Last updated: December 09, 2021

League Rules

Official Rules of the Dominion League

The changelog for the Rules and Regulations can be found here.

Contents

  1. Registration
  2. League Structure
  3. Conduct
  4. Match Structure
  5. Standings
  6. Scheduling
  7. Drops and Suspensions
  8. Moderation
  9. Amendments

1. Registration

1.1. Membership requirements

To join the Dominion League, you must meet all these requirements:

1.1.1. You have a Dominion Online account with 10 or more rated 2-player games. You do not need to purchase a subscription to Dominion Online.

1.1.2. You are a member of the Dominion (by Donald X Vaccarino) Discord server.

1.1.3. You are not already playing in the Dominion League with any other Dominion Online or Discord accounts.

1.1.4. You have basic English language proficiency, so you can communicate with the moderators and your opponents.

1.1.5. Your username and profile picture comply with the conduct rules in 3.3.

1.2. Signing up

If you meet all the requirements per 1.1 and are not playing in the current season, you may fill out the sign-up form for the upcoming season. A moderator will review your submission and contact you via Discord. Until they do, your participation is not confirmed.

1.2.1. After the sign-up deadline passes, you may still sign up for the waiting list. If spots open up during the early weeks of a season, moderators may fill them with players from the waiting list, depending on skill and time zone. Players who have dropped from the current season may not re-enter via the wait list.

1.3. Returning

If you are playing in the current season and would like to join the next season, fill out the Returning Form linked in your division’s Discord channel. Otherwise, you will by default leave the League after the current season.

1.4. Hiatus

You retain your tier placement, space permitting (see 2.4 and 2.5), during a break of up to 5 consecutive seasons. If you rejoin after a break of 6 or more consecutive seasons, you will be placed as a new player.

1.5. Accounts

You may switch your Dominion Online or Discord account at any time by letting your moderator know, but you may not join the League additional times using other accounts.

2. League Structure

2.1. Pacing

Each season lasts 6 weeks, and most are followed by a 2-week break. Once per year there is a longer 6-week break for the Shuffle iT Championship tournament in September.

2.2. Divisions

A division is a group of approximately 6 players who will play each other during a season. Each division is assigned a moderator from the League moderator team. The number of divisions depends on the number of players.

2.3. Tiers

The divisions are grouped into tiers. The number of tiers depends on the number of divisions.

2.3.1. There is a single division in tier A. Starting with tier B, the maximum number of divisions in a tier is twice the maximum of the tier above it, except every third tier which has the same maximum number as the one above it.

2.3.2. The lowest tier has the same maximum number of divisions as the one above it. This rule overrides 2.3.1.

2.3.3. The combination of 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 results in the following maximum division counts based on the number of tiers:

2.3.4. Tiers A through D always have the maximum number of divisions. The moderators at their discretion may choose to have fewer than the maximum number of divisions in tiers E and below.

2.3.5. The moderators may make exceptions to these tier count rules to account for probable changes in the size of the League.

2.4. Tier Placement

Players are placed into tiers using the following criteria, in order:

2.4.1. Players who played in the previous season are placed into their tier from that season, unless they earned a promotion or demotion (5.3), in which case they are placed according to the promotion and demotion rules.

2.4.2. Players returning to the League after completing one of the past 6 seasons are placed into the tier they would have most recently returned to, starting with the players that played most recently, and with ties broken by seeding (2.6).

2.4.3. Players returning to the League who did not complete one of the past 6 seasons, and players joining the League for the first time, are placed into tiers based on their Dominion Online level. Levels will be collected at a time specified on the sign-up page.

2.4.4. If there are still open spots in a tier, players in the tier below may receive free promotions to fill them. See 5.5 for details.

2.5. Flex Divisions

Divisions usually have a maximum of 6 players. However, divisions may “flex” up to a size of 7 players in order to accommodate returning players (2.4.2) or particularly highly-rated players (2.4.3). Free promotions (5.5) are only used to fill divisions up to the normal maximum of 6 players.

2.6. Seeding

Each tier of players is split into divisions by a seeding algorithm. The algorithm takes into account time zones in tiers E and below, previous performance in the League for returning players, and Dominion Online level for new players.

3. Conduct

3.1 Behavior

You are expected to treat all players with respect at all times. Examples of inappropriate actions include rage quitting, intentionally slow playing, and unexpectedly or suddenly changing the match arrangements per 4.5.

3.2. Communication

Be kind and polite when communicating with players and moderators. Examples of inappropriate communications include swearing, harassment, and excessive complaints of luck.

3.2.1. All League communication should be through Discord or dominion.games. Do not use external apps like WhatsApp or Facebook for League communications.

3.3. Username and profile picture

Your username and profile picture may not contain any inappropriate content.

3.4. Play to the best of your ability

Always play your matches as competitively as possible. Even if your promotion or demotion status is guaranteed, the games likely have an effect on the statuses of the other players in your division or on their tiebreakers. Noncompetitive behavior is unfair to your opponents and may result in a suspension per 7.2.

3.4.1. If you have played a game to the best of your ability and you believe you have no chance of winning the game, you may resign it.

3.4.2. You may never forfeit a game when it is too early or too unclear to assess a winner. In addition to a warning or suspension as appropriate, a moderator will ask you to play out any games that were forfeited.

3.4.3. You may not collude with other players or otherwise compromise the competitive integrity of your matches.

3.5. Misconduct

If you witness or experience any misconduct, including but not limited to the examples listed in 3.1, please alert a moderator immediately and share any screenshot evidence you have. Depending on the severity of the misconduct, the offending player may be warned or suspended per 7.2.

4. Match Structure

4.1. Matches

A match is 6 games between the same two players, with each player going first 3 times. Each player plays one match against each other player in their division.

4.1.1. Matches must be played on Dominion Online.

4.1.2. The first game should have a random starting player, and then starting player should alternate for the remaining games.

4.2. Playing sessions

A playing session is a series of one or more games between the same two players, where consecutive games take place no more than 24 hours apart.

4.2.1. Matches may comprise one or more playing sessions.

4.2.2. The League recommends you complete all 6 games of a match on the same day in a single playing session.

4.3. Outside help

During games, you may not attempt to gain a competitive advantage by consulting resources other than those maintained by the League on the Dominion League Resources page.

4.3.1. The Dominion League Resources page may be consulted privately or publicly at any time.

4.3.2. For example, getting advice from Dominion Strategy articles or from spectators is not allowed.

4.4. Default table settings

Games played on Dominion Online should use these table setting under Advanced Options:

4.4.1. Spectators should be allowed.

4.4.2. “Players can see spectator chat” should be off.

4.4.3. Familiar cards should not be respected.

4.4.4. For games using expansions, the disliked cards lists and banned cards lists should be respected, and the liked cards lists should not be.

4.4.5. For games without expansions, no cardlists should be respected.

4.4.6. The game should not use the “Extra Menagerie” option.

4.4.7. The game should be unrated.

4.4.8. The victory point counter should be used.

4.4.9. The player order should be set per 4.1.2.

4.4.10. Kingdoms should be generated randomly with all cards either player has access to and from zero to two landscapes, with a maximum of one Way. No particular cards, landscapes, landscape types, or expansions should be selected.

4.4.11. There is no official game timer on Dominion Online, and games should not use an unofficial timer.

4.5. Changes to the defaults

The default table settings in 4.4 may be changed between games by mutual agreement of you and your opponent except:

4.5.1. You may not agree to disallow spectators (4.4.1).

4.5.2. If your game does not use expansions, you may not use Familiar cards or any cardlists (4.4.3 & 4.4.5).

4.5.3. You may only change your cardlists between playing sessions.

4.5.4. If you agree to use an unofficial timer, you and your opponent must also agree on all timer settings and how to handle any glitches or lag.

4.6. New expansions

Per 4.4.10, the default card pool for Kingdom generation each season is all cards. However, either player may opt to remove cards from new expansions that were released after the end of the previous season from Kingdom generation.

4.7. Undos

Players may have different opinions on which undos should be allowed, if any.

4.7.1. The default policy is that you at least grant all undos that are for small numbers of steps and that did not reveal new game information.

4.7.2. You may choose a different policy regarding which undos you will allow, so long as you announce it to your opponent before the game.

4.8. Abandoning games

In the rare event of a game which must be abandoned, players should play a new game in its place. Abandoned games do not count toward match completion or match score.

4.8.1. If a player has connection issues or otherwise cannot continue a game, they should reload the same game another time. If the game can’t be reloaded (e.g. due to an internal error or impassable bug), the players should abandon the game.

4.8.2. If players mutually agree their current game is a stalemate, they may abandon the game. If the players don’t agree about a stalemate, then they must play on.

4.9 Wins and ties

Each game you win is reported as 1 win. Each game you tie is reported as 0.5 wins.

4.9.1. Per Dominion rules, a game with tied VP scores is won by the player who took fewer turns (not counting extra turns).

4.10. Submitting results

After each playing session, you or your opponent should submit the results of that playing session as soon as possible using the Results form linked in your division’s Discord channel.

4.10.1. The results are the total wins and ties per 4.9.

4.10.2. If the match is played across multiple sessions, only submit the games you just played, and the system will add the multiple submissions together.

4.10.3. Only submit results for games that actually happened. Reporting fraudulent results or forfeited games per 3.4.2 may result in a suspension per 7.2.

4.11. Playing under protest

In the case of a disputed rules infraction, you should reach out to a moderator for help. If a moderator decision needs to be made that affects the outcome of a game, you should finish the game, and you may protest the game by contacting your moderator with a description of what occurred and the game number. The moderator team will review the game and make a ruling by a majority vote whether the game results stand or that the game must be replayed.

4.12. Extra/non-standard matches

There are several types of matches (adjustment, play-in, and tiebreaker) that take place outside of the normal league season, and differ from standard league matches in various ways. In all respects but those listed below, they follow the standard league match format.

4.12.1. Adjustment and tiebreaker matches are 2-game matches with each player starting one of the games.

4.12.2. Play-in matches are standard 6-game matches, but if one player reaches 3.5 or more wins, they win the match, and there is no need to complete any remaining games.

4.12.3. If the players are tied after completing all games per 4.12.1 or 4.12.2, they play one final game with a random player starting.

4.12.4. If there is still a tie, the player that went second in the last game wins.

4.12.5. A player who does not wish to play one of these matches may concede.

4.12.6. If one player fails to respond promptly or is unable to play, that player concedes by default.

4.12.7. If neither player responds promptly or both respond but cannot arrange the match in the required time, the moderators will randomly choose a winner.

5. Standings

5.1. Standings

The players in each division are ranked by their win rates. This is updated when players submit results per 4.10.

5.2. Tiebreakers

If there is a tie within a division, these steps are applied with the group of tied players:

5.2.1. Head-to-head

5.2.1.1. Order the players by the total head-to-head wins each player earned from the matches involving only the group of tied players.

5.2.1.2. Break any ties in total head-to-head wins by the total head-to-head wins each player earned from the matches involving only this new group of tied players.

5.2.2. Promotion or demotion implications

5.2.2.1. If a two-way tie affects promotions, demotions, or entry into the Championship Match, the players play a tiebreaker match. The format for this match is specified in 4.12.

5.2.2.2. If a three (or more) way tie affects promotions, demotions, or entry into the Championship Match, the moderators will randomly break the tie.

5.2.2.3. Otherwise, all players share the rank of the best tied place.

5.3. Promotions and demotions

At the end of the season, you may earn a spot in a different tier by promoting to a higher tier or demoting a lower tier, based on your place in your division.

5.3.1. You cannot promote from the highest tier or demote from the lowest tier.

5.3.2. If the tier directly above yours has fewer divisions than your tier, you promote by finishing in first place.

5.3.3. If the tier directly above yours has roughly the same number of divisions as your tier, you promote by finishing in first or second place.

5.3.4. If your division has seven players, and no players dropped before playing any games, you demote by finishing in sixth or seventh place. Otherwise, you demote by finishing in fifth place or sixth place.

5.3.5. If you promote, you rise one tier.

5.3.6. If you demote, you drop one tier.

5.4. Superpromotions

Superpromotions allow you to promote multiple tiers at once, based on how you would be placed as new player.

5.4.1. If you played in tier G or below and finished in first place (including ties), you are eligible for a superpromotion.

5.4.2. If you are eligible, and would be placed higher by the new player placement rules (2.4.3) than by the standard promotion rules (5.3), you superpromote into the higher tier.

5.4.3. You cannot superpromote past E tier. If the new player placement rules (2.4.3) would place you in D tier or higher, you superpromote into E tier instead.

5.5. Free promotions

In order to fill open spots created by players leaving the League between seasons, players in lower tiers may be offered free promotions. The following criteria are used, in order, to determine eligibility:

5.5.1. If the open spot is in a tier roughly the same size as the tier below it, players who finished in (or tied for) fifth place in that tier with a high score in the previous season are offered a free promotion. Otherwise, players who finished in (or tied for) second place in the tier below with a high score in the previous season are offered a free promotion.

5.5.2. If the open spot is in a tier roughly the same size as the tier below it, players who finished in (or tied for) third place in the tier below with a high score in the previous season are offered a free promotion. Otherwise, players who finished in (or tied for) fifth place in that tier with a high score in the previous season are offered a free promotion.

5.5.3. When multiple players would be offered free promotions to a tier without enough open slots for all of them, that tier determines how players are chosen. For tiers A through E, the moderators arrange play-in matches between those players. The format for these matches is specified in 4.12. For all other tiers, the moderators choose players at their discretion, taking into account time zones.

5.6. Dropped players

The following rules are used to account for dropped players in the standings. See 7.1 for more information about drops.

5.6.1. If the dropped player played no games, they are removed and the remaining players play one fewer match. If possible, the moderators will replace them with a player from the waiting list.

5.6.2. If the dropped player played any games, their remaining match results are instead simulated by averaging the average winning percentage of the dropped player and the average losing percentage of their opponent in all games they did play. Afterward, all the match results involving the dropped player are scaled by the percentage of their games they actually played.

5.6.3. At the end of the season, to account for the approximations inherent in simulated results, adjustment matches may be required to better decide the standings between players straddling a promotion or demotion boundary. To determine if an adjustment match is needed, 4 scenarios are compared:

5.6.3.1. Scale all the dropped player’s match results by the percentage of the games the first player actually played against all dropped players.

5.6.3.2. Round all unscaled results to the nearest 0.5, then scale all the dropped player’s match results by the percentage of the games the first player actually played against all dropped players.

5.6.3.3. Scale all the dropped player’s match results by the percentage of the games the second player actually played against all dropped players.

5.6.3.4. Round all unscaled results to the nearest 0.5, then scale all the dropped player’s match results by the percentage of the games the second player actually played against all dropped players.

5.6.4. If the 4 scenarios do not all yield the same promoter or demoter, an adjustment match is needed. The format of this match is specified in 4.12. The winner is placed ahead of the loser in the final standings.

5.6.5. Dropped players finish last place in their division and will demote, which may affect their placement in subsequent seasons they return to.

5.7. Championship match

After the normal matches of A1 are complete, the players in first place and second place play a second 6-game Championship Match to determine the Dominion League Champion of the season.

5.7.1. The Dominion League Champion is the player with the higher total wins from their normal matches and the Championship Match.

5.7.2. If the players are tied in total wins per 5.7.1, the tiebreaker rules per 5.2 are applied, including the wins from the Championship Match. If there is still a tie, they play one final game and the winner is the Champion. If that final game is tied, the player who went second is the Champion.

5.7.3. All 6 games of the Championship Match should be played, even if the Dominion League Champion is decided sooner.

5.7.4. The date and time of the Championship Match should be decided with sufficient time for the League to find commentators and advertise the match.

6. Scheduling

6.1. Suggested schedule

The League recommends you play at least one match per week. In F tier and below, a suggested schedule is posted in your division’s Discord channel and gives you an opponent to play each week. Although many players find this helpful, there is no requirement to follow this suggested schedule.

6.2. Conflicts of interest

If one of your close friends or family members is in your division, please schedule that match to happen early in the season, to eliminate any temptation for collusion.

6.2.1. If you prefer to avoid this, let a moderator know before the season starts, and the League will try to place you in different divisions.

6.3. Deadline

All matches must be played by the end of the last day of the season, which is always a Sunday at 23:59 UTC.

6.4. Extensions

If you are unable to a match by the deadline in 6.3, you must request an extension from your moderator by that deadline.

6.4.1. If you are in tier A, you may request an extension of up to 3 days. In all other tiers, you may request an extension of up to 7 days.

6.4.2. You must schedule an uncompleted match with your opponent before you can request an extension for it. Provide the date and time to your moderator when you request it.

6.4.3. If the match is not completed during the extension period, or an extension was never requested, you and/or your opponent may be dropped at your moderator’s judgment per 7.1.

6.5. Difficulty scheduling

If you have any scheduling issues, or if your opponent does not show up for a scheduled match, please inform your moderator.

7. Drops and Suspensions

7.1. Drops

Players may be dropped from the League during the season. All drops are subject to a suspension by default (see 7.2).

7.1.1. If you are unable to complete your League season for any reason, contact your division moderator for a voluntary drop. Your reason(s) for needing to drop will be considered by the moderator team when deciding whether to apply a suspension.

7.1.2. Players may be involuntarily dropped due to unresponsiveness, failure to play matches in a timely manner, or misconduct (see 3.5).

7.2. Suspensions

All suspensions occur, and may be waived, at the discretion of the moderator team. Players who are suspended may not participate in the Dominion League for the duration of their suspension.

7.2.1. Suspension durations refer to seasons after the current/active season. A 1 season suspension assigned during season 40 would mean that the suspended player could play again during season 42.

7.2.2. The default suspension duration for dropping out of a League season (see 7.1) is 2 seasons. In addition, players who are dropped for being unresponsive must explain their inactivity to a moderator before they may sign up for the League again.

7.2.3. Other types of misconduct (see 3.5) will be subject to a warning or suspension per discretion of the moderator team.

8. Moderation

8.1. Contacting the moderators

You should notify your division moderator via Discord direct message of any issues you have. Direct messages with a moderator about League matters may be shared with the other moderators for the team to resolve together. For other questions, feedback, etc., see our contact page.

8.2. Moderators may play

Moderators are allowed, but not required, to play in the League.

8.3. Moderator responsibilities

8.3.1. Moderators are assigned divisions to be the primary point of contact for those divisions. They are never assigned divisions in the tier they play in. They are responsible for checking up on players who have fallen behind and dropping those who are non-responsive for a considerable period of time (see 7.1).

8.3.2. Moderators are responsible for adjudicating any disputed rules infractions, including ruling on protested games (see 4.11).

8.4. Meeting minutes

Whenever the moderators gather for an official meeting at which rules may change, the agenda of the meeting and the outcome of any votes, including the number dissenting, will be made public within a week of the meeting. This will happen at least once per season.

8.5. Moderator division quotas

Each active moderator will moderate at least 5 divisions per season.

8.6. Moderator breaks

Moderators are eligible for 1-season breaks, during which they retain voting privileges and access to moderator Discord channels.

8.6.1. If more moderators want to take breaks than the team can afford, moderators who have gone the longest without a break will receive priority.

8.7. Recruiting new moderators

The moderator team will open applications for new moderators under the following conditions:

8.7.1. The following season is expected to have more than 10 divisions per moderator.

8.7.2. The moderator team has not opened applications for new moderators in either of the preceding two seasons.

8.8. Evaluating new moderator applicants

When the moderator team opens applications for new moderators per 8.7, they will follow this process:

8.8.1. New moderator applications will open during week 2 of the season.

8.8.2. The existing moderator team will review applications during week 3 of the season.

8.8.3. When applications close, the moderators may accept none, some, or all of the applicants.

8.8.4. Onboarding/shadowing of new moderators will begin during week 4 of the season.

9. Amendments

9.1. Passing amendments

These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the moderators.

9.1.1. Moderators may vote “no opinion”, in which case their vote doesn’t count towards establishing or preventing a majority.

9.1.2. Major changes, such as those affecting promotion and demotion, will never be made mid-season.

9.1.3. Whenever possible, the moderators will announce major changes at least 1 season before the changes go into effect.

9.2. Changelog

The moderators maintain a changelog for these rules. It includes the effective dates of all such changes.

9.3. Waiving rules

The moderators may waive rules or make exceptions for the current season if and only if all the directly affected players and a majority of the moderators agree to do so.