Another twenty dozen e-mails, more than two dozen topics … yep, just another month in the life of L4+ judges. Oh, and, we might have run a few GPs, too. And we discussed Kansas City, Miami and Houston… but more on that, later.
We also discussed some more things that happened in Vegas. Here’s a fun one: when does the round officially end – when the clock runs out? or, when the announcement is made over the PA? We agreed that, if the players are watching the clock, or if there’s a judge at the match watching, then the clock is official. However, if a match starts their extra turns counter as of the PA announcement, that’s OK. After all, not everyone will have an unobstructed view of the clock, and it’s quite reasonable to depend on that announcement. Extra time should be based on the clock, esp. since that clock should now be counting up.
The M14 edition of the IPG got a little bit of discussion, mostly because of the change to Drawing Extra Cards. Not much to tell the world about, there – we agreed that it’s a great change!
If the player received confirmation from his or her opponent before drawing the card (including confirming the number of cards when greater than one) , the infraction is not Drawing Extra Cards.
The followup question, of course, is “well, then, what IS it?”; just like any other Game Play Error, you look at the specific categories (Missed Trigger, L@EC, etc), and end up figuring out that it’s none of the others, so it must be Game Rule Violation.
We also revisited a popular and fairly ancient topic – what to do about a player who, when presented with a deck that he thinks might not have been properly shuffled, chooses to do a 3-pile shuffle instead of calling a judge? Well, the 3-pile shuffle is not illegal. Let me repeat that, for emphasis: the 3-pile shuffle is NOT illegal. As it happens, the questionable action is using that technique when a player suspects their opponent did a “double-nickel” or other form of mana weave. We all agree that we’d prefer a player call a judge in this situation – but we also agree that we won’t (can’t!) disallow the 3-pile technique, even if applied when a player suspects something is odd. (But please, do call a judge!)
Discussion continued – and continues – on the topic of handling deck lists at GPs. Tradition has us trying to “count lists” (i.e., count to 60+ and – now – up to 15, scan for legal cards) as early in the day as possible, with a goal of assessing all deck list penalties at the start of round 2 or 3. Well, we’ve broken that tradition; we have new goals, which are actually connected: verify that we have all the lists – hopefully finish this during round one! – and maximize floor presence. We will verify the legality of the lists as the day progresses, with an overall goal of ensuring that all the Day 2 lists have been checked before the end of Day 1. We may end up verifying 90% of the Day 1 lists; depending on staffing and attendance, that number will vary. But we don’t need to count them all; it’s just one of those things we’ve always done, so we kept doing it … no more! Our New! Improved! Tradition: Customer Service! (i.e., having more judges on the floor, instead of counting to 60.)
Finally… we discussed putting this guy on a milk carton. You know, those “Have you seen me?” campaigns? However, we were happy to learn that, in fact, James Mackay has survived the first months of parenthood with his sanity (?) intact, and even happier to learn that you, too, might again spot this rare & unusual creature at a GP near you! (Oh, and – Congratulations, again, James – I’m sure you’re an amazing father!)