In the past, issues have arisen that we feel need to be dealt with before we enter the contest “season”. Keep in mind the following guidelines as you participate in current and future contests.
1. Someone has taken the time to write the rules, so take the time to read them. In fact, read them several times. Your questions might be answered simply by reading the rules again. Normally the host doesn’t mind answering your questions, but it can be frustrating to continually answer questions that the rules already cover.
2. Running a contest is hard work. The person or persons running a contest aren’t getting anything out of it. They are volunteering their time, energy and/or Lego to the contest. Don’t give them a hard time or they may not wish to run it again.
3. Refrain from criticizing the rules, guidelines, categories, or prizes. If you don’t like how the contest is run, feel free to run your own. But do not put down those who are doing so already. There is no need to complain about the categories, as no one is forcing you to enter. Even if you don't like them, look at them as a challenge. You will be surprised at the creativity inspired by a restrictive category. As for prizes, remember that donors are giving away Lego they could have kept. Hearing people ridicule the prizes they donated may make them reconsider doing so in the future.
4. Follow the rules. Don’t try to find loopholes or wriggle out of them by some kind of technicality. You can figure out what was intended by the rules, follow them. Do not ask for exceptions to be made for you. Also, do not ask that deadlines be extended because you are running out of time. This is unfair to the other contestants.
5. Remember that you are not running this contest. If you feel that entries are not within the rules or that other contestants are cheating, do not correct them. Feel free to contact the host, but do not publicly critique the other contestants or their entries. The host will let you know if they are within the bounds of the rules.
6. Do not complain when highly skilled builders and/or people with large collections enter the contest. They have just as much right to enter as anyone else. They have spent the time it took to build up their collections and skills. They deserve to be recognized. They did not get where they are by luck. It takes time, practice, and patience. Complaining about them only shows off your unwillingness to put in the time it takes to succeed.
7. Do not complain that someone “stole” your idea. You do not own a patent on innovative ideas that you may have discovered. If you don’t want the idea used, then don’t post it. On the other hand, if you want to use someone else’s innovative technique, consider contacting them first. That way any hard feelings are nipped in the bud.
8. Congratulate the winners. When the winners are announced, don’t complain or whine because you didn’t win. They did not win because they were “popular”, had “bigger collections”, and any other reason. In fact, many builders have been virtually unknown before winning a contest. They didn't win a popularity contest, they won because they built what the judges felt was the best entry.
9. Lastly, always remember its supposed to be fun. Let's keep it that way for everyone and we will be doing this for a long time to come.
The Classic-Castle Admins and Mods.