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UKGPL Rules
Introduction Structure Scoring Game On-Line Etiquette Penalty Guidelines

Penalty Guidelines

In order to help drivers understand how penalties are determined we've decided to publish a set of guidelines used by the moderators.

Penalties are assessed as a number of places lost rather than a fixed points penalty. This will be implemented by actually moving the driver down the finishing order, shuffling other drivers up (much the same as a time penalty in real world motorsport).

Only incidents reported by drivers are assured of a moderator's attention but resets will always be checked.

Definitions

Exclusion (DQ)
The driver is removed from the race results and scores no points. Penalties may still be issued for incidents for the purposes of the yellow card system.
Retired at point of offence
The driver is treated as having retired at the point where the offence was committed, and their position adjusted accordingly. They may still score points. Penalties may still be issued for incidents after the point of retirement, for the purposes of the yellow card system.

Typical Incidents

Most incidents encountered in GPL can be assigned to one of the typical categories listed below. However, no two incidents are exactly the same and consequently the moderator has some discretion when awarding a suitable penalty. In general moderators will be lenient when a driver has tried to do the right thing and harsh if a driver has shown total disregard for his fellow competitors. The sort of factors and scenarios a moderator is likely to consider are detailed below along with typical penalties or rulings.

Rear End Shunt

A driver is hit from behind - examples with typical penalties are here.

Side by Side Contact

Cars make side contact either on a straight or in a corner - examples with typical penalties are here.

Bad Rejoin

A driver tries to rejoin the race after an incident but interferes with another driver in some way - examples with typical penalties are here.

Bad Shift R

A driver resets and interferes with other drivers when his car respawns - examples with typical penalties are here.

Blocking/Weaving

A driver can take a defensive line (normally the inside line on the approach to a corner) in order to deny a following car of a simple opportunity to overtake. A driver may not continually change his line (i.e. weave) in order to prevent (i.e. block) another car from overtaking - examples with typical penalties are here.

Ambitious Overtake

The overtaking driver has a responsibility to ensure he makes a clean pass. Drivers who are reckless and attempt to overtake where there is no clear opportunity will be penalized - examples with typical penalties are here.

Lack of Care Approaching an Incident

Drivers can cause total carnage by careering into stricken cars and generating a mass pile-up. Drivers who fail to take account of yellow flags will be penalized - examples with typical penalties are here.

First Lap Incidents

Due to the invariably catastrophic impact of first lap incidents (particularly start line incidents) they will attract an extra 1 place penalty.

Railriding and Corner Cutting

Railriding is when a driver uses track side objects, typically armco barriers to control the car. Clearly a driver is not using his skill to control the car and will not be allowed to gain an unfair advantage as a result of his actions. Corner Cutting involves a driver persistently placing all four wheels off track through corners. Examples with typical penalties are here.

Ignoring shift R restriction

Some divisions limit the number of shift-Rs a driver is allowed to take during a race. If a driver exceeds the number of allowed shift-Rs they will be disqualified.

Failing to take Stop & Go after Shift-R

In general, every time a driver has to make a shift-R as a result of their own actions or as a result of mechanical failure then they must perform a Stop and Go (S&G). This is to be performed in the pits, not on the open track. The rules about how to perform a S&G (in effect a Pit Stop of zero seconds) are here. The moderator will invariably apply a time penalty (normally 30 seconds) each time a driver fails to make a S&G after a shift-R. Examples where the time penalty may be rescinded are detailed here.

If a driver makes more than one shift-R on a single lap a separate Stop and Go would have to be taken for each shift-R. Obviously each Stop and Go would have to be taken on different laps.

If a driver makes a shift-R on the last lap then, depending on the layout of the pit lane and position of the finish line, it may be possible for a driver to take the Stop and Go at the end of the last lap and cross the finish line in the pit lane. If this is not possible or the driver elects not to do it then the moderator may apply a reduced time penalty (normally 15 seconds) on the basis that the driver did not have sufficient opportunity to perform the Stop and Go.

Incorrect Stop & Go

A S&G should be considered to be a Pit Stop of zero seconds and hence the rules about how to perform a Pit Stop also applies to a S&G. The rules about how to perform a Pit Stop are here. If a driver makes a S&G but fails to bring the car to rest in the stalls. The moderator may decide an unfair advantage has been gained and consequently a time penalty may be applied equal to 3 times the number of seconds gained. Where the number of seconds gained cannot be determined with any confidence, the moderator may decide to impose a standard 5 second penalty. This is cumulative so a driver making a late S&G and failing to stop close enough to the pit wall may incur two 5 second penalties during the one stop.

Ignoring Blue Flags

Lapped drivers must not interfere with the leaders, the blue flags indicate to the slower driver that he must allow the faster driver through. Failure to move over promptly and allow the faster driver though will probably incur a penalty. However it can be a difficult issue to moderate since the blue flags do not appear in the replays. Examples with typical penalties and occasions when they may be rescinded are detailed here.

Warp Incident

Internet lag is a fact of life in on-line racing. Sometimes cars can appear to move erratically or even disappear and reappear at various times in the race. This phenomenon is generally referred to as warp and can be responsible for a variety of collisions. Typical examples are detailed here.

Other Situations where Penalties may be Awarded

Infringement of Game Regulations

The game regulations are there to ensure physics of the game have not been tampered with. All drivers must use a common version of the game physics to ensure the racing is fair. Whilst cheating may be too strong a term, it is self evident that anyone ignoring the game regulations is likely to gain an unfair advantage over the other competitors. The types of infringement are many and varied; moreover they do not need to be moderated. If a driver is found to have infringed the game regulations there is no room for discretion by the moderator. The types of penalties awarded for infringements are declared along with the game regulation.

Contravention of On-Line Regulations

The On-Line Regulations are there to ensure the racing runs smoothly and to guard against the unique problems that can arise in on-line racing. Possible contraventions are many and varied but they are quite likely to manifest themselves as an incident which would be dealt with in the normal way. Consequently, there is generally some room for discretion by the moderator. The types of penalties awarded for infringements are either declared along with the regulation or detailed here.


Yellow Card system

A tally will be kept of all the warnings and penalties accumulated by the drivers. The more you get, the more automatic additional penalties you will incur. A detailed worked example is here.

The idea is to make warnings and penalties progressively more expensive so as to deter drivers from committing them in the future. In theory the moderators have tried to do this in the past but it was implemented in different ways by different moderators. This system means everyone knows what to expect, the moderators can be consistent and hopefully the drivers will make every effort to avoid even warnings.


Application of Penalties

For reference, this is how penalties are actually applied to produce final race positions:

  1. Any time penalties are applied to the drivers' road positions, and the positions re-ranked.
  2. Drivers with place penalties have their finishing position changed. At this point several drivers may be tied, as the final positions have not yet seen drivers "shuffled up" to fill the holes where penalized drivers have been moved down.
  3. The drivers are sorted based on finishing positions; where equal, the driver with the smallest penalty is ranked highest.
  4. The final finishing positions are then ranked according to the resorted list, and points allocated accordingly.

Note that when applying place penalties, no account is taken of where each driver finished on the road.


Race Bans and Suspended Race Bans

Single Incidents

A caution, warning or penalty will normally be sufficient admonishment, however in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to award a race ban or suspended race ban. Where a driver picks up a penalty whilst racing under a suspended ban, the moderator will use their discretion to decide whether or not that driver should actually pick up the race ban.

Persistent Bad Driving

If a driver amasses a huge number of penalties then clearly the yellow card points system is not a sufficient deterrent and a race ban may be necessary. As a general rule anybody with 10 or more yellow card points who picks up another yellow card point will get a suspended race ban (suspended for 3 races). Any yellow cards picked up (in any division) during the suspension period means a race ban in the division that invoked the suspension. When the suspension has expired, another yellow card point will invoke another suspended race ban (again suspended for 3 races).

The moderators do have some discretion as to applying Bans or Suspended Bans and factors that can be taken into account are a driver’s willingness to improve or demonstrated improvement and accumulations in fully moderated divisions. Initially alternatives, eg starting form the back of the grid, a drive through or a X sec pitstop are also options which can be considered.

Ultimately, if the application of the racing ban system does not produce any improvement, the moderators can then apply a season ban leading to an eventual extreme of a lifetime ban. This hopefully unrealistic example illustrates the principle.

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Staff
Billy Nobrakes (Black Night Racing)UKGPL Divisional Moderator
Cookie (Antipasti Racing)UKGPL Divisional Moderator
dave curtis (Black Night Racing, Team Straggler)UKGPL Server Provider
EvilClive (7Porsche7, Blue Moose Racing, Soggy Bottom Racers Club)UKGPL Senior Consultant
Phil Thornton (Antipasti Racing)UKGPL Consigliere
philippe GIRARD (Blue Moose Racing)UKGPL Divisional Moderator
Rainier (Black Night Racing)UKGPL Divisional Moderator
Samb (Black Night Racing)UKGPL Divisional Moderator
Turkey Machine UKGPL Assistant Divisional Moderator
Former Staff
Al Heller (Clark-Hill Racing)
BadBlood (Blue Moose Racing, Team Straggler)
Ben "Welling" Summers (Phoenix Racing)
blito (Shadows)
Boggy
Bully (Crash 'N' Burn Racing)
b_1_rd
Dave 'Gizmo' Gymer (Team Shark)
Fred Basset (Epicurie Banana)
FullMetalGasket (Black Night Racing, Blue Moose Racing)
G Jonsson (Black Night Racing)
Geoff65 (Clark-Hill Racing)
Jack O'Ferrall (Reed Racing)
john roberts (Clark-Hill Racing)
Kruger Enge (Soggy Bottom Racers Club)
miner2049er (Clark-Hill Racing)
Paul968 (Kerb Crawlers)
Robert Fleurke (Antipasti Racing)
Ross Neilson (Clark-Hill Racing)
Steve Smith
Syd Drake (Drake Racing, Soggy Bottom Racers Club)
vosblod (Clark-Hill Racing)
Walter Conn (REV)