Rules (updated June 16)

The following rules can also be accessed on The Nova League’s website.

#Important: Please be sure to follow the rules, in order to make your League games valid.

To enter The Nova League, one must complete 15 ranked, 19x19 games on OGS against opponents of similar level (and must not be provisional.) Please use the sign-up form posted on the TNL group bulletin to join. Contact the admins if you are interested in volunteering as a teacher!

Each player has the responsibility to schedule a League game with his/her opponents, once the new classes and pairings are announced at the beginning of every month. The start time of each game must be acceptable for both players, and all games must finish before the end of the month (24:00 UTC of the last day.) Unfinished League games will be annulled.


TIP: Players on OGS can be reached by chat, PM, or site mail.

###League Games
All League games are 19x19, ranked, non-handicap, and follow Japanese rules (6.5 komi.) The time settings must agree with the current time setting of the month, decided by the admins and the voting polls. Analyze mode and conditional moves should be disabled.

Each game must have a title in the format of “TNL [Month] [Year] - [Player 1] vs. [Player 2]”, for example “TNL Jan 2015 - Mikasa vs. xhu98,” and the games must be public (visible to everyone.)

Player colors should be set as random.

Players should be present at the start of all scheduled games, be courteous and kind, and follow all major guidelines as an OGS user.
They need to notify the admins before changing their usernames. Unacceptable behavior, such as swearing, hate speech, trolling, or sandbagging, will result in disqualification of the player from the league.

To request an excused absence from the scheduled game, report a user, or ask for assistance, please contact the admins and we will be happy to help. Three unexcused absences (or failure to finish a League game) will also result in disqualification.

###NEW: The 1+3+1 Scoring System

Starting from June 16, 2015, we are implementing a new scoring system for TNL. Each game contains multiple points, which are added to two separate scores: game score, and league score. While the former determines ladder positions, the latter will be the major factor in naming MVPs (most valuable players) at the end of each cycle. MVPs receive customized prizes, so don’t miss the opportunity out! :smile:

Each game has:

  • 1 point for winning. Winning a game will add a point to both the game score and league score.
  • 3 points for participating in a review. Being part of a review will earn you 3 points; you can review any game in the league, or watch a review of your game live. Watching a review of others’ games will not earn any points, but you are certainly welcome to!
  • 1 point for review quality (can be awarded by multiple players.) Anyone apart from the original reviewer can upvote (award 1 point) to the original reviewer. If a reviewer gets upvoted by 20 people on the same review, he/she will get 20 points from the good quality!

In other words:

  • A player who has a lot of wins and does good reviews will be named MVP and stay on top of the ladder
  • A player who doesn’t win a lot but participates in reviews of his/her own games can still earn a decent league score, thus competent for league MVP
  • A player who wins a lot but doesn’t review will have a good placement in the ladder, but will not get MVP prizes
  • Winning a game and doing a good review can earn you 1+3+[number_of_upvotes]!
  • You can review anyone’s game; please kindly notify a player if you are reviewing his/her games while he/she is offline. Feel free to meet up and talk about a review, which will earn both of you 3 points for participation.

This system runs on trust, and scores are submitted via this form. :smile:

What are the procedures for players leaving and new ones wishing to enter? Is there a waiting list to join for the next month?

Thanks for organizing this league! It’s a really great idea establishing a live game ladder system!


I’d also like to know whether there’s a waiting list :slight_smile: This league looks great!


Hey @yebellz and @RoboTeddy,

We will reopen registration for February’s league on January 20th. You’ll be able to sign up from our website, :smiley:



A player must notify the admins prior to changing his/her username, for the convenience.

How are new players going to be added to the league? The promotion/demotion rules make sense, but only if there are no new players coming in. Are they going to be placed into existing classes after the promotions and demotions from the previous month take place, or something else?

We will insert the new players into the appropriate class by comparing their ratings (by 30th of the month) with other players. Promotions and demotions happen at the same time; the new players (if any) will be placed after the demoted player in the class. For example, if one existing player is demoted to the next class, yet another new player joins that class, the former will be at second last place and the latter will be at the last place.

Class placements serve as tiebreakers and player color deciders (I have created a poll on that, however, since there has been a debate.) :smile:

Thanks! Also - will currently registered players be assumed to continue, or do they also have to manually re-register each month to stay in the competition?

Yes, all current players will automatically stay in the league. :smile:

Rules updated on January 20.

What’s new:

  • We will vote every month for next month’s time settings, based on a previously conducted poll.
  • To enter a league, a player must complete 15 ranked, 19x19 games with opponents of the same level. (In other words, we will not curve this time :P)
  • Player colors will be decided by random, based on a previously conducted poll.


About the random color : does it apply right away, or only to the February games ? Many thanks.

What is the procedure if a current league player wishes to drop out for the next month but return at a later date?

The random color rule applies to February’s league games, and so on. :smile: There are still 11 days left!

The player will contact the admins. The admins will adjust the reports accordingly and forfeit any upcoming games in the same month. Meanwhile, it’s the player’s responsibility to notify his/her opponents of the drop-out.

Comebacks are always welcome! :smiley: Registration for each month will be open on 20th of the previous month.

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Rules updated on February 1.

What’s new:

  • You don’t have to report the game start times to us anymore. Just remember to show up at the scheduled time and finish all your games by end of the month! :smile: (No-show penalties still apply.)
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What is/how does the no show penalty work?

Rules updated on June 16.

What’s new:

  • A brand new scoring system is introduced! Win your games and do more reviews! :smiley:

The TNL admin will be shunned for his 113-day-late response to this…

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“rules are updates” / just for all those ppl who cannot find stuff in the forum unless the page gives you an updatestatus (like me)

and realizes that i should have recieved that from the post made 7h ago, … strange…

So from my understanding, the points earned for the reviews are added to the league score, and the ladder is reshuffled based on game scores ?

@hqrpie Correct!