Rules of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame

These rules are here as an official resource for how the Magic Judge Hall of Fame operates. If you are familiar with the workings of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, much of this will seem familiar – and that’s intentional, as the rules were designed to mirror that institution.

The formal rules for the Magic Judge Hall of Fame are as follows:

Eligibility

The following conditions are necessary for a judge to be included on the ballot for a Class of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame:

  • The judge must have originally certified as a Level 1 Judge at least in the year 10 years prior to the year of the ballot.
    • For example, a judge certifying on 31st December 2006 would first be eligible for induction on the 2016 ballot.
  • The judge must have been Level 3 or higher at some point of their judge career.
  • The judge must not be currently suspended from judging or otherwise in bad standing with the judge program.
    • The judge does not have to be currently active to be inducted. Nor do they have to be retired. Both active and retired judges are eligible.
  • A judge who otherwise meets these criteria may be removed from the ballot if they have not received a sufficient proportion of the votes in past years; see Retirement from the ballot, below.

Voting

Each ballot has five slots to nominate judges that the voter feels deserve induction. The voter can use any or all of these slots, or none of them. They may not vote for themselves.

The following conditions are necessary for a person to receive a ballot to vote for a Magic Judge Hall of Fame class:

  • The person must have been Level 3 or higher at some point of a judge career; and/or the person must have held the role of Judge Manager at some stage; and/or the person must be an inducted member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.
  • The person must not be currently suspended from judging or otherwise in bad standing with the judge program.

Tactical voting (that is, not voting for an “obvious” candidate on the trust that others’ ballots will carry them to induction anyway) is allowed, but heavily discouraged. If a voter believes that a candidate deserves induction, they are encouraged to include them on their ballot directly.

Induction

The former ‘Emeritus’ judges are inducted as the first Class of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame, with immediate effect. The term ‘Emeritus’ will be retired.

From each round of voting, the ballots will be tallied and the percentage of ballots featuring each candidate’s name will be calculated. If a candidate also voted, their ballot will be excluded when calculating this percentage.

Any candidate appearing on 40% of ballots or more will be inducted. If a round of voting does not yield any candidate with over 40% of the vote, the most-voted-for candidate will be inducted.

Membership of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame is generally permanent once induction is achieved. It can be terminated either by a) the inductee voluntarily leaving; or b) in the case of serious misconduct, as determined by the Judge Conduct Committee.

Ballot schedule

There will normally be one ballot in each calendar year. See Catch-up ballots, below, for the exceptions.

Alterations to the ballot

In theory, a judge can become eligible for a Hall of Fame ballot as soon as they certify for Level 3. Likewise, a judge’s original certification date could be recorded incorrectly, meaning that they are initially missing from a ballot they are technically eligible for.

In either case, a “missed” judge will not be added to a currently open ballot. Once a ballot list is published, no additions will be made. The judge will instead first appear on the following year’s ballot.

If a judge is included on a ballot in error, they will be removed with immediate effect. Any voter that already voted for them will be contacted with the offer to change their vote.

A judge certifying for Level 3 during a voting window will immediately be eligible to submit a ballot for that window.

Catch-up ballots

Due to the creation of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame occurring only in 2015, the eligible candidates from 2004 and prior have not been voted on. To address this, in 2015 a series of special “catch-up ballots” will be done to cover these early years of the judge program.

The intended schedule for these ballots is laid out below:

  • Voting will open May 1st for judges certified in 1998 and earlier.
    • Voting will close on Friday 19th June at midnight, Pacific time.
    • The 2008 Class of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame will be announced and inducted at the beginning of July.
  • Voting will open August 1st for judges certified in 2001 and earlier.
    • Voting will close on Monday 21st September at midnight, Pacific time.
    • The 2011 Class of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame will be announced and inducted at the beginning of October.
  • Voting will open November 1st for judges certified in 2004 and earlier.
    • Voting will close on Monday 21st December at midnight, Pacific time.
    • The 2014 Class of the Magic Judge Hall of Fame will be announced and inducted at the beginning of 2016.
  • In 2016 there will be two ballots – one for the 2015 Class and one for the 2016 Class.
  • From 2017 there will be one ballot per year.

Retirement from the ballot

To prevent the ballot becoming unwieldy, a retirement mechanism for candidates who do not receive sufficient votes exists.

If a candidate appears on less than 10% of the ballots (excluding their own if appropriate) for three consecutive votes, that candidate will be retired from future ballots.

If a retired candidate is staffed in any capacity for a Pro Tour, the World Magic Cup, or the World Championships, then that will reset their retired status for the next ballot to occur. If on that ballot the candidate polls below 10% and did so in the previous two votes as well, this would cause them to once again be retired.

Accuracy of data

There are many conflicting and incomplete sources of data about judges, particularly from the early days in the 1990s. Whilst we’ve tried very hard to make the data that will determine eligibility correct, we can’t guarantee that it will be. Therefore, we’d ask that, if you feel you might be affected, you check this document showing the present details of all judges that will become Magic Judge Hall of Fame-eligible.

If you believe there is an error in that document – for example if you were a Level 3 Judge at any stage but are omitted from this sheet, or if your Level 1 certification year is incorrect – please contact judgehalloffame@gmail.com with any appeals. Please note that, as mentioned above, once a round of voting has begun, no new additions to the eligible list will be made; instead your name would be added to the following ballot.