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South Carolina State Championship

Jym Resciniti

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 event.

Congratulations to Lee Gable of Spartanburg, SC, the new State Champion.

Props:
Holiday Inn for decent rooms and reasonably priced food.
Well-mannered, appreciative players. (is that possible?)

Slops:
Holiday Inn for making my staff reset the room, again.



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