Judge Program Status – Winter 2017

Hello and Happy Holidays! Winter 2017 is coming to an end and here we have some exciting news about the Judge Program.

Every quarter, we offer you an update with what has happened in the program and what are the Program Coordinators’ goals for the next quarter.

Changes in the Spheres structure

New Social Media and Web Platforms Sphere leader: Jack Doyle
First and foremost, a big thanks to David de la Iglesia, former leader of the Sphere. He did an excellent job during his time as leader of the Sphere.
Let’s give Jack a warm welcome! Jack has been a great asset in this Sphere since its creation and now it’s time for him to take the lead and make it even better than it is.
You can see the details of the Sphere here.

New Judge Conduct Committee Sphere leader: Cristiana Dionisio
While Johanna Virtanen has successfully led this Sphere for two years, at the beginning of the summer, she was ready to share her expertise with other parts of the program beginning with the new year. Johanna and the PCs have spent several months running the selection process for the new leader of the JCC and chose Cristiana Dionisio to lead the Sphere. Thank you Johanna for serving the program in this vital, and behind the scenes role.
We’re positive Cristiana is the best candidate to lead one of the most complicated and delicate Spheres in the program. She brings years of experience serving as a GP Head Judge and Regional Coordinator to this new and challenging role.
You can see the details of the Sphere here.

Changes in the structure of the Levels Sphere
Three months ago, we announced the merging of the former L1 and L2 Sphere and the L3 testing Sphere into a single Sphere. During this time, we’ve worked on creating a structure that allows coordination and flexibility in the Sphere.
The resulting structure is the creation of 4 major projects inside the Sphere:
L1 project, led by Bryan Prillaman.
L2 project, led by Alfonso Bueno.
L3 project (includes L3 certification), led by Matteo Callegari.
Exams content, led by Louis Fernandes.

You can also find details about the other existing Spheres here.

We would also like to remind you the existence of the Organization Chart we’re slightly changing the way it works, instead of releasing a new chart every 6 months, we’ll updated it as needed always hosting the file under the same link: HERE.

This way we won’t need to wait for the next update to make any changes.
If you observe any error or missing project, please let us know at mail-the-pcs@googlegroups.com, we’ll forward it to Zohar Finkel, the creator of and person responsible for the Chart.

Summary of Advanced Roles rotations
A new class of Program Coordinators was announced in October.
A new class of Regional Coordinators was announced in October and in exceptionally in January.
Application for GP Head Judge is ongoing and results will be announced in January 2018.
Spring 2018 application for Program Coordinator is ongoing and results will be announced at the end of March 2018. Riki Hayashi concluded his term as of January 1st, and we thank him for his contribution.

Rules Lawyer promotional card
As a “Thank You” to Judges for their dedication to the game, Wizards is providing a Promotional version of the Unstable card: Rules Lawyer. This card will be available to conference and mini-conference attendees the first half of 2018. If you want information about conferences in your area, or want to organize one, please contact your Regional Coordinator.

Judge Exams moved into JudgeApps
After several months without access to the Judge Center, the Judge Program has decided to take over the judge tests. This will be a tremendous effort for everyone involved, but we believe that this will lead to better exams. These are necessary to improve our training and testing and to maintain and improve our quality of service to the players.
Check the available exams here.

The project of the Season: Exams on judgeApps.

Well… we just mentioned this above, but this project really deserves the highlights of this article. There are two main parts in this project, the first one is creating the software needed to host the questions, edit and review them, create the actual tests, print them, etc. This is a bunch of work made by Dan Collins and Paul Baranay.
The second part of this project is the creation of the questions for the test; this may look like an easy job… but far from it. We were surprised by the huge amount of details and effort it takes. This part of the project is led by Louis Fernandes. Louis and his team are preparing, reviewing and editing the content for all the exams. A big thank you to the entire team for volunteering their time to this important work for the program.

The project contributors of the Season
There are many other judges contributing to different aspects of the program. We would like to highlight a few people doing awesome in their projects. We know there are many, many, many more judges going above and beyond in their volunteer contributions to projects, and we will be featuring more judges in the future issues of the Status of the Judge Program articles.

Michael Arrowsmith, for his time as lead of the Judge of the Week project.​ There are many judges dedicating their time to the program and they deserve being highlighted.
Ronald ThompsonJudge Anniversaries project, Project Manager. It’s important recognizing experience and dedication to the judge program.
Jack Doyle for his work in the Social Media and Web Platforms Sphere. We do lot of stuff, but if we don’t manage to communicate it properly, judges around the world won’t get access to it.
Edwin Zhang for the JTQ Project. In many areas there’s a player’s community that would allow a PPTQ, but there is no L2, this project allows training for judges in isolated areas.
Johanna Virtanen for her leading of the JCC. We need to keep the judge program safe and welcoming for everybody.
​Hao Du for helping with the judge blogs software. In the blogs, there is information that will help us all to become better judges.
Joe Klopchic for Knowledge pool. Great tool to improve your judge skills.
Sashi Kumar for helping with the judge staff photos at many, many GPs. When you see the staff photos on facebook, don’t you think “I wish I could be there”?
Louis Fernandes for leading the Exams content in JudgeApps. One of the main priorities in the judge program, at the moment.
Matteo Callegari for coordinating the L3 testing. The keeper of the third level.
Hans Wang for the Announcements translation team. When Program Coordinators need to speak to the program, this project facilitates our voice to be understood.
Dan Collins for creating the Exams tool in JudgeApps. As we said before, one of the main priorities in the judge program, at the moment.

Focus of the Program Coordinators in 2018

After consulting with the Level 3 judges, we determined the main topics we are going to focus on 2018:

· Re-evaluation of the level system: starting from the current structure of the Magic organized play, we will review the definition of the different levels of judges (skills, requirements, opportunities, maintenance), we will evaluate the first two years of existence of the advanced roles (and the respective selection committees and leads), we will consider the possibility of badges/certifications in addition or instead of the levels, and we will explore alternative structures in systems that resemble the Magic judge program.
· Quality and level maintenance: in parallel with the re-evaluation of the level system and also based on the respective choices, we will put a much higher focus on quality, in different areas: training systems, focus on feedback, maintenance requirements…
· Projects structure: we will increase the attention on the most important areas of the judge program for what concerns the non-tournament activities, analyzing the current “Spheres”, the independent projects and the areas that might need a higher attention.
· Role of Program Coordinators / Leadership of the judge program: Program Coordinators were initially defined as “invisible air traffic controllers”, they now moved to a group of much more visible and present leaders of the Magic judge program, with the goals of determining the direction and the values of the judge program and giving support to the areas that are considered the most important to develop.