Hello there Judges!
Welcome to another new series of Special Features on Judge of the Week, Level 4+ judges!
This week we have L4 Christopher Richter from Madison, Wisconsin! Don’t miss this opportunity to check out what’s happening with this high level Judge!
Name: Christopher Richter
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Judge start date:
L1: May 2001
L2: May 2002
L3: June 2004 US Nationals in Kansas City.
L4: September 2011 at PT Philadelphia.
Why did you become a judge?
In the early 2000s I was a stay at home Dad with my twin infant daughters. I spent some time online on various forums learning the rules and eventually answering rules questions. I got pretty good at it and several people asked me if I was a judge. I eventually decided that I may as well try to become a judge and found out I really enjoyed it.
Occupation: Video/Media producer director with the City of Madison
Favorite card: Kor Skyfisher
Least favorite card: This one varies from time to time, right now, Desecration Demon
Favorite format: Draft.
Commander general: None, I’ve never played. I don’t play constructed formats.
Favorite non-Magic Game: Various console video games, RPGs or first person shooters.
Best tournament result: I’ve top 8ed a few 100 player sealed events.
How did you become a L4?:
Throughout the years I’ve been involved with a lot of different projects and initiatives. I’ve written many articles for websites and magazines on the rules and policy. I’m perhaps still best known as the ‘Ask the Judge’ author on Starcity Games‘ website for just over four years. I was also the initial RC for the Midwest region of the US. I think those efforts and how I generally try to make judging fun made me the L4 I am today.
What’s it like being a L4? What would you like the community to know about being L4 is like?
It’s very rewarding and often very time consuming. I find myself wishing I had more time to be able to devote to additional judge program activities and L4. So overall it’s great, but can be exhausting at times.
How does it feel to be a role model for your community? How do you use this to improve the judging community?
It can be very humbling to be considered a role model. I see things to emulate and admire in all sorts of people, so I don’t see myself as role model in general. I am aware of how high level judges are seen as role models, so I try to make myself available to other judges as much as I can. I also try to make sure that I’m still seen as doing all of the other things that judges do and that I’m not exempt from getting out on the floor moving tables and chairs, checking decks etc. One of the more fun events I’ve had in the last 6 months was a PTQ where I was a floor judge.
What is your primary role as an L4 in the judge community?
I serve as the L3 coordinator. I work on the creation and operation of projects for L3s. Additionally I welcome L3s into the fold making sure that becoming L3 isn’t too overwhelming. I also work with L3s and other high level judges on evaluating and monitoring L3s activity and performance.
What are you currently working on within the judge program?
I recently got back from Moscow, and I just finished up the the report on how that all went. I’m also trying to finish up some analysis of L3 activity in 2013.
What are some of your goals for the Judge Program as an L4?
As mentioned my role is to act as coordinator for the L3s. This is something that the program didn’t really have before I was promoted. My overall goals with this role is to make sure I am both a resource for L3s and one for the program as a whole on the state of L3s and individual L3 judges. With regards to specific projects, we’ve implemented a few things with L3s like the fact that they all take a short rules and policy quiz with the release of each new set.
How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
Judging has done two things. I know it has helped my organizational skills. You need to be able to arrange things and adapt when you are dealing with a staff of 50 people that then needs to be divided into two to cover a split GP.
The other thing I feel that judging has helped me with is parenting. Dealing with players, judges, TOs and having to resolve conflicts has helped me at home with my daughters.
What motivates you to do what you do within the community?
It’s fun. I enjoy judging and the activities associated with it. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t having fun.
What is the best part about the Judge Program in your opinion?
The community, the ability to travel, meet and, work with judges from all over.
How do you communicate the goals or values of the judge program to the greater community? Which of these would you like to see pushed more?
I think the best way to communicate values it so exemplify them. The best way to communicate goals is to work with others to achieve them. Basically be a active part of the judge community.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
Probably the numerous times I’ve traveled to events with other judges, or spent time with them away from events.
Who were your role models in the Judge Program? What were their certain qualities that drew you to them?
Steve Port was the L3 that tested me for L1 and L2. He’s mostly known for being a TO, but he was a judge at one point. He definitely taught me the importance of customer service and the need to make sure you are having fun.
Sheldon Menery gave me a lot of opportunities in and out of the judge program. From him I learned that a large part of judging is making sure other succeed.
Please recognize a few outstanding members in the Program.
I don’t have enough time to do that. Magic and the judge program has grown so big that there are numerous ways to excel. From the local L1 that takes care of his FNMs and prereleases on a regular basis to the L3s that travel the world and are integral to the success of large GPs.
What is the largest change that you’ve brought to the Magic rules/Policies or the Judge program?
In the last few years we’ve started requiring L3 judges to submit an annual self review and the regular short rules and policy quiz I mentioned earlier.
What advice would you give to a Judge growing up through the program?
Make sure you are having fun doing what you are doing. Try and find new ways to get enjoyment out of the program.
How do you make events you judge at fun, and what do you do to help judges under you have fun during events?
The best way to do that is to show your excitement and that you are having fun yourself.
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
Probably a cat, but not the fierce fantasy cat, but one that gets into trouble when he’s not sleeping.
What country/continent is your favorite for GPs/PTs, and why?
This is almost impossible to answer. Each is different in it’s own way, primarily because of the people at these different events. I don’t think I have a favorite as much as I like traveling to new areas and experiencing what they have to offer.
What do you do to make GPs/PTs special?
I try to bring my sense of humor. I also really like to give as many opportunities to others to come up with solutions. Being a high level judge or a head judge doesn’t mean that you have all the answers. It just means that you are responsible for choosing what things to try. Anyone can come up with ideas. I like asking others what they feel is best and then using my experience and the info others provide to make decisions.
What’s the coolest event you ever been to, and why was it so amazing?
I can’t think of one that would qualify as the coolest. I don’t even have a top 10 list of events; its really hard to compare them.
Two Truths and A Lie
Two of the following answers are true, figure out which!
1.- Back 2002 you had to wait an entire year after making L1 to test for L2, so I went to the local store on the exact day (365 days after hit L1 ) to take the L2.
2.- I’m a big Basketball fun, can’t wait to watch Chicago bulls again!
3.- The farthest I have ever traveled for a magic event was GP melbourne this past march.
The answer to the last Two Truths and a Lie...
Thanks Christopher for the awesome hardwork both in and outside events!
And for you Judges don’t miss the opportunity to give recognition to your pals, we are always happy to read more about awesome judge moments, nominate a Judge Today!