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Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

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Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby Bluesecrets » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:44 am

I run a lot of contests, I participate in a few, and I judge many. As I have been doing this for the last three or four years, I have noticed a few trends, and I would like to discuss it with people to get their general opinion.

As a contest runs, lately there has been a lot of “playing loose and fast” with the rules. What I mean by that is quite simply, the builds, the photos, or even the basic procedure for entering the contest are not following the clearly stated rules. And once an entry is determined to be in violation of the clearly stated rules, people get pushy and demanding that they either get to fix their entry, or that the person running the contest fix it for them.

So after that long explanation here are my questions:

1) If an entry does not follow the clearly stated rules, should it be disqualified?
2) If not disqualified, should the person running the contest have to “fix” so the entry is not dq-ed or even provide and opportunity for it to be “fixed”?
3) If you were competing in a contest, and one or more entries violated the rules and they were “fixed” so they could compete against your entry which did follow the rules, would you come back to build for that contest again?
4) What is “right” or “fair” for dealing with entries that violate the clearly stated rules?

I will add to the discussion eventually, because I want to participate in this one, its why I brought it up, but I will wait until others have chimed in a little (I don’t want my opinions to sway any others).
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Re: Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby theboywarrior » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:31 pm

To answer number three, to the best of my understanding, normally yes. I would, however, make an exception in the instance of that person being a total aggravating troll :orc: about it, and probably wouldn't want to enter again if it meant having a whiny loser (loser in the sense they are losing by being dqed) competing against me.

Number one, yes. If an entry does not follow rules it should be disqualified. I have been disqualified several times on my entries (photo sizing is a struggle for me) and have no problem with it. I sought help in only one instance, (Thanks Bruce!)the circumstances of which had nothing to do with photo sizing. If I couldn't get an entry fixed, then oh well, sucks for me.

Number two...No, just...No...The person running the contest should not be obligated to fix entries. Maybe give a little advice, but fix it for
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Re: Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby Aliencat » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:23 pm

As we've run a few contests together, you already know where I stand, but I really want to parttake in this discussion so I'll post my opinions.
I'm answering these questions both as someone who has organized contests on a few different forums, as well as someone who likes to participate in building contests.

Bluesecrets wrote:1) If an entry does not follow the clearly stated rules, should it be disqualified?

I don't think it should necessarilly be disqualified, this would very much need to be looked at on a case-to-case basis. For me (from the point of view of someone who has run contests in which people took the rules loosely), if the transgression of the rules is well done, kudos to you. If you can convince me to accept the entry, just by making your transgression pretty aeswionme, even better.
If it's poorly done you wouldn't win anyway, sorry ;)
(and if it goes too far, yeah disqualification is in order)

Bluesecrets wrote:2) If not disqualified, should the person running the contest have to “fix” so the entry is not dq-ed or even provide and opportunity for it to be “fixed”?

Fixing it should never be the task of the person running the contest. They have clearly stated before the start of the contest what they are looking for, and are generally available to answer specific questions about the rules and how entries are judged. Providing an opportunity for the participant to fix his entry, I think is only fair if the participant can do it before the deadline of the contest.

Bluesecrets wrote:3) If you were competing in a contest, and one or more entries violated the rules and they were “fixed” so they could compete against your entry which did follow the rules, would you come back to build for that contest again?

Yeah definitely, that's fair game to me as long as it is done before the contest deadline.
Only if the deadline has passed, I would see it as unfair for the only reason, that that person would have more time to build his entry, than I had.

Bluesecrets wrote:4) What is “right” or “fair” for dealing with entries that violate the clearly stated rules?

This is really something that a contest judge needs to look at on a case-to-case basis, the task of a judge is not always easy in that sense. But I think the person judging the contest should make clear beforehand how they will be judging, and how strictly they will adhere to the rules.

My 2¢
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Re: Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:07 pm

I think that entries should have a chance to fix any issue, provided they are not given extensions beyond the deadline. An exception to this would be photo sizing, as a lot of people seem to have trouble with that, and last-minute entries wouldn't have time for the problem to be discovered and correct it. In that case, I'm ok with giving them a day or two to properly size the photo.
I'm kind of a stickler for rules and deadlines, but as long as it's just for fun, I don't see a problem with being a little flexible as long as everyone has a good attitude about it.
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Re: Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby Bruce N H » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:58 pm


Well, you've all seen how I operate on this one. I consider that there are two types of ineligible entries - those for which the actual build doesn't fit the rules (doesn't fit the criteria for the category, exceeds the specified baseplate size, uses custom elements in a contest that excludes them, miniland scale in a microscale contest, etc) and those for which the actual build is fine but the submission is wrong (e.g. more than the allotted number of images, image size issues, collages where they aren't allowed, etc.

For the first type, I'm happy to have a Miscellaneous category and these just go on a fast track to Misc with no argument needed. Of course that only works with a large multi-category contest like the CCC. Say something like the Micro contest and someone did something at fig scale, or a seed part contest where they didn't use the seed part, there are two possibilities. One way is to just reject those entries. The other way is to keep them in the contest, just give them very low scores. The ultimate result is the same in that they have no way to win the contest.

On the second type of issue above, I tend to be pretty forgiving. As you've all seen, we post a naughty list thread and give people a chance to fix their entry (usually this involves image sizing or removing extra photos). We even give them a short grace period after the deadline to fix these things (only these image-related issues, not anything like rebuilding). My main reason here is that the people who this applies to are almost universally, well, no offense, 12. So I try not to slap them down too hard, because I'd rather they continue on and become better. Also, as a reassurance to those who might be upset if they were beat by someone who got this grace, I want to reassure you that there has never yet been one of these that was in real contention for winning. Let's face it, if someone is careful enough to build a really excellent MOC, they're probably also careful enough to follow the rules.
OTOH, there have been people who had excellent MOCs that took the fast road to Miscellaneous. Misc is always a particularly tough category in that it is so varied. Plus, in terms of CCC, I highly suspect that there are some excellent MOCs that people have been working on for a few months, and then when the categories are announced they try to tweak their MOC to fit the category. E.g. it's a pretty safe bet to build a, hmm, gatehouse. Then the categories come out and one is "Castle Siege" - you simply build a battering ram and place minifigs appropriately to depict a siege scene. OTOH let's say the category is "Commerce", you could make it a market day, with little stalls set up in the area outside the castle, and merchants coming and going through the gate. Some people, though, have a really excellent MOC that they have built (but not shown, of course), but they don't see a way to put it in one of the specified categories, so they put it in Misc. Anyway, Misc does get some pretty awesome MOCs, so it's hard to win, but I could see someone winning after having an admin shift their MOC over there (though I don't know if that has happened so far in the CCC) (wow, I just looked back at the last five Misc winners - some great stuff there) (Noddy's Tower is still one of my favorite CCC MOCs ever).

So, to sum up, I like to give people multiple second chances on this, but at the same time I know that even if those entries are in the contest, the chance of them winning is pretty nil.

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Re: Contests: Some Questions and Dialogue

Postby Balamorgineas » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:27 pm

I think that the main problem is in the attitude of the contestant. You should not expect the judge to do your job. As a contestant, your job is to make an entry that qualifies into the contest. The judge's job is to decide which of the qualifying entries is the best. Judges do not disqualify entries. You create entries that fail to qualify.

That said, I do appreciate being given a second chance. My first year here, eight of my CCC entries were sent to the naughty list. With the help of the admins, I was able to resize all my pictures in time and I never made that mistake again. I am grateful that Bruce shows mercy to people who either failed to read the rules or don't understand them. The judge should not do the work of the contestant, but it is nice when they help the contestant to know what the problem is and how to fix it.
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