Pro server owners and referees have godlike powers over the pitiful mortals that chose to join their offerings. With great power comes great responsibility, or so I've been told, so how should we exercise this power ?
Mostly this concerns the etiquette around kicking players. This is my approach :
No In Game voting allowed.
Vote kicking a player in game is open to abuse and has been abused more on my servers than it has proved useful. If a player really is behaving so badly that he needs to be shown the door while the game is running then the admin / referee can do that.
Never Kick In-Game *
Well, never say never, but kicking in game is a pretty dramatic thing to do. Ask yourself if you could wait until the end of the game, then kickban. The problem with booting players during a game is that it gets you a reputation, especially if you're removing players that are doing well. There are plenty of complaints on the forums from players that were kicked just as they or there team were about to win a match. If they were behaving so badly up to then, why wait until the last few seconds ?
Reasons to Kick In-Game
Chat abuse. no need for /ignore on your own server. Foul and abusive chat = boot
Reasons Not to Kick In-Game
They're winning. nuff said. Looks like sour grapes on your part.
Suspected of hacking. Most hacusations are wrong. Obvious wall hacks just aren't. Kick them at the end and send in the demo.
If you've left the Ready up percentage at 100% (I try to remember to set it to 51%), you'll probably find one or two people that take their time to F3. I use allready to get the game going, but try to give people some warning. I give em a countdown from 3, then allready
If you started a 5v5 server, but have a 3v3 ready to go, lock teams before starting. If other people subsequently join and unbalance the game, its YOUR fault.
This is done using Player IDs, so you can't do it until someone joins :/ This is a pain in the painplace, but it's how it is. All you can do is ban early when someone reprehensible joins the server. I have a short, but growing list of scumbags...
Leaving the Server
If you leave, make sure you op at least one of the current players, preferably someone you know and trust. It's a bind not having a ref on the server.
Well, that's how I try to run my servers. I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to kicking people, but once they on my banlist they don't get another chance. I try to make my servers a friendly place to be and most of the time don't have to do anything. I'd be interested in your comments and suggestions.