March Update (Judge Classes!)

Hello, friends! For this month’s blog post, I wanted to have a guest join us all the way from…well…Georgia. Nik Zitomer is our Region’s Education Captain, and he’s got some updates for us on the new Initiatives he’s been working on over the last month. Before we get into that post, I want to give you all a quick update on what’s going on on my end, and what’s to come in the next month or so!

First, I want to give a mental round of applause to all of the Captains. In the last month, just like Nik, many have been organizing conferences and working on initiatives to help grow their local areas. Second, the Judge Apps Spot Maintenance has ended, now that we have an accurate count of the judges in our region, I will be working with those hosting mini-conferences to ensure that we get the Judge Promo Rules Lawyers out to as many certified judges as possible!

So what’s on the Horizon for us as a Region?

Well, a couple of things. In our post about 2018 Maintenance I briefly mentioned June maintenance and at our last Monthly Judge Chat, talked about opening those forms in March. However, the Judge Apps January Maintenance took much longer than intended (since they were dealing with judges from all over the world). Given that the dust from all that is still settling, I think it’s time for a mental break from “Maintenance”. I will open up a Google Form at the beginning of May that has a list of all of the requirements for your current level, with space to say how you have met those requirements. You’ll have all of May and all of June to get that form filled out, and I PROMISE there will be plenty of reminders. But until them, let’s live in the now! Or at least, the relatively near future, like April!

“BUT NICOLETTE, WHAT’S IN APRIL? Funny you should ask! Shameless Plug Time: April 28th and 29th is the SCG Atlanta Team Open, one of the few Large Scale events for our Region this year. Not only that, but three of the four Head Judges are from our Region! I’ll be Head Judging the Open on Saturday, adding Bryan Prillaman and none other than Nik Zitomer (he sure is coming up a lot this update!) in red for Classics on Sunday. Add to that both Matt Williams and Jess Dunks, and we are sure to have a great event. If you’d like to join us for SCG Atlanta (A.K.A. Lit-mas) apps close in just over two weeks.

All that being said, let’s get on to the good stuff!

Nik Zitomer (L2, Georgia)

Hello Everyone! You may know that I am your Region’s Education Captain (or, if not, you do now!). Today I’d like to briefly outline and describe what that role means to me, and, as a result, what you should expect from me going forward. I take judge education very seriously, to the point that I’ve worked with other leaders in our region (notably Nicolette Apraez and Jess Dunks) to develop curricula for online judge classes. We have 2 such classes that have been run multiple times: an L0-to-L1 class (“L1 Class”) and a L1-to-L2 class (“L2 Class”). While these outlines were created with online classes in mind, there’s nothing to stop you from hosting class at your Local Game Store once a week before FNM, or anywhere else.

What I want to be able to offer you, as students or educators in the region, is the guidance and materials to engage in successfully attending or running these classes. Since there are two audiences here (students and presenters), I’m going to direct the students to the following posts, which are simply the syllabi for each class. Included in the syllabi are the topics that should be covered, a rough idea of how long the courses are (though this may vary based on who is presenting and how often the classes can logistically meet), as well as external resources that may be used to help study the topics mentioned. These resources are not at all exhaustive, and you can certainly find various other materials out there to help. Interested students please keep your eyes open for announcements about upcoming classes and how to enroll (or perhaps poke your mentor about hosting)!

Class Syllabi

L1 Class

L2 Class


If you are interested in bringing one of the courses to your area, please fill out this form. Filling out the form does not commit you to anything, but will allow me to reach out, and to connect you with others interested so that past and current resources as well as responsibilities may be shared. In the past, we’ve typically had 2 to 3 teachers, who split up topics based on availability, experience, or preference.

If you are interested in hosting and teaching one of these courses, please understand that it is an ACTIVE role. It will require content creation (guided questions, updating material, teaching, etc.). I want teachers dedicated to producing the highest quality materials so our judges have the best opportunities to learn.

Want to help, but not sure where to start? Fill out the form, and let us know you’ve got an interest in starting up a Judge Class in your area. We’ll work with you to make call-outs for other instructors, get you examples of course materials, and find an appropriate online (or in-person) channel for the class.

Summary of Goals

OK, so we have the resources. What are the goals for the region with all of this? I would love to see our engaged, motivated community of L2 judges take the reigns here and dive in to offer classes where there is demand for them. Ultimately, sharing that level of commitment with L0’s or L1’s will go a long way towards developing stronger mentor/mentee relationships across the region. Another benefit is to provide a solid backbone of materials we can all use to study/learn from. Obviously, the result of all of this should be to improve the base level of our judges as well.