Quite simply, I am wondering where the notion of ‘Weekend pause’ comes from. As a leisure activity; I would expect most people to have more time for Go on the weekends.
I find ‘weekend pause’ particularly absurd in a tournament where the fischer clock goes up to 5 days or more. Surely that is enough time for people to choose for themselves when they will play.
Even in tournaments with a shorter maximum clock (typically three days). The ‘weekend pause’ option effectively disadvantages those who work Mon-Fri by requiring them to play most of their moves on work days and limiting their ability to play on the weekend because their opponent is under no time pressure to respond.
So my observation is that the ‘weekend pause’ option in OGS scheduled tournaments effectively discriminates against people based on when they like to play (I have no problem with it’s use in custom tournaments of course.) and my suggestion is simply to scrap it from scheduled tournaments, designed to be as widely appealing as possible.
Which brings me to the topic of Slow Tournaments & Vacation. I feel that the appeal of correspondence tournaments could be increased without reducing their playability; Firstly by scrapping weekend pauses and secondly by tackling the problem of vacation.
I am not advocating the scrapping of vacation as I regard it as an important mental health issue to be able to take a break without the added pressure of forfeiting games en masse. That said; my experience of vacation is that it is mostly used by people who commit to too many games while they play catch up (It also seems to be used as an integral part of the strategy at the top of site ladders). Particularly in tournaments with multiple rounds such as double-elimination or McMahon, the use of vacation in each round by different people dramatically if not catastrophically slows such a tournament to a crawl. (Tip: Round robin tournaments are better in this respect.)
So my suggestion here is to halve vacation entitlements across the board to reduce their abuse and impact on tournaments while maintaining a necessary facility and perhaps those who have recently timed-out of a game should be prevented from joining new tournaments while they still have a large number of games on the go.
The last issue I wish to raise around the topic of Slow Tournaments is the use of pause. In a casual game there is no problem with pause because either player may resume it but in a multi-round tournament, others are kept waiting with no say or capacity to object to the use of pause. I suggest the use of ‘pause’ should be disabled or severely limited in tournaments and possibly ladders as well.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I’ve said but I think there is a lot of room for ideas and improvements on these issues and I look forward to learning what others think.