TRC Official Tournament Rules

These are the official Netrunner tournament rules as recognized by the
Top Runners Conference, the Official Netrunner Players' Organization.
These rules are for Sealed-Deck and Constructed-Deck tournaments.

TRC Official Tournament Rules
Last modified 6/23/98 by Skipper Pickle <[log in to unmask]> based on a
suggestion originally made by Scott Dickie, with additional help from
Frisco del Rosario, Byron Massey, Matthias Nagy and many others
subscribed to Netrunner-L.

Floor Rules

1.     Netrunner tournaments shall be presided over by a judge, who may
       be assisted by one or more referees. JUDGES, ADMINISTRATORS,
       ADJUDICATING OR ORGANIZING. A judge may be required to interpret
       rules, to terminate an excessively long match, to interpret a
       Declaration of Forfeiture, or to make any other adjudication
       necessary during the tournament. Referees may be required to
       assist the judge by answering rules questions on the floor and
       matching players for new rounds, and will make themselves
       available to the judge for any other required tasks. Players
       may appeal the ruling of any referee to the judge; the judge is
       the final arbiter and authority in all matters concerning the
       tournament. The judge may overrule any decision made by a referee.
       The decision of the judge is always final.

2.     Netrunner tournaments shall use the Swiss-Draw tournament format.
       To determine the number of rounds, take the number of players,
       go up to the next power of two, and then use the exponent of
       two as the number of rounds. For example, if there are 5 to 8
       players, there should be 3 rounds; if there are 9 to 16 players,
       there should be 4 rounds, and so on.

2.1.   Each round shall consist of a single match between paired
       players. Each match shall consist of two games; the players shall
       switch Corporation and Runner roles after the first game. The
       players shall determine which player plays the Corporation role
       first by a random method, mutually agreed upon by both players
       or as determined by the judge.

2.2.   An official score sheet shall be prepared for each player with
       the player's name and other tournament information. The judge
       shall award tournament points to players for each game and for
       each match (see 2.2.1). Computerized systems may be used for
       pairings, provided the judge is able to keep accurate records
       of each round's pairings and scores.

2.2.1. At the end of each round, the judge shall award tournament
       points for each game: wins earn 1 point, losses earn 0 points,
       draws and unfinished games each earn .5 point. In addition, the
       judge shall award tournament points to players for each match:
       wins earn 1 point, losses earn 0 points, draws earn .5 point.
       The winner of a match is determined first by the number of games
       won during the match; a player who wins both games of a match
       is the winner of the match. In the case where each player has
       won one game in the match, the winner of the match will be the
       player who scored the most cumulative game points during the
       match, with game points being assigned as follows:

              WIN  10 game points
             LOSS  The number of agenda points scored during the game
                   (No more than 6 game points may be awarded for a
       UNFINISHED  The number of agenda points scored during the game
                   (Any game that is not started is considered
                   unfinished, and 0 game points are awarded.)

       For scoring byes, see 2.4.

2.2.2. The player who has earned the most tournament points at the end
       of the tournament shall be the overall winner. In the event
       that multiple players have the same number of tournament points,
       the ideal situation is to have all of those players play each
       other, until the ties are broken. However, since time rarely
       permits this, ties shall be broken by the following methods, in

       1. If all the players in the tie group have played each other,
          compare their scores within that pair group (e.g., if you
          have two players tied for first, and those two players
          played each other, then whoever won that match would be the
          winner of the tournament).

       2. Compare the difficulty of those players' opponents (for each
          player, add up the number of tournament points scored by all
          of that player's opponents; a player with a higher opponent
          difficulty ranks above a player with a lower opponent

       3. Same as #2, but subtract the tournament points earned by the
          players' opponents in the first round (i.e., compare the
          difficulty of those players' opponents beginning with the
          second round through the end of the tournament). If this
          does not provide a tiebreak, compare the difficulty of
          players' opponents, dropping the first and second rounds
          (continue this progression as far as necessary).

       OPTIONAL tiebreak: The judge may choose to replace tiebreak
       method #1 above by ranking the players within the tie group by
       games won (ignoring matches), or by matches won (ignoring games).
       If the judge chooses to implement either form of this option,
       the judge must notify all players of its implementation prior to
       beginning the tournament.

2.2.3. Each player's current and accumulated score shall be noted on
       the appropriate official score sheet or computer file.

2.3.   A Netrunner tournament shall not consist of fewer than four
       players. In the case of a tournament consisting of four or five
       players, a round-robin format is preferable (each player plays
       against every other player); in this format, the order in which
       players are paired against each other is not significant. When
       there are 6 players or more, the Swiss-Draw format shall be used.
       For the first round, competitors shall be paired randomly.

       OPTIONAL rule: For the first round, if the judge has firsthand
       knowledge of all of the participants' current rankings, the judge
       may use player ranking to pair the players.

       Prior to each round after the first, the following system shall
       be used to pair players for their matches:

2.3.1. Players shall be ranked using the ranking criteria in 2.2.2.

2.3.2. Players shall be separated into groups by tournament point
       ranking, starting with the highest-ranked players. If there are
       an odd number of players in a given group, add the highest-ranked
       player from the next lower group. For the number of players
       appropriate for each group or for a detailed explanation of
       grouping players, see Appendix A, "Pairings Chart."

2.3.3. For each group of players, split the group into two halves with
       the highest-ranked players in one half and the lowest-ranked
       players in the other.

2.3.4. Pair the players within each group so that the highest-ranked
       player from the top half of that group plays the highest-ranked
       player from the bottom half of that group, and so on (see Appendix
       A, "Pairings Chart").

2.3.5. No player shall play more than one match against any other. If
       the above system results in two players being assigned to play
       each other a second time, rearrange the pairings so that this
       does not happen. If this is necessary, keep players within the
       assigned group, if possible.

2.3.6. If the lowest group contains an odd number of players, the
       lowest-ranked player in that group receives a bye.

2.4.   A player with a bye receives 3 tournament points for the round. A
       player's "opponent" for a bye scores 0 tournament points.

3.     For the duration of the tournament, players must use the same
       deck with which they began the tournament. The only cards that
       may be added to a deck in the course of the tournament are those
       from the player's sideboard and only in those tournament types
       for which a sideboard is allowed. Any violation of this rule
       may be interpreted by the judge as a Declaration of Forfeiture.

       Note: Sideboards are not used in Constructed-Deck Netrunner
       tournaments. Refer to the section "Additional Floor Rules;
       Sealed-Deck Netrunner Tournaments" for the use of sideboards in
       Sealed-Deck Netrunner tournaments.

4.     A player may use plastic card sleeves or other protective
       devices on cards in the tournament deck with the permission of
       both the judge and the player's opponent. If for any reason a
       player's opponent wishes a player to remove the sleeves/protective
       devices, he or she may state so at the beginning of any game,
       and the player must immediately comply. The judge may choose to
       disallow a player's card sleeves if they are marked, worn, or
       otherwise in a condition that may interfere with shuffling or
       game play. The only exception to this rule is as follows: sleeves
       may always be used to mark a player's card while it is in the
       opponent's playing field, in order to keep track of the card's

5.     The use of "proxy" cards in the tournament deck is not
       permitted. A proxy card is one that has been placed into the
       deck to represent another card that a player does not wish to
       use (generally because the player fears the card may be damaged
       during play).

6.     Players must at all times keep the cards in their hand above
       the level of the playing surface. If a player violates this rule,
       the judge may, at his or her discretion, issue a warning to the
       player or interpret the violation as a Declaration of

7.     Players may not have any outside assistance (for example,
       scouting, coaching, and so on) during a match. If a player is
       in violation of this rule, the judge may, at his or her
       discretion, issue a warning to the player or interpret the
       violation as a Declaration of Forfeiture.

8.     Unsporting conduct shall not be tolerated. Players, judges, and
       referees shall conduct themselves in a polite, respectable, and
       sportsmanlike manner. A player behaving in a belligerent,
       argumentative, hostile, or unsporting manner may receive a warning
       from the judge. The judge may also, at his or her discretion,
       interpret this behavior as a Declaration of Forfeiture.

       Examples of unsporting conduct include, but are not limited to:

       *Failing to start a game in a timely manner in order to gain a
        psychological advantage

       *Arguing excessively with a referee or judge

       *Scouting other players' decks during play

       *Enlisting the aid of observers to scout other players' decks

9.     In the event of an excessively long match, the judge may need to
       adjudicate the outcome prior to its actual conclusion. In some
       cases, the judge may wish to impose a time limit for each round
       of the tournament. In either case, the time limit shall not be
       less than forty-five (45) minutes of playing time for a complete
       match. In the event of a long match, the judge must give the
       players involved a time warning not less than ten (10) minutes
       prior to the end of the allotted time.

       All play from a round shall cease immediately when the judge
       announces that the round is over. Players in mid-turn shall be
       permitted to complete that turn before scores are calculated,
       up to a maximum time of one minute. "A player in mid-turn" is
       defined as someone who has begun an action. Note that the
       mandatory draw that the Corp must perform each turn is not
       considered an action.

10.    Players must take their turns in a timely fashion. Whereas taking
       a reasonable amount of time to think through a situation is
       acceptable, stalling for time is not. Failure to begin a match
       in a timely manner in order to gain a psychological advantage
       shall be interpreted as either stalling or unsporting conduct.
       If the judge feels that a player is stalling to take advantage
       of a time limit, the judge may, at his or her discretion, issue
       a warning or interpret the stalling as a Declaration of
       Forfeiture. It is highly recommended that judges allow matches
       to play to their conclusion, especially during the last rounds
       of the tournament.

       Failure to adhere to the above rules, or any other rules specific
       to a particular tournament, may be interpreted by the judge as
       a Declaration of Forfeiture. Only the judge may make an
       interpretation of a Declaration of Forfeiture. Any player for
       whom the judge has interpreted a Declaration of Forfeiture shall
       be removed from the tournament.

Deck Construction Rules

1.     Each tournament deck must contain a minimum of forty-five (45)
       cards, with no imposed maximum. In addition, the Corp deck must
       contain the minimum number of agenda points specified by the
       Netrunner Rulebook.

2.     There are no restricted or banned cards for Netrunner
       tournaments at this time.

Additional Floor Rules;
Sealed-Deck Netrunner Tournaments

The basic rules for Netrunner apply to Sealed-Deck tournament play,
except where amended by these rules. In cases where the official
tournament rules differ from the basic rules of Netrunner, the
official tournament rules take precedence.

Sealed-Deck tournaments shall use the Standard Floor Rules, except for
the following additions and modifications to the Standard Floor Rules.
There are five additional Sealed-Deck Floor Rules. These are:

SD1. Players are responsible for providing their own sealed decks and
     boosters for use in the tournament, except in cases where the
     decks and boosters are provided for them by the tournament

SD2. Prior to the first round's pairings, the judge shall allow a
     period of at least thirty (30) minutes and no more than sixty (60)
     minutes for players to construct their decks. All players in the
     tournament must open and construct their tournament decks during
     the same period. The judge must announce a warning to the players
     5 minutes prior to the end of the deck-construction time period.
     Players must have their decks constructed prior to the end of this
     allotted time. If a player has not completed deck construction at
     the end of this allotted time, it may be interpreted by the judge
     as a Declaration of Forfeiture. In the event all players in the
     tournament have completed deck construction prior to the end of
     the deck-construction period, the tournament may commence without

SD3. A player may not open his or her sealed deck or booster(s) prior
     to the beginning of the time period allotted by the judge. If a
     player violates this rule, the judge may, at his or her
     discretion, issue a warning to the player or interpret the
     violation as a Declaration of Forfeiture.

SD4. At no time prior to or during the tournament shall trading of
     cards from the Sealed-Deck tournament deck or sideboard be
     permitted between players or between players and bystanders.

SD5. In Sealed-Deck play, any cards from a player's starter deck and
     booster(s) not used in the tournament deck shall function as that
     player's sideboard. Between matches, a player may add any number
     of cards from his or her sideboard to his or her deck, or subtract
     any number from the deck and add and add them to his or her

Modifications to Standard Floor Rules;
Sealed-Deck Netrunner Tournaments

There are no modifications to the Standard Floor Rules for Netrunner
Sealed-Deck tournaments.

Note: The judge may exercise the option of Floor Rule #10 (judge's
right to terminate an excessively long match) more often in
Sealed-Deck tournaments than in other tournaments, because decks
constructed from such a limited pool of cards tend to play slowly
against each other. It is therefore recommended that, if any time
limits are imposed for each round, the judge extend the limit to
ninety (90) minutes, depending on the tournament. This extension is
entirely at the judge's discretion and must be advertised in advance
or announced to all players at the beginning of the tournament.

Modifications to Deck Construction rules;
Sealed-Deck Netrunner Tournaments

1.   Decks shall be constructed using the contents of one (1)
     sealed-deck package of the latest edition of Netrunner cards (120
     total cards, sixty [60] Corp, and sixty [60] Runner), and one (1)
     sealed booster. Additional boosters can be used if desired, but
     it is recommended that no more than four (4) boosters be used for
     Sealed-Deck tournaments.

Appendix A, "Pairings Chart"

This chart will allow a tournament scored by "tournament points" to be
run in the Swiss-draw format. The format allows for all players to
play for all rounds, and it pits the top two players against each
other in the final round.

If there are fewer than 6 players, use a round-robin format instead
(do not use this chart).

For Round 1, pair the players randomly. After Round 1, use the chart
below to determine how to group your players (see instructions below).

# of players   for Round 2   for Round 3   for Round 4   for Round 5
     6       |    4/2      |   2/2/2     |     NA      |     NA      |
     7       |    4/2/1B   |   2/4/1B    |     NA      |     NA      |
     8       |    4/4      |   2/4/2     |     NA      |     NA      |
     9       |    6/2/1B   |   4/4/1B    |  2/4/2/1B   |     NA      |
    10       |    6/4      |   4/4/2     |  2/4/2/2    |     NA      |
    11       |    6/4/1B   |   4/6/1B    |  2/4/4/1B   |     NA      |
    12       |    6/6      |   4/6/2     |  2/4/4/2    |     NA      |
    13       |    8/4/1B   |   4/6/2/1B  |  2/6/4/1B   |     NA      |
    14       |    8/6      |   4/6/4     |  2/6/4/2    |     NA      |
    15       |    8/6/1B   |   4/8/2/1B  |  2/6/6/1B   |     NA      |
    16       |    8/8      |   4/8/4     |  2/6/6/2    |     NA      |
    17       |   10/6/1B   |   6/8/2/1B  |  4/6/6/1B   |  2/4/6/4/1B |
    18       |   10/8      |   6/8/4     |  4/6/6/2    |  2/4/6/4/2  |
    19       |   10/8/1B   |   6/10/2/1B |  4/6/8/1B   |  2/4/8/4/1B |
    20       |   10/10     |   6/10/4    |  4/6/8/2    |  2/4/8/4/2  |

Note: 1B = lowest-ranked player at the end of the previous round,
receiving a bye.

1. After each round, determine player rankings. List the players in
   order from top to bottom.

2. In the chart, under "# of players," find the row that contains the
   number of participants in the event. This is the only row you need
   to look at for this event.

3. Move across the selected row to the column under the round you are
   pairing for. If you have just completed Round 1, move to the column
   labeled "for Round 2," since you are pairing for Round 2. In the
   column, you will see two or more numbers separated by slashes (/).

4. Each number represents the number of players that should be in each
   group for that round. The first number represents the
   highest-ranking group. Beginning with the highest-ranked player,
   assign the specified number of players to that group. Do the same
   for each succeeding number until all players have been assigned to
   a group. Note: "1B" refers to a player receiving a bye. The bye is
   always given to the lowest-ranked player who has not yet received a

   EXAMPLE: You have 9 players in your event. After Round 1, you have
   the players ranked in the following order: Ann (3 tournament
   points), Bob (3 pts), Carol (3 pts for a bye in Round 1), Dieter (2
   pts), Etienne (2 pts), Ferd (1 pt), Gert (1 pt), Hannah (0 pt), and
   Ignatz (0 pt).

   You look at the row for 9 players. The column for Round 2 specifies
   that you divide up the players "6/2/1B." You assign six players to
   the first group: Ann, Bob, Carol, Dieter, Etienne, and Ferd (since
   they are the highest-ranked players). You assign two players to the
   second group: Gert and Hannah. Ignatz, as the lowest-ranked player,
   gets the bye for Round 2 (note that Ignatz is actually part of the
   second group--but there's no one to play against, thus the bye).

5. If a group consists of only two players, those two players play
   each other. If a group consists of more than two players, divide
   the group in half. Put the higher-ranked players in the first half,
   and the lower-ranked players in the second half (keep them in order
   of rank). Assign the top player in the first half to play the top
   player in the second half. Assign the bottom player in the first
   half to play the bottom player in the second half. Pair everyone in
   between with their respective counterparts.

   EXAMPLE (cont.): In the first group, you have Ann, Bob, Carol,
   Dieter, Etienne, and Ferd, ranked in that order. Put the top three
   players in the first half, the bottom three players in the second
   half, then pair across:

   First half       Second half
          Ann  vs.  Dieter
          Bob  vs.  Etienne
        Carol  vs.  Ferd

6. At the end of the round, do the pairings again, moving to the next
   column to determine the number of groups and the number of players
   in each group.

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