Warnings are used in situations of incorrect play when a small amount of time is needed to implement the corrective procedure.
Warnings are typically issued when judges have to step in to correct a situation. The main purpose of warnings is to give ‘weight’ to the reminder to play more carefully. It’s written down and tracked, therefore it’s significant, but it doesn’t need to be scary.
The purpose of a Warning is to alert judges and players involved that a problem has occurred and to keep a permanent record of the infraction.
A Warning needs to be tracked and judges should write it down on the back of the result slips (if you are using them). The Scorekeeper will input the warning penalty into the tournament software to track the infraction. Scorekeepers can notify you when a player is close to an upgrade, and players need to be aware of how many penalties they have.
A time extension should be issued if the ruling has taken more than a minute.
If fixing the game state has taken more than one minute, give a time extension equal to the time taken, unless the match is in extra turns. You did look at the clock before walking up to the table, right?
A Game Loss ends the current game immediately and the player who committed the infraction is considered to have lost the game for the purpose of match reporting. The player receiving a Game Loss chooses whether to play or draw in the next game of that match, if applicable. If a Game Loss is issued before the match begins, neither player in that match may use sideboards (if the tournament uses them) for the first game they play.
If a player gets a Game Loss, that game is over. Board position or “but they were going to lose anyway” doesn’t factor into the decision. The rest of this block tells us what to do for the next game. The player with the Game Loss… lost. So that player gets to decide if they play or draw in the next game in the match. However, if the Game Loss is issued before the first game, the players haven’t actually played a game yet, so they don’t get a chance to sideboard.
Game Losses are applied immediately if the game is still ongoing, or to the player’s next game if it is not, unless otherwise specified.
The default time to apply a Game Losses is immediately. If there is no game going on, you apply the penalty to the next game that you can, even if its in a different match. However, there are a few infractions where the penalty specifically tells you to apply the penalty at a specific time. Mostly this is for a Decklist Problem discovered through decklist counting.
If a player would receive multiple Game Losses at the same time, they only receive one.
The infractions don’t have to happen at the same time; if you’re going to write two or more Game Losses on the match slip in one go you will only issue one. While relatively rare it is most likely to come up during a deck check, where multiple infractions could occur as part of the one check. Another scenario is handing a decklist in late, then before the round starts needing to fix the list because of mis-registering lands. A Game Loss is always a significant penalty, receiving 2 or more for infractions discovered at the same time essentially converts the penalty into a match loss which doesn’t fit the infractions. Although it may feel like the player is getting away with no penalty for the other infraction or infractions, they are still receiving the same penalty they would have for that infraction and they are all being recorded.
If simultaneous Game Loss penalties are issued to each player, they are recorded, but do not affect the match score.
This covers situations where both players have an illegal deck, or other similar circumstances. If we issue both players with a Game Loss penalty, only one game in the match will determine the winner and it’s always better for both players to play a complete match. To remedy this, you record both penalties, end the current game (if it is still being played) and both players continue to the next game. For the purpose of reporting the score, that specific game didn’t happen.
A Match Loss is a severe penalty that is usually issued when the match itself has been compromised.
There are three infractions that result in a Match Loss penalty. Upgrading Tardiness; Outside Assistance and Unsporting Conduct – Major.
Note that it is possible for a match to become compromised but still continue such as if a spectator commits Outside Assistance.
Match Losses are applied to the match during which the offense occurred unless the offender’s match has already ended, in which case the penalty will be applied to that player’s next match.
If the match has already ended, apply the penalty to the next match.
A Disqualification is issued for activity that damages the integrity of a tournament as a whole or for severe unsporting conduct.
Disqualifications are for the most severe infractions. Don’t feel bad about these. Remember, you don’t give penalties. Players earn them.
The recipient of a Disqualification does not need to be a player in the tournament. They may be a spectator or other bystander. If this happens, they must be entered into the tournament in Wizards Event Reporter (“WER”) so that they may be disqualified and reported to the DCI.
Entering the spectator or bystander into the event ensures that there is a record of the DQ and the information can be used by the Investigations Committee. Get the person’s name or DCI number, even if you have to ask around. Remember to collect statements and enter an investigation report.
Disqualification can occur without proof of action so long as the Head Judge determines sufficient information exists to believe the tournament’s integrity may have been compromised. It is recommended that the Head Judge’s report reflect this fact.
Magic events are not a court of law, nor an episode of CSI:Miami. You do not need a smoking gun or DNA evidence. The Head Judge does not need to prove that their decision is right, they just need sufficient information to justify it. However, if you disqualify without evidence, you need to record that as well. And the investigation committee still has the right to ask the Head Judge to explain why they thought the player should be disqualified.
When this penalty is applied, the player loses their current match and is dropped from the tournament. If a player has already received prizes at the time they are disqualified, that player may keep those prizes but does not receive any additional prizes or awards they may be due.
When a player is disqualified from the tournament, their event is over. The results of the matches or games they have finished won’t be changed, and if the player has already received prizes prior to the Disqualification, they get to keep what has already been received. However, they are not given anything they are yet to receive. This is mainly to avoid the legal complications of “taking back” something that has already been given. It’s important to inform the player that they will not receive any planeswaler points for the tournament.
When a player is disqualified during a tournament, they are removed from the tournament and do not take up a place in the standings. This means that all players in the tournament will advance one spot in the standings and are entitled to any prizes the new standing would offer. If the Disqualification takes place after a cut is made, no additional players advance in place of the disqualified player although they do move up a spot in the standings. For example, if a player is disqualified during the quarterfinal round of a Magic Tabletop Mythic Qualifier, the former 9th place finisher does not advance into the single elimination top 8, but they do move into 8th place in the standings.
This paragraph is to tell judges (and players) what happens when a player is disqualified. A very common question is “Well, now that a spot in the Top 8 is available, can 9th place get it?” The answer is: if it’s after the cut, no you can’t.
More information about the Disqualification Process may be found at http://blogs.magicjudges.org/o/disqualification-process/.
The link to the disqualification process has all the information on what needs to happen when a player is disqualified. There are links to documents and to the form that submits the disqualification report to the investigation committee.