PT Yokohama Article Followup

Posted in NEWS on December 7, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

Jeff Donais

I wrote my Yokohama judge report and decided to deal with one element of tournaments: judge teams.

I asked for feedback and questions from fellow judges about the article in hopes of finding some questions about judge teams that I hadn't answered.

I received some great questions from judges and will update my article to include the new situation.

Below is a summary of the new material that I'm adding to the article.

One thing I wanted to clarify was when judge team should have meetings to talk about the day's events. Judges should meet before the tournament starts if time permits and at the end of the day. Meeting during rounds is generally not possible to keep the tournament running quickly.

I also added this paragraph reminding team leaders to be observant in order to give important feedback at the end of the day:

"Team leaders should be observing their team throughout the day in anticipation of giving constructive feedback at the end of the day. Team leaders should watch how their team members deal with players, answer rulings, maintain the tournament environment, act professionally and so on. A good team leader knows how to balance their time between instructing his team members, observing team members behavior and making rulings themselves."

I added this paragraph to the article that talks about taking breaks and addressing the philosophy (that I don't practice) of assigning judges a full round of breaks:

"Judges should generally be judging all day and should be coordinating with their team leader to take breaks. There exists a school of thought that says judges should be given a whole round off during the day, but I never use that method. Having an entire team off the floor reduces the number of judges too much and can lead to an entire team missing an important event. I much prefer to have each judge take short breaks during the day if needed. Some judges don't get many chances to judge events, so they desperately want as much experience as possible and choose not to take many breaks during the day. If a judge wants to judge all day and get as much experience as possible, they should be allowed to do so. As long as judges get enough sleep at night, drink lots of water and sit down whenever possible between rounds they should be fine to judge all day. If a judge has special health concerns, they can work with their team leader to accommodate them appropriately."

Some judges asked whether they should keep a judge team on the same job all day or rotate teams through different jobs, here is my opinion that I added to the article:

"I recommend keeping a judge team on the same job all day. This gives teams the opportunity to learn everything involved in their position very well. This also gives the judges the ability to improve how they do their job throughout the day. The can find more efficient ways to do things and perfect the job. Rotating the teams throughout different jobs does expose them to different roles but doesn't give them as much of a chance to study the job in-depth and refine their processes. Over the course of several tournaments, judges should consult with the head judge to ensure that they are eventually scheduled in each role to ensure they get maximum experience."

Nat Fairbanks pointed out an extremely good function that should be performed by the Slips team. I added this paragraph to the Slips team section:

"As the end of the round gets closer, the Slips team should coordinate with the scorekeeper to ensure that they know which tables have outstanding results. This will help the judges identify which tables may have result slips that were lost or are in a judge's pocket. Having the Slips team responsible for this duty will reduce the amount of time between rounds."

I've modified the original article so people who read it in the years to come will have the best information possible. Thanks very much to everyone who gave me feedback for the article, it worked out really well!

Jeff Donais
DCI Level 5 Judge
DCI Tournament Manager