Ghoulish Global Highlights from Wave 10 (Exemplar Highlights Project)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! This post will cover both Tricks and Treats, but don’t be scared!

If this is your first time joining me here, welcome to the Exemplar Highlights Project! Otherwise, welcome back!

Before we get into this Wicked Wave 10 article, I wanted to remind everyone what you can expect from this project, and what my goals for this project are. For more information on how to help your region, or join this project, just keep reading. I’d say skip to the final section, but that would be sad and you’d miss all the fun.

I have three main goals for this series:

1. Highlight the exemplary behaviors that judges around the world are exhibiting
2. Encourage others to start their own Highlights Blog in their area/Region
3. Give readers examples of and clues to what are considered “good” recognitions

So what makes a recognition “good”?

If you haven’t read it, Bryan Prillaman put out a wonderful guideline on how to write recognitions. You can find it here. While it goes into deeper explanation of the qualities and has a ton of examples (Seriously, consider re-reading it before each wave, it’s a great resource to keep you on track), the jist of the advice is:

  • Be Specific
  • Make Sure it’s Praiseworthy
  • Be Relevant to the Judge Program
  • Represent the Judge Community in a Positive Light

Another thing to note is that Wave 11 closes 23:59 PST on Nov 1st (check judge apps for timing information for your Time Zone). If you haven’t done so already, submit your recognitions now. Well, go read Bryan’s article, then come back and finish this article, then go submit your recognitions!

Now that we’ve covered/reviewed the basics, it’s time for some Ghoulish Global Exemplar Highlights! Last wave,  I focused on those whose actions affected judges in other Regions. This wave, I wanted to give readers a look into our Exemplar Team, and the kind of recognitions we,the people evaluating recognitions, have learned (and are still learning) to write. They aren’t perfect, let’s be real, no recognition ever is. But they do a great job of hitting on the 4 criteria in our guidelines.

I wanted to make sure I found recognitions that could be used to celebrate both the nominee for doing something exemplary, and the writer of that nomination for being able to articulate their good deed. After each nomination, you’ll see my reasoning, as well as the occasional tip for improving your own nominations.

I’ll start things off with my Angelic recognition of Angela Kraker (L1, USA – Northwest)  in Wave 10:

Nicolette Apraez (L3, USA-Southeast)
Angela Kraker (L1, USA-Midatlantic)

“Angela, You were thrown (only a month or so after certifying for L1) into an investigation workshop meant for Advanced L2 and L3 Candidates. When I found out that you were attending, I was nervous that you wouldn’t be able to get enough out of it to make it worth your while. I was wrong. Not only did you study ahead of time, but you jumped right into the the scenario and just focused on doing your best. You also had some great pieces of feedback for the other participants as the seminars continued. Afterwards, you spoke about how it opened your eyes to the idea of investigations, and made a comment about how even though it was scary, you’ve now got exposure to the investigative process that most judges don’t even become introduced to until they are further in their judge career. This nomination is for not ONLY being a great sport, but for being willing to step outside your comfort zone to receive and give constructive feedback. I love seeing people give feedback up the pipeline, and as a Level 1, that even more impressive. Keep rocking it!”

Why I chose this recognition:

  • Be Specific: I tried to give as much detail as possible without writing a novel. I touched on what situation she was in, included specifics about what exactly she did, and tried to make sure I explained why I felt it was worthy of a recognition. Looking back, I’m not sure it was relevant that I was worried it wouldn’t be worth her while. A recognition can mention improvements if they factor into the exemplary behavior, but should never focus too much on the negative (“You did all these things wrong, but then improved” or “X person messed up and you had to fix it”), I don’t think this crosses that line, but it’s always something to keep in mind, since we want to make sure we are still portraying the judge program in a positive light.
  • Make Sure it’s Praiseworthy:  I tried to answer this in the recognition, but anytime someone is willing to step up and give feedback “up the pipeline” is great. For that person to be an L1, giving feedback to experienced L2s and L3 Candidates, is awesome. And for that feedback to be specific and constructive, is phenomenal.

Takanori Nakamura’s (Level 3, Japan) Hair-raising recognition of Hirofumi Yuba (L2, Japan) in Wave 10:

Takanori Nakamura (Level 3, Japan)
Hirofumi Yuba (L2, Japan)

“レガシー選手権のHJを弓場さんが行った際に、あらかじめ自分でイベントのメンバーがいつ、どのように動くかといったワークシートを作っていました。しかし、現場での調整が必要であることに早く気づき、変更があった際にはチームメンバーへの指示を具体的にしていました。イベントマネージャーからメンバーの入れ替えがあったとしても、このワークシートのおかげで現在誰がイベントに携わっているのかがひと目でわかって良かったです。このやり方は他のHJの方にも参考になると考えます。 ”

TRANSLATION: “As HJ of the legacy championship, Yuba-san made a worksheet on how, when, and where the Judges on the floor of the event moved. However, when he noticed early that on-site adjustments were necessary, he made the changes, and made sure to inform the team members. Even when there were Judge changes from the Event Manager, thanks to this worksheet, it was still easy to see at a glance who was currently engaged in the event and where. I think that this method will be helpful for other HJs as well.”

What makes this recognition awesome:

  • Be Specific:  Reading this recognition, I get the full picture of what Yuba-san did, and why Nakamura-san felt it was exemplary.
  • Relevant to the Judge Program: This nomination is for a judge acting in a judge role, and even touches on the fact that Nakamura-san believes that other judges in the program could benefit from Yuba-san’s planning and flexibility.

    Sophie Pages’s (L3, RC France) Scary recognition of Jordan Baker (L2, USA-North) in Wave 10:

    Sophie Pages (L3, RC France)
    Jordan Baker (L2, USA-North)

    “Jordan, Before GP Vancouver, you posted an incredible topic on the tournament’s forum, to explain in detail how to work with scorekeepers in a GP, detailing penalties on entry slips or roles on every SKs. For judges that arrive on the GP circuit, all this portion of the tournament is really dark, and we dont know who to talk to or where to go to have these informations. This is the first time I saw all this written on a judge forum, and it is something that would gain to be explained on every GP. Coming on GPs the first times is never easy, and having everything on a forum, that can be read before or during the tournament is really helpful and appreciated. ”




    What makes this recognition awesome:


  • Represent the Judge Community in a Positive Light: This recognition highlights a judge going out of his way, and leveraging his role in the event, to help inform and prepare newer judges for the upcoming Grand Prix.
  • Relevant to the Judge Program:: This nomination could be seen as “skirting the line” between being for a Judge action or not (since there plenty of amazing scorekeepers aren’t eligible for Exemplar because they are not certified. However, Sophie makes it incredibly clear that this should be considered relevant to the judge program. She focused on how he posted on a judge forum, and explained exactly how his topic positively affected other judges, and made them more prepared for their next Grand Prix.

    Bogeyman Bryan Prillaman’s (L3, USA-Southeast) recognition of Christopher Langley (L1, USA-Southeast) in Wave 10:

Bryan Prillaman (L3, USA-Southeast)
Christopher Langley (L1, USA-Southeast)

“At SCG Atlanta, Christoper was on my Paper Team. We had a lengthy discussion about Missed Triggers. What I particularly like is that Christoper was trying to understand the core philosophy behind it rather than just asking questions about the edges cases. While it initially didn’t make sense, he kept at it from a fundamentals level until he began to understand it at an intuitive level, and derive the correct outcomes based on the philosophy.”

What makes this recognition awesome:

Be Specific: By this point, Bryan’s read enough of these that he understands the balance between giving so little information that readers have no idea what a recognition is for, and giving so much information that we lost track of the exemplary behavior in all the details. This recognition tells readers (and Chris) what event he’s going to discuss, and what the topic of the conversation was about. At this point in the recognition, it would be easy to jump into exactly what all that “lengthy discussion” included. However, that information isn’t necessary to understand why Bryan felt Chris acting exemplary. He gives enough information to explain his reasoning, and touches on the fact that Chris persisted even when things didn’t click at first, without giving details and saying “You didn’t understand X, Y or Z”. Chris already knows the parts that he originally struggled with, and readers don’t need that information.

  • Make Sure it’s Praiseworthy: When dealing with policy conversations at events, it’s really easy to get sidetracked and forget to return to a conversation after leaving for a call or other duty. It’s also easy as an L1 to try to memorize common interactions rather than rules or policies, but being willing to buckle down and persevere until you understand the underlining philosophy is definitely above and beyond for an L1, especially when dealing with Comp REL policy.

Chris Lansdell’s (Level 3, Canada) Chilling recognition of Liz Richardson (L1, USA-Midatlantic) in Wave 10:

Chris Lansdell (Level 3, Canada)
Liz Richardson (L1, USA-Midatlantic)

“When it was agreed that I would be working as one of the judge managers for GP Toronto, Liz was one of the first people to whom I reached out to be on staff for the event. I have grown accustomed to her unbelievable energy level and her unmatched customer service skills, and they alone are well above what would be expected of any judge regardless of level. What Liz brought to our event was so much more than I could have expected. Along with the mood-lifting energy and customer service brilliance, Liz was instrumental in keeping both the scorekeeping and registration teams together and on task. She came in early, stayed late, did at least three different jobs, helped both the registration and scorekeeping lead get a handle on what needed to be done, provided feedback to everyone who asked for it, and seemed unflappable. I didn’t think it was possible for my respect for Liz to go up any more…I was wrong.”

What makes this recognition awesome:

  • Be Specific: Chris touches on his general expectations of Liz, but also goes on to explain how she exceeded those high expectations, and cites examples to back up his claim.
  • Represent the Judge Community in a Positive Light: While coming in early and staying late are not always things we want to encourage other judges to do (one of the reasons you don’t see a lot of, “you worked through your break” or “you cancelled your daughter’s birthday party to come judge” recognitions get published, Chris does a great job of focusing on the positivity, helpfulness, and willingness to give feedback that he believed made Liz an example to be followed.

Andre Tepedino’s (L3, Brazil) Thrill-filled recognition of Pedro Mathies Viela (L2, Brazil) in Wave 10:

Andre Tepedino (L3, Brazil)
Pedro Mathies Viela (L2, Brazil)

“The rough definition of an exemplary action is something that’s good for the community that people could take as an example and incentive to better themselves. By organizing a local conference in Porto Alegre, you have done all that: our region has similar number of judges, but I was always discouraged that number wasn’t enough – a misconception due to only experiencing large-scale conferences. You didn’t let it stop you, organizing a conference in Porto Alegre where the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, when it came to organization, content and overall satisfaction. With that, you have reignited my wish to do it in my region as well. Thank you for setting an example I can follow, that I want to follow and that will be good for my community as it was for yours. I know it was a lot of work, and I know it was worth the work.”

What makes this recognition awesome:

  • Be Specific: It’s clear what this recognition is for, and why Andre believed it was exemplary.  Andre did choose to focus on what organizing the conference meant or him and the region, but reading this I do wish there was at least one specific example of what part of the organization or content received that positive feedback Andre mentioned. Even without that detail though, the recognition still has plenty of information to encourage others to follow in Pedro’s footsteps.
  • Relevant to the Judge Program: Recognitions do not have to be tied to a specific tournament. Judge conferences contribute immensely to the overall sense of community within a region, as well as give excellent opportunities for judges to network and pool knowledge.

    Hans Wang’s (L3, RC China) Wicked recognition of Janit Mindis (L2, Hispanic America – South) in Wave 10:

Hans Wang (L3, RC China)
Janit Mindis (L2, Hispanic America – South)

“Janit, when in Friday in Vegas, you was the coordinator for all the standard in the LCTs. With the preparation you already made, you were also able to take care of all the DCs when we found there were actually not many STDs will be fired. You reacted to the change immediately, told your team what should do, and even able to change back to the role of STD coordinator when we had our first STD LCT. That was really impressive. Thank you.”

What makes this recognition awesome:

  • Be Specific: This recognition tells us what the event in question is. What Janit’s role was. What she did in that role, and what was exemplary about those actions and behaviors. I’d change two small things about this nomination, but over all I think it does a great job of highlighting Janit. One, I’d add an example of the Prep she originally did for Last Chance Trails. And Two, to actually type out Last Chance Trails the first time. Almost all judges know that DC stands for Deck Checks, but “LCT” is really only used at Grand Prix since stores used to know them as “Grand Prix Trials”, and I know when I first starded judging Grand Prix, we almost exclusively called them “Grinders”. Spelling it out that first time automatically increases the number of judges that can read this recognition and understand exactly what it is that Janit did, and how they can follow her example.
  • Make Sure it’s Praiseworthy: Han’s touches on prep Janit did for her TL role, the flexibility she exhibited when standard Last Chance Trails weren’t launching, and the leadership it must have taken to motivate a group of judges to change roles and accomplish more rather than just relaxing and saying “I guess it’s going to be an easy day!”, and the event awareness to be able to switch back once a Standard LCT did launch.

Want to help with this Wizardry?

Nicolette Apraez (L2, Georgia)
Nicolette Apraez (L3, Georgia)
  • Submit Supernatural Exemplar Recognitions! (Don’t forget the wave closes November 1st!)
  • Ask your local blog/poster if they need any additional help! (Daily posts can be very hard to keep up on and having another person to split responsibility means they won’t have to worry about finding a way to post while they are flying to a foreign Grand Prix or chaperoning their son’s school dance.
  • Don’t have a local project? START ONE! Many regions use FB, Slack, or have a community blog. Not sure where to start? Feel free to contact me for help. Below you can find a list of the current regional highlights projects we are aware of. Did we miss your blog? Let me and let me know so we can add you to our record for future posts!
  • Spoiler Alert! I do not speak every language on Earth. Since my goal is to highlight judges from around the world, I could certainly use some help! This might mean picking out or helping to translate recognitions that are not in English, contacting a nominating judge for additional information about a particularly interesting or positive nomination, or simply letting me bounce ideas off you from time to time!

List of Eerie Exemplar Highlights Projects:

Area Lead Link to Blog
Australia Gareth Pye  Video Blog/Podcast Chatter of Judges
BeNeLux Jonas Drieghe and Jona Bemindt
Brazil Eder Carvalho and Nicolau Maldonado
Europe – East Vladimir Trajcevski
Europe – North Lars Harald Nordli
France Emmanuel Gutierrez Available on the French Forums
German Speaking Countries Rene Oberweger
USA – Central Nick Gajary Recognitions on Facebook / Slack
USA – Mid Atlantic Erik Aliff Available on Slack