The Judge Certification Program is progressing forward with supporting Organized Play. In 2005 and 2008 the Judge Program outlined how it would progress and adapt itself to provide increasing support for tournaments and training for judges of those tournaments through Certification. These efforts continue with some new goals;
- Support WPN events with a judge in every Advanced WPN location, and increase L2+ staff to support double the number of Grand Prix from previous years.
- Acquisition of Certified Judges in support of the first goal.
- Reward and Recognition for judge activity, especially beyond tournaments to foster the second goal.
- Education of Judges to not lose focus on improving quality in the face of significant acquisition.
A major first step in this effort is clarifying the role judges serve by level to globally define clear requirements for each judge level and the development path a judge takes to reach the next level. Some of this effort has already begun with Level One in June. In the coming days Level Two will also be clarified, and an announcement will be made regarding a new process for becoming a candidate for Level Three.
Level One judges oversee WPN store tournaments, run at Regular REL. They are knowledgeable of Magic rules, tournament rules, structures, and formats, and are capable of organizing store-level events. They are the main envoys to the retail community and work with (sometime for) retailers. Level Ones judge FNMs and Prereleases. Veteran L1s who have demonstrated knowledge of the IPG may assist on Qualifiers, GPs, and Nationals (as L1s do currently). The Judge Program will provide support to Veteran L1s who are running their first GPTs alone with guides and suggestions to prepare.
Level Two judges are Area Judges who want more to do more than judge inside one store. They wish to participate in Competitive level events, thus requiring IPG knowledge not required at Level One. They desire to see tournaments run to a higher standard, and are willing to travel to events sometimes four hours away or more. When a Level Two becomes a veteran in their level they begin to train and mentor other judges and they become responsible for more organization of complex events for several retail organizers. They judge at several locations and with a half-dozen or more judges each year with the goal to improve tournaments for their community.
These changes will be announced on the Judge-L mailing list and updated on the website and judge wiki.
I'd like to thank the team who worked on this project: Jeff Morrow who has led this effort and the creation of the new L3 advancement process, Damian Hiller for all of L2, and Nick Sephton for finalizing the committee's efforts with L1. Additional thank you goes to many judges who participated in significant ways; Fabian Peck for his guides on testing, Cristiana Dionisio for messaging, and Brian Schenck for the exam content. More than twenty judges participated in this major project which provides the foundation for many of our other goals.
Thank you all!
Wizards of the Coast