For this episode of “Trials by Fire” we bring you a RTT game, presented not to illustrate any particular amazing strategy or brilliant play, but to illustrate the value of “selective rules lawyering”, particularly when sportsmanship scores are involved. Even rules lawyers don’t need to quibble over every little thing. Let’s face it – people don’t like getting rules lawyered (ha! we’re a verb now!). Sometimes strict adherence to the rules, even when done calmly and politely, can get your sports scores tanked out of spite. It can be even worse when you are new to an area or simply traveling into town for a tourney and your opponent, a local, has a lot of buddies to complain to. Keep in mind (especially in the early rounds) that his buddies may include your future opponents, your judges, and even the TO’s, some of whom may hold the fate of your sports/comp scores in their hands. This game is a good example that carefully choosing when to object or get a judge/TO involved (when it really makes a difference) and when to let things slide (when it probably doesn’t matter) can be the key to winning the game and maintaining a good sportsmanship rating.
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