Ralph Glätsch

Welcome back to Judge of the Week! This week’s rockstar is Ralph Glätsch, bringing practice judge calls to judges all over the world.

Name: Ralph Glätsch
Level: 2
Location: Germany
Judge Start Date: 05.09.2012
Why did you become a Judge? To secure the integrity of tournaments and the stories I heard about the Judge community.
Occupation: Agile Coach
Favorite card: Death Cloud
Least favorite card: Augur of Bolas, he never does what he should do.
Commander General: Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Favorite non-Magic Game: The Anno series
Best tournament result: 1st place at Gatecrash Prerelease 2HG with over 30 Teams.

You were nominated for you work making the Random Situation Generator international. Can you tell us more about the project and how you expanded it?
Let me first explain what the RSG (Random Situation Generator) is. The name tells us a lot already. Random situations are generated and have to be solved by Judges. The situations we are talking about are, Judges calls. Like “Hey Judge, can you help me please, I don’t know if I played a land or not”. In general an easy task to solve. You count some cards and know the result. Now the fun part begins. Imagine one or both of the players are real jerks and don’t like you or tries to mess with you.
That’s what this project is about – Random situations, from all aspects

  • Random Players with random skill level and the possibility to cheat.
  • Random Scenarios
  • Random Tournament Level

I took over the project from Khanh when he was the leader. That time the RSG was a paper version with alot of needed preparation. You had to print and cut everything. The first thing I did with the support of Steffen Baumgart, Konrad Eibl and Yuval, was to create a digital version. Which was easy to access and use via a web browser. That was about 2 years ago, we used the RSG for many conferences in the German speaking region.
The next step was the translation into many languages, to make it easier to use all over the world.
For this I got help by so many judges which I want to thank again for their work.
The languages with their translators:

All this steps helped spreading the word about the RSG. New plans and further steps are in the pipeline and waiting to be executed.
Shameless plug: Looking for an angular dev, which can help with the next steps of the project.

What are some tips you have for other Judges?
Have and open mind and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. One thing I can say due to my experience of the years. The Judge program is prefect for making new and great experiences. We are all here to enjoy the time together and to do an kick ass job helping the players. When I tried something new, I got the greatest feedback from the people around me. It was not always positive, but it was helpful! That’s why I love the program so much.
Try, fail, learn and be awesome doing it!

What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge, and how have you worked to overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges is and was, to become more empathic. I am a very rational and structured person. That’s what Matteo told after doing the Day 2 team leader check. He said, I let you pass but you have to work on your emotional side. That is a big challenge. Each challenge can be mastered, so I made a todo list.

  • Observe empathic persons.
  • Observe own actions and think, how would an empathic persons react.
  • Fake it, until you make it.
  • Go out and ask others for feedback

That’s basically what I did and still doing. The next time I was a Day 2 team leader and Matteo was the Head Judge, he came to me after the event and said. “I am happy that I let you pass. You made big steps. You have still much to learn, but I am impressed by your development.”
That showed me, I am on the right path and boosted my motivation to stay on that long hard road.

How has being a Judge influenced your non-Magic life?
Long story short, it made me get my current job. The way how we as a team work together on GPs or in projects, taught me so many lessons of the years. When mentioning in my job interview what I do as hobby, the only reaction was, “You are hired”. I never imagined, that Magic could have such a big impact on my life and my future job when I decided to become a judge.

Who have been some of your biggest mentors in the Judge Program, and what did they teach you?
Jeremie Granat! On my first regional Judge conference, when I was a L1 wanting to become a L2, (already failed two times the L2 Test) I met Jeremie. It all started with the question, “could I ask you something about layers?” 4 hours later I had the feeling of knowing and understanding something about the layers. The way he was explaining it to me, was such an awesome experience. Mentoring and teaching people is since then one of the greatest joys I have. I wanted others also to feel this nice “aha moment”.

What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
Try, fail, learn and be awesome doing it!

What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Good food and drinks. I love to try new things. That’s why traveling to a GP is always massive fun. Meet awesome people, try local food and local drinks. When I am at a restaurant I always try something I don’t know to experience something new. I can tell you, most of the time it pays off to try something new.

How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
Middle school, when walking through the hallways I saw some other kids playing it and I asked them what is it. They were playing a beast mirror, one mono green the other green red. It was the time of Onslaught and there was a Silvos, Rogue Elemental[\card] was on the board. The match was so nice to watch, that I became instantly hooked and started playing.

What is the proudest moment of your Judge life?
I am a L2 Mentor in the german speaking region, seeing one of my ex-trainees at a GP gives me a heartwarming feeling. Especially, when I hear from other Judges that they are doing well.

What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
I played vs another Judge from my local game store and the trainee of us both was the Judge for that event. We both drew like 4 Hands and always 7 Cards, then be both decided to keep and start playing. The Judge was next to us and confused watching what was going on. In the end we told him, we didn’t agree to start playing yet. Only when the Hands were fine, we said. OK now we can start the match.

Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!

  1. I know more than 100 different Gins.
  2. I dance in tournaments and win prizes.
  3. I gave outside assistance as a judge.
The answer to the last Two Truths and a Lie...
Patrik’s fiancee’s favourite format is not Standard. She doesn’t play Magic at all.

If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!


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