A New Blaster Tag Major Tournament?

Today there’s great news for competitive hobbyists looking for more events to compete in. Maryland Mayhem has announced the rule set for their tournament in April of 2023. The game type is called Flag Dash and you can find the full rules here. There are some clarifications and errors to be fixed in the next week or so, but the rules themselves are locked in.

While there’s plenty to unpack by reading the full rules, here’s a brief overview:
1. 250 fps flat cap.
2. Field size of 40 by 28 yards, or 120 by 84 feet.
3. There are 2 rounds per match, each round is up to 3 minutes long.
4. Rounds end by elimination, flag runs, or time outs.
5. Points are scored by eliminating opposing players and completing flag runs.
6. If the score is tied after 2 rounds a series of 1v1’s will be played to determine the winner.
7. Roster size is up to 10 players per team, however there are no subs between rounds in a match, only between matches. The only exceptions are player injuries.
8. Teams may have up to two rostered players be coaches in each match, and those coaches are the only ones allowed to make calls from the sidelines.
9. Dart cap of 600 darts per team per round.
10. Dispute system that allows for disputes to be filed after each round and allows community footage for review.

One of the three potential field layouts shared in the rules document.

That is not a comprehensive rundown of the rules, just a few bits to consider for those without the time to read the complete rules right away. I am absolutely looking forward to seeing the meta that evolves around this game type and how the competition adapts at this event. Having a third major tournament to go alongside the FPT and Ragnarocktoberfest could make for a great year of competition in 2023 in the US. There’s also SpeedDart growing rapidly and who knows if they’ll try for a major event next year as well.

I welcome this addition to the tournament scene, and want to thank the organizers for putting the work in to give the community another event to compete in. I hope this excites and motivates players and teams to show up for this and solidify another major tournament to our scene. If you want to follow along with the event itself, you can find the Facebook Event Page here. So get your team ready for April 14th!

Ragnarocktoberfest 2024 KotH Rules Updates & Field Layout

With the Ragnarocktoberfest King of the Hill tournament roughly 5 months out, our yearly testing for rules and layout updates has finished and changes are now reflected on the King of the Hill Tournament Rules page. I’d like to go over a few of the changes that may be the most relevant, and some that didn’t change and why. Of course read the rules in their entirety for everything.

Rule 1.5 has changed from 15 seconds to 10 seconds. The respawn time greatly affects the flow and speed of the game, so dropping the time by a third has decreased the punishment for players attempting to make moves that impact the game for their team. This change carries over into the penalty section as well, as penalties are based on multiplied respawn timers, so a double respawn penalty has changed from 30 to 20 seconds and a triple from 45 to 30 seconds.

Rule 2.1 has changed to reflect that there’s no reason for players to be required to hold their hands above their head prior to match start, this was originally done as a way to signify readiness of a team, but verbal checks are done so this is an unnecessary redundancy that we can remove. This does not change the requirement to display player status while out of bounds before respawning, only the beginning of the match.

Rule 3.5 has changed from preventing substitute players from holding blasters until they have subbed in for a teammate to allowing it so long as they are not presenting themselves as an active player or player attempting to spawn in to create confusion for the other team. This change allows subs to happen more smoothly than before, especially with the shortened respawn timer.

Rule 1.4 has remained the same at 320 darts per team per match. After testing multiple different dart caps this remained the most balanced, even minor jumps to 350 darts per team created situations where less movement was happening on the field due to the extra suppression ability that teams had. When we went to higher numbers like 500+ darts we found that effect was only exacerbated, at worst leading to instances where neither team could reach the middle hill timer until halfway through the match, leading to very stagnant gameplay. This does not mean that this number will never change, testing happens every year and combined with the next point may lead to balance shifting in these numbers.

We tested adding more cover in the form of taller stand up cover, however we did not get as much testing with these added pieces to ensure that the positioning would be balanced for gameplay, so they have been held back for this year, but will be tested with from the beginning for next year to see what they can add to the gameplay flow to improve it.

I hope that these explanations help inform you on the reasoning behind them, as always if there are suggestions please share them and they will be added to the testing list for next year, regardless whether they result in changes or not, the insight is always valuable to add to the testing process. I look forward to seeing everyone on the field that makes it to compete at Rag this year. I’ll leave you with the field layout and measurements for those that are looking to practice:

Ragnarocktoberfest Tournament Livestream & Groups

The 4th annual Ragnarocktoberfest King of the Hill tournament, presented by Silverfox Industries is happening tomorrow, with a full livestream for all to watch. With 12 teams separated into three groups to play round robin matches against each team in their group to determine seeding for the 12 team elimination bracket to complete the tournament.

The livestream will be hosted on YouTube. And will start at 9:15am PDT. The groups and schedule are as shown below:

New Tournament Results Page

The top bar menu on the website now has a link to a Tournament Results page that has all the results for tournaments back to 2017, including team standings, game type, and field layout when available. If you have an upcoming tournament, or see a tournament is missing from the page, please email BlasterTagAssociation@gmail.com with the information to be added!