Editor’s Note: This article is part of our series of highlighted exemplar recognitions. See our introduction post for all the details, or view all the posts in this series. This article was written by New Jersey Area Rep Dan Collins.
Judges can be called upon to handle any number of problems. Software issues, difficult rulings, conflicts with players and staff, unconventional venues or formats, and even true emergencies can all test a judge’s skills and reactions. The title of this category is shamelessly stolen from the Qualities of Regional Judges, but today we’ll highlight judges who showed these skills everywhere from their local stores, to GPs on another continent!
Jon – while things may not always go your way, you carry with you great personal energy. At SCG Philly, I had you on my Sides team. I gave you tasks, particularly running a 2HG side event solo, that I thought would challenge you. Those tasks did push you to your limits, but you stayed focused and positive and managed to overcome the obstacles that you encountered. Take a deep breath, and keep being you – that’s what makes you great!
When wizards event reporter went down at our local FNM at Flipside gaming, the players were upset about the delays in the tournament, and worried about the possibility of it not continuing. As the TO, and Default Head Judge, you finished running the event on paper with plans to upload it later, and did so in a very timely fashion. Beyond this you made an announcement to alert the players about the situation, and made sure everyone was on the same page. This determination and professionalism in your event is the essence of what makes the judge program so great, and I look forward to seeing what else you accomplish both inside, and outside of your tournament roles.
Scott, there was a very unexpectedly taxing PPTQ where we had to split the event into four separate, non-contiguous locations, which is a logistical…unpleasantry. You absolutely stepped up and made sure everything was taken care of across all the locations. You stayed on top of making sure judges were distributed for calls, that all four sections received updates of the round time, and made several good suggestions for where to post pairings and how many sets to print. You went above and beyond any possible expectations I had, your performance was absolutely outstanding, keep up the amazing work!
At GP Paris I saw you take the time to sit and talk to another judge that was in ‘distress’ and having a rough day. He was in back of the stage and needing some time away, and I noticed you talking, but mostly listening to him. I just wanted you to know that I noticed this, that you efforts were appreciated and that things like this are what make you a judge to be admired and emulated.
So there you have just a few examples of Northeast judges gracefully handling stress and conflict. They all did their best to understand the situation before calmly responding to it, and used their communication skills to keep everyone informed, to make suggestions, and even just to listen to a colleague who was having a bad day.