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So, you think you want to Judge?

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
I asked this guestion to one of my long time friends a few weeks ago.

We were discussing the Judging Staff for the 2011 Battle Roads Spring series. This friend is a long time player and has worked with us as a runner forever. He is willing to do anything to help out the event, and I mean anything.

We used to refer to him a Slave Boy, but now we call him Zebra Boy, mainly beacause we have him wear a referee shirt while he is running for us so he can be seen easily by everyone. Of course, he really does have a name, we just usually forget it. He gets offended if we don't call him Zebra Boy. His own family has gotten into the act, hosting a Zebra themed birthday party for him this year (he turned 19).

Now when I first Tylor, he was about 12, We have known each other as long as I have been playing.

Over the years, he had school and stuff, so we lost him for a while. Late last year, he came back. And he even brought his longtime girlfriend, Steph, with him. He jumped head first back into the game, learning everything that had changed and brought Steph right in with him.

She was running at larger events and quickly learned the TOM system and has become our 'computer girl'.

Now, back to this question I asked him.

Tylor thought about it, and told me he had already been thinking about that next step for a while - he is a Professor and League Leader already - and told me that while he would like to learn to Judge, he really enjoys what he does as a runner. He would rather be a runner than a Judge. But for those events that are not that big, he would Judge if we needed him.

So, we put him in a couple events. He did very well. But, I could tell it was hard for him to be in that new role.

Now, you are asking yourself the point of this, right?

Well, here is the point. The Staff of the event does not just consist of the TO and the Judges. There are many people in support roles as well. Parents that drive all over the place so their kids can play in events, the parent that runs and gets printer ink when the TO forgets to bring any (oops...), parents that help get lunches for the players, store / venue employees that get things rolling the day before with setup or come in hours early to let the Staff in to run the event, and finaly those people that everyone sees - the volunteers that work the events in the Staff roles - runners, crowd control, sides and the like. All the people in the supprt roles make it so the TO can do their thing, which is to make sure everything on the floor is running smoothly and also makes it so the HJ can make sure their team of Judge can do their job without all the other distractions on the floor.

Now, some people want to make those moves into the higher roles, but a rare few don't. They really like the role they work in and are really good there. When you think someone might be ready to make the move - ask them their thoughts first - if they are not happy with the change, it will show on the floor.

Judges need mentoring, but so do those working other roles in the event. Have them work other events with folks that have more experience in the role. Make sure you reward them for all their work. Most importantly, make sure they know how much the are appreciated in their role.

Next time you are at an event, take a look at the people there that aren't Judging or Organizing, but are doing tons of stuff behind the scenes.

Thank those people too.