There was an announcement posted today that affects the judge program. In short, the judge program is stepping forward to a new life as a professional organization. There are several corresponding announcements with information that may be important for you to know about:
From WOTC’s Community Manager, Sara Mox
From the PCs
Information about the Exemplar Program going forward from Bryan Prillaman
Edit: Judge Academy is hosting an AMA on Reddit here.
Change can be intimidating, and this announcement heralds the largest change in the program’s history by an order of magnitude. Being an independent organization means that we get to make the decisions that impact us, we get to make the choices about our future. While we’re stepping away from Wizards of the Coast and acting under external oversight, Wizards of the Coast greatly values the program and the members of our community. They are interested in maintaining positive relations with us, and now that we are a distinct and separate entity, they can interact with us more formally.
This is a historic moment in the judge program. While it can be anxiety inducing to look towards the future and see certain change, it’s also an opportunity for us to make our voices heard and help forge the program into something better than it already is. Our community is one built out of incredibly strong personal bonds. This community is where we’ve found many of our best friends. This community is where we’ve learned to grow from feedback. This community is where we choose to spend our time, helping people enjoy the game of Magic. And while there is change coming, those things aren’t going to change.