Sunjang Baduk Tournament at OGS / League Format Guidelines

This tournament follows a League system. Players are assorted into different divisions, where the highest (A division) has access to disputing the title. If necessary, each division can be further divided into several groups (seeded according to rank, to avoid lopsidedness).

Such distribution will be governed by the rules laid on this page.

Table of contents


Each version of the tournament, which is related to the next one via promotion/demotion. Ideally one per year.
The main category of classification. They are distributed hierarchically, and denoted in order by uppercase letters of the alphabet, from highest to lowest. Each player is said to belong to one and only one division.
The main device for playing the tournament. Each group comprises a set of players from the same division, who must face one another in a round-robin. They are denoted by the division letter plus a number (if necessary). Each player is said to belong to one and only one group.
Direct promotion
An assured spot for the next season on (at least) the division directly above of one's own.
An assured spot for the next season on (at least) the division directly below of one's own.
Middle positions
Players who neither promote nor demote will have an assured spot (at least) on their own division for the next season. They are said to belong to a middle position.
Promotion by rank
A spot granted on a higher division than otherwise assured by other rules. Rank is the main criterion for such promotions.
Division restrictions per rank
For each rank there are decided upon division limits (a highest possible division and a lowest possible division) within which players can be placed by default. These limits are used to grant promotions by rank. Both limits for superior ranks cannot be any lower than the limits for inferior ranks. These are usually relayed on a table format.


A. Divisions & Groups

i. Size

Divisions intuitively work in a piramidal structure, with an ideal group size of 7 players. The rules actively promote this, within a deviation of 2 players:

  1. There shall be two groups on the main division[1], with an ideal size of 14 players (7 per group).
  2. Each division shall be no shorter than 5 players[2], and no larger than thrice the size of the division directly above.
  3. Each division shall be evenly divided[3] into groups, and the number of groups shall be no larger than thrice the number of groups in the division directly above. Ideal group size is 7, and no group shall contain fewer than 5 players.
  4. There's a natural limit of 6×3ⁿ players (that precludes groups of 10 players) on the n-th division. This limit shall never be surpassed by any other rule unless otherwise stated. If necessary, division restrictions should be revised.
  5. The number of players in a division shall not grow from one season to the next, unless it contradicts size restrictions (rules A.i.1 and A.i.2) or lowest division restrictions (rule C.3). This rule does not apply to new divisions.

ii. Fairness

All players should have similar oportunities to promote and avoid demotion. Rank is taken into account to get the easiest spots:

  1. All players on the same division start with the same number of gamepoints[4].
  2. Groups within a division shall be seeded according to rank, to avoid slantedness[5]

B. Direct Promotions & Demotions

Promoting and avoiding demotion are the main incentives for playing on a certain division. There must be an equilibrium between the two, to maintain sizes stable:

  1. Each group leader shall directly promote. There shall be at least two direct promotions per division.
  2. Each division shall provide to the one directly below with as many demotions as there are direct promotions on the latter. However, there shall be one additional demotion (on the same division) for every group of 10 players.
  3. Direct promotions and demotions not accounted for by the previous rules will be awarded according to the criteria on section D
  4. Withdrawals from the tournament imply a forfeiture of the promotion/demotion merits. Those merits are not transferable (such spots are simply lost).
  5. Direct promotions and demotions may not overlap.

C. Promotions by Rank

In order fill spaces left by withdrawals, as well as to provide a reasonable route to the top, players are allowed to jump into a certain division if their rank is high enough. To ensure fairness to this rule, both new and old players may be subject to such promotions:

  1. All players (including new players) are applicable to promotion by rank.
    • Addendum: Applicability to provisional players is left at the discretion of the organizers
  2. Promotions by rank can override direct promotions and demotions, provided the player would then land on a higher division than they otherwise do.
  3. No player shall be placed below their lowest division restriction according to rank, as they shall forcefully promote (they can be placed higher than their rank indicates though, if they promote directly). If this rule cannot be enforced (if it contradicts size restrictions in rule A.i.4), division restrictions shall be revised.
  4. A player is promotable (by rank) to a certain division if and only if their highest division restriction is higher or equal than said division.
  5. Whenever there's available space (rules A.i.4 and A.i.5) and a promotable player, they shall promote. Priority is granted according to rule D.2.

D. Priority Criteria & Tie-breakers

Each criterion is set to decide an [ext] order relation among players. Whenever consulted, the highest positions should be considered first to promote or avoid demotion. Ituitively, there must be a sense of deservedness to this:

  1. Main Criteria. This is used when the involved players took part on the previous season. Following their performance on said tournament players are sorted according to: more scored gamepoints (total), higher SODOS, and more scored gamepoints in the games involving those players (if they were in the same group).
  2. Secondary Criteria. This may be used as a tie-breaker for the main criteria, or to gauge players who did not necessarly play the previous season. These would be, in order: higher overall rank, higher overall rating[6], higher correspondence rank, higher correspondence rating[6], voluntary or implicit forfeiture by the other players and the winner of a live Sunjang match (15 min. main time + 325 sec. byo-yomi periods).

E. Implementation

Correct interpretation of the rules should be in accordance with the intention of the rules in this section:

  1. This rule supersedes all other contradicting rules: The players for each division shall be determined in order, from the first division to the last. Whenever there is an incompatibility in the size of a division (rule A.i.2), a player from the division from which the contradiction stems shall be awarded a direct promotion (See rules B.3 and B.5). If nobody is applicable for direct promotion, the highest ranked player is forcefully promoted (using the criteria on rule D.2).

Final Round

The final round will be a 3 player match, where the one to win two games is crowned champion. Advantaged positions are given to certain players as a tie breaker[7].

Players from the A division qualify to this final round as if they were direct promotions. That means the two group leaders qualify automatically. The third player is drawn by awarding a direct promotion to the defending champion (if available [8]), or to another player (according to the rules in section B) provided they either scored no fewer gamepoints than the defending champion, or ended up in 4th place or better.

Should one of the two group leaders be the defending champion, that player is given an advantaged position; otherwise, both group leaders are given advantaged positions.

Withdrawals from the final round are handled by drawing another player, following the same rules. If no elegible players are willing to play, the title is declared void for the year.

Division Restrictions per Rank

Depending on their overall rank, players are granted a highest and lowest division they can be allocated. This has the purpose of distributing players of similar strength along the same division.

Such restrictions are decided upon by the organizers once they know the full list of players. They shall strive to control the size of the divisions, as well as give reasonable matches for all players. Disclosure of their decision is not mandatory.

The following diagram shows an example, in red circles, of the distribution of players for the 2013-14 Season according to rank:

Promotion by rank (3rd Season)
Dan Level circle
1 ~ 5 kyu circle
6 ~ 10 kyu circle circle
11 ~ 15 kyu circle
16 ~ 20 kyu circle circle
21+ kyu circle


[1]Unless there is fewer than 10 players to play the tournament.

[2] Should there be fewer than 5 players to participate in the tournament, that season should be cancelled. The title is declared void for that year.

[3] Any two groups in the same division shall differ in size by no more than one player.

[4] In practice, each player receives ten points for every division below their own.

[5] In practice, groups are distributed on a zig-zag fashion. Smaller groups should have the top seeds.

Seeding example:

26 4 = 6 (group size = 6 ~ 7)
26 mod 4 = 2 (2 larger groups)
Short Groups Large Groups
G1 G2 G3 G4
1 2 3 4
row jump 6 5
8 7 10 9
13 14 11 12
16 15 18 17
21 22 19 20
24 23 26 25

[6] Two players within 10 rating points difference may be considered to be in a virtual tie.

[7] To be given an advantaged position amounts to being awarded 1 extra gamepoint for the round. This has the purpose of breaking 3-way ties.

[8] This basically implies that the defending champion must have played on the current season and not have fallen below demotion line. This also means that, should they withdraw, they lose the posibility to defend the title.

Sunjang Baduk Tournament at OGS / League Format Guidelines last edited by Leira on July 1, 2015 - 21:28
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