Opinion: Pikkdogs says stick to your age group.

by Pikkdogs ~ October 22nd, 2010.

Hey all you members of Omar-Nation.  This is Pikkdogs here. I will speak to you soon about the release of the new triumphant set, but today I will talk about age divisions in Pokemon.                                                                          

Speaking of Triumphant, this weekend is the start of pre-release tournaments.  So if you can, head out to your local tournament this weekend and get involved in the tournament.  This set should be pretty impactful, even with the recent news that Lost World will not be in the set.

We all know that Pokemon is a game that is popular with younger people.  I admit that I too played the game when I was young.  But, the fact is that Juniors and Masters are different.  We run different decks and play different styles.

We also know that because of this fact TPCI has made three age divisions: Junior, Senior, and Master.  With younger people laying in the junior category, the tweens playing in seniors, and high school age and older in the master category.   These divisions were a great idea, it keeps people of similar skill levels together.  There are a couple great senior players that can play with any master, but for the most part the age divisions are great.

What isn’t so great is when people are forced to play outside of their divisions.  These matchups are embarrassing, unfair, and pointless.  These matchups usually happen when one age group doesn’t have enough players for their own tournament.  When this happens age divisions mix and people are forced to play outside of their age division.

This article will try to argue that Play Pokemon should outlaw playing outside of your age division at all tournaments that effect your rating.  This  article will be written in the perspective of a masters player.

First, playing outside of your age division is pointless.  It does not effect your rating, so why are we playing this matchup?  It would be better to play a player in your own division who has a lesser record, then to play a game that has no effect on your rating.  It would even be better to take a bye, and get a win then to play a no-win game.

Why is this type of game a no-win game?  This is because, if a masters player defeats a junior it is doing something that he/she is supposed to do, and if the masters player loses it is a complete embarrassment.  I admit that sometimes a junior player can beat a master’s player.  But, for the most part a Master will always beat a Junior, they usually have better decks and more advanced skills.  It isn’t fair for the junior who has to play out of his league, and its not fair for the masters player who will face infinite embarassment if he/she does lose.

Another reason is that playing down in your division seems to take the player off of his/her game.  Every game that I play with a junior or a senior seems to feel like a practice game.  Personally, playing down makes me feel like I’m doing my opponent a favor and take me out of the game.  At a Pokemon tournament, a player needs to concentrate and keep momentum going, playing a younger person can throw someone off of his/her game and ruin his/her tournament.

So I propose, that except in cases where both the junior and senior divisions don’t have enough players, that combining divisions should be abolished.  If the senior division only has 4 players, let them play 2 or 3 games and call it a day. This would be a smart business decision for TPCI, because it might encourage those seniors to bring their friends to the next tournament, so more people will join the game.  Also, adding byes will be preferable to pairing people outside of their own age division.

So what do you guys think?  Am I crazy?  Well of course I am, but is my opinion of this topic crazy?  Do you guys feel the same, or do you like playing younger people.

Until next week this is Pikkdogs signing off saying, So long and thanks for all the fish.

Category: Pokemon Education, Uncategorized | Tags: ,
  • Anonymous

    woah.. hold on, is that ‘no lost world’ definite?!

    Thats big..

    Good article by the way, nice read :)

    • Ed

      Everything I’ve read seems to indicate that there’s no Lost World. There’s a SMALL chance it’s an special ultra-rare like Time-Space Distortion or something. I doubt it. I’m sure we’ll know today.

      Check PokeBeach for scans.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. Yeah as far as I know, theres no lost world in Triumphant. The scans were out yesterday, and all the trainers and supporters were there and lost world wasn’t. Today I went to a Pre-release and nobody pulled it as a secret rare, so unless we get it as a promo, we don’t get it.

  • Anonymous

    So, speaking as a poke-dad, I don’t mind playing younger players (usually). I can see your points about the match not meaning anything in a premier event but you have to see it from their side – if they don’t have enough players to have their own group play itself, without mixing groups, they would not get to play at all. And I have to say, especially for the younger players, just getting to play is the point. Furthermore, I don’t know about you, but I never feel like I am getting any better if I don’t play people who are better than I am. So if I refused to play younger players on principle, I am robbing them of their chance of learning something from me and their chance of improving their own game.

    So, while it might be frustrating to have to play mixed age groups, I think it is a good compromise between not having matches for smaller groups and the spirit of the game.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent Point. It is good for the younger player if they quite aren’t on the same level. But then again, thats what league is for, not tournaments. And of course, we want everyone to be able to play at least 3-4 games. I do see your point and it always is nice for the younger player just to play a game. Though it is always at the expense of the masters player. Whenever we play them its a lose/lose for us, and thats not really fair either. Since I don’t have any kids yet, I’m more of a master-centric player, I don’t really care what happens in juniors and seniors. So if your just looking at the masters division, pairing down is an awful idea, but I guess if you take the whole thing into consideration, pairing down is just what you have to do.

  • Anonymous

    I guess, I’ll have to disagree whole-heartedly in this issue. I think that skills and ideas are passed on thru play. I’m a pokedad so I play in this mode every day. I also appreciate more skilled players pointing out my mistakes and offering better choices to help me learn.

    I guess I don’t learn that much getting thoroughly crushed because I can’t even see where it started. I also try to set an good example of how to point out misplays or rules violations, etc. We have quite a few juniors in our area that are very quick to yell “cheater” when my 6 year old doesn’t know a rule or a new card.

    So yeah, it’s a bummer not being challenged on every match but come on, passing on some knowledge really feels great when that same kid comes back and beats you next week!

  • Ed

    I’m a bit torn on this. I like the juniors to be kept together. I think the gap is just too large between them and the seniors/masters. Obviously this doesn’t go for the entirety of the junior field, but you have to make generalizations sometimes.

    If there are at least 3 juniors, that’s fine. They can play each other and have 2 rounds. Yeah, ideally there would be more, but I don’t like mixing them.

    Seniors mixing with masters is a different deal. I think it’s good for the senior, but it’s a drag for the master. In the article, Pikkdogs said, “Another reason is that playing down in your division seems to take the player off of his/her game.” I never thought of it that way, but, while reading that, I was like “YEAH, I’m with you.” It’s a combo-breaker.

    It’s more of a psychological thing for me. There shouldn’t be any reason that it’s a problem, but the feel of the game and the flow of the tourney is just different when I’ve been paired with a senior.

    For those that are concerned with ratings, it’s even worse. You could have a winning record in a tourney and still lose points just because one of your wins was to a senior. As far as end-of-the-day ratings go, losing to a master might be better than winning to a senior, because of how it would affect your subsequent pairings.

    Ultimately, though, I think the senior/masters pairings are important for the spirit of the game. It’s just like byes and down-pairing. People might not like it, but it makes tourneys work. You just have to roll with it and try not to let it affect you.