who plays from the same computer as you do ever. Our security software will detect this activity if it is attempted and participating accounts will be penalized or removed.

    • Sportsmanship:

      • The same rules that apply to behavior in chat (covered later in these rules) also apply during games. If we receive complaints about the behavior of a user or team steps will be taken to deal with the problem.

      • Teams are responsible for the conduct of their members. You should pick your team members wisely and not cut slack or your whole team could face penalties.

      • It is illegal to play in more than one Ladder match at a time. This slows down gameplay for everyone.

Tournaments

    The rules are determined for each individual tournament by the Tournament Director holding the event. If you click on the link for a specific tournament you will see a summary of that tourney, including a RULES link where you can find out the specific rules for that event. Tournaments are exempt from Game Specific Rules unless the TD has specified otherwise on his/her rules page.

Game-Specific Rules

    To keep things as competitive as possible we often have special rules that only apply to certain games. The rules for the current ladder are listed here. If you have any suggestions for rule changes that would improve the Ladder please feel free to submit them.

      SpadesNFriends Rules

      The NUMBER 1 Rule for SNF is to relax and enjoy your time with friends in a respectful environment.


      Transfer of Stats:

      • SpadesNFriends League will transfer stats but only if you are no longer in the league you are transferring stats from.

    • you cannot have the same stats in both leagues.


    • Resetting Stats:

      • It is against SNF rules to withdraw and sign back up to reset stats. You will be issued a warning the first time and afterwards your account may be locked for continuing to do this.

      • If you wish to have your stats reset, please contact any of the Admin who would be more than happy to reset them for you. You are allowed to have your stats reset once every 24 hours.

      • Teams are allowed to have their stats reset once per week.


      Changing Nic:
      • If you wish to have your nic changed, you may do so by going into My Account on the main page of SNF. If you are unsure, then please feel free to ask any of the Admin who can change it for you.

      • Once you change a nic, you have to wait a week (7 days) before you can change it again.

      • It is against SNF rules to withdraw and sign back up to change your nic.


      Respectful lobby:
      • There is a Zero Tolerance Policy for any lobby disruptions that evoke negativity towards the league or players.

      • It is the responsibility of all members of SNF to ensure the lobby remains a pleasant place for anyone to be in or watch at all times.

      • Remember you can always put players on ignore and you will not see what they type in the lobby or at tables and they will not be able to see what you type, either.

      • Please remember that SNF league players are not allowed to block any members of the league. Instead, correctly log the chat and bring it to the Admin s attention as rudeness and/or trouble-making.

      • Inappropriate language will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, profanity (including abbreviations), sexual content (such as explicit language, innuendo or reference to sexual preference).

      • There is to be no talk about illegal drugs or any type of illegal activities, racial, ethnic, religious slurs,or conversations of a political nature.

      • If you are asked to stop in the lobby and do not honor that request, you will have received your only warning and can expect a gag. If you continue after the gag, then you will receive a penalty box.


    • Please remember to always type in lower case font, All CAPS is a sign of shouting and some are offended by it. (If you have trouble with your eye site however let admin know and it will be excused.)

      Teams:
      • SNF is an open league and we do not require an interview before starting a team.

      • The Captain is responsible for reading and signing the Captain s Agreement in order to know what the expectations are.

      • To start a team, the Captain needs to add the (Friend) plus have at least one other player.

      • The Captains are responsible for the actions of their team members and are expected to uphold the values and rules of the league.

      • Teams may have up to sixty (60) members plus the Friend.

      • Teams and their players will purge from the ladder after thirty- five (35) days of inactivity.


      Team actions and complaints:
      • All complaints must be sent to the Admin at spadesnfriends@outlook.com with a cc to team Captain.

      • Administration will return, without action, any complaints that are submitted improperly. Chats need to be logged or captured, not copy/pasted.


      Top-ranked team:
      • Any team holding first (1st) or second (2nd) place must play the first (1st) or second (2nd) ranked position within a 24 hour period or both teams will be rung 10 positions on the ladder if the second (2nd) place team is in that ranked position for most of that 24 hours. (Please be aware that the 2nd place team name could easily change over that 24 hour period). Please check your team roster after each match to make sure you completed the 1st vs 2nd rank match as 2nd place can change during your current match. If 2nd place did change, you will need to find the new 2nd place team until your roster shows you completed the 1 vs 2 match. When several games are going at once the ladder can move quickly so it may take several games to get that 1 vs 2 match.

      • Teams holding 1st and 2nd positions need to be available for all teams to have the opportunity to play and need to be very active while holding those top positions regardless of team size. If the Admin see that a higher rank team is avoiding making itself available to the other teams, it will be rung also.


      Recruiting:
      • Recruiting by Captains or league members from other teams within this league or in other league rooms, either in the lobby or by private message, will not be tolerated. If you are approached while in SNF by someone recruiting for another team or league then capture chat and send it to admin email. Recruiters should look up a players nic in find player to see what team they are on before recruiting them.


      Same Household:
      • Members of the same household may not play at the same table unless assigned to opp each other in a tourney.

      • Same household players may only kibitz each other at a game table.

      • If you are a member in the same household or same workplace, you must notify the Administration at spadesnfriends@outlook.com and cc your Captain. Please submit your ladder nic, email addresses and team names of all involved.


      Game addying guidelines:
      • Before addying for any format, please check to make sure there are no current game requests for the same format already out. If there is, either join them or wait until they get a game before you begin to addy.

      • Regular NDN and Regular All Bids are different formats.

      • You may addy a different format at the same time other open game requests are out as long as it is not the exact same format.

      • When the lobby is moving quickly, a game addy may be missed and someone else might addy for the exact same format. When this happens, just politely state which table had the addy out first then the other table addy should get up and go to the first addy s table out of respect for the team and to show good sportsmanship for over- addying.

      • We encourage anyone who wants to play and who does not have a partner to sit at any game addy and actively ask for a pal friend. There are usually plenty of players who are willing to partner anyone else at any time. Be prepared, if you don t have anyone readily available to pal, to stand so that a team who is ready to play can sit.


      Friends/Pals:
      • Any team member is allowed to start a game with a non-team member as a team friend/pal.

      • That player does not have to be on a team and does not have to be registered with SNF league.

      • Guests may play as team_friend in non-tournament games before signing up so they can try out our league.

      • If you are starting a game with a friend/pal as a partner, please notify your opponents in the table chat at the start of the game.


      Misbid/Misplays:
      • Misbid/misplays are allowed one time on the first hand of any game. If there is a misbid/misplay after the first hand, it will result in DQ (disqualification).


      Table settings:
      • It is all four (4) players responsibility to check table settings at the beginning of the game.

      • After first hand, the table settings stay and game is reported by losing team at the end of the game regardless of table setting.


      Ties:
      • In the case of a tie score, regardless of how many bags each team has, play one more hand.


      Reporting:
      • Both players of both teams must stay at the table until the report is made. This is to ensure accurate reporting.

      • If you need to leave, then please post at the table that you need to leave.

      • Before leaving the table, please check your team roster page after every report to ensure the correct players have been given the correct wins and losses.


      Misreported game:
      • A misreported game occurs when the wrong player is credited with a win or loss. Misreported games can be corrected manually by Admin upon notification.


      Table Talk:
      • Table talk is any talk that could affect the outcome of a hand or game either by the players or kibitzers watching the game.

      • Any statements made that are intentionally not done to get an unfair advantage but instead are done in poor judgment will be ruled as Table Talk and will result in league penalties.

      • Please be careful what you say while a game is in progress and please wait until last card to make any comments.


      Cheating:
      • Cheating is anything that is intentionally said or done on the table, in private message or in the lobby, etc. to get an unfair advantage to win a game.

      • Any statements made that are proven as intentional cheating with proper documentation (logged or captured chats or screen shots of table and/or pm with time stamps sent to spadesnfriends@outlook.com will result in a lifetime ban from SNF.


      Accusations of cheating without proof:
      • Accusations of cheating without proof, whether straight out or insinuated, are against league rules.

      • If you suspect cheating, you are not to discuss it at the table or with other players but pm an Admin who will advise you.

      • If you can provide proof in the form of logged chat, then please send it to Batgirl0622@gmail.com


      Game avoidance:
      • If you sit and addy for a game then you must play against whoever sits at the table, with no exceptions.

      • You cannot have any players blocked if you addy for games.

      • If you are not happy with the players that sit and you get up without playing, you and your team will receive a loss for the game and your team will be rung to the bottom of the ladder.


      Kibitzing rule:
      • Cards may be shown in any game unless a player asks that cards be closed.

      • If the players do not close cards after being asked, please call Admin or tournament host to the table depending on whether it is a regular SNF game of a tournament game.

      • Kibitzers should not carry on lengthy conversations during games they are watching as it can be distracting to the players and cause game disruption. If a player asks you to stop, please do so.


      Boots/BRBs:
      • You have ten (10) minutes for a boot and five (5) minutes for a BRB for any given league game. It is common courtesy to ask for a HLC (hold last card) for a brb.

      • A sub will be required to finish the game if a player has a total of three (3) boots and/or BRBs during the game.

      • If a player boots and is unable to return and the partner is only a pal, then another player from the team should be asked to sub by requesting in the lobby. If none available, then please contact the Admin who will report the loss for the team player who booted.

Reporting the Match

    Once your game is completed the loser of the match is responsible for reporting it as soon as possible. You can report your matches using the "Report Loss" link located in the left hand frame. Here are some things to remember regarding reporting your losses.

    • Report Immediately: Losses are to be reported immediately after a game is completed before any further Ladder matches are started. Not reporting promptly will result in penalty.

    • Who to Report To:

      • In teams games one team member from the losing team reports.

      • Reporting & Passwords: It is illegal to share your password with any other user for the purpose of reporting or any reason. If you are discovered using another user's password both of your accounts will be removed.

      • Problems Reporting: If you have a problem and cannot report your own loss follow the SUPPORT link and request assistance with this from Ladder Staff.

      • Unreported Matches:

        • Most unreported matches are a simple case of forgetfulness on the part of your opponent. If your opponent has not reported your match within an hour of the match you should send them a friendly E-mail reminder to post. In most cases this is all that is needed to get them to post.

        • If they still have not posted an hour after your E-mail reminder and you see them online playing other matches you should follow the SUPPORT link and submit an unreported match claim against them. Ladder staff will handle the situation from there for you.

        • If, however, you do not see them online after sending your Email reminder you should give them 12-24 hours to post their loss before submitting an unreported match claim against them in order to give them time to receive your E-mail.

        • You should never harass another user in chat or interrupt their other Ladder matches in an attempt to get them to report. If you see them online giving them one friendly reminder is acceptable, but beyond that you should let Ladder Staff settle the dispute for you.

        • For more information regarding the proper procedures for handling unreported matches visit the Ladder FAQ.

    Expected Behavior

      As a member of Case's Ladder you are representing us and all the other teams when you are playing Ladder matches. Because we rely heavily on the support of the gaming networks and producers of the games that you play we have some guidelines for how you need to behave online. It's part of your duty to be respectable so that you don't give the Ladder (and other teams!) a bad name.

      • LadderOps:

        • If you have a problem in chat look for a LadderOp to assist you. You can find a current listing of the LadderOps at this link.

        • Abuse of LadderOps in relation to them doing their jobs in chat or the forums is forbidden. If you are found to be guilty of this your account will be penalized. Remember that they are volunteers dedicating their time to helping improve the quality of the Ladder for all.

        • LadderOps do not have the power to kick, mute, or ban other teams in chat in most cases. They are a staff presence available in chat to help you come to a fair resolution when problems or disputes arise. If they cannot help you with the problem themselves they will get someone who can or refer you to the proper place to go to report the situation. They are there to assist you, so take advantage of them.

        • If you have a problem with or wish to file a complaint against a LadderOp please send it via E-mail to opcomplaint@igl.net. Please include all pertinant information.

        • You can find more info regarding LadderOps in our FAQ.

      • Cheating:

        • It goes without saying that we won't stand for cheating of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, breaking rules, using modified executables, reporting false results, or otherwise tampering with Ladder rankings.

        • If you are certain your opponent is cheating you should leave the match immediately and report the suspicious activity via the SUPPORT link on the Ladder page. You do not need to report the match as a loss. If your opponent submits an unreported match claim against you be sure to reply to the inquiry mail we send you explaining your reasoning or the match will be automatically posted against you.

      • Abuse:

        • If you encounter another Ladder user behaving in an unacceptable manner in chat the best thing to do is just ignore them. If you notice one particular user being abusive repeatedly please let us or your LadderOps know. Please be sure to include all pertinent information, such as the offender's username, and a brief explanation of the problems that you encountered.

        • There are many teams available to challenge. It is illegal to continually harass one specific team for a match. If you need a match with a specific person and are having a problem getting it let us know via the SUPPORT link rather than harassing that individual, and we will help you resolve the conflict.

        • We encourage you to try to solve problems on your own before bringing it to the staff, but not to the point of creating hardship to yourself or harassing other users. We have one of the best support staffs available on the Internet. If you have a problem we are here to help you.

        • It is illegal to abuse or harrass another Ladder member. If you are observed being abusive in chat it could result in penalty. Depending upon the extent of the abuse you might not always receive a warning in these cases. It is important to remember that two wrongs do not make a right. In other words, if you are being harrassed by another Ladder member come to us for assistance. Do not take matters into your own hands or return the abuse, or you could find yourself in trouble as well.

      • Nice Guy Rule: Please note that behavior guidelines apply for all methods of communication. This includes chat, E-mail, message forums, ICQ, etc. Treat other members with respect!

    Top Ten

      Because everyone dreams of being in the Top Ten we have some special rules that apply for these users. This keeps the competition for these slots in high gear. Only teams who are ranked in the Top Ten need to worry about these.

      • Top of the Heap: Everyone wants a shot at #1; consequently there should be a lot of activity and movement in the top ranks of the Ladder. Remember that rank has priority when it comes to challenges. Keeping that in mind, the number one team should play the number two team as often as possible.

      • Inactivity: Teams in the Top Ten must play at least once every 5 days. If the don't they are automatically dropped five rungs and their inactivity counter is reset. There are no exceptions to this rule.

      • Rank Hounding: Teams in the Top Ten are expected to be as active after they reach the top ranks as they were before. In other words, if you are playing 20 games a day to make it to the Top Ten and then only play once a week to hold your rank you may be penalized.

      • Leapfrogging: Teams in the Top Ten should try to play the person ranked directly below them at least once every three days. If you are found to be avoiding challenges that put your rank at risk your account will be penalized.

      • Challenges from Different Ranks:

        • Top Ten teams must take challenges in order of rank as with other users.

        • Unless you are ranked in the top 25 of the Ladder it is illegal to E-mail Top Ten teams requesting a match. Even then E-mail challenges should be reserved for situations in which you have failed in attempts to get a match via the traditional methods. If you receive a mail from a team outside of this range you should reply and gently remind them of the rules.

      • Play Lists: Use of 'playing lists' is strongly discouraged. If someone asks for a match and you are already playing simply tell him or her that. Lists only serve to foster discouragement on the part of the users who are constantly told they are being added only to rarely get the promised match. You are not expected to play every person on the Ladder just because you are ranked in the Top Ten. You fought your way up there one rung at a time and so must everyone else.

      • Fair Play: It should go without saying that other Top Ten teams who challenge you should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. You should do your best to see that challenges of this nature are played as soon as possible for the benefit of both parties. Avoiding or delaying challenges from other Top Ten members will result in penalty.

      • Image:

        • Because everyone has got their eyes on the top ranks of the Ladder we expect the members of this elite group of teams to conduct themselves appropriately. This means we will be keeping a closer eye on them than most. You are among the Top Ten teams in the world in your chosen game. Set a good example!

        • There is a lot of competition and pressure associated with being ranked in the Top Ten. Remember that this is just a game and above all meant to be fun!

    Fill in the Blank

      We can't cover every aspect of gaming in our rules. We have tried to be as thorough as possible and cover all the basics. However, just because something is not listed doesn't meant that it is allowed. Use common sense. If it is something that will adversely effect other teams and you might think twice about doing it's probably against the rules. Our staff have the final say in such matters. If you have a specific question please feel free to contact us via E-mail.




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