First of all, thanks for sharing your opinions, ideas and thoughts in here. It certainly help us a lot.
I will try to answer point by point. It will be my personal opinion in here and I hope other team member will correct me if they disagree or think of something to add.
My complaint with the policy is it's a huge barrier for many high ranked players to play. It's not easy to get an AGA rank in the US. I've played at 5 official AGA chapter Go clubs in Colorado and the Seattle Go Center, and I don't have an AGA rank. Clubs don't generally bother with AGA ranks unless it's a tournament, and I'm not sure Colorado hosts an official tournament each year. I'm sure other states host less. Requiring high dans to drive/fly to different states to get a rank is too much. There needs to be an easier method to prove you're talented.
I would like to point out that it does not affect many players. We never had many very strong players in OSR as players as it's not a place where they can find competitive play or even training. It will always be a place where they can teach. We do have quite some of them as teachers and we appreciate their help a lot. We do know all real life identity of our teachers and their real life strength. All of them are quite known in the go world for participating in many real life tournaments.
Does the AGA chapter you participate in have records of their results? Because we only need real life proof of one strength. It can be tournament results.
Also, that method is easily subverted. All a cheater would need to do is browse the AGA website http://www.usgo.org/all-players-rating , pick a player of the appropriate strength and claim to be that player. Are you going to be checking IDs? Are you skilled at identifying fake ids from all states, provinces, and countries as well as spotting photoshop alterations? Requiring an offline rank is a high barrier that's still not going to work 100%.
We are not going to check users ids. I believe using someone else id is a lot more serious issue than using bot in online go games. One could press charges against that. I hope the seriousness of such behavior will discourage most of the cheaters. Also, I think most very strong players are quite known in the go world and soon someone will refer to this player and the truth will show.
The policy feels out of place. It mostly affects the dan league. The dan league's problem right now is a lack of participation. Barriers to entry, by definition, decrease competition. Amplifying the current problem to head off an intermittent problem is not a great growth strategy.
Again, this only affect really strong players. Let's be honest, our dan league mostly target player from 1dan to 4/5 dan. Most of those very strong players are not interested in participating in our leagues. For instance I don't think Cornel will ever participate in our dan league. On the other hand he will teach some of those dans from time to time.
We once had an Elite league for very strong players. There were so much issues with botters and botting allegations that it was quite hard to deal with.
I also think it's odd that the policy only addresses 5 dan plus players. Our leagues are low ranked. Why pretend to be 5 dan if you can be competitive at 4 without suspicion? Why isn't kyu players cheating addressed at all?
That is a very fair point. I tend to think that when a player cheat it is to appear strong but I might be wrong. I don't see the point of cheating in OSR and being a kyu player. Maybe there are cheaters who do so and they never get caugh, but I don't think issue ever occured.
Unfortunately, the cheating problem is not easily solved, but I'm not sure this policy helps more than it hurts.
It refrain one player to participate at this time. This player understand our policy and his situation should be fixed quite soon at USGC.
Reviewing games on a case by case basis seems like an overall better strategy, but realistically, not all cheating will be caught.
reviewing games on a case by case basis isn't relevent sadly. It has been showed that it canot be conclusive evidence (source coming later, it's too late now).
It'd be better to focus on ways to improve the league's participation and limit the damage cheating can do.
I am certain both OSR team and community would appreciate any advices or ideas on those matters :)