I’ve got a few stories from Nationals for you all, but lets start first with a quick recap of my experiences as a judge this year.
Day 1 – Grinders
The mix of Judges was interesting this year, I’m not sure if it was different from last year, but it was interesting. There was quite a few judglings looking to take their level 1 test, unfortunately none of them passed. In fact there was no leveling done at Nationals this year.
Graeme and I were handed the first sealed grinder to do the grunt work for (we were to be the main judges on the floor for it, Lindsay did all the announcements for everything all day though) and it went off without a hitch, all 60 players.
They hadn’t finished deck construction before I was whisked off to run the second grinder of the day. That also went fairly well.
It hadn’t finished its 3rd round before I was rushed over to start running the practice drafts for the rest of the day. In all I did 7 drafts from memory. Called all of them but the first, although at least 1 pair of them were called together. Running these drafts did teach me one very important lesson though: before starting something that is as time intensive as calling a draft, ensure that everything you could possibly need to do during that time has already been done.
The day didn’t finish too late and plenty of fun was had in the bar in the evening.
Day 2 – Main Event
I was on the logistics team for Saturday. My team lead, Lindsay Hemming, tried to impress on us that logistics is more than just posting pairings/standings. We all listened diligently and continued on for a day of posting pairings and standings. Sure we had a few extra bits to do, but really the postings are the main bulk of the work. It did mean that I had to do slightly more walking than I would on the average day of judging, so I was very thankful of my new shoes.
I was fairly happy with the days judging, didn’t do anything significantly wrong and we all got off to the Judge Dinner at a good hour.
Day 3 – Main Event
Getting to judge the main event on Sunday was new for me, but its nothing scary. I was on the Deck Check team, which I’m sure will be the focus of some posts in the coming days.
The main excitement of the day was the 2HG which I was pulled out of the quarter finals for. The format was IPA/RGD/TPF. Yes that is a whole 9 different boosters to distribute to each team. Which is a much much better than letting each team pick a 2 blocks to receive cards from. Especially when 90% of the teams just choose IPA/RGD anyway. Also this lets it be a sanctioned tournament.
One of the problems with this tournament was that I had to give the starting announcements without amplification, to all 30 teams. Naturally many of the teams didn’t know how 2HG (currently) works. After running around and telling half the tables how mulligans and such work, it was all off with not much hassle.