Feature Request: Tracking Sandbaggers

I feel like the “sandbagging” issue is contentious: what exactly does it mean, is it allowed, is it rude, can it be detected, can it be prevented, how does it impact rank, etc.

I want to propose something that hopefully sidesteps all the tricky questions while still providing some help for players (like myself) who find sandbagging discouraging.

I propose that after completing a game, there is a way to indicate to OGS “I think this player is manipulating their rank”. You don’t have to justify it, mods don’t get involved, the player might not even be notified. But OGS knows that Player A felt that way about Player B.

And then there’s an auto-match option to avoid players who are frequently (or frequently recently) suspected of sandbagging.

That’s it. Crowd-sourced definition of sandbagging, and an opt-in way to avoid those players. Not a silver bullet, but potentially powerful.

I don’t think there’s much potential for abuse here (even if you “report” every player you lose against, you’re just one vote), everyone who doesn’t care about sandbagging (including sandbaggers themselves) can go on using the site as normal. But those of us who tick the “avoid sandbaggers” box can at least have a reduction in the number of these frustrating games we end up in.


So, your proposition is, rather than responsibly reporting suspected sandbaggers to the mod team for proper investigation, some kind of vague, hidden, popularity contest will mysteriously work better?


If you don’t wish to be paired with someone in the future (for whatever reason) simply use the ‘Block’ option. I believe this now works with auto-match. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.


It would be a glaring oversight if it didn’t.


If I remember correctly, we discussed general social credit score system somewhere.

At any rate I think it’s not that useful to spend resources to implement it.


Apologies, I wasn’t aware that it was actually a violation of site rules and something you were supposed to report. That is good to know, and I’ll start doing that for clear cut cases.

I do still feel like this proposal has its strengths over that though. In particular, I don’t want to overuse the report functionality and waste a mod’s time in situations that aren’t actionable. Sometimes it’s obvious that someone is sandbagging, other times it’s just a feeling that I get from playing the game, but would be unable to really prove.

In situations like that, it’d be kind of nice to have an option more akin to “downvote” than report. I’m not trying to get someone banned, I’m not trying to kick off a big moderator review, I just want to contribute a single data point, which is that the game felt off to me.

I guess I just don’t want to waste a mod’s time if there’s no definite violation, but it’s unfortunate that my only options are that and do nothing.


Yeah, block is a good feature and I’ve used it before. But it doesn’t help me to avoid wasting an hour with them to begin with. And as I said in another reply, I’m mostly thinking of situations less clear cut than “you are definitely acting in bad faith and I never want to encounter you again”. More like “this seemed off to me, did anyone else feel that way?”. If no one else felt that way, I’m mistaken and will happily play that opponent again sometime. If that player’s last 10 opponents felt that way, than yeah I want them more-or-less blocked.


The thing is, we have access to more information than you do. So if you report your suspicions, we have the discretion as to how deeply we investigate based on a number of factors, many of which are not visible by regular users.


Someone correct me if I am wrong but the main concern with sandbagging is the effect it has on the rating system, so it’s why admins welcome reports and they are better placed then to evaluate and take appropriate decisions.


Fair enough. At this point you’ve convinced me that the right thing to do is just to use “report” more liberally.

Given that, this thread is probably just noise. Should I delete it, or edit the OP, or anything?


Discussion is still good :slight_smile: leave it as is, it may contribute to some future discussion, thanks for your feedback


Wikipedia defines sandbagging as: deliberately playing below one’s actual ability in order to fool opponents into accepting higher stakes bets, or to lower one’s competitive rating in order to play in a future event with a higher handicap and consequently have a better chance to win.

I had sandbagging once explained to me as: losing so much that later on you can win big. But if I really want to win so desperately, why would I endure a losing streak? Not logical. For the profit? What profit?

Another point is how to detect sandbaggers. Are players who in strength variate much over time by definition sandbaggers? How much variation defines you as a sandbagger? Who decides where the border between sandbagger and non sandbagger lies?

And the solution: crowd-sourced definition of sandbagging?
No way. I am with @BHydden on this.


Current ogs ranks are sovolatile, that everyone is sandbagging after 5 losses xD


In real life tournaments there can be some profit. For example, if you have a tournament in the future where there’s a separate DDK division with prizes and you’re 7k. You might want to lower your rating to DDK levels to win some prizes.

You can read an article about one of the scandals in chess: https://www.chess.com/news/view/nationally-recognized-chess-team-under-scrutiny

Online and friendly OTB matches doesn’t have any prizes so the only point is to feel great while humiliating your opponent. When sandbagging you don’t really lose, you’re allowing to be won which doesn’t hurt your feelings. And the great feeling you get when toying with your opponent is very nice no matter if you win or allow to be won.


I don’t feel that this reply really engages with anything I said :man_shrugging:

There’s always the possibilty that winning might bring your rating down, or resigning could be considering airbagging when your rating goes up :stuck_out_tongue:


Just report suspected misbehavior to the mods.

They will investigate, track, and deal with them as necessary.


Absolutely! Besides the ladders are a nice playground to integrate sandbaggers in OGS too, although there is no more fake rating simply getting even games with large difference of levels.

Just my thoughts on sandbagging (maybe naive thoughts). Nothing more, nothing less.

We could have a strong secret admin sandbagger with a mission to sandbag the sandbaggers. That would be awesome.