Started: August 1996
Role: Event leadership, judge and community development
Jaap started playing in 1994 and organizing and developing the local community in 1996 in Enschede, a university town in the east of the Netherlands.
Jaap certified at one of the first opportunities in Europe, alongside Pro Tour Hall of Famer Bram Snepvangers. From there Jaap started his career as a judge in his home town.
The drive for organizing events as well as judging was simple: in Jaap’s eyes there was much room for improvement and he was determined to make that happen.
Jaap was a driving force in increasing professionalism at national events, translating that soon after to Grand Prix and the Pro Tour. As GPs started to grow in size, the need to organize judges more efficiently was evident. The term “tournament logistics” was developed during that period and much of the things invented then are now common practice in the largest Magic events in the world.
Jaap’s motto was always “improvement”. For judges this meant improvement on a personal level, using judging as a way to find a challenge in not only doing what you like, but also in getting better at it. He paved the way in constructive feedback on judges by judges, a standard at large events. Many judges are still inspired by this fantastic aspect of judging at MTG events.
Together with fellow Hall of Fame First class member Sheldon Menery, Jaap kicked off the modern investigation committee, the committee that followed up on investigation of disqualifications after events. This resulted in an improved process which provided more consistent and quicker resolution for players and community.
Jaap has been a senior judge at many Pro Tours and Grand Prix. He led some of the most challenging events in history, such as the first European 700+ player event (with only 6 certified judges – GP Lisbon 1999); Pro Tour London 2005 with the metro bombing happening the day before the event start; Pro Tour Valencia 2007 where the venue was flooded the day before the event; and Worlds Paris 2006 which was a record breaking event for the number of unique players and judges during the weekend.