Making Judging Work

The following Document contains information originally provided by Tasha Jamison.

Judging Skills

What do you do when judging that relates to non-Magic activities?


  • Advertising local (regional, national, international) events
  • Representing Wizards of the Coast’s brand

Customer service

  • Answering rules questions
  • Assessing infractions when a rules violation occurs
  • Conflict resolution (of all scales)
  • Crowd control (registration)
  • Emergency response—taking control of (8, 100, 1500) people if emergency situation arises, e.g., medical emergency, fire, et al

Educating self and others

  • Quarterly updates of policy, rules documents
  • Demonstrated knowledge of documents via written exam (RA, L1, L2, L3)
  • Mentoring other judges
  • Seeking mentorship
  • Attending or giving a seminar on related topics


  • Public speaking
  • Team leading
  • Head judging
  • Establishing self as a resource for player community

Organizational skills

  • Planning an event for (8, 100, 1500) players
  • Ensuring appropriate staff is available
  • Ensuring product is available
  • Ensuring retail support is adequate (resupply stock at local store, arrange vendor booths, etc)
  • Managing an event of (8, 100, 1500) players
  • Managing a team of (1, 5, 60) judges

Review of self and others

  • Setting goals for events
  • Evaluating own performance at the event and in general
  • Evaluating others’ performance at events
  • Understanding how to give and receive constructive criticism


How do you put all that on a resume?

Note achievements or responsibilities:

  • “Planned event for 25 people, had 33 in attendance.”
  • “Worked in team of 40 judges to manage event of 900 players.”
  • “Manage weekly event schedule with events (2,4,7) days a week.”

Use action words to demonstrate skills.

Ask others for advice:

  • Ask players, other judges, or coworkers in case you missed key activities or responsibilities
  • Be sure to ask some friends or family members who don’t play Magic

Note the length of time you’ve been judging (or organizing tournaments) — judging can provide continuity in your resume, especially if you’ve worked temporary jobs, switched careers, or had a gap in employment.

Follow general resume-writing advice:

  • Be specific
  • Be concise
  • Leave yourself something to talk about if the activity comes up in an interview
  • Keep this section roughly proportional to other sections of your resume (especially if those sections cover a similar length of time)
  • Take care to note the things likely to be relevant to the position. Working with children? Focus on your skills in small groups and ensuring an age-appropriate environment. Applying for a management position? Focus on your skills in large groups and your leadership skills.


Most jobs that require resumes will conduct interviews, whether over the phone or in person. How should you handle judging (or other Magic activities) in an interview?

Have a short description of Magic, and judging, that you can rely on:

  • “It’s got some elements that are similar to chess and some that are similar to fantasy football.” (Thanks Jeff Darran!)
  • “Judging is a bit like being a coach or referee — I resolve a lot of rules questions, but I’m also available to help people learn the rules and improve their skills. I do most of the event planning and clean-up afterwards, too.”

Have some examples of specific events that demonstrate your skills. You might be asked about:

  • Conflict resolution (between two other people; between yourself and another person)
  • Organizational skills
  • Leadership style

Take care to note the interviewer’s body language:

  • Don’t ramble or overqualify your statements
  • Do take the opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications
  • Don’t dismiss Magic or judging in an interview as “geeky” or “a hobby.”  You cared enough to put it on a resume; take the same matter-of-fact pride that you would in your education, your work history, or your volunteer activities.