Transcript – April First Week: Side Events

8:01:24 pm – Jonah Kellman:
There’s always. Alrighty, folks. Hello, and welcome back. To first week, I’m Jonah joined by Amanda Koontz. Today, we’re going to be talking about side effects and the logistics of chaos. So let’s just start with a little bit of introduction. Amanda, do you want to introduce yourself? Why did I pick you to show up here? Brag a little bit.

8:01:49 pm – Amanda Coots:
Sure. Hi. I’m Amanda. I coots, I’m an L2. A magic judge and flesh, and blood judge, from Houston. Why you picked me? Well, I think I have a little bit of a reputation as that L2 who leads sides a lot or have in the past. There was a period. I think from like late, 2018 through 2019, where I was leading GP magic side events almost every event or close to it that’s partly because it’s kind of an easier place to break into as an L2. But it’s also because I really like side of ends. And I really enjoyed the logistics side of side events.

8:02:31 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Awesome. So initially, we had planned to have another guest who is unfortunately unable to make it. I also have a fair amount of experience running side events. It’s one of my favorite roles at larger tournaments just because there is so much going on and there is endless chaos and that’s where I thrive. So I’m gonna be asking questions of Amanda, but I’m also gonna be answering them myself. We get a little bit of my perspective this week, so that’ll be fun. So let’s just start off. What do you like about side events and running side events?

8:03:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I think it’s really twofold one. I think the players are having more fun. It’s at regular Arielle, there’s less money on the line. So the players that are there are

8:03:15 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:03:17 pm – Amanda Coots:
really there to have fun, which makes it a more fun and casual environment.

8:03:22 pm – Jonah Kellman:
As a ancient on that.

8:03:24 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:03:25 pm – Jonah Kellman:
What’s the goofiest thing? You’ve seen players do on side events.

8:03:29 pm – Amanda Coots:
Oh, I can’t even remember. I we’ve done some really goofy things, especially when you get into, like the, like huge multi-player events and the unevents and people running around like we had to, we had to like, make a rule against like getting up out of your seat, for one of the end events because we had people like running and it was potentially dangerous.

8:03:54 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Oh for like one of the ones where it’s like see how many people you can high-five and 60 seconds in an event hallway. 1000 people that’s a lot but also running through the bed. Yeah, that makes sense.

8:04:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah. So I can be that can be pretty crazy. I think I think actually for that one we may have like realized it was going to be a problem ahead of time and laid out so some ground rules. Yeah. So it can be, can be a little crazier then, kind of the second piece and kind of what I enjoy about leading on side of events is the giant puzzle that it is. So, you mentioned chaos and sometimes is but more often than not like I would prefer it not to be right, like word, we’re trying, we’re trying our hardest to make it not be chaos.

8:04:37 pm – Jonah Kellman:
You don’t like the chaos, the chaos part.

8:04:41 pm – Amanda Coots:
Uh, well.

8:04:41 pm – Jonah Kellman:
because,

8:04:43 pm – Amanda Coots:
That’s a, that’s a trick question, right? Because in the end like we don’t want the event to be chaos, but sometimes it’s the most fun when it is.

8:04:49 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right? Like we don’t want it to be chaos, but chaos is when we have to apply our logistical talents and organize people the most efficiently like on those slow Fridays where you have like your largest event is 20 people and you have 30 judges available to you. You’re like All right, the seven of you will judge that eight player draft.

8:05:11 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah. The the chaos there is trying to make sure you keep judges entertained and

8:05:16 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:05:18 pm – Amanda Coots:
and realizing that everybody really wants to be doing something and not standing around doing that thing.

8:05:24 pm – Jonah Kellman:
So I that wasn’t one of my questions listed but that’s a great topic. If you are overstaffed or things are a little slow, how do you keep judges engaged when there aren’t events for them to be working at the moment or like maybe you get a bunch of judges early on a shift and you only have one event in the next, one’s not starting for an hour. So you’re wildly overstaffed. How do you How do you work with that?

8:05:48 pm – Amanda Coots:
I think there’s a few ways and it’s highly dependent on what the to like allows or is comfortable with. So, you know, some of the things we’ve done are like little mini conferences, set people down and had discussions about something you know, you can do that all the way to the kind of formal scale of somebody actually presenting something you can do it all the way down to or or back to the informal scale of just sitting down and having a chat about something, you know, if if You can also break up and have those chats while on the floor watching watching events. But like, if you’re putting seven or eight judges on a small event, probably, a number of those are going to be chatting and having some good conversations. So

8:06:29 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, just maybe having like pieces of policy or recent cards that have present an issues and be like, Why don’t you talk about dress down for a little bit or mist trigger recently was overhauled. Let’s talk about that, that sort of thing.

8:06:43 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, one of the things also is a lot of times on side events, you have some newer judges so just getting them more prepped, further events that are coming up later in the day. You know, talking about other things, they’re doing that weekend and and kind of helping getting prepped there.

8:06:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, that’s actually an excellent point. I don’t know if you’ve been to any mock tournaments, I went to one a couple months ago and when you’re overstaffed at least temporarily you get a lot of that same environment where you’re able to shadow every call and you can like say all right, you are going to be with this judge who’s on their first Grand Prix, or at their first convention or their first large tournament. Help them with everything, let them do everything and then just be there for them. And I think that’s a great opportunity for mentoring.

8:07:30 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, I’ll also have a longer like first meeting so like a pre-brief meeting, you know. I like to make that thorough anyway because you know, we don’t always remember from event to event. All the pieces of things we have sometimes of newer judges but, you know, I can, I can dive deeper and go more into it when we have more time.

8:07:49 pm – Jonah Kellman:
See these answers are great because the more you talk, the more of like Wait that’s a question. I should have written down given you to start prepare with. So surprise question again we’re gonna have a bunch of these because you keep on giving good answers What’s your morning intro? Look like, This is a valuable skill for leading signs. Leading a team, head. Judging a larger event. How do you because? Starting with a degree of formality, and some structure prevents it from becoming chaos immediately thereafter. So it’s a good first step to managing that chaos.

8:08:21 pm – Amanda Coots:
so, it depends a little bit on the team and how experienced people are, and that’s gonna that’s gonna gear

8:08:25 pm – Jonah Kellman:
they’re

8:08:27 pm – Amanda Coots:
how far and deep I go. But I do try to reiterate some things regardless of the level, even if everybody’s really experience. So the one I always forget is to start with introductions and let, let the team at her do. So I don’t know why. I just I, I have a horrible time for getting that one.

8:08:44 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Because you’re there and you’re like okay this is the information that I need to communicate with everybody. This is the schedule. This is the break schedule. This is where the resources that they need to do. Their jobs will be. Also I know all of them.

8:08:58 pm – Amanda Coots:
That, that too.

8:08:59 pm – Jonah Kellman:
You’re like, Okay, so Mark you’re gonna chat with like Crystal and Mark’s like who’s Crystal? you’re like, Right. So let’s do introductions.

8:09:10 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I like to reinforce, you know, the the items that a lot of times the Tio is probably already told you. Take care of yourself. I’m there to support you and you’re there to support the players. I don’t want to go into the full speech here obviously.

8:09:25 pm – Jonah Kellman:
I mean, you got time.

8:09:27 pm – Amanda Coots:
Well, it’s off the cuff most of the time.

8:09:30 pm – Jonah Kellman:
That’s fair. That’s very good.

8:09:31 pm – Amanda Coots:
Anyway, then it’s usually a lot of logistics. I like to start with the big picture of what area of the room we’re going to be in. Usually I’ve sent a we you know, I had this for later and one of the questions but you know, there’s a I’ll send an email out to the team beforehand of, you know, where we’re going to meet, which is usually near a side of the stage if there is one And when we’re gonna meet and that kind of thing, but then once we’re actually at the event there’s a lot more things that you know some of its reinforcing things that are in the email. Some of it’s adding new things where our events are actually going to be located. Now that we know for the day because that will change, you know, you get there and the to say, hey, the main

8:10:08 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:10:09 pm – Amanda Coots:
events going to be at this location. Inside of us are going to be in this area and then and then between side events Sometimes you have different teams for for scheduled sides and on demand events. And so like where those are launching some toes like to use flags to to know where side of ends are going to start. So you know what color flag or we going to be using to launch our events where our pairings boards. You know, all those things that you kind of have to know as a head judge for an event at your store but that we need to know on a larger scale at a bigger event with all these different events going on. You know, where’s the land station for any of our limited events going on? You know, just a bunch of questions to answer. that kind of morning of and then

8:10:53 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:10:55 pm – Amanda Coots:
would

8:10:55 pm – Jonah Kellman:
I think it’s really important to, if you include an email to repeat it in person because even though you may be attached, a floor plan, it’s so much different saying We’re going to be set up across from the red stage. Our cable range is going to be like 472 to 650, whereas, you can just say we’re over there, we’re gonna be in this block and like that being able to have that actual space where people can see it and where you can point and that’s the judge area. So you’re gonna have to run back and forth between there. So maybe carry a water bottle with you or whatever that sort of thing being in the space changes. A lot of how you present it.

8:11:34 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, and I don’t think most of the time we know much beforehand, where things are gonna be, because a lot of times, it’s get there, see how big the main events is see how big other things are, and then, you’re gonna kind of lay things out. So locations, often do change up to the last minute. The other part of that is, you know, as much as I’d like to think my emails are the are the most important thing in your life. I am not going to trust that everyone has read every detail in my email. So yeah,

8:11:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Trust. But verify.

8:12:00 pm – Amanda Coots:
We’re definitely gonna go back through things.

8:12:03 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, and I mean, I I’ve bet on your team before and I have read your emails that I’ve missed things and I’m sure that you’ve been on my team in read my emails and miss things, or Because frequently happens what I’ve in charge of things. I write something down and I miss something and people like, so, Where in the room are we? Unlike that’s a great question. I had that answer. I didn’t tell you.

8:12:27 pm – Amanda Coots:
And then there’s sometimes questions that come up in that meeting that are like Oh you know what? I still actually need to check on that and so I’ve got to check on it

8:12:33 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Absolutely.

8:12:33 pm – Amanda Coots:
and get it back out to the team. And then, you know, the last piece of those announcements as usualy, kind of specifics, for what it means to run an event for the day because there’s kind of two big roles. Usually that I assigned when I’m, when I’m leading sides, which is either your head judging the event for the day or head judging and event, or sometimes a couple of events or your floor judging. And so, what does it mean to be hedging and And/or for judging? So,

8:13:03 pm – Jonah Kellman:
What does it mean? let’s get those different from your

8:13:04 pm – Amanda Coots:
so,

8:13:06 pm – Jonah Kellman:
perspective for these events.

8:13:08 pm – Amanda Coots:
Firm from my perspective of these events. So head judging you are in charge of that event. Just like, if you were a head judge at your store, there’s some extra logistics that go on. Sometimes you’re going to be dealing with that. Sometimes, we’re gonna have a separate team kickstart a type. So, we call Kickstart That’ll help you get it launched and some of the location stuff and that those pieces the logistics. But really, you know, you are in charge of that event. You’re in charge of making sure it runs smoothly. That the rounds flip on time will set you up with who your score keeper is. And then from there on, You’re gonna run that. So it’s gonna be a trust but verify kind of thing, like, If I get really busy, I may not be paying attention to every single event that’s going on. Actually most of the time I can’t be and be paying attention to every

8:13:48 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:13:50 pm – Amanda Coots:
single event single event that’s going on. So you really are in charge of that event. So if you’re okay,

8:13:55 pm – Jonah Kellman:
At at some of those larger events like Mtg Vegas or something like that. It’s very possible for there to be 10 or 15 scheduled events going on simultaneously and you’ll have a head judge on them. But the team lead is is going to know where in the room it is but will not know what round it’s in, how it’s going, that’s wholly on the shoulders of your head, Judge

8:14:23 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, definitely, and even as some of the smaller events, you know, a different. He owes kind of have a different launch schedule yeah, definitely. the smaller events, you know, a different. He owes kind of have a different launch schedule that they like to use. So same, some tios will schedule events more frequently, but smaller events and some some tios are gonna launch them less often, but then they end up being bigger so you could easily. Yeah. You can easily have 10 plus events running.

8:14:45 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah. Now That what you talked about works? When you have enough judges, so that every event can have a head judge. There have been some events that I’ve worked at for some toes where you’ll have up to, as mentioned eight or nine, simultaneous events, not all starting at the same time, just staggered throughout the day, but there will be eight or nine simultaneous events and maybe five judges to cover them. And you also have on demand events, which require a judge paying attention to that.

8:15:17 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, I just, oh good.

8:15:17 pm – Jonah Kellman:
What I do for those rather than having a dedicated head judge and floor, judges who are floating between events. It’s a little bit of a more complicated system where we have some people who are just floating as floor, judges going from event to vent, wandering across the room just looking for calls answering calls and helping players directly. And then you have one or two people who are dedicated to just turning over around. There’s no head judge who is in charge of the event. If you have an appeal, you just bring it to either, your team leader, somebody else. But you have a couple people who are just like, okay, this is in round one, 20 minutes left, I’m gonna check back in 20 minutes, run end of round, Bring the results up to the score Keeper. Get the next round of pairings. Get it started and then move on to the next event. And that that definitely leans towards more chaos because there’s no direct ownership. I think one of the great things about having our head judge for unevent. There is the burden of responsibility when you were the hedge of an event. You feel responsible for that offense because you are, there’s nobody else. Who’s gonna pick up your slack? If you’re not there, if the round doesn’t turn over, it’s because you want there. Whereas, if you have two or three people who are focused on turning over rounds as a collective, it’s great if you’re able to get it to happen. But if around doesn’t turn over forgiven event, it’s not your responsibility, it’s the groups responsibility there. One person to say, Hey this wasn’t going and so it requires more communication for money but can work when you have a slightly thinner staff.

8:16:54 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, definitely. And I, I like to anytime I’m gonna put a group in responsibility, in charge of something, I like to put one person specifically in charge because I don’t think that groups can take charge of a thing. You always think there’s always that you think somebody else can can do the thing.

8:17:10 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:17:11 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I do like to make sure that you know who is specifically in charge. So you know that it works different logistically, depending on how many events and how many team members you have. Like you mentioned like I had one recently where we had about We had events launching, every 30 minutes, and about six of them. Still going at the same time and there were three of us.

8:17:34 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:17:34 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I did put one person in charge of launching all of them and one person in charge of turning all over all of the rounds. So and I was like, okay, if two of

8:17:43 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:17:45 pm – Amanda Coots:
the rounds are going to happen at the exact same time, they need to flip. At the same time, you’re going to grab either myself or this other judge from this other team that we can borrow for a moment.

8:17:54 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:17:56 pm – Amanda Coots:
So,

8:17:56 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Those moments where you’re delegating this extra responsibility for like you are in charge of the turnover team or you were in charge of making sure the judges are evenly distributed around the room for floating. That’s a great opportunity. For somebody who’s interested in becoming a side’s lead to get a little bit of experience. I know that if I was dropped into the convention center in New Jersey, for example, they said, You are leading side events here. Good luck. You may begin. I would have left that hall crying at like 9:30 in the morning, New Jersey has had some crazy crazy events, it’s a slightly smaller venue but very accessible to several large populations. And so, there’s a ton of players And you start to playing Tetris very early in the morning. For reference playing Tetris means finding space for events. Sometimes, you’ll be told that you have total of 200 seats. And after you want your first two events, you have 10 seats. and that’s not enough for the 30 players who want to play in your next event that starting in 20 minutes and so maybe you move one of the things that I’ve done in the past, Is every time around flips, over change, the starting table number. So it’s as close to the next event. And so you’re just constantly compressing and getting everybody as close together as possible. This was, of course, pre-pandemic when we jam players into convention centers, like sardines,

8:19:32 pm – Amanda Coots:
Here, I actually not even just pre pandemic. I have had one of those since, uh, post pandemic.

8:19:37 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Hmm.

8:19:37 pm – Amanda Coots:
Now, it isn’t as packed because we’re

8:19:39 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right. You have a little bit more facing.

8:19:40 pm – Amanda Coots:
spacing players more, but given the number of seats that we have, we were still compacting events because we

8:19:47 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:19:47 pm – Amanda Coots:
because we were physically out of room in the in the hall we ended up

8:19:52 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:19:52 pm – Amanda Coots:
They had had two main events and we actually ended up at one point. Throwing a side of it between the two main events because they had both shrunken slightly and hadn’t

8:20:01 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:20:02 pm – Amanda Coots:
collapsed yet and you know, it can be crazy. Go, where do you find that space?

8:20:07 pm – Jonah Kellman:
One of my favorite memories was from leading side events at an SCG in Baltimore. We ran out of space very quickly because the main event went over cap. It was the first time, the toe had done team events in a very long time and so they hadn’t figured oh, one person late registered. Is actually three people in the room. Not one. And so they were like, okay, we can late register these 10 people which ate up 20 more seats than they were anticipating. And so after we had launched our first two events, we did not have space for a third, we jammed in, I think another 24 seats in every row, ran out of space again. Stop running on demands still ran out of space. And then the venue set up some tables and chairs outside of the event hall itself up the escalators in the lobby and I was told, Okay, your tables and chairs are good to go. We’ve set up 11 tables. You should be good. And so I go up there to make sure the space is set, get table numbers out there, maybe bring a pairings board, they’ve set up 11 tables. And for each table right in the middle, one chair. And so I had like, I took that like

8:21:14 pm – Amanda Coots:
oh, Yeah.

8:21:17 pm – Jonah Kellman:
two steps every like I was just dashing down and be like. So this is unusable, we wanted 88 seats. We got 11.

8:21:26 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah. Venues don’t often don’t realize how we’re using spaces, but there, there

8:21:31 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:21:32 pm – Amanda Coots:
have been events where we’ve added spaces, spaces. We’ve added rooms like you mentioned edit tables outside of the outside of been several events where we’ve added spaces. We’ve added rooms like you mentioned edit tables outside of the outside of the room.

8:21:40 pm – Jonah Kellman:
We’ve at New Jersey and a couple other venues. We’ve taken tables off of like the side event stage and we’re like, we need tables. Here’s a table. And just bring it over.

8:21:49 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah. Yeah. I had so many thoughts about different things while you were talking, but I think they’ve all fled.

8:21:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
They’re all gone, don’t worry?

8:21:58 pm – Amanda Coots:
So

8:22:01 pm – Jonah Kellman:
We’re on, we’re like 20 minutes in and we’re going to question number three. I mean.

8:22:06 pm – Amanda Coots:
It’s fine. We’re jumping ahead a little bit and around.

8:22:12 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Challenges, do you face? And we’ve talked about a bunch of them, but

8:22:19 pm – Amanda Coots:
So you know, I think let’s just logistics is a big part of it is, you’ve got schedules. So you got people that have different schedule like preferences and conflicts you have the events that may or may not be running. Exactly like they should be. So one challenge is an event Doesn’t you know I’ve got this sealed event. That was supposed to end the next time and then we were gonna start the next sealed events and what do we do events gonna run into the start time? about the fact that the first field Do we do we delay?

8:22:50 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right and players. Who won in the next one.

8:22:51 pm – Amanda Coots:
Do we do we delay? The next one do.

8:22:53 pm – Jonah Kellman:
They’re like, Can I like just come to build late and you’re like, Yeah, I guess, but that because we don’t want to delay this hundred player event for Even the 20 or 30 players who are still playing, but also, if they’re in the same space, maybe

8:23:07 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:23:08 pm – Jonah Kellman:
space, maybe we it. So we can put the sealed event where the other one was

8:23:13 pm – Amanda Coots:
And the thing I found is things that were more easily answered or we had figured out to easier answers with Wizard Event. Reporter. The old software tool just aren’t logistically aren’t always logistically possible with the new companion apps and some of the new

8:23:29 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Mmm.

8:23:30 pm – Amanda Coots:
scorekeeping tools. And so I think we’re still refiguring out some of those processes

8:23:35 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:23:35 pm – Amanda Coots:
And in the new era,

8:23:37 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right. Because digital reporting changes how you handle events, pretty drastically especially at larger scale. And we just don’t have. two decades of experience with experience with Matchlips and we’re

8:23:50 pm – Amanda Coots:
Um, yeah.

8:23:51 pm – Jonah Kellman:
all essentially one,

8:23:52 pm – Amanda Coots:
Matt. Yep, match lips and also just the ability to kind of edit and change to kind of edit and change Matt. Yep. ability to kind of edit and change to kind of edit and change

8:23:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:24:00 pm – Amanda Coots:
able to handle that and you know, for the thought the current software doesn’t doesn’t allow that for specific reasons. So,

8:24:07 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right. That’s not something that I’ve gotten

8:24:10 pm – Amanda Coots:
so,

8:24:12 pm – Jonah Kellman:
to deal with yet. I’ve so far avoid. not avoided, but because I just haven’t been a defense with Event. Like So that’s I have been in a couple of events where we’re like. Yep, it’s digital only, and I’m like, but what about my math slips of my paper pairings, I miss those. I know what to do with them. I know how to make tape loops.

8:24:31 pm – Amanda Coots:
So one thing to be aware of is you is very much harder to add players after the fact. So the extent that often we can’t add players after the event starts anymore. Whereas when used to be able to

8:24:44 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah. it’s It’s crazy out there. Um, so

8:24:52 pm – Amanda Coots:
You were asking about challenges.

8:24:54 pm – Jonah Kellman:
yeah.

8:24:54 pm – Amanda Coots:
So the other other challenges Trying to think what. What, so we talked about logistic, I mean, you already talked about table and, you know, kind of piecemealing that, you know, you kind of broached it from the side events and capping, capping events, kind of area. The other on the, on demand side, you can often do your do a form of collapsing, tables to, you know, events because they’re single elimination, they start out without eight players. But one round in there for players and so you can you can do some shuffling one of my first kind of well actually my kind of trial sides lead the event before I actually became a sides lead was helping with a lot of that logistics was that we were we were a kiss capped on space and doing on demands and had to be shuffling tables every round.

8:25:53 pm – Jonah Kellman:
So we’re gonna skip question four and go straight to question five because it’s relevant here. Do you remember the first time you ran Offense. Like you were the one person in charge. What was that? Like for you if you remember?

8:26:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
so, so that was a New Jersey and when I know you have the question down but what I’d be answer, I just gave is actually what I had but I had thought

8:26:12 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:26:13 pm – Amanda Coots:
about so I don’t really remember that first event very much. I think I was looking back and I have a, I had a small team, it was on on demands. So that’s a good place to start, you know, I think a team of like three people and as I mentioned the event, before I had expressed an interest in leading, and they wanted to kind of give me a, a trial us, you know, see how I would do. So while I wasn’t officially the sides or the on to me and lead, they Did have

8:26:56 pm – Jonah Kellman:
That’s super valid. I mean on demands is a great place to start because every event is going to be eight players or if you have a turbo town two players and you don’t really need to worry about Okay where can I fit 132 players? And How is that going to shrink over time? And How is that going to interfere with my other events that start at 11:30 and 12 and 12:30? You’re just eight players already. We’re gonna set them down. Are going to start playing magic when we’re out of space. We’re out of space, that’s it. And so, it’s Still relatively logistically intense because you’re juggling at times. Dozens of events especially for more popular releases. I know modern horizons one when the Mystery boosters were draft available events, those were very popular and you could launch 30 40 50 100 drafts in a day now it wasn’t just you but you had a team and so on demands are a great place to start if you’re looking to Get into leading sides and that sort of logistical chaos.

8:27:55 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, one of the other differences that makes it a little easier is you don’t have round timers. So there’s not not flipping of events. Usually the events are just kind of when they’re done, they come and report and they find out who their

8:28:07 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:28:08 pm – Amanda Coots:
next match is. So there isn’t that level of logistics. So yeah there’s there’s a lot of pieces that are For the same number of players. Are. I don’t know about the same number players because you have a lot more events for the same number of players. But for the same number of events, it’s definitely can be easier.

8:28:25 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah. Now for my first event, I remember going in being like, okay. Fill. You’re gonna take care of on-demand events. Charles, you’re gonna take the three modern events. Chris, you’re gonna take the three legacy events and I’ll take the three standard offense and that was the entirety of my plan. So, What is your pre event prep look like? And How is it evolved from where you started? Because you started with just on demands and you’ve grown to larger and larger roles where you’re in charge of like, Have you’ve done, Have you led side to Vegas? I’m sure you have where you have

8:29:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, I have.

8:29:06 pm – Jonah Kellman:
like, maybe 30 judges on your staff on a given day.

8:29:09 pm – Amanda Coots:
I think my largest team has been over 40 judges on a side of his team.

8:29:13 pm – Jonah Kellman:
yeah, that a lot of people to keep track of and like make sure everybody gets their breaks. So how if we gone from having two or three judges under our authority, to being able to sanely manage such large teams?

8:29:31 pm – Amanda Coots:
Well, one of the things that I realized early on is having a plan beforehand. It’s not always gonna go exactly the way you plan, but it’s it frees up bandwidth and brain space on the day of, to be thinking about other things. So, even when you need to modify it, you’re not spending as much time because you you’ve done a lot of the thinking beforehand. So things like thinking about your break schedule, and having that ahead of time. So I can’t say that I always do it but I, you know, I’m more likely to have that done ahead of time and the larger, the team, the more important that Becomes because they’re just isn’t time on the day of to to do that beforehand. Anytime you spend thinking about the event and thinking about how things are going to go, the day of just paste, dividends on the days of you mentioned, assigning yourself to launching some of the events. One of the things I’ve found and it made it’s kind of personal to me but I can’t have a hard time being both heads up and doing like the event itself. So like if I, if I put myself in charge of like specific things when I’m also trying to lead, neither one go as well. So I can’t I can’t focus on the specific events when I’m trying to keep the big picture. So while I will jump in and help with those things, if they’re needed during the day of, because we run into problems, I try not to plan or assign myself anything.

8:30:59 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, that’s definitely where I’ve ended up when I in charge of larger teams when it was smaller teams back when I was starting out, I was involved a little bit more, that sort of leading from the front. But these days if at larger events towards the end of 2019, beginning of 2020 at Grand Prix. I was mostly glued to the stage in my laptop, conducting everybody so that in part I could be very easy to find. Because if I’m at some random event People who have questions aren’t going to be able to get the answers they need. Now, I believe you have A schedule that we can.

8:31:33 pm – Amanda Coots:
I do. So, I guess. One thing is happening, is my, my plans have gotten prettier. I don’t know. I don’t know if they’re actually

8:31:42 pm – Jonah Kellman:
I like the good worksheet.

8:31:44 pm – Amanda Coots:
I have a spreadsheet that I use. This was a kind of a group effort. I think several of us who are leading sides, collectively started, kind of forming and and modifying each other’s plans and this is if I think that should be up on the screen

8:32:00 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:32:01 pm – Amanda Coots:
You. This is what kind of my version of this look like, this is actually one of my very earliest. I looked back in my Google sheets drive of what my what the earliest one I could find. And this one was from, I think it was from A I think it was from actually.

8:32:17 pm – Jonah Kellman:
It says, Vegas 28.

8:32:19 pm – Amanda Coots:
There you go. It was from Vegas 2018. So we could probably look at how big that team was but what you can see is it’s just basically a timeline of the day and I started these because it helped me to lay out and see kind of where everybody, what all the events were going on at a particular time and where different people are. So I deleted the names off the far left column, you know, normally we would have all of the judges that were for that, we’re working the event down that left-hand column. I just didn’t want to include personal names in here.

8:32:52 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

8:32:53 pm – Amanda Coots:
And then as you go right each row, then is a judge and is what they’re doing for the day so you can see some judges have one one main event that they’re their head, judging some have a couple, you know, this is a pretty nice schedule from that perspective. We didn’t have to have people doubling up or doing anything really crazy, the bright yellow or breaks. So I had pre-planned them, you know, sometimes it fits real nicely between people. One of the things that I really try to prioritize is making sure that at least a few people can go on break at a time. One of the things I always know that I hated when I was on sides, just when I would just be tapped and say, Go on break and I didn’t know who else was on break and

8:33:33 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Nobody else is on break.

8:33:35 pm – Amanda Coots:
And then I would just have to go eat by myself. And, you know, I was envious of the main event teams that went on team breaks. And I’m like, Why do I have to go eat by myself? So, you know, I don’t I know that not all my judges always go at the same time and

8:33:47 pm – Jonah Kellman:
But at least having the option.

8:33:49 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah. And and it isn’t always possible and I don’t, you know, so I you know, no promises if you’re in a future event with me. But I do try really hard to make sure that it’s at least two, if not more people on break at the same time so that they can go eat together if they want. Sides. I had sides can be a little bit, a little bit isolated at times. You know, that’s one of the differences there between sides and main event. So I try to do as much as I can to enhance the team aspect and group breaks is one of those things. So you can see that breaks kind of line up here. Other thing I do is I make sure I put a pad between my brakes because I know that, you know, I do with want people back at it at an hour, but things happen, and that isn’t always the case. And even once you get back, it takes a few minutes to hand off, whatever responsibility. And so we need some time overlapping to be able to say, You know, hand off the event. Here’s what here’s where we are. We’re in round two, and there’s x time on the clock and all of that

8:34:50 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:34:53 pm – Amanda Coots:
sort of

8:34:53 pm – Jonah Kellman:
And sometimes you’re a little bit late, letting somebody go to their break because they’re like just give

8:34:57 pm – Amanda Coots:
Right.

8:34:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
me five minutes the rounds about to flip and then they have a 20 minute

8:35:01 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:35:02 pm – Jonah Kellman:
time extension or something goes wrong, and so their breaks, 20 minutes later, they’re just too close together. You send the next person, 20 minutes later than they want in the next person’s, 40 minutes and

8:35:13 pm – Amanda Coots:
And then they can’t be on, they’re not on with the groups and that goes

8:35:16 pm – Jonah Kellman:
And then,

8:35:16 pm – Amanda Coots:
that goes back to the first goal. Yeah, so I do. So, I do put a buffer. One of the things you’ll find I actually have a newer version of my schedule here. If you see the old one, I actually had 30 minutes, 30 minutes between, but that was because my schedule was done in 30 minutes intervals, my newer ones. You can see, I actually break it down in the 15 minute intervals and partly, that’s because I like to leave 15 minutes between my brakes. It lets me fit more break. It fits the brakes and better. When I only leave, 15 minutes. um, I also find that, you know, 15 minutes is often a, like, I allow a few minutes before your head judging and event to go take like a 10 or 15 minute break and so that it just kind of works better for me to break it into 15 minute increments A little less color. One of the reasons there is because I like to print, I actually don’t work from this digitally during the day of the event, I actually have this one I actually have this one of the scorekeepers printed for me and then

8:36:13 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Interest.

8:36:13 pm – Amanda Coots:
and then and then work on paper and then work on paper on a clipboard. And so I print it in black and white because it’s I haven’t black and white because it’s gonna be printed in black and white. So,

8:36:22 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Interesting. I usually go I mean I’m working from my laptop and sometimes if the toe has like iPads or tablets otherwise available I’ll grab one of those and bring up my schedule and 17 other documents just so I can keep everything managed. I I mean how much do you edit your schedule throughout the day?

8:36:43 pm – Amanda Coots:
It does change quite a bit which is the other reason. Like I have kind of the colors and choices I do is because I write on it. I have erasable pins that I really like. And I use a bright pink or a bright color and I draw on it and it does change throughout the day. Also, I use like I mark on there, just kind of where I sent people so especially, you know, we didn’t ever go back to what? The other role was, besides head judging, but all the people who aren’t currently head judging on an event are floor. Judging, you know, that means several things. It means sweeping it means answering judge calls on an event. Like, generally, you’re kind of assigned to an area, it being sweeping through and making sure things look nice. It can mean you know if the head judge needs somebody to take out their or cut their slips, if you have slips, while they’re putting up pairings, it’s kind of just being available to to do the things that need to be done. So one of the things I like to do is just make a little note on my on my clipboard on where I sent somebody. So if I if they’re afloat at that moment I’m generally gonna have them in an area or on a specific event and so I’ll just make a note of which event and what area I’m have them. And it’s real easy for me to go back. I put that at the particular time I sent them so that I go back. Okay, so and so was here at such and such time

8:38:05 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right. And like it’s great to put in like table numbers or if table numbers are shifting and that way when you hand it off to somebody else, when you take your break, which is important, part of the day, they are aware of where humans are and people don’t get lost. You don’t know anything about people getting off at events.

8:38:23 pm – Amanda Coots:
Oh, you want that story? So yeah, so you asked me earlier, what the first event I led was and did I remember that one? I don’t remember that one, as well. As I remember what my first GP was, my first GP was Vegas 2015, and that was a long event. It was a four-day event and I was actually scheduled to judge fight or scheduled on a staff for five days. So Wednesday, I show up and I’m, I do set up territory set up not tear down and we whatever wednesday’s done. Thursday, I show up for my first shift, judging at a GP. I’m on, I think I was on last chance trials, but I show up looking for my team lead and it’s one of these events where there’s a, there’s like overall sides leads and then there’s Team leads within under that, right? So there’s this hierarchical structure.

8:39:19 pm – Jonah Kellman:
yeah, that was

8:39:23 pm – Amanda Coots:
Event was crazy. And so I show up looking for the person I thought was my team lead based on all the pre-communications I asked for Rob. I think, maybe in hindsight one of the problems was that there are a couple of robs in leadership roles and so somebody thought that I’m in the other person and they were but that Rob was on break and so they were like, Oh well you should go talk to. So and so who’s covering for them? So I went and talked to that person and they were didn’t know, they looked at their list, they didn’t see me on it. They didn’t know what to do with me. Basically said, Well, why don’t you go float in that area over there? And basically the whole day kind of just went like that, I would occasionally, I would float an area. I would answer Judge calls, you know, I did all the things I would occasionally go back and check in. and get sent to a different area and float in a different area on a different event which basically I was a floor judge all day problem is I so I was pm and there weren’t really like Team briefings at that point, much for your PM judges because leads were busy and work didn’t necessarily do a thorough briefing for PM judges. I think we’ve gotten better about that. It’s been one of my goals.

8:40:45 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Absolutely.

8:40:47 pm – Amanda Coots:
Definitely to improve on that. to improve on that. I don’t think I got to break it all because nobody knew to break me because nobody know where I was and I didn’t really realize how much they didn’t know where I was until I showed up for my shift, the next day It’s been one of my goals definitely to improve on that. I don’t think I got to break it all because nobody knew to break me because nobody know where I was and I didn’t really realize how much they didn’t know where I was until I showed up for my shift. The next day, met up with my team lead and she was like, Oh, I had you marked as a no-show. So, definitely quite a first experience.

8:41:14 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:41:15 pm – Amanda Coots:
Luckily, that was a multi-day event that second day. I had a small, we had like a team of four or five people with a team lead, who was actively involved in helping with things. And so I got a better experience on that day and then got to do on demands which were very crazy at Vegas 2015.

8:41:35 pm – Jonah Kellman:
They were launching like draft pods of 32 players.

8:41:38 pm – Amanda Coots:
They were 32 players, and by Friday, they mostly had it figured out, I think Thursday. It was probably even worse. I hear that. They like tried a bunch of different stuff trying to figure out what would work but by Friday.

8:41:49 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Well, I can imagine.

8:41:51 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, we were launching 32 pod, a 32 player pods. So I was launching on demands all day and then I think I did something even different on the other days. So I got a lot of it was nice because I did get a lot of different experiences over the weekend. But yeah you can definitely Hopefully we aren’t losing judges as much these days, but

8:42:09 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Hopefully not, I don’t think. I think occasionally, I do unfortunately like Miss somebody’s break for a little bit but I like one of the things that I’ve added to my spreadsheets is I have a tracker to make sure that everybody’s gotten their full round, they’re half round and their compensation. And I just check that off when I send them, I don’t check it off when I think they should have gone, I check it off when they’re actually out of the room and on break. And so that’s something I can check on regularly and I have the time that says hey it’s after the time they were supposed to go on break and they are not on break it and turns bright red and like okay we’re gonna change that. We’re gonna go find this person. Get them out of this room.

8:42:49 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, one of the things I usually tell my judges is, Don’t let me be a hindrance to you going on your break. We’ve talked about the time and if it’s that time and you’ve made sure that your tasks are covered, because we precoordinated who was gonna cover your event, that kind of thing. Then, if you can’t find me go because, you know, sometimes at these big events we’re spread across a very large room and I may not be right in your area and I’m not, maybe not be the easiest to find. So, you know, I think there’s a, there’s a, there’s some style differences between house sides leads like to do things and there’s some side leads who stay up at the stage computer and kind of orchestrate from there, which does make them easier to find. aren’t necessarily from that side of things

8:43:35 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:43:35 pm – Amanda Coots:
things, seeing how all the events are going and on that like loneliness factor you

8:43:42 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, I tried rounds but it’s

8:43:43 pm – Amanda Coots:
Aren’t checking in with the judges as much. So you might be Yeah. So while like my default is back at the stage so that I can be found. If I’m not actively doing something I do, try to make it around and check in with all my judges on a fairly regular basis. So I am moving around quite a bit.

8:44:01 pm – Jonah Kellman:
yeah.

8:44:02 pm – Amanda Coots:
Just as a general thing.

8:44:02 pm – Jonah Kellman:
And easy to be two ships passing in the event.

8:44:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:44:05 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Hall

8:44:06 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I like to make sure that yeah they don’t feel like they have to find me in order to go on, right? But I have had judges who like and like a while after their break or like come and ask me like can I go and break? Like yes.

8:44:20 pm – Jonah Kellman:
You should have been back an hour

8:44:20 pm – Amanda Coots:
Why are you?

8:44:21 pm – Jonah Kellman:
ago. Oh,

8:44:25 pm – Amanda Coots:
I I do try to check off that they’ve It so yeah. left but again you know it just depends on the day and and how much other stuff is going on.

8:44:35 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, I’m gonna skip some questions because they’re less exciting and you didn’t have answers and also we have 15 minutes left and we’re like on we’re not even halfway done. Um so Sides, as we’ve mentioned can be very chaotic. My note say a bit chaotic but that’s a lie. If things they are very rarely a bit chaotic there, either very placid and calm or Vegas or Jersey. There’s occasionally like a spike and then it calms down after you fix the one problem, but How do you manage that stress? Personally, Is it something that you are all like? Working with you in the past, you’ve been able to at least outdoor outwardly manage that stress, and if you weren’t always able to manage that stress or at least present that confidence, how did you develop that ability?

8:45:33 pm – Amanda Coots:
So, that’s an interesting question. It’s one of like thought about for myself, but I think a lot of it is I actually a little bit thrive on the stress And that’s a weird way to put it. But I, you know I think we talked about earlier that like those are the times when I’m having the most fun. So like, yes, I like put a plan together so that we can avoid all of that. But when I look back the events for like, oh, like that was a really fun of it or because we were really stressed,

8:46:02 pm – Jonah Kellman:
It’s because it’s overcoming a challenge, right?

8:46:04 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:46:05 pm – Jonah Kellman:
I have been reminded of an event in Toronto and one of the things about Canadian events is because of their gambling laws, every event needs to have Prizes equal to the entry fee essentially. And so that means every player and every construction event is also getting some number of booster packs just for entering. And so part of Like, the event prep, was distributing your promos, and also distributing six packs to every player. And that. like, A promote to each player, not too difficult to do. One person can grab a stack and can hand that out to 200 people over, like, maybe five minutes to hand out. Thousands of packs over the same time because events were huge. I think was the era of the foil lightning bolt promo and like, the first weekend, it was available on top of the six packs. We’re getting insane value and so And so magic players who love value? like our modern side event was 450 players and like over the course of the weekend. We had three times number of players inside events than the main event had all weekend. God, that event was stressful. I like hairline definitely shot back an inch that weekend, but I remember it years later and I’m like that was I don’t think it was a good time, but I was absolutely engaged and driven because it it’s something to overcome

8:47:39 pm – Amanda Coots:
Product distribution is always the challenge, you know, I think I think the people who have the worst tourist horror stories about that are the cupcake distribution.

8:47:49 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Oh, don’t talk about the cup, the cupcakes in the Easter eggs.

8:47:54 pm – Amanda Coots:
Oh yes, the Easter eggs. I I don’t know if you know this but I hope pack those Easter eggs.

8:47:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Oh, yeah. No, I’m away. So for those of you who aren’t in all these, Inside jokes um at Gen Con. I want to say 20 It was would have been 2018 because it was the 25th anniversary. The players who played in the 25th Anniversary, Boost Beta Booster, draft, qualifiers, received cupcakes. And so for these 256 player comp, rail sealed events, we also needed to distribute in addition to booster packs lands, deck lists, A cupcake to every player and that was a logistical hurdle that I’ve never encountered. Before or since and the good news, the best part about that was a lot of players declined their cupcakes. And once we put down a box of cupcakes and it was opened, we could not redistribute it, the players. And so we had cases and cases of cupcakes in the back and I did not need to spend a time on lunch that weekend. I ate a lot of cupcakes.

8:48:55 pm – Amanda Coots:
So interestingly I think we have done cupcakes since but I think we learned our lesson because I think there was one of the Vegas events where we did cupcakes but they did cupcakes

8:49:03 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Vouchers.

8:49:04 pm – Amanda Coots:
tickets. Yeah.

8:49:05 pm – Jonah Kellman:
That’s marketing.

8:49:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
So I did vouchers. It was a much better. And then the Easter Egg story was a Niagara Falls event actually, I don’t remember what year but it was on

8:49:14 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yes.

8:49:16 pm – Amanda Coots:
Easter weekend and someone nice bright idea might have been my sister might not have was, we should give Easter eggs out to all of the players in the side of his. So we spent a good evening.

8:49:30 pm – Jonah Kellman:
that was, that was a lot of fun and that was it wasn’t like It was that was a fun bonus. There were some judges who really got into it and had a lot of whimsy and were distributing Easter eggs, filled with candy.

8:49:43 pm – Amanda Coots:
And I think there were somebody years and some hopping involved.

8:49:46 pm – Jonah Kellman:
And I ate a lot of candy that weekend, it’s a great way to deal with the stress of having to distribute many candy-filled eggs.

8:49:55 pm – Amanda Coots:
As far as how to deal with the stress, my biggest thing is is if you’re if you’re leading to make sure you’re delegating. To trust. But verify and trying to think Big picture. You know, if you are starting to get very stressed, that’s usually the time when you need to stop for a minute, it may feel like you don’t have the time but stop and think about what you’ve actually got on your plate and what you can get off your plate. Either because a it doesn’t need to happen right now or b. Can I hand it off to somebody else? Right? So when you, when you’re feeling overwhelmed is the time to stop and and take a breath

8:50:41 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, one of my earlier side events was in Baltimore and I did not stop to take a breath because the day was on fire from beginning to end. And that’s because I did not stop and say That’s a small fire, but it’s gonna go out on its own in two minutes. That’s a small fire and it’s gonna get big in two. I just saw a small fire went and went for the thing that would have solved itself on its own. And I never took the opportunity to triage

8:51:10 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, I think they’re I have some previous experience that kind of helps with those aspects of things. I was a judge and run the score room for a tournament called Odyssey of the Man that’s educational program for kids. And so you know I I started that just at a college and definitely had some, some things that went badly, I think, you know, you learned from you, learn the best from your mistakes. And so had some experience from there and then and then some from work as well. So,

8:51:41 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, it’s Stress has been something that i for, lack of better term than naturally good at managing the When things start to get chaotic as we’ve both mentioned, it works for me. I enjoy those moments. And if that’s not who you are, if these chaotic moments stress, you out, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be able to lead sides. It just means that you need to be aware. Of your stress and take those moments to take a break, it one of the hardest things to learn, which you mentioned is that you can step back for a minute. Like your goal is to launch every event on time and this event that you’re standing in front of this modern event or whatever. It’s not gonna launch on time. It’s gonna be five minutes late. You know what? If you step back and spend two minutes thinking about the other tasks and prioritizing and triaging, and taking a breath and calming yourself, maybe the event, launches, a minute, or two later than it already was. Nobody’s gonna notice in the grand scheme of things that launched seven or eight minutes late instead of five minutes late. And if that’s able, if that moment is going to let you re-center yourself. That’s super valuable telling what?

8:52:58 pm – Amanda Coots:
And then some, oh, good.

8:52:59 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Like delegating to your teammates. Again another thing that you mentioned just being like, Hey, I need you to take care of this, This is what’s happening with it. I have other things that I need to work on, don’t put it on your own shoulders. But

8:53:11 pm – Amanda Coots:
And that’s actually what I was gonna say is, is either on your, your team members or there are other leads and, you know, you can often lean on them and and get some help there if you need it. So, and don’t be afraid to do that.

8:53:26 pm – Jonah Kellman:
yeah, I’m the last question that I’m gonna pull from Our questions that we had prepared before I go to some questions from the chat. Leading sites in my experience has been very different from leading teams on larger competitive events or head. Judging one where you may have a similar number of judges under your authority. What do you, What are your differences in leadership style between side events and comp rail team leading or comprehl head? Judging

8:53:54 pm – Amanda Coots:
So, we kind of touched on this, but I think the perception of judges on the team is a little different so sometimes sides can be a little more isolated because you’re on an event head judging sometimes by yourself you know in the worst case maybe that event is is across the room from the other judges. You know, I’ve been that side of its judge in No Man’s land. And sometimes there’s a perception that it’s not as exciting, because it’s not the competitive, our rail, you know, there’s some digits you like that better. So I think a lot of it’s about trying to help judges connect, help them to understand the kind of why why I like science and why sides can be and in some cases better than better than the main event. It has its pros Um, and so, I think, you know, there’s to me and almost ends up being a little more of a people aspect there, or at least a different people aspect versus a head, judging a big event. Well, you might have the same number of team members often. It’s not a direct interaction with as many because of the way we set up team structures on on big events. So with big events, you have several team leads and they have team members and other than a few really big side events teams. We generally don’t do that on side of interest, you’re gonna have the whole side of its teams. All gonna be as one one big team. So there’s so there’s some style differences there, you know? Other than that, I don’t know, like necessarily specifics. Did you have anything that you were thinking was different from your perspective?

8:55:40 pm – Jonah Kellman:
I mean part of it is the isolation that you get on side effects versus competitive for all on side events. It’s generally, unfortunately one person to one event and while we do try to double or triple up, you’re not able to get somebody to have a buddy throughout the day, whereas on comp relevance, you’re often able to have somebody working with them on the same task, or in the same area, so they can float and have conversations and so it’s Easier often to have those sorts of developmental and mentorship conversations on competitive relevant, just because you have that closeness. And like, even if You have the same number of judges per players and you’re a little bit spread out, the event is generally a bit of a little bit more compact because side events, get spread out so that there’s space for vendors or artists or you know, Side events can be spread out because it’s so many smaller things. Whereas the main event generally or the featured event is one block and so you’re a little bit closer and you get to talk with people a little bit more. And I think that’s unfortunate because a lot of judges first experience at larger events is on side events on scheduled events and on demands, one of the questions.

8:57:03 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:57:04 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Go ahead.

8:57:05 pm – Amanda Coots:
Oh, I was just gonna say and I do you know that one of the things I really try to do is some some tactics to try to help with that as much as I can, you know, put two events together rather than you know even if we have to have events, very split up. If you could put two events together, then you’ve got to judge who had judges on that, you know, move people between events, you know, ways that we can get people together and interacting. If I do have one extra judge, having them kind of move between events and and mentor or other things.

8:57:36 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah.

8:57:36 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah.

8:57:36 pm – Jonah Kellman:
So did get was when we’re selecting get was when we’re selecting judges for So one of the questions that we did get was when we’re selecting judges for side events or on demands, is it ideal to have more judges who are newer and how different is mentoring for science and on demands and we touched on that a little bit. When your side sleep, you generally don’t have a whole lot of influence on who is selected to work side events with you. But it’s a great.

8:58:02 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, the tea. Oh, the the toes differ a little bit

8:58:03 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Go ahead.

8:58:06 pm – Amanda Coots:
on the style there. You know, sometimes you have a little bit of input of like I’d really like to work with X-person or so and so would be good on this this type of thing. But, you know, it all the way to the other end of the spectrum or tios just say, Hey, here’s your set of judges and even sometimes have the events already aside, it just varies it, varies a little bit there.

8:58:25 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, like it’s great to have new judges, that’s Often if you’re level one, judge, if you don’t have a competitive real badge and you don’t know policy, it’s gonna be harder to work on the competitive rel side of things because you just don’t have that knowledge. However, you don’t want it to be just newer judges. You want to have a strong core for a couple of reasons. One, the mentorship the opportunities to teach and To another degree. It’s great to have. People who have reflexes. to help address problems as soon as they crop up most judges, when they’re given a certain problem on side events like The pairings aren’t coming out or there’s a miss pair or something along those lines. Most judges will be able to solve that eventually. However, there are some judges who have been to 50 or 100 Grand Prix and working three days at all of them. And to guide events for each of them, they’ve done a thousand of these. And so they don’t even need to hear the player ask the question before they have solved the problem, and having a couple people on your team like that can really help alleviate stress on the lead shoulders.

8:59:40 pm – Amanda Coots:
Yeah, I think you’ll find that, if you’re, if this is your first large event, you’re likely going to be on sides. That’s generally where the toes are gonna put. You kind of see how you do before they put you on the main event. Sometimes there’s some exceptions but that’s that’s often up in the way it goes. So but like Jonah said, like I really want to have a couple of those rocks and it’s gonna make my day, so much better because they’re just gonna fight some fires and I’m never gonna see them. If, if I don’t have them there, then as a team lead I’m going to have to be doing those things also.

9:00:16 pm – Jonah Kellman:
But it’s also great to have newer judges be like, Hey there’s this fire. I don’t know what to do with it. Can you please help me? Those are great moments for us because we can pass on that knowledge of. Oh yeah. This is the response that has been optimized over 25 years of magic the gathering. Here’s how we’ve been solving it. If you have a better solution, great go for it. But this is the two-minute fix.

9:00:40 pm – Amanda Coots:
And that’s actually often a role I really enjoy. When I’m my floor judge on an event is is that side of it mentor? Because like more than anybody else, they could help with that that isolation because they’re, they can go and they can mentor direct time to help people who are launching events for sometimes the first time first time or or like, Hey, this is a my first time, launching a 200 player event, right? Like you, you have to relax.

9:01:06 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Right.

9:01:08 pm – Amanda Coots:
I like what some people don’t realize is some of these events are very large. It’s side of things.

9:01:14 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, I think at some point I ran

9:01:14 pm – Amanda Coots:
so,

9:01:16 pm – Jonah Kellman:
like a 700 player. I’ve had I was like this is several times larger than the largest thing I’ve ever considered running. Like I’ve done a 64 player pptq and also the 700 Player modern event, In any case.

9:01:28 pm – Amanda Coots:
And here’s how you handle Renumbering for two-headed, giant, and

9:01:31 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Yeah, at this point we’ve been talking for a little bit over an hour. So any closing thoughts before we say goodnight to the folks, or good morning, depending on where you are. And when you’re watching,

9:01:45 pm – Amanda Coots:
No, I I think if you haven’t, if you haven’t been on sides, it’s a great place to try. And, you know, even if you’ve done a

9:01:51 pm – Jonah Kellman:
How much fun?

9:01:51 pm – Amanda Coots:
whole lot of events, you know, I don’t don’t look down on sides. It’s a fun place to be.

9:01:58 pm – Jonah Kellman:
Fantastic. Yeah, besides are one of my favorite places to be just because there’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of flexibility and there’s a lot of unique challenges whereas other things can get a little bit more wrote with that being said, tomorrow, we’re gonna have Samantha Hart and Isaac. King, discussing feedback strategies and that’s all we have for tonight. Thanks for watching.