|South Carolina State Championship
Arrived in South Carolina late on Friday and stopped for gas. I noticed an
electronic slot machine and donated $5 to the Newberry, SC economy. I
rarely get to play since I live in TN and there are no games of this type.
There are counties in TN where they can't afford to run school busses
because there's no funding but gambling is illegal, but...I digress.
We got to the hotel about 11 pm and asked to see the room for tomorrow
just to make sure it was set up correctly. All together now...it wasn't.
After being assured it would be fixed by 7 am, we ate and went to sleep
after a short instruction on how to catch a yellow elephant.
Went downstairs (rather, Rachel went downstairs) around 8:30 am to see the
room was ready. She had it finished by the time I ambled down around 9:15.
When I got there, registration was well under way. After having run SC
states before, I chose to post the legal sets, banned list, and procedure
for marking match result slips. As the day went on, the Tom Wylie method
of answering questions about the above proved effective.
We had only 41 players which as a judge makes for an easy day, however,
form a business standpoint is somewhat sub-optimal. Round 1 started a
little late but no one seemed upset. Since the turnout was low, we would
make good time. We scheduled a lunch break for post round 3. Most of the
players had never heard of such a thing. As a result, a couple of cautions
were issued for people a couple of minutes late returning from the break.
The atmosphere was light so stress was low. Sometimes that only makes
things tougher on the judging staff since players tend to be more apt to
"freely debate" the judges rulings when the air is light.
The rulings asked for were mostly the type where players just want to
clarify 5th/6th differences. It seemed the field was fairly inexperienced
as tournament players. Some were pretty new at the game to begin with.
There were questions like: can I bounce a creature after I put combat
damage on the stack?, When triggers go on the stack, do I get a chance to
do anything before they resolve?, Can I target any spell on the stack at
any point on the stack?, and What is this stack thing, anyway?.
There was a problem during quarterfinals in which a floor judge was asked
to observe for "slow play." He did so for a little while and decided play
was all right. As the match neared its end, the same player became
agitated and asked if something could be done. I was near by and
overheard. It turned out the player disagreed with the floor judge's
ruling earlier but did not ask for the head judge (which was me). I
observed play and did caution the player's opponent for "slow play." I
didn't feel a warning or penalty was needed. While he did think the words
"stack" and "zone" sound good together, he wasn't playing too slow
throughout the time I observed. Other than that, it was a trouble-free
Congratulations to Lee Gable of Spartanburg, SC, the new State Champion.
Holiday Inn for decent rooms and reasonably priced food.
Well-mannered, appreciative players. (is that possible?)
Holiday Inn for making my staff reset the room, again.