Exemplar Ruminations

     This is the first time that we’ve done a text blog entry on Judgecast.com, and it might be the last, who knows. This started as a response in a Facebook thread, but it grew into something that I thought I’d share with everyone. I wanted to address this while the iron is still hot, and hopefully get it out for people to think about while they’re still thinking about exemplar recognitions.  -Jess
 

Exemplar is upon us, and everyone seems to be doing their recognitions at the last second. You might notice that you have fewer slots than you would like to recognize people. One of the reasons that we have limited slots for the exemplar program is that we want to make sure that the judges that we are recognizing actually are exemplary, and we’re not just giving out a bunch of foils to our friends via the system.

On the other hand, some of you might find that you’re not able to use all of your slots. That’s ok, it doesn’t make you a horrible person. It might actually mean that you’re taking this seriously and recognizing truly exemplary behavior. Good for you!

However, I have recently seen a lot of people complaining about not being able to “find” enough judges to give exemplar recommendations to. Some of them have gone so far as to ask for names to add to their lists to fill the open slots. This has caused a bit of a backlash on the internet, including a great article by Justin Turner and a bunch of posts on Facebook, like this one from Josh Silvestri, which created the discussion that prompted this post.

 

 
The discussion this prompted was about whether or not this was OK, and somebody eventually referenced Kim Warren’s excellent post from January 4 Judge Blog about Exemplar wave 2. I’ve included the relevant section in the quote below.
 
“Feel free to discuss recognition ideas with other people from your area or from your region if you have more people to recognise than you have slots. It is possible that there other judges with spare slots, or other people already recognising the judge for the behaviour that you have noticed and thus freeing you up to recognise someone else instead. There is no harm in multiple people recognising one individual, but there is nothing to stop a group of judges coordinating their recognitions if they want to.”
 
Aside from the inexplicable “s” in “recognize,” I believe that there’s a fundamental difference between what she’s describing and what we see happening. I was asked to elaborate on this difference, so I’m going to do my best to explain it.
 
In Kim’s example, the problem is having more judges to recognize than you have spare slots. However, what we are actually seeing people complain about is having more slots available than you have judges to recognize. In the former, going out of your way to find judges with extra slots will still get solid recognitions into the system. In the latter, you end up with people advertising that they have blank spots they’re looking to fill, leading to a watering down of the system when less then exemplary judges are added with vague or ambiguous reasons “because there are slots left over.”

As mentioned in Justin’s article, this also has the “feel-bad” factor for those who don’t see you having difficulty recognizing people in a positive light. However, I will just tell you to read that rather than beat a dead horse.

I do think regional or area coordination of exemplar recognitions is really important. In AL and MS, for example, there are a total altogether of 4 active L2s and 1 L3 (me). Coordinating to make sure that all the exemplary people are hit and we don’t all stack them up on the same guy is a really good idea when we’re that spread out. This way, we can manage to hit all of them and still have slots unfilled. If somebody from FL or GA came to us and said “I have this awesome judge that I want to give a reco to but I’ve filled my slots,” we’d try to figure out if we have overlap he or she could drop before giving up one of our unused slots. Then, if it was still unable to be done, one of us could use an open slot. We would never want to advertise that we had slots available though, because that invites people inventing reasons to give exemplar recognitions to less than exemplary judges.
 
You might think dropping recognitions is no good, but keep in mind that once your name is in for exemplar recognitions, it’s in (they apparently don’t stack), so there’s nothing keeping you from calling them out for being awesome on FB or other mediums, which is just far more likely to be seen anyway. As was pointed out by many judges regarding this, giving feedback, especially reviews, is an integral part of the judge process, and we should be sure to give it to exemplary judges even when it isn’t that one week a season when it’s time to think about foils. Now I just need to take my own advice and write some reviews.

JudgeCast #113 – Zoned Out

We go off-script and cover Zones in detail! Learn exciting facts about the “battlezone,” the exile zone, objects moving between zones, and listen to us bravely try to come up with scenarios for some of these ridiculous rules.

We also read some e-mails from listeners just like you!

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JudgeCast #112 – Be Kind, Don’t Rewind

Alternate proposed titles: “Backing up is hard to do,” “We got your backup,” “Baby got backup,” “Backup to the future,” and “The Way Backup Machine.” Also the words “Back that sass up” were said at one point.

On this episode, we have former host and Dawsons Creek fan Riki Hayashi on to cover the great umbrella that is Game Rule Violation in detail! We also take a deep dive into rewinds: How to perform a backup, when to perform them, and more importantly, when NOT to.

We also cover the other fixes for Game Rule Violation (including an exhaustive look into “leaving the game state as-is”), and the few partial fixes that are allowed. This is one of the most frequent infractions given at a competitive event, so there’s something in here for everyone!

Riki’s Feedback Blog: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/feedback/

Riki’s Other Blog: http://mtgrikipedia.blogspot.com/

Riki’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/mtgRikipedia

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JudgeCast #111 – Sylva Linings Investigationsbook

(You know, like the movie)

On this episode, we have L4 and charity playmat star Jared Sylva on to discuss investigations! And not just the cheaty-kind too, but what it means to walk up on a table blind and determine what went wrong and how to fix it.

We also cover the sparse IPG changes and some minor changes to supplementals.

New IPG can always be found at judgecast.com/docs

Investigations, the Search for Collateral Truths by Eric Shukan

Part 1 – http://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2014/12/30/investigations-the-search-for-collateral-truths/

Part 2 – http://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2015/01/06/investigations-the-search-for-collateral-truths-part-2/

Part 3 – http://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2015/01/13/investigations-the-search-for-collateral-truths-part-3/

Episode on investigations with Eric Levine – http://judgecast.com/?p=408

Jared’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/jaredsylva

Judges for Charity playmat featuring Jared – http://judgesforcharity.com/product/team-dapper-vs-team-handsome-playmat/

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JudgeCast #110 – FAQ Reforged

It’s manifesting time!

Just doesn’t have the same ring as morphin’ time. Sad.

On this episode, we cover the FAQ for Fate Reforged. We cover some specific cards and go over the new rules for Dash, Bolster, and everyone’s favorite new boogeyman, Manifest.

Fate Reforged Release Notes: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/fate-reforged-release-notes-2015-01-14

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JudgeCast #109 – More FNM Format Fun

This is another part in our series on all the newly legal FNM formats, and how to play them and judge them!

In this episode, we’re able to cover the relatively-new Tiny Leaders format, Wizard’s Tower, Emperor, Star, Archenemy, Planechase, and even throw in Grand Melee for good measure. We hope you never have to judge any of these formats, but if you do, you should be prepared.

Links from the show:

Tiny Leaders rules and banlist

Wizard’s Tower rules

Star rules

Changes to L3 Qualities

CJ’s guest appearance on Leaving a Legacy

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JudgeCast #108 – Fireside Chats

This episode is as casual as they come! The JudgeCasters have special guest Joe Hughto on to simply reminisce about whatever we want. Get a little taste of what happens before and after every show, and what happens at every Judge Dinner. Arguably, standing around with a bunch of judges and talking about is the best part about being a judge!

Oh, and we cover the morph policy change BECAUSE WE HAVE TO. And finally read some e-mails!

Links from the show:

Change to morph policy: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/telliott/2014/12/12/changing-morph-handling-in-the-ipg/

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JudgeCast #107 – Code of Conduct

On this episode, we have frequent guest, L4, former Regional Coordinator, Smooth Voice Champion 6 Years Running, JudgeCast co-creator Sean Catanese on to talk about the new Code of Conduct document.

We cover why the document exists, what it says, how to report breaches in code of conduct and what it means if someone were to report a breach against you.

Links from the show:

The Code of Conduct: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/conduct/files/2014/12/MagicJudgeCode1.pdf

GP Vegas Application: http://apps.magicjudges.org/events/1674/

kimeme

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JudgeCast #106 – JAR of Knowledge

On this very special episode, we finally dedicate an entire episode to the JAR. This is must-have knowledge for L1 hopefuls, and really something every judge needs to know at all levels as the nearly all sanctioned Magic events that ever happen are run at Regular REL.

To help us, we have special guest L4 and JAR Boss Kim Warren on to guide us through.

Links from the show:

The latest version of the JAR can always be found at judgecast.com/docs

Regular REL blog: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/regular/

Judges for Charity: judgesforcharity.com

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JudgeCast #105 – Keen Commander

Is that reference in the title too obtuse? Nah.

On this episode, we once again have L3 and/or fantastic guest Eric “Raging” Levine on! As part of our series on formats, we cover Commander in depth. Learn how to play Commander! Learn what happens exactly when your Commander goes to the command zone! Learn what happens when you Oblivion Ring your opponent’s creature and then lose the game! Learn a lot about life and a little about love!

Links from the show:

Commander rules and banned list: mtgcommander.net

Eric Levine’s Articles: http://www.channelfireball.com/author/eric-levine/

JudgeCast #59 – Sheldon Menery Explains It All

JudgeCast #44 – Investigating Raging Levine

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