December 2011 Anniversaries

Hi everyone,

It’s judge anniversary time again – December is often a quiet month, but here are the judges who have been with the program for 10 or 5 years!

10 years:

Stephen Metaye, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
Patrick Loukota, Belcamp, Maryland, United States

5 years:

Joel Nerenberg, Burnsville, Minnesota, United States
Fabian Peck, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Russell Heitzmann, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Martial Moreau, Nantes, Ouest, France
Anniek van der Peijl, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Ryan Patterson, St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work!

This month’s featured judge is Anniek van der Peijl from the Netherlands. Regional Coordinator Richard Drijvers writes:

“Anniek has been keen on Magic Rules Knowledge from the first time I met her. Even before she became L1 she was able to explain the rules to others in such a way that they would understand not only the how, but also the why. In my years of experiencing Anniek on the floor I have seen her grow from a somewhat shy pebble being thrown around by the waves to a steady, outstanding rock holding in the surf. Which is why I was very happy to welcome Anniek to Level 2 this past summer. Anniek has really stepped up to her new role, presenting a very interesting seminar about Player Diplomacy during our first BeNeLux Judge Conference last month. She’s also steadily becoming a solid force on the European Grand Prix circuit and will be HJing a PTQ for the first time this weekend. I am sure she will do a great job and continue to impress us all even more! We’re glad to have you on board Anniek!”

I will also take this opportunity to go a little further back in the history of the judge program. The list of certification dates I use only goes back to 1997 and isn’t very accurate, but many veteran judges have contacted me and told me about their start in the program. One of these judges is Theophile Guimbelleaux aka The Mad Hatter, who told me that the first L3 judges were certified back in 1996 and that there were phone interviews. I went digging around and found an early list of Level 3 (or Level III, as they were called back then) judges, which included The Mad Hatter and Scott Larabee, now better known as OP Programs Manager at Wizards of the Coast. Scott says:

“If I recall, we took a rules test. I don’t recall interviews. I think we were given our initial levels from that test based on score and experience at the first 3 Pro Tours. The test I took was administered at PT Columbus 1996. I was told that I received my level 3 at PT Atlanta 1996. At PT Dallas 1996, we started testing and interviewing for levels 1 and 2. I think I tested and interviewed around 15 judges that weekend. The first 5 Level 3’s were: myself, Jeff Donais, Mike Donais, Chris Page and Paul Gerardi.”

Here is the list of early L3 judges from 1996 and early 1997:

Dan Gray (California)
Scott Larabee (California)
Chris Page (Ontario)
Jeff Donais (Ontario)
Mike Donais (Ontario)
David Doust (Georgia)
Mark Morimoto (Hawaii)
Ken Roth (Illinois)
Geoffrey Turi (Massachusetts)
Barratt Moy (Michigan)
Paul Gerardi (New York)
Tony Parodi (New York)
Robert Hall (North Carolina)
Lee McLain (Ohio)
Mad Hatter (Texas)
Karl Batdorff (Utah)
William Edwards (Virginia)
Matt Hyra (Washington)
Beth Moursund (Washington)
Frank Jager (Germany)
Luigi Lo Forti (Italy)
Sergio Borrias (Spain)
Neil Guthrie (Sweden)

Some of these people are still involved with the game in various ways, while others have moved on – but let’s take a moment to thank all of them fortheir pioneering work

Finally, I would like to wish you all Happy Holidays! See you next year!

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