Themes in Review Writing

The following Document contains information originally provided by Riki Hayashi

Reviews are the lifeblood for improving. They help the people you’re reviewing and they also help yourself.

Tips for writing Reviews

  • Get the DCI number of the person you’re reviewing.

How to use the review center

  • Log in, top right it has a lot of categories.
  • “Create” an evaluation.
  • Level 2 or higher can create an “interview”

What is the easiest review to write?

  • Self-review, Prerequisite for L3. You learn a lot from reflection and this is a good way to learn and track progress.

Don’t write a review when you only have things for the “needs improvement box” or the “strengths” box.

“Hallmark Card”

  • A “Thank You” card – it says a lot. Show how they helped you learn as a judge. It’s simple and it helps the judge you’re reviewing know that what they’re doing is right. Point out the small things.
  • It also makes you realize the things that they’re doing so you can learn from them. It pays good experiences forward.

“Role Call”

Reviews give you a record that you were somewhere. You can’t remember all the events you’ll work in your judging career. Reviews help you remember where you’ve gone and things you might have forgotten.

Allows you to keep track of the judges working the event and the players in the event. Helps you gauge future events and keep track of the past.

“Job Evaluation”

The “meat” of the review.

You’re not going to have experience in everything and these will help you and others point out those areas and help you improve.


You have to watch people do something. Don’t write a review based on hearsay. When there is a call on the floor and someone else gets there first – stick around, you might learn something. This is called “shadowing”


Did they get the questions right/wrong? Learn from their knowledge and their mistakes.


When you’re going to write a review of someone, don’t blindside them. Talk to the judge and figure out their side of the story; you could have misinterpreted what happened and you need to make sure you know why they handled the situation the way they did.

What impact does your review have?

You’ll get further talking to a judge in person for some stuff than just writing a review about it. Example, is telling a judge to show more confidence. If you tell them how to change or improve their level of confidence it can prevent a snow-ball of problems.

Rules and Policy

There are tons of sites and resources available to everyone. When you’re explaining how to do something better, if someone else has already written about it, you could pass that information on to help your fellow judges. Share the articles your read.

“The Carrot Review”

When writing reviews; suggest other events for people to judge and help put them in contact with those who can sign them up to judge the events. Help get others interested in judging more events.

Judging is about community! Even if you’re not familiar with an area, you can still direct them to someone who is. Help them get the resources to continue their judging. Give yourself a “Carrot” to follow. Set goals for yourself. Keep track of your journey to achieve your goals and share those with others so you can pass on the information you’ve learned.

Judging will always be a learning experience for everyone in all aspects. Reviews are a good way to reflect, share experiences and allow growth in not only your judging community but your magic community in general.