Welcome back , judges! Today we will ring in the New Year by looking at what the Regional Coordinators are most looking forward to in the next 365 days. In case you missed the first set of responses, here’s Part 1.
Joe Hughto (USA-Northeast)
For the past 25 years, the game and community have continuously grown and evolved. We continually strive to do the best we can and be the best we can be.
With that in mind, I’m truly looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings. I am excited to watch the judge and player community continue to become more open and welcoming. I feel that we’re starting to make some real progress on this front, particularly for women and queer folks. As a bi man, I have a vested interest in this progress and I can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish together.
Hans Wang (China)
If I’m going to choose a word for my region in 2017, it would be “change”, for 2018, it will be “communication”
In 2017, we tried a lot of new things, some worked and of course, some failed. Fortunately, we were able to receive feedback from all of the judges in my region and adjust the plan to meet the region’s need. In 2018, we’re going to be more focused on communications: the communication between judges, player and stores, communication between regions, areas and cities and the communication between each role, project and communities.
What I most look forward to in 2018 is the judges in my region being more connected. Our region is big, but thanks to the area captain and conference systems, we have more judges travel to other cities to share their experiences and thanks to the program, we have more players showing interest in becoming a judge.
David Hibbs (USA-South)
I’m looking forward to a great series of conferences for the USA South region for 2018! At our recent leadership planning meeting, we laid out plans for 2 major conferences and a number of mini conferences — an approach that served us very well in 2017 to provide opportunities for judges of all experience levels and a wide geographic area. I’m also looking forward to bringing more structure to our leadership and programs. We’ll be rebooting the welcome wagon and bringing more uniformity and organization to the L2 promotion process, both things that will serve the region well to continue growth in both number and quality of judges. 2018 should be a great year for the USA South!
Sebastian Pekala (Europe-Central)
In 2018, I’m looking forward to seeing how my region continues to grow and develop. Once again, we’ll be hosting to GPs, multiple judge conferences and I hope to empower and inspire more and more judges to grow and feel responsible for the community. I’m crossing my fingers for some L3 candidates and would love to see them join the ranks of L3s in 2018.
For the program as a whole, I’m very interested to see the impact of a single TO running all GPs globally. It’s a great challenge, but can bring great new ideas and solutions and keep everyone motivated to improve.
Scott Marshall (USA-Northwest)
The new year brings change, as always; probably the biggest change will be getting used to a different organizer for Grand Prix in the Northwest. We’ll have to learn the differences from Cascade to Channel Fireball Events and then continue to be excellent event judges.
We’ll also see changes in structure and leadership; it’s time to look at the region’s Area Captains, make sure they’re happy and well-fed, and in some cases, seek new leadership where needed.
And it’s time to start looking at those level requirements, find out where judges may be struggling and start working on meeting all requirements during the new year.
Finally, I’m excited because I see new judge exams on the (very near!) horizon, thanks to some motivated and dedicated folks’ hard work on Judge Apps. I’m anxious to see the impact that may have on the growth and development of the Northwest region.
Jack Doyle (United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa)
In 2018, UKISA has many things coming. New Level 3 Michael Chamberlain is able to flex his muscles both in and out of region. A new class of Area Captains is ready to help their local communities thrive under fresh leadership. Under-served areas in the region are being bolstered with new judges, and importantly, new Level 2s to help out with PPTQs and mentorship locally. We have an unprecedented number of regional GPs, including one of the few “double GP weekends” in 2018. Many people were cautious about the impact of CFBE’s monopoly on the GP market, but everything I’ve seen behind the scenes is looking great and I can’t wait for many of those efforts to come to fruition. Not to mention I’m looking forward to many of our regional promotional items (swag!) to get sorted out. In short, UKISA will have a great 2018 and I’m excited to be at the helm with some incredible people to help me out.
Ryan Dare (Australia and New Zealand)
I am looking forward to running more and more conferences and get-togethers in 2018, as well as seeing how the new GP structure and management affects the judge program. My goal is to overcome the lack of opportunity for level 1’s to judge and integrate into the judge community by encouraging more “get-togethers” throughout the year in all of the different states. I am also hoping one of our fantastic level 2’s steps up into a level 3 this year. This will be the year!
Nicholas Sabin (USA-Midatlantic)
In 2018, I’m most looking forward to seeing the work of our dynamic core of L2 leaders and L3 judges working together to shape a new culture in the Mid-Atlantic of acceptance, safety and fun for their community.
Sophie Pages (France)
This year will be a really challenging one for me as it will be my first as Regional Coordinator after years of the huge work of Guillaume Beuzelin. The main focus of this beginning of year is the organisation of National Spheres, lead by our level 3s. Indeed, we had this past months 3 new level 3s that are really motivated to participate in the community and help their colleagues with new ideas. We noticed that what was lacking the most was feedback to judges. When sometimes people noticed something happens, they communicate among themselves about a situation, but the feedback never arrives to the judge. We are creating a system to gather feedback from different sources and have regular discussions with our judges to help them improve. We will also try to help our area captains with the personalisation of their projects and goals. I am excited to join in this role and I hope to help my community the best I can!
Mitsunori Makino (Japan)
I am excited that will 2018 will be a busy year. Many activities will be re-launched after an almost nine-month dormant period. Exams and other training tools will be on Judge Apps soon. And there will be more opportunities to participate in a project that suits you. Hopefully later in 2018, people can become level 1’s more easily. By this, I mean there will be tools that can be used to train level 0 judges. I plan to help enhance such opportunities. If you find an idea you like, join one of them to work with other judges and enjoy your judge life more.
Steven Briggs (USA-Central)
2017 in review...
Our education efforts and community efforts also expanded greatly with the use of social media and technology. The technology team has done a marvelous job of promoting various judge program and Magic news content efficiently to the community. Judges both in and out of region are participating in our very active Slack community at higher and higher volumes, and the monthly Assembly Hall meetings provide a monthly update to the community along with the opportunity for any judge of any level to ask questions and provide feedback to the RC (me) live. The Outreach team has been working hard to identify and contact stores who do not have judges and help them identify and develop judging for their tournament scene; this has unearthed the need for us to provide a stronger localized network for judges to interact with each other and form stronger area-based communities.
That said, we have a ton of sweet plans for 2018, and here they are!
We will continue to host conferences in a wide geographic range, with more variety of dates based on feedback from attendees to hopefully accommodate even more participation. Additionally, thanks to a test run of the mock tournament experience in Chicago earlier this year, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting two Competitive REL-focused experiences, one in Chicago, Illinois and one in St. Louis, Missouri. These experiences will be intense, one-day seminars that combine classroom preparation and discussion of key topics for Competitive judging with the practical experience of judging a live event with coaching provided by expert Competitive and Professional event judges. Our goal is to have over 50% unique regional judge participation at our seminars in 2018.
Our conference education team is continuing to work tirelessly at creating new seminar content and updating existing content, with the challenge of 100% of seminars having an interactive discussion, role-play, and/or hands-on component to instruction. We are working toward a “no lecture-only” policy for our conferences in 2018. This team will also be armed with tokens – thousands of conference feedback tokens – given to attendees to fill out and provide feedback on for the presenters and conference organizers so we can celebrate successes while continuing to refine and improve the quality of education in the region. (a shamelessly stolen idea from Rob McKenzie in the US – North region)
As our community footprint online has grown, we have increased the size of our technology team. Their mission remains constant: to seek out new content to keep judges engaged and excited about the game, to educate and improve us at what we do, to communicate about upcoming events and activities, and to do so in a friendly, positive, and welcoming way. I expect in 2018 for the level of participation and engagement to only continue to increase as more judges from all over the region build relationships with one another and maintain them through our social channels.
Finally, with our redesigned Area Outreach and Development team, we have empowered a diverse group of judges from all over the region to be positive ambassadors for new judges coming into their communities and to help organize local events for judges to get together and hang out. From rules chats and board game days to bowling and mini-golf and other fun events, this team is charged with helping build local and area communities all over the Central region, helping new and veteran judges connect and build stronger friendships both in and outside the game.
I am so proud of what our region has done in 2017, and with nearly 30 judges helping with our regional development teams, 2018 is going to be a phenomenal year in the USA – Central region.