States Alabama Tournament Report 2011

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Alabama States 10/15/2011 Head Judge Report

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AuthorZak Whyte
Date Published2011-10-15
Original SiteJudge Wiki
LinkThis article is only available on the wiki; see below.
TagsStates, HJ Report
Recommended for Levelall levels
NotesStates - Alabama
AbstractZak Whyte reports on his first HJ experience at Alabama States

Alabama States

I arrived on site at 9 am for a 10 am start. By the time 9:45 rolled around, the room was pretty crammed. I had the owner and the manager of the shop take down their LAN so that we'd have enough room to seat everyone. We had almost a full house, though we maybe could have fit one or 2 more players in if absolutely necessary. We ended up with 74 players total.
Player's Meeting:
Nobody could figure out how to do the seatings for the player's meeting by last name, so seating was completely random. I gave my speech, it went well, and we started Round 1 shortly thereafter. I didn't end up alphabetizing lists due to lack of time; this didn't affect anything one way or the other.
I didn't have a lot of interesting calls on the day, sadly. Most people were playing just fine, the only in-game penalties I really had to give out were some LECs for people knocking cards off the top of their decks.
Round 1 (10:45 am):
I had a 50 minute round, including turnover. This never happens at a large tournament, ever. Every single game was over by time. I ended up not completely finishing checking decklists during this round; by the time the round ended I had about 8 left.
Round 2 (11:40 PM):
No D/DLs to give out Round 2 as I hadn't completed lists; we took a short lunch break after this round so I could get a sandwich. Subway's good.
Round 3 (1:20 PM):
The biggest mistake I made this round was not starting the clock once I grabbed the 3 D/DL Problems I had discovered. I had 69 players waiting on 3 problem children, and I slowed the round down by about 10 minutes. 2 games started playing; I made them restart. I did this instead of just stopping them because the added information isn't important enough to really affect anything, and sideboarding decisions are going to be made one way or the other.
Rounds 4-6:
No real issues to speak of. Things went cleanly, people dropped, and I handled scorekeeping for the most part as well as head judging. I had a few small issues during Rounds 5 and 6 that kept me from deck-checking; namely, tardiness penalties from people not dropping and not being able to catch the table due to this before they started Game 1. Overall, between the 3 decks I checked to correct during Round 3, the 2 I checked in Round 4 (one of which happened to be one of the same people that was GL'ed in Round 3), and the Top 8 decks, I ended up with enough checks to satisfy the requirements.
Round 7:
Very quiet. The top 4 tables were all able to draw into the Top 8.
Top 8:
The matchups were:
Wolf Run - Mono-B Infect
Wolf Run - Wolf Run
Wolf Run - U/W Control
Wolf Run - Solar Flare
Wolf Run - Mono-B was the quickest match, with Infect winning 2-0. The Wolf Run mirror went 3 games, but was over relatively quick as well. Since the 2 players who finished first were scheduled to face each other in the semi-finals, I let them start, mostly to try and save time since the venue usually closes at 10 PM. Sadly, the Wolf Run/Solar Flare match lasted a little over an hour and a half and the other half of the bracket was done before the 2nd semifinal started. The 2nd Semifinal mirror was relatively quick, and the Finals was approximately 30 minutes.
Food for Thought:
States was the largest event I've judged Solo. The biggest things I learned from the tournament were as follows:
A) When dealing with Decklist problems solo, start the rest of the round once you get the offending players up to the judge area. That way, you don't run into issues of people with short attention spans starting their round instead of following the judge.
B) I could use a little touchup practice with DCI Reporter. I don't get to scorekeep very often, so I'm not super familiar with the program. It would be a good improvement to me as a judge if I get better with DCIR/WER and add that skill to my repetoire.
I had a great time judging States, and from the feedback I got from players, they had a great time too. I'm looking forward to Head Judging other large events as I progress through my judging career.