|US National Open Qualifiers
Origins 1999 ("Meatgrinders")
I had the honor of judging most of the "Last Chance"
Qualifiers for the US National tournament. Mike Guptil ran
a very smooth operation, ensuring that events began promptly
and with as few interruptions as humanly possible. In
addition, the willingness to delegate the Head Judging duties
to various Level 2 judges was a nice touch, as those who were
given this responsibility (including myself) were able to
have the experience of being the person who made all the
decisions while having the experience of a Level 4 to call
on if necessary.
Most of my time was spent floor judging, and most of the
calls involved the differences between 5E and 6E rules, and
administering the extra turn rules when time ran out. I did
take some time out in the afternoon, at the request of two
players who traveled with me, to confirm the Waylay
interpretation I had made before we left. After chasing down
both Jeff Donais and Beth Moursund, and confirming with each
of them that I had interpreted the card correctly, both
players played a variation of Waylay White in the later
The weirdest part was late in the final event when I was
called to the table because one of these players had launched
Waylay during the "Abuse of Instants Step" (official name:
End Step). After I had ruled on it, the opponent wanted an
appeal to the head judge. Out of habit, I walked back to the
scoring table to locate the head judge only to be reminded
that I *was* the head judge for the event! Problem solved.
On a side note, the player who played the Waylay was trying
what in chess parlance is known as a swindle. This is not
something that would fall under the Penalty Guidelines for
unsporting conduct, but rather a technical term for a play
made by a person in an otherwise lost position that allows
him or her to recover if the opponent fails to respond
properly. In this case, the response involved knowing what
to block and what creatures to save, and was handled well.
I found this experience to be enjoyable, and a fitting
prelude to judging Nationals the next day.
"The TURNABOUT Guy"
Almost Official Milwaukee M:tG Rules Guru
Judge Advocate Team HKMC
Inventor of the Chicken Track