Welcome back, Judges! As 2018 was ending and we began the journey into 2019, Regional Coordinators were given the opportunity to share with the world what they believe is their region’s strongest asset by providing an answer to the following question: in what areas of the program do you feel your region stands out or excels? In case you missed it, the first responses can be found here: Part 1. This week, we’ll hear from a few of the remaining Regional Coordinators.
Sebastian Pekala (Europe-Central)
What is my region’s speciality? We pride ourselves with our hospitality. We look forward to meeting people from other regions coming to visit us, we help them with accommodation and feed them well. Taking care of our guests is a point of honour for us. Whether you come as a judge, player or just to visit – you can count on the community to help you either by providing some tips and tricks that didn’t make it to travel guides, or by hosting you at their place. Be sure to ask for guidance if you need it, and don’t be afraid to ask for more immediate help – we like helping our visitors! 🙂
Niels Viaene (BeNeLux)
I feel like I have the most awesome region in the world, and not just because as the RC I am supposed to say this. Because we are so small (I am pretty sure we are geographically the smallest region in the world) anything that happens in the region immediately impacts every individual. This causes a lot of people to be very involved and invested in the region in a personal level and has caused some interesting things to happen.
To the outside world the BeNeLux has a glaring quality when it comes to judges, with multiple GPHJ, people deeply involved in core projects in the judge program and prolific event judges all being represented in multiples. The interesting part about this to me is that there seems to be a flux in the reason we seem to be producing so many top-end judges. Some years ago it was said we were some of the best policy oriented minds in the program but in the past years it seems like logistics have become a stronger engine behind the people developing in our region with different levels of involvement with CFBE being a result of that. I know there will be mixed responses to this but it would be hard to describe our region without acknowledging this.
That is the region as it appears from the outside, on top of that there is a strong development of inviting people into our region. Our two day conference included group cooked meals and sharing a vacation house over the night with both campfire and seminars is a success formula that has been discovered in increasing amounts by people from outside the region. All people that have said how surprised they were of the welcoming nature of our region. This is in part fostered by the large diversities that lie inside our region, with multiple linguistic, political and cultural differences between the different groups and are overcome by a desire to value one and another fairly.
And then lastly there is a strong development against ‘levelism’ in our region. We don’t really look to levels in a very strict way. This has translated in multiple L2 judges taking a very central role in the leadership of the region in mini-conferences, charity events, publishing, mentoring and more. Recently we have abandoned the Area Captain system for a Sphere Leader system that is opening up positions to L1 judges as well. Levels are a thing for tournaments, but no one says a L3 is better at organising a Charity event better than the L1 that has done the last couple of them.
I hope that gives you a nice brief look into our region, and an invitation to consider our conference while we are at it. 😉
John Temple (USA-Great Lakes)
I feel that members of my region excel in both education and the running of tournaments! The first is highlighted by David Elden’s Judging for the Win which produces monthly content about rules and policy along with a set digest covering changes in the rules, common questions about cards, and further explanations of policy changes all with examples. Another example where my region excels in education is Rules Day Tuesday, a weekly Facebook group that posts questions about a wide range of topics from the JCC all the way to Special Actions. Even further are Jeff Kruchkow’s Judge Classes which a run quarterly within our region, we have also invited anyone to attend from other regions with the focus less on attaining a level and more about solidifying foundations in Rules and Policy, his classes are setting judges up for success further in their careers! When it comes to running tournaments my judges are amazing, we are constantly challenging ourselves to be better at running tournaments and with the large amount of them in region (Multiple Magic Fest events and StarCityGames.com Tour events) we have a lot of places to show off our skills.
Cristiana Dionisio (Italy and Malta)
The Italian community excels in two areas.
First we are very united community. We gather often at conferences (4 general and 2 leadership each year) and also we gather for dinners and outside of judging activities together (barbecues, escape rooms, parties). We also have several mailing lists and judge chats that are organized and allow everyone to participate appropriately and contribute. Because we meet and talk with each other daily we feel more like friends, and even family, than just colleagues.
Secondly we are very organized in our structure. We have divided the program into several spheres and the leaders are involved and recognized for their areas. This structure allows judges (and players and organizers) to get help with what they need more easily and quickly. We are focused on improving our community and each other, which is why Italy has so many more L3s than other regions.
Italians are Loud and Proud 🙂
Stefan Ladstätter (German-speaking Countries)
I really like how our region has found itself and grown together as a community where we support each other and foster hard work and dedication while having a lot of fun. We have a great group of Area Captains who are passionate about their their judges and who make sure that we have conferences throughout our region to spread knowledge. This focus on mentoring can also be seen in a lot of great initiatives that have originated in our region, such as the L2 Mentoring project (lead by Konrad Eibl and the Random Situation Generator (led by Ralph Glätsch, just to mention a couple. Projects like these help us create a spirit of excellence at events, despite the fact that we haven’t had GPs in our region for a long time — instead, we export our judges to other parts of the world, such as Klaus Lassacher who seems to be everywhere at once (we’re never sure which of his clones is currently present). We are not afraid to steal great ideas, such as introducing a regional Discord server (thanks to Philip Körte ), which has quickly developed into the main communication hub for our region. Last but not least, we have made some progress reaching out to players with our Facebook page and Blog, maintained by Daniel Schuster and Mathias Grontzki and their awesome team of editors and writers.
Ryan Dare Australia and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand are quite unique in that we have large spaces of land between us and therefore each City is relatively isolated from others. Despite of this I feel we have some of the most supportive and caring judges in the world. However the main thing I have been proud of over the past year is that at larger events such as Magic Fests and Nationals where we have fewer “senior” judges (and are generally understaffed), every single judge steps up and performs well above their level and puts in the work and effort well above what is expected of them without complaining. More than half our team leads tend to be level 2’s and they perform at least as well as I would expect most level 3’s to and keep understaffed events running smoothly.
Wearn Chong (Southeast Asia)
Magic Judges are well known for being kind and caring people, and Southeast Asians are well known for their hospitality. So it comes as no surprise that when you combine these together, you get a greater effect. Like Amplify! Many judges have come to GPs in our region and have felt the full force of that helpfulness. Whether it’s helping you get a local sim, or taking you to a volcano, or helping you recover a lost laptop from a taxi after midnight, we are there for you. And we love to share our food with you. You never go hungry here. Ever. If any judge ever told you they were hungry here, they’re lying.
Another aspect that stands out is our sense of camaraderie and togetherness. It’s difficult to put it into words. We are very much a family here. And we love extending it by acquiring judges from other regions. I think some of our honorary Southeast Asian ‘assimilated’ judges can attest to that (you know who you are!).
Bruna Chiochetta (Brazil)
Brazil is a huge geographic region with many remote judges. We have only 1 or 2 GPs per year. Going to conferences for some people is not viable due travel costs, and because of that we don’t get to meet a lot. Even so, our judges manage to bond and make up for those geographic challenges through online involvement. They are very engaged in projects and new initiatives and that’s where I think my community really shines! I’m very proud of how committed our judges are to mentoring and translations projects, how active they are on the communication channels and how they are able to build strong bonds with their peers while sometimes never getting to meet in person. More importantly, Brazilians are warm and accepting — our community is a big family of people always willing to help each other.
Mitsunori Makino (Japan)
Ingenuity. Solemnity. These words well describe judges in Japan region. Japanese judges seek the way their contribution effectively help others. The Japan region grew rapidly in the past five years. As a side effect of that some judges become not to have a close connection with a experienced judge.I received questions from many judges in every word in every chance. It is in short “what should I do for community?”. Though they have contributed their community consistently from my point of view. In the end we will launch another style of conferences in 2019 as additional learning tool or fun judging activity. I would like this help our judges finding model and getting confidence.