View Full Version : Around the World: Appeal

dave g
03-07-2017, 05:01 PM
There is an appeal of the results of Around the World because of a rules violation.

Here is what happened. When waylandboy-tw submitted his team he listed Zverev, but did not specify whether that was A. Zverev or M. Zverev. Since neither of the Zverevs played the first day, I told waylandboy-tw that I would allow him to specify which Zverev he meant, if he told me before either of them played. However, this "conversation" happened after the deadline, and was therefore technically a violation of the rules.

I want to know how you think this event should be handled. I will follow whatever the plurality decides. I can't handle this the way you think it should be handled without your opinion. While I want you to express you full opinion, I need you to end your post with one of the three following sentences, so that I can determine which opinion is in the plurality:

A. The rules need to be rigorously enforced at all times.
B. There should be some room for leniency.
C. This is not a big deal.

03-07-2017, 05:19 PM
1. I checked the original Around the World threads (Post Your Team Here and How it Works). Nowhere in the rules did we specify that, if a contestant picked a Zverev from Category B, then they had to specify which one. We should have. It was a simple oversight. That became a rule in the suicide pools because either someone happened to notice two players with the same last name were in the same half of the draw or it came up as an issue. I don't remember. But the fact is specifying which Zverev in Category B was not a stated rule in the original threads. You can't violate a rule that was never stated in THIS contest's rules, and you can't arbitrarily apply rules from another contest to this one out of thin air and with no notice.

2. Both Zverevs performed horribly throughout the contest. Even if you put the total points they earned together and counted them both, you wouldn't have been even close to overcoming the deficit in points between Gold and Silver. Wayland still would have won by a large margin because his team outperformed all other teams by a healthy amount. Wayland earned the gold medal and would have won the gold medal regardless of which Zverev he picked.

So I vote for C: This is not a big deal.

(That said: Perhaps the most fair thing to do in this special circumstance would be to award an additional bronze medal to tenedab since tenedab finished fourth in the contest. I'm happy to do that.)

03-07-2017, 06:42 PM
I think as long as the Zverev was specified before either of the brothers played than the oversight of which player was intended are negated and waylandboy-tw didn't gain from an advantage. As dry pointed out there was no real advantage to having either on his team so it really didn't make a difference.

Maybe we just need a standing rule for all fantasy-tennis contests that to be valid entry both first and last names need to be posted so as to avoid situations like this.

03-07-2017, 06:50 PM
Considering I had a brain fart with Sousa and Souza..I'm voting C

I agree on coming up with a rule..like..if you pick Pliskova but don't specify which one, you'll get the higher seed..if you had already picked the higher seed or she isn't playing, sorry :(

03-07-2017, 06:51 PM
I guess my answer is a combination of B and C. As long as it was specified which brother prior to either playing then no big deal. In general it seems like in most cases when 2 players share a last name, they are usually not in the same tier at the same time. So again, I vote for leniency/not a big deal.

03-07-2017, 07:24 PM
Since dave did give waylandboy the opportunity to make a specific choice, and no matches had been played when he chose A. Zverev, my vote would be B) leniency. But only for this specific case. In future contests, we should spell out that your roster must clearly identify their team members, so that a contest organizer could know exactly who is being selected. And in future contests, I would vote A) the rules should be fully enforced.

While the ATW rules do not explicitly state that you have to have to explicitly identify which of the 2 players with the same last name you are selecting, I think it is reasonable to expect that a player should make an unambiguous selection. In this case, there was some ambiguity in waylandboy's team..

I would also point out that A Zverev won the Montpelier tournament during the first week of the contest, so while waylandboy would still medal without those 100 points, the first and second place positions could have changed.

03-07-2017, 08:47 PM
First of all A Zverev won Montpellier so both Zverevs did not perform horribly in this contest.

A couple of years ago I had posted an initial team with the wrong point total. I got an email saying my team was invalid and I was getting a big fat zero for week 1. I didn't get an email saying, 'correct your team by selecting players who have not taken court and you are good to go'. I know this is not an exact apple to apple comparison, but the response I got from the contest staff is worth noting.

So the rules are clear, if you post an invalid team you get a zero for the week. And then you have to use trades to adjust your team, so wayland would not have won with a zero for week one, and then only four trades.

Also, what if neither Zverev had taken court but the matches that were already played opened up the draw for one Zverev over the other -- then that would have been a real unfair advantage.

We are responsible of making sure we do not duplicate another person's team. If someone had a similar team to wayland's how would they know they weren't duplicating his team if he didn't clearly list his Zverev preference?

All of the other teams clearly listed which Zverev was on their team. So this is not a situation of mass confusion.

Also, hindsight is 20/20 so I don't think you can look at the end results and work your way backwards to claim no harm, no foul. No, you need to go back to week 1 and ask yourself, once the deadline passed and it was discovered that he didn't specify which Zverev was on his team, what should be done? In that scenario, the answer is simple. An invalid team was posted and earns a zero for week 1.

Lastly, if you're going to award extra medals, then frankly in all fairness texasniteowl should get a co-gold since he won fair and square. Patrick the silver and tenedab the bronze.

Leniency is not the hallmark of TAT contests. Strict adhering of the rules is, and that is why the contests remain popular while much of other parts of TAT are in decline.

So A is the proper solution based on past history of TAT contests.

03-08-2017, 04:48 AM
If we are being consistent with how other contests handle it...I say A. I've had predictions thrown out for being five minutes late before, despite no matches having been started. I've always known that on TAT if I screw up the slightest there isn't leniancy. I think if we did allow some this time it's going to be very tricky next time a situation like this comes up...why we allowed it in one case but not another.

03-08-2017, 05:11 AM
Just want to make some points:

- I fully understand Dave's notion of leniency in some cases when there has been no harm done in the name of a wholesome environment for all.

- Furthermore, Dave is leading the entire Fantasy Tennis department and with new guidance, the focus may change and that is not necessarily a bad thing. So where in years before a set of criteria was being used, this may change under different management.

- In search of a fair call if Wayland had had an advantage by knowing a result I looked it up. Both Zverevs played at Montpellier and the first day only hosted two matches. Brown who won and was irrelevant and Granollers-Chardy who were in the quarter of Alexander Zverev.
A. Zverev's H2H against Granollers was 1-1 (both matches played on clay) and 0-1 against Chardy who eventually won. So knowing that a player who led the H2H against Zverev was of actually no use -or even counterproductive- in the decision to clarify A. Zverev.
This is why I think there was no ill will and no unfair advantage gained by the mistake.

- Finally, while not known to the majority, we actually extend similar courtesy to SP players in the occasion that they don't clarify which player they are choosing and we catch it on time via PM as well.

My conclusion is that if it were up to me I'd be lenient in this one case, but following my own advice of accepting different ways of doing things, the majority will decide.

03-08-2017, 11:47 AM
I've waited a bit to respond since I am involved, but here are my thoughts:

First off, thanks to everyone for sharing your opinions and thoughts, and these discussions can be good to have from time to time in order to help our staff and site. Having been on the contest staff for a number of years, I have always felt a tension on TAT between those that are for the "letter of the law" vs those that are for the "spirit of the law".

I agree with Dry that nothing that is being debated is included in the posted contest rules. I do understand that this rule is included in SP, and why some my look at that as something that is automatically transferred. It certainly can be something we look at moving forward, but as Drop said, even SP participants have been granted leniency to clarify after a deadline if it is before the players in question take the court.

I do have a long history of playing and helping to run this site's fantasy tennis contests, and sending PMs from contest staff to participants in fantasy contests for clarifications isn't abnormal. We as a staff also want to keep this fun and fair, but sometimes people really butcher the spelling of a name, put trade "in" when they mean "out", or as I did, pick someone from a category who happens to share a last name. If the staff can get clarity on this in a timely manner without affecting the integrity of the contest, we do so. 14 of us picked A Zverev, with no one choosing M Zverev, so he was correct in assuming which one I meant, but just wanted to clarify it in writing before either took the court. That decision is well within normal practice on this site, whether you may realize it or not.

Posting illegal teams and trades (wrong mix of male and female players, too many credits, too many players from the wrong categories) are the ones that unfortunately have cost our participants in the past, myself included.

My official vote is B, although I don't believe this vote is either timely or needed on this matter.

03-08-2017, 04:22 PM
Although Miles and PT's posts are spot on, I would accept Wayland's claim that that he meant A. Zverev.
We are all honorable people here, at least to me.

dave g
03-08-2017, 06:18 PM
When I get myself in situations like this it is very easy to only see things from my perspective. Hearing your perspectives has helped me see a bigger picture. Thank you.

While I said that I was going to follow the pluralistic vote, I have since realized that I really needed to do the right thing. Even though I am not particularly found of the answer, the right thing to do is Option A: Enforce the rules. I realized that this was a violation of the rules. I suspect that once waylandboy realized there were two Zverev's in the B group, he also realized that he had violated the rules. So, waylandboy's first week's score is defaulted. Therefore, texasniteowl wins the gold, patrick wins the silver, and tenedab wins the bronze.

However, this episode is actually a symptom of a different problem: the tension between "the letter of the law" advocates and "the spirit of the law" advocates. Being a "spirit of the law" advocate, I really don't like seeing people getting their team disqualified over a simple error. So, I have given some thought as how to help people find and fix errors in their team without violating the letter of the law. After I started this thread, a solution occurred to me: it is possible to let people know about errors in their teams in such a way that they could fix those errors before the team submission deadline. I will try this out at the beginning of The Slide into Paris. I will set a time at least six hours before the team submission deadline, and look over the teams that have been submitted and check them for errors. If I find any errors, I notify the owner of the team, and hopefully they will have time to fix the errors before the team submission deadline. I will let you know the time of this review in advance. I do realize that this method will be of little use to people who wait until just before the deadline to submit their team.

When I check for errors, I will be checking for things like needing to specify which of two players with the same last name, not having four A category players, and having the same number of men and women in dual gender contests. I am not going to be checking point totals. Checking point totals requires using the EXCEL spreadsheet, and I really like having my teams in alphabetical order. That way, if I need to go back and look at someone's team, I can find the team much easier than if they are in the order in which they were posted. If I enter the teams in the order they are posted to check for point totals, changing the order to alphabetical is a mess. Therefore, including point totals into the check changes the process from a simple scan of the team into a major hassle. And I am not willing to volunteer for that yet.

Hopefully, this will reduce the number of teams that disqualified, while being acceptable to both the "letter of the law" advocates and the "spirit of the law" advocates.

Feel free to discuss this idea. Just realize that I am not planning on responding to anything until late Saturday afternoon.

Again, thank you for helping me see all sides of this issue.


03-08-2017, 07:55 PM
Definitely a good idea, and something I myself have done a few times...if I notice a mistake I let the person know via PM. There is definitely no rule that says we can't point out possible mistakes to help people have a chance to fix them...had I noticed in this case (I didn't) I certainly would have sent Waylandboy a PM.

Jeff in TX
03-10-2017, 10:47 PM
Based on my understanding of the situation, I would vote for B.