The Slips Game

Result Slips. Who doesn’t love them? The anticipation as they come out of the printer. The rush of the ozone entering your lungs and hitting your brain. The swish of the cutting machine. The joy of selecting the perfect size of the pile to be cut. The judges fanning out from the paper station onto the event floor.

Yet nothing compares to actually collecting them. That first rush of adrenaline, when you hear a voice shouting out “Judge!” Looking frantically around for a raised hand and realizing that you, yes you, are the closest member of the team. As you approach, trepidation sinks in – is it a rules question you will be able to answer? Maybe someone needs to go to the restroom and leaves you standing at the table, immobilized by the need to watch the board state? Or maybe it’s the dreaded failure to agree on reality, which will cause everyone to look your way, blaming the delay on you, as red shirts confer while the XO makes frantic notes?

No! It’s simply a match that has been played to its natural conclusion. You witness the signing of the slip. Your steely gaze interrupts the discussion about sideboarding choices for long enough to confirm that the numbers set down in ink actually describe what happened. If you are “old school”, you fight the urge to pull out a pen and notarize the result.

Your immediate job done and with slip in hand, you evaluate the pros and cons of walking to the scorekeeper to drop it off. You need to balance the possibility of refilling your water bottle, scavenging any sweets left out on the stage, and networking with the HJ versus having to walk there and back and upsetting the delicate floor coverage.

There is another way! The slips game!

How is it played?

  1. Collect slips as normal.
  2. You may turn in stacks of at least five slips to the Scorekeeper. Every time you do that, score a point for each slip.
  3. If you ever have more than 10 slips, you must go directly to the Scorekeeper and drop off the slips. You score a negative point for each slip above ten.
  4. When two judges holding slips meet on the floor, the one with less slips must hand off their slips to the one with more slips.
  5. Tie-breakers are resolved by comparing the last name of the Player 1 on the slip from the lowest table in each packet of slips. The judge who has the name that goes first alphabetically takes all the slips.
  6. Judge with most points at the end of the day wins.
  7. End-of-day tiebreakers are resolved with a game of Emperor EDH.

How did it go?

When I introduced this at the Pro Tour, it quickly drew attention of the senior people. I was invited to sit down with the HJ, judge manager, and show manager. They started off by complementing me by asking about my thought process (“What were you thinking?”), then as a reward for introducing this new game, they let me have the rest of the weekend off! I really enjoyed touring the city all Friday and Saturday.

I’m looking forward to trying this out again, but haven’t been selected for any events lately.

Dates matter. 

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