Saturday, May 16, 2015

Good Practices #5 - I Find You Appealing

This one comes from Jason Lems (Level 5, Madison), by which I mean that he was the first person that I saw do it, and as always the possibility exists that he cribbed this practice from someone else. That's part of the beauty of the Judge Program. As Jeff Morrow says, "At every event your goal should be to steal an idea from someone else."

It's very common for the Head Judge of an event to tell his or her staff the following:
"If you have an appeal, come find me and tell me that you have an appeal. That should be the first thing out of your mouth. Interrupt what I am doing unless it looks like another appeal or investigation."

Appeals are a natural bottleneck in the system and it's important to clear them as soon as they arise. However, that bottleneck can get complicated when you get this type of appeal.

"I have an appeal. So Active Player cast a morph. It was a Den Protector by the way. Non-Active Player cast Dig Through Time in response. He didn't find a counterspell or anything, so the morph resolved. AP immediately flipped his Den Protector and returned 2 Deathmist Raptors to the battlefield. NAP cast Bile Blight on the Den Protector. AP said ok and put the Den Protector in the graveyard, then returned another Den Protector to his hand for the first one's regrowth ability. I ruled Drawing Extra Cards - Game Loss, and the player is appealing that."

Note how this story takes a while to reach the actual ruling that is being appealed. The original morph and Dig Through Time plays are irrelevant to the ruling, but judges often relay this kind of information to the Head Judge because the players told them this whole story, and they don't want to leave anything out.

Jason's addendum is to follow up "I have an appeal" with a brief explanation of the ruling. Examples of this could be:
* It's a rules question involving an exploit trigger.
* It's a life total dispute.
* It's a Game Loss for Deck/Decklist Problem.

Explaining this up front puts the Head Judge in the right mindset and let's him or her focus on the relevant parts of the story.

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