|2001 European Championship - HJ Report
Head Judge, Gijsbert Hoogendijk
So this is the follow up of last weeks little article I wrote. I hope to do this regularly (who knows maybe even weekly), the idea being that I'll write about my judging experiences, sometimes this will be a report sometimes and article Usually it will be short, because I am not that long winded.
So as I promised last week, this will be about the European Championship. I took a late plane to Milan and wondered if I would be the only player/judge to fly out this late. Luckily I wasn't, Ryan Fuller was taking the same plane and was sitting in the seat behind me. We chatted a bit about what he was going to play and take a cab to the Hotel after arriving in Milan. We enter the Hotel and there are a couple of WotC people and some judges in the Hotel lobby. The main question that keeps coming to me is: "Will I be a deputy to sheriff Jackson?" After the DQ and stalling issues at US Nat's this year and the way Head Judge Collin Jackson handled them, people see him as the new sheriff in town. They really want a nice juicy statement, I make some western jokes, but my "lame" answer is: "I'll do what I feel is right."
Gis calls the draft.
Friday was the most interesting day. In round 2 the first interesting situation came up, a huge failure to agree on reality, where player A's only chance of winning is tapping player B's white mana. When we get called to the table player A has just cast a Thornscape Battlemage which player B wants to counter with Dromar's Charm. At this point the discussion arose, as A claimed to have tapped the plains at the end of his turn and player B saying that, like on a couple of previous turns, A had forgotten. After hearing both their stories and talking to the first judge who dealt with the problem, my ruling was that player A had forgotten. Of course player A complained but I stuck to my ruling.
During the following round, I discussed color changing creatures and COP's with a couple of judges, in the end we came to the conclusion that, if the shield resolved and the creature was the right color the shield would prevent the damage. Apparently we were WRONG! During that round, that exact situation happened and I made the wrong ruling, luckily Adam Cetnerowski was there to correct me and the situation So I'm not a machine, I do make mistakes. I really hate it when it happens but it does. I discussed a lot of rulings that were made during the weekend with my judge team, that way I learned a lot about each of their personal opinions as well as how my opinion is viewed by them. Usually they agreed with me (probably because I was Head judge) but the few times they didn't agree we had a nice discussion in which they could sometimes change my point of view.
Then came round 6 and with it the DQ of Arto Hiltunen. You can read all about it on the sideboard. I'll comment more about it later.
During the round 7 deck checks we stumbled upon a deck, which was marked beyond belief. When we showed the player how we were able to sort his deck, he was amazed. Apparently his last round opponent had told him some of his sleeves were marked, he thought that it wasn't a big problem as he had bought the sleeves new at the beginning of the day. He wanted to know if it was possible to prove he had not cheated in any way. We explained him that, that was impossible. But after a long talk with him and some judges I was sure he hadn't marked his deck on purpose, but what to do with it? In the end we decided on a match loss for "Marked deck - Pattern" and upgraded a game loss for "Procedural Error - Severe" to a match loss. He was relieved with my ruling and especially with not being marked as a cheater.
Day 2 had only one note worthy incident. Somewhere in the middle rounds a judge was called and player X said player Y had only 39 cards in his deck. After some talking with the players, player A had one game 1, then while pile shuffling his opponents deck ended up on pile 3 indicating 42 or 39 cards, He claimed he wanted to play so didn't do anything with it. Then when his opponent attacked for the win in game 2, said wait, and counted the cards again, 39! He admitted to the fact it was his only way to win that game and grasped it. He won that match 2-0, but, like with the disqualified player, he didn't call a judge when he was suspecting a problem. But called one over just before losing the game. He was pretty honest about the fact and we gave him an upgraded "Unsporting Conduct - Minor" so a game loss in the next match was a result.
On day 3 we had no difficulties, so after the problems at APAC and US Nat's our day 3 was pretty quiet. Unfortunately this was the day an Italian player, who had attended the side-events the day before, died in a car crash. We heard this just before the finals and the Italian judge I had selected for the finals knew this player fairly well and was unfortunately unable to judge. For some reason the whole situation shocked my system too and it took me a couple of minutes before I was able to go in with the show.
All in all it was a smooth event in which some mistakes were made which slowed things down a little. The "Drunken Judge Draft" on Friday night was a blast. I was happy I didn't screw up anything major and in the end everybody was happy the way things were run.
Tom Walamies taking his judge test. He passed for level 1.
I like to thank all people from the various staff (Sideboard, WotC, Heuvelmans and my fellow judges) and of course the players for a great experience and hope to see you all in the near future.
If you have any questions or comments please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
PS I wasn't going to do a props and slops, but I want to congratulate Tomi Walemies with not only finishing 3rd at Euro's but also with becoming a level 1, passing the test straight after loosing his semi-final match.
Read coverage for European Championships at Sideboard.com.