Judges, welcome back for a special installment of JOTW! We reached out to top Exemplar recipients from Wave 12 and asked them “What is your favourite event team or judge project you have participated in and why?” Here is the first set of responses. We’ll return in a few weeks with the second. And don’t forget – nominations for Wave 13 are due by May 15 6:59 a.m. GMT!
L2 Siyang Li from the Greater China region received nominations for areas ranging from summarizing popular judge discussions to helping with the Hangzhou judge conference.
His response: My favorite judge project would be this regional judge translation project led by Alex Yeung. We would be able to translate many judge articles on the Internet, mainly in English into Chinese, so that Chinese judges can read them without any language barriers.
I’ve recieved a lot of feedback regarding this translation project, that a lot of Chinese judges whose English is not very great get the chance to learn a lot from the translated articles and feel that these are quite helpful. This alone makes me very proud for our work and absolutely the reason why I choose this project to be my favorite.
L1 Sune Halkjær of the Europe – North region received nominations for areas ranging from spreading judge tokens to helping with a Danish judge page for players.
His response: My most memorable one has to be Danish Nationals 2017.
I had not been a judge for very long and it was my first competitive tournament and therefore, I was very nervous.
However, the day blew my mind. I was on deck check with Danish judges Mikkel Kovdal and Asger Skovbjerg. Working closely with other judges, with other people who loved what I loved, was more fun than I had ever had with any other hobby.
Just working, laughing and sharing experiences with one another really established that I was going to judge a lot more in the future.
L3 John Brian McCarthy of the USA-Midatlantic region received nominations for areas ranging from pushing for the L3P exams to become available to demonstrating excellent team-leading skills at GP Houston.
His response: The project folks associate most with me is Judge Photos. I assign the photographers for Grand Prix, ensure that staff photos get posted on the Judge Facebook page, take headshots for JudgeApps and share “Judges at Work” candids so your friends can see how you spend your weekends.
It gives me an accomplished feeling when a judge uses one of my photos as his or her Facebook picture. I recently passed the bar of having personally taken headshots for more than 5% of all certified judges, and hope to one day work a GP where I’ve taken headshots for a majority of staff (I’m already doing that for a number of Opens).
L2 Martina Malvisi of the Italy and Malta region received nominations for areas ranging from her performance on a deck checks team to her involvement in the Italian L1 Maintenance Process.
Her response: My favorite project is the Candidate Textbook by far (for those who don’t know it, it’s a website containing everything L1 candidates should read to prepare their self for the L1 exam).
What I really appreciate is the communal effort of so many people who helped create a powerful tool for L1 candidates, and others more who helped translate it in five different languages. Recently, we added the possibility to download all the material in a PDF file so that people can easily study everything offline or even print it.
L3 Kevin Desprez of the France region received nominations for areas ranging from discussing finer points of policy to welcoming American judges at GP Lyons.
His response: Without a doubt, the project I’ve enjoyed the most being a part of is What’s Up, Docs?. It’s my pet project for years and it has known a strong evolution: Initially designed to explain the philosophy of the IPG, it has gradually switched to expand on various topics I believe are (1) crucial and (2) hard to teach, which is why it has mostly focused on investigations recently.
Also, it has come a long way from super long (and therefore probably super boring) theory articles to tournament reports to actual rulings from which I try to define global concepts that others can apply at their events.
L3 Emilien Wild of the BeNeLux region received nominations for areas ranging from his ability to motivate people to his support of the Exemplar Program.
His response: My favourite event team was the one behind Eternal Weekend Europe 2017.This tournament was a huge challenge: it was the first Eternal Weekend in Europe, which added a lot of pressure as a high profile event. It was very popular. The formats were more on the unusual side, with Legacy, Vintage, Commander, and Old School. And I had the honour of being “Person in charge,” the judge looking for other judges staffing, schedule, and well-being. The room was at capacity (or even a bit over, as the TO, Guillaume Beuzelin, worked his magic to make some table appears out of thin air), and judges had a lot to do.
But the staff of this event was fantastic. I learnt a lot by judging with them, and I have been overwhelmed by how impressive they were. I have fond memory of Legacy-expert Luca Romano, our Head Judge Sophie Pages, and Alexis Rassel judging with me, as well as many talented L2s and L1s who delivered far ahead expectation, and I learnt a lot from them about professionalism and stress and conflict management.
It’s easy to get along with each other when things are fine, but when events are more challenging and some personal frictions appear, that’s when you see if you can really count on each other. I believe that day, bonds were forged in fire.
L2 Kimberly McDonald of the USA-Northwest region received nominations for areas ranging from writing a tournament report on her first team lead experience to her exceptional performance as a member of the Judge of the Week project.
Her response: My favorite judge project is the first project I ever joined, the L0-L1 Judge Study Group on Facebook. I applied to be a member of the project on a whim a little over a year ago and it has been a blast since then.
It can be quite a challenge to regularly come up with interesting rules questions that can be used to spark conversation among judge candidates. Aside from the fun challenge of creating content, the project members are a group of people who I have connected with, had the most interesting rules discussion with and they are people I see at large events and enjoy spending time with.
This project is especially dear to my heart because I joined the project not long after becoming a Level 1 judge and both the project members and project content were crucial to my success on my path to Level 2.
L2 Matthew Westfox of the USA-North region received multiple recognitions for organizing a charity tournament to benefit Puerto Rico.
His response: My favorite event as a judge would have to be the charity tournament we put together last year to benefit Puerto Rico. We raised over $3200, and it happened entirely because of the hard work, dedication, and efforts of so many of the judges here in Madison.
Judges helped plan and shape the event, promoted it at other events they ran, donated their time and their product- one judge even shaved his head to raise money. The whole process showed me that the Magic community is about a lot more than the game we all love, and how much judges are the backbone of that.
L2 Chuanjie Seow of the Southeast Asia region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping coordinate PPTQs to creating a study group for Singaporean and Indonesian and L2 candidates.
His response: My favourite project is actually the recently merged with Welcome to the Fold project called “Judge Buddy.” In a region where GPs are extremely limited in number (once a year :< ), newly minted L2s within the region have to wait quite a bit to be able to judge their 1st GPs. When I was a newbie, I was quite lost at my 1st GP and I decided to bring the Judge Buddy project over to SEA while tweaking it to suit the South Asian cultural norms so Judges who are staffed in their first GP would be able to perform at their maximum capacity.
I really have to thank my RC, Wearn Chong, Ivan Petkovic and Cassidy Melczak for helping me along the way to ensure a successful Judge Buddy during the recent GP Singapore 2017. It made me really happy when the Judge Buddies came up to me after the GP saying that they benefited greatly from the project and have senior judges tell me they could not believe the stellar performance these Judge Buddies were exhibiting.
L1 Mattias Sundell of the Europe-North region received multiple recognitions for translating the JAR into Finnish.
His response: Lars Harald Nordli posted on Facebook a while ago that he was looking for volunteers for the “Nordic Translation Team.” The goal of this team is to translate various vital documents (JAR, Player Disqualification FAQ) to Nordic languages. As a native Finnish speaker, I gladly volunteered.
Translating the documents has been a blast. Although I’ve been playing MTG “in Finnish” with my friends, there really are no official translations for some keywords and such. Really had to bend the brain to make the translations legible! In my opinion, having the opportunity to have some access to MTG in your native language is very important.
L2 Milan Majerčík of the Europe-Central region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping plan a L2+ conference in Prague to creating prerelease guides and quizzes.
His response: While I have been a part of great event teams in my Judge career, my answer is simple: my dearest and beloved Judge Tokens Project. My belief is that, together with the amazing Zie Aun Tan, we have been able to provide a fantastic tool to serve thousands of judges and players, a tool which can bring them together.
Tokens produced by the project are a simple conversation starter and also provide added value by helping to make board states clearer. Finally, they also advertise Judge Feedback Form; there is never enough constructive feedback. And the tokens themselves are simply gorgeous!
L1 Camila Paneghine of the Brazil region received multiple recognitions for translating an article, Death by a thousand paper cuts, from English to Portuguese.
Her response: My favorite judge projects are the translation ones. Thanks to these, I was able to organize myself and translate the article “Death by a thousand paper cuts” to our judge community here in Brazil, which gave me the recognitions this wave.
With these projects, I can keep myself and others updated on several questions, meet a lot of people (I’m a judge for only 8 months now! hahahaha) and also keep improving myself and the community.
L2 Callum McFadyen of the Australia and New Zealand region received recognitions for areas ranging from writing a tournament report on CanCon to working to ensure judges received fair compensation.
His response: My favourite event team was GP Sydney Deck Checks! It was my first GP, and I got to work with some amazing judges, and learn about some of the work judges do in the background of an event.
Teaming up with judges of all walks of life, from fresh Level 1s to experienced Level 3s, allowed me to have fun and learn and make some awesome memories. Being able to roam the floor between checks and assist other teams let me meet and chat with new friends that I hope to see at future events!
L2 Kaitlin McLachlan of the Canada region received recognitions for areas ranging from serving as the Mayor of Turbotown at GP Toronto to her customer-first mentality at events.
Her response: I am currently part of the Canadian Hype Team, headed by Mike Gyssels and driven by many talented and passionate judges all over Canada. We are bringing the Hype to the North and telling the world just how much our region has to offer! We’re responsible for articles, posts, Canadian Judge Blog, and non-tournament events to bring this giant region a little bit closer and show the rest of the world who we are! It’s been a lot of trial and error and we’re still learning as we go but it’s a lot of fun and exciting stuff bringing people together!
L1 John Vorderbrueggen of the USA-Great Lakes region received multiple recognitions for his work on the Rules Day Tuesday project.
His response: My favorite project that I have gotten to participate in is by far Rules Day Tuesday. Rules Day Tuesday is a Facebook group that creates live, weekly discussions regarding a multitude of subjects!
I have been able to take away so much from this project including a better understanding of the MTR, the CR, and the IPG, and a better understanding of the Judge Program as a whole. I am beyond grateful to work alongside Marcos, Mark, Jeff, and David, and I look forward to see what we produce in the future.
L3 Agustin Mopty of the Hispanic America-South region received recognitions for areas ranging from his leadership in organizing conferences in his region to a presentation on layers.
His response: I loved the years I spent in charge of the Latin American Judges Blog. At the beginning, it was a pretty lonely work, but then an amazing team of judges appeared to contribute both from what now is South and North (Hispanic America) as different regions. Back then we had to start team dynamics from scratch; it was hard, interesting and very educational.
Eventually we managed to coordinate well enough to publish one article per week for a couple of years. That experience told me about the importance and power of teamwork.
In a few weeks, we’ll have the second part of this feature.
As always, if there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!