Q: What is a Swiss-style tournament?
A: Swiss style tournaments allow all participants to play in every round, pairing each player based on their current records. This ensures that players with similar records are playing other players with similar records. Sometimes, it is not possible to pair players with exactly the same records. In these cases, you may be paired up or down. This means playing against an opponent with a slightly better or slightly worse record than you.
In modified Swiss tournaments, after the regular rounds (determined at the beginning of the tournament based on the number of players), the top eight players typically go on to play a single-elimination playoff. When a player wins in the quarterfinals, they advance to the semi-finals. The semi-finalists then play to determine the two finalists, who then play to determine the winner of the tournament. Once you lose in the top 8 you are out of the event.
In straight Swiss tournaments, once the rounds have finished the tournament is over and prizes are awarded based on the final standings. There is no top eight playoff in straight Swiss tournaments.
Q: How can I tell how much time there is until the next round?
A: There is usually a digital clock at the judge’s station. This is the official tournament clock for the event. The clock will be set as a countdown timer. Magic the Gathering matches last 50 minutes. If your match is still live after 50 minutes you will be given the oportunity to end it within 5 total turns. If the match is still not complete after the 5 additional turns the game & possibly the match will be declared a draw.
You should assume that the next round will start as soon as the previous round ends, and plan accordingly.
Q: What happens if I am late to my match?
A: It is each player’s responsibility to be present and correctly seated when the round begins. The penalty for being late to your match varies based on the game and type of tournament. Anyone who receives a match loss for tardiness will be dropped from the tournament. If a player is dropped in this way but still wishes to play MUST check in at the judge’s station before the end of the round in which they received the match loss.
Q: How do I know who to play?
A: Prior to the start of each round pairings are posted that have each player's name on them. Players are listed alphabetically by last name. Find your name on the pairings and next to it will be the table that you are assigned to and the name of the opponent for that round. Make sure that you verify the person you are playing once you arrive at your table.
Q: What do I do if I've lost or found something?
A: In the event that you have lost something, please notify the staff immediately and we will try to help you locate it. If you find something that does not belong to you, please turn it in at the tournament desk. Anyone caught stealing at one of our events will face severe consequences. This may include disqualification from the tournament without prize, removal from the site, being banned from future All-Stars events, notifying parents or calling the police. We will not tolerate theft at our events.
All-Stars is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Q: Can I just come and watch the tournament?
A: Due to space constraints spectators are not presently welcome at our events. Exceptions can be made by the tournament staff under special circumstances. If an exception is indeed made, spectators are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and are not permitted to disrupt, interfere, provide outside assistance or comment on games in progress. Spectators who believe they have witnessed an infraction, should inform a judge immediately. A spectator should never intervene in a game
Q: Can I trade my cards with other players?
A: Yes. Trading is fine, but please note that buying/selling cards with anyone except All-Stars Collectibles authorized dealers, or soliciting to do so elsewhere, is strictly forbidden at All-Stars events. Failure to obey this rule may result in both the buyer and the seller being removed from the event without refund, and banned from attending future events.
If the event you are attending is a prerelease, cards from the featured set may not be traded until after the event has concluded.
All-Stars Events also reserves the right to limit the amount of space being occupied by any one individual while trading, and does not allow the use of suitcases, handcarts, luggage carts, etc. to be used for the purpose of transporting excessive amounts of trade stock. The largest device a contestant can bring into our events is roughly the size of a standard backpack.
Q: Can I use any electronic devices during my match?
A: No. The use of all electronic devices (such as iPods, cell phones and pagers) is prohibited while playing. Exceptions may be made in the case of anyone who may be on call (this includes active military or rescue personnel, doctors, etc.). Players who believe they have a legitimate reason to have such a device should inform a member of our staff and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Q: What kind of sleeves can I use?
A: All-Stars Collectibles allows most sleeves to be used at our events, though we strongly recommend that players only use sleeves with an opaque single color uniform back. Highly reflective sleeves, (especially gold and silver) sleeves with a holographic face and sleeves with images that go to the edge of the sleeve are banned from all tournaments being run by All-StarsCollectibles. If you have any questions regarding the sleeves that you wish to use, please ask the Head Judge of the event you are playing in. Certain high level events may make this policy more restrictive. If this is the case it will be noted in the event description.
Q: Is there an age limit to enter?
A: Most events run by All-Stars Collectibles are open to players of 15 years of age or older. Exceptions may be made at the sole disgression of the tournament staff in certain cases.
Q: How should I keep track of my life total?
A: Although you may use a calculator to add/subtract life points, you MUST keep track of your life points with pencil/pen and paper. You must also count DOWN for Magic (20). It is highly recommended that you also keep track of your opponent’s life/heath totals and what caused each change in case there is ever a discrepancy.
It is a player's responsibility to provide a pen and paper to track this information. All-Stars Collectibles usually has pencils and paper available at events for $1.00.
Q: Can I eat or drink while playing in a match?
A: We ask that drinks be kept on the floor and not on the table, regardless of whether they are opened or closed. If a drink spills on the table valuable cards may be damaged and games in progress could be disrupted beyond repair. We also ask that players eat only between matches in order to maintain a reasonable pace of play. We will offer canned beverages & bottled water for sale for $1 and snacks for a nominal fee as well. Cash sales only in the Community Room.
Q: What behavior is expected from players at a tournament?
A: Good sportsmanship and conduct is required at all times from both players and spectators. Acts of poor sportsmanship, inappropriate conduct, and/or inappropriate/offensive language may result in warnings, game losses, match losses, disqualification or banning from our events. Showing up wearing clothing which features inappropriate/offensive language and/or imagery may also result in these same penalties being applied.
Players are also expected to clean up after themselves. Garbage recepticles will be available for use in the play area. Penalties may be applied against any player who deliberately makes a mess of an event facility.
Q: What do I do if I have a question during a match?
A: If you have a rules question or do not understand what your opponent is doing, you should call for a tournament official (judge) by raising your arm above your head and loudly yelling “Judge!” Keep your arm raised until a judge acknowledges that they have seen you. Judges are here to help the players, so please do not hesitate to call for a judge. Players should always call for a judge immediately upon discovering a problem — if you tell us after it happened there is little we will be able to do to help fix the situation. All judge rulings are final.
Q: Why is deck registration required?
A: At higher-level events, we require deck registration to verify that all players are abiding by tournament rules. The manufacturers also require us to submit the top decklists so that they can post them on their websites. At more casual events, such as pre-releases & launch parties deck registration may not be necessary.
Q: Can I offer my opponent something to concede to me?
A: No. Any offer is considered Bribery and is against tournament policies. Bribery is a cheating infraction as is is a way to artificially affect a match result. Any player offering or accepting a bribe will be disqualified without prize, and is subject to further sanction from the DCI, depending on the game played.
There is an exception made for the finals of a tournament where a prize split may be negotiated. In the event of such a prize split, no match is played and ratings remain unchanged.
Q: How long will the tournament last?
A: Most of our events take the better part of the day, depending on the number of players that are in the event. However, a player may drop from the event at any time simply by checking the drop box on the match result slip or verbally informing the scorekeeper that they wish to drop.
Q: Will there be a lunch break?
A: All-Stars Collectibles events do not have a specific lunch break, however, players will usually have multiple opportunities to eat throughout the day depending on the time that their matches end.
Q: Will there be a place to get food at the event?
A: We will offer food (& drink) availability for very nominal fees in the play area, and the mall "food cort" area is a mere 5-minute walk from the community room as well. Please make sure your hand is stamped before leaving the community room for any reason. All trash from must be thrown out in the proper containers. Do not leave it sitting on the table.
Q: Can I buy or sell cards at the event?
A: Yes. However, please note that players can ONLY buy or sell cards with All-Stars Collectibles' authorized dealers. Anyone buying or selling cards with anyone other than our authorized dealers (or soliciting to do so elsewhere) will be asked to leave the event and banned from attending future All-Stars Collectibles events.
Q: Do I have to give my cards to my opponent if I lose?
A: No. All-Stars Collectibles does not hold tournaments where personal cards are at stake. Please inform a tournament official if anyone tries to convince you that he or she has "won" your cards by winning the match.
Q: How do I sign up for an event?
A: Simply stop down at the All-Stars Collectibles retail store on the outside of Oxford Valley Mall with your DCI number, and pay the entry fee. If you have any questions once you arrive, please ask a member of our staff and they'll be happy to assist you. If you need a DCI number we'll be happy to provide you with one free of charge.
Q: What are the prizes for the tournament? How many players get prizes?
A: Prizes vary based on the event and are usually based on the number of players in the event. The event description page will list what prizes are given out for a particular event. For events where the distribution is based on the number of players, the exact prize breakdown will be posted at the event.
Q: I would like to set up as a dealer at an event? How do I do this?
A: If you are interested in dealer space at one of our Magic the Gathering events, please call (215) 752-4500 and ask for Event Coordinator, Warren Wolk. Please note that there are sometimes many dealers interested in setting up at our events, so we may not always be able to accommodate you.
Q: Am I eliminated from a tournament if I lose?
A: No. All of our Premier Events are run using a "modified Swiss-style" format. This means you can play every Swiss round regardless of whether you win or lose.
Please note that all eight-player side event tournaments are single elimination. Once you lose a match in a side event tournament(best two of three), you may not continue in that event.
Q: Is there enough space for everyone who wants to play in an event?
A: While we are capable of hosting a very large number of players, there is an occupancy limit in our gaming area. You can ensure a spot for you & your party be pre-registering well ahead of time.
Q: If I pre-register for an event & have to back out, can I get my money back?
A: No, sorry. All registration fees are non-refundable.
Q: I have a question that isn’t on this list? What do I do?
A: Please contact us via e-mail at this link and ask. We’ll be happy to help!
Q: How do the tournament officials know who wins each match?
A: At the end of each match, players fill out a match reporting form and turn it in at the tournament desk. The winner should fill out this form and give it to his or her opponent to verify and sign. Afterwards, both winner & looser need to bring it to the tournament desk. If a player wants to drop from the event they can mark the "drop" box on the reporting form, inform the scorekeeper, and they will then be dropped from the event. If you wish to continue playing, do not make any markings of any kind in the "drop" box. Any marks in the "drop" box may cause you to be dropped from the tournament. Before you sign the match slip, please make sure that the it has been filled out correctly.
Q: My name is misspelled on the pairings. How do I get that fixed?
A: On the match results slip that you turn in to report the result of your match, simply correct the spelling of your name and we will correct it in the computer. This will not correct any misspellings in the global player database. To correct any misspellings in the global player database, you will need to go online to Wizards' website and update your account information.
Q: I traded for some cards after the tournament has begun. Can I add them to my deck?
A: No. Once you turn in your decklist, you must play with the deck that matches that decklist for the entire tournament. Adding cards to your deck, or changing cards in your deck after the tournament has begun, is against tournament policies and will result in a disqualification from the event without prize.
Q: My opponent misplayed a card or played a card that is not legal. What do I do?
A: If you suspect that your opponent has done something illegal (even if it was unintentional), simply call for a judge and they will resolve the situation.
Q: I have a very expensive card that I don't want to get damaged. Can I use a proxy instead?
A: Sanctioned tournaments do not allow proxy cards. Unless specifically stated, proxies are not allowed in All-Stars Collectibles' tournaments.
Q: Will there be side events?
A: Sometimes, time & space permitting. We run many different side events at each of our events. Once on-site, please ask a staff member what side events are being offered.