Defaults are Standard
All right. Enough of your flapping lips, Kenn. The fact is that it's damned hard trying to standardize on any one set of rules. Throw in over a dozen nations, all with their own ideas of what works and what doesn't, and you've got yourself a disaster waiting to happen. I've always felt that the burden of initiating standards must fall (perhaps unfortunately) on the game developers themselves. A great majority of the time, what's set as default for a shipping games becomes the de-facto standard for competition.
I see what you're obviously struggling to getting at. A good example of that is air acceleration in Quake II, the option of being able to rapidly change your direction in mid-jump. This feature was standard in Quake 1, but was taken out for Quake II. A big surprise of Q2 version 3.14 was the introduction of Q1-esque air-acceleration. This immediately split the Quake II population. Q1 converts of course loved it, as it made the game more closely resemble Quake.
As you can imagine, a good number of players didn't care for it, for various reasons. (Part of it was because you couldn't achieve certain maneuvers with air acceleration on as opposed to off) 3.15 was quickly released, "correcting" the air acceleration issue. But by then, controversy was afoot. id quickly released 3.17 which had air acceleration off by default, but a console command was available that allowed the server to set the amount of air acceleration if so desired. You really don't need me to say what became the standard for Quake II play and competition.
Another Q2-specific example is the footstep sounds. You've got your "it adds more realism and strategy" crowd, and your "screw realism, it slows down the game and makes it less fun" crowd. As split as the opinions are, how many competition servers are running with footstep sounds off (at least in the US)? That's right. Zippo. Don't even tell me that "the game is fully modular and you can create a mod to do whatever you want." The point is that such a mod would be far from standard, and even if I convinced every single Q2 player in the USA to abide by "Kenn's Rules of Play," the chances of my persuasion reaching around to every other competitive Quake-playing nation in the world is pretty small. So much for international tournaments!
Now you're arguing my side. Sit yer schizophrenic ass down for a minute and take a breather. To sum it up, the only non-standard setting ever to be agreed upon as "standard" is Quake 1's sv_aim 2, which keeps the computer from trying to aim vertically for your shots. That was kind of a major screw-up that thankfully was quickly resolved. However, this brings us back to the point. In my humble opinion, standards MUST BE SET BY THE DEVELOPER. No third party has the sway to determine otherwise, especially when considering an international standard. So knowing that, what can we do?