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rickie_g
06-26-2012, 11:08 AM
im looking to expand my judging skills an maybe meet some other judges and so on and was looking to try judge nationals (united kingdom) and eventually move up the ranks a little bit is there anyone who can tell me where i can sign up for the chance to judge nationals and is there somebody out there who will be willing to help me out a bit if i do go to judge sort of like a mentor to help me in my early days of judging. i know the rules and and comfortable making rulings, just need a helping hand with what knowing my role as a level 1 at events, where i need to be and judging etiquette and such.
i would be most grateful for anyone's help even if its just a point the right way. and if you think ive missed something out like something else i could need to know about judging then let me know.

thank you in advance to all who help.

Shirik
06-27-2012, 08:58 PM
Any staff calls would be posted in this forum, and have an application window. I would suspect the EUCC one has already expired, as they are usually done several months in advance, but I wouldn't have been looking for it myself. The staff call would explain the application process in detail.

All judges are judges, period. There will be no "level 1" or "level 3" stamped on your shirt, and there are no rank insignia. Your role would depend on what team you're assigned to and what the event is, but it generally involves something along the lines of making rulings (obviously), running side events, performing deck checks, running paper, etc. Nobody would expect you to know the answer to every question you get asked at your first event, too. That's why we have a head judge and an appeal system.

While you wouldn't really have an "assigned" mentor, lately there have been judge seminars, and some judges (including myself) also take it upon themselves to eat up some of the downtime by training the newer judges. I will bring a list of questions to quiz other judges, and I expect you to get some, if not most, of them wrong. If you get it right, I will probably try to trick you into changing your answer by asking followup questions a player might ask. But it's not to prove that you don't know what you're doing, it's to help you train. In my opinion, the best way to learn is through these pop quizzes. And they're fun, too. Except when Jenn confiscates my question and says I can't ask it anymore :( (true story from NACC 2012). Apparently getting to watch judges squirm is not a good enough justification to ask that question.

Joking aside it's a great experience for all. You get to meet a lot of new people whom you will probably stay in contact with, and get to go to some interesting places. You will also definitely leave the event with far more knowledge about the game than you came with. But most importantly you're supporting the community.

P.S. If you want some advice, before your first major event, be sure to review the penalty guidelines. You will be trained on how to issue penalties, but actually figuring out what penalty to issue is probably the most common thing I see newer judges struggling with. Of course, nobody expects you to have the penalty guidelines memorized word for word at your first event. But having a general understanding of them before you come will go a long way.

strawdonkey
06-28-2012, 04:15 AM
Hey Rickie,

Over on Zapped Giants Lizii was asking a similar thing here: http://www.zappedgiants.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3223

Ray Fong (one of a select few L2+ judges in the UK) was offering similar advice - study your penalty guidelines! These are very important to know, and while you can make rules judgements, you need to know the penalty guidelines too else you will be unable to effectively enforce tournament policy.

IIRC the only two L2+ judges in the UK are Ray Fong and Rob Hooley, though I'm not sure if Rob has got round to taking his L2 yet.

You're in Ipswich, right? If you're free this Saturday come along to the Zapped Giants Open in Colchester and get your name on the judge list, even if you're playing too. The event won't be super-serious but the more experience you get the better, and hopefully the turnout will be big enough to need a few helping hands judge-wise.

The next big event in the UK is currently unknown - but if Realms is anything to go by then whoever hosts the tournament will also be involved in sourcing judge staff. That will be your best opportunity to get some big-event experience under your belt, you'll probably end up working with an L2 judge too.

As for your own personal judge level - a judge is a judge is a judge. Not being L2 does not make you an inferior judge; you are qualified and able to judge any event you wish to turn your hand to. Being an L2 judge is a huge leap from L1 - it's not just passing an easy online test any more, it involves knowledge of player management, penalty guidelines and so forth - and also involves potential mentoring of other judges.

Get in touch with Ray or Rob for advice, get some events under your belt and don't be concerned with your judge level for now :)