Excluded from ladders

Hi! I’ve been a member of the 19x19 ladder for years but now my profile suddenly says that I’m not and I’m not listed on the ladder. I’ve even got one ladder game underway. What gives?

Hi there @logoskaiagape

You were removed from the ladder because you timed out this game: https://online-go.com/game/1031008

If you still have any ladder games ongoing you can rejoin the ladder and have a chance to reclaim your spot by winning the game. This is pretty similar to the behavior of the original OGS where one would be removed from a ladder for similar reasons.

Ok. That’s pretty harsh. Losing a spot that takes many months to earn over one mistake. A rather unproportional punishment I think. Sure doesn’t make me want to play the ladders anymore. And it certainly doesn’t make me want to support you financially again.

A separate point: If you decide to punish members this way you can at least inform them about it and not just silently remove them from the ladder.

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What do you propose we change? We’re open to good ideas.

When we didn’t kick people from the ladders, they were full of people who do not care about OGS anymore. Playing the ladder meant roulette, where you never knew if your opponent still plays Go. And the lower part of the ladder was full of ~200 accounts that don’t play. It was a horrible experience for new players.


We could make a special exception for the players who assert to the mods or on the forums that they are indeed still around. They could be reinstated as they were with no bad consequences. :)

We did think about this for a long time before we did it and this behavior has been around since the original OGS days. You don’t want to encourage timeouts as a way of shirking responsibility in the ladders and it’s really unfair to your ladder opponent if you just don’t show up to finish a game. As @Francisa said… we don’t want the bottom and middle of the ladders to be filled with people who will never make a move.

I can understand that it seems unfair, but we have a Vacation system that will stop all clocks if you feel like you aren’t going to be able to make a move. The time controls for Ladder games are pretty long. We also provide a mechanism at redemption if you are removed from the ladder through timeout. Considering all that I’ve just said… if you timeout a ladder game and are removed from the ladder then that is the consequence for doing that and for keeping the ladder fun and engaging for those people who are actively playing in it… start at the bottom and work your way back up.


I understand that you don’t want new players to wade through a number of non-starters because the bottom part of the ladder is full of inactive players. But that is certainly not what we are talking about here. I would like to see the definition of inactive that you’ll have to use to make it apply to me. Missing a deadline is one thing, being inactive another.

When someone times out on me, which happens from time to time, I do get annoyed. As you say it is not very nice. But I know that most Go players don’t do it on purpose and that they are just as disappointed as I am, if not more. And I certainly neither expect nor want to have them thrown out.

Yes, there is a vacation system, and as you can see from my history I’ve made use of it on several occassions in just the manner you propose.

As I stated earlier I think you are too harsh. Losing a number of places on the ladder for a timeout I can understand. Being thrown out is just over the top. But of course if these are the rules you think should apply then that is up to you. I will quitely finish my games and then resign my membership.

I see the frustration behind your decision, and I wish you the best of luck in your future Go career.

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I think some have proposed having something in between, that is, losing some spots for timing out rather than falling completely off the ladder.

Basically, some sort of compromise between no penalty for timing out versus the current situation of a maximum penalty for timing out.

Some easy changes to make the ladder experience a lot better:

  1. A reasonable time cap of 7 days. The reduction to 3 days causes time-outs without having any benefits.
  2. If someone is suspended from the ladder due to a timeout, restore them to their old position immediately if they indicate that they still wish to play in the ladder by:
    a. Clicking the “Join Ladder” button
    b. Making a move in another ladder game
    c. Contacting admins by chat or forum
  3. Give people a better path to resign from ladders. Right now you lose all ladder games if you withdraw, which affects not just your ladder rank, but also your rating. Make a withdrawal count as losses for ladder purposes only (no rating change), but continue the game as a free game for rating purposes.

With respect to this:

I had a suggestion for how to handle ladder withdrawals a bit cleaner:

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With respect to item 2 (softening the penalty for timing out), @Jamada had this suggestion in that thread:

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How about fixing email notifications for impending timeouts in games? They are broken and are usually not sent for quite a few months now. I timed out of many games and lost my position in the 19x19 ladder last year as well. Getting kicked out of the 19x19 ladder for a single timeout seems disproportionate, but I’m much more bothered by the lost rating points in dozens of games (outside of the ladder as well) that I didn’t mean to lose by timeout.

I think the best solution is to simply have an option in your preferences that you can set to automatically enable vacation mode to prevent timeouts. So if you get down to 1 minute on any correspondence game, it puts you to vacation mode automatically, and u can then make ur next move whenever you are available, and get your next +1day/move. It would also be nice if vacation mode was automatically canceled by making a move in any game (or make this an option as well)


I don’t think that is a good idea. Timeout is there by purpose. Enabling vacation automatically is effectively lengthening the timeout period by the available vacation time. Imho it does not matter how long timeout you let, there will be always people complaining about the consequences of it.
The ladder is a good place to find willing opponent. The timeout rule keeps this property. It should not be loosen.

Just an idea: What about some kind of revive-button - only for just 3 days after an time-out of the game? If both players want to keep the game and confirm it by clicking the button they can return to their game.
The loser (because of the time-out) will still loose rank points of the ladder as if he/she had lost the game regularly.
[Excluded from the ladder only with second time of lost games by time-out in the ladder or with players who didn’t make a move in the ladder game from the beginning.]

I think I might be okay with allowing multiple timeouts if the user was in, say, the top 1/3 of the ladder.

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Any chance timeout notification emails behaviour will be reconfigurable to approximate how they used to work, or is that a dead feature for the foreseeable future?

The old OGS had notification emails, the new does not. I confess, this seems like a pretty big regression, and one the developers have been aware of for a long time.

Also, the old ladder times were seven days, not three, right?

For long correspondence games we’ll send you an email when you have something like 12 hours left to make a move if you have configured an email address.

We’ll be looking at email notifications again in the near future.

The time was reduced from 7d max to 3d max 6 months or so ago.