Idea for countering Sandbagging

For non-sandbaggers, sandbaggers are, at best, a nuisance and lend to a negative experience (at least for the sandbaggee).

I propose an opportunity to anonymously click a box following a game, on whether you believe you’ve been sandbagged.

Similarly, in creating a game, there would be an option to prevent those who have distinguished themselves as sandbaggers from accepting.

I think these two “enhancements”, which have relatively unsophisticated implementation, may help provide a better OGS experience for kyu players. While this may not work 100%, it would help put a negative spin on sandbagging that I think hasn’t been addressed in any way so far.

We already have the report button which alerts the moderation team. Why would there be a need for a bespoke feature?


Please use the report/call moderator feature if you encounter sandbagging or other inappropriate behavior.

The moderators already do deal with sandbagging or other things (like cheating, trolling, etc.), and their ability to investigate and handle such cases is much better than any automated method that tries to rely on crowdsourcing to mark and filter out bad behavior. It is also important to have a human in the loop for such matters, since sometimes I think just a moderator stepping in to explain policy might help prevent future bad behavior.


The rules prohibit sandbagging so not much point in #2 option to prevent sandbaggers.

As @bugcat mentioned, the report button works for #1 option to report potential sandbaggers. It could be nice to have options for commonly reported offenses for lighter weight reporting, but I think the report feature does the job well for now.



I can only share that, based upon my experience, the current strategy (of dealing with sandbaggers) doesn’t appear to work very well at all. And I’m not about to notify admin about it when it happens. I’m suggesting that the crowd-supported approach be considered…that’s all. I don’t have anything more to contribute about it. As far as a moderator “stepping in to to prevent future bad behavior”, I think that is greatly underestimating trolls! : )

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This sounds like something of self fulfilling prophecy.

I’m interested in this sandbagging business and especially how you know you’ve been sandbagged. I don’t think it’s ever happened to me! But I’ve no idea how I would tell if it did.



I think the observed prevalence is largely due to under-reporting, which limits the ability for moderators to detect and do something about it.

Frankly, you only make the problem worse by refusing to report problematic behavior.

Reporting problems to the moderators is the crowd-sourced approach.

The only difference is that your proposed method seems to be some sort of automated filtering (which could raise its own problems), whereas the current method involves humans in the loop to investigate and consider each case.

Moderators can also outright ban and block people in the most severe cases. However, there are certainly other milder cases that could possibly be rehabilitated.

Overall, I think the moderators are far better equipped to handle this problem and its nuances than some sort of automated tagging and filtering system, which could be abused in itself.


If you haven’t been sandbagged yet, you aren’t playing enough! :yum:

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teapoweredrobot wrote: I’m interested in this sandbagging business and especially how you know you’ve been sandbagged. I don’t think it’s ever happened to me! But I’ve no idea how I would tell if it did.

If you have a high rank, I can understand that. As a 10k player, I can pretty much feel whether I am playing with a 9-11k, 12-14k, 15-16k player, or someone much better–who just enjoys shooting fish in a barrel. I don’t know your rank, but after apparently playing for at least 3 years, I’m surprised to hear you say you have “no idea” how you would tell.

I do think that the amount of trolling is definitely underestimated. But, I don’t think creating this will have any more effect then what is already in place. Not to mention I think between 5kyu and 9d this feature would likely get almost all of us marked.


Me too.

If I am “bullied” by someone stronger than me, isn’t that still a good game to play and learn and move on.


Meh I’d certainly like to know if the person is stronger before starting the game. Sandbaggers actually manipulate their rank so that you couldn’t possibly know they are strong.

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I think the reason some might feel differently is because some people are really competitive and want to win. I know when I was improving as a kyu player and lower dan I even hand picked my opponents to avoid ones I knew I struggled against.

Its an unhealthy mind set but, I can see why it would bother people who are maybe one game away from ranking up and you end up against a sandbagger.

But, then again we could also say “If you really are meant to be [rank] then even if you lose 1 game it won’t stop you from achieving said [rank]”


I do the same thing sometimes to maintain my rank. :stuck_out_tongue: But the ultimate trick to get a fair rank is to play more games, then good and bad evens out.

Occasionally, I accept games from much stronger player, just to get a taste how good they are. They normally don’t play hard, understandably so, cause they don’t need to. It can be perceived as toying me, but is really not. They may not want to be too hard on me. Now the only difference of this with sandbagging is this player did not hide his rank. But essentially the game would be played a similar way? I have no idea. Then I don’t feel bad in this case, but in the sandbag case?

It was written:

Ironically, the same person also wrote

Well, which way would you like it? :grinning: Do a few “marks” or a few “losses” matter or not?

Is it still a good game ? I would say no. It’s not enjoyable to be downright destroyed, and you don’t learn much from it.

I believe you learn more by playing against somebody stronger but still within your understanding of the game (or voluntarily lowering themselves for this purpose, such as in a teaching game). On the other hand a 20kyu vs. 6 dan without handicap would not even understand what is happening.


Coincidentally something like this came up in our moderator chat a while back, I believe this is something on the planning eventually.

If you don’t even report them yourself, then you also forfeit the right to complain about sandbaggers :confused:

Feel free to report 4 or 5 sandbaggers you’ve encountered recently, and I’ll personally see what I can do about it right now. How about that?

Trolls are going to be trolls anyways. It’s the people that are not trolls that we could sometimes convince to behave differently.


What is the observed prevalence? I mean, if I play 100 games how many will I be sandbagged in?

I guess we are counting both:

  1. games where I get an underserved win due to my opponent resigning or otherwise throwing a won game in order to maintain their low rank: and
  2. games where I lose to a weaker player who is in fact a stronger player.

I imagine (happy to be corrected) that more people are likely to be upset by case 2 than case 1.

So how many of my 100 games can I expect to be sandbagged in? and how many would be case 1 and how many case 2?

[Edit: does it make a difference if they are live/blitz/correspondence? tournament/ladder/custom/automatch?]
[Edit2: maybe someone clever can make a poll!]

guilty as charged!

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Ok, just for the fun of it, can someone post some sandbagging games please? Let’s analyze. lol

Let’s not, it isn’t too friendly to the suspected user to publicly discuss whether or not they’re sandbagging. It’s also against our policy. :wink: