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Past Events

PJ has shown a strong motivation for supporting his local community. With a lack of local mentoring in South Colorado, he took the initiative to reach out and establish a relationship to facilitate his own growth and learning. At this point, PJ intends on focusing in growing and developing his local community, and I believe he will make an excellent addition to the judge academy roster.

Ben Petrila, 2022/01/19

Andre tiene un interés en la comunidad así como eventos de magic, los cuales ya inicio a trabajarlo apoyado de un L1, quien me comentó lo bien que a realizado su proceso, el TO a platicado que apoya a los jugadores con dudas de armado y reglas también mencionando que maneja todo de forma optima y sin toxicidad alguna.

Herbie, 2022/01/19

MDE is a returning judge, he is competent and has shown interest in judging for his local community.
I believe him to be a good addition to the Turkish judge community.

qwr1000, 2022/01/19

Neal approached a former judge in his area, reaching out and looking for his endorsement for Level 1, but sadly the pandemic has caused many judges in his area to step away. His involvement with school programs, mentoring kids with Magic speaks well to his temperament for the program. I have only interacted briefly with Neal when he was a player, but a local store owner who has known him for years speaks very highly of him. I have high hopes that as a teacher, he will find a good base of skills that will serve him well as a judge in the future.

Rick Miles, 2022/01/18

I observed Ryan this past Saturday where he was the store judge for a Modern format event, 4 rounds of Swiss pairing, in which I was a player.

Ryan is a new judge and it showed in some of the specific judge/player interactions. As he gets more comfortable in the role, that\'s something that will smooth out. His attitude is great, friendly and engaging, while at times leaning more toward the excitable in an effort to be friendly, as opposed to more observant and professional. I explained to him that this balance will come with experience and that it\'s awesome to be friendly and engaging. Players and others he interacts with while in a judge role will respect him for his professionalism and knowledge, and he doesn\'t need to try extra hard to make anyone like him. His \"soft\" skills/customer service seems to be at a good level. Something that helped me when I was a new judge was adjusting my viewpoint of judging to being more professional and less of a hobby, even if I was doing it part-time.

Ryan has passed the Rules Advisor test, and his rules knowledge appears sufficient for an L1. As can be expected for a first event, he needed a couple of clarifications from me, but all in all, he knows the areas he needs to clean up, and we discussed some of the more intangible aspects of judging, such as goals for his judge career, event logistics, expectations and interacting with TOs, investigations, etc.

Ryan has a willingness to learn, admit mistakes and be helpful and would make a great addition to the judge community.

Nate Becker, 2022/01/18

One of the people who inspired me to be a certified judge, I draw inspiration from his announcement style, efficient, witty, funny, everything I aspire to be as a judge.
I\'ve had many interactions with him as a tournament player and know him as a strict but fair judge.
Very approachable and friendly on a personal level no matter how strict he can be when it comes to MTG rules, makes you feel understood even when he rules against you.

Roald Landheer, 2022/01/18

Darien has demonstrated an understanding of the comprehensive rules as well as an understanding of the JAR. He knows how to look through each document to find the answers he needs and if in need of help, the resources available to him to find the right answer.
Additionally, he has demonstrated he is mature and can navigate customer service issues with tact.
Building your reputation with your magic community and local store is a very important aspect of being a judge. As a judge, you are a leader in the community and must lead by example. Darien has shown he is both well-liked and respected.
I believe Darien is ready to step onto the path of a Level 1 Judge and I hereby endorse him.

Dave, 2022/01/17

Estimado Nicolás:

Escribo la presente review a modo de endorsement para que puedas rendir tu examen de nivel 1.

Primero vale la pena resaltar que te tomaste el trabajo de contactar a alguien que no conocías para encontrar el apoyo necesario y eso se valora en el programa de jueces y en la comunidad. Se espera que alienta a que puedas buscar ayuda y apoyo cuando lo necesites, por lo que ese era el primer paso. Como te conté, la comunidad es una red robusta de personas dispuestas a ayudar (y aquí la primera recomendación), siempre que necesites algo no dudes en preguntar porque habrá alguien para tenderte una mano. 

También dejar escrito que pude acercarme a la tienda en que jugas y donde pensas juecear si llegas a certificarte. Recibí del TO sólo comentarios positivos sobre tu manera de conducirte y se nota que tu deseo está puesto en promover la comunidad de jugadores en Tucumán, sumar gente nueva y poder enseñarle a quienes se acerquen, además de ayudar en el correcto funcionamiento de los torneos. 

Por todo esto, me encataría tenerte entre nuestras filas en un futuro próximo y te deseo la mejor de las suertes con el test de L1.

Un abrazo! 

Agustin Mopty, 2022/01/16

Im really glad that you have decided to take the step of judging.

You had the core of it already when we started interacting from a TO point of view, and now both your local L1 and me are pretty sure you can take on the L1 exam and do well guiding your players. Best of luck and I hope to see you on the floor soon.

Lernhage, 2022/01/16

Jeremy, I\'ve known you for years and you\'ve talked on and off about becoming a judge for most of them. I know you were even working with a different L2 at some point before he decided to step down. Ignoring the betrayal, its clear that this is something you\'re serious about. I think in terms of temperament you\'ll do great. While I know you can use some work still on comfort with rules knowledge and policy, that\'s something we can continue to work on before you\'re left alone in charge of any events. I know you, and I know you\'re willing to put in the work, so one day you\'ll be a great judge and an asset to local events. 

Michael Mapson, 2022/01/16

He\'s been working at HARERUYA TC Tokyo for a long enough time in good standing.

Mitsunori Makino, 2022/01/15

David seems to be an enthusiastic candidate for level 1 and I look forward to working with him. I feel he will do well within the community 

Nick Sirman, 2022/01/14

I can confirm that Aaron has all the required skills and knowledge for his L1 certification. I can confirm that Aaron is, in fact, a real person who is currently not listed as a judge. Aaron has been a consistently helpful and positive member of the judging community for as long as I\'ve known him, and I\'m happy to be able to endorse him for his L1 certification. Best of luck on your path to L2!

Elliot, 2022/01/14

I met Martin when he contacted me to judge on an event at the store he managed, The Maple.

Martin was fast to prepare for the event, and very welcoming to judges on the event.

At the end of the event, he and his team requested feedback from us for the event, and also provided feedback for us.


I believe that this quick-to-action, welcoming people, and self-improvement attitude would serve Martin well as an L1 Judge.

Therefore, I endorse Martin as L1 Judge.

Henoch Victor, 2022/01/14

Francisco showed a good understanding of what the community needs from a judge, and he is also greatly involved on his community.

He has a good knowledge on rules and policy and their differences on different RELs.

Pedro Mathies Vilela, 2022/01/14

Richard has been a respected member of the community for a long time. He has frequently welcomed new players and helped at FNM and I would be happy to recommend Richard to the judge program.

SteelOverseer, 2022/01/11

Brad, while I only worked with you at one event (GG Morley 7PH), I believe you will be an asset to the Judge community. You displayed a high level of judging skills (both rules and policy), you understood new concepts/best practices quickly  and demonstrated a keenness to continue developing your skills. While your rapport with the players and TO was good, you should continue to develop your skills around public speaking and confidence (some of this will come naturally with time). 

I have received similar feedback from other judges at the other event you worked (GG Cannington Modern).

While it would be preferable to work additional events to challenge you further (such as pre-release), the circumstances do not allow that which is unfortunate but not the end of the world.

In my opinion you are definitely ready to test for Level 1. Good luck!

Denby Adams, 2022/01/11

Yey, Tobias is a real person. He\'s passionate about the game, shows interest in interactions and rules, and is knowledgable about them.  He heard about Judgeacademy through Google, then realised that there\'s a judge on the shop\'s discord ;-).
That\'s when he contacted me and we talked about becoming a judge(the last active/paying judge in the closer area). After a long pause, he started playing passionatly again, and showing up for every draft in the last year shows that. From the LGS\' side I didnt hear any complaints about him. 

I feel comfortable judging an event in the future, and I also believe he\'s be able to run a safe and welcoming event for the community. 

orca-, 2022/01/10

I\'ve known Franz before his certification as a L1 and i helped him with his process, also with his first tournament in a LGS. A couple of weeks ago i had the opportunity to judge with him in a small tournament and it was an amazing experience. He is very good with Regular Rel and has an imense knowledge of the CR document. He knows how to approach a table and give a proper answer. Even though he lacks of more experience due COVID, i know that he\'ll definitely become an amazing judge in a matter of time. I can\'t wait to work with him again and teach and learn more with him.

Wendel Lemos, 2022/01/10

I had the pleasure of working with you at SCG Con. What follows are my observations from that weekend. Notably, I am not omniscient, I did not observe every interaction you had that weekend, and I cannot read your mind. Reviews, and feedback in general, are best interpreted as an interpretation of the behavior I witnessed. They represent a snapshot of you from a certain perspective, not the whole you.

Self-improvement and introspection

After several of your calls, you would ask the shadowing judge for their thoughts on how you did. This is great, and I wish more judges would do this.

You also made a very good observation: I had been questioning you about various judge topics, and wouldn\'t tell you right away what I thought of your answers or how they could be better. This left you unsatisfied and meant you couldn\'t apply those improvements to the rest of the tournament. I had been focusing too much on the \"evaluation\" part and failed to consider that you could use the feedback to improve right away. This was really important feedback for me, and it will definitely affect how I approach evaluating judge candidates in the future. I appreciate your willingness to bring that up.

When talking to you about rules and policy, you would often make excuses when you got something wrong. A few times you\'d give a wrong answer, I\'d explain the correct answer, and you\'d say \"oh yeah, that\'s what I meant\", or something like that. You did something similar when I pulled you aside from a call and let you know your answer was wrong; when you went back to the players, you presented the correction as a \"clarification\" to the players. I can certainly understand the desire to save face, but this can be counterproductive for a few reasons. First off, most people are pretty perceptive, and will notice the mistake anyway, plus the fact that you tried to hide or downplay it. This is going to impact your reputation more negatively than if you were straight about the error. (Judges who proactively call attention to their mistakes tend to get *more* respect from their peers and from players, not less.) Secondly, humans tend to fall into habits, and those habits can cross into different contexts. If you get into the habit of downplaying mistakes to others, it\'s easy to also start downplaying their importance to yourself, which will make it much harder to improve. So you want to start taking responsibility for your errors and work to correct them next time; don\'t downplay your mistakes or shift blame onto others. Of course if you take a moment to think about what happened and believe you actually didn\'t make a mistake, such as if the scenario was told to you incorrectly, then you should definitely call attention to that. But that\'s very different from having a gut reaction of \"I gave the wrong answer, I need to come up with a reason it\'s not completely my fault\".

A few weeks prior to SCG Con, I told you that your policy knowledge needed improvement, and I suggested the Judge Simulations website and the AMTR. You went through both, even going to the trouble to find a way to study the AMTR on a submarine with no internet access. I think this shows an awesome dedication to improving!

Sometimes when I asked you a rules/policy question, you would try to guess the answer I was looking for based on my phrasing, tone of voice, and other context clues. I was able to exploit this tendency to lead you into a variety of incorrect answers by changing how I asked the question or what follow up questions I asked. While being able to make these sorts of inferences is in some circumstances a useful skill, trying to jump directly to the answer avoids the knowledge that would otherwise have been gained by fully working through the problem. You\'re also not going to have that context in most live calls, and it can result in you being mislead. (Perhaps even intentionally by a nefarious player.) Having a robust understanding of rules and policy and a consistent process to get you from that knowledge to the answer will result in much more reliable rulings.

You also seemed overconfident on a few occasions. For example, in the Narset situation described below, you told me that in a live call, you would have been able to arrive at the correct answer in a timely fashion by looking it up on your phone. However in the actual discussion we had, you repeatedly gave me an incorrect answer, sometimes due to having read an incorrect section in the IPG, and I had to lead you to the correct one.

After you got an L2 recommendation from someone else, you still wanted me to write up my feedback, which shows me that you actually want to be a better judge and weren\'t just focusing on leveling up. Overall, you seem to legitimately want to improve and were taking steps towards that goal, but are a little lacking on accurate self-assessment.


Social skills

You talked a bit about your experience in the navy, and it sounds like you have a good understanding of the concepts behind good leadership. You\'re charismatic and comfortable with authority and empowering your team members.

There was one call where a player wanted to go to the bathroom. You sat down with their opponent and chatted naturally with them to keep them from being bored. This is a great skill to have and a good approach to these sorts of situations. We want judges to be more than just official arbiters of rules and policy; we should also be approachable and cultivate relationships with players. You did a great job of that in this call and I think you\'ll be able to represent the judge program well on the player-facing front.

There was a call involving a creature that was having its power doubled along with a separate effect increasing its power, and the question was what its resulting power would be. I don\'t know the exact details of what happened, but I know that two L2s and an L3 were all in agreement on an incorrect ruling. You expressed a concern that their ruling was wrong and they disagreed. You went and found a gatherer ruling backing you up, and came back in interrupted a ruling in progress to show it to them. This is awesome. It can be really intimidating to disagree with more experienced judges, especially when several of them are all in agreement. You were able to put that aside and politely but firmly show them their mistake. I talked to all three of them afterwards and they were all really impressed with how you handled this.


Taking rulings

You were good at double-checking yourself on rulings where you were uncertain of the correct answer. There were a few times you\'d check yourself on your phone, but more often you\'d double-check with another judge. This is a great habit to be, and I\'m glad to see you already have that well-established.

You have a tendency to say \"um\" and \"ah\" and trip over your words when asked a question you don\'t immediately know the answer to. This makes you look unconfident/unprofessional, and can result in players being more hesitant to trust your rulings. When asked a question, it\'s ok to pause for a few seconds to think about it rather than immediately start talking. If you still don\'t know the answer after thinking about it, calmly say something like \"give me a moment, I\'m going to confirm the answer in the policy documents\" or \"Give me a moment, I\'m going to consult with another judge\".

There was at least one call where you told the players that you\'d explain the ruling first, then ask if they\'d like to appeal or have any questions. This is a great approach to keep the players from getting upset or interrupting you. Similarly, you\'d often ask the players whether they had any final questions before leaving the table. Overall your table manner was good.

You frequently forgot to give the players a time extension after issuing a ruling. This is an easy mistake to make; as judges, we\'re usually very aware of the round clock as it pertains to our tasks, but can easily fail to consider its relevance to players, since they\'re in such a different mindset. When there\'s significant money on the line, players do really care that they get their full 50 minutes, and can (rightfully) get annoyed when a judge forgets. I\'d recommend developing a checklist of the things you need to do when taking a ruling, and making sure that you\'re completing all items every time. Something like:

* Make a note of how much time is on the clock.
* Determine the question being asked.
* Investigate for cheating.
* Figure out the answer to the question.
* Explain it to the players.
* Consider whether the opponent is also receiving a penalty, such as FtMGS.
* Inform the players about any penalties they\'re getting.
* Issue a time extension.
* Write the infraction(s) on the match slip (if there were any).

A few times a player committed an advantageous error, you also didn\'t ask questions like \"who noticed this error\", \"has this happened before\", etc. Those are the sorts of things you should be in the habit of considering whenever there\'s a chance a player may have committed an infraction intentionally.



We talked a lot about rules/policy scenarios. Some of these were hypotheticals I presented you with, others were actual calls that came up. Note that this summary is skewed, as I wrote down most of the mistakes you made but only took a note of correct answers when it was a particularly challenging scenario.

I asked you what would happen if a player cast Ancestral Recall by paying green mana. Your answer was that it was a double-GRV (a GRV for each player) and we fixed it by revealing the hand to the opponent and having them pick 3 cards to shuffle into the library. The correct infraction is a GRV for the player who cast the card, and we follow the procedure described in section 2.5 of the IPG; either back up the game or leave it alone. The opponent might get a FtMGS, depending on how fast the actions were taken.

I asked you about a player casting Divination through an opponent\'s Narset. You had a lot of trouble figuring out whether it was a GRV or HCE and why. After some leading questions from me, you were eventually able to find the correct section in policy. Even after knowing it\'s a GRV however, you still wanted to apply the HCE fix. Your justification for this was that it was the \"most logical fix\", without saying why it was more logical than another fix. After some more pushing from me, you found the correct fix in the GRV section. Once you found the section that talked about backing up by taking a random card from the hand, you still thought we should let the opponent pick a card from the hand, and I had to explicitly point out the contradiction in order for you to see it.

I asked you what would happen if a player cast Mulldrifter for its evoke cost with a Torpor Orb on the battlefield. You thought it would still be sacrificed. I don\'t quite remember the reasoning you gave, but I think you realized it was a trigger, but didn\'t realize that the trigger condition was entering the battlefield, and therefore thought Torpor Orb wouldn\'t affect it.

While answering the previous question, you used the reminder text on Mulldrifter to try to figure out how evoke worked. In this particular case that would have been fine, since evoke\'s reminder text is largely accurate. In general however, this is a bad habit. Reminder text is intended as, well, a reminder, for players who don\'t know what the ability does at all. It\'s not written in a technical manner, and the reminder text for more complicated abilities (soulbond, miracle, cipher, etc.) is often incomplete or misleading.

I asked you what to do if a player forgot their Mulldrifter trigger. You asked about whether the Mulldrifter affected any decisions the player had made. You spent a while looking through the IPG and eventually found some of the correct fix for Missed Trigger, but you didn\'t realize that the fix expired after a turn. You also checked the wording of FtMGS to see if it applied to Missed Trigger, but didn\'t see the line \"Not reminding an opponent about their triggered abilities is never Failure to Maintain Game State nor Cheating\" and concluded that it did apply.

You did identify that the hypothetical Mulldrifter player might be cheating, but didn\'t ask for details on why it was forgotten, such as what else happened that turn.

I asked you what happened if Banisher Priest dies in response to its trigger. You got the correct answer that the target never leaves the battlefield.

Players asked you a question about copying a spell with X in its mana cost, to which you gave the correct answer that X was also copied.

On a question about a player forgotting to discard, you said something like \"we\'d go to discard now\". I asked you whether this meant we\'d back up the game to the cleanup step, which you confirmed. (This was one of the cases that made me think you were trying to guess the right answer based on context clues from me. When you said \"go to discard now\" it seemed like you probably meant \"discard a card now\", but when I asked you about the backup, you assumed that because I was asking about it it must be the correct answer, so you pivoted to that.) Discarding now is the correct fix, it\'s the third partial fix in the GRV section of the IPG.

You thought that Spectral Adversary\'s trigger wouldn\'t resolve if the creature was killed in response. In reality, it only has one triggered ability, which, when it resolves, creates a second reflexive triggered ability. After the first ability has triggered, there\'s no more relation to the permanent on the battlefield, and it going away won\'t affect the ability on the stack.

There were several calls that you handled well except you\'d forget the opponent had also committed an infraction. The ruling checklist I mentioned above can help with this.

Two players forgot to change day/night when a turn began, and one of them controlled The Celestus. You originally called this a missed trigger. I pulled you aside to point out that the point of error was missing the turn-based action at the beginning of the turn, not the missed trigger. You went back and corrected your ruling. (This was the call where you used the \"clarification\" language I mentioned above.) You also forgot to issue a GRV to the opponent, who is also responsible for maintaining the shared game state of day/night.

In the power-doubling call I mentioned above, the justification that you eventually found was a Gatherer ruling. This was good enough for the situation at hand, but in general we don\'t want to be relying on Gatherer rulings for judge purposes. Gatherer rulings are intended as brief reminders for players, and they\'re not comprehensive. They\'re often worded informally, and will lead you to incorrect conclusions if you try to apply to them to situations that they weren\'t written for. L2s are expected to be familiar enough with the comprehensive rules to find justification for their rulings in there.

You took a call where a player had accidentally pulled up two cards from their library while drawing for turn. Your ruling was to shuffle both away and draw a new card. Generally we don\'t do this; we figure out which one they \"should\" have drawn (the one on top) and shuffle away the other. Unfortunately, the current wording of the IPG is pretty vague about these sorts of situations. Your fix was a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the instructions in the IPG, so you didn\'t do anything wrong here, this is a failure on the part of the people who wrote the policy.

On Facebook prior to the event, I asked what to do if Aston plays Pacifism on Nancy\'s creature, two turns later, he draws another Pacifism and realizes that he only has one Pacifism in the pool. At first, you said that the answer was a warning to each player if Nancy\'s deck was >= 40 cards, and a warning to Aston and a GL to Nancy if her deck was < 40 cards, neither of which is correct. Later on, without seeming to have received any relevant new information, you changed your answer to both players receiving a GL. Then, again without receiving new information, you changed it to to a GL for Aston and a Warning for Nancy. Even after getting to the right answer, you were unable to provide a good explanation why. You talked about the fact that Aston had the opportunity to notice they were shuffling in an opponent\'s card at the end of the previous game while Nancy did not (which is true, and a good observation), but presented this as the reason why Aston gets a GL while Nancy gets a Warning, which is not at all correct. The correct reason is that the IPG has an upgrade for Aston since that\'s their second copy of Pacifism, and Nancy gets a Warning because that\'s the default penalty for Deck Problem. If Aston had not had their own Pacifism in their deck, they would only get a Warning.

On many of the policy questions I asked you, you would try to give justifications from general judge philosophy for wrong answers. (Like the Pacifism scenario above or when you said something was the \"most logical fix\".) You would know about general concepts like \"I should ask whether [action] affected any decisions\" but apply them in contexts where they have no relevance, such as when when you wanted to know whether the Mulldrifter missed trigger had affected any decisions. While knowing policy philosophy is a useful skill, it\'s only useful if you know when and where to apply it, how it ties in to the rest of policy, and how it will affect your resulting discussions. Specific decisions have been made with regards to how the IPG is written, and it\'s important for Comp REL judges to know what\'s actually written there in order to apply fixes consistently. Policy philosophy is generally seen as an area for advanced L2s and L3 candidates to study; not for L1s who are working on L2. That\'s not to say that you *shouldn\'t* be studying it, but you need to learn the base information first before trying to move to the more advanced concepts, and you definitely should not be trying to make rulings based only on general philosophy justifications rather than following the IPG.



You wanted to learn more about large event logistics, so you took initiative and asked to be in charge of paper and EOR for our event. However you didn\'t have a great understanding of what needed to be done, and I believe someone else ended up doing EOR. This is not entirely your fault; Philippe or I should have gone over them with you in advance to make sure you were prepared. In the cases when other people miss something like that, you should be able to take responsibility for finding out what you need to do rather than let it go unaddressed.

One time I was walking to a call that was pretty far away from me, and you suggested the idea of having different zones for different judges. We talked a bit about when that was or wasn\'t a good idea and about how to best distribute judges on the floor of an event.

When we added a second pairings board, I reminded you that we\'d need a second title page and you should get one from the scorekeeper, but you forgot to do that. Keeping a notepad (either physical or on your phone) of tasks that need doing can help with stuff like this. Some large event organizers like SCG offer judge notebooks to all their judges.

One round when I was taking care of EOR, I asked you for the status of a certain match, and without checking you told me they were still playing their match. They were pretty close, so I looked over to confirm and saw that they were done. I asked you for a reason, so if you don\'t actually know the answer, don\'t just guess. Also, upon noticing me check the match myself you said \"yeah its over, they\'re playing for fun\". This is another example of how it looked to me like you would try to hide your mistakes.

There were a few times you didn\'t notice a judge call near you. You\'d also spend most of your time walking around the play area while not necessarily watching the players. Walking is fine, but a little more situational awareness would do you good. Players are often pretty bad about calling for a judge; not yelling very loudly and/or not raising their hand very high, so we need to be on our toes.

In the Pacifism scenario above, you talked about checking the \"master pool list\". I asked what that was, and you said \"in my mind we could look through all the deck registration lists to see if there were multiple copies if we elevated this to an investigation. I imagine that this would be a large draw on bandwidth. So not necessarily a master list but all the registration lists.\" I\'m still not quite sure what you meant by that, but I can\'t see a good reason to check any decklists other than the ones of the players involved. We don\'t even need to check those player\'s lists during the call; neither of them has a strong incentive to lie to us, and if you\'re concerned about a lie you can simply fix the game first, then check the lists once they\'re back to playing. (If they lied, DQ them once you find out.)

At the end of the day, you mentioned feeling unprepared for many aspects of large tournaments that weren\'t in the JA modules. I tried to compile some of them here: A lot of good information was shared, so I\'d recommend taking a look through there. Some of the mentions were vague, such as someone saying \"HJ announcements\" without specifying exactly what judges need to know about HJ announcements; feel free to respond to comments and ask for clarification, or ask me and I can elaborate on the topic. On a side note, after reading that post, Nicolette from Judge Academy mentioned that many of those topics actually were in the modules, so it might be worth going back through those as well.



There was one player who you were a little suspicious of. After asking them a few questions, you were comfortable letting them continue. The reason you gave for this was \"The face of the player didn\'t look devious\". Facial expressions and body language are not something we want to be considering as strong evidence towards or against someone\'s honesty, as they\'re easy to fake and can result in incorrect conclusions. Many of the best cheaters are charismatic and friendly, and do not give off a cheating \"vibe\". Conversely, even an honest player is going to be nervous when being questioned by a judge, and may seem like they\'re hiding something as a result.

In the Pacifism scenario from Facebook, you began the call by considering whether one of the players might be cheating. You said \"My initial thought process would be seeing how the players “looked” as I approached (standoffish, or nervous).\" This has all the same body language problems as mentioned above. You successfully noticed that Aston called the judge on himself and therefore was unlikely to be cheating. (It may be a good idea to ask some questions about exactly what happened. For example if Aston began to play the Pasificm, Nancy went \"wait, is that mine\", and Aston called a judge, then he didn\'t really \"call it on himself\".) However you then stayed on the cheating line to the point where you wanted to pull their lists to check, which would significantly delay the match. This is unnecessary; there\'s basically no advantage to be gained by what Aston did and it\'s very likely Nancy will notice anyway, so we don\'t want to spend an exorbitant amount of time investigating it further. You said that you\'d expect around 90% of these situations to be an honest mistake and 10% to be Cheating, which is far too high a probability to assign to Cheating. Even something much more advantageous like drawing an extra card is not Cheating 10% of the times it happens. For something like this, where Aston called the error on themselves, the probability of Cheating is negligibly low, less than 0.5%.


Feedback and mentorship

I asked you to write a review for another judge at SCG Con, and you chose the head judge of our event, Philippe.

You wrote the review in third person, which is generally discouraged. Reviews primarily exist in order to benefit the recipient, so talking to them directly will make them feel more comfortable responding and not feel like they\'re being \"reported on\". (In this case I had asked you to write the review for me, so the third person voice makes a little more sense.)

You misspelled Philippe\'s name as \"Phillipe\". Most people won\'t mind this at all, but some might interpret it as a lack of care or respect, so in general I\'d recommend double-checking names when possible.

Overall the review was well-written and diplomatic. I liked that you included a good balance of positive and negative feedback. I think it was a little light on specific details and suggestions for improvement, but did contain enough content to meaningfully benefit the recipient.

We also talked a little bit on Facebook prior to the event about feedback you gave to one of your judgelings, but that being your subjective interpretation of your own actions, and me not having a good way to hear the other side of it, I can\'t take that information into account very strongly.



At one point you mentioned asking the HJ and question and not wanting to give them your thoughts first since it could bias their answer. I think this demonstrates a very promising understanding of how to seek unbiased information. The fact that people are more likely to agree than disagree with a statement presented to them is not a fact most judges even consider when thinking about how to obtain accurate information from someone.



Overall, your social skills are great. You have a serious desire to learn and improve yourself. Your logistical skills are somewhat lacking, but that will quickly be remedied with practice. You have room to improve your mentorship and feedback, but you\'re already at a level where I\'m confident you can benefit other judges in your area. Your investigations are not great, but they\'re good enough to meet the bar for L2. You\'re intelligent and have a good grasp of many of the deeper concepts that are relevant to judging. However, your rules/policy knowledge is deficient. You don\'t have a good idea of many of the basic infractions, nor are you capable of efficiently and consistently locating answers in the official documents. Additionally, I get the impression that you\'re overconfident with regards to that skill.

Judge levels are intended as a lower limit on ability; a floor, not an average or a ceiling. If someone tells me that they\'re a level 2 judge, that means that I should be able to know that they have a certain base level of knowledge, without having to know anything else about them. For example, the page on L2 requirements ( states:

\"A beginning Level 2 will be expected to have an understanding of the Comprehensive Rules that exceeds that expected of Level 1 Judges, including which section to refer to when they are unsure.\"

Accurate self-evaluation is also one of the guiding principles of the judge program. It\'s imperative that judges can be trusted to admit when they don\'t know something, understand their own flaws, and know what needs to be done to correct them. Overconfidence can result in someone taking jobs they\'re not prepared for and negatively impacting a tournament, and/or becoming resistant to feedback and further improvement.

Being bad at one or two things and good at everything else is not sufficient for an L2 recommendation; you need to be at least \"good enough\" in *every* relevant area. As such, I\'m not comfortable writing you a recommendation for L2 at the present time.

It turns out however that Philippe heard you were looking for an L2 recommendation at the event and wrote you one themselves. I chatted with them about it afterwards to figure out where we disagreed, and it turns out they had misunderstood how Judge Academy intends for recommendations to work, and had endorsed you based on a \"room to grow\" model rather than a \"floor of ability\" model. That said, what\'s done is done, and we\'re not going to undo that. So: Congratulations on level 2, and I hope this feedback will be useful to you going forwards.

Isaac King, 2022/01/08

I endorse Bryce Jones. 

Max Kahn, 2022/01/07

I\'ve come to know, and respect, Eric via our Spelltable Commander league.  Eric has always shown a calm demeanor, and a good understanding of the rules.  I expect he\'ll be a fine representative for Judge Academy!

Uncle Scott, 2022/01/07

I am happy to endorse Joey. I have no doubt that he will be an asset to JA and his community. 

Lando, 2022/01/07

I will like to give Ignacio an Endorsement for going through the L1 Process. 


Ignacio has been an mtg player I have known personally for more than 5 years, and he wants to become a judge as to the next step on his MTG connection, since he is already running an online store and would like to become a judge in preparation for having the on-site store with events for players in the near future. 

Cristian Sanchez, 2022/01/06

At every single event I have been at that Brock has judged for, he has always been accurate with his decisions and professional with his demeanor. The players love him, and he is always lookig for ways to help new and experienced players understand and enjoy the game every chance he gets. Any player would be lucky to have Brock at their LGS.

MAKKLIVIKI, 2022/01/05

In May of 2021 i attended a Judge Conference organized by Pastimes and Meg was the main organizer of the conference. Due to some problems of th USPS the promos never got to me. After some time Meg never answered back my messages in discord, despite appearing connected many times. After trying a couple more times to contact her without any response i ended up solving the problem with Judge Academy directly. 

I want to remark that Meg seemed to not put too much effort on solving my problem, the last conference i went the organizer was about to send me some of his promos while the ones lost were sent back, while Meg was like lets wait till the promos appear back (and by today and according to the tracking number they seems that they haven´t appeared) and see what happens. Not gonna lie, i understand that is anoying trying to solve a problem of a conference that happened 7 months ago, but its  the responsability of being a Conference Organizer.

I don´t know Meg personally and maybe she was having other problems in that time and thats the reason that she couldnt handle my problem, so i dont have any bad feelings thowards her and from what i saw on the discord and the conference she seems like a good and funny person, but i would be lying if i  recommend someone to attend another conference organized by Pastimes or by Meg, and i myself will not attend anotherone organized by them.

JdBauzan, 2022/01/05

Rafał is a returning judge. 

He is an active member of the local community, answers rules questions at the weekly Commander meetups.

Staying up to date with the rules is important - be like Rafał!

Welcome back!


Witold Waczyński, 2022/01/05

This review is intended to congratulate Nicolas for his global involvement in his community and his constant work to achieve a level of excellence in all areas.

I was able to observe the efforts made by Nicolas on a daily basis both in the management of a community and in learning and the desire to always do better in his understanding of the game. This deserves to be congratulated and to be noticed.

Solid support during a major tournament during which I asked for his help, he shows very good human capacities. Dynamic and inventive, he knows how to question himself and improve his skills at every opportunity.

Nicolas, well done for your enthusiasm in the game and in your judge role, this review is intended to let anyone who asks for it know.

Jordane Lacombe, 2022/01/05
peppe, 2022/01/05

This review is intended to congratulate Martin for his involvement recently in his local community but also in recent events in which we have both participated.

Showing good initiative and keen to prove the extent of his skills, he has revealed both human and organizational qualities that go beyond those of a simple judge.

Developing his confidence in public by successfully guiding a large number of players and acquiring new skills at each event, especially those for which he was responsible on his own, Martin demonstrates an exemplary nature that deserves to be recorded in as such.

Congrats, continue to improve your skill set and get involved with as much heart as what you are doing now.

Jordane Lacombe.

Jordane Lacombe, 2022/01/04

I originally met Krisy around 2019 when I started attending Nostos Boutique, the WPN store she owns and operates, for modern tournaments. Krisy was running the events as a de facto judge and unofficial rules advisor, and soon after I offered my support as a judge for prerelease events. In our conversations about Krisy\'s goals for her store and herself as a player, Judge Academy came up as an option. She and I agreed that this was a step she wanted to take, and I encouraged her to pursue certification through JA.

Since then, she has demonstrated an admirable ability to balance various responsibilities in working through her courses and augmenting her existing rules knowledge. We\'ve had a number of conversations about areas in which her judge skills could be improved, and in the events following each of those, I have seen her put those recommendations into practice. She has catered to the widest range of customers I\'ve seen at an LGS in terms of age and experience, and is able to provide education to each and every group that attends her events. She has great vision for what her community can be insofar as a varied nature of events, and this certification will no doubt bolster her in this quest. She has already been excellent at spotlighting community members and trying new community initiatives for her player as well. 

I\'ve worked with Krisy in multiple prereleases at time of writing, and even more weekly Regular REL tournaments, and I feel comfortable asking her to be on staff at any other appropriate event. I think working at other venues would be a valuable experience for Krisy as a judge, as that would give her the opportunity to respond to unfamiliar players simply and directly as per the needs of the event, but this is for later in her judge career should she seek that out.

I\'m always available if there are any questions or additional comments about anything discussed here!

Ian Kernohan

ik, 2022/01/04

Peter has been a fellow member of an online Commander League, and over the years I\'ve come to respect the manner in which he interacts with others.  He\'s demonstrated patience, professionalism, and maturity, all of which suggests that he will do a good job representing Judge Academy as a Level One Judge.

I happily endorse Peter!

-- Scott Marshall

Uncle Scott, 2022/01/03

I am endorsing Rob as a Judge Academy Level 1 Candidate. Rob has been preparing for taking the Level 1 exam and is eager to help out with judging events. I look forward to working with Rob in the future.

Jacob Kriner, 2022/01/02

I am happy to endorse John. I have no doubt that they\'ll be an asset to JA and their community. 

Lando, 2022/01/02

I have known Colton for a few months now. He has a great temperament and outlook overall. He is very interested in improving his rules knowledge and helping other players with theirs. I think he will be an excellent contributor to our area\'s judge community and the larger judge program. I look forward to his development as a judge and will be helping him along the way. I\'m happy to provide my endorsement for his L1 certification. - Ben

Benjamin Valenzia, 2022/01/01

David has tenaciously pursued certification throughout the pandemic, and is working to grow his local community through bother event coordination and rules knowledge support.


While I would have liked to work with him more IRL, his patience and understanding with an online process, discussions of purpose and intent, and honest feedback have given me no doubt that he will be a resource to his neighbours and a contribution to our team.

Kyle Ryc (WildRyc), 2022/01/01

I have known Lawrence for a few months now. He has a great temperament and outlook overall. He is very interested in improving his rules knowledge and helping other players with theirs. I think he will be an excellent contributor to our area\'s judge community and the larger judge program overall. I look forward to his development as a judge and will be helping him along the way. I\'m happy to provide an endorsement for his L1 certification. - Ben

Benjamin Valenzia, 2021/12/31

David is a long time magic player and fixture in our community. He let his judge status lapse in the transition to Judge Academy. He desires to return to judging and I am glad to see his renewed interest. Having worked with him many times in the past I am comfortable with doing so in the future. I know he can run a safe and welcoming event.

Bob, 2021/12/31

Kevin is a lapsed L1 who wants to return to judging. They have continued to run events during their down time and are already doing the job of an L1. I would gladly have them on my staff and highly recommend them for this promotion.

Ben Petrila, 2021/12/30

Alex siempre ha sido un pilar para la comunidad del puerto de Veracruz.
Desde los primeros eventos a los que asistí y donde le conocí, demostró un  gran interés por la certificación de juez, desde ese día en cada uno de los eventos me ayudo y estuvo constantemente preguntando acerca de las reglas.

OmarGonzalez, 2021/12/30

Brian has been serving his local Magic community as a rules advisor and a Magic club organizer for the school he has worked at.  He\'s made it very apparent that he cares and cultivates his local community and would make a great asset as a fully certified Magic Judge for Judge Academy and the Magic community as a whole.

Mike, 2021/12/29
I made friends with Kenny, and I know him, thanks to the GPs. He immediately became interested in the judge world, he is a very good player and I am sure he will become an excellent judge!
Fuego, 2021/12/28

He has run so many events that I feel it is only fitting that he be an L1 judge.

Hagiwara, 2021/12/28

Hunter is an exceptional member of the Magic community and has been since I first met him. Not only does he play a wide range of formats, fill-in for rules questions for players of all skill levels, and encourage competitive and casual events alike, but he does so while lifting up the community and growing tournament attendance with his positive attitude.

He has always been a knowledgeable Magic player, and his focus to become a Judge shines through even more. He is thorough, methodical, and eloquent in his rules explanations, and he has already taken a keen grasp to EventLink for running events.

The Judge program would be greatly benefited by allowing Hunter the opportunity to contribute his skills.

micahl, 2021/12/27


I judged a few events together with you. And loved to see you improve step by step with every iteration. (Last one 19.12.2021)
During the time of the missing events you didnt lose any rules knowlege (only some self-assurance, which came back after some warm up).

Always stay positiv and be aware of your knowlege. You need to fill out a leading role as a L2, but i\'m sure that you are able to do so.

Im looking forward to judge more events together with you and would love to see you becoming a L2.

Patrick Morina, 2021/12/27

Igor is a passionate self-taught candidate, who went above and beyond in his study and solidified his knowledge through rules questions from Judge Booth.

He participated in various competitive REL Events, with lots of enthusiasm and interest in learning. He\'s humble and eager to learn, he followed other expert judges and regularly looks for opportunities to grow. 

His background gives him a solid logistic backbone, he\'s precise and attentive to details. He\'s a great operational resource at events.

He\'s a long time player and a positive force in the community. He founded a tournament league that runs on his own, and the community looks at him as an example of good behaviour. He regularly helps them with rules and policy questions and clarifications. 

With the right effort, I\'m sure he\'ll be a very good L2. 


Lamberto Franco, 2021/12/27






Keigo Osumi, 2021/12/26






Coffee, 2021/12/25
Thanasis is a very enthousiastic player since Oath of the Gatewtach. He is actively trying to organize his community at his home town Xanthi, and he\'s been great at it. The local community could really use him as a certificated judge.
John Papadakis, 2021/12/25

Jake is a great person who is interested in getting more involved in his local gaming community. 

I endorse him for L1

Steven Romero, 2021/12/25

Describe how players can get involved with your publishing company (play testing, etc).