From the man himself...
questions go on the poll, it is not random. We have a rules question submission sheet which you can use here to ask us questions or issue concerns: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1W8A22qTts0p9CIkhxZIefmicHr7J2RoWlJmPqGQFiZo/viewform
We do our best to communicate that that is how you reach us but obviously we can't reach everyone. That is the main way we determine how important a topic is to the ITC community.
We try to answer all of the questions we get via email but it sometimes just isn't possible. For example, we had roughly 600 rules questions in there prior to the LVO. The volume is pretty nuts.
When we address rules issues we aren't always trying to determine what a rule says. I think that is a big part of the confusion with folks. The rules for 40k are not written for anything even remotely close to tournament play, they're written for a casual, cinematic gaming experience. We have found that trying to play the game RAW leads to absurd experiences.
For example, if you really play RAW, the literal "most important rule" in the game according to GW is to resolve a rules dispute with the toss of a D6. If you reject that rule (and of course, in tournament play you must) then you have rejected what RAW tells us is the most important rule in the game. You undermine any pretext to basing every other judgement on a strict RAW reading.
Another example is setting up a game, if you choose to use points, or forgo Unbound, etc, you are diverting from RAW. I use silly examples purposefully as it shows that a strict RAW reading of 40k is unplayable in an organized setting.
Therefore, we all choose to change some of the rules in the game and it comes down to which ones we choose and to what degree. That is where the conflict comes in as we all disagree on where to draw that line in the sand.
The ITC isn't mean to dictate to players how to do that, it is meant as a starting point to help facilitate organized play, and to grow the community. A lot of folks may get upset about this or that rules interpretation but seem to forget the first rule of the ITC: you can choose to change any of it to suit your local community.
You like most of the format but dislike a certain rule call? Play it the way you like, we don't care. You can still participate in the ITC, but play the game the way you like to. A lot of our largest circuit events diverge from the ITC policy in minor to major ways and we could honestly care less, lol, it's about having fun.
Our philosophy as TOs here at FLG, and the way we choose to run our events is to go with a mix of what we feel is RAW and RAI with the support of community driven decisions. We want those participating to have a voice in important rules interpretations. We feel personally, and have found that most gamers prefer to play what they feel a rule means, not always what it says specifically. They in general also want a fair game as opposed to a maximum power game. Again, that can be interpreted many ways, and can cause conflict as not everyone sees those issues the same way, which is why we vote instead of dictating.
We do verify the poll data to ensure that no one is ballet stuffing. I won't go into the ultra specifics of how we do that because someone smarter than me may see a way to circumvent our protective measures, but the data is verified. As for ITC member emails, yes, TOs collect that data for us to both verify your score and to go into the ITC email database. But, we also gather data for that purpose from other sources, too. We didn't add a open question to the poll this year for player feedback because to be blunt, we wouldn't even be able to read thousands of comments. It would have been a bit of a hollow gesture.
We strive for transparency with everything associated with the ITC but communication is challenging. Prior to the LVO we had some rules calls we had to make for the event and so we made interim rules calls among our judging staff. I am restructuring the FAQ to reflect interim rules calls so that everyone can more clearly understand what stage a rules call is at. But for the event, we voted among judges as to how to make a call and some of the calls were made at the event itself as with the incredible complexity of this game, you simply cannot prepare for everything.
So, hopefully that answers some questions and/or concerns. Thanks to everyone that participated, last year was crazy for the ITC, we grew like mad! 800% increase in events, 400% increase in players, it lead to the largest 40k championships event ever at the LVO, we saw ITC events in a ton of new countries even, it was very cool.
We do listen to feedback and value the critiques. The ITC is not about telling everyone how to read every rule or what have you, it is a tool set to help grow the community, and one that is free to be modified as the individuals using it see fit. We're working on a free app to run ITC tournaments, we offer discounted terrain and F.A.T. Mats to TOs, offer free marketing to help promote their events, etc. We're using it as a tool to make going to events a little more exciting with rankings and prizes and to grow the hobby we all love enough to spend time arguing about it online, haha.