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National Qualifier Netherlands

Head Judge Report

Henk Claassen

Date: March 30, 2002
Head Judge: Henk Claassen
Site: Ramona Zaalverhuur Eindhoven, Netherlands
Format: Standard
Attendance: 73

This is the first qualifier of 5, with the top 10 players of each qualifier getting a place in the nationals. It is also the first major event I'm going to Head Judge after becoming a level 2 Judge. So I'm a little nervous. Having judged for nearly two years now, including other qualifiers a couple of Grand Prix's and tons of small local tournaments, I've got a lot of experience, but still it's the first one as HJ.

The location had seating for around 100 players. Out of the 100 pre-registered players we got about 60. In all not a bad turnout for an Easter weekend. Some of the pre-registered players were already placed for the nationals, others had friends who were coming tell us they couldn't make it. This allowed the unregistered players who showed up to play. This is something I like to be able to do; you get a lot of happy players.

We were supposed to start at 11:00 but as usual it started a bit later, but less than a half-hour. I decided to play 8 rounds. In retrospect it should have been 7 but I announced it and stuck to it. More play for their money.

Round 1

The round was started and with two judges counting the deck lists I got time to walk the floor and see what was being played. I also got to hand out the first game loss. It was for Marked Card - Major. A player had lost the first game and had sideboarded. His opponent played a Haunting Echoes and during the resolution of it he spotted that some cards were the wrong way up and I was called over. I talked to the players and after some consideration decided on the Marked Card -Major penalty. I downgraded it to a game loss. But effectively it was still a matchloss as he had already lost the first game. I figured it unintentional, but the cards were too important against his opponent deck to make it Marked Cards -Minor.

This resulted in a warning.

Forgetting to sacrifice a permanent to Braids was a recurring theme in this tournament
Round 2

And now comes the hard part. Handling the deck problems. By the end of round 1 I got the lists of decks with problems. It turned out that two players, brothers actually, didn't have the required 60 cards in their deck. I talked to them at the end of round 1, explained that they needed 60 cards in their deck and why. Then I organized the required land, as they didn't have any with them. They received a match loss. Then there was one more deck list that needed dealing with. He had 14 cards in his sideboard. I checked it and that was correct, only 14 cards. This resulted in a game loss. After this there was a problem with a controller of Braids, Cabal Minion, who forgot to sacrifice a permanent during his upkeep and drew a card.

Round 3

While doing a deck check it was pointed out that the sleeves of a deck were of a slightly different color than the majority. It was exactly 10 cards, which meant that this player probably bought 2 separate packs of 50 sleeves each. They were random so no pattern, but I still asked him to resleeve the deck as there was no way to use the cards without sleeves. This was a caution. Later that round there were 2 players who got a warning for trying to play spells without the proper mana. One player got a warning for looking at extra cards as a card got caught in another sleeve. I told him to replace the sleeve and play on.

Round 4

The tournament was running smoothly now. Deck checks went without problems. That was until a player accidentally flipped a card. Another warning for the list.

Round 5

The deck checks went without a problem. During the check I got warned by another judge that a player managed to play an Opt, forgot to put the card at the bottom of his deck and drew another card. This was discovered during his next draw step. It was impossible to correct this late so he got a game loss. Another warning was handed out as a player forgot to sacrifice a permanent to Braids, Cabal Minion. Once again it was Braid's controller, but a different player.

It is important players list the exact name of the card on their deck list

Round 6

The black mark on this the tournament. Part of it is my own fault. During a deck check it was noticed that a player had marked 4 Volcanic Eruption on his deck list, but was of course playing with 4 Violent Eruptions. Volcanic Eruptions have last been printed in Fourth edition so aren't legal for the tournament. This couldn't be down graded to a clerical error, even though it clearly was one. Volcanic Eruption is an existing card. In my eyes all I could do was give him a match loss and remove the Violent Eruption from the deck, adding 4 lands in its place. The player thought it a harsh punishment, but also knew it was a correct decision. I had to agree with him that it was harsh especially after being able to play with the deck for 5 rounds. After removing the card he dropped. This should have been seen during the counting of the deck lists and handled during round 2. The problem is who ever looked over the list probably skimmed it and in his mind read Violent Eruption instead of Volcanic Eruption. Next time I'll make sure to do a quick glance over the deck lists myself, in the hope to catch this problem before it happens again.

Round 7

No problems but I had to go over to a table where a player wanted to know if he could play a Ichorid from his graveyard by removing another Ichorid in his graveyard from the game. I ruled it could as a name in the game text only refers to the card itself, but not to other cards with the same name.

Round 8

No problems but for a player who thought his opponent stacked his deck after a pile shuffle, I checked it, ruled it wasn't and play continued. Should have given the player a warning. After all, if his opponent would be able to stack lands his deck wasn't random when he offered it to him. Well I didn't. Round ends and E-mails addresses of the top 10 players are collected. Prizes are awarded.


Now I'm making up the balance of the tournament. 14 registered penalties:

Caution: 1
Warning: 6
Gameloss: 4
Matchloss: 3

Quite a lot of penalties by my reckoning. For the rest it was a nice tournament in which I was able to welcome another judge to the community. A level 3 Judge was playing, and administered the test, in case you were wondering.

My conclusion is that it was a good tournament and I'm glad everything went smoothly. I look forward to the next Qualifier I can Head Judge. And hopefully without so many penalties that time.

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