It's a simple idea.
Battling over email messages, rather then aim or other similar instant programs.
In practice, it's very similar to forum battles. Some see this is a reason not to have it, being redundant, but there are many potential benefits to allowing this.
The current limit on forum battles is completely understandable. I can see how it would easily get crowded with battles, and many would easily go unreffed and overlooked.
However, many players aren't able to participate in AIM battles despite having aim or not, for various reasons. Some people have too busy schedules to stay logged onto AIM, others live in timezones where most of the refs are hardly awake by the time they need to go to bed. Finding a ref on AIM can be easy for some, but for others it's nearly impossible.
Forum battles are a nice alternative to this, since they allow players to post a move, and forget about it. Even better, if they subscribe to the post they can get email notifications, so they don't even have to bother visiting the forum if they don't want to or don't have time to. However, for people like this the limit on forum battles can leave them far behind other players. Battles are a large source of income on the URPG, and income leads to pokémon, items and TMs. If they aren't making as much money as the other players, quite simply they're left behind with less pokémon and less useful moves.
I'm not disputing the forum battle limit, like I said I completely understand why this exists and see how it could get out of hand easily.
That's why I feel like we should consider this option.
Of course many players may feel like they would rather not have their email visible, while others may not want to have their inbox clogged by requests, be it for battles or for reffing. These are all legitimate concerns, but that doesn't mean they can't be dealt with.
Though a limit on email battles would be possible, it sort of defeats the purpose and is in my opinion unnecessary. Rather then emailing players and refs to initiate a challenge or battle, these email battles could be initiated elsewhere. For example, there could be an email request thread, similar to the Trainer Station, or email battles could be arranged anywhere else as well (personal messages on the forum, or over aim for example).
You might say "Well if they're already on aim to initiate a challenge, why not just have the battle on aim?"
Well, this isn't always practical for some people. Not everyone has the time to stay on the computer for the sometimes hours that aim battles can last, where it's easy to get on aim, ask someone if they want to have an email battle, start the battle, then get off the computer and worry about it later.
Or alternatively, if they don't mind getting emailed requests to ref battles, a ref could simply make their email address available.
Since this would be completely optional, it would be entirely up to the ref to decide if they want to have their email address viewable, or if they even want to ref email battles.
This could mean there may be a lack of refs willing to ref these forum battles, but there still could be some. I for one would do it if I start reffing.
The point is to leave options open, and give those with busy schedules and different timezones (or whatever reason there may be) a chance to play too. Even if there isn't much interest in this, it still gives people a chance. We allow yahoo and other chat programs for this reason, right?
So anyway, post your thoughts/concerns/suggestions/etc here! I think this is a good idea that at least deserves consideration.
And please be constructive. If you think this is a bad idea, say why!