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Level 3 Advancement Recommendation Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to give direction to expert-level judges who wish to recommend a level 2 DCITM-certified judge for advancement. Further, these guidelines will serve as a resource for current judges who wish to petition for advancement. As with all such guideline documents published by the DCI, the emphasis on judge advancement should be on the spirit of the requirements rather than the letter of the rules. For example, if a judge fulfills all the technical requirements, but fails to impress with his or her experience in the field, then you should not submit a recommendation for that individual.

Among the most important duties of an expert-level judge are the education and training of judges with whom he or she works. In regard to a level 2 judge who approaches you for advancement recommendation, this means that you must be able and willing to identify the potential candidate's strengths and weaknesses. If you are going to recommend the candidate, you should share with him or her the letter you mean to submit to the DCI worldwide judge certification manager. The best recommendations detail both strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate your familiarity with the candidate. Even more important, if you should deny recommendation to a candidate, you should be very specific about why you did so. This discussion should include counsel on steps the candidate should take in order to prepare for advancement at a future date.

All recommendations for DCI judge certification advancement to level 3 or higher must be submitted in writing (email is acceptable) to the Worldwide Judge Certification Manager. This applies to judges living in regions that report to a DCI judge coordinator in a local or regional office outside the United States. Qualifications that a candidate for level 3 judge advancement should have follow.

  • A level 3 candidate should be competent to run a Pro TourTM Qualifier anywhere in the world. This entails skills and knowledge appropriate to head judge a DCI-sanctioned event at rules enforcement level 3. For this, a full understanding of the DCI Penalty Guidelines, Universal Tournament Rules, and Magic: The Gathering Floor Rules is necessary.
  • A level 3 candidate should have expert-level rules knowledge. This entails familiarity with Magic card templating and current knowledge of Magic rules team rulings. Strong literacy in English is essential for this, and the level 3 judge exam is administered only in English. This guideline also necessitates regular and consistent access to the online resources available from the DCI.
  • A level 3 candidate should have a good understanding of DCI Reporter (DCIR) software. This means that he or she should be familiar with a current version of DCIR and able to act as head scorekeeper of a Pro Tour Qualifier in any of the formats designated by the DCI.
  • A level 3 candidate should understand the Magic: The Gathering tournament structure as established by the DCI. This includes the ability to explain sanctioning procedures, the variable K-value ratings system, how invitations are extended over various levels of events, and the appeals process.
  • A level 3 candidate should be a respected member of his or her Magic community. This means that players who have had experience with the candidate should recognize him or her as a fair and firm arbiter of disputes. Players and judges should also see the candidate as an expert to consult in all manner of Magic questions, ranging from game rules to policy matters.
  • A level 3 candidate should be a diplomat and an ambassador. This means that he or she should represent the DCI and Magic: The Gathering organized play in a positive manner that encourages participants to continue and increase their involvement in the game. The candidate should also demonstrate clarity and succinctness when making rulings.


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