Rules and Regulations

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Rules and Regulations

Post by BKXI on Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:53 pm

This thread shows all of the rules for all of Formula Online's championships. These rules are put in place to ensure the most competitive and fair racing in all of our leagues. It is an expectation that all drivers abide by these rules.

Note: If there are any rules that are in place that you believe are unfair or would harm the league, or that you feel a rule needs to be introduced please Private Message BKXI or another league moderator.



1. Racing Rules:

1.1 Clean racing:

1.1.1
● Race cleanly at all times. No contact should occur between cars on track, and as a driver you are required to do your best to avoid this from happening. Accidents can happen, but if you are at fault for causing a collision, you are likely to be penalised.

1.1.2
● Deliberately crashing into another car will result in multiple race bans or being permanently excluded from the league.

1.1.3
● If you accidentally take out another car, or are responsible for causing an incident, you have to slow down and safely let the affected car(s) back in front of you on track, as long as the circumstances allow it. Even if it doesn't benefit the other car, that is the punishment you have to take for causing a collision. If you fail to follow this rule, you are likely to receive a harsher penalty by the stewards if the incident is reported after the race. This rule can only be overruled by the affected driver telling you over voice chat to keep going.

1.1.4
● The above rule still applies even if lag (connection issues) is the cause of the incident, when it is obvious that your car's lag is the cause of another driver going off, as this would still be classed as an unfair overtake. Please be more careful around other drivers if you are regularly involved in lag-related incidents.

1.2 Overtaking:

● Don't be too aggressive when trying to overtake. As the chasing car, it is generally your responsibility to not make contact with the car in front.

1.3 Defending:

1.3.1
● Excessive weaving and blocking is not allowed. When defending from another car, choose a line on the track and stick to it, and make sure the attacking car has sufficient time to react to your movement.

1.3.2
● Do not force another car off the track by leaving it too little room on corner entry or exit. If the attacking car is alongside you when going into a corner (at the turn-in point*), or when exiting a corner, you must adjust your line to avoid contact. Being sufficiently 'alongside' to warrant being left room is generally judged as the attacking car's nose being alongside or ahead of the defending car's sidepod.

*The 'turn-in point' in this setting refers the natural turn-in point as per the standard racing line. If the defending car causes contact due to turning in earlier than what is considered the standard, he will be seen at fault.

1.3.3
● Excessive weaving on straights with the purpose of breaking slipstream is not allowed, even if the car behind is not physically close enough to make an overtaking attempt. Weaving in this situation is deemed excessive if the car ahead makes more than two moves across the track on the same straight.

1.4 Corner cutting:

1.4.1
● Stay within the track boundaries with at least two tyres at all times. The track boundaries are defined by the white lines, NOT by the edge of the kerbs. The white lines are deemed part of the track, however the kerbs are not. Cutting corners, or extending the track, to gain an advantage is not allowed. Drivers found to be persistently breaking this rule will be penalised retrospectively.

1.4.2
● If you overtake another driver with all four wheels off track, or as a consequence of cutting a corner, you must slow down and give the position back, unless the game awards you a penalty.

1.4.3
● In qualifying, if you go outside the track limits in a way that doesn't clearly lose you time, you are expected to lift off the throttle to clearly negate any potential advantage gained. If the cut is major, the lap should be aborted. Failing to do this may result in post-race punishment.

1.4.4
● It is not really possible to determine a specific value for how many cuts are needed - or how big a cut needs to be - in order to be judged as "persistently" breaking the 1.4.1 rule during a race. If we did that, we would essentially be allowing a certain extent of cutting, which goes against the whole purpose of this rule. But basically, the general guideline is to not cut corners on purpose, and not take the * with the track limits. Of course, the odd misjudgement of a corner can happen, but if you accidentally gain an advantage by going outside the track limits, you are expected to back off to an extent that clearly negates any advantage gained. Failing to do this puts you at the risk of being penalised.

1.4.5
● If a driver is reported to the stewards for a breach of the corner cutting rules, it is up to the stewards' discretion (based on the evidence provided) as to whether they feel the driver has abused the track limits to an extent where a penalty is justified, and if so what type of penalty is appropriate to be handed out. This will depend on the severity and frequency of the cuts. The bottom line is, if you want to make sure you are not in danger of being awarded a stewards penalty, make sure it's completely clear that you don't gain time from leaving the track limits throughout qualifying and the race.

1.5 Qualifying etiquette:

● In qualifying, it is your own responsibility to find free space on the track when starting a flying lap. A car on a flying lap does not have to yield for a faster car approaching from behind. If you are on an in- or out-lap, however, you have to let faster cars pass you without blocking them.

1.6 Spatial Awareness:

1.6.1
● Being aware of where another car is, is majorly important in a race so taking extra care is important both at the start of a race and in battles.

1.6.2
● If you spin off whilst the pack is close, rejoining the track immediately is ill-advised. The game may fail to ghost your car, in which case it could easily cause an accident. Staying still is the best option until the other cars have avoided you. It is far easier to avoid a stationary obstacle.

1.6.3
● If you go off the track, rejoin in a manner that is both safe and in no way a danger to other drivers.

1.6.4
● When you're coming up to lap another car, it is advised to alert that driver through the chat so they are aware that you will soon be lapping them.


2. On-Track Regulations:

2.1 In-game penalties:

2.1.1
● If you feel that the game has awarded you an unfair time penalty, you can apply for a penalty removal in the Stewards Panel after the race. More information about this can be found under the Rule Enforcement section. Compensation for unfair drive throughs or stop-go penalties will not be possible, as this affects your position on the track during the race.

2.1.2
● If you feel the game has unfairly disqualified from the race, you can submit your full race footage to the stewards. If we feel that the disqualification was justified, it will remain. However if we feel that the disqualification was clearly unfair, or came as a result of a game glitch, then you will be classified as the last finisher and score full points for that position.

2.2 Being lapped:

2.2.1
● When the game shows you the blue flag, you have been caught up by a car on a lap ahead of you. When being lapped, it is your responsibility to let the leaders through safely at the earliest opportunity, without blocking them.

2.2.2
● If you are going faster than a car that has lapped you, do not attempt to unlap yourself unless it is safe to do so and doesn't hinder the car in front.

2.3 Safety car & virtual safety car guidelines:

2.3.1
● During a virtual safety car, or while catching up to the train during a safety car period, you must not exceed the delta time indicated by the game.

2.3.2
● If you are the lead car and driving to catch up to the safety car, please take caution when approaching it, as it will be moving very slowly while waiting to pick you up. Approach it slowly and then the safety car should pick up its speed.

2.3.3
● If you are the lead car behind the safety car, make sure you keep a safe distance to the safety car to avoid potentially hitting it if lag or other inconsistencies occur, as this may lead to the game disqualifying you from the race. Also, do not intentionally slow the pack down to a ridiculously low speed when controlling the pace ahead of a restart.

2.3.4
● While in the safety car queue, do not drive dangerously by weaving excessively or suddenly slowing down in front of someone. Keep a safe distance to the car ahead, but without creating an unnaturally big gap in the queue.

2.3.5
● No overtaking should happen under safety car conditions, even if the car ahead of you is a ghost car driven by the AI, or a car that is lapped. Although it may be frustrating to sit behind a slow-moving ghost car until you reach the pit-lane or catch up to the pack, this will avoid problems such as illegal overtake penalties being awarded.

2.3.6
● It is prohibited to park or crash your car for the purpose of initiating a safety car situation. Anyone found to have deliberately crashed out (eg. rage-quit in a manner that can cause a safety car situation) will be severely penalised, regardless of whether this actually ended up causing a safety car or not.

2.3.7
● If you want to make a pit stop and you are driving closely behind the safety car, then you must leave a gap to the safety car to the extent that you definitely do NOT overtake the safety car in the pit lane. If you don't follow this, everyone in the queue behind the safety car will be told to overtake the safety car which will cause major delays to the safety car period and possibly other issues.

2.3.8
● When a driver makes a pit stop while the safety car is out, it may happen that the car in 1st position will momentarily be shown as 2nd place by the game and therefore be told to overtake the safety car. If this happens and you know that you are the lead car, then you should ignore the message to overtake the safety car and stay behind it until the positions are fixed and the safety car resumes a normal pace. This should happen within a few seconds. Be careful in this situation though, as in the seconds where this glitch is active the safety car will go very slowly because it wants to let you through.

2.3.9
● If we experience a major glitch with the safety car (for example someone being unfairly and unavoidably disqualified due to a safety car glitch), we reserve the right to disable this feature with immediate effect if deemed appropriate.

2.4 Formation lap guidelines:

2.4.1
● For the sake of fairness with regards to tyre wear, all drivers are required to complete the formation lap. It is not allowed to skip the formation lap by intentionally driving in a manner that sends you back to the grid. Doing this, or being at fault for an incident that sends you back to the grid, will see you awarded with a post-race penalty.

2.4.2
● At the start of the formation lap, please do not move away from your grid slot until every car ahead of you have started moving.

2.4.3
● During the formation lap, do not drive dangerously by weaving excessively or suddenly slowing down in front of someone. Keep a safe distance to the car ahead, but without creating an unnaturally big gap in the queue.

2.5 Tyre rules:

2.5.1
● Drivers who qualify in the top 10 are forced to start the race on the tyre set they used to set their fastest qualifying lap. Drivers who qualify outside the top 10 may choose whichever set of starting tyres they want.

2.5.2
● In qualifying, it is not allowed to deliberately crash your car in order to destroy the tyre set you would have started with upon qualifying in the top 10. If you happen to accidentally crash out and ruin your starting tyres, you must start the race on a different set of the same compound of tyre.

2.5.3
● You must use two of the three available dry tyre compounds at least once during the race.

2.5.4
● You must use one of the two mandatory tyre sets (as specified by the game) at some point during the race.

2.5.5
● If the conditions are wet at any time in the race, the two above rules become invalid.

2.5.6
● In qualifying, it is not allowed to run laps on wet tyres (intermediates or wets) while the track conditions are clearly dry.

2.6 Pit stops:

2.6.1
● Stay within the white line when entering and exiting the pit lane. If you cause a dangerous situation by crossing the pit entrance or exit line, or if this is done in a way that blatantly gains time or track position, you will be penalised.

2.6.2
● With manual pit stops enabled, you will need to apply the brakes yourself when going into the pits. Slow down to the required speed limit (which can vary from track to track) before the marker boards at the start of the pit lane.

2.6.3
● It is not allowed to pause the game in order to have the AI perform the pit entry for you.

2.7 DRS:

● Driving in a dangerous or unsporting manner in order to gain the use of DRS in the race is not allowed and may be penalised retrospectively. This kind of driving includes - but is not limited to - violently decelerating and/or steering when clearly in front of the following car, or deliberately letting another car go past for the purpose of ensuring DRS activation.

2.8 Jump starts:

2.8.1
● If you move off the grid before the red lights go out, the game will award you with a drive-through penalty.

2.8.2
● At present there is a chance that the game will give you green lights before the lights go green for those around you. If this happens, you must abide by the below guidelines, in order to avoid severe punishment:

- If you are not on the front row, be very careful as cars around you won't move and it's not their fault. You should stop your car and wait for the field to start. If you fail to do this, and still get away cleanly, you must slow down at a safe place within the first sector and drop down into the position you started in (regardless of any incidents or overtakes having happened in the field behind).

- If you start from P1 on the grid and are clearly released before the rest of the field, and you drive off before noticing, then you must clearly negate the advantage as quickly and as safely as possible, to the extent that you fully reduce the gap to the car behind. Be warned that this may prompt them to attempt an overtake and they are fully justified to do so.

- If you start in P2 and get away first, then you are expected to negate the advantage and concede 1st place to the current lead car to the extent that your car is completely behind theirs - not simply alongside.

2.9 Pausing the game:

2.9.1
● We advise against intentionally pausing the game during safety car periods and when you are close ahead of another car during the race, as this will cause your car to slow down and may lead to surrounding cars taking avoiding action, even if your car is ghosted.

2.9.2
● You are fully responsible for your car's actions even while the game is paused, and any incidents or dangerous situations caused as a result of this will be penalised normally.


3. General Behaviour:

3.1 Communication:

● Please use a working headset while in the race lobby in order to effectively receive any potential messages or instructions from the League Coordinator. Having the ability to communicate with other drivers during the race can also make it easier to avoid - and resolve - any on-track incidents that may occur. Using a headset is not mandatory, but desirable.

Please note that you should set your headset to "Push to talk"-mode.

PC leagues will have access to a Discord server which acts as the official game chat.

3.2 Lobby etiquette:

3.2.1
● Shouting, name-calling and generally speaking rudely is not acceptable. Drivers who are a disruptive influence on the lobby atmosphere will be penalised accordingly, or in extreme cases removed from the league.

3.2.2
● Respect the other drivers. Keep a friendly atmosphere in the race lobby and treat your fellow drivers as equals, regardless of them being quicker or slower than you.

3.2.3
● Respect the League Coordinator. Listen if they are giving a message, and accept the decisions they make. If you feel any actions/decisions are wrong, address the issue calmly and maturely. Coordinators' decisions are final within the lobby, but may be reviewed later if you feel an error has been made. Please accept that making a call instantly can be tricky and the Coordinator, even if participating in the race, is expected to be entirely neutral.

3.2.4
● Only the Coordinator - or the lobby host after consulting with the Coordinator - will start the lobby, continue over to the race and start the race. So please, as a normal driver, do not press the button which initiates the timer. This is to ensure that all the drivers are present, and also that all necessary screenshots of the results can be taken.

3.3 Race etiquette:

3.3.1
● If you are involved in an on-track incident, don't overreact. It may be frustrating, but you need to stay calm and get on with it. Losing out due to another driver's mistake or recklessness is no excuse for retaliation or acting against the rules.

3.3.2
● If another driver does something you feel is against the rules, report it to the Stewards Panel after the race rather than argue about it over the voice chat.

3.3.3
● If you are having a bad race, don't act foolishly. As a driver, you have to accept that some races will be better than others and you can't always have it your way. If you are unable to enjoy the racing due to not always being at the front, this is not the place for you - there are many drivers in the league, and someone always have to be at the back.

3.4 Rage-quitting:

3.4.1
● Deliberately quitting the race in any way - whether that is by quitting through the pause menu, getting yourself disqualified or deliberately crashing your car - is not allowed, unless you have a very good reason for doing so. Accepted reasons for quitting could be that you are a danger to other drivers on track due to poor driving or connection issues, or that you are so far behind that it's obvious that you won't be racing anyone for the rest of the race. Quitting due to being angry at something - rage-quitting, in other words - is not a good reason.


3.5 Forum activity:

3.5.1
● You need to be an active member on the Formula Online forum while being a driver in our leagues. We aren't forcing you to make several posts every day, but we prefer drivers who are involved with the community.

3.5.2
● You are expected to behave in a respectful manner on the forum, like in the race lobbies. Please avoid name-calling, baiting and other behaviour that is intended to aggravate other members of the community.



4. Participation:

4.1 Missing races:

4.1.1
● If you are unable to attend a race, you have to give notice for your absence before the race starts. This is done by informing your League Coordinator of your situation, either by sending them a private message or by making a post in the official race thread. It is your responsibility to make sure the Coordinator gets your message.

4.1.2
● When informing the Coordinator of your absence, a proper reason must be given for why you can't attend. No-showing a race because you don't like the track, simply saying 'I can't race this week', or other similar reasons are not accepted and will be marked as an uninformed absence.

4.1.3
● When informing the Coordinator of your absence, it must be you who contacts the Coordinator, not a friend or fellow member of the tier. Additionally, sufficient notice should be given. For example, 15 minutes before the lobby is set up is not sufficient notice. Letting the Coordinator know after the race will be marked down as uninformed absence unless an acceptable reason is given.

4.1.4
● Getting another driver to race under your name is also prohibited and will result in serious punishment.

4.2 Connection & Lag:

4.2.1
● It's an unfortunate aspect of online racing that having a stable connection is critical to being able to race closely with other cars. While we understand that not everyone can have a perfect connection, and that occasional lag can't be avoided, we reserve the right to remove a driver from the league if their connection is persistently causing major issues for other drivers.

4.3 Pulling out mid-season:

4.3.1
● If you have to pull out of the league while the season is ongoing, you must inform your League Coordinator about the situation. If you leave by simply not showing up for the races, without informing anyone, you will be placed on the blacklist, which means you will not be allowed to rejoin the leagues in the future.

4.3.2
● It's impossible for us to stop you from leaving if you've made your mind up, but keep in mind when signing up that pulling out of the league without a proper reason while the season is ongoing will see you placed on the blacklist. A proper reason would be something happening in your life that forces you to quit - something that you didn't expect when signing up - or that your equipment (hardware or lag issues) render you unable to carry on. However, choosing to quit due to getting bored of the game, having a bad season or because something goes against you, is not a good reason. Remember, when signing up you commit yourself to racing for a full season, not only for a few races.

4.3.3
● If you find yourself in a situation where you're not enjoying your league because all other drivers are too quick or too slow compared to yourself, contact a member of the F1 Team rather than just giving up, and maybe we can find a solution. We may grant league swaps for drivers during the season if it's clear that they've been misplaced, given that this doesn't upset the balance between the leagues in terms of driver numbers.

4.3.4
● Note that the above rules only apply while the season is ongoing. We obviously don't have a problem with drivers choosing to leave after a season has finished, for whatever reason.


5. Rule Enforcement:

We can't possibly control all the actions of our drivers, but we have ways to penalise drivers who break the rules.

5.1 Stewards Panel:

The Stewards Panel forum can be used to report incidents and other rule violations that occur in a race. A proper explanation and/or evidence of the incident must be provided in order for it to be investigated. This will then be looked into by various members of the F1 Team and appropriate action will be taken.

What you can make a stewards enquiry for:

● Racing incidents: If you feel another driver has caused an incident - eg. hitting your car, forcing you off the track, rejoining the track unsafely, or generally driving too aggressively - you should report this to the stewards for investigation.

● Corner cutting: If you witness another driver is persistently gaining time by abusing the track limits, you should report this to the stewards for investigation.

● Removing an unfair time penalty: If you receive a time penalty from the game, and you feel this was awarded unfairly, you can make an enquiry for the penalty to be removed. When making such an enquiry, you need to provide evidence of the penalty being applied. Evidence can be either in the form of video footage, or a picture of the post-race race director screen showing what the penalty was for and the time of when it was applied. Any appeals without this will be dismissed.

Bear in mind that we will not be giving compensation for penalties that affect your position on the track during the race. This includes drive through penalties and extra time spent in the pit box as a result of a stop-go penalty. A stop-go penalty not served in the pits, however, is converted into a time penalty and may therefore be removed if received unfairly.

Warnings for exceeding track limits will normally not be removed, unless it was clearly received unfairly. For a warning to be removed, it is required to provide an image or footage of the race director screen showing the full overview of warnings you received throughout the race (alongside evidence of how the warning was received), so that we can see if the removal affects the amount of time penalties you should receive. Direct time penalties (not accumulated through warnings) for corner cutting may be removed or converted into a warning if deemed excessive or it's obvious that the driver lost time from it.

5.1.1
● Time limit for enquiries: Note that there is a time limit of 2 days (48 hours) after the race has finished to make a stewards enquiry for an incident you have been involved in or witnessed during the race. If any new rule violations come to light through videos released after this time, it is still possible to report this, but only if this violation is something that would not have been visible to other driver(s) in the race at the time it happened.

5.2 Penalties:
The stewards have a variety of penalties that may be applied to punish drivers who break our racing rules, depending on the severity of the violation. The available penalties are sorted below, in order of severity. Breaking a rule also leads to penalty points being added to your name - see further down for more details.

(Note that penalties may be added together in the event of multiple violations in a race, which could result in total time penalties of a higher number than what is suggested below)

● 5-second time penalty
● 10-second time penalty
● 20-second time penalty
● 30-second time penalty
● Qualifying ban for the next race (may also be applied in place of a time penalty if the driver did not finish the race)
● Disqualification from the race
● One-race ban
● Multiple-race ban
● Permanent removal from the league

Any penalties will be aimed at the person who has done wrong - we cannot compensate anyone else as a result of someone's actions. All penalties are discussed by the Stewards Panel (consisting of the members of the F1 Team - Admins, Moderators and Coordinators - from all platforms) before being issued and the driver will always be informed of the outcome. The Stewards Panel is completely neutral and will not include anyone who may be affected by the incident in question.

5.3 Penalty points system:
The penalty points system is a way of keeping track of a driver's record of breaking the rules of clean racing, and to more severely punish repeat offenders. Penalty points will be applied alongside normal race penalties, as per the list below.

● 1 point - Driving dangerously or unsportingly
● 2 points - Causing a minor avoidable collision
● 3 points - Causing a moderate avoidable collision
● 4 points - Causing a major avoidable collision
● 1-4 points - Excessively abusing the track limits (depending upon severity)
● 8 points - Deliberately destroying your car (especially serious with the possibility of a safety car)
● 10 points - Deliberately crashing into another driver

If you accumulate 8 points, you will be awarded a qualifying ban.

If you accumulate 10 points, you will be awarded a one-race ban.

If you accumulate 12 points, your league position will be put under review, with the likely outcome of being removed from the league.

Penalty points will usually be reset ahead of a new season.

5.4 Reprimand system:
While the race penalties and penalty points system are aimed at dealing with on-track issues, the reprimand system deals with issues that may occur off the track.

It's simple - if you receive 3 reprimands, you're out. Receiving 3 reprimands would also see you placed on the blacklist, meaning you will not be allowed to return to the leagues in the future.

You can receive a reprimand for the following:

● No-showing a race without giving prior notice to the League Coordinator
● Rage-quitting or deliberately crashing out of the session for no good reason (as specified in rule 3.4.1)
● Showing abusive behaviour towards another driver, either in the race lobby or on the forum

Note that if we encounter situations where someone's behaviour gets completely out of hand and is extremely serious, a ban may be applied directly regardless of reprimands accumulated.

5.5 Blacklist:
The blacklist contains the names of drivers who have been removed from the leagues - either through accumulating 50 penalty points or 3 reprimands - and drivers who have left the leagues during an ongoing season with no good reason.

Having your name applied to the blacklist generally means you will not be allowed to rejoin the leagues in the future.

BKXI
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