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Old 08-31-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
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Sunflora Referee Motivation: The Big Question

So, we all know it's there. We might not want to acknowledge it now and then, and the efforts of the few are masking the problem, but it exists. It's not ideal, it doesn't create the best flow for ASB. So wherein lies the problem?

That's what we want you guys to tell us. I hold my hands up, I'm one of the worst overseers for a project like this. I'm willing to listen though. Tell me what you think is the problem here with referee motivation. I want to fix the system and get everyone back into the fold, because a refereeing ASB is a happy ASB.

It also has been brought to my attention that this is a problem which will need some fresh insight. With that in mind, so as to ensure that the voices of those newer to us don't go unheard amidst the throng of more veteran voices, this time round I want you all to answer a simple little questionnaire for me, even if you post in the thread itself. No suggestion will go overlooked, and I'll periodically drop in what I feel are some worthwhile solutions into the thread to help jive along discussion.

With that said, the initial Skype session which inspired this thread came up with the following points for discussion, along with the proposition for the anonymous form.
  • Rework the Referee Grades system so that - becomes the baseline standard for the speed grades. Remove the punishments associated with it, but do not allow for rewards. Scale up from there.
  • Shift the Weekly Bonus to x1.5 SP for those referees who are at neutral or above speed grades.
  • Set the base SP earnings to x1.5X, where X is number of Pokemon in X vs. X, for matches of 4 vs. 4 and higher. This omits the expected leveling stipulations so as to avoid RF abuse (2vs. 2 Singles, 3 vs. 3 Doubles).
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:47 PM   #2
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I think the current grading system is fine as is, as I highly doubt that the addition of slots to people who are minus grade will help at all, unless of course we're rehauling the system entirely and giving more rewards to higher grades. Even then I'm a bit skeptical of whether or not this would provide the motivation necessary.

The weekly bonus idea could work out, but then again a lot of the higher speed grade refs are characterized by usually staying within the two day bonus, so it would really only serve as a motivator for some of those with a neutral grade. Scaling up the two day bonus for either neutral and plus or just plus grades could also potentially be a motivator to obtain and maintain a higher grade speed.

The last suggestion is quite nice in and of itself, but while it'll probably increase the amount of longer matches posted and a higher percentage of longer matches being reffed, it likely will do little to help with the motivation problem. People will take the longer matches, and then still maintain the regular speed that they are accustomed to, so the matches will still take months to over a year, but it'll just be an additional present for whatever ref at the end. I feel this will just lead to refs taking longer matches over shorter ones, and not really changing the amount they ref or how frequently they do so.

I'll toss a couple suggestions through the questionnaire once I think of any, but right now I'm not sure if I see any of these three really helping solve the problem. They would definitely push people like myself (who already have plenty of matches and ref at a good speed) to try to maintain doing what we do, but I don't really see it helping the people ref few matches or ref quite slowly into doing more than they do.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:24 PM   #3
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I'd like to point out that adding an extra modifier to everyone's week bonus except the "-" level would only serve to exclude and demotivate the tier that actually could use the extra motivation to go faster, instead of ones who are already mostly working at that pace anyway
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:32 PM   #4
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Honestly the tacking on of negative things to people with - grades wouldn't be an overly terrible idea if it wasn't for the fact that the one thing that keeps them from getting rid of that - grade never happens. We were promised Evals every 6 months and we've not received that, so until that ACTUALLY happens I can't really say I'm okay with punishing those that might not necessarily deserve it and rewarding those that might not necessarily deserve it. Do some of them ACTUALLY deserve the punishment/reward? Yeah, probably, but by no means do all of them at this stage.

That said, if we actually have Ref Evals every sixth months or (preferably) more frequently, it's entirely an idea that could work.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:36 PM   #5
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Ref evals are actually happening now its just...they haven't finished.

Also the solution isn't to make more rewards. Make refs more confident in their work. There are a lot of IRL issues that simply cannot be resolved in any way, but we really should make sure refs feel confident in what they are doing.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:37 PM   #6
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I have to hold my hands up and apologise on the front of Evaluations frequency. In an entirely ideal world the speed grade would be assessed at least once every 3 months in minor evaluations, with a wider competence evaluation either annually or biannually. This hasn't happened in part because we took a while to get the new referee tests up to speed, in part because I kept getting distracted with other projects, and in part because I was just simply taking my foot off the gas with regards to them.

Of course talk is cheap and all of that, but if we could go through with these changes and suggestions under the impression that speed grade would be evaluated at the very bare minimum once every 6 months, that would be fantastic.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:58 PM   #7
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A big problem, in my opinion, is that the league's old policy of siding with the ref whenever possible has been thrown to the wayside in many cases. Having your battlers ask about rounds is good for your growth as a referee and shouldn't be frowned upon as much as it is- in fact, it should be encouraged. The reason it isn't, I think, is because people frankly tend to be assholes about inquiring about rounds. They'll say "The round should have gone X way because of reason Y" like they're Jeri making the executive decision that the round needs to be changed instead of being polite and reasonable about it. Alternatively, some people, if they don't like their ref's response, will either go to the Ref Q/A and pick and choose what answers they like from it to support their arguments or even go to S/I and twist the circumstances around to fit the answer they want. And when this happens to a ref enough times, they'll lose motivation to ref the match in question or even matches in general simply because they're sick and tired of their every reffing being poked and prodded by their battlers as if ASB is a science and Ref's discretion doesn't exist. I know that I for one have reffed matches where more than half of the rounds were questioned, often in rude and discretion-ignoring ways, and it completely killed my motivation. I imagine this would be even worse for newbie referees who have no confidence in their abilities yet.

Therefore, a proposal I'd like to make outside of the ones that I'm putting in my questionnaire is that we:

A: Make (and enforce) a rule that to be answered, all Q/A questions (and S/I ones pertaining to battles) have a link to the battle in the post, so that those answering can get all the context they might need to construct informed answers. This has the bonus effect of insuring that nobody slips questions about their ref test into the Q/A.

B: Get back into the state of mind where we side with the referee whenever it's feasible and they aren't truly out of line. Giving an uncertain referee the reassurance that they aren't causing more problems than they're solving by reffing would be huge in keeping them from losing motivation and closing up shop, I'd think.

C: Take action when people don't respect their referee's discretion. I'm not saying punish people whenever they step out of line, but if someone is consistently making it a pain to ref one of their matches by completely disregarding their referee's discretion, they deserve a stern talking-to at the very least.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Rework the Referee Grades system so that - becomes the baseline standard for the speed grades. Remove the punishments associated with it, but do not allow for rewards. Scale up from there.
I feel that the rewards should stay and the -3 cap aswell I honestly don’t feel like the -3 makes a difference to – grade refs due to the time it takes them in the first place and as slash said
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I'd like to point out that adding an extra modifier to everyone's week bonus except the "-" level would only serve to exclude and demotivate the tier that actually could use the extra motivation to go faster, instead of ones who are already mostly working at that pace anyway
Quote:
Shift the Weekly Bonus to x1.5 SP for those referees who are at neutral or above speed grades.
In my opinion the 1.5x should be for all grades not just neutral or above it would allow refs whom cannot achieve the weekly reffings consistently to gain some extra sp, that being said removing the -3 cap doesn’t really do much since they most likely are not reffing more than 7 battles and if they are able to then they should increase their speed.
Quote:
Set the base SP earnings to x1.5X, where X is number of Pokemon in X vs. X, for matches of 4 vs. 4 and higher. This omits the expected leveling stipulations so as to avoid RF abuse (2vs. 2 Singles, 3 vs. 3 Doubles).
This would make reffing larger matches much more worthwhile I like this idea.

As for what Snorby said

Quote:
A: Make (and enforce) a rule that to be answered, all Q/A questions (and S/I ones pertaining to battles) have a link to the battle in the post, so that those answering can get all the context they might need to construct informed answers. This has the bonus effect of insuring that nobody slips questions about their ref test into the Q/A.

B: Get back into the state of mind where we side with the referee whenever it's feasible and they aren't truly out of line. Giving an uncertain referee the reassurance that they aren't causing more problems than they're solving by reffing would be huge in keeping them from losing motivation and closing up shop, I'd think.

C: Take action when people don't respect their referee's discretion. I'm not saying punish people whenever they step out of line, but if someone is consistently making it a pain to ref one of their matches by completely disregarding their referee's discretion, they deserve a stern talking-to at the very least.
I agree with this completely

Finally I feel like one of the reasons that battles get so clogged up is them waiting in the queue for a replacement ref. I feel like D grade refs should be able to take on matches in progress with permission from both battlers this would:
a) Get lower grade refs a chance to see how other refs notes are done
b) Allow the queue to flow more smoothly and get a ref to use up a spare slot on a match that won’t take as long
c) Get matches finished instead of them waiting for weeks on end
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:18 PM   #9
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Snorby really has it hands down. We are not a good community in respecting our refs. Although I honestly think we should actually be punishing people because "stern talking tos" hasn't ever really worked.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:21 PM   #10
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Snorby really has it hands down. We are not a good community in respecting our refs. Although I honestly think we should actually be punishing people because "stern talking tos" hasn't ever really worked.
I agree, but I do think it's possible for somebody (especially newer folk) to not completely grasp the concept of ref's discretion, and I hardly think we should be punishing a newbie for not understanding how we operate well enough to act accordingly. Obviously, if a vet or someone else who by all rights should know their shit is doing this kind of thing, fuck the stern talking-to and lay down the law.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
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Yeah I mean I don't disagree with that, but that has much less to do with my point and more "make sure the one doing the punishing isn't a massive wank".
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:25 PM   #12
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A big issue I don't think I've seen touched: disappearing battlers. Let's say I'm reffing Abbot versus Costello, and both suddenly go AWOL without a TA. The match was in the final matchup. Without either battler, the match cannot be concluded by DQ. Do rules exist that would allow a ref to get credit for what's been done so far after a given amount of time? If they exist, are they well known? Something to consider.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:25 PM   #13
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Also the solution isn't to make more rewards. Make refs more confident in their work. There are a lot of IRL issues that simply cannot be resolved in any way, but we really should make sure refs feel confident in what they are doing.
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A big problem, in my opinion, is that the league's old policy of siding with the ref whenever possible has been thrown to the wayside in many cases. Having your battlers ask about rounds is good for your growth as a referee and shouldn't be frowned upon as much as it is- in fact, it should be encouraged. The reason it isn't, I think, is because people frankly tend to be assholes about inquiring about rounds. They'll say "The round should have gone X way because of reason Y" like they're Jeri making the executive decision that the round needs to be changed instead of being polite and reasonable about it. Alternatively, some people, if they don't like their ref's response, will either go to the Ref Q/A and pick and choose what answers they like from it to support their arguments or even go to S/I and twist the circumstances around to fit the answer they want. And when this happens to a ref enough times, they'll lose motivation to ref the match in question or even matches in general simply because they're sick and tired of their every reffing being poked and prodded by their battlers as if ASB is a science and Ref's discretion doesn't exist. I know that I for one have reffed matches where more than half of the rounds were questioned, often in rude and discretion-ignoring ways, and it completely killed my motivation. I imagine this would be even worse for newbie referees who have no confidence in their abilities yet.

Therefore, a proposal I'd like to make outside of the ones that I'm putting in my questionnaire is that we:

A: Make (and enforce) a rule that to be answered, all Q/A questions (and S/I ones pertaining to battles) have a link to the battle in the post, so that those answering can get all the context they might need to construct informed answers. This has the bonus effect of insuring that nobody slips questions about their ref test into the Q/A.

B: Get back into the state of mind where we side with the referee whenever it's feasible and they aren't truly out of line. Giving an uncertain referee the reassurance that they aren't causing more problems than they're solving by reffing would be huge in keeping them from losing motivation and closing up shop, I'd think.

C: Take action when people don't respect their referee's discretion. I'm not saying punish people whenever they step out of line, but if someone is consistently making it a pain to ref one of their matches by completely disregarding their referee's discretion, they deserve a stern talking-to at the very least.
My viewpoints are expressed through these posts. Also Snorby's latest post is what I agree with too.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:32 PM   #14
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A big issue I don't think I've seen touched: disappearing battlers. Let's say I'm reffing Abbot versus Costello, and both suddenly go AWOL without a TA. The match was in the final matchup. Without either battler, the match cannot be concluded by DQ. Do rules exist that would allow a ref to get credit for what's been done so far after a given amount of time? If they exist, are they well known? Something to consider.
Going off of this, possibly a nice way to do things might be that refs get SP by KO rather than in a lump sum at the end of the battle. This way, bonuses can reset so if you lose your 48 hour in the first matchup, when the second matchup comes around you have a reason to gun for 48 hours per reffing again. Additionally, this would make it so people who get replaced will always get their fair share of the SP, and won't have to just pray that the person who refs the last half of the last matchup of the 6v6 they've spent the last month(s) reffing isn't a total asshat. This would also solve the above problem mentioned by Myles- The ref would get SP for all KOs that have happened as they happened, so when Abbot and Costello disappear at the end of the matchup it doesn't matter.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:32 PM   #15
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A big issue I don't think I've seen touched: disappearing battlers. Let's say I'm reffing Abbot versus Costello, and both suddenly go AWOL without a TA. The match was in the final matchup. Without either battler, the match cannot be concluded by DQ. Do rules exist that would allow a ref to get credit for what's been done so far after a given amount of time? If they exist, are they well known? Something to consider.
As it currently stands all cancellations of a match require the consent of at least one of the battlers. That said, if the ref wants to drop the match and wait until a new ref is found before eventually claiming the SP potentially years down the line, that is an option. A terrible option, but an option. I completely agree that we should have some sort of double DQ rule as instituted by the Ref and approved by an LO in the same manner as the rule we currently have about disappearing refs and cancelling a match that has gone more than 5 rounds.

>Snorby

The issue I find with this is that it's entirely possible for KOs to just rotate around obnoxiously and for them to somehow eventually claim more KOs than the winner got in the event of a DQ or whathaveyou. That said, I think that if we do something where the ref gets the SP after a 'mon on EACH SIDE is KO'd it might work. I mean, not the best fix for the situation, but it theoretically could work.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:42 PM   #16
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I agree with snorby in that the way refs are treated in some situations is kind of unexceptable. You have a look at any sport and the rules when speaking to a referee are very strict. You should be able to ask a question like "why did this happen?" But you shouldn't be telling the ref what you think should have happened. I think people who continually disrespect referees should be fined in some way, maybe a tp or sp fine.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:45 PM   #17
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>TP or SP fine

While I agree that there should probably be a fine or something for treating refs like garbage, TP and SP come in such large amounts and are easily replenish-able through the use of the other. This is a major offense that has been slowly killing the League and needs to be treated as such, if we're going to fine anything, we should fine the one thing that takes actual effort to regain. KOs.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:50 PM   #18
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KOs would make sense maybe build up to them though. Like give a warning then a tp/sp fine then if it continues start fining KOs. I guess if it really got out of hand you could also possibly temporarily remove a battle slot.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:54 PM   #19
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>Sneaze

I mean, it's a rather rough idea I posted the moment it popped into my head. I'll be the first to admit that I did not think through every possible scenario, but I'm sure there's possible fixes to the issues we'll find. For example, we could simply say that "A ref may not collect more SP than X where X is the number of Pokemon used by either side in the match with any multipliers tacked on." and call it a day, but that would bring up the issue of people hitting the max and then not caring much afterward.

Also, I wholeheartedly support a fine on KOs.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #20
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Fines on KOs, restriction of battle slots, and potentially other punishments are all good in my book. (I considered the removal of reffing privileges but honestly that isn't quite the right offense for it).
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #21
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Problem with that/fining in general: Let's say for a moment, hypothetically, that I'm the problem user. See the problem? I've just reset, which means I have nothing to speak of KO/TP/SP wise. Are negative KOs going to be a thing? Are negatives of any points going to be a thing?
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:15 PM   #22
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Fines on KOs, restriction of battle slots, and potentially other punishments are all good in my book. (I considered the removal of reffing privileges but honestly that isn't quite the right offense for it).
Especially when the problem we're trying to solve is a shortage of reffing manpower, I too don't think removing reffing privileges is a good idea. We've got to promote reffing and related things here, doing anything that does the opposite would be counter-productive at this point. Perhaps when we implement this stuff and (assuming it does) it starts working, we could take a second look at that, though.

>Myles

For one, very few people reset, and if you actually have 0 KOs without resetting you're a new user, and as I said I think new user shouldn't be subject to these fines that quickly. That is such a rare case that honestly I think it can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:59 PM   #23
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But yes if you reset and are trying to use the fact that you've reset and don't have points to fine in order to be a colossal douchenozzle, you should go into negatives without a thought.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:02 PM   #24
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While I do t think anyone would have that thought process (if they're going to be a douche they're going to do it, points or no), it's fair enough. Next question: about restricting battle slots: what happens if every last one of someone's slots are full? Serebii, UPN, Gym, everything. Are we just going to put certain matches on hold/end them prematurely? Or would those restrictions take effect once slots empty out?
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:04 PM   #25
Emi
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I would think the restriction would go into the match in contention. If that happens, ref and battler get full points for that match, the person disciplined has nothing and can't start another match with that slot until X date.
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