World Beyblade Organization by Fighting Spirits Inc.

Full Version: Age Restriction and the Legality behind it
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Brief explanation of myself.  I am a Toy Designer, worked on a bunch of licenses and a few companies and America, Japan, and China.  I state this because not for credibility but more to show that I am a grown adult with "sensibility".

There definitely needs to be an age division.  I can understand it's the real reason may just be because we there is no man power to restructure the website.  But age restrictions need to be something that is looked into.  Noone over 18+ would want to organize etc etc etc.

This is not purely because I want to run tournaments where I can drink adult approved beverages and Beyblade but also for child safety.

Child Liability is a major factor in this and you won't get away if you just say "oh i didn't know" ignorance isn't bliss if a parent tries hard enough for the welfare of their own kids.

I keep digging up people mentioning

"Beyblades is for everyone"

Beyblades is NOT for everyone.  Beyblades have an age recommendations of 6+ in Japan and 8+ in North America.  Yes the WBO isn't affiliated with Takara Tomy or Hasbro but the group does revolve around their product.  Gun Law in NY says you need to be over 21+ to own a gun.  If I were to run shooting tournament and said the second amendment allows everyone to bare arms so its open to everyone would you enter a 13 year old.

The parents may be the ones who bought them but WBO is what encourages the game.  Toy Design majors first year are taught about all the toys that have been recalled due to a kid hurting them selves for all the dumb reasons. If a 4 year old hurts themselves on a spinning Zwei Bey
Who is to blame?

The Organizer? > The WBO? > Hasbro? > Takara Tomy? > The Parent? > The Child? > The Child's Opponent? 

Basic answer is whoever can afford the better lawyer or who the Judge favors more.

"x yearolds can beat xx year olds"

I hear this a lot.  That isn't a proper response to addressing the issue.  That's putting up a scarecrow or gas lighting the main issue.  Question, how many adults with no kids go to Chuck-E-Cheese? Not 18-25 still in college and have no real sense of boundaries yet and think it's ironic.

The thing is it's clear the WBO was created by people that don't have their own kids.  But also aren't old enough where there is an awkward age gap.

Parents need to feel safe too letting their kids having a fun activity they enjoy.  I don't think any organizer wants to deal with an angry parent.

Having a junior division isn't much about fairness of strong adult vs children but more about child developments.  Not every kid is strong but they are growing up and it's better to cope with loss against someone their own age than a grown man.

I mentioned to a few people about structures and rules for other games but that seems to fly by peoples heads due to that not being their interest.  But research in how other tournaments operate helps a better understanding of "best judgment"

Magic the Gathering: states 13+ and under requires a Guardian
WBBA Japan have Elementary events and Open All ages
Pokemon Video Game - has a junior age Division
Pokemon Go Silph Road (Home Made Community Similar to WBO) must be at least 13 years or requires an adult present
Fortnite must be at least 13 years old 13-17 require parents permission.
Evo You need to be 13 with parents
Call of Duty Must be at least 18

Over all best judgment is to have a Junior and an Open Division.

Selfishly I would like an Adults Division but that's just me being selfish.
I've read some of the reasoning behind the no age restriction policy, especially after a conflict of views with a 3rd party that offered their space as a venue for a few tournaments. So, here's my take on it:
(Jun. 13, 2020  4:01 AM)superrobotking Wrote: [ -> ][Trimmed essay that basically reads "I want to age restrict my tournaments"]
Well, I see what you're saying, and I don't agree. You've set up an awful lot of flimsy arguments and "well everyone else is doing x" examples here. The whole thing is really unpleasant to read and does not promote your opinions well. I especially did not like how you opened it with the equivalent of "I am an adult who works in toy design so that should lend extra credence to the things I say". That was irritating. It had the opposite of your intended effect.

The liability issue is addressed in the recent updates to the terms of service under Communities, Events & Organizers:
"By accessing our Platform, you agree not to hold Fighting Spirits Inc. responsible or liable for anything that happens in connection with third-party transactions, interactions with members, or any offline in-person gatherings."
"You acknowledge that offline in-person gatherings carry inherent dangers or risks (potential for illness, injury, disability, or death). By participating in such gatherings organized via our Platform, you understand and agree that you have freely chosen to assume these risks."

Whether or not that will stand up in court is a question that doesn't really interest me. To date, we have gone, what, 13 years without a lawsuit or major injury? We're probably going to be okay. I don't know if you noticed, but we're exceedingly careful when it comes to tournament safety. We might have canceled all WBO tournament events for 3 and a half months over medical concerns, and implemented new stricter guidelines for after that, just in case.

The bottom line here is you want to implement some sort of age restriction for your WBO event, and you do not want to accept the rule that anyone, regardless of age, can participate in an event. It's awfully transparent, although you certainly tried to disguise the fact using a lot of examples that aren't related. Maybe it's a venue making that demand, or maybe you simply want to age discriminate against the younger bladers so that you can cuss or drink grown up juice as you let it rip. Whatever your reason, it is a bit rude to try and prevent other bladers from attending based on age, and is not very community minded.

If you are uncomfortable running a Beyblade event where young children (say, 4 years old) are participating, or unwilling to hold an event where young bladers may participate, and want to implement an age restriction, that's fine, you can do that, but you will not be permitted to run your event as a WBO event nor advertise it on this site. That's your call to make. And the staff will surely discuss it if the issue comes up, but expect resistance.

Mentioning that young bladers are capable of beating older bladers in Beyblade isn't a comment on liability, and I have absolutely no idea how you interpreted it as such; it is a comment on the subject that age does not give anyone much advantage and make it easier for them to win. It has nothing to do with injury or liability. It has to do with the parent complaint of "I don't think it's fair that my child has to have a match against a 37 year old".

I have never heard of anyone 12 or younger getting critically injured by a Magic the Gathering playing card, but WotC can have whatever restrictions they want for their events.

WBO events require bladers under 18 to be accompanied by an adult. And if they have an adult with them who has consented to let them competitively spin tops in a plastic bowl, that's good enough for us. If any parent feels that spinning tops are unsafe, they can choose not to bring their children to tournaments for competitive spinning tops.
(Jun. 13, 2020  4:01 AM)superrobotking Wrote: [ -> ]Having a junior division isn't much about fairness of strong adult vs children but more about child developments.  Not every kid is strong but they are growing up and it's better to cope with loss against someone their own age than a grown man.
While I think some valid points have been made on both sides of this argument, I personally don’t believe Beyblade is a big enough game, at least in the North America to routinely have tournaments that have 2 divisions.  Frankly, I am just not sure with we have enough participants or organizers to support that.  

I do have a very different take on kids playing against much older kids and adults.  My son, who is 8, and I play Beyblade, Brawl Stars, Chess, Mario Party, Hearthstone, Pokemon TCG, Connect 4, Hockey, Hand Ball, and etc against each other.  At his current age and skill level, he is only able to consistently defeat me in hockey since he is just the way better skater.  While my son isn’t really able to beat me consistently in all those other games, he loves to play against me and other adults, he enjoys this even if his chances of winning is slim to none. As a matter of fact, the only thing he is uninterested in doing with me is beating me handily, over and over, in hockey.  I don’t believe this is unique to my son as I see this in other kids.  

Perhaps the opportunity to defeat the more senior/stronger/more skilled person offers the potential greater challenge and satisfaction for kids.  I am not a child psychologist and I can’t adequately explain why this is, but I am pretty sure this is rather common with kids.  I don’t think it will hinder their development in any way.  On the other hand, I have seen a few adults, not many, not able to cope well with being defeated by children in this community...  Perhaps we can all learn from time to time how  to lose properly.
Thanks a lot for your thoughtful post, . I think it’s important to have these conversations.

You’re right that the WBO was created by people that don’t have their own kids. We've had (and do have now) staff that have kids, but in fact, the WBO was literally created by kids and teenagers that loved Beyblade if you think back to our predecessor Off the Chain which was created in 2003 by Bey Brad who was a teenager at the time.

For many of the early years in the community, it was very difficult to gather people for tournaments online. The online community wasn’t big and sophisticated enough yet.

As kids above Hasbro’s age registration of 13, we were frustrated by the lack of support for older players (not to mention the poor competitive support even for people under 13). This is part of what eventually lead to the creation of the WBO and our philosophy that tournaments should be all-ages and that Beyblade is for everyone. It’s a pure desire driven by love for the game and for inclusiveness.

Given the success of the WBO over the past 12 years, I would say that our hypothesis was correct. I’ve also witnessed first-hand players of all ages playing together at tournaments in Japan over the past five years. Beyblade is for everyone.

What Shindog said about his experience with his son and how they tend to react when playing against people that are older than them seems to be true in my experience as well.

Even though I don’t have a child myself, I have hosted over 100 Beyblade tournaments and can confirm that the satisfaction of kids beating players older than them is much greater in most cases than the dissatisfaction of losing to them or of beating someone their own age. Especially if that older player is someone they know is highly ranked … haha. There have been instances of kids being upset having lost to someone older than them, but I’ve also seen kids being upset losing to other kids … I’m not a child psychologist either, but I’m not so sure it has anything to do with age.

We’ve carried the community this far because of our love for the game. But we’ve also slowly grown up with it too.

Part of growing up is becoming wiser. This is why over the past couple years we’ve become much more cognizant of addressing our legal status and liability concerns. But even now we are not done. We're still learning.

I do believe Beyblade is for everyone and that kids younger than 6 or 8 can enjoy it. This is a fact. But your point about the technical age restrictions on the toy are valid.

The danger firearms pose versus the danger a Beyblade poses is not even close, so I don’t think that is a fair comparison.

However, as we begin to think more about ensuring the safety of the organization and organizers, I can accept an argument that for official WBO tournaments, players would need to be 6+. If we were to do this though, it would only be enforced insofar as the event page stating as such.

I understand the desire for Junior/Open/Adult divisions and conceptually do not think that it is a bad idea. However, the reality is as Shindog said:

Shindog Wrote:While I think some valid points have been made on both sides of this argument, I personally don’t believe Beyblade is a big enough game, at least in the North America to routinely have tournaments that have 2 divisions.  Frankly, I am just not sure with we have enough participants or organizers to support that.

As a result, at present I don’t see the possibility of us implementing such divisions.

However, given that one of the aims of Project AIDA is to “Make the WBO community more welcoming and valuable to all Beyblade fans”, I would not write out the possibility of age-restricted events unaffiliated with the WBO Organized Play worldwide ranked structure being permitted to be posted on our platform in the future. That goal is very broad and has a lot of meaning associated with it, but the point is that yes, we are considering ways to be more inclusive of all methods of playing Beyblade.

I welcome more thoughts on this from everyone as it is a complicated subject. We are not blind to these concerns, but also want to make sure they are addressed properly, if needed.