Logistics and Tournament Operations

Hello judges. We’re pleased to announce a new Level 3 Judge Quality: Logistics and Tournament Operations.

As we all know, at the core of being a judge is judging events, and judging events is not limited to just providing rulings. Making the tournament run smoothly and efficiently is expected from experienced judges. In order to make clear the importance of this skill for Level 3 judges, a new L3 Quality has been added to the existing ones.

The Goal

A Level 3 Judge serves as Team Leader at GPs and as Head Judge at other large events, like Regional-PTQs, SSS and SCG Opens. Therefore, the expectation is that every L3 judge must be able to perform those roles efficiently. By adding this Quality we want to:

  1. State the importance of this skill.
  2. Increase the focus on tournament logistics when preparing to become L3.

During the preparation for L3, candidates interact frequently with other experienced judges in order to get the necessary recommendations. During this period the recommending judges observes the candidate and will be able to provide feedback and help.

The Definition

Logistics and Tournament Operations

Level 3 Judges are experts in the area of running large events using a team structure. They can fill a variety of judge roles and have a clear understanding of what is required of each team to support an efficient, enjoyable tournament.

A deficient candidate may be sufficient in one role, but struggle when assigned a different team. He or she may exhibit a lack of awareness of the tournament’s needs and be unable to handle the magnitude of tasks at Grand Prix level events.

An exemplary candidate can excel while leading any team and is often sought after for advice on best practices and new techniques. He or she is able to support the event from any role and often aids others in identifying essential tasks before they are missed.

Tips and Tricks to Improve this Quality

At every judge level we face different logistical challenges, the following lines may be interesting for you, even if you aren’t preparing to become L3.

  • Observe and ask: Doing things and failing is the most common way to learn, but there is a less painful way to learn: observing how others do these things. Next time you’re in a tournament don’t limit yourself to do what your HJ/TL tells you to do, but also pay attention to what he or she is doing. If you don’t fully understand, ask why and suggest any ideas that you may have. Good ideas will help the team to work more efficiently and bad ideas can lead to explanations of why. Either way you’ll improve your understanding and awareness.
  • Plan, plan, plan and plan again: Before facing a logistical challenge spend some time planning how you want to approach it. Don’t stop at a vague idea in your head, take pen and paper (or an Excel spreadsheet) and start writing times, tasks and goals. Of course, not everything happens as planned, but the exercise of planning will give you clear goals and a better understanding of the task. This will allow you to react quickly and efficiently when things do go off track.
  • Look for challenges: no one can ever be perfect at this quality. We all can always improve. Facing challenges (after observing others succeeding and after planning) is the best way to keep improving. If you struggled as Paper Lead at an event, talk to people who have succeeded in the role and learn from the experience. Look for an opportunity to try again once you are ready. If there is an area that you excel, great! But remember to branch out as well and work with teams and roles where you are still challenged.

By Alfonso Bueno and Jared Sylva