What do we need to be a judge?

Discussion in 'Professor Forum' started by GOROY, Apr 12, 2004.

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  1. GOROY

    GOROY New Member

    I am wondering this since, I have never judged before and plan to one day in the future, I don't know when, but I want to make sure I'm ready when I actually get to be a real judge at a tourney one day.

    So what do I really need to know; I know being a proffesor helps, but what do we really need to know and understand to be a good judge at a tourney, like a prerealease, a state, or any regular tourney?

  2. IvesRountree

    IvesRountree New Member

    First, you should have a very clear understanding of the rules, that is the basic, since a lot of the hardest questions can be answered simply by using the basic data; Second, should have at least seen a couple of times the compendium, this hyge document may be the greates aid in the whole process, he should also have a good understanding of the floor rules, so as to act accordingly to them, he should also have a good communication ability, pokemon professors are not like magic judges, we have to interact a little more with the players, those are the basics in my opinion, Im sure many fellow profs will add on to this.
  3. GreatFox

    GreatFox New Member

    Also... as for Pre-releases, since no rulings will be out for those cards for a while, make sure to read the cards carefully and rule on them using some common sense.

    Of course, it helps to have both the Original Compendium and the Compendium EX so you can try to rule new cards based off of similar older cards until official rulings are released.
  4. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    There are FAQs on new cards released by PUI before the pre-releases.
    We're trying to get a look at them before they are sent out so that we can make any... clarifications that are needed (see the original FAQ ruling on Rayqueza), but the best we have been able to do so far is to get corrected rulings out as part of the Rulings Team meeting the day before.
    So, check the ATMT forum for last minute rulings before a PR.
  5. Master_Prof_Juggie

    Master_Prof_Juggie New Member


    My biggest secret that the players probably don't realise ... Listen to what they are saying, starting with the player that called the judge (don't let the opponent butt in until the other has finished) ... then read the card !! Make YOUR ruling based on your knowledge keeping in mind the ages of the players (you may need to explain the ruling abit more in simpler terms, to the younger players).

    I assume players DON'T know the Rules properly. Why i hear you say ... well if the player thinks they know it all, most of the time, at some point they'll try to rules cheese an opponent. Do you know how they were taught the game & the teachers understanding of the rules ??

    I also judge Magic at Premier event level & the biggest difference would be the age of players.

    Pokemon attracts youngers players, so therefore make sure you are prepared for the resulting tears when a junior gets a penalty. For the more serious penalty, as Head Judge, i actively hunt out the parent to warn them & explain what is about to happen. They can then take a fully informed handle of the situation with their child.

    Hope this helps
  6. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

  7. IvesRountree

    IvesRountree New Member

    Well, they do help give yourself a good image of judge, but I am not completely sure of the focus on them, for example, I remember they commented not to eat in front of the players, while Nintendo encourages different, it is because of the approach of the game, while frankly being more human on pokemon than on magic, well, that is the feel I got, I also suggest reading it, so at least you can klnow what you want, or dont want to become.
  8. mysterioustrainer

    mysterioustrainer New Member

    Although you must be serious about the tournament itself, still try to have fun with the kids. Show them you love Pokemon as much as they do and they will respect you and listen to you.

    In any conflictive situation:

    1. Determine the problem and the people the problem it involves.
    2. Discover who (if anyone) is at fault.
    3. Determine the best solution and correction (if any) to the problem.
    4. Explain the problem, the correction to the problem and the solution to insure the problem doesn't happen again to each of the involved persons.
    5. Make a note of the situation if it was a penalty like call.
  9. DaytonGymLeader

    DaytonGymLeader New Member

    1. A high tolerance for pain.
    2. The ability for go long hours without sleep, food, drink, etc.
    3. The ability to make everyone happy regardless of how it impacts anyone else, then make those people happy.

    Really, here's my opinion:
    Book knowledge
    1. In depth knowledge of game mechanics
    2. In depth knowledge of tournament mechanics
    3. In depth knowledge of the Floor Rules
    4. In depth knowledge of the current revision of the Rule Book
    5. In depth knowledge of card rulings
    6. Knowledge of how all of the above interact together

    People Skills:
    1. Ability to listen
    2. Ability to communicate clearly in terms that everyone can understand
    3. Ability to wield the iron fist covered in a velvet glove - be firm, but be nice
    4. Ability to manage time, space, and people effectively
    5. A firm grasp of human nature
    6. Patience, lots of patience

    Must Haves:
    1. A watch
    2. A pen (or 50)
    3. Something to keep notes on
    4. Immediate access to any FAQs, Compendium Rulings, Card Texts, Floor Rules, Rule Books, etc.

    1. PDA/PocketPC - Seriously folks, I have NO IDEA how I managed before I had mine. Everything I need is on it, clock, rulings documents, etc.

    Feel free to add/subtract from this list.
  10. Prof. Douglas Zuver

    Prof. Douglas Zuver New Member

    Carefully read what DaytonGymLeader just said. :pokeball:
    I have learned a lot judging under him and the past MTs.

    I guess I'll add have some paper towels to mop up the coke
    that someone is going to spill. :rolleyes:

    Find really good judges at a big event a watch them.
    They constantly are looking around for hands raised.
    They are not lazy. They are there to help others.

    Pokemon Judges should be friendly. They also need to be
    willing to hand out penalties in a kind fashion. People suddenly
    play better when they know they will get a prize penalty for mistakes.
    I definitely believe in using a sliding scale making better, older,
    and more experience players accountable for their actions quicker
    than younger ones who are newer to the game and tournament play.

    Sometimes, someone will come to the event with a definite attitude
    problem. I have found from experience that if you nicely try to get
    them to behave they just push the limits until you say "OK, it's prize
    penalty time." By then, a teenager or two will probably be copying their
    attitude turning the situation into a more difficult one.

    A judge should never allow players to address them in a rude nasty tone
    of voice regardless of the subject being discussed. A Judge should be willing
    to discuss things with people that could be improved, but shut down
    people who are simply looking to pick a fight with staff members.
    A Judge should not have to put up with barbed comments in any tone of voice.
    Explain the problem, give them the prize penalty, and one way or another
    the problem will resolve itself.

    Judges should quickly move into situations that appear to be rising
    between two people, and ask what is going on. Important events like the
    2002 World Championship had THE PRESS there, so it is important to maintain
    a happy atmosphere as much as possible.

    As a Judge, I have occasionally had a kind word for the loser of a game.
    Explaining that next round, the Swiss paring system will pair them with
    other losers giving them a chance to win.

    Never count down the seconds until the end of the game.
    Steve and DMTM taught me that. Players should play as normal until the time
    runs out. Never put a stop watch in front of their nose either.

    Bring lots of cheap pens!!!
    You are going to need them.

    Dice cups can be had at the grocery store in the form of 150 very small cups
    for about $2. This is something to think about. This works extremely well.
    Larger paper cups are good to have if someone wants something to put
    their damage counters in. Never let people leave damage counters carelessly
    all over the table. This is confusing, and confusion leads to problems. Make
    them clear their damage counters off to the side into a container.

    Carry a "Black Book" with you.
    Walmart sells tiny composition books that fit in your pocket for 79 cents.
    Write all sorts of things in them.
    I have found that if you put a letter at the bottom of each page,
    you can list people by the first letter of their first name.
    You can even make notes of their deck list.
    Write down the major evolutions and special cards.
    Bingo, you can do a deck check in under 10 seconds,
    because you know about what their deck should look it.
    I have used this method to deck check almost every single winner
    every single round in a tournament, and it worked very well.

    Bring your problems to the Head Judge.
    Find out how he wants to deal with things.
    This brings a consistency to the rulings.
    Talk to and cooperate with the other staff members.

    Don't slam people on the boards.
    People don't forget that kind of a thing.

    Don't continue to work for TOs who are not doing their job properly without any
    thought of changing for the better. You might have to work with and judge for a
    lot of different people to get into a Premier Judge position. Each TO will have
    strong and weak points and different needs. Being able to operate the
    computer software, or immediately knowing a complex ruling, or being able
    to nicely but firmly handle an attitude problem could make you more desirable
    for a particular TO to use.

    It is important for players to realize that they can come to you with ANY problem
    and you will be FAIR about it. It is your responsibility to provide physical blocks
    to problems when you can. Deck lists, dice cups.. Look for things like Prizes not
    spread out, energy hidden under Pokemon (People can try to attach 2 energy cards to a
    Pokemon at the same time -- both cards are together and go on at once.) etc.

    Be willing to work hard and learn.
    Don't decide you want to judge just to act important.
    Do it because you enjoy helping others.

    :) :psychic: :lightning :grass: :fire: :fighting: :)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2004
  11. Big Daddy Snorlax

    Big Daddy Snorlax Administrator

    This is becoming quite a complete list. A good beginners reference indeed. One thing I've not seen expressed yet - the Players are not the only people you have to be concerned with when you judge.

    I have probably had more problems with signals from the sidelines and interference from often well meaning parents than actual inappropriate behavior from the players. A judge needs to watch the entire area of play, including the spectators. Learn to be diplomatic. Very often you must find a way to act on your instincts. Outside interference can often be very subtle and difficult to prove. Often you have to handle the situation without making an accusation you can't prove. Position your body between a suspect and a player. Ask a parent to watch from a different position. Don't get so focused on what's happening on the table that you miss something on the sidelines.

    Here's another one that sounds kind of funny - be sure to drink lots of water. In a big event you will be going non-stop for 8 to 12 hours. It's easy to get dehydrated. It is amazing how much more alert you'll be if you keep a bottle of water handy. I've used a belt pack with a couple holsters to hold water bottles while keeping my hands free. The pouch can also be used to carry extra randomizers and other useful judges stuff. ;)

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2004
  12. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    I'm sorry, is this the "drag Florida OP into the dirt" forum?
    I don't want to hear another word about Florida OP issues on this thread.
  13. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Great advice, BDS...and something to keep in mind, especially when you notice the same parent/sibling/friend continually watching 'their' player's matches from a position that gives them a view of the opponent's hand. Hard to prove, but there also shouldn't be any argument once the situation/appearance is explained...

  14. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Attitude, attitude, attitude.

    We all want events to go perfectly, but when there are problems, know what you are going to do.

    Be prepared to pair and run the event by hand when your TMS software breaks down.

    Be prepared to go from table to table, with a smile on your face.

    Make a ruling, make it a correct ruling (or the most correct you can in the situation), and then stick by the ruling.

    Let all players know the rules straight out, and tell them it is THEIR job to ask for a judge's help if a problem arises. There is little you can do after a match, or 4 turns later.

    Try and make it fun for everyone, win or lose.

    Keep your wits about you, those players are slippery little eels, and will get away with whatever they think you will let them.

    When you have to, be stern. Make sure that you are in control of the room, and the room is not in control of you.

    If you need help, ask for it, none of us do this alone, can, or should.

  15. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    Some practic advise to the announcer of round (most likely the Headjudge)

    shout out every time 5 minutes before the start of match that (special) younger player visit the restrooms.

    In case of larger events kids forget to go or are so afraid to miss the start of a new round. (or get a game loss because they have to leave the playing area)
    I remember Nationals 2 years ago some kid did it on his chair stayed sitting in it, but was crying.
    The kid was so afraid to get a game loss for leaving his chair that this happened.

    Lucky me (or the kids), I'm most time the one judging 10- and when I see a kid shuffling on a chair I will always go and ask if there is a desperate need to go. (as a mom you see the signs of this)
    Whatever any floorrule says about leaving the playingspace they are still very young kids, and need a little help and understanding in this kind of situations.
  16. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    ...or, I prefer to use the Kindergarten Cop approach:

    "Thar ees no baathrooom!" :mad:

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2004
  17. DaytonGymLeader

    DaytonGymLeader New Member

    "I'm not a policeman, I'm a princess...."

    Sorry, couldn't let that reference go by.
  18. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member


    "eet ees NOT a tumor!"
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2004

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