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Trial for Grand Prix Detroit (Maryland) - Head Judge Report

Paul Morris

Grand Prix Trial: Detroit
Format:Onslaught Block Constructed (7 swiss rounds with a top 8)
Site: Dream Wizards, Rockville, Maryland
Tournament Organizer: Laurel Chiat
Date: July 5th, 2003
Attendance: 79
Head Judge: Paul Morris (Level 1)
Other Judges: Tom Fowler (Level 1)
Scorekeeper: Caroline Foreman (Level 1)
Winner: Matthew Tatar

Cari and I arrived on site about an hour before the tournament was scheduled to begin. Cari began setting up the scorekeeper's station and entering the players into the DCI reporter as they registered. I surveyed the room and set out table numbers to support 60 players. Since Cari and I work together on a regular basis, we each know exactly what the other person needs to accomplish. We expected somewhere between 40-50 players for this tournament. When we broke the sixty-player mark, I set up more positions to support up to 84 players. Tom Fowler joined the event staff at this point. He graciously offered to help judge the event when he saw the unexpected turnout (he was originally going to play).

The tournament flowed smoothly, although we did have more questions than normal owed largely to the fact that Scourge was legal. Unfortunately, a significant number of players showed up with "Mono White Control" decks. Every round of the seven swiss rounds required 5 extra turns and one of the semi finals matches almost reached the 90-minute mark.

The only penalties of any substance assigned at the tournament were the result of illegal main deck and sideboard registration. Deck checks were conducted during the second and third rounds on the individuals who had apparent problems with their deck lists and their opponents. In subsequent rounds, deck checks were conducted at random.

Beyond the normal slew of questions from Astral Slide players regarding end of turn effects and how triggered abilities stack when a player cycles, the players seemed to have problems with one other mechanic/rule. Several players I encountered during the day asked about how Storm works.

"If my opponent Stifles my Wing Shards, and then I play Dispersal Shield on
his Stifle, do I get two more copies?"

"If I play two spells followed by a Wing Shards, and then my opponent plays
Hindering Touch, how many extra copies of Hindering Touch does he get, 3 or

Storm checks on the number of spells 'played'
before the spell with Storm is put on the stack

"If I counter my opponent's Wing Shards, does he still get the copies from

It seemed to me that a fair number of players didn't really understand the
mechanic and as such, this is worthy of note.

All in all, the tournament ran very smoothly. It certainly helps to have
the wonderful assistance of two very competent staff member. Cari and Tom
did an outstanding job, and I could not have handled the tournament without
them. As a side note, I have the opportunity to work with the same judges
on a regular basis and find that close teamwork among the staff of an event
really improves the event's quality. I would like to thank John Carter and
Laurel Chiat for cultivating a great local judge talent.

Paul Morris, kuranes@comcast.net

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