Program Coordinator Travel Diary – Issue #4

Dear judges, welcome to the fourth chapter of our “Travel Diary”. You can find the links to the previous chapters at the end of this page.

The search for new pages of the Program Coordinator travel diaries proved to be more difficult than expected.

It appears that they didn’t follow the same path, so we had to choose only one of them. In one of the recent official announcements, the Program Coordinators communicated to the judge community that each of them would have focused their efforts on a specific area, and we decided to follow the path of Maintenance and Quality.

Our scouts have identified documents about different projects, and decided to put together information about one project every time they would return to our base. In addition, they say that they are finding notes about “what the judge program is”, and are collecting and deciphering them.


Today, they will share with us their discoveries about the 2018 article update and about two approaches to judging.


PROJECT: 2018 article update

Have you ever wanted to study a topic and become an expert? All of us went to school, and we had books and organized lessons. Many of us went to university, and we had a series of exams, with defined programs and books.What about judging?

There are many great tools online, you can be sure, and they are really able to teach you next to everything in order to become the best judge of the world (at least in theory).

… BUT …

There are two difficulties, which I want to describe to you with two simple questions:

  • I want to find, study and learn everything about…. the feature matches at Grand Prix and Pro Tour events! Can I just Google “feature matches at Grand Prix and Pro Tour”?

  • I found an article that seems excellent, but it says that it was written in 2014! Can I be sure that all this great information is updated?



Well, actually, indeed, how can I say it, let me think, I should check, well, I think…. NO and NO.

Ouch, what a great pity!

It would be better if we could have a way to answer YES and YES to these two questions, right?

OK, these are the two goals of the “2018 Magic judge article update” project, which will take place between September and December 2018.

It won’t be a crucial change in how we judge, as it’s just a little project, but I count it will be a small but appreciated improvement for all those who will be looking for study materials online.

You can find more information and you can join the project here.


JUDGE PROGRAM: Why are you judging?

This is probably one of the most interesting questions that I could ask you, and, if you stop and think about it, if you think about why you are dedicating so much time to this activity, the answer can be very deep.

I actually wrote an article with my own answers.

Today, I want to simplify it, and I want to speak to you about the two extremes.


One very big categories of judges are the people who “simply like it”.

It’s a hobby, it’s a great game, it’s a pleasure to be part of the Magic community in a way that is different from playing only.

These judges find satisfaction in volunteering their time to assist their communities in local stores and online, they are the reference for rules situations and they are also a good help in running small tournaments.



Another main category of judges are the people who view judging as a job.

Judging is a freelance job, exactly like working in conventions, concerts (this is actually one of my favourite parallels when I explain what I do), logistics companies, and many other similar jobs.

These judges are professionals, with very high technical skills, remarkable customer service, significant interpersonal skills and professional attitude, and may have experience in international environments.

Like students who worked hard to complete their university studies and like professionals who make continuous efforts to keep their knowledge updated and their skills to the top level, these judges have walked a tough path that brought them to a very high level of expertise.

Wait, these two descriptions are so different, which one is the correct one?

The answer is simple, BOTH are correct.

Each of you, depending on the time you want to dedicate, to the efforts you want to make, to the opportunities that life offers you… chooses the approach YOU prefer.

No approach is wrong; the “correct” approach is the one that you feel is the best for you.


… and here ends our fourth reading of the travel diary.

We peeked at the next pages, and it seems like our next article will be about three connected projects: L3 maintenance, L3 evaluation and L3 demotion.


Previous chapters of the Travel Diary:

Chapter 1 – Pirates!

Chapter 2 – Santa Claus!

Chapter 3 – Star Wars!