Welcome to Level 2: Europe – East

You made it. You’re a Level 2 judge – congratulations!

If you haven’t read the “Welcome to Level 2” letter, you should (don’t worry, it’s much shorter and nicer than the IPG).

With great power comes great responsibility

You’re a Level 2 judge. That’s twice as many levels as a Level 1 judge and formally you know 2.5 more documents than they do. That said, it’s important to remember that your attitude to Level 1s should be less like a boss and more like a big brother (Think of “Europe – East” like a very big happy family). Don’t forget that some Level 1s have a lot of knowledge and experience, and just chose not to go down the Competitive REL path for their own reasons.

Knowing the good people of our region, you probably knew that already, but as a judge you interact with other people who are not other judges. With your increased involvement in the competitive scene, you’ll encounter Tournament Organizers, Scorekeepers and, on some occasions, Magic: The Gathering™ players. To people outside the Judge Program, judge levels usually seem like judge ranks and it’s important you help them understand that they are more of formal knowledge levels than hierarchy markers.

What are your powers and responsibilities?

  • Judging Competitive REL events (power): you can now officially judge at Competitive REL events. You probably did that already at least once or twice, but now it’s official. You are also more likely to be accepted to judge PPTQs, WMCQs, and the holy grail: Grand Prix tournaments! If you’re a bold one, you can accumulate some experience and then dip your toe into team leading or head judging at those events. It’s scary at first, but it grows on you.
  • Judging Competitive REL events (responsibility): the competitive scene in your area and around the world relies on Level 2 judges. They make most of the Competitive REL judging staff, and without them, running Competitive REL events would be much harder. While competitive events rely on Level 2s, they’re not always easy to find. Make sure you judge Competitive REL events and are available for your Tournament Organizers and players. Besides, if you don’t judge often enough, you may lose your edge.
  • Read a lot (responsibility): a new version of the CR, the MTR and IPG is released with each set, and the Banned & Restricted list gets updated from time to time as well. You’re expected to be up to date with all the documents. Making a bad ruling is never fun, and even less so in a competitive setting where players are more, well… competitive.
  • Certifying Level 1 judges (power): you probably know it because you needed a Level 2 to become a Level 1 judge yourself, but now you have the power to certify new Level 1s. Use this power carefully. The Level 1 judges you certify today are the ones you’ll have to work with in the future, and they are the face of the Judge Program just like you. Make sure you choose the right people. Check out the Level 1 Judge Certification Checklist for more information.
  • Review other judges (responsibility): people don’t always know what they have done right and where they can improve. Reviewing other judges helps the Judge Program to remain healthy by letting judges know what they can do better and reinforce the good skills they already possess. Try not to think of it as a chore, but as a way to push the Judge Program forward.
  • Nominating for Exemplar recognitions (power): as a Level 2, you can nominate people for Exemplar recognitions. You should really read the dos and don’ts before you submit one.
  • Creating tests on the judge center (power): new tests are available for you to create on the Judge Center. Cool, right?

Getting more involved

In addition to the responsibilities that are expected from you, there are ways for you to do more. These are completely voluntary, but they help the Judge Program and, when done properly, are very satisfying.

So, what else can you do?

  • Mentoring: you’ve reached your goal to become a Level 2 judge, and you probably didn’t do it alone. Mentoring is a crucial part in helping new judges improve and become better at their job. A good mentor provides the help and knowledge needed, and can make the difference between a simple judge and a great one. Mentoring is not always easy, but it can be fun and a very rewarding experience.
  • Presenting at judge conferences: it’s true that it’s not really a new thing. But being a Level 2 means that you’ve done some work and invested some effort, so you probably have a thing or two to share from what you’ve learned along the way.
  • Be involved in projects: this too was not restricted before, but some roles within the projects were. There are some great projects out there and great ones within the region too.
  • Advance to Level 3: Read everything you need to know about the Level 3 Advancement Process.

Enjoy your new status!

And use it wisely…