rokman rants! judges/pokeparents

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by rokman, Mar 15, 2011.

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  1. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    [DEL]I feel like a lot of pokeparents incentive for judging or staffing is "hey, I'll get cards for my kids who play" and whether or not that is true for everyone, it certainly looks that way. Especially in situations where a pokeparent is a judge and isn't even >75% sure on rulings, they are likely friends with the other pokeparents who run the tournament or whatever and that's how they got in a position to judge. It's sort of this understanding amongst all the older (no offense) adults in the community.[/DEL] And sure, I'm a 20 year old nerd who plays pokemon seriously who's opinion and/or perspective doesn't matter, I'm just calling it like I see it.

    In the history of me playing, I've played in a lot of States and experience a plethora of judges and judging styles. I've even judged myself and made silly mistakes in the past (nothing severe). But something I have noticed, the large majority of pokeparents who judge (not EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!), just aren't that good. They don't have the time to slave over cards, rulings, compendiums, stay up to date with the gym or what's going on, they pretty much hear everything news-wise second hand from their children(s).

    And it isn't their fault. SOMEBODY has to judge! Unfortunately, the best judges I have seen are people who judge exclusively/very frequently and are very involved with the online community. (which can still be pokeparents!!!!!) OR the players themselves, people who would rather play than judge.

    I am very thankful we have people who will judge in the first place, this post is not me undermining them offering their time, I just wish there were a lot more requirements and pre-requisites to judge.

    People who take pokemon a little more seriously than me, take a judge's rulings EXTREMELY personally, and when a mistake is made, all heck breaks loose. This should not be happening for the judges or the players...

    So, I'm not really sure what I'm getting at. I just wish there were much more things in place to prevent mistakes (extremely important for top cuts). A ruling is made, the head judge needs to make the call and reference TEXT for it. If that means completely re-writing the rule books to clarify everything down to minute details, so be it, I'm sure there are TONS of players and people within the community that would work together to get stuff set right.

    Just look at these topics (read the discussion, not just the OP)
    A true active position?
    Opponent attaching/retreating rules
    Cheating players?
    Mr. Mime trick reveal?
    *and these topics aren't even a month old!

    It's many many things like this that aren't clear-cut, whishy-washy, up to the Head Judge's discretion. We Need official TEXT!

    And people claiming "that takes too much time to reference text" have no idea what they are talking about. Players would be much happier waiting a few minutes for the right call. And the judges can give a time extension, if needed.

    In Sports, particularly football, the referees make calls and when a Coach challenges it, the ref looks at replay after replay, from every camera angle available to him, even slowing it down to a frame-by-frame.

    And if a judge consistently makes bad calls where it is overturned by the head judge WITH TEXT, that judge needs to stop judging. Period.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  2. Scorpidad

    Scorpidad New Member

    I am a pokeparent and I judge. I also read every single ruling both here and at the official forums. I read the compendium, I look-up harder rulings. I question rulings I need more information on. I only make rulings I am confident in, I never guess at a ruling. I listen to the players, look up a ruling if they dispute it, talk to other judges, call the head judge, whatever it takes to make correct rulings. Basically, I will admit I am wrong, but I read stuff to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Also, I judge because I enjoy it, not for the cards. If that was the case, I would have passed on judging States for the CoL cards.

    I agree here. The head judge can report to P!P the poor performance of the judge, they can (and should) report to the PTO that the judge should not be used any longer. Head judges (and PTOs) want good judges, not just anyone to fill a shirt. At least here they do!

    All in all, if you have a problem with a particular judge consistently making rulings against published rules, talk to your PTO, NICELY. To see what can be done about it. Maybe your area really has a lack of judges, I don't know.
  3. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    I understand your "frustration" and always remember you have the right as a player to appeal to the HJ on any ruling.

    That said, if you think this is a serious enough problem, then step up to VOLUNTEER. Too many "players" are willing to judge PRs, BRs and some CCs to get packs, but are way too busy playing to judge states and up. Thats a problem I see.

  4. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    I wish there were more judges like that. But you can't for one second say every judge/pokeparent is like this...

    That is most DEFINITELY not the case. This post has nothing to do with my area. It's just my observations from all over... In fact, DFW has a lot of great judges. But I don't want this to be about my area because the judges around here who see this could think I'm talking about them or whatever.

    This is certainly the case for me. I am entirely a player before a judge. And I have no problem judging smaller events, but when it's a big tournament, I'm playing. And when I judge, I make sure I don't make a bad ruling. This is not the case for everyone and this is the reason I made this topic.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  5. ApachePrime

    ApachePrime New Member

    As a player, I gotta say if you think you know the rules: JUDGE. Volunteer to do it for free if you have to. Prove you know your stuff. You will be appreciated, and it will improve the situation.

    Also, educate the judges you see making a mistake. Ask if you can get their e-mail addresses and POLITELY e-mail them the ruling they didn't nail. If you aren't going to be polite, don't bother, but Judging is and always will be a constant learning experience.

    Rok, I gotta disagree with you that too much is up to a HJ's discretion though. The rules in Pokemon are VERY logical and clean cut. Most rulings are as simple as searching for them here on the 'Gym. An incorrect ruling is just that: Incorrect. A miscalculation in judgement, and should be addressed to the proper authority. The text you are requesting is available, and most PTO's have contact info for other PTO's and even members of Team Compendium. I've scoured for a ruling while judging a States before, I've even been handed a phone and talked to Bulbasnore personally about a ruling. There are resources available for Judges and PTO's willing to use it.
  6. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    Well, I don't know about that. And to be honest, there shouldn't be ANYTHING up to the Head Judge's discretion...
  7. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Oh, you have to be kidding me.

    Nothing up to the head judges discretion?

    There is no frame by frame replay of any football plays until you get to the pros.

    In Junior Football, there are bad calls made every day. Only at the highest level of events do you get that type of attention.

    Stop comparing Pokemon Judges to NFL Referees, such a bad comparison.

    We, as PTOs put good HJs in place, and put good judge staffs in place.

    Are they always top tier and the absolute best?

    They are the best we can assemble. I am lucky with my judging staffs, but we have had issues for time to time (Yeah, I had a judge cuss me out and "resign" at a Regional when a call went against his son in another division, good times, good times)

    Oh, and there are MORE skills that are needed to judge than just card knowledge. So long as a staff is trained properly in what to do when they do not know, I have no problem with a judge not knowing every minute detail of the who advances first when a player hits Gengar's fainting spell. I will know, other members of my staff will know, but that staff member will know WHO to turn to. Quick correct answers are not always needed. Correct answers are always needed.

    Got a problem? Talk to your PTO.

    Trust me, those that are judging Regionals and States are doing so for the love of the game. The judge support set is, well, you know.

  8. Team Cook

    Team Cook New Member

    I won't reply to the parents judging part but I'd like to say this. If judges, including the HJ and PTO would take the time to listen to the players, I really think we would have less problems. I'm a true believer that if the player and judge disagree on an issue, simply talk it out. A healthy discussion will correct the issue, pop a time extension and continue play. With that said, I'm also a believer that you'll see that a few judges will never admit they're wrong.
  9. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    Stop comparing? I made one reference to NFL referees and the post doesn't change at all if the comment wasn't even there? And the reason why I made that reference didn't have anything to do with looking at replays, in the first place.

    I was saying, referees spend time looking at everything from every angle instead of making the call on a whim.

    So, if you bring that over to Pokemon, head judges should reference texts, scenarios, etc, to make their calls. Instead of just standing over the board and making a decision (which can sometimes be wrong). Even if the judge is 100% sure, I feel he should have to point right down at some official words on paper on how things should be handled or ruled or whatever...

    And yes, there shouldn't be ANYTHING up to the Head judge's discretion. Because then things change from tournament to tournament, and nothing should be changing.

    And before anyone else comments, this was not an attack on TOs and/or Judges. It was just an observation.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  10. butlerforhire

    butlerforhire New Member

    This thread doesn't need to devolve into an "us versus them" stand-off.

    I don't like how the stock response to any sort of comment about judging whatsoever always seems to be "if you don't like it, sacrifice your own play time to do it better." What kind of logic is that? Players are expected to give up States, Regionals etc. just to correct issues with judges that shouldn't be going on in the first place? I joined this game as a player, not as a judge, and it makes me angry when people suggest that I put their hat on and walk in their shoes or else I need to hold my tongue.

    All I ask from a judge are the following:
    - Comprehensive knowledge of the rules of the game, both procedural and mechanical. It is the judge's job to have extensive knowledge. They are supposed to be the ultimate resource for how this game is played.
    - Willingness to admit lack of knowledge if necessary (ie. the Fainting Spell scenario that meganium45 brought up; something like that can get complicated and need clarification) and willingness to then go seek correct information from higher source (Compendium, HJ) rather than stubbornly issue what may be an incorrect ruling.
    - Respect for the players. I can't stand judges who are quick to assume foul play and who lambast players assumed of doing wrong. We aren't all out to cheat the system.

    Judges who fail to meet the above criteria should either be corrected or dismissed as judges. Players have the right to talk about their problems with judges like this without being attacked. This isn't a game founded on tyranny.
  11. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    I don't think rokman is saying anything unusual here. Judges certainly have leeway to interpret the rules and penalties based on the situation. But, when they stray, which should be very seldom, they need to justify.
  12. PokeDad

    PokeDad Forum Moderator

    And if a player consistently makes bad plays?

    No, seriously, I am trying to appreciate the message contained in tour original post.

    I agree that judges should be right, or take the time to be right. I try to always point at the rule or guideline when judging.

    That said, discretion is actually a part of the game, especially as it relates to initial penalties for our youngest juniors.

    Outside of that, in near total accordance with the general thrust of rokman's post, the reason I use written rules and guidelines is so that players in the tournaments I judge have the same experience and opportunity when being ranked against players from other areas. I know the PTOs and judges in SoCal, Oregon, Texas, and St Louis do the same.

    We all take our responsibility seriously. This year I will HJ our Regional, NorCal, and I will share my desire to see correct rulings and awarding of penalties based on what the rules and guidelines outline. I am a big fan of backing up rulings with another judge whenever possible. My greatest hope is for a smooth, mistake free tournament; I actually say a personal judge's prayer before tournament days.

    Just as player skill and knowledge varies, so too does judge skill and knowledge. I apologize for any lack of absolute perfection that exists in the process of tournament play, but even the NFL referees with their instant replay make blown calls each week.

    We all, players and judges, staff and parents, do our best to make the experience the best it can be.

    I try to improve each season. I learn, I grow. Most of us do.

    If you see a judge making absolutely incorrect calls, you might politely share your observations with the HJ or PTO, or follow up by polite email with that judge - not in anger, seeking his slow and painful execution by thousands of Pokemon card paper cuts, but in a spirit of kind helpfulness, with the goal of improving the game.

    Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  13. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    By bad plays do you mean mistakes? If they make mistakes then they lose.

    If you mean they cheat, when they are caught they are banned.

    Your comment doesn't make any sense at all... :confused:
  14. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    rokman: You doomed this discussion in your very first sentence.

    You just brushed all PokeParent judges with a very insulting and ugly brush.
    You have a number of PokeParent judges/PTOs responding in this thread that I would be/am proud to work with on a judge staff.
    Heck, a bunch of PokeParents create and maintain that thing you think everyone should reference, the Compendium.

    Are there problems with the quality of some judges? Sure. I bet there are.
    How about you focus on what those problems are, and bring up some specifics or examples, rather than disparaging the motivations of all PokeParents that give a heck of a lot back to this game for little reward and deserve better than to be insulted like that.

    You made this topic into "us vs, them" by doing that.
  15. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    Well, there is unfortunately a lot of bad pokeparent judges, regardless of you guys defending them. The only reason they judge is for the packs, otherwise they would strive to learn every ruling and every card....

    If they ARE slaving over rulings and are consistently bad, then they are just stupid and should not be in a position TO judge!
  16. PokeDad

    PokeDad Forum Moderator


    I feel odd having to explain my comment, I felt it was understandable, but as you declare my comment doesn't make any sense at all, I suppose I am required to explain it; I don't want to be thought unclear. It is my singular greatest desire to be understood, to be found sensible, by you.

    You stated that if a judge makes bad calls, that judge needs to stop judging, period.

    I asked about players that make bad plays. Most people, I thought, could make the leap from your statement to my question. I was wrong, as my meaning was beyond your comprehension.

    Let me be more clear: You advocate an end to judging for judges who consistently make bad calls. Do you similarly advocate that players who consistently make bad plays be prevented from further play?

    I believe that players who consistently make bad, errant plays, can be taught to play better, can improve, are not without redemption.

    While I wouldn't want to see a City Championship judge who makes tons of mistakes HJing Masters at Worlds, I don't see why, once identified as needing help, that judge can't receive additional guidance from PTOs and HJs and helped into better improved judging skill and ability at Battle Road or PreRelease tourneys.

    Where I see the possibility for redemption, you rail for permanent prohibition. I wondered if you would take such a draconian stance if the failure was with a player instead of a judge. I do not. As you could not make any sense of my question, using mirroring words from the quote of your words immediately preceding my question, I leave it to you to respond if you wish.

    I am sorry that my initial comment was poorly written, my message blunt. I only wish I had your communication skills, your clarity, your tact. Hopefully, having marshaled my meager skills, I have brought a greater degree of sense to my previous comment - although I recognize that I may lack the wherewithal to ever communicate to you sufficiently my intended message.

    If you take nothing else away from my posts, take this: we are all trying to do the best we can, and we are in this together. I'm not saying you should give up playing at States, Regional, Nationals, or Worlds to grace us with your perfect judging. I am not saying that all the judges you encounter will be any more perfect than the play of the players they judge. I believe that the consistently imperfect judges you write about, and which I freely acknowledge exist, should receive training, help, and oversight in more entry level tournaments while you feel they should receive expulsion. We disagree on that.

    ---------- Post added 03/15/2011 at 05:20 PM ----------


    I retract any kind thing I wrote about your communication skills. In this thread, you are utterly without tact or skill. I hope with age, and experience, you will find some measure of respect - for yourself and others.

    I will not bother with this thread as you have befouled it like a bird it's own nest.
  17. EeveeLover

    EeveeLover Member Services Administrator

    This past weekend, I had the privilege to work with one of the most talented Teams I have ever worked.

    We had Judges with multiple years of Nationals and Worlds level experience, Lots of States / Regional levels and probably close to 100 years combined experience.

    Out of the entire team, all but 3 are Pokeparents. I challenge you to find fault with spookees, Master Professor Birch, Christine, Valerie, ronton, Dwayne, Tonja, Chad, Joey, Simba or myself.

    I think the team issued a whopping 5 warnings all day.

    The Judges were bored to say the least.

    Good play results in good Judging.

    Yes, there are some Judges that need more guidance and experience - that is the point of mentoring and training.

    Back to that list from above, everyone of us were new and inexperienced at some point.

    Good Judges are made - not born. One of those PokeParents could be the next Worlds Head Judge, after some good training and mentorship.

  18. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    You guys are taking this way too personally..... sheesh. Do you guys really think every judge out there is a perfect little angel doing everything selflessly, for the goodness of the children???

    If I bring up anything specific, the judge will read this and know I'm talking about them. Which is what I don't want. I'm friends with every person I've met in person, including bad judges/pokeparents, unfortunately the way I talk online is brash and people are way the heck too sensitive.....................

    And that is what is so great about Pokemon! We have a great community that will help people grow! Unfortunately, people like me, have to voice concern. Because judges who haven't grown AT ALL are put in positions to judge where they shouldn't be. They need more time to grow.

    I think there needs to be more judge seminars like Da Fish did here in DFW. If TOs were doing that all over, going over everything, answering their judges questions, etc, we could all grow together...

    Besides the fact your comment was super snide, thanks for that, you didn't elaborate. What I quoted was your entire post. You just went back and edited in a whole comment. And No, it did not make any sense at all. If YOU don't get that, then I don't need to explain why it doesn't make sense. :thumb:

    And one other thing, if a player makes bad plays, he is going to lose. If he has a problem with losing, he will try to get better. A bad judge who makes bad calls can ruin an entire tournament for a player. That's why it is best for judges to "grow" at small events where entire seasons aren't on the line. That judge has the right to get better but if they don't, they need to be cut. Or at least not judge big events.... There really isn't anymore to discuss.

    In the end, I'm just a player who wants the game to be better than it is. I'm not on here to insult people and hurt your precious feelings.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  19. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Rokman: IF you have a problem with a particular judge or 2, talk/email the PTO/TO that keeps using said judge. Point out the weaknesses and any strengths. That would be much more productive than coming on here and painting with a broad brush. I hate to tell you, but the last few HJs at US Nats all started out as "Pokeparents", present company included! If it wasnt for our kids, we wouldnt have been involved in the game. I doubt you would want to toss me, Vince, BDS, SD PokeMOM, Bulbasnore, PokePOP, et al out with the other pokeparents.

  20. rokman

    rokman <a href="

    While I never said all pokeparents were bad judges, there are waaaay too many. And everyone in this thread is most certainly not even close to the group of people I've been talking about.

    But think about when you guys were new to judging. Think of being put at a big tournament in a final cut match. You'd make mistakes and the players are the ones being punished for it.

    It really isn't even about learning every rule there is. Anybody can be a judge. Especially if they HAVE to find the text ruling to make a call, the best judges would be about being a fast researcher, instead of making gut calls that are up to your discretion...

    Is it honestly that bad of me to want that?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
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