PTQ Mar 04, 2000
Magic: The Gathering in the Denver arena of 101 players, 7 Judges
working, and another half Dozen testing for various levels. I invited
James Lee down to be our head judge and so that the same group of judges
could have James Lee for testing again. Tara sent James Lee down at a
three slot event I ran here back in November 1999 to interview Judge
Having been recommended by James Lee for Level III in November I wished
to see how James runs events as Head Judge. I have to say that James does
a super job as Head Judge and entertainer. James Lee is one of the best
level III judges I have ever worked with. Before the event started, almost
on time, James set forth the rules and who were the staff judges. By the
time he had completed his announcements the players were almost rolling in
the isles, as were the judges. Sense this was an extended event James Lee
reiterated the need to make sure your deck lists were correct. Low and
behold after the first round started all deck lists were checked. One
person had a 57-card deck and 4 people had improper sideboards. Also
being a TO for the event makes it hard to see a player ejected for a
Round one was uneventful, besides the Deck list problems.
Round two through seven were normal. Some of the Judges on staff had to
be correct on some operational procedures, that's where I came in. But for
the most part every round went very smooth. The only think I didn't like
was, the answer I got when I had to correct the Judges procedures, "that's
the way we have always done it!" In one case I couldn't convince one of
the Judges and had to call James Lee over to confirm the proper procedure.
Sinse being in the Denver Magic arena I have noted a lot of procedural
problems with events. Including a LA-PTQ I played in here locally.
This final set of rounds should be called lessons learned. One DQ, One
unsportsman-like conduct, and a game loss for procedures.
First came the DQ for marked cards. All decks were checked before play
begins and a deck of newly sleeved cards was found to be marked. All the
judges looked at this deck and we could determine that by looking at the
markings that we were able to pick out sets of cards. James explained to
the player what was happening and would submit a letter to WOTC DCI.
Second was the unsportsmen like conduct round one of the finals. If I see
would have been the observing judge I would have halted the game where it
was and called the Head Judge over to resolve the issue. If I was the Head
Judge, game ends, DQ have a nice day. I will not tolerate unsportsmen like
conduct in any arena of gaming, MTG, L5R, Star Wars, etc.
Third was the game loss for Procedures. With two judges watching and about
20 other players observing the event, this call should have never
occurred. The Observing judges should have caught the error and reset the
board and let play continue. This is what is done at Pro Tours if a Judge
is observing the game while a procedural error occurs. How do I know this
you ask, this is what happen to me at PT-New York a year ago.
So now I've seen a few styles of judging. From my early days 6 years ago
to present day and everyone has their own style. So if I'm testing for
Level III which style do I use? Follow the written word or follow by
example of the higher-level judges? You will need to make that call when
you go for your level III test.
William R. Graham
Level II Judge
Premier Event Tournament Organizer
Tournament Organizers Limited