Whats a player to do???

Discussion in 'Professor Forum' started by BANGINBOX, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    OK, let's put this phone-a-friend thing in check.

    A judge is NOT to simply pick up the phone and check a ruling during an event.

    The judge is to go to the HJ.

    If the HJ is really still not sure after going through their materials, they can do 1 of 3 things...

    1. Make the best call they can with the resources available at the time.

    This is not perfect, but it is the duty of the head judge to make the final call. Once the call is made, the HJ should make some kind of note to themselves regarding a call they feel was on the edge, in case it is questioned (possibly) by PUI at a later time, in that the number 1 priority of the HJ is to maintain the integrity of the event. PUI will stand by a call 100% of the time made by a HJ if it is done in good faith. The HJ should consult and get input from the other judges at the event as needed.

    2. Talk to the TO/PTO to get input about what should be done next.

    Before a call goes offsite at one of my events...I want to know why and where. The last thing a PTO/TO wants is a phone call from PUI asking why a Colorado Judge made a questionable ruling at their event if they had no idea it was happening.

    The HJ makes the final call, but having a TO/PTO there to bounce the ideas off of is generally a good thing. The TO/PTO will usually then make the call to the outside judge to bounce it off of, and get the outside judge's opinion, and then allow the HJ to make the final ruling, taking into account that Judge's opinion.

    3. Call an outside resource is the TO/PTO is not available.

    There are times that TOs/PTOs are not available at their events for whatever reason. In this instance, a HJ may feel the need to call an outside source to get an opinion for their call. Once it is done, it should be noted, with the final call made, and reported to the TO/PTO at the first opportunity.

    What should not happen. Judge takes an appeal to the HJ. While the HJ is making a ruling judge calls xx at another event and says, but "xx" thinks...

    "Phone a friend" should be done by HJs or TOs...that is why we are there.

    Most phone a friends will listen, give their opinion, and then throw it back and say, what do you think...they will get the opinion of the HJ and say "I could support that ruling, given what you have told me"...or "OK, but that sounds a bit harsh"...it is not the job of the phone a friend to make the ruling, but to help the HJ talk through the ruling.

    There you go.

  2. PokeDaddy

    PokeDaddy New Member

    to be clearerer....


    "phone-a-friend" comes across in typing as a negative label. I don't like it.

    What I am describing is what a HJ is to do when all else doesn't work AND you have the time to check.

    I think that if you and the staff have a key decision to be made and you want to talk it over with a trusted and known, well respected judge such as PokePop, it is perfectly OK.

    You're coming across as a little paranoid. I think that Keith has represented it very well. We (HJs) are here to the best job we can with in the guidelines of respect for TO/PTO, fellow judges, and players.

    I am wise enough and savvy enough not to do something stupid when I call PokePop.

    In fact, that's how we gel together in a common way.

    The HJs that don't want to discuss are the ones that need to do a mirror check on their ego.
  3. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Steve, I think phone-a-friend is a fine label, as it is what we call it down here when I call Clay, or Cook, or Derek, or Kim, or Ray, or Birch, or Pat, Blizz, or any of the other PTOs or judges I have stashed away in my phone. They refer to it the same way when they call me.

    I don't think it is paranoid to reiterate the proper way to do this.

    I think it is important to reiterate the chain of command, and the importance for communication with a TO/PTO when doing this.

    You may do this properly. Many other judges may do this properly, but the tenor that was being given was "when in doubt call someone", which is not proper.

    I truly hope people do all in their power to make sure the rulings are right...

    But that they do it correctly. I am sure that Keith would agree that 'gatr would want to know if he was calling to California to get a ruling confirmed.

  4. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    I do not like to get rulings from outside sources..ie phone a friend...the head judge on site should have the resources and knowledge to make a call...but...

    When the Head judge's child is playing and a call comes up that none of the floor judges can make a clear call, it is always acceptable for a floor judge to call an outside source to get a second opinion.

    No judge should ever be involved in ruling involving their child...looks bad even when the correct call is made
  5. PokeDaddy

    PokeDaddy New Member

    Thanks Vince. I appreciate your taking the time to detail out your thoughts. Let's make it clearererererer, the phone call is used only very very sparingly.

    Clay, I would suggest that you rethink the phone-a-friend idea. What is so different than looking up a ruling on line in the compendium? I think that we are mature enough not to do something stupid. And, nothing is done in a vacuum. Maybe that is the part that needs to be stressed.

    Kim, I did it in 20 words, what's my prize?
  6. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    The difference Steve is that Clay and I very often are in positions as PTOs and Judges to deal with our kids in calls.

    Should NEVER be done.

    I don't care if you are 100% right, but you should never be the final arbiter of calls involving your kids. (or even their potential opponents in the top cut rounds).

    Clay and I have discussed this ad nauseum, and feel it is the best way to go to:

    1. Insure the integrity of the events.

    2. Make all individuals comfortable that there is no favoritism.

    We have been doing this for years, and to my knowledge have never been accused of favoring our kids in our events. If it would ever happen, the results would be potentially disasterous.

    I got into judging and TOing because I was tired of seeing my kids ripped by other judges and TOs who were favoring their kids, or their local players...the events had no integrity. The choice was make the events right or get out of the game.

  7. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    Oh..I highly recommend exhausting the rule book, compendium and floor rules before calling someone for a ruling. That is always the last resort we should take.

    All these should be made available to your judge staff....but no judge should ever make a call involving their child if possible. Not that a judge would be biased, but its more about appearances.

    I was the head judge of regionals I stayed far far away from an important call that probably would determine Taylor's win in the semifinals.

    And I would like to think that we are mature enough not to do something stupid, but no one is perfect.
  8. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Vince: I agree that the PTO running the event should be made aware that an outside call is being made. Heck, I even consulted w/ the Fer during the SE Regs just to bounce an idea off him on a ruling. It is his event and no one wants a bunch of negative feedback. We both agreed that my take on the ruling was accurate and play continued.

    For all the players....I will restate very clearly, the buck stops at the HJ. The player cannot demand the phone call to an outside source. IF the HJ and PTO in charge feels like a ruling needs more input, then a call can be placed, outside of the players area (when possible).


    BANGINBOX New Member


    This topic was not meant to figure out what is best for the JUDGES.

    I posted this to try and offer up some solutions for the PLAYERS that this is happening to.

    As a Head Judge, I am not ashamed to say that I have made several phone calls to ensure that I am making the right call or assessing the proper penalty. It is more important to me that the PLAYER is treated FAIRLY. I will use EVERY means I have to make sure I am not cheating someone out of an oppitunity. PERIOD!!!

    I think we are all missing the initial question.....


    I have heard all the feedback responses. I will strongly encourage that to all my players. However, with Nationals coming up, this should really be resolved.

    In speaking with POKEPOP last night, I have come to realize that the MAJOR events like Nats and Worlds, do not have these issues. If a Judging error is made, It is quickly resolved in a GROUP SETTING. My question is, whats happens to the judge who made the initial bad call? More training? retake the proffessor test? I have also come to realize that it happens mostly at cities, states, and regionals. This is where the POWER STRUGGLES are most likely to arrise.

    Sounds silly, but in a day and age where everything is shrinking, oppritunities are fewer, and competition is more fierce than ever. People need to feel safe that they are not going to get robbed of there "moment in the sun" on a bad call.

    If this were to happen to me, I will tell you all, I am going to be asking for rulings and penalty guidelines in writing. I will not just accept, "because I said so". This is after all my right as a player. Correct?

  10. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    I believe as a player you have that right Jimmy

    And I think that figuring out what is best for the judges ultimately is aimed at making the best rulings for the players though.

    I know players do not have access to the floor rules or compendium immediately during a match but it is probably a good idea for all players to keep a copy of the rule book with them just in case as well. Came in handy at our regional. This is something players can do to be proactive on their own part. :thumb:
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  11. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Judges CAN get involved in rulings with their kid. HOWEVER, here in CO, their role reverts to that of PARENT advocate, not judge.

    Just because you're a judge doesn't mean you can't speak up for your kid. However, IMO, you shouldn't be the final authority (or any authority) in the ruling.

    A couple years ago, I didn't have this same opinion. I thought a HJ could, if he wanted, provide the final ruling. However, I think it's possible to have an alternative HJ for these situations. BTW, here's what the POP Tournament Rules say about judging family members:

  12. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Nowadays, the penalty guidelines are generally printed up and given out to each judge. Penalty sheets are handed out. Compendiums are usually on the computer or even printed up in a 3 ring binder like I have. (Altho, not all the rulings are in there)

    Does a player have the right to POLITELY ask the judge/HJ for the Compendium, etc. SURE...will you always get what you want....unfortunately, the answer is No. Sometimes a particular ruling isnt in writing. Sometimes. it is a scenario that hasnt occurred yet. The HJ has to make a ruling on the resources they have at the time.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  13. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Steve, if you are at an event you are judging standing up for your kid, how, even if you are right, how does that give anyone the feeling of impartiality?

    The less certain situation is if you are advocating for your kid on a matter than is not 100%!

    Now you are taking sides on a subjective ruling...impartiality has really flown out the window.

    Yes, the rules LET you...but those are there to keep from trapping a judge when they are the only serving judge.

    If you can avoid...in my opinion you must avoid.

  14. Rocketman

    Rocketman New Member

    Jimmy, to be honest once you've appealed to the HJ and they have made the ruling, it's time to move on. At that point, all you can do is report it to PUI after. Though some of the things Drew said can work, if asked nicely. If I'm judging, and a player ask me to look in the comp., I'll do it. I have many times. Most good judges are more interested in getting the right call.
    But I'd ask respectfully if you could get a comp. check, and if the answer is no, then you just gotta move on.
  15. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    I would agree with you 100%, except if you knew the ruling was wrong. Getting the ruling right TRUMPS impartiality IMO. THAT's where a parent probably SHOULD say something, acting as an advocate.

    Also, I wouldn't rule out advocating for your kid if he asked for it. Ruling? No. Advocating? Yes.

    Even if I WAS a judge and wasn't part of the discussions or final ruling, I'd still probably listen in.

    So, I don't believe we're on different sides of the fence about this issue. Try to avoid, but don't ignore your fatherly duties to care for your child.

    At all tournaments I judge, our PTO tells everyone that parent-judges will NOT be directly ruling on matches where their kids are involved.

    Finally, I can also see a situation where a HJ might rule. If he's asked a ruling question but DOESN'T know the players involved, that would be impartial. That happened to me once. Not until AFTER I ruled did I know that my kid was involved.
  16. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Steve...we are on different sides of the fence on this issue.

    Intergrity of the event trumps all.

    I will not become involved with a ruling involving my kids.

    I have come up to the judge afterwards, and told them I felt the call was wrong, but let the call stand, as it is the judge's job to make the call. It happens. I am not going to have a parent of another kid stare me down and say, "well, they ruled that way because it was your kid, and you told them to".

    Very rarely is there a 100% right or wrong answer on close calls or issues, especially judgment calls.

    If I am not a judge, then I have 0 problem advocating for my kids.

    If I am on the judging staff, then I, like all judges need to stay away.

    I am still there for their support. The high 5 for a win...the high 5 for a loss. I even hold my 6 year old's deck between rounds, and shuffle it for him, getting him ready for his next match.

    So, I guess we are on opposite sides here.

    At Regionals, my son was in the finals...I was on the opposite side of the room taking care of other business. Last thing I want to be is around that match...just gives off a bad vibe...

  17. PokeDaddy

    PokeDaddy New Member

    Vince, Use SteveP plz
  18. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    Or, were you just "nervous as heck" for your kid? :thumb:

    Come on Vince, don't mix integrity with impartiality. In fact, "getting it right" is closer to the meaning of integrity than impartiality is.

    So, I agree that judges should be fair and unbiased. Our differences stem from your opinion that being an advocate for your kid is no different than ruling for your kid. Personally, I think many judges can step out of their "judge shoes" for a moment and defend their kid, if the situation arises.

    And, I'm not talking about everyday, ordinary rulings that ANY judge could handle, close or not. I'm talking about those rare occassions when something is wrong.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  19. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    When you are performing the job of judge, you cannot step out of it even for your children. You have to trust the staff to make the correct call can back them on it...the tournament floor is not the place to dispute another judges call when you are on staff.

    I am the 1st one to defend my child if I feel she has been wronged, but when I agreed to be a judge I gave up the right to publicly argue with the other staff members.

    If I had a judge on my staff who stepped across this line, he would no longer judge for me.
  20. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    200% agreement that judges shouldn't publically dispute each other.

    As PTOs, you get to pick your judges, so naturally, you have confidence in them. If you didn't, you wouldn't hire them again, or you'd fire them on the spot.

    This topic started because someone wanted to know what his recourses of action were when judges are wrong. From MANY players point of view, getting it right is very important.

    Anyway, I guess that's why I'm going to step down from judging for a year and try to get a perspective from the players' point of view. I perceive there's a gap in how they view OP and how we on the judging/organizing side see OP.

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