The tournament was scheduled to have started registration at 7:30 Am. I
arrived at 7:00 and there were a few faces I recognized. The TO and Head Judge
Mr. Ed Fox was nowhere to be seen. He arrived a little after 7:30 and we started
getting people registered and signed in.
As is typical with Regionals there were over 300 people anxious to get
started (actually 320). Unfortunately there were not enough people to process
the players in a rapid fashion, so the players did not get finished paying for
the tournament and signing up until almost 9:30.
The next problem was with the data entering. Since there was only 1 laptop
with the software for the tournament, and the data entry person was not very
proficient with the keyboard, the names were entered and the players had to then
check their information before the pairings were done. The first round started
about 10:50 (over an hour late) and we proceeded with the first round.
After the first round there was a problem in that the players were going up
to the table to announce their results (but they were not together) and this
made entering the results take longer. Round 2 did not start until after 1 Pm
(over 90 minutes later). Needless to say there was quite a bit of frustration
since there are 9 rounds of swiss for 320 people.
The problem with the multiple people coming up to report results got fixed
somewhere between the first and second round, because, after the first round the
pairings came faster.
I had a ruling where I gave a fellow a Warning for picking up a card during
what would normally be the Draw Phase, but the player had Necropotence in play.
I said that even though he was not in the draw phase (because he has no draw
phase) and the card was never actually put into his hand. His intention when he
picked up the card was to draw it (albeit mistakenly) so I treated the penalty
as Drawing an extra card. The game had not progressed, so a game loss was not in
order. He received a warning and continued play.
The problem I had was in giving him the correct penalty. I was not aware of
the rules enforcement until I asked the Head Judge. I was not sure if the
enforcement was 3, or 4. This delayed their game enough to warrant additional
time prior to the 3 turn rule.
The next ruling I made was a situation where Player A had a Victimize in play
and was going to sacrifice a creature to bring 2 creatures out of his graveyard.
In response to playing the card, Player B was going to sacrifice his Mogg
Fanatic to kill the creature that Player A was going to Sacrifice. I read the
card and felt that because of the unusual wording of the template that the
creatures to be returned to play are chosen during announcement, but the
creature sacrificed is done during resolution. I said that because of this I
thought that the Fanatic could kill Player A's creature and make Victimize
fizzle. I said that I would like a second opinion on the spell because of the
unusual wording on the spell. I consulted 2 other level 2 judges at the
tournament and they both believed that the sacrifice was a cost of the spell and
thus Player A's creature was not around when the Mogg Fanatic was trying to kill
it and the Victimize was successful. The ruling made was in! favor of Player A.
Ten minutes later another Judge came over and told me that the D'Angelo's
Rulings said that the sacrifice of the creature is done during the resolution
step. My problem is that this ruling cost Player B the game, because the
Victimize was used with Avalanche Rider and Anarchist multiple times to destroy
Player B's land and win the game. The simple act of the fanatic would have
stopped the cycle and probably won the game for Player B.
After the match we discussed the issue with Player B and told him the the
ruling we made was incorrect, but that if he did not agree with a ruling he
should have asked for a ruling with the Head Judge.
The rest of the day went pretty smoothly as the crowd thinned out and even
the Judges had a fun time.
What was Good:
The facilities were quite adequate in size, the banners that WOTC sent were
really a nice touch. The judges were quite informative and the players (for the
most part were very cooperative).
Judge support. Everyone that has worked for Ed Fox knows that he gives good
support to the Judges.
Play Atmosphere: The players seemed to be pretty relaxed and having a good
time (the point of the game)
Learning Environment: This was the first Regionals that I have Judged. The
environment was (believe it or not) more friendly that the PTQ environment. I
had a lot of contact with some of the senior Judges in the state and learned
their philosophy on play and judging and whatnot.
My friend Dustin who actually did not get a Warning this tournament for
Failure to Agree on Reality. Good Job Dustin.
My friend Tim that came into the 9th round with a 7-1 record (in 15th place)
and decided to play anyway (well maybe next year Tim).
What could be improved:
The software for the tournament could be more friendly for users. A click on
win loss or draw for each game of a match would be helpful. The ability to keep
players that have previously played for your tournaments in the database so you
do not have to type all of their info every time would help.
More than one computer so information could be entered by 2 people (or more)
to cut down on time to enter data.
The hotel putting up a line where the players (and staff) can get something
to eat. I have worked for Dream Wizards (in DC) and a lot of times the hotel
will do this as a courtesy and the players pay $2-3 for sandwiches and a soda
and some chips or something. The only thing around the hotel was a Jack In The
Box and it was about half a mile away. It would have been nice to just go to an
a' la cart service.
Thanks for Reading this Far
William S Bosley
Wichita Falls, Texas
Level II Judge