Format: Round-Robin. Every player plays every other player. Players are responsible to pace their play to finish all nine of their matches within the tournament period. Players may optionally play a pair of games against an opponent (one as each side). Ties are scored as such (half of a win).
Tournament Period: Two Years (Beginning September 15th of odd-numbered
Current Tournament Period: September 15th, 2017 - September 12th, 2019
Next Tournament Period: September 15th, 2019 - September 12th, 2021
Participants: Invitations will be extended to the Top 10. Ten invitations will be extended initially; additional invitations will be extended to bring the field to ten participants if there are any original invitees who are unable to participate. All participants will have their names engraved on the traveling World Championship trophy. Participants may not simultaneously play in the BPA Single-Elimination Bracket but may also play in the King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket.
Initial Top 10 (in 1999): The five top finishers at the World Boardgaming Championships plus the five highest AREA ranked players (as of Sept. 1st). Additional invitations were based on AREA rankings and limited to bring the field up to a minimum of eight participants. Nine of the original invitees accepted, leaving the field with total of nine players.
Second Top 10 (in 2001): Top three finishers from the prior Top Ten Invitational Bracket, Top three positions of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket, Top finisher from the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket, Reigning WBC Champion, Reigning Midwest Open Champion, and the Top AREA ranked player.
Top 10 (from 2003 through 2015): Top three finishers from the prior Top Ten Invitational, Top two positions of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket, Top finisher from the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket, Reigning and Prior WBC Champions, Reigning Midwest Open Champion, and the Top AREA ranked player.
Next Top 10 (from 2017 onward): Guaranteed invitations will be extended as follows:
1) Top three finishers from the previous Top Ten Invitational Bracket
2) Champion of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket
3) Champion of the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket
4) Reigning and prior World Champions from the World Boardgaming Championships
5) Reigning and prior Midwest Open Champions
6) Top AREA ranked player (as of Sept. 1st)
Considering the possibility of overlap between the categories, additional invitations are likely. Additional invitations will be extended in the following order:
* In the event of a tie, this will be the player who last won a game on the top board of the ladder.
Seeding: Players are seeded by their initial AREA ratings. While the seeding determines the order of matches, it really doesn't make any difference in the end since every player will face every other player.
Drop Outs: A player may drop out at the completion of any on-going matches. The player will be credited with an AREA loss for each incomplete or unstarted game while their current and future opponents will be credited with an AREA win. The results of games against a player who drops out before completing at least three games will not be included in the final win-loss record if it would affect the top three places.
Pairings: Players will be given a complete list of pairings at the beginning of the round robin. Players may play as many matches simultaneously as they wish but should attempt to begin games in the order listed on the pairings. Players should copy the GM when offering to begin any game with any player (and should notify the GM of the sides, bidding, and adjustments as soon as Turn One begins).
Schedule: However, at the start of the tournament, each round will be assigned a start date and a completion date. Round lengths are set with more time than is allocated for other tournament rounds to accommodate multiple games at once and/or participation in other tournament brackets. Players are free to begin games before the scheduled dates but should begin no later than the scheduled date. Players should report the results of their games by the completion date.
Incomplete Games & Clock: No games will be adjudicated. While it's hoped that all players will do their sporting best to complete games, once the end date is passed incomplete games will be awarded to the player who has used the least time over the past four months. This means that once a player has used more than two of the final four months of a game's scheduled period, the game will be awarded to his opponent. No one should expect any grace from his opponent that hasn't been freely stated in advance. Time is measured in days (with one day being used if an opponent emails on Tuesday and one responds on Wednesday). No time is used when a response is made on the same date (using the earliest time zone of both players for all exchanges). For example, if Mike sends a move at 10 pm Eastern and John responds at 11 pm Mountain (1 am Eastern), then John is credited with using one day [NB: No game with such timely responses is in danger of running out of time]. When the timed period contains an odd number of days, the slower player is granted the extra day.
Reporting: All players are requested to provide maps or complete text detail after the entire game is completed, together with a brief synopsis of results and the total score. This information will be published and made available to all VITP enthusiasts!
Ranking: The winner will be determined by the win-loss record with ties broken on the basis of the head-to-head result. If further tie-breakers are needed, the combined record of defeated opponents will be used followed by the total initial AREA rating of defeated opponents. The top three finishers automatically qualify to enter the next Top 10 Invitational!
Trophy: The World Email Victory in the Pacific Champion will receive the "Top 10 PBEM VITP Invitational" Championship Plaque. In addition, the champion will retain the traveling trophy engraved with the names of all champions for two years. The sides and rear faces of the trophy will also contain the names of all of the invitational players as well as the champions of the BPA Open Single Elimination and King-of-the Hill Ladder Brackets.