New versions of the IB Guide and Judges' Guide are up. There aren't a /ton/ of changes, but a few things have been clarified, so be sure to look it over.
Judges will note that the 1pt for NOT using new arguments or sources in a closing has been removed, and now it is an AUTO ZERO for the ENTIRE post if a Combatant introduces new items in the Closing. IB's and Challengers, beware.
Also, in the IB Guide, there are now a few paragraphs on proper etiquette and behavior. Starting with our next Battle, excessive (in The Chairman's opinion only) snark will get a Combatant a private, email warning to tone the rhetoric down. Further abuse may result in The Chairman instructing all Judges to dock a certain number of points, or even in disqualification. Under this new system, Dan would have received a warning in private email after his Opening Arguments to tone his snark down, and if he didn't comply (though Dan's good about complying with my requests) I could have instructed the Judges to dock a number of points from his posts equal to the level of snark at my sole discretion. Or, I could have simply dq'd him.
Before IB's and IB regulars freak out, no this doesn't mean there can't be snark - it simply means don't go crazy with it. Dan admitted he felt he may have abused it, and I agree that he did. Every previous battle has been fine, and in cases, like Rose v. PG, where the snark is heavy but both combatants are enjoying it, I'll stay out of it. Suffice it to say, however, that Dan's strategy of snarking his way out of a battle and getting the dirty win (the official Iron Blog Chewbacca Defense) will no longer fly. But then, it shouldn't have to, as I'm being even MORE extra-super-careful to make sure both Combatants are comfy with the Topic and their side in it.
Also, there's a new rule about battles in progress - combatants need to complain to /me/ in /email/ during a battle if they wish to protest something, from a Judge's slip in the comments like PG made to an expression of displeasure with their opponent, as Stirling did. Email only. Going into the comments and complaing, or going to your own site or a third-party site and complaining about Iron Blog, its rules, participants or Chairman /during/ a battle will now be an instant disqualification. If you can't let a battle finish and let the Judges do their job before declaring the blog a joke or worthless or teh suXX0r, don't play here. Period. AFTER the battle, well, do what you will.
That said, have fun, don't take the battles personal and remember - at the end of the day, it's just a blog, and it's just a game.