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J.S.S. Challenge (Rockville, Maryland) - Judge Report

Martha Lufkin

Junior Super Series Challenge
Format: Standard
Site: Dream Wizards, Rockville, Maryland
Date: January 19, 2003
Attendance: 78
Judges: Paul Morris, level 1, Head, Martha Lufkin, level 1, Head Scorekeeper: Cari Foreman
Winner: Daniel Logan, (Sligh)

When the store owner/tournament organizer emailed me with an invitation to judge a Junior Super Series Challenge I thought, "That sounds like fun!" When I arrived at the store last Sunday morning I began to have second thoughts.

Dream Wizards has a large tournament area, and soon-to-be-appointed Head Judge Paul Morris was putting out table signs for 90-plus pairs (!). At nine the line of entrants already stretched halfway down the store. In what seemed like no time at all we were sending a runner to the back room for more D.C.I. cards.

Registration was scheduled from 9:00 to 10:00, and the last few sat down to fill out their deck registration lists shortly after that. We went around from table to table explaining which cards were Type 2 Legal ("no, you'll have to find a substitute for the Penumbra Wurm") and what a sideboard was. Our scheduled head judge called in (overslept) but by then we had a volunteer (thanks, Cari) manning the laptop, 78 boys entered, and were ready to go.

Round one started smoothly, with a few early questions like, "Can he really block my attacker and then tap the blocker and use its ability?" Since this was REL 1, we gave out cautions for advice offered by onlookers, drawing too many cards after a mulligan, and the like.

As the day wore on we began to make up for the slow start. Players were getting used to signing and turning in the tournament results. Looking back it seems as if the problems that arose were probably typical of JSS Challenges. There was one loud argument over life totals (yes, we did announce that they should have some method of keeping track). One boy didn't notice for three rounds that he and his opponent had mixed up the win/loss results for their match when they recorded it. One youngster dropped his 150 card deck, mixing it with cards he'd just bought and needed to see his decklist to sort it out. Then he did it again. Before the final round one player read the standings list as the pairings list and played the wrong opponent.

I was asked about Mirari's Wake and Adakar Wastes ("that the land produced", not "could produce").

There was a question of Cloning a pro-Blue creature.

One deck check produced two illegal decks: a failure to de-sideboard from one player and a sixty-card deck with an extra land instead of the black spell indicated on the deck list, plus a sixteen card sideboard [legal list] with the missing black spell as the extra card.

After seven rounds we were down to a very business-like top eight and had decided on our Best Sportsman. Our T.O., Laurel Chiat, had provided great support, as well as food and drink. As a relatively new judge I found the JSS Challenge to be a rewarding experience. The parents were appreciative. The rules questions were for the most part straightforward, boosting my confidence. And I've already signed up to do it again next month.

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