Anyone is eligible to participate as a player in a DCI-sanctioned tournament except for:
- Individuals currently suspended by the DCI. Individuals currently suspended from the DCI may not act as tournament officials;
This is kind of the definition of suspended or banned.
- Other individuals specifically prohibited from participation by DCI or Wizards of the Coast policy (such determination is at Wizards of the Coast’s sole discretion);
This could be another form of banning, or could apply to Wizard employees. What it means it up to Wizards.
- Individuals thirteen (13) years of age and younger who do not have their parent/guardians’ permission;
Thirteen is the recommended age for the game provided by Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast.
- Anyone prohibited by federal, state, or local laws, the rules of the Tournament Organizer, or by a venue’s management.
Federal, state, and local laws supersede any rules set forth by Wizards of the Coast. For example, if a player isn’t allowed within 500 ft of a particular store, employee, or other players because of a restraining order or some other legal limitations, he or she can’t play. Being able to play is a privilege, not a right, and extenuating legal circumstance may prevent people from playing. The store owner has the right to bar anyone from their store or venue for any reason they see fit. Typically store owners only use this as a last resort for recurring problems players, or in the case of theft. Wizards cannot force a store or venue to allow a specific individual.
- Tournament Organizers may choose to age restrict any Regular REL events that they organize. They must clearly indicate this in their marketing for the event on the Store and Event Locator description as well as any other place they display the event information. (i.e. Tournament Organizers may advertise an age 16 and under Friday Night Magic).
Anyone is eligible to participate as a tournament official (Tournament Organizer, Head Judge, floor judge or Scorekeeper) for a tournament with the exception of:
- Individuals currently suspended by the DCI;
If someone is suspended as a player, they aren’t allowed to judge either. Keep in mind, this does not directly correspond with judge certification. Just as non-certified individuals can act as judges for the event, being suspended does not directly revoke your certification, though it may be taken into consideration.
- Anyone who has played in the tournament, unless it is a tournament that explicitly allows tournament officials to play while acting as a tournament official.
This rule is to prevent conflicts of interest. You cannot rule impartially in a tournament you are hoping to gain from. However, there are specific low-stakes tournaments where the conflict of interest is sufficiently mitigated. These exceptions are outlined in the next section.
Tournament officials may play in a DCI-sanctioned, rated tournament for which they are a tournament official if (and only if) the tournament is of the following event types:
- Friday Night Magic
- Standard Showdown
- Draft Weekend
- Other non-Premier Magic Tournaments
- Tournaments in which the official Wizards of the Coast tournament fact sheet specifically permits officials of that tournament to play
If one or more tournament officials play in the tournament, it must be run at Regular Rules Enforcement Level. If tournament officials play in the tournament and the tournament is not one of the allowed event types listed above, the tournament will be invalidated. Tournament officials are required to officiate tournaments fairly and without regard to their own self-interest.
The owners of organizations that run Premier Events are not permitted to play in those events, even if the owner is not listed as a tournament official (organizer, judge, and/or scorekeeper) for that tournament.
Premier Events include the following tournaments: Magic: The Gathering World Championship, Magic Players Tour, Players Tour Finals, WPN Qualifiers, WPN Preliminary Events, Players Tour Qualifiers, Magic Premier Series, Grand Prix, and Grand Prix Trials.
Some tournaments have additional criteria regarding player and tournament official eligibility (e.g. invitation-only tournaments, such as Players Tour and Player Tour Finals)
The Players Tour Invitation Policy defines specific eligibility rules with regards to certain types of invitation-only Premier Tournaments (e.g. Players Tour and Players Tour Finals).
Individuals with questions regarding their tournament eligibility should contact the DCI policy manager via (email@example.com).
The “tournaments in which the official Wizards of the Coast tournament fact sheet specifically permits officials of that tournament to play” does not have anything under that category, but is an option for the future. The general policy is that all Regular Rules Enforcement Level events someone can both play and act as a Tournament Official, for Competitive and Professional they cannot.