PTQ Fate Reforged Head Judge Report

Brian Brown, Level 2, North Carolina, United States

Brian Brown, Level 2, North Carolina, United States

PTQ Fate Reforged @ Lucky’s
(Greensboro, NC – Oct 4th)
This will be my first tournament report. It was my first event as a head judge with a team of floor judges. Myself and 3 other floor judges (One experienced L2, one experienced L1, one new L1) for an estimated 100 people. I was Head Judge/deck check helper, with one deck check lead and 2 floor judges, but we switched duties around some.

Pre-Event –

Communicate with staff – I formed a Facebook chat group with staff and sent the standard pre-event information via that. I asked if any of my floor judges had any specific goals or a preferred task for the event, which they greatly appreciated, and I did my best to ensure those requests were met.

Communicate with TO – I was unable to reach the TO via phone nor Facebook, but I did get a Facebook message from him, telling me to not post anything about prizes on the event page that I made to promote the event. After trying several phone calls and messages, I decided I would just show up early and hope for the best. This store has been around for a long time and I was able to communicate with a judge who has worked there in the past. I asked him if the venue was setup well for tournaments. However, I should have pressed him for more details because he left out the part about the store not having a round timer/clock visible to players and no spare computer/printer for the event.

Event Day –

Venue: Venue was a very small shop. Arrived at 9:45 but TO did not arrive until shortly after 10:00. At 10:30 we were moved into a space next to the store when we went over 60 players registered. The new space had tables, chairs, table numbers, but no round timer, clock, nor cutting board – things I will want to bring with me next time (laptop for timer). We ended up announcing the time more irregularly than we would have liked, but I tried to announce at 30 minutes and 10 minutes left in each round. The worst part about this, there was also no printer in that space. Players were asked to walk outside and into main part of the shop to turn in match results. We also had to get pairings and match slips from the ‘other side’. With only one computer for the entire store, it slowed things down when they had a customer or were wanting to look up cards for a buy order.

Tournament: 77 Players. Khans Limited. Cut to Top 8.

Announced start time 11 AM. The tournament did not get started until about 11:30. The TO required us to let his assistant be the scorekeeper and register all the players which slowed down the event greatly. She was an inexperienced scorekeeper and was in no rush to get the last few players registered. Round 1 and 2 were very slow to turn over. The scorekeeper was the main issue here as we were given pairings that were by table and not player, unnoticed until posted in the ‘other room’. As well we had to teach her how to enter penalties – something which we should not have waited until between rounds to do. Bringing your own computer and printer to an event so that you can run the tournament at your own pace is something I had never considered before, but will do if I ever work this venue again.

Rounds 1 and 2 took about 65 minutes to turn over. After which I did have a conversation with scorekeeper urging her to try to process the result slips quickly near the end of a round and I set her up on the Multi-print function. Rounds 3-7 were turned over in ~55 minutes. The top 8 draft went well – it was my first time calling a draft so I was excited to do that. Just as the players were about to register their pools, the TO requests that we move again back to the actual shop since we only have top 8. I had the players wrap their draft pool in their Top 8 waiver form, and hand it to me as we relocated and found them places to build in the other building.

When we got back in the store it was very crowded. It took nearly 30 minutes between getting the players over there and making the TO aware/moving his customers to make private deck building areas. In this situation again, I would plead with TO not to make us move until players are done registering decks and the top 8 matches are ready to start. At this time I asked judges if one of them would volunteer to stay a bit later into the top 8. Our semifinals lasted almost over 1.5 hours, between the long games and the players wanting a small break before finals. The finals took a full hour. Tournament took 12 hours from start to finish including deck registration, all seven rounds, and top 8 draft – too long.

Interesting judge calls:

Can’t we all just get along? – Player said his opponent revealed an island instead of a blue card for the morph creature that says “reveal a blue card” to flip. I told the player Island is not a blue card, it is colorless. This was a game rule violation so we will flip his morph back over and he will get a warning. At this point he became very upset as to why he was getting a warning for such a small thing. We come to realize this is the guy’s first competitive event and I tried to explain that it was just a warning and he just needs to play more carefully. He continues getting upset, says he is quitting the tournament. He starts pointing fingers at a spectator who apparently called judge in the first place, yelling things like why is he butting in to my game anyway? This almost became escalated further when the player and spectator started arguing, but I quickly told the spectator to drop it, go away, and let me talk to the player. I explained the warning system is needed due to potential for advantage from misplays, and he really just doesn’t get it – continuing to complain about me even giving him a warning. I apologize and move on to the spectator. I explained to him not to butt in to matches and simply ask the players to wait and call a judge, instead of pointing out infractions yourself.

Deviating or Devastating? – Player calls judge on himself saying ‘I accidentally put a forest face down instead of this creature’, holding up the only other card in his hand, a morpher. I ask how long ago this was. “Last turn”. Well run me through the events from then until now. “I played a morph, passed turn, opponent outlasts a guy, then when I go to unmorph at the end of his turn, I realized I put the wrong card face down.” I issued a GRV and a rewind but did not upgrade to GL. I felt the IPG’s last sentence of paragraph 2 under GRV’s applied – the only other option for this player was the one card in his hand, which was the morph. It was clear by the player calling on himself before his opponent saw the forest, along with the only other card in his hand being the morph he meant to play, that it was an accidental dexterity error. I rewound the game and let him switch the forest for the morph. After discussing this with other judges I feel like I should have issued a game loss here for consistencies sake. Whether or not the error was verifiable to all parties or not under the IPG wording, and whether or not I had the right to not upgrade here as HJ, I feel upgrading to game loss here will be more consistently in line with what other judges will do and consistency is important in rulings.

A Charming Morphtastic Format – Player A Mardu Charmed to destroy his opponents Morph. Player B reveals and puts the morph on top of his deck. Player A attacks and passes. Player B draws for turn and casts same morpher and passes. Player A does plays a creature, attacks again and Player B blocks. “Judge! we just realized that this is supposed to be dead. I was thinking it was a Jeskai Charm not Mardu Charm” I got called over for a second opinion on this and began thinking about a rewind. At this time I asked the floor judge to discuss with me away from table. The floor judge made me realize this has gone too far, with Player A making more plays based on this morph being here and several turns passing. So we decided to leave it as is with GRV and FtMGS, which should have been double GRVs.

Conclusion: The tournament was a great success overall. I know all of the judges learned and grew as judges and I know myself learned to better keep afloat as Head Judge. Sometimes I started on tasks myself that I should have delegated and that took my eyes off the big picture. I could have taken better notes and perhaps improved the event by observing something else if I delegated more tasks. I now know to never overestimate the TO or venue (Thanks to my local TO for spoiling the heck out of me!) and always bring backup supplies with me such as a laptop to be used as a timer and maybe even a printer to do the score keeping “in-house”.

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