FICS Teamleague

Scheduling Games

Effort . Do your best to schedule your game; in particular, establish early contact, and be available at times that are also possible for your opponent. Since we have players in every time zone on the globe, this takes prompt communication, and compromise. If your game does not get played, the TD will evaluate the effort shown by each player in the Game Forum. The only official way to schedule your game is by communicating on the Game Forum. Server tells and messages are not approved ways. Note that English is the official language in which all communication will be conducted.

Know The Time .

Speak in Server Times always . We have found that scheduling is much less confusing if all parties refer only to "server time" in Game Forum conversations. It is the player's responsibility to know his server time. Type the command ' date ' on the server to compare your time to server time.
7-Day Window to Play Each Round. You will schedule and play your games within the 7-day period between Tuesday 22:00 FICS and the same time on Tuesday of the following week. If you cannot play within that time frame for a given round, you must give your Team Captain advance notice so someone else can be scheduled in your place. Make sure you can meet the following expectations if you tell your captain that you can play:

    Contact your Opponent as soon as possible after the pairings are posted to the website. The communication for this scheduling takes place using the Game Forum only. Contact by any other means, such as server tells, will not be recognized if problems arise. To make a valid first contact it's not enough to say "hi", you have to offer (or accept one of) at least 3 playing times on 2 different days. If your opponent doesn't reply within 24 hours, repost your offer.
  • There are Two Contact Deadlines
    1. Thursday, 22:00 FICS - First Contact Deadline . You must make initial contact, or respond to your opponent's contact, prior to this first contact deadline. If your opponent offered game times at least 24 hours ago, and you have not yet responded, he is no longer expected to show any flexibility with you. You must accept one of his offered game times.
    2. Friday, 22:00 FICS - Contact-or-Forfeit Deadline. At this second contact deadline, if you still haven't contacted your opponent, you loose this game (forfeit or set game loss).
  • Prompt Replies. Please act well in advance of the deadlines if at all possible. Timely communication shows consideration for your opponent, and makes it easier to find a mutually acceptable game time. The sooner you initiate contact, and reply to each contact, the easier it is for both you and your opponent to coordinate this commitment with other parts of life.
  • The Back-and-Forth Negotiations. The players suggest sets of times to play, and respond to each other's suggestions, until an agreement is reached. Each of these back and forth posts should generally be within 24 hours of the previous post. Delaying longer than 24 hours to reply to a post leaves your opponent wondering what's up. If timely, those back and forth posts may continue all the way to the Game Completion Deadline, but good faith efforts to schedule need to be made on both sides.
  • Offering Game Times. Offer as many potential dates and times to play (at least 3) as possible. Remember, you are trying to do your part to facilitate a quick and easy agreement. Also, if the TD must adjudicate the result because players couldn't find a mutually acceptable time to play, your efforts to show availability could count in your favor. Especially useful is to offer times on more than one day, including offers several hours apart on a weekend day. But be sure that you can honor each time that you offer. Your opponent can accept any offered time with the expectation that you will honor it. Once a time has been offered and accepted, is binding on both players.
  • Be Specific. You and your opponent are to agree on a specific day and time (usually in reference to server time) to play your game. A vague “I'll be on line most of Monday night” is not acceptable. Better: “Can you play at 7:30 pm Monday night?"
  • Responding to Offered Game Times . When replying to your opponent's suggested game times, either accept one of his times, or offer as many times (at least 3) as possible.
  • Offering and Accepting a Time with in a Range of Times. If you offer a range of times (e.g. Saturday, 1 pm – 7 pm), your opponent can accept any time within that range (e.g. 5 pm), with the expectation that you will honor it. A time that has been offered and accepted is binding on both players. Another example: If I offer Saturday 8 pm – 10 pm and you accept Saturday 9:15 pm, it is not necessary for me to acknowledge that acceptance. But it is courteous to remove all doubt by confirming, “Great. See you at 9:15 pm Saturday.”
  • Accepting an Offered Game Time with Less than 24 Hours Notice . If your acceptance of an offered time is within 24 hours of that time, your opponent must acknowledge it for it to be binding on him. In other words, a player cannot be "surprised" by a late acceptance.
  • Rescheduling. Once a game time has been offered and accepted, it is considered to be binding on both players. However, up to the end of the 15-minute grace period, a player may ask his opponent to reschedule the game. The opponent may either agree to the request or not, and does not need to give a reason.
  • Comments During Negotiations. The Game Forum message board provides space to make comments that help you and your opponent to schedule. Civility should prevail at all times. Statements of opinion about why someone does or does not accept something are not conducive to civility and may be in violation of Section 3.B of the Statutes . Remember, we want to forge new friendships among the other league members.
  • Can My Captain Schedule For Me? Yes, although we much prefer direct communication between players, your captain can speak for you on the Game Forum. This might become necessary if, for example, you have to be absent during the scheduling period. Times offered or accepted by your captain are binding on you, as if you had spoken for yourself. So, it is wise to have good communication with your captain!