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Rookie Challenge (one-division contest)

ASR’s extended platform started offficially on Sunday, 11th December 2016 – 12:00 am UTC.

  • Why a one-division contest ? – The idea behind

Since August we noticed an increasing number of new registrations with the “status as candidates”, see graph below. The ASR Team worked over last weeks on a new platform for these “KGS beginners”… as the ASR – Advanced Study Room shall not be noticed in public as an elitist place only for ‘advanced players’ (Rec.: KGS = KGS GO Server where the ASR league members play online all games).

Beside the registrations of 105 Go players in November we had the pleasure to welcome another seventeen (17), who yet do not reach the minimum standards to play in the regular ASR league. – In total we count now 35 so called “candidates“.

We come up with a new option for these candidates to be assisted to fulfill as quick as possible the participation standards, getting used with the league system, scoring methods and hopefully giving a hand to very beginners with their first steps in the Go world.

  • For whom ? – Why Rookie ?

Since long exist Rookies in the world of sports. A rookie is a person in his or her first year of a sport. – Or someone who is new to a profession, training or activity. We know rookie police officers, rookie pilots etc…

The Rookie (2002 film)
The Rookie (2002 film)

The Oxford English Dictionary states that the origins are uncertain, but that perhaps it is a corruption of the word recruit. The earliest example is from Rudyard Kipling’s Barrack-Room Ballads (published 1892): So ‘ark an’ ‘eed, you rookies, which is always grumblin’ sore, referring to rookies in the sense of raw recruits to the British Army. At least during the beginning of the 20th century, in the British Army the term “rookie” was typically used in place of “recruit” as exemplified in “Trenching at Gallipoli” by John Gallishaw (New York Century Co.:1916) and in “The Amateur Army” by Patrick MacGill (London,Herbert Jenkins:1915).

The Rookie of the Year award is given by a number of sports leagues to the top-performing athlete in his or her first season within the league (e.g. auto racing, baseball, basketball, American football, golf, hockey, lacrosse and soccer). Athletes competing for the first time in any given league are also known as “rookies”.

In this sense you should understand the term “ASR rookie”… a very beginner or inactive player on KGS Go server, also newly registered for the ASR league or since long time inactive in Go.

  • Difference between the Rookie Challenge and monthly ASR League ?

ASR league design
ASR league design

While the monthly ASR league has five (5) divisions (alpha, beta, gamma, delta + placement league) the Rookie Challenge takes place in one single class, the dojo. Dojo (?? dojo) is a Japanese term which literally means “place of the way”. Initially, dojos were adjunct to temples. In the Western world, the term dojo primarily refers to a training place specifically for Japanese martial arts such as aikido, judo, karate, or samurai; in Japan, any physical training facility, including professional wrestling schools, may be called dojo because of its close martial arts roots.

There will be no monthly rotation by up- and downgrading as seen in the ASR league… as the main aspect of the Rookie Challenge is to give very new KGS beginners the chance to play as quick as possible the minimum number of 20 games (for very new registrations) or at least 10 games (within maximum period of two months) for those players who have been inactive on KGS Go server during last months.

The Rookie Challenge also has no real beginning (e.g. every 2nd of the month) or end. Under time aspect it is an open contest, where players can start whenever they want and swapped to the regular (monthly) ASR league as soon they fulfill the minimum criteria.

  • Benefits for any Rookie … benefits for the whole ASR league

The scoring is same as in the ASR league (each win of a game = 2 points, each loss of a game = 0.75 points) shall give the Rookies a first touch how it feels to play in one of the five divisions of the ASR league.

When a Rookie is ready for the regular ASR league to play there monthly in one of the league divisions he/she is already fully confident with the league system (technically) and the procedure. The game rules for the Rookie Challenge contest are the same as for the ASR league: even games with minimum playtime of 25 min + 5 x 30 sec Byo-Yomi. The rule set is “Japanese”.ASR-Rookie-Challenge-Logo-sharpen-with-slogan-642-231

The Rookie Challenge logo has the slogan “learning beats knowing” we have been inspired by Liz Wiseman’s book “Rookie Smarts”. Same as the regular (monthly) ASR league, it is the character of the Rookie Challenge Contest that players with lower grades (e.g. DDK = double digit kyu) get the chance to learn from and with much stronger opponents (e.g. Dan grade). In the ASR – Advanced Study Room the learning process itself is of higher priority than established skills and Go knowledge !

bcab-square-1536As we assume, that many of the very KGS beginners require bigger support for their individual Go studies, the Rookies will get a structure of supporters, who will be available via different communication channels (e.g. chat room on ASR’s website, ASR forum, pm (private message system inclusive email notification)): Rookie Challenge manager, Rookie coaches + assistants. – The ASR Team will build up this supporter team during the test phase of 3 months (more details see the thread in the ASR forum). Such structure then will be integrated into the ASR league in 2017, too.

The ASR team has a full trust in a positive effect by the Rookie Challenge Contest onto the whole ASR – Advanced Study Room and ASR league… as we can get much earlier in touch with the needs of Go beginners for their individual Go studies. We can learn from it to progress the whole ASR project further on.

The Rookie Challenge also can bind in much earlier (than in the past) beginners into the whole steadily growing community (now more than 385 league members). Such deeper bondage will strengthen ASR’s spirit following the bushido tradition.

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