Tips for players at competitive REL
From Judge Wiki (English)
Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers, Pro Tour Qualifiers, Grand Prix Trials, and Grand Prix are run at competitive rules enforcement level (REL) which means there is a higher level of expectation on the players to know the rules and policies.
Before the tournament
- Write your name on your belongings. Having a name and phone number on a deckbox makes it approximately 4000% easier to return to you.
- Call the TO or check his/her website to confirm when registration starts. You don't want to start the day with a game loss for walking in the door 15 minutes late.
- The judge will typically give you time before the first round to review your decklist.
- For Constructed events, make sure there are at least 60 cards in the main deck and no more than 15 in the sideboard.
- For Limited events, make sure there are 40 cards minimum in the main deck. Don't forget to write down basic lands.
- For all events, make sure your name is on the decklist!
During your match
- Present your sideboard along with your deck. This avoids any problems with having cards in your deck box that could be considered part of your deck.
- Don't keep cards in your deck box that aren't part of your deck or sideboard. (Tokens aren't cards.)
- Count your deck and sideboard while shuffling at the start of the game, and check that your sideboard is no more than 15 cards after sideboarding between games.
- Shuffle. Shuffle a lot. Make sure your opponent shuffles a lot. Remember that dealing your cards into piles is NOT shuffling and needs to be followed by proper shuffling. Shuffle your opponent's deck after it's presented before each game.
- Taking notes: During a game you can only use notes taken during your current match. Between games you are allowed to refer to notes you wrote earlier, e.g. sideboard notes.
- Record your and your opponent's life totals on paper, and announce all life total changes. If you notice a discrepancy, stop the game and call a judge.
- Slow play: if you think your opponent is playing slowly, just ask him/her to make a play or say you think the game needs to move a bit faster. If your opponent still doesn't speed up, call a judge. During a game, there isn't any specific time limit for it to be slow play; if you're getting bored waiting, it's likely your opponent is playing too slowly.
- You're always responsible for your own triggers; intentionally missing one is cheating. If you accidentally miss one then remember later, call a judge.
- You're never responsible for your opponent's triggers; you can ignore them entirely.
- If your opponent misses a trigger he/she controls that you want to happen, call a judge.
- The following things are the most common things people are disqualified for (Hint: don't do these). If you see any of these things happen, call a judge immediately -- if you don't, you can also be disqualified.
- Offering or accepting something to influence the result of a match. If your opponent offers you something for a match result, you must call a judge immediately. "I just want the planeswalker points, I'll give you my boosters if you concede to me" and "I'll give you $X if you concede so I can top 8" are just some examples of things that aren't allowed.
- Improperly determining the outcome of a match. We're here to play magic to see who's the best. If a match is going to be a draw, let it be a draw. Don't roll a die, flip a coin, play rock/paper/scissors or anything else to see who wins.
- Intentionally misrepresenting the game state or not calling a judge when an error happens (except for your opponent's triggered abilities, which you never have to point out).
- Trying to cover up an honest mistake (not a DQ) by lying about it to the judge (totally a DQ). If you made a mistake, admit to it. Even a game loss is better than a disqualification, and we WILL find out if you're hiding something.
Dealing with judges
- And the most important one of all: If you're unsure of what your opponent is doing, ask! If you think there is any sort of issue in your match or you're unsure about something, CALL A JUDGE. They're there to help you. You're not dragging them away from something more important. You're not annoying them. They exist to help the players have a good tournament. =)
- It can get loud and busy at tournaments, so when you need a judge, call out "Judge!" loudly and stick your hand up until a judge reaches your table.
- If you think something has gone wrong in a match you're watching, ask the players to pause their game and call a judge. Don't jump in and point out what you think is wrong as you may be giving them information they hadn't noticed.
- Don't talk over your opponent when he/she is talking to a judge. A good judge will ensure that both players have a chance to tell their story. Likewise, don't interrupt or argue with a judge who is giving a ruling. Doing so may subject you to unsporting conduct penalties.
- If you are unhappy with the ruling a judge has given, you may appeal to the head judge. The head judge's ruling is final.
- If you need to discuss something sensitive with a judge, ask them to step away from the table. You don't need to reveal the contents of your hand to your opponent if you need to ask for a ruling, and if you want the judge to keep an eye on your opponent that doesn't have to be said right in front of them either.