Reviewing In-Shoppe Play

When we restored in-shoppe play in the later half of 2021, we focused on making sure we were creating a safe environment for our guests.  That safety was primarily focused on viewing play through the lens of a post-pandemic world.  We made several permanent changes to our shoppe operations including specific regiments around cleaning and sanitization, limits on event capacity, air quality control, and several others.

While we will always have improvements to make, we believe we have created a space that is welcoming to everyone, and instituted practices that keep our shoppe physically clean and safe.


The Next Step. . .

The next step in our evolution to become a better experience for all you is focused on the activities at our tables, particularly those related to tournaments and games of a competitive nature.  While we have tried to not ignore blatant unsporting behavior we recognize that we have never codified our competitive code of conduct, and we have generally defaulted to addressing “minor” issues after the fact.

Moving forward, beginning with our Age of Sigmar tournament on June 16th, 2023, we will be implementing stronger rules enforcement around unsporting behavior.  Our new structure is based on the Magic: The Gathering Infraction Procedure Guide.  This guide is used by Magic Judges (including our on-staff judges and rules advisors) to handle rules infractions including unsporting behaviors.

Beyond greater clarity and stronger enforcement of infractions during tournaments, our staff will work more closely with guests at our casual events to help them understand activities or behaviors that might warrant a warning or other penalty during a structured tournament.  

The Gist of It

At this point you may be wondering “What does this really mean?”  For the vast majority of our guests, it simply means you’ll experience less ambiguity about managing in-game penalties.  You’ll know, for example, that if your opponent refuses to disclose public information (an entry in a rule book, a card that must be revealed, etc), that there will be a specific and clear action taken as soon as the issue is brought to our attention.  

If you have adopted unsporting behavior out of habit or because you didn’t know there was a problem, you’ll gain a better understanding of the overall consequences of those behaviors, and will be given opportunities to adopt more sporting conduct in future events.

We hope everyone will feel more comfortable and welcome at our tables because you know that every player – old or new – is being treated equitably, and that rules enforcement is not handled differently for different people.

Our Competitive Code of Conduct provides an overview of this new approach and  includes rules and infractions for specific categories of games.  This is a living document that will develop over time.