Endorsement Information

For the Rules Advisor Who Wants an Endorsement:

Part of the benefit of requiring L1s to be responsible for finding their own endorsements is that it pushes them to start connecting with their local judge community. In both our local and global communities, judges lean on and depend on each other. It’s important for judges to know other judges who they can ask for advice with challenging calls or tournament logistics. Therefore, before you can become a Level 1 Judge, you need to show that you are resourceful enough to find help when you need it.

Please remember that during the Level 1 certification process, you will need to get an endorsement before you can take the final exam to advance to Level 1 certification. We STRONGLY suggest looking for someone to write an endorsement sooner rather than later.

Most of the time, endorsements will come from a judge or tournament organizer you already know prior to deciding to become a judge. This may be a Local L2 or L3 judge. This could also be a tournament organizer who has been selected to receive the TO Endorsement Writer Badge. If you only know Level 1 judges, then they already have an L2 or L3 judge, or a TO that they know and trust who has helped them along their education journey. Ask them to introduce you!

In the past, every L1 Candidate needed to find one L2+ that was willing to help them become Level 1. However, in the past, that L2+ needed to be physically present in order to interview and test the L1. That caused some high barriers to entry, and occasionally put a heavy burden on L2+ Judges, so that is something we changed about the system. While it is preferred of course, Judge Academy does not currently require that your endorsement for Level 1 is written by someone who has seen you judge in-person.

That said, endorsements should ideally be written by someone in your local community or region that you can build a relationship with. Someone who you can reach out to with questions along the way, and especially after you become a judge. Many Rules Advisors get these types of digital endorsements from judges they meet and begin interacting with in the Rules and Policy channels, or their regional chat, on the Judge Academy Discord, or in some regional social media groups. While it’s possible you may find someone from another region who you connect with through conversation, we have found that many L2 judges do not feel comfortable being asked to endorse a Rules Advisor from outside of their own areas, as this leads the endorsement writer to wonder if L2s, L3s, and TOs in that Rules Advisor’s area said no already for some reason, if they have a poor local reputation, etc. No one is ever required to write an endorsement for anyone else. If you are told no, be polite about it, accept advice humbly, and move on to other potential mentors.

For the Judge or TO Who Has Endorsement Writing Capabilities:

Although we ask that you put some thought into the conversation you have with the candidate, we do not expect the process to take more than 30 min or so. Passing the rules and policy final exams for L1 will ideally be enough to prove they have met the base-level expectation of what it means to be a Level 1 judge as far as their knowledge goes. With that taken care of, the endorsement is more about who the judge is as a person since that is a thing we can’t check electronically. However, it’s totally okay to still double-check some of their rules/policy knowledge as well if you really want to. Below we have listed some examples of suggested topics you may want to discuss with the Rules Advisor:

    • Is this person a real person who is not already a certified judge?
    • How did they hear about Judge Academy, and why do they want to become a judge?
    • If you already knew this person, what kind of a community member are they? Are they a helpful player? Are they toxic to the community?
    • If you didn’t already know this person, why did they choose to come to you? Are there other judges or TOs in their community that could give you some insight?
    • What would you need to know about this person and their knowledge, attitude, or reputation to feel comfortable working with them at a future event?
    • Do you believe that this person understands how to run a safe and welcoming event for their community?

Remember, just because you have the ability to write endorsements does not mean you are ever obligated to use that ability. If you are not comfortable with writing an endorsement for someone, politely tell them no, maybe offer them some advice if you have any feedback for them, then leave it at that.

How Do I Give an Endorsement?

  1. Visit the Rules Advisor’s profile. (If you cannot find them, ask them to update their privacy settings, or send you a direct link to their profile.)
  2. On the “Leave a Review” tab, select “Endorsement for Level 1” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Type your endorsement, then click “Submit Review.”