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Guide to Sports Roleplaying

A battle ground for the sportsmen and women of nations worldwide. [In character]
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Founded: Jul 04, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Guide to Sports Roleplaying

Postby NSWC Signups » Tue May 12, 2009 2:00 pm

Welcome to NS Sports!


The NS Sports forum covers such varied sports as football/soccer, athletics, American football, baseball, basketball, cricket, rugby, hockey (both ice and field), motorsport, tennis, drum & bugle corps and a host of other existing and invented events where the athletes of our nations face each other in individual and team competitions. It's also the place to share your domestic competitions, giving insights into how the clubs, teams and individuals in your nation are faring in their own nation's leagues.

All international competitions are voluntarily hosted by our members. Usually, the participants of a sport will vote on which user would be the best host - especially for the larger competitions such as the Olympics, World Cup, and other major sports. Hosts generate the results for competitions using programs that we call SCORINATORS, and the participants then RP based on those results, often earning RP BONUS that increases their chances of better results in following games.



How is Sports RP different to other roleplaying on NationStates?


Roleplay, Rankings and Random

Most drama on NS Sport is based around 'the three Rs'.

Roleplay: Often called ‘RP’. That’s you writing about your team’s escapades in a tournament. Doing this well can give you an RP Bonus (more on that later)

Rankings: Your team’s Ranking is a rough guide to how strong it is compared to the rest of the teams in the world. In international football/soccer, an ever-changing list of the 300-or-so top international teams has been maintained by the community since 2003. Breaking into the world’s top 100, top 32 and top 10 has been a rite of passage for generations of players. As your ranking in a sport gets higher, your chances of winning improve.

Random: Your chances of winning improve. That’s it. Every game you see on NS Sport has a healthy dose of Random applied to it. Sure, you’re the world number 5 and you’re playing a total newbie who barely knows how the sport works. Are you likely to win? Yep. Are you definitely going to win? Oh hell no. Random is cruel, but Random is necessary. Forget the Random Number Gods at your peril


Scorinators

Unlike other parts of the NationStates forums, the winner of a match isn’t decided by the nations competing in it. First, the host generates the result of the match. Then, the participants write about what happened in the match.

Scorinators have been developed over the history of NationStates from simple dice rolling, through spreadsheets and up to custom-built javascript and XML-based programs dedicated to generating scores for specific or multiple sports.

Scorinators usually work on the principle of the three Rs - Rank, Roleplay and Randomness. They balance the rank of the competitors, based on results from previous tournaments; hosts add a bonus for Roleplays that have been posted to increase a competitor's Rank; they also throw in a hefty dose of Randomness so even the biggest and best team can be beaten, occasionally, by the total underdogs.

RP Bonus

In order to encourage participation by nations posting RPs, the RP Bonus was created to add extra chances for the RPing teams to get a good result. It never guarantees a victory, as it is usually a minor bonus compared to the ranking points available and the ever-present randomness, but will always increase a competitor's chance of getting a better result than they would otherwise have got without RPing.

Hosts are free to grade the RPs they read on any objective or subjective scale, usually taking into account word count, layout, quality of writing and if the RPer has demonstrated they have read and are interacting with the posts of other RPers in the competition, especially their opponents. Hosts are given the trust to grade RPs and generate results fairly, and only the most trusted host will be allowed to scorinate matches involving their own teams, to remove the possibility of bias.

NS Sports Ignores Tech Levels

Particularly relevant for FanT, PMT and FT nations, NS Sports do not take into account the age, gender, ethnicity, size, species or technology level of the participants. NS Sports has seen such outlandish competitors as sentient blancmanges and killer tomatoes, Aztec gods, fluffy bunnies, cyborg AI and all manner of elves, ponies, gnomes, dwarves, bears and much more. They all compete equally in NS Sports and the only advantage that can be gained is from the RP Bonus as a nation writes about their athletes.

As a result, it’s very uncommon for tournaments to have a ‘women’s’ or ‘men’s’ version, and there is no built-in bonus to be gained from the idea that your species or a specific gender excels in certain areas that are applicable to sports.



How Do I Get Involved?


Have a look for a thread that includes the word ‘signups’. A look at the OP (the first post of the thread) and the last page or two of posts should let you know whether or not signups are closed (all spots have already been filled by other nations) or open (there are still remaining spots to be filled). The OP of the thread should contain instructions on how to enter your nation/club/individual into the competition/event. Follow the instructions, make a post, and you’ll likely be in. It is not required for hosts to post that they have ‘Accepted’ you, often they will update their OP with your entry when they get around to it.

The roleplaying begins when the RP thread is created. There may also be a separate thread specifically for your team’s roster.

Events can last anywhere between three weeks and six months and occur with varying degrees of frequency. NS Sport’s version of The Olympic Games typically happens every summer/autumn, with the Winter Olympics often being held in winter or spring. The oldest and most prestigious competition, the NationStates World Cup, is held around three times per year.

The rough order of events for a tournament is:

1. Signup thread

Example: World Cup 80 Signup Thread (these signups are closed)

This may begin from an Interest thread if it the sport is new, invented or hasn't been on the forums in a long time. Potential hosts volunteer and post their bids of how they will format, scorinate and run the tournament, and how many teams their format is willing to accept. They may also give vague details about their RP bonus, and anything else they would like to add. For large competitions like the World Cup, they're usually in a separate thread, such as EqueStar - A Hosting Bid for World Cup 80 / LXXX. The tournament can then begin when the host closes signups.

2. Roleplay thread(s)

Whether an 'Everything' thread that all of covers RPs, Rosters and Scores (e.g. World Bowl 35's Everything Thread), or separate threads for all three (e.g. World Cup 80's Roleplaying, Rosters and Results threads), now's the time to post your team roster and your pre-tournament RPs.

You can do previews and predictions for the tournament, an assessment of the opposition, character RPs of players making their way to the host nation and training for games, recaps of your performance in previous tournaments... almost anything is appropriate here before the action starts. Any Roster or RPs posted now will count as bonus for the first Matchday, increasing your likelihood of a better result.

Scores are then posted, and your RPs posted after that point (or, for the larger tournaments that require a lot of reading or lot of score generation), after an RP Cutoff Post) will count for Matchday 2, and so on.



How Do I Host a Tournament?


Above all else, this statement rings true:

‘If you have to ask how to host a tournament, then you are not ready to host a tournament.’

Secondarily, it might be added that:

‘When you think you’re ready to host a tournament, you are probably still not ready to host a tournament’

Hosting an international tournament is hard work. Hosts often have to dedicate at least an hour a day to their hosting duties. They have to read every RP, good and bad, calculate roleplay bonuses, set up and run the scorinator, post results at pre-agreed intervals and, hardest of all, they have to deal with the questions, comments and complaints that invariably come from the nations within that tournament. If an event goes badly, the buck stops with the host. With so many hosts being decided via a democratic vote, hosting a tournament badly can have a negative impact on how likely a user is to be given hosting opportunities again.

International sporting tournaments on NS Sport are usually old and steeped in tradition. The NS World Cup (association football) was first held in the spring of 2003, while even comparatively minor sports like Lacrosse, Waterpolo and Field Hockey have systems in place to decide which user hosts the next tournament. If you want to host a tournament, it’s a good idea to get involved with it for a few cycles first and see how other hosts perform.

You can, of course, host a small tournament for whatever sport you like, whenever you like. Good luck to you. The General Roleplay Discussion Thread is open if you have any questions or queries. Fair warning, though: users who decide they would rather host tournaments than participate in them often don’t last very long and regularly draw ire from the community here.

That said, the community at large is always eager to help newer players understand how things work, whether it be how sports themselves are played, or how Sports RP itself works. Organising your own domestic leagues and competitions can be a good start to get to know how scorinators and the administrative side of Sports RP works, and regularly posting results across multiple seasons will indicate to other users that you have some level of knowledge about how tournaments should be run.

A quick step-by-step guide to hosting an international competition

0: Search the forums to see if your idea has been done recently.
If you're planning to run the World Cup of International Lawn Bowls, first have a search of the NS Sport forum to see if anyone has run an International Lawn Bowls World Cup recently. If they have, then you need to make sure there isn't already a system in place to elect new hosts and you might consider branding your own tournament as something other than a World Cup.

00: Know how the sport works in real life.
If you're running a boxing competition, people will assume you mean Western Boxing, so if you tell everyone your main character's special move is a roundhouse kick, people are going to be confused. If you're running a chess competition you should know that, typically, a win gets one point, a draw half a point and a loss zero points. If you award someone three points for a win in chess, it makes you look like you don't know what you're doing. By the same reasoning, if you award a football team half a point for drawing a match then people are going to be confused.

1: Have a scorinator
You can use Xkoranate for most sports. Download Xkoranate, read the instructions, and familiarise yourself with it and test it. Using real life results or computer games or dice is not appropriate.

2: Don't not have a scorinator
Don't start a competition by asking if someone else wants to host/scorinate it for you. This is spam. If you post a signup thread for a new competition but you don't know how to scorinate it, it will be locked.

3: Post a sign-up thread.
In the OP of the signup thread you should go into detail as to how many teams/nations/people you need for the tournament, what people need to do in order to sign up and how exactly you are going to scorinate your tournament.

4: Wait for people to sign up.
If you get fewer users than you expected then you can consider running the competition on a smaller scale or you might simply decide to abandon the idea. Both of these options are good ideas.

5: Don't not wait for people to sign up.
It's really obvious when a user decides to use an army of puppets to sign up for their own tournament to try to fool people into believing it's popular. Generally, hosts only sign up a puppet of their own if the competition they are only one nation short of having a complete field.

6: Post an [Everything] thread.
After signups are completed and everyone is on board, post the [Everything] thread for your competition. This thread will contain each user's roleplays and the scores you generate for the tournament. Don't post a separate [Scores] or [Results] thread unless you're running a competition with 100 teams or so.

7: Have a reasonably tight schedule.
Let people know what days, and if possible what times, you will be posting results. Keep to this schedule as well as you can. Occasional delays are fine.

8: After your tournament, have a cool-down period.
Don't immediately start recruiting for the second edition of your competition. If there isn't already an OOC discussion thread for this sport, you can make one. People will have ideas on what they'd like to see for the next edition.



What Does & Doesn't Belong in Sports RP


What DOES Belong

International (either World or Regional) competitions for nations to sign up to and compete in

Domestic competitions where a single nation posts the results from within their nation

# Types of threads #

- [Interest] threads, for player invented sports (e.g. Underwater Basket Weaving) and sports that have not had an international competition for a long time

- [Signup] threads, for nations to sign up their athletes/teams

- [Discussion/OOC] threads for the more popular sports

- [RP] threads, where all participants post their RPs about the competition

- [Roster] threads, where participants can describe their athletes/teams in as much detail as they wish, often using uniform graphics, player descriptions, style of play and RP PERMISSIONS

- [Scores] threads, where hosts post the scores they generate. These are only used for the largest of tournaments. Tournament participants should not post in them.

- [Everything] threads, a combining one or more of Signup, RP, Roster, Results and Discussion threads, usually for smaller tournaments

- [Domestic] threads, where nations can document the results of their domestic leagues and competitions. Publishing and roleplaying your nation’s domestic leagues in a sport is a great way to get practice using a scorinator, which can help in your bids to host other tournaments, and is great for worldbuilding. Some sports, such as football/soccer, include inter-league tournaments for clubs, wherein the best clubs from your league compete against the best clubs from all over the NS Multiverse. The UEFA Champions League is an example of one of these tournaments in the real world. The UICA Champions Cup and UICA Globe Cup are examples of this on NS Sport.

What DOESN'T Belong

- Tournaments using real-life teams or athletes (e.g. The UEFA Champions League, the US Open, Lionel Messi, The 2018 World Cup etc.)

- Tournaments that are not scorinated, or have scores generated through Video Games such as FIFA, Football Manager, Madden, etc. Domestic Leagues can be done in this manner, though.

- Events that are not related to sport.

- Discussion about real life sports events or games. This should go in the General forum.

- Copycat versions of existing tournaments. A number of sports have a dominant competition that you cannot claim to be hosting without being voted in by other users. Some examples are:
  • Football/Soccer: The NationStates World Cup, Baptism of Fire and Cup of Harmony
  • Football/Soccer: The Under-21 (Di Bradini Cup), Under-18 (Sporting World Cup) and Under-15 World Cups
  • American Football: The World Bowl, NationStates College Football
  • Baseball: World Baseball Classic
  • Ice Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Cherry Cup
  • Formula 1: WGPC, WGP2
  • Athletics: The NS Olympic Games
  • Lacross: World Lacrosse Championships
  • Quidditch: The Quidditch World Cup
  • Handball: Handball World Cup



Links


NSSport Discord - A place to get to know the NS Sport community and to get help if it’s needed.

Xkoranate - The most widely used scorinator on NS Sport, developed by Commerce Heights

The Scorinator Discussion Thread - Contains help for all NS Sport scorinators. See also this beginners guide to xkoranate.

The History of Modern NS Sports thread - Collated results and links to past tournaments since the forums moved to the new server in 2009. Updated sparsely since 2017.

NS Sport Graphics One Stop Shop - Information on some of the user-created images you may see around the forum

Nephara's Guide to Creating a Domestic Sports League

Discussion Threads
Olympics
Football / Soccer (International)
Football / Soccer (Domestic)

American Football
Aussie Rules
Baseball
Basketball (International)
Basketball (Domestic/College)
Cricket
Handball
Ice Hockey
Lacrosse
Rugby
Tennis
Water Polo
World Grand Prix Championships

Scorinators
NS Sports History / Record Keeping

This is not an exhaustive list.



Terminology

Host (v) - to be responsible for a tournament in its entirety, from start to finish, generating scores and collating tables and reading roleplays and dealing with complaints. It’s often a long and arduous process and is a responsibility given only to those who the community trust.

OOC (adj) - Out of Character. A comment by you, the writer.

IC (adj) - In Character. Something said or done by a character or by a nation on Nationstates.

Trigram / Trigramme (n) - A three-letter acronym that typically represents your nation. For example, in the real world, Australia’s trigram is ‘AUS’, Austria’s is ‘AUT’, France’s is ‘FRA’ and so on. A list of existing NS Sports trigrams can be found here.

Scorinate (v) - to calculate the results of a game or sporting event using a combination of RP bonus, ranking and a random factor. Scorination is often done with a scorinator.

Scorinator (n) - A program or spreadsheet that calculates the result of a game or competition using a combination of RP bonus values, ranking values and a random factor.

Newswire / Newswires (n) - A thread that is used more for reports on domestic competition

OP (n) - Original Post. The first post of a thread. Could also stand for ‘Original Poster’, meaning the user who posted the thread.

Main (n) - The nation that you use the most. When other users refer to you on this forum, they refer to you via the name of your main nation.

Puppet (n) - Another nation that you post with. In NS Sports a player is often limited to the number of puppet nations they can enter into tournaments (usually 1 Main and 1 Puppet)

Roleplay Permissions (n) - Some events have a list of permissions. This refers to what another user can or cannot do with your teams, athletes and your characters. Can they choose your goalscorers? Can they kill your players or invade your country? All sorts of things are covered here. A common RP Permissions box for football/soccer looks like this:

My opponent, if they RP first, may do the following:
Choose my goalscorers: Yes/No
Godmod scoring events: Yes/No
RP injuries to my players: Yes/No
Godmod injuries to my players: Yes/No
Hand out yellow cards to my players: Yes/No
Hand out red cards to my players: Yes/No
Godmod other events: Yes/No


Godmodding (n) - Because the scorination of results does not allow you to ignore a scoreline that you don't like, Godmodding in NS Sports refers to events that are outrageously unlikely and often totally impossible. A one-punch boxing knockout after 3 seconds, a striker scoring three goals in thirty seconds to win a game in the last minute of the match, a baseball deflecting off a passing bald eagle before falling kindly for your player to catch - the possibilities are endless. Players who prefer more realistic RPs will often state, via their roleplay permissions, that they will not allow their opponents to do anything too ridiculous during the game.



Memes

Margaret is the goddess of the Random Number Generator on NS Sport. Have you just lost a match you’re sure you should have won? It’s Margaret’s fault. Did one of your rugby teams just randomly win 125-0? Margaret. Did you get drawn against the strongest team in the world for the fourth tournament running? Margaret.

Rubber chickens are the traditional offering sacrificed to the goddess of the Random Number Generator. To increase your chances of winning an event, you can either RP well and often or you can sacrifice a rubber chicken to Margaret. Both work.

1093. Do you need a random number? Like, not a number from a random number generator, you just need to write a number and you don’t care which number it is? On this forum, that number is 1093.




Kryo's ModEdit -- edits made as per user request here.

Arch's ModEdit -- added note on Sport RP and moderation now that we have our own mod. Yes, I could have logged on as NSWC Signups since I have the password, but felt I'd better do this transparently.

Arch's ModEdit II -- World Baseball Classic added to event list

Arch's ModEdit III -- Link to NS Sports history thread added

Arch's ModEdit IV -- Link to NS Sports trigrams list added

Audio's ModEdit -- Updated modlist

Star’s ModEdit -- New guide posted. Created by Audioslavia and Starblaydia and edited by the NS Sport community

Audio's ModEdit -- Added short guide to hosting a competition
Last edited by Audioslavia on Thu May 16, 2019 5:20 pm, edited 14 times in total.
The poster of this message is probably Equestrian States or Vilita as NSWC Signups is owned and operated by the World Cup Committee, bringing you the finest quality in sign-up threads for NationStates' premier football tournament since 2005.

Current KPB Rankings (Pre-WC82): here.

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The Archregimancy
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Posts: 23043
Founded: Aug 01, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Archregimancy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:43 pm

RP puppet enforcement amendment for NS Sports:

While the moderation team does not out puppets as a matter of course, we have decided to amend our approach somewhat for NS Sports.

Where an event host suspects that a puppet has signed up in breach of event rules, the event host may ask a member of the moderation team to check whether that nation is indeed a puppet (if a moderator is an event host, he or she will ask another member of the moderation team to do this in order to avoid any conflict of interest). Where no event host has been chosen yet, the request may come from an appropriate formal representative of the event (ie, the duly elected governing body president, preferably via the formal governing body account)

Threads must make it very clear if puppets must be declared, or if there is a limit on number of permitted puppets, and this can be mod-enforced. No-one should encounter this as a nasty surprise.

Should a puppet then be identified, the moderator will initially contact the relevant nation in private to informally advise them that they are in breach of NS Sports event rules, and to give them the opportunity to withdraw and preserve puppet anonymity, or admit that they are a puppet (depending on the specific nature of the breach).

If (and only if) the puppet refuses to take appropriate action, the moderator may then choose to publicly expose the puppet rules breach, at the moderator's discretion.


The relevant initial private TG will read along the following lines:

"This nation is in breach of the rules of the NS Sports forum [event x]. If you do not withdraw this nation from the event, or admit its puppet status (as appropriate), the moderation team may choose to make this knowledge public."


Summed up, the steps are as follows:

1) If a puppet is suspected, the appropriate individual (as outlined above) should file a Getting Help Request (and only a GHR, please).

2) Where a puppet rules breach exists, the moderator will privately TG the puppet/nation in question to explain the breach.

3) Should the puppet then refuse to withdraw or identify itself (as appropriate), the moderator may choose to publicly declare that a puppet/nation rules breach exists.

4) However, the moderator will provide no feedback on how or why a decision was reached. There will be a simple statement of fact ("Nation X is a puppet"), not a detailed analysis.
Last edited by The Archregimancy on Sat May 03, 2014 5:07 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Audioslavia
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Posts: 2367
Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Rules regarding withdrawing a nation from an NS Sport RP.

Postby Audioslavia » Tue May 02, 2017 1:47 pm

There has been demand for a clarification of, or an update to, the rules regarding the withdrawing of nations/participants/teams from NS Sports roleplays. Due to the highly organized nature of NS Sports competitions these rules are somewhat different to how they appear elsewhere on the forum.

They are as follows:

If a participating nation wants to withdraw from an event while the event is in progress*, or if a participating nation CTEs during an event, then it must fulfill its published fixtures before being removed from the competition.

For example:
  • In a knockout format, the published fixture would be the next game, IE the next round of the competition.
  • In a Swiss System format (often called the 'Casaran System' on Nationstates), the published fixture would be the next game.
  • In a league or round robin format, this would mean it played the rest of the games in its league.
  • In racing there are no published fixtures, and so the participant would be removed instantly.
  • In a large multi-sports event such as the NS Olympics, the withdrawing nation's participants will complete events where the host has already finished entering data for that event, but should be removed from the events where no data have been entered.

The withdrawing participant's participation in that tournament is then over. No attempt should be made to create further fixtures for that participant. A host may not force the withdrawing participant to continue to RP while its nation/individuals remain in the event.

If a withdrawing / CTE nation wins a qualifying group for a tournament, it should be replaced for the next round at the host's discretion or as covered by an event's governing constitution (as appropriate).

Where an event is not covered by the examples offered above, hosts are encouraged to be specific about the impact of withdrawals/CTEs on their fixture lists in their event OP.


*By 'in progress' we mean the fixtures for first/next phase of the tournament have already been finalised at the point of the participant withdrawing. If a nation withdraws before fixtures have been finalised, then it should be withdrawn immediately. The exception is the Olympics, where (in recognition of the scale of the event) 'in progress' for each individual event means 'after the host has finished entering data for an individual Olympic event'.

*Users attempting to 'game' these rules by, say, removing a puppet so as to favour their main nation, can be punished at the host's discretion or as covered by an event's governing constitution (as appropriate).
Last edited by Audioslavia on Tue May 02, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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