December 2021 JA News and Updates

Hey, all! December News and Updates are below!

It’s one of those weird months where the first Tuesday and the first Wednesday are on two separate weeks, so I figured we’d try to get the info out to you all sooner rather than later!

As usual, I (Nicolette) will be around for Office Hours tomorrow in the JA Discord from 9am-10am Pacific and from 4pm-5pm Pacific. To see these times in your local Timezones, follow the links below:

9am Pacific

4pm Pacific

Website Updates: 

The new site is live! If you come across any issues with a new aspect of the site, or any feedback please feel free to reach out via the Contact Us Form.

As you become reintroduced to the site, please take a moment to verify that your privacy settings are set to your liking/comfort. Due to various data/privacy laws, PRIVACY SETTINGS DEFAULT TO PRIVATE. This means any data that you want shared OR searchable should be marked to display.

A note on privacy here – while you always have the right to make any and all data private from other users, please note that having some critical information hidden (your profile, name, level, email, or region) will make it much harder to be accepted to events or conferences, or be contacted by potential employers for work.

Recent Updates/Fixes since relaunch:

  • Updated the Requirements for Leveling up page to account for the fact that the Membership information had been moved from a “Memberships” tab on a users profile to the “Account Details” tab.
  • Corrected an issue where an active subscription would not be displayed on the Account Details tab
  • Corrected an issue allowing for early access to content above a user’s earned judge level
  • Corrected an issue where the login option was not present on the mobile view of the homepage
  • Corrected a rare bug that caused certain event questions to deserialize improperly, causing them to not load on the event application form.

Known Bugs Being Fixed Currently

  • Password Resets – The Password reset button does not function properly since it redirects to a page behind a log-in wall. We are in the process of fixing this, but if you need a reset in the meantime and the page has not been updated, please feel free to reach out through the contact us form and we will push a reset email to your email on file!
  • Replacing the missing social media links in the website footer
  • Correcting an issue where the user search was displaying ‘Username’ in the ‘Display Name’ column incorrectly

We are still working our way through feedback as it comes in!

Membership Renewals:

To facilitate an easy transition into 2022, we opened up renewals last month and added a small grace period, meaning although most current memberships expire on December 31st, 2021, members will not lose any of their current certifications until February 1st 2022. All renewals made on memberships with a December 31st, 2021 expiration date will be set to expire on December 31st, 2022. If you renew early, your receipt/membership may show a different expiration date initially, but rest assured these will be automatically corrected when the grace period window for subscriptions closes on February 1st, 2022.

Please note that if your expiration date is December 31st, 2021, and you wait until January 15th to renew, your new expiration date will still be December 31st, 2022, and you will still have access to all your benefits during the grace period.

New JA Champions and Staff Changes:

I’d like to introduce some new members of JA’s Community Team to you all! These Champions are our Project Managers for various portions of our content creation and other roles.

  • Jonah Kellman – Jonah has joined our team as our Logistics Champion. He is a Level 3 who truly embodies the mentality of an events judge and will be heading up content creation geared towards logistics and event best practices.
  • Daniel Lee – Daniel has joined our team as our Rules/Policy Champion. He’ll be using his expert knowledge and education background to help us revamp our current test pools and prepare update exams and new modules when new sets are released or rules change.
  • Matthew Fox – Matthew is our Community Champion. They are a Level 2 with a long history of community management experience in and out of Magic. They’ll be slowly taking over the conference approval process, and putting together modules and special programming to those judges that specialize in community building, mentorship, and conference education.
  • Samantha Harr – Samantha initially joined our team as a creative assistant, and has recently stepped into the role of Communications Champion. I’m excited to work with her merchandising options and on starting to use our various social media platforms to help build our own community and share the hype our team feels everyday with you all.
  • Thomas Conmy – Thomas has joined us as our TO Champion and will be working on modules and programming geared to make judges’ lives better by educating TOs on Staffing Guidelines, the importance of JA Certifications, and the TO responsibilities at events.

We are also saying goodbye to Chris Pompeo. You may have gotten the pleasure of interacting with him if you had an issue with your account or on the site, or have read some of our more tech-heavy emails. We are excited for him to start his new fancy government job, but are sad to see him go!

With so many staff being on-boarded and existing roles and responsibilities moving around, we know there may be some small delays as everyone gets resituated, especially around the holidays. However, I am so excited to have such a great team, and we are all excited for 2022 as we will have many more heads (and hands) creating a much more exciting content creation schedule!

End of Year Celebration Reminders:

Requirements/Restrictions for attendees

  1. Promotional Support for these conferences is region-locked by default, and limited to one pack per attendee. This means that while organizers may choose to open up their conference to out-of-region attendees, those judges will not be eligible to receive promotional support for attending an out-of-region event.
  2. Any exceptions to the above can only be made ahead of time at the discretion and with the permission/coordination of the organizers in both your region and the region you wish to attend, and may not result in an attendee receiving multiple sets of attendee support.

For example:

Judge Joan cannot attend her region’s scheduled conference. She sends an email to her region’s organizer (Abe) and the organizer of another conference (Betty).  Betty has space for Joan, so together, the 3 of them work out which organizer will distribute Joan’s support.

  • Joan will only receive 1 attendee support pack, even if she somehow ends up attending both.
  • Only the organizer who distributes/mails Joan’s support will count Joan in their final attendance numbers to Judge Academy.

Other December Conferences:

For non-EOY conferences in December, as much as possible, attendees around the world will receive Karlov of the Ghost Council and Grand Arbiter Augustin IV as their 2 “Old-Wave” slots in the sponsorship packs, meaning each pack will be:

  • Morphon (NEW)
  • Zacama (NEW)
  • Karlov of the Ghost Council
  • Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

Why clarify “as much as possible”? The promos are an extremely limited resource compared to other printings and, towards the end of a card’s rotation, it’s possible that we might run out of a particular promo from an older wave, or not have enough of that specific card to cover a larger conference. This is especially true for cards that were released in 2021 as we have done our best to approve as many conferences as possible in order to facilitate community connection and education during this time of isolation. THIS WILL NOT OCCUR FOR CURRENT WAVE (NEW) CARDS.

Clarification and Updates for 2022 Conferences:

Great conferences wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the presenters, organizers, and everyone else who helps make them happen. We have tweaked our conference support to recognize that work, and encourage more people to turn their own ideas into presentations and conferences for others to learn from. Below are the updated promo policies for 2022.

  •  All attendees will receive one support promo pack. Presenters will receive two, organizers will receive three. Those packs will be two card packs for digital events, or four card packs for in-person events.
  • Two card packs include the two most recently released promos. Four card packs include those two, along with two other promos from a previous wave. This reflects the increased time and input that goes into attending a physical conference
  • As further recognition, presenters and organizers will also receive a previewed Judge Academy Promo. Those previewed promos will ONLY be available to conference staff and presenters until the 2022 End of Year Celebration conferences.
  • The organizer is responsible for setting and enforcing attendance expectations with attendees. This might include feedback requests, attendance checks, sign-in sheets, or another method of tracking participation. Presenters are expected to meet the same standard of participation as attendees to receive both packs. Exceptions to this should be agreed upon with the conference organizer ahead of time.
  • Conferences give judges the chance to learn, not only from the presenters, but from their fellow attendees as well. To recognize the added benefit they bring to a conference through their active participation, L3s will receive an additional attendee pack.

Below is a chart that outlines 2022 promo support for the various roles.

Primary organizers of digital conferences are responsible for the distribution of promos. Those organizers will receive additional support as an acknowledgement of the increased logistics that goes into a digital conference, which scales based on the size of the event.

If promo distribution logistics for your event pose particular challenges please feel free to let us know as part of the conference application or contact our community bard champion, Matthew, at to discuss further support.


Nicolette and the (now much larger) Judge Academy Team