JOTW Exemplar Wave 10 Part 2

Good to see you, judges! We are continuing to hear from top Exemplar recipients from Wave 10 in the second part of our quarterly feature. We asked them, “What improvement in the Judge Program have you benefited most from, and how?” In case you missed Part One, you can find it here. And if you don’t see a region represented in either part, we are awaiting responses from judges and will update this post when we receive them.

Australia and New Zealand

L1 Niall Bole earned nominations for the confidence. diplomacy and eagerness he showed at GP Sydney.

His response:  For me personally, the thing that’s really made an impact is possibly not even an official Judge Program thing: it’s the Australia and New Zealand Slack channel – a chat room for judges throughout the region.

Australia is a very big country, and outside of the state capitals, it’s quite possible to be the only judge for a hundred miles. I’m fortunate enough to live in a small city where there are now two L2s (Congrats to Lorcan on passing his test recently!) and another L1, but it’s still not a large community. Australia doesn’t have a big tournament scene, so outside of 2 GPs per year and now Nats, there aren’t many ways to interact with other judges.

Slack allows for both emergency rules checks in the SOS channel, regular rules and policy discussion, and shooting the breeze. It lets me take part in live discussions with judges that I otherwise wouldn’t talk to for months, and helps me feel much more like part of a community than I otherwise would be.

L2 Laura Ellis earned nominations for areas including her work on the Welcome to the Fold project and her helping another judge with a tricky ruling.

Her response: While I have only been a judge since 2014, I’m going to claim this as the development of JudgeApps, no idea when it started though. As a platform for communicating with other judges around the world it is A++. I’m sure there was a world before JudgeApps, but I truly can’t imagine what it would have been like. The work that the team has put into the platform is truly impressive, and mind-boggling.

With the additions of reviews, exams, and investigations during my time as a judge, there is no end to what this platform can bring to us. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens in the exam space.

It’s great to have one place where all judges can go to source information and have their questions answered. To be able to talk about everything judging and magic related in the forums is a bonus. The first question I ask a judge candidate (after I’ve ascertained their true intentions) is if they are on JudgeApps! Having a dependable source of information and access to the Judge Program at your fingertips is very beneficial.

For me personally, JudgeApps has provided the opportunity to have a taste for travel again. Back in 2015 as an L1, I took the plunge and applied for GP Las Vegas, I didn’t think I would be an L2 anytime soon and knew it was difficult to get on staff for these big events. I was accepted and am so very grateful, I would never have had the chance if it wasn’t for staffing through JudgeApps. I have since judged 2 more international GPs and am heading to GP Singapore in December. Being able to judge in another country and make friends around the globe is truly a magnificent honour to have.


L3 Sophie Pages earned nominations in areas ranging from her innovations in End-of-Round procedure to her support of a L3 candidate.

Her response: The New New World Order brought me a lot of opportunities. It arrived a few months after I passed L3, and thanks to it, I could give to the Judge Program as much as I wanted. I always was fascinated by judge projects, and I tried to involved myself in as many projects as I could as L2, then L3. I did mainly translations, because it is what is most easy to reach when you don’t really know the Judge Program. Then I tried to create French projects, but without really a direction. But with the New New World Order, a lot of opportunities opened to everyone, from team leading for L2s to leading positions for L3s. Thanks to it, what seemed a little dark before became a source of inspiration and the Judge Program seemed healthier than ever. I was able to help restructuring the old Education Sphere, as education always has been my favourite part in the Judge Program. I am passionate in helping people growing, and being able to really help for this was wonderful. And more recently, it helps me to be closer to my community becoming Regional Coordinator, and having a real possibility to do what I want, giving a daily help and hand to people I love, my judging family.

German-Speaking Countries

L2 Ralph Glätscht earned nominations in areas ranging from organizing a leadership conference to being a pillar of the German L2 Mentorship program.

His response: The culture of Mentoring. You have a very nice and helpful environment. When you make clear that you are open to feedback and clearly state specific aspects what should be looked on, you can awesome responses. That sped up my personal development.

The learning I can take home with me from a GP are worth of 3 months of learning in a non-Magic life, especially working on social skills. In your day-to-day life, people are not that open about social aspects. Therefore I am happy and proud to be part of this awesome community.

Russia and Russian-Speaking Countries

L2 Arseniy Egorov earned nominations in areas ranging from organizing a conference focusing on complicated interactions and solving a space issue at GP Manilla.

His response: That’s a tricky one xD And this really sort of had me scratching my head for a while.

I’ll jump back in time to July of 2014, when Andy Heckt made an announcement about fresh and shiny Exemplar Program. It’s been more than 3 year now. O_O wow!

Since then, that project evolved a lot and there was many changes, but most important part stays the same: I’m able to learn, to improve from reading thousands of recognition of my fellow judges to each other and this is awesome!

By the way, don’t forget to write down all the Exemplar letters! Who knows who will be a role model for your colleagues? 😉

P.S. Oops, I’m writing from EP about EP ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ They didn’t bribe me, I swear! 🙂


Liz Richardson earned nominations for areas including improving the lost-and-found system at GP Vegas and lifting up judges’ spirits at GP Toronto.

Her response: Being a part of the community is the aspect of the Judge Program I have benefited most from, I should say being part of many different communities inside the larger Magic community.

I have been welcomed by so many players and judges all across the world. So many couches to crash on, so much help in wee strange hours and shoulders to cry on and hundreds of high fives, support, hugs, and love.  I have benefited from the love.  I cherish my years of being able to share my love of this game and all these people with everyone.

I am overflowing with the kindness and love I have received for years to come to be inspired to always be my happiest and best and to continue to advocate for those around me that we can all be better humans to each other.

L2 Jeffrey Emery earned nominations for areas ranging from his tireless efforts at GP Cleveland to his helping feed attendees at a mini-conference in New Hampshire when there were insufficient local food options.

His response: An improvement that has had the biggest impact on me? There are a lot of things in the Judge Program that have had impacts on me, but I would have to go with the Mini-Conferences we had earlier this year in the Northeast.

Living in Maine, it is always a long drive to get anywhere, and I am in the more southern part of the state. I am sure other states can sympathize. The increased number of conferences give a chance for judges to attend that may not normally get to.  I helped organize one of the mini-conferences for the Northeast, the one in New Hampshire, servicing Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I worked with Rob Castellon and Ben Coursey.  This was the first time, to my knowledge, that a Judge Conference had been run in New Hampshire.

Having a conference more local, that more judges with busy schedules could attend, was a great asset to our area. I saw a lot of faces that I do not see normally, and that was a refreshing time to be able to spread knowledge and companionship as far as possible in our area. Working on organizing this event truly paid off when the day came to run everything. This was one of the more fulfilling projects I have helped with in the Judge Program. I look forward to more smaller meetups like this in the future!

Here is link to our blog with additional information on this series:


L2 Angela Chandler earned nominations for areas ranging from coordinating a judge conference at GP Vegas to her leadership in handling the deck checks and deck list teams at a PTQ at GP Bologna.

Her response: One of the biggest changes to happen in recent memory was the New New World Order. This not only saw the levels redefined, but completely restructured the judge program. With this restructure, we saw numerous opportunities open up for judges to be able to hold different roles in the program and changes in how judges achieved higher levels . This became very significant in my judge career.

I started my L3 path right before the NNWO was announced. With it came some big changes that have impacted me ever since. My actual path to my panel was unchanged, but it was after my failing my panel and subsequent months that I have seen the biggest impact. Supplemental activities were removed just a few months before my panel, so I had to find my own path to improvement. This has not only helped me grow even more as a judge, but has connected me with judges around the globe who are supporting me and mentoring me in my deficiencies. The NNWO also opened up new roles that have allowed me to continue to grow and support the community in my region such as Level 2 tester.

Opening up roles to judges and creating a process that gives them a clear path to the places they want to be in the program came at a very critical point in the program’s history. I believe this improvement has helped many judges achieve their goals and reach the places they want to be.

Hispanic America – South

L3 Nemesio Alejandro Bolaños Gutiérrez earned nominations for areas ranging from his mentorship of judges on the path to L2 to his performance as team lead at GP Santiago.

His response: The way I see it, the Judge Program strives for teamwork on many levels, from the big GP teams to the small judge communities running their mini conferences both in and outside events.

When I joined the program, I joined this support network as well, a group that helps each other not only in Judge-related-things but also in personal areas like when you are having a hard time or need to have a talk with somebody.

Congrats again to top regional Exemplar recipients for Wave 10! Hope to see you back next time when we resume regular JOTW profiles. Until then, if there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!

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