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Starting off with DCI Reporter

Thomas Ralph

Hello! I am Thomas Ralph, a level 2 judge from Cork, in the south of Ireland. I noticed when I was reading judge articles last week that there are four articles on advanced functions of DCI Reporter, but no way to learn the basics other than trial and error or being shown how to do it by a higher judge. So I decided to write a basic article on the subject.

Thomas Ralph, Level 2 instructs on DCI Reporter Basics
DCI Reporter is a very useful tournament-running tool. Although tournaments can be run without it, only the smallest of tournaments will not benefit from using it. However, DCI Reporter requires some skill to use well.

I taught myself DCI Reporter by downloading it, reading the readme file, and running a couple of sample tournaments. This took quite some time, since I didn't have any experience as scorekeeper of an actual tournament, and this was not the way I would have liked to learn it.

So, here is my guide to the basic functions of DCI Reporter. I have based it on the functions of the latest version of Reporter generally available at the time of writing, which is version 2.3.0. I hope that all of you can make use of it; if not yourself, then by making it available to a newer judge or a judge trainee.

This is a basic guide, and to avoid it being far longer than it already is, I've omitted large amounts of options that don't tend to come into general use.

I refer you to Matt Villamaino's articles DCI Reporter - Beyond the Basics and DCI Reporter - Beyond the Basics 2, and to Catherine Nicoloff's article Barcode Scanning in DCI Reporter for further enlightenment on the functions of DCI Reporter.

In this guide, I use a few shorthand notations to save space. Read as follows:

The text means
foo/bar Choose the bar item on the foo menu
(key) Press key as a keyboard shortcut for this task
(key1-key2) Press key2 while holding key1 as a keyboard shortcut for this task


Setting Up the Tournament

First, you've got to set up the tournament. To do this, choose File/Create New Tournament (Ctrl-N). Simply fill in the fields and check the appropriate boxes. (You can use Tab to cycle between fields and boxes.) There's very few ways you can go wrong here. If you don't have a sanctioning number for your tournament, just check the Don't Know box next to the number, or enter in the digit 1. Make sure to check the Friday Night Magic box if appropriate.

When you click OK, you may be asked "Is this a NetRunner tournament?" Click No. You'll be given a tournament code. Remember this (briefly), then press OK and you will see a list of tournaments in DCI Reporter. Double-click on the tournament code or the name of the tournament.

You'll be brought to the DCI EDT information screen. Double-click the tournament format on the right, and then enter the relevant details in the fields. Choose the appropriate REL in the box by clicking repeatedly. Click Save and Exit to leave this box. You can view it again and make changes later by choosing Edit/DCI EDT information (Ctrl-I).

Enrolling Players

Now you're ready to start enrolling players: choose Edit/Players (F2). If you have the DCI PIN Database (available on the Tournament Organizer CD), click the button DCI PIN.mdb as the first thing. You may be prompted for the path to the database. Now, ensuring that the "enroll" radio button is selected, enroll players by typing their DCI number in the PIN box. If you have the PIN database, then their name should come up automatically, and you can confirm it and press Enter. If you don't have the database or their name doesn't come up, then press Tab, type their first name, press Tab again, type their second name, then press (or click) Enter. The player is now enrolled! Repeat this process for the rest of the players.

If you need to enter a player without a DCI number, then type 1 instead of the number. This will result in the player being given a DCI number consisting of the word "JOE" plus an arbitrary 3-digit number. This must be fixed later.

To fix JOEs, if you make a mistake, or if you need to change information during the tournament, then display the Edit/Players window, click Change Enrolled, double-click the player in the list on the right, and type in the new information. Then press Enter. Once all the players are enrolled, click Save and Exit (Alt-X).


Next thing to do (although it's not essential until later) is to enter your judges. Choose Edit/Judges (Ctrl-J), and click the top-left box. Note that the data entry method in this is very counterintuitive so you must follow these steps exactly. Type the DCI number of the Head Judge, and press Enter. Type the judge's name, followed by his or her level, and then press Enter. Don't try to move to other fields by clicking or by pressing Tab, or data may be lost. Repeat the process for all the remaining judges, then press Save and Exit.

Beginning of the Round

It's a good idea to always back-up the tournament before pairing, using File/Backup (Ctrl-B). A removable disk is best for backups - if your computer dies you can then transfer the files to another computer and continue.

Pair the round by choosing Perform/Pairing (F7). Click Pair to confirm your request. The pairings will be displayed for you to see.

If you need to choose random tables (for deck-checking etc.) choose Perform/Select random player or table (Ctrl-R), click Table, enter the number of tables you want to choose, and double-click the green ?. You can print them if desired. This method can also be used to choose the Random Prize Winner for FNM.

You'll probably want to print the pairings to display them. To do this, choose Print/Pairings by Table (F8) or Print/Pairings by Player (F9). Pairings by Player are most useful for displaying, while Pairings by Table will probably be used more at the judge station. At this stage you'll have the opportunity to choose the font you want to use for printing. DCI Reporter will use this font for most printings as long as it is open, unless you choose Print/Cancel Default Font.

With pairings printed and displayed, the next thing to do is to print your results entry slips. Choose Print/Results Entry Slips (Ctrl-P). Always check For Cut Machine if you can, as it will save time when you cut the slips by placing the consecutive slips on top of each other when cut. I recommend checking Judge Signature Required as well. Then click Print and select the font and size that you want to use. (Courier size 12 works for most printers, but some may print the bottom line onto another page when you use that size. If that's the case, try size 11.)

Entering Results

To enter results, click Edit/Results Entry (F3). In this window you see several different windows. Make sure "Current Round" is checked, then either click in the Table text box and type the table number, double-click the table number in the list, or double-click the name of one of the players in the list of names. Then either click to increase the number opposite a player (representing the number of games that player won), clicking in the box above "D" to add a draw, or use one of the quick buttons at the bottom of the box for common results (2-0, 2-1, 1-0, 1-1, and 0-0 (Intentional Draw) are supported, as is DL (Double-Loss, which may arise if both players in a match have an Illegal Main Decklist)). If you used the manual entry rather than a quick button, you'll need to click or press Enter afterwards.

To modify a result during the same round, in the Results Entry dialog box clear the Outstanding Results checkbox at the top left hand corner, then enter the result in the same way. You will be asked to confirm the result change.

At this time, you can also drop players. To drop a player when you enter the result, check the Drop box opposite their name before entering the result. You can also drop a player after entering the result. One way to do this is to modify the result (as above). Alternatively, or if the player had a bye, choose Edit/Players (F2), double-clicking the player, choosing the Drop radio-button, and clicking Enter.


Note that you must have entered the judges (see above) to issue a penalty. Note also that you can't issue a penalty to a player who has been registered with a JOE number: fix the number first. To issue a penalty, choose Edit/Penalties (Ctrl-W). Click the judge responsible for issuing the penalty, the player receiving the penalty, and the reason for the penalty (make sure you choose a line in lower-case letters, or unpredictable results may happen). DCI Reporter automatically selects the recommended penalty based on the REL you set in the EDT information. You can choose a different penalty if desired. Click in the text field and enter a brief description of the penalty circumstances. (Repeating the penalty name is not a description.) If the penalty pertains to the current round, then clear the "Ask for round" checkbox, otherwise check it. Then press Enter or click Enter Penalty. If requested, type in the round that the penalty was issued in.

To edit or cancel a penalty issued, click Show All in the Penalties window. Scroll to the relevant penalty, double-click it, make whatever changes are necessary, and click Change. If you want to delete it, simply double-click it and click Delete. Click Exit when you are done.

Reviewing Pairings/Standings

If you want to review the pairings during the round, choose View/Pairings by Table (F4) or View/Pairings by Player (F5). To view the standings, click View/Standings (F6). You can also click Provisional in this box to view the standings after updating the results that have already been entered during the round. These standings will have a * next to any player whose result has not yet been entered. They should not be revealed to players, unless some method can be devised to show them all at once (e.g. a data-projector). You can print standings between rounds using Print/Standings (F11).
Playoff Pairings

When you have completed the Swiss rounds of your event, if you want to do a playoff of the top players, choose Perform/Playoff Pairing. Click the number of players to include in the pairing (e.g. top 4, top 8, etc.) and the pairings will appear. If for some reason you need the pairings to be different, double-click two players in succession to swap them in the pairings. Be careful with this feature.

To enter the results, click Enter Results from the Playoff Pairing dialog box, or if you have closed it, click Edit/Results, Playoff. Click the winner of each match.
Uploading the Results

If the responsibility for uploading the results of the tournament falls to you, then when the tournament is completed and you have an Internet connection from your computer, choose Perform/DCI Electronic Reporting (Ctrl-D). Type in your Tournament Organizer Password in the space provided (if you don't have one, email dci@wizards.com to get one), then ensure your DCI number and the Sanctioning Number are correct and click Internet Upload. If the upload processes correctly, then you will receive a reference number (which should be noted) and, soon afterwards, an email to your registered email address confirming receipt of the tournament. Remember that according to DCI policy you must archive tournament results for 12 months.
Fixing Trouble

1. Changing a player's name or DCI number.

This can be easily accomplished from the Edit/Players window. Open it (F2) and double-click the player. Choose Change Enrolled, enter the new details, and click or press Enter.

2. Correcting a match result that was entered incorrectly in a previous round.

Assuming this is due to scorekeeper error (if the result slip was written incorrectly by the players then the Head Judge will need to be involved to determine whether to fix it), choose Edit/Results Entry (F3), click Previous Round, type the round number, and enter the result in the usual way.

3. Correcting a pairings problem.

If you need to change the pairings for whatever reason, then you need to use Ordered Pairing. Choose Perform/Ordered Pairing. Double-click any match in the list on the right to break the pairing of that match. Click Release Bye to cancel the bye of a player. To pair two players, enter the table number or click Top or First Free Table, then double-click the two players' names in the top left list. To give a player a bye, enter the number of that player (listed in parentheses after that player's name) in the text field next to the word Bye, and click Enter Bye. (This will only work if there isn't already a player with a bye.) If you pair people who have already played or perform some other egregious mistake, DCI Reporter will warn you, but you will very rarely be denied any action.

If you successfully make all the pairings, then click Save pairings and Exit. If, however,
you mess up, then simply click Cancel and start again.

Items 2 and 3 are dealt with in greater detail by Matt Villamaino in his articles 1 and 2.

And finally...

DCI Reporter is a very strong program. There are some functions that are quite tricky to implement. I have done my best in this article to enable you to run and report an average Swiss tournament without any problems. This is only a basic introduction to DCI Reporter, though. The more practical knowledge you can get, the better, but you can only get this via experience and practise.

I'd like to thank Kevin Desprez, Alex Charsky, and Jasper Overman for reviewing this article and offering constructive help.

Best of luck!
Thomas Ralph
DCI Level 2 Judge
e-league Level 3 Judge

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