Judge levels

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The following requirements reflect the minimum standards developed for the Judge Certification Program. Judges currently seeking certification or advancement should consider them as guidelines for the amount of experience and ability they will need to have attained for a particular level. Each level provides a description or the role of the level in the program as well as qualification guidelines for the level, and the requirements to maintain status at this level.

A judge who fails to maintain the requirements of a level can be reduced to a level appropriate with their recent activity or may have their memberships expired. An expired judge may recertify at or below the level when their membership expired. Doing so requires petition to the DCI and may also include requirements for new interviews, tests, or judging activity before such is granted.

For questions contact Andy.Heckt@wizards.com

Please note: This article is a slightly modified version of the "official" one that can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Events.aspx?x=judge/resources/info

Also note that these level definitions have not yet been updated on the Wizards of the Coast website. This change is expected soon.


Level 1 - Local Judge

Level 1 judges are local judges who oversee local tournaments, run Regular REL events, or work as a floor judge on larger Competitive Level events. They are knowledgeable of Magic rules, DCI tournament rules, structures, formats, and are capable of organizing store-level events.

Local Judges are the main envoys to the retail community and work with (sometime for) retailers. Retailers often inquire about local judges and will often have local judges asked to aid them in organizing and running/reporting their tournaments. Many retailer operators employ local judges or become local judges themselves.

Qualifications

  • Has acted as a judge at a sanctioned event twice in the last six months.
  • Brief interview with, and written recommendation from, a level 2 or higher judge.
  • Passing score on Level 1 judge certification exam.
  • Knowledge of tournament structures with experience as a player in DCI-sanctioned tournaments.

The following items are NOT required for a candidate to be considered for L1. These represent optional growth areas that are not expected of a starting L1 judge.

  • Working at Competitive REL tournaments
  • Knowledge of the MIPG
  • Passing a Rules Advisor or other practice exam
  • Writing Judge Center reviews

Requirements to maintain

  • Act as a judge at a sanctioned event once every six months.
  • Maintain the above with exception listed in the bullet above.

Retest interval: A candidate who fails may reattempt certification in two months.



Level 2 - Area Judge

NEW L2 DEFINITION EFFECTIVE 1st AUGUST 2014 - READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT HERE [1]AND THE ADJUSTMENT TO THAT ANNOUNCEMENT HERE [2]

Level 2s are the Area judges who want more than judge inside one store. They desire to see tournaments run to a higher standard, and are willing to travel, train and mentor other judges. It’s common for L2 judges to organize events and work with more than one location to improve tournaments for a community. Level 2s require knowledge of Competitive REL policy and processes and with experience judge Qualifier events, and support Grand Prix. They can test L1 judges. For many judges, Level 2 is as high as they’ll desire to progress in the program - higher levels requiring more time-commitment.

Current L2s will be required to submit to their RCs that they meet all certification requirements of new L2s in their region. Current L2s will need to submit, before the end of 2014, evidence of meeting these requirements to their RC, or be re-leveled level one in January 2015. Requirements already completed (example – passing L2 exam) should be submitted for review (original L2 test ID# and score shared) for certainty, else repeated.


What is expected of an L2 judge?

  • Keeping current with Magic rules and Competitive REL tournament policy
  • Knowledge of and ability to teach Competitive REL tournament practices (pairings, deckchecks, disqualifications, reviews, etc.)
  • Demonstrated diplomacy with players, judges and TOs
  • Willingness to mentor and certify other judges
  • Regional community involvement


Pre-Certification Interview Requirements The following items must be completed in the 15 months before the request for L2 test and interview are formally administered:

  • Brief written recommendation from an L2+ judge
  • Demonstration of a working relationship with at least two organizers or stores
  • Three reviews of other judges entered into judge.wizards.com[3], demonstrating ability to deliver constructive feedback
  • Judge at least six reported events
  • Judge at least three “high-level” events with multiple judges (PPTQs, PTQs, WMCQs, GPs or significant regional events such as SCG Opens or 5Ks). Other large region-specific events and/or GPTs may qualify with permission of the Regional Coordinator
  • A written tournament report from one of the multiple-judge events
  • A score of 70% or higher on an L2 practice test


Certification Items Required

  • Pass the Level Two exam with a score of 80% or higher
  • Willingness to mentor and certify other judges
  • Demonstrated diplomacy with players, judges and TOs
  • Participation in regional judge community and regional communication channels (e.g., forums, email lists, etc…)
  • Certifying judge will ensure the candidate knows how to:
    • Perform a deck check
    • Enter a certification review
    • Enter a disqualification report


Requirements to maintain

  • TBD

Retest interval

  • TBD

Level 3 - Regional Judge

Regional Judges (L3s) are the leaders of premiere organized play and the judge communities in their regions. They generally operate in large areas, provinces, and countries. They are recognized as regional leaders and are respected in their communities. They mentor L1s and L2s in becoming better judges. Regional Judges are expected to have a presence in their community and on mailing lists, web forums, etc. They are expected to conduct judge reviews, be Team Leaders at major events, and provide feedback on judges to the Judge Program.

Regional Judges are expected to show strength in the following areas:

  • Rules and Policy Knowledge
  • Leadership, Presence and Charisma
  • Mentorship
  • Teamwork and Diplomacy
  • Penalty and Policy Philosophy
  • Communication Skills
  • Attitude and Maturity
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Assessment of Other Judges
  • Program Construction and Philosophy
  • Stress and Conflict Management
  • Investigations

Qualifications and retest interval

Details on the qualifications for becoming a Regional Judge, as well as a description of the advancement process, can be found at The Level Three Advancement Process.

Requirements to maintain

Regional Judges are periodically assessed by the Senior Judges and the Judge Manager. Any Regional Judge with low levels of judge activity or who no longer displays strength in the above areas is subject to demotion. Activity is based on the assumption that L3s are at events, both inside their region and globally as well as active outside events with judge program work in their region and globally.


Level 4 - International Judge

Level 4s are International Judges who have demonstrated and maintain their experience, skills, and dedication to the DCI and its organized play. They are capable of head judging Grand Prix events, two-hundred plus player events, and organizing a staff of judges. They have shown a superior level of diplomacy in their dealings with players, judges, and the DCI (both regional and worldwide) and are the leaders of the Regional judges in their countries or regions.

An International judge leads their community of judges working closely with the DCI offices to evaluate and mentor the judges in their area. The DCI offices work closely with their International judges on policies and programs, asking their feedback on new programs. International judges are expected to often write articles, reports, reviews, and other documents for use in developing the judge program. They may be asked to lead groups of other judges in developing various areas of the judge program. Level 4s are called to head judge Grand Prix, attend one or more Pro Tours and they are often NetReps for list-servers.

Judges are interviewed for level 4 through both on-hands training at professional events and an extensive oral review process. Only judges who have demonstrated the ability to successfully head judge a Grand Prix or major Nationals level event are asked to interview.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to head judge a Grand Prix or major Nationals/Championship event.
  • Written recommendation from one level 5 or higher-level judge.
  • Ability to manage judge teams of moderate size.
  • Dedication and availability to the DCI. Employees and primary contractors of Hasbro’s competitors may have a conflict of interest with the duties of this level.
  • They must be internationally capable (language, travel, etc…) and be available for travel to these major events.
  • Strong communication skills: ability to represent both the DCI and player communities, ability to work closely with the DCI managers; local and worldwide. Demonstrated ability to participate in the Level 3 interview process.
  • Evaluation interview with the worldwide judge manager demonstrating maturity, advanced diplomacy and communication skills, a strong work-ethic, expert understanding of the judge certification processes and policies, and DCI policies.
  • Expert with DCI Reporter software.

Requirements to maintain

  • Yearly renewal of membership under current guidelines
  • Head judge of at least one Professional tournament a year. Head judge at least four tournaments each year.
  • International judges are retested periodically to ensure expert knowledge is maintained.
  • Maintain qualifications above (written recommendation not required).

Level 5 - Professional Judge

Level 5s are Professional Judges who have demonstrated and maintain their experience, skills, and dedication to the DCI and its organized play. They are capable of head judging Pro Tour events, organizing a staff of judges, and contributing to the development of the Judge Program. They have shown a superior level of diplomacy in their dealings with players, judges, and the DCI (both regional and worldwide) and are the worldwide leaders.

A Professional Judge leads the worldwide community of judges by working closely with the DCI offices build the judge program and add to its resources. The DCI offices work closely with their Professional judges on policies and programs, asking their feedback on new programs. Professional judges are expected to often write articles, reports, reviews, and other documents for use in developing the judge program. They may be asked to hold seminars for other judges at events. Level 5s are called to head judge Worlds, Championships, and Pro Tours. Level 5s act as advisors to the DCI.

Judges are selected for level 5 through both on-hands training at professional events and an extensive oral review process. Only judges who have demonstrated the ability successfully head judge a Pro Tour are asked to interview.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to head judge a Pro Tour.
  • Written recommendation from one level 5 judge.
  • Ability to manage judge teams of any size.
  • Dedication and availability to the DCI. Employees and primary contractors of Hasbro’s competitors may have a conflict of interest with the duties of this level.
  • They must be internationally capable (language, travel, etc…) and be available for travel to these major events.
  • Strong communication skills: ability to represent the DCI to the player community, ability to work closely with the DCI managers worldwide.
  • Evaluation interview with the worldwide judge manager demonstrating maturity, advanced diplomacy and communication skills, a strong work-ethic, expert understanding of the judge certification processes and policies, and expert knowledge of DCI policies.
  • Expert with DCI Reporter software.

Requirements to maintain

  • Yearly renewal of membership under current guidelines
  • Judge of at least one Professional tournament a year.
  • Professional judges are retested periodically to ensure expert knowledge is maintained.
  • Maintain qualifications above (written recommendation not required).

Level E - Judge Emeritus

At the Magic: The Gathering World Championship 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee, the DCI officially recognized a new status — Emeritus. A Judge Emeritus has been one of the undisputed leaders of the judge program worldwide, but has chosen to step back from active judging. They are the people from whom the DCI's very traditions themselves have sprung, and while the role carries no specific duties, their new status reflects the DCI's desire to retain their expertise and wisdom moving forward.

The Emeritus status is conferred only after long service and much consideration. As an organization, the DCI has a rich history as leaders and pioneers in the gaming industry. That history is made one event, one judge, and one ruling at a time.

See the official announcement: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/worlds08/emeritus

Qualifications

  • Strong commitment to the program over a long period of time

Requirements to maintain

  • None

Additional reading

Judge Level Spectrum

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