One of the most interesting Yu-Gi-Oh! rule changes in history: Bad hygiene

Konami revealed a new Yu-Gi-Oh! card game rule where players with poor hygiene could be penalized (Image via Konami)
Konami revealed a new Yu-Gi-Oh! card game rule where players with poor hygiene could be penalized (Image via Konami)

As one of the biggest card games in the world, Yu-Gi-Oh! has seen some incredible rule amendments. And perhaps none of them were more necessary or shocking than a 2019 amendment requiring good hygiene.

One of the biggest problems with card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! is a bit of a surprising one: poor hygiene. It’s a problem that card game players have endured for years, no matter what the game was.

Many card game tournaments take place in tightly-packed areas where people find themselves clumped together. Players with poor hygiene can ruin the fun. This is why Konami finally took steps to save Yu-Gi-Oh! in 2019.

Konami’s 2019 hygiene rule was one of the biggest changes Yu-Gi-Oh! has seen

There have been several policy updates to Yu-Gi-Oh!’s tournament rules, but in 2019, a specific section was added: the hygiene section. This was perhaps the most interesting rule change for many players.

"This is a new section, requiring all persons attending a tournament to be clean and wear clean clothing. If you or your clothing is excessively dirty or bad-smelling, you can be penalized."

Players of all forms of card games have had to endure other players with poor hygiene for years now. While tournament grounds could have better ventilation and better heating/air conditioning, players should always turn up clean and presentable.

There have been all types of rule updates to Yu-Gi-Oh! to make sure things are as fair and balanced as possible. It’s just a shame that players who do not come to tournaments bathed and clean had to be addressed in such a manner.

When the hygiene section was introduced, players around the world rejoiced, hoping the rule would be upheld at a variety of tournaments. It would be up to tournament judges to make the final call, of course, since there were always going to be players who tried to find a way to abuse this rule.

Reddit was happy with Konami’s important new policy

Should a hygiene-related rule be mandatory? Of course not. But the intention behind the rule was to ensure that people could have a good time at tournaments. And a lot of people were super happy with the addition of the hygiene section. The only thing that's sad is that a particular rule had to be put in place so people would maintain good hygiene.

One Redditor thought it was a smart move in general, and to them, it seemed like Konami might have been actively trying to attract new players.

One important question was how the rule would be enforced. Would the judges have to come and smell players once they were called out? If so, it could lead to some very funny and cringe moments, according to at least one Redditor.

Some made jokes, while others revealed their strategy for dealing with poor hygiene at sanctioned events.

While this is neither the strangest nor the most talked-about rule change associated with the card game, it certainly was an interesting one.