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Old 09-02-2015, 08:16 AM   #76
Stealthy
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I'm not huge on the limited challenge system. If I cock up three times in a matchup I would like to be notified. And sometimes you get a new or shitty ref who makes a lot of mistakes and should be corrected more frequently. I feel the main problem with complaints is when people do it either a) too frequently or b) too nitpicky on judgement calls.

Instead lets:
-have LOs start directly dealing with people who are abusing ref complaints. Even if it's just shooting them a PM, it's much more effective than bemoaning the problem in TO and hoping people pick up on it. People aren't great at picking up on that, because we see our complaints as legitimate.
-make it less of a big todo. Like, if I want to know why Dave reffed my Totodile getting outsped by Connor's Hippowdon, I should be able to ask without stigma and Dave feeling defensive, but that means we need to change our attitude when we ask these things so there's less stress about the whole ordeal.
-improve the coaching threads. Makes our refs better and then there's less complaints
-a system where new ungraded refs are assigned a senior ref who will proof their reffings. The current admission process for refs is hilariously easy, and that's okay if we put an effort into hiking them up the learning curve quickly, but we don't do that. It's a trial by fire. Not a fan of it. New refs are the ones most likely to get (sometimes justifiably) complained at, even if it's in the name of teaching. Having a B grade make sure their reffings are of passable quality should cut down on disagreements.Those coaches shouldn't be nitpicking their judgement calls too hard, but should have more license than the battlers to poke at ref's discretion. The goal is to set them up with a solid base of reffing skills and knowledge of how to make judgement calls
-seconding a better instruction of how to ref. A reffing 101 thread really should already exist.

Look, it's nice to say "the refs always right" but they're usually not. Everybody's had that match that was cocked up by a ref being consistently mediocre or bad at judgement calls. And one of the ways people learn is by having their mistakes corrected, so they don't keep making them. What we need to do is instead of pushing against challenging the ref is to fix the atmosphere surrounding it so people don't nitpick too much in the middle of the match, but also so that whenever a ref and battler talk about how things went, there's not the stress or tension that creates the problem people have with how things are now.

And while the idea of Ref's Discretion is good and worth defending, it's predicated on the assumption that the ref has proper discretion. This is not always the case, hence why we have lower grades.

Really though, heres the hypothetical. It's a moderately close gym match. Josh makes a judgement call. This call is logical and passable, but not the best one. I, as the battler, point out what I see to be the call that makes more sense. Assume that the difference in result isn't dramatic, but is worthwhile. We calmly and respectively go back and forth explaining ourselves, and while we both acknowledge that neither of us is wrong, there is a question of who is more right. We go to the LOs, and they give us an answer. This all happened in a timely fashion and didn't really stall the match.

Did I have a right to question Josh in the first place, or is he protected by refs discretion?
Would I be in the wrong if it was a standard match (not a leveler)?
If the LOs say Josh's ruling was fine, but my interpretation is better, does that mean I was right to speak up in the first place? What if they say his was wrong?
If the LOs say my call was wrong, should I be sanctioned for questioning Josh?
What if I thought his call was flat out wrong, but the LOs tell me he was right. Am I more in the right for questioning him, even if I was wrong?
Would it be more okay if the difference between our calls was more dramatic?
Would I be more in the right if either Josh or I backed down and went with the other's call instead of consulting the LOs?
Is the situation only okay because Josh and I talked to each other like adults with no offense taken or meant?
If I'm calm and respectful and all, but Josh gets super defensive due to PTSD from the first match he ever reffed, do I get blamed for complaining about a justifiable call?

I don't think there's anything inherently bad about talking to the ref. The problem shows up in everything else, so why not fix the everything else?
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:28 AM   #77
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If the call is logical and possible, it is correct. This should be a blanket policy enforced by LOs.

This does not mean an LO/mentor cannot subsequently say to that ref "hey maybe next time you could ref that situation like this because it would have the following benefits".
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:29 AM   #78
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The thing is Stealthy, your initial list of points sounds good but almost none of it is actionable. Cultural changes are exceedingly difficult to force (hence why SPPf comp is still full of shitheads despite having Miror as a mod), and even if you somehow change ASB culture people who are new to it - our newer refs - will still be put out by being excessively corrected because that's naturally disheartening no matter how nice people are about it. Like yes, ideally you'd change ASB culture so all challenges to reffings are respectful and no-one takes offence at them. I don't think getting near that is even remotely possible.

I think battlers need to accept that sometimes reffing mistakes or judgement calls they disagree with are just going to happen, because the alternative just results in intense pressure on refs to be perfect - which is the major thing killing their motivation already.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:54 PM   #79
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The thing is Stealthy, your initial list of points sounds good but almost none of it is actionable.
Given that culture is the problem, looking to mold the culture better is really the best solution as opposed to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, even if it's daunting. Given that there seems to be wide consensus that we need to fix this stuff, creating a set of guidelines that we enforce as to how we want complaints to go and then enforcing it is a totally doable thing. I figure there'll be bumps and we'll have to course correct a bit, but it feels doable.

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Cultural changes are exceedingly difficult to force (hence why SPPf comp is still full of shitheads despite having Miror as a mod),
Yeah, but this isn't a comprehensive "everybody calm your goddamn tits, you're taking ASB too seriously" overhaul of ASB culture like a de-shitheading of Serebii comp would be. This is a targeted change of the culture of battler/ref relations, which is way more feasible. Not as easy as just instituting a challenge system, but if we do it right it'll be a better outcome.
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and even if you somehow change ASB culture people who are new to it - our newer refs - will still be put out by being excessively corrected because that's naturally disheartening no matter how nice people are about it.
Hence the mentor system, boosts to the coaching thread, and a general improvement of ref education. But mostly the mentor system.

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I think battlers need to accept that sometimes reffing mistakes or judgement calls they disagree with are just going to happen,
Agreed, and anybody nitpicking or abusing their refs with bitching and complaining should be disciplined according to whatever is deemed appropriate. Perfection is absurd, hell so is near perfection, but we have refs who make calls that are technically okay but could be way better. It's basically the definition of C grade. And if you're badgering them about all of the eh calls then fuck you, but if the ref seems to be consistently being weak on partial dodge calls, we shouldn't shame our experienced battlers for correcting them if they're not being assholes about it. We can't expect our refs to be perfect, but we can't pretend they are either, and we can't pretend that there's nothing positive to be had about battlers and refs talking about the match.

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because the alternative just results in intense pressure on refs to be perfect - which is the major thing killing their motivation already.
No, at best it's the fourth highest reason, and even then I doubt it. Generally, people don't ref because they are either busy, lazy, or think of reffing as a chore/don't like it. Often a mix of the three.

Improving battler/ref relations isn't really a big solution to ref motivation. Sure, it's tangentially related to making reffing suck less, but
it's just a problem of it's own. It's really more related to the larger ASB culture fix issue than ref motivation.

And the negative attitude towards reffing is a lot more pervasive than Sneaze abusing his ref like a red headed stepchild. Hell, I remember seeing people bitch in Skype about a newbie ref asking too many questions in Ref Q&A. Oh, and cue Deebs with the "refs can't do anything" jokes. There's a bigger cultural problem at work here, and we need more than a limited challenge system to fix it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:11 PM   #80
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I'm a little too out of it to really finish reading the posts I haven't finished but I saw a mentor system mentioned so I want to comment on that.

So I always like the idea of a mentor system but every time I see it suggested or attempted, there's no real structure and it goes nowhere. Can someone give me an idea of what they think would work?
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:18 PM   #81
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I feel like the fundamental issue is that reffing is a chore issued by parents who will give you the thing you want from them regardless of whether you do the chore and won't punish you if you piss on the carpet.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:20 PM   #82
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So before this threatens to spiral out of control!

Should we be focusing on improving referee-battler relations as a lot of you suggest, should we be trying to improve the refereeing incentives which exist in the forms of bonuses, should we be trying a mixture of these two?

I for one accept there is a problem with regards to referee-battler relations and am attempting to fix my own attitude when it comes to dealing with my referees. I think a lot of Concept's suggestions are something we should take on board and are things I will be taking into the LO forum to really look at implementing once we have managed to draft some sort of an action plan in here. However I think it has to be said through the survey I am seeing a distinct divide which the thread really does not seem to be displaying. I am not trying to entirely dissuade from the discussion of improvement towards referee-battler relations, as I said I accept it is a problem. Like Stealthy highlighted though, this is not the only problem. I have had plenty people ask me to improve the bonuses, improve the incentives, create more SP sinks.

What are the ideas on that front? Are we comfortable implementing the suggested plans I brought up (sans removing the referee cap, which we seem to have come to consensus on not doing)? Should we take a different approach and introduce stick methods instead? I know a lot of us are mentioning that there is a sense of entitlement within ASB which needs addressing.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:25 PM   #83
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I can't speak for everyone, but at the moment there is no stick with this stuff. There's the carrot, but not really much of a stick, just a slightly smaller carrot.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:27 PM   #84
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You can tweak the incentives, but they aren't the problem. More gold sinks is definitely a thing we need, both high and low end, but it won't get you many new refs and it won't make your refs any better.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:30 PM   #85
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>Stealthy

From personal experience I've tried to get back into reffing multiple times because I genuinely enjoy it sometimes, but then inevitably get reminded that to ref is to be treated as battlers glorified manservant. That's what makes people think of it as a chore, that's what makes people lazy about it (no-one is lazy about things they're enjoying doing). You've listed a bunch of issues but from my experience, refs having no rights (alongside a dearth of cool shit like legend matches and contests for refs to do) is the root cause of the issues you're on about.

I'm not against helping refs improve - I proposed Reffing 101 and getting back on the coaching and I'm on board with a mentor system if we can get it to work. I just don't believe it's possible to let battlers freely challenge reffings without making reffing feel like a chore (and all the attendant motivation issues that creates). Was gonna propose no challenging reffings at all whilst the match is ongoing but decided that was too extreme. A challenge system is essentially an enforced culture change anyway.

>Better incentives

Better gold sinks and easier SP earning has been the traditional response to this problem. The current state of reffing is the result. People are motivated to do things they're enjoying, so imo focus on making reffing more enjoyable - nix the negative aspects and provide more cool shit to ref (contests, legend matches, etc). Not so much "reffing in order to get cool shit" but more "reffing because I'm enjoying reffing".
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:44 PM   #86
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>Mentoring system

Spitballing here, we get a collection of B and A grades who are active and responsible (I count five easy) and pair them with a new ref. The new ref would be assigned their mentor at the same time their reffing application is approved. Mentor PMs says hi, gives some basic advice for notekeeping tips and things to remember, and then encourages the newbie to take a match. Newbie takes the match, does the thing, and then after every set of orders they draft up the reffing for the round and PM it to the mentor. Mentor looks it over, either says "good job, go for it", "actually, you fucked this up, here's a fixed version and an explanation", or anything in between. Newbie posts the reffing. Goes on until the newbie feels ready to take their ref test or whatever cutoff we believe fits.

Actual infrastructure would be a thread in the ref forum where B and A grades can sign up to be mentors, and the mentees can go to post things like "hey my mentor is being inactive can I have a new one that smells nicer?" Biggest threat is mentor inactivity/laziness, but I imagine that approving a reffing is a pretty simple task that can be accomplished.

Oh, and mentors would get an SP reward for every match their pupil finishes.

>Incentives

While there's fixes to be had here they won't help motivation. They'll just make the already active refs richer.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:46 PM   #87
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Well I mean the current Contests are all being taken care of by non-LO referees - the only battle which isn't was intended to be refereed by another non-LO referee, but he then managed to get through to the battle round and obviously without wanting to insult his integrity this would not have realistically flew too well. As far as judging goes, we are all for members who are not LOs participating. This is the first contest under the reworked system though. We wanted to make sure we had a tight handle on everything so that we could test the system properly.

With regards to Legend Challenges I intended to have the next one refereed by a non LO referee anyway. Will opening the floor for these kinds of matches be enough though? It honestly strikes me that most members who would qualify in terms of ability (and we should not kid ourselves here, like you said, it would need to be restricted to B rank and above) are either already regularly refereeing or would most likely not show an interest in these kinds of battle anyway. I also wonder whether referees will feel motivated enough to begin actively refereeing and improve their grades in order to qualify for refereeing them, but then that is me being presumptuous and conservative which are two things I try to speak out against in ASB. I'll try my best to set a precedent for Legend matches going to non-LO referees, and like I said, Contest battles are already open to people who wanted to volunteer.

>Mentoring System

I'd be more than happy to oversee this. I mean I'm a pessimistic shit who has doubts about how smoothly it will go, but I'm more than happy to hold up my end of the bargain and establish it if we're happy to try and get a working proposal done here.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:48 PM   #88
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If you accept that Legend Matches can be reffed in one paragraph as normal, no extra fluff, then there is no reason we can't farm them out to Bs.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:49 PM   #89
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I think given the circumstance of them a little more effort than, say, a bog standard 3 vs. 3 would need to be put in, but of the people I expect would be willing to put themselves forwards I don't imagine that would be a problem.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:56 PM   #90
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I will admit to not having read the entirety of the proposed challenge system but I feel like making this super complicated it going to make it harder for newbie

Argument applies to per KO bonuses as well
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:59 PM   #91
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>Connor

People put in the effort to battle to get to higher trainer levels for more variety of mon, striving for gyms, that kind of thing. I think we could do analogously for reffing if evals are frequent enough to make people feel like progressing through grades is feasible and we make it easier for refs to get educated and make it so that reffing a round doesn't also mean going back and forth over it for half a dozen posts. I mean look at all the skype convos about "what I'd do if I ran a GM". More frequent evals and easier access (B grades) to some cool reffing stuff makes cool shit seem achievable.

I would definitely make a ref queue for legend matches, contest judges, etc that people can just pick them up from rather than relying on farming then out. Speaking from experience (as the guy who's been MLC twice) it's way too easy as an LO to see cool stuff before it's public and just go *yoink* if there's no queue.

>Mentoring

It's a great idea if you can get it to work, but I seem to recall we tried something similar to what Stealthy suggested before and it died instantly. People weren't enjoying being mentors so they stopped doing it. If people aren't enjoying doing something you're not going to get them to do it no matter how big the carrot or the stick.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:59 PM   #92
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I will admit to not having read the entirety of the proposed challenge system but I feel like making this super complicated it going to make it harder for newbie

Argument applies to per KO bonuses as well
Won't really comment on the Challenge system, but per KO bonuses would not be hard at all for a newbie to pick up on if they can do basic maths. Only instance I can see it being a problem for newbies is doubles matches and that would only be because they don't know how to calculate SP for doubles.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:39 PM   #93
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In addition to Reffing 101, I'd like to present a little idea that's inspired by my four times at CHWC. Perhaps as a section of 101, have "Let's Say..." as a guide that answers questions on scenarios that newer refs often find confusing/what to do in given situations of errors.
I'd definitely like some feedback on this and also think that the more resources we have for newer refs here (rather than on the site), the better.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:35 AM   #94
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>Concept

I dunno. Call me a pessimist but I don't think a queue would be the greatest idea. If we leave them LO picked them we can at least cherry pick those that we feel are reliable. One of the pervading problems with Legend Challenges in the past while is that the people involved have either been unmotivated or otherwise busy. If we leave it to a queue it is essentially going to fall to the first Tom, Dick or Harry to see it and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. I mean sure, we can try it, but I have a feeling it will lead to more trouble than it could solve.

>Myles

So while this is honestly a good idea, what kind of scenarios would you be considering? A lot of the time it's not common things which cause newbie referees to slip up. It would be somewhat hard to sort out what would be relevant scenarios. As an alternative, how about something Concept (or Kush?) were intending to do at one point? Get one of the more respected referees, two of the more skilled battlers, put them against one another in a corruption slot and have them explain all of their actions and decisions, battler and referee alike? Gives an insight into the workings of the referee and battler, which I feel will probably be useful.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:03 AM   #95
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I believe that Legend refs and MLCs should remain LO picked, but we should diversify the pool of people who have done it before.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:19 AM   #96
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I fully intend to. I have a list of at least three names who I feel would be capable, willing and reliable enough to referee a Legend Challenge. None of these names are LOs.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:19 AM   #97
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Tutorial match is a good idea. You'd have to be careful about the ref - some refs who've been around donkeys years develop little idiosyncrasies that work for then but aren't necessarily recommended for newbies. You'd probably be a good choice. I'd potentially be up for battling it depending on it you think me fighting weird would help or hurt (variety in battle style between the two trainers involved might be useful).
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:25 AM   #98
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I think it's fine for refs with said idiosyncrasies (hello!) to be mentor refs as long as they are mature and self aware enough to say "I would personally ref it in this way but the more common thing is to ref it this other way".
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:47 AM   #99
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i love the idea of a tutorial match, would also be good to see an example of a referees notes.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:09 AM   #100
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Provided everyone involved promised to be timely, I figure pitting yourself or Kush against someone like Dave or Jeri would work out fantastically. You and Kush both focus on controlling the opponent while Dave and Jeri represent one of the most successful offensive play styles and one of the most balanced play styles.
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