News: Katsuhiro Mori Suspended

Posted in Event Coverage on April 21, 2007

By Ted Knutson

At the end of Day Two at Pro Tour–Yokohama, Japan's Katsuhiro Mori was informed that he would be suspended from sanctioned Magic play for the next six months (effective immediately) for accumulated penalties. This came as a result of Mori receiving another game play error warning on the second day here and also after considerable deliberation on the part of Head Judge Sheldon Menery and DCI Judge Manager Andy Heckt.

Late last year, the DCI became aware that Mori was accumulating warnings for game play errors at a rate inconsistent with what they would expect from a player of Mori's stature. Then at Pro Tour–Geneva, Katsuhiro got another three warnings for unrelated errors and received an official warning from Heckt in person, informing him that further sloppy play on his part could have long-term repercussions. He then received a warning the very next day, but that was attributed to possible nerves from his discussion with Mr. Heckt. Unfortunately, Mori received yet another game play warning here in Yokohama, forcing the DCI's hand. Mori was deemed not to have heeded the previous official warning to play more carefully, and a suspension was handed down.

Heckt and Menery were quick to point out that intent to commit rules violations here was not part of the equation – penalties for knowingly committing rules violations are usually far more severe. However, the individual warnings are highly disruptive to event operations, and as a group, the accumulated warnings revealed a pattern of behavior that was troubling in a player of Katsuhiro's quality (Japanese National Champion, World Champion, Level 4 Pro Tour Players Club member).

The two men also stressed that the accumulated warnings came about as a result of players following proper procedure and calling a judge whenever something questionable occurs. By trusting judges to adjudicate any questions or misunderstandings, players allow the DCI to gather data on which players are receiving more infraction warnings than normal and step in when something needs to be done.

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