Tournament Etiquette

NOTE: Although the original intent of this article was meant to help Cardfight!! Vanguard players when it was written, the concepts described in this article can be applied to any Bushiroad card game.

With tournament season going on it is very important to remind players about tournament etiquette. Whether or not you are a competitive player, these are steps that you should know. This is also great for players who will be going to their first competitive tournament. Hope you enjoy and be sure to leave any feedback and leave tips for players as well!

Now according to Bushiroad there are several steps in tournament etiquette and they follow as such*:

  • Greet each other before the start of game.
  • Offer your deck to your opponent to cut or shuffle your deck.
  • Be clear on what you are doing and announce the steps you are making in a turn.
  • Ask permission before touching or handling another players cards.
  • Don’t be overly distracting to your opponent.
  • Offer a handshake despite the outcome after the match.

These steps aren’t hard to follow but speaking from some personal experience on both ends, it is recommended that both players follow these steps to show good sportsmanship even when losing. You never know who you could be playing against and whether this is their first tournament experience, because depending on the way the opposing player acts can change the mind of the player to not come back to the game at a competitive level. The step that sticks out the most is the step about being clear on skills. This is especially important in the current format with G-Guardians. If you don’t announce you are G-Guarding and place a heal in the guardian circle, you may risk having your opponent call a judge over because there wasn’t clear communication on whether the heal trigger was used for a normal guard or a G-Guard.

In addition to the steps for good tournament etiquette mentioned above, here are two different instances that are important to mention to beginning players:

  • If you find yourself in the midst of a game where  you accidentally drop your cards on the ground or on your lap and you want to be a good sportsman, you may call over a judge just to confirm that you aren’t cheating to your opponent when picking up your cards. This would take a bit more time, however in the long run it would be worth it by doing this instead of the alternative of having a judge called over for cheating.
  • It is important to know what to do when dealing with difficult people during tournaments. Let us say you are playing against someone who isn’t showing good sportsmanship by grabbing your cards without asking and being rude. What would you do in a situation like this? Well the answer is always an easy one: you still treat them with the respect that you would want back. If an opponent grabs your cards without asking, politely ask the opponent to ask before he or she picks up your cards next time. Now if you find your opponent just being disrespectful even after an attempt of still being kind to them, simply call for a judge since they will be able to help in that situation.

Now with all said and done, hopefully this article has helped even one person know how to conduct him or herself during games that take place during touraments. In the event that this article did not help, remember to treat other people the way you would like to be treated and always strive to be transparent and fair when playing your opponent in a tournament setting. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them in the comment section.

* The original list of etiquette tips came from

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