Last weekend, I head judged SCG Regionals in (the suburbs of) Philadelphia, which was run by Tales of Adventure. For those who aren’t familiar with SCG’s organized play programs, Regionals are basically a series of $5K tournaments (i.e. awarding a total prize pool of $5,000) that SCG licenses to various tournament organizers around the country. The Philadelphia Regionals was actually part of a two-day event, with Sunday featuring two smaller tournaments that were helmed by two great Northeast judges, Joe Hughto and Dan Collins.
For Regionals proper, we were expecting up to 300 players, but possibly less. So, we hedged our bets during staff selection: we selected eight judges who were guaranteed to be staffed for Saturday, plus two additional judges as “standby.” This meant they would be only be staffed if we reached certain attendance thresholds (280 and 320 players, respectively), but could play for free in the main event if they weren’t needed.
Lo and behold, we ended up with around 350 players — yikes! Obviously, I activated the two standby judges, and then focused on the more pressing problem: finding enough room for everyone! The tournament hall was originally set up for only 336 players, and finding additional tables and chairs was a scramble. Fortunately, Ilan Seid-Green and his team rose valiantly to the challenge (including stealing tables and chairs from the judge area as a stop-gap). Thanks to Ilan and scorekeeper extraordinaire Mike Noss‘ efforts, the tournament was soon underway without too much trouble.
Rather than focus on a simple play-by-play of the event, I’d like to use this article as an opportunity to put you in my shoes. Below, I’ll share some of the most interesting scenarios I encountered. Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to share what you would have done in my place. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
- During your announcements for the player meeting, one of the players interrupts you to complain about how close some of the chairs are to each other. What do you do?
- Midway through the event, a player, “Randy,” comes to report that he can’t find his deck. Your scorekeeper tells Randy the name and current table of his opponent from last round (call him “Blake”). A few minutes later, Randy returns to tell you that Blake had his deck in his backpack. Now what? What questions do you have for Blake?
- How does your answer to the above change if you know that Blake is about 15 years old, and also that his father is playing in the event?
- Sometime during round two, a player finds you to (politely) tell you that she’s having a hard time safely getting to the pairings boards with everyone’s backpacks swinging everywhere, plus it’s hard to find her name when there’s four or five pages of pairings, without any name ranges. Moreover, she wants to know why pairings can’t be posted on Twitter like they normally are “for SCG events.” How do you respond? What actions, if any, do you take?
- Throughout the event, the TO has been distributing foil tokens (a pre-registration reward) at his booth. At the end of the event, the TO tells you that one of his staff members noticed a certain player probably went up to the booth three or four times to receive a token. What do you do?
- On the Monday after the event, you’re playing Standard at your local shop. A friend of yours tells you he also went up to the booth to take several tokens. What do you do now?
- On Saturday, a few people tell you that men have been using the women’s bathroom. What do you do?
- On Sunday (when you’re serving as a team lead), a female spectator finds you and tells you that a guy is currently using the women’s bathroom. How do you proceed?
Check back next week for my thoughts on these situations. Feel free to ask any clarifying questions, and don’t forget to share your answers in the comments!