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GP Minneapolis - Floor Judge Report

Kevin Dolbeare

The Grand Prix Minneapolis was a premier event in more ways than one. The tournament ran very smoothly owning more to the format than any other particular reason. As the last IBC event, the details had been worked out, players knew the field and we as judges were ready for the questions.

Deck checking was a job shared by all the judges at the Grand Prix

I think the most important lesson I relearned at GP-Minneapolis (besides that Grand in French is pronounced grun) is the importance of teamwork while being a member of the floor judging staff. This was a very positive example of teamwork. Several of the member of the judging staff had worked previously at other Steve Port (The LegionTM) events, but the few outsiders were welcome into the fold right from the start. Although a tight knit group can lead to the problem of clumping, we kept chitchat to a minimum and kept circulating around the floor. Of course the call of "JUDGE!" sends us into action. As one judge would listen and assess the situation, another one might drift in as backup or cover the vacant area.

Sheldon demonstrated great management skills by allow the team to evolve over the day as needed and support directly as needed. Little details as the match slips, posting of pairing and such didn't require assigned duties, everyone just stepped up and got it done whatever "it" was at the moment. Also, a big thanks to the judges from the side events that helped with the deck checks on Day One. They allowed the floor judges to do what they do best, maintaining a fair play environment throughout the course of the event.

Having the critical judges meetings before and after the event allowed all expectations to be put forth and all issues to be heard. The dinner with just us floor judges afterwards saw a great sense of comradely to develop (that being sharing three large plates of pasta at the local family style Italian restaurant). I had great time both on and off the floor this weekend due to the teamwork that we had.

A judge's meeting before the event starts is the best way to avoid problems

Very little room was left for improvement after this event. I might suggest we develop a different call for a judge if the intent is just verification of the match results. As this is a important duty of the floor judge, it is a lower priority than handling other situations on the floor. Maybe a call of "slip" or "done" with a simple raise of the players hands could be used instead.

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