Enrique naranjo areas where a level 1 judge can improve
Areas where a level 1 judge can improve
Concept of the conference
A lot of people know what to do to become level 1 judge. However, when they get to it, even
though they know which resources they have (Judge App, Judge Wiki, etc.), the may not know
what to do to be more part of the judge program and improve their skills.
The target of this conference is to show a path with some possibilities to improve. I don’t want
either to give more options than necessary. It makes no sense (a new level 1 judge usually
doesn’t need to know how to make an investigation) and it can disorient the judge.
Because of this, the conference has three blocks. When the judge accomplishes the targets of
block one, can easily pass to the block two and then to the block three. Even though, the
blocks are not closed, and if a judge feels prepared, he or she may pass from a block to
Block 1: What is a level 1 judge?
We will discuss which is needed to become level 1 judge, as those requirements may be the
first area to improve.
- Has acted as a judge at a sanctioned event twice in the last six months.
Maybe this is the most important way for improving. Do you want to be a better judge? Then
judge! The best way to learn how to play Magic is playing Magic, and the same with judging.
- Knowing the CR, the JAR and the appropriate sections of MTR
If you are already level 1, you should know already something about this. The JAR and the MTR
are not very complicated. But in the CR there are a lot of “dark sections”, and knowing how
those parts work is as complicated as rewarding. The terrifiying layers, copy effects, split cards
or 2HG are just some of those dark rules.
- Knowledge of tournament structures
A good point to learn is the use of WER. It’s not a complicated program, but many judges
haven’t even touched it, and the Score Keeper (usually the store owner) may need some help.
The most important part of the program is how to create a tournament, print round pairings,
entry slips and put the results and penalties.
Block 2: What we don’t ask to a level 1
Here we are going to talk about other aspects where a judge can improve, but are not required
to become judge.
- Working in Competitive tournaments
This is the next step after “the best way to judge is judging”. We can encourage new judges to
go to PTQ’s, GPT’s, etc. so they can see that judging is far more than knowing game rules.
Some may like it and some not, but the only way to discover that is trying it.
- Knowing IPG
According to my experience, this step is the most difficult for people. IPG is not only a set of
sanctions, but also a whole philosophy and a way of think that we should understand. If not,
this is impossible to study.
The best way to help a candidate with the IPG is speaking with him or her about the sanctions,
make him or her reflex about the reason of the penalties, the fixes, etc. Sometimes this
process is slow, but understanding the philosophy makes the work of studying IPG easier.
- Passing a Rules Advisor exam or a Policy Practise
If a new judge didn’t have the Rules Advisor, he or she can try to get it to force him or herself
to study with a target. Also, there are policy practice that are useful to familiarize with the
exam format and to know which kind of situations can appear in a competitive tournament.
- Writing reviews
There are already some conferences about how important are reviews in the judge center.
Making reviews is important because is the best way we can have information about a judge.
Also, we should talk to the judge who we are going to review to avoid writing something
wrong. And if someone is going to review us, we should be receptive, assume the mistakes we
made and use that review to see where we can get better.
Block 3: the path to the level 2
Last but not least, a level 1 can improve by working to become level 2. We are not going to
detail everything you need to become level 2, since we could probably make a conference with
that. Let’s talk a little bit about it from the point of view of a judge who wants to be better.
- Judge as HJ with another judge
A very important part of the judge program is team work. Because of this, an experienced level
1 should try to be HJ in a tournament with other judges, if possible, one of them a +level2 to
support him or her. If this is not possible, at least try to be HJ of a little tournament, like a GPT
or similar. This will help the judge to see new situations and face new kind of problems.
- Sturdy the MTR
As you can start studying the IPG, you can study deeper the MTR. The greatest part of this
document is focused on Competitive and Professsional REL tournaments, so there is a lot to
Knowing stuff is important, but teach them and be able to evaluate who is ready or not to
become judge is also very important. Helping other judges is also a great way to understand
even more the rules. And also, mentoring is part of being level 2.
- Making deckchecks
When we judge in a Competitive REL tournament, a judge has the duty of prevent and solve
irregularities. There are many things to do, and deckchecks is one of them. They help in two
ways: check deeply the selected decks and you prevent people from doing strange things,
since they see that deckchecks are being made (like taking care with not unsiding if the next
pairing is good).
You can learn how to do deckchecks in a conference (if there is any) or asking a judge who
already knows how to do them (participating in a PTQ, for example).
- Being diplomatic and active
A level 2 judge must not only know about rules. Also, he or she has to be a first reference for
other judges and candidates. Because of this, we ask for level 2 judges to be diplomatic both
with players and TO’s, and we encourage them to participate in the judge community, so
people know you. But participate doesn’t mean to spam in the forum, it means helping in
proyects and giving the community what you can give.