June 26, 1999 - Palatine (Chicago Area), IL, USA
Attn: 111 (37 teams)
Format was Team Sealed with Rochester for Top 4 teams
7 Swiss Rounds with 2 Playoff Rounds were run
Judging and operations staff consisted of:
Myself (Head Judge)
A Veteran volunteer (non-certified)
4 New volunteers (non-certified)
Several items distinguish this event from non-team events:1) Tables need to be numbered in groups of 3 players to make sure that teams are together when deck registering and playing.2) Decklists and deckchecks need to be done slightly differently: Normal check for failure to desideboard/deck stacking/etc. AND Totalling decklists to insure that the registered totals match the team totals -- if they register less, then they have smaller card base to work with, if they register more, something is wrong; in either case the deck being used must be a subset of the total cards registered.3) One of the more fuzzy points are team names, this is at the discretion of the organizer and DCI to not permit names that are of an unacceptable type; fortunately for this event, there were no names that crossed these boundaries. A verbal announcement was made to every registering team about the DCI policy of no offensive/suggestive team names.4) The event tends to last about as long as a normal QT of the same number of Swiss rounds, but the Top 4 tends to last about 1 hour longer than a normal Top 8 would.
The specified DCI time limits for deck registering and deck construction was too short, they need to be extended to 30 minutes for registration and 1 hour for construction (the time was extended at the event to prevent "mass warnings" from being issued). Over 75% of the teams could not finish registration in the time allotted and over 60% of the teams could not finish deck construction in the time allotted. At the end of 20 minutes for registration, a 10 minute extension was given, by the end of 30 minutes only 1 team was unable to finish (they finished 2 just minutes later). For construction a similar thing happened, by the end of the extension to 1 hour, all teams had finished building and logging their decks.
The Team Rochester Draft proved to be VERY different from the dynamics of a normal Rochester. The Teams were allowed non-verbal communication, so teams went 2 different ways: 1) Having the best drafter draft for the entire team or 2) Having drafting by committee. Basic hand signals were pointing to cards and then to the player. There was no incidence of opposing players using hand signals to try to confuse their opponents during the draft; however, this can be a problem at some point. Another difference is doing 2 drafts instead of 1 -- this added some time to the total event times.
Some concerns that may come up are: Team members interfering with teammates games, a team that shows up short (or individuals coming without a team), team members trying to influence judges, excessive judge calls from fellow teammates about things they have noticed, etc. For the most part, none of the teams were inclined to try to win by "Rules Cheese" or unduly interfering with matches. The main probelm the event experienced was that some individuals not on some teams (there were 2-3 "Insta-Teams" put together at the last minute). I would recommend starting a list of people looking for teams immediately and having those people gather at a designated location (similar to ski lifts).
A team event is no harder than a normal event to judge/operate, but it does have significant differences and we should all be aware of them.