How to Get Through a Day of Judging

Posted in NEWS on July 13, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome back. Let's dive straight in. This time we will be focusing on "the 8 steps" from direct sales. These steps were designed to ensure that you get the most out of a working day. So here are "the 8 steps":

  1. Have a good attitude
  2. Be on time
  3. Be prepared
  4. Work your territory
  5. Don't lose your attitude
  6. Work eight hours or as long as it takes
  7. Have Goals
  8. Take control

Once again, these steps seem very trivial; however, knowing what you're doing will help you see where you can improve. This article will be shorter then the previous, as it doesn't deal with judging as much as general philosophy about working.

Step 1: Have a good attitude

I will start with a quote from my manager at the Direct Sales Company:

"With a smile, you can get away with murder."

Of course smiling and being nice are just part of having a good attitude, but they are the essential start. It also has to do with your motivation and ethics.

When you decide to judge (for the right reasons), you must be willing to do the work and expect you will enjoy it. Your ability to radiate that feeling will help you and other members of the staff get through long days easier and leave a lasting impact on the players about the upbeat atmosphere of the tournament.

Step 2: Be on Time

However easy this may sound, it is still something that some people have a hard time with. Once again I will quote my manager:

"You can never be on time; you are either early or late!"

So maybe this step should be called "Be Early" but it doesn't sound as good. This also has to do with your attitude towards the tournament.

Step 3: Be Prepared

This is the step which has the most aspects. The amount of preparation you need to do depends on the role you have. Part of your preparation should be finding out about your role and making sure the person that put you in that role expects the same. With the right amount of preparation (by all involved parties), your tournaments will be a lot smoother and your players will be happier.

Step 4: Work your Territory

This can be taken for the tournament as well as for judging in general. For the tournament, it is mainly about making sure that your assigned tasks are taken care of. It is also important that, even if you did not have to deal with any players, you make sure you radiate hospitality so players will come back to your tournaments.

Judging in general is, of course, more relevant for higher-level judges and making sure the players in judges in their area are taken care of.

Step 5: Don't lose your attitude

Yes, your attitude is one of the most important things. And losing it is a very bad thing. Of course, you might need a short break to deal with a bit of frustration or something, but making sure it happens out of sight is the key. Keep your smile, walk out, get yourself together, and get back in. This also has to do with Step 4: if players or judges see you lose your attitude, they will be less inclined to come back or want to work with you again.

Step 6: Work eight hours or as long as it takes

This one doesn't translate as well from direct sales, as our days are very much dictated by the tournaments we run, instead of a fixed number of hours. The core of this step is the fact that you should give 100% while you are working. Of course, to ensure that you can keep your good attitude, you should take timely breaks.

Step 7: Have Goals

Going into an event with certain goals will help you tremendously with growing as a judge. When you reach those goals, it will also make you a lot happier about your performance at the event.

The main thing is finding these one or two areas you want to work on for the event, then making sure that you have a solid plan to improve. Sharing your goals with one of the senior judges will make sure that your methods are sound, and they will also be there to help you evaluate at the end of the event.

Step 8: Take Control

Yes, you! You should be there helping players and helping other judges. Of course, you should not be in their face about things, but you are the one who can make a change. Don't wait until things happen or go wrong. Make them happen and prevent the mistakes, or make sure they are solved as best as you can.

Final thoughts

Going over these steps has helped me be aware of making rulings and being a lot more efficient when I attend events. I am now used to the steps so much that I am doing a lot on autopilot again. Writing this article will make me once again analyze these steps before I head out next time.

Thank you for listening.



Gijsbert Hoogendijk