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Competitive REL » Post: Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

June 15, 2015 04:42:23 AM

Alexey Chernyshov
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

Europe - East

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Hello!

I have somewhat mixed feelings about a ruling I made recently. Let's start with the situation:
The last round of pPTQ is in progress, Stephen just ID'ed into the top and is watching another match. At some point he asks the players to stop the game, calls the judge and says to arrived judge and players:"Player A has just played Rancor and attacked, players wrote the new life totals, and A passed the turn. But they have forgotten about the Eidolon of the Great Revel's trigger player B controls“.

I ruled OA, which was penalized with a Match Loss, carried into top-8 since the current match for Stephen was already over.

I do think the match itself is compromised. I see no real difference in terms of assistance in ”Guys, you've just forgotten the trigger“ and ”Juuuuudge! These players have just forgotten the trigger" - the amount of disruption is the same, the game advice is the same.

But it still feels so weird to punish a spectator for calling a judge when they see a game rule broken (and from CR perspective a game rule was actually broken). I do know we expect players to be familiar the rules and politics, but the point still stands.

I had a lot of conversations with players that saw this, they seem to agree with the final decision, but they think that the policy itself is not very friendly in this particular case.

What do you think?
Am I missing something?

Edited Alexey Chernyshov (June 15, 2015 06:19:52 AM)

June 15, 2015 06:09:57 AM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

I think you did the right thing 100%. A spectator is allowed to pause a game to get a judge if they think there has been an error. But when they're doing that, they should not be saying things out loud to the players in case they give assistance. They should be speaking quietly with the judge.

Remember - they weren't punished for calling the judge. They were punished for giving outside assistance. There's a difference :)

June 15, 2015 06:22:52 AM

Maxwell Molinari
Judge (Level 1 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

I agree 100% especially at comp REL players should have an understanding of
what can be said during match especially with in earshot of the table
playing. Most of us hate giving penalties in situations like this but they
are honestly teaching tools. As bad as it may feel for the player they
learned and hopefully will be more carful moving forward.
On Jun 15, 2015 7:09 AM, “Mark Mc Govern” <

June 15, 2015 06:23:40 AM

Alexey Chernyshov
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

Europe - East

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Thank you, Mark.

Originally posted by Mark Mc Govern:

They should be speaking quietly with the judge.
This is a great point, which will find its way into my greetings speech to protect players from similar episodes.

June 15, 2015 06:29:20 AM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

I don't think it's something you need to include in your opening speech - it's something which comes up so rarely. It's better to keep only important things in the opening speech. Also, players get bored quickly, so if your speech is too long then they won't hear it!

A better solution is that if a spectator calls you over, before they say anything about the game, just make sure they don't say anything that the players can hear. Just ask them to step away from the table with you.

June 15, 2015 06:31:18 AM

Bartłomiej Wieszok
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC, Tournament Organizer

Europe - Central

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Originally posted by Alexey Chernyshov:

I had a lot of conversations with players that saw this, they seem to agree with the final decision, but they think that the policy itself is not very friendly in this particular case.
I think it should be covered by common sense. I would rule that same way in this situation, and explain to our spectator, that if he have something to tell to judge, he should do that but in appropriate way - away from players that may affect by this.

June 15, 2015 09:10:35 AM

Brock Ullom
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northwest

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

While I agree that this is OA I think it could've been avoided all together. As judges we are required to know CRs, IPGs, along with MTRs, and knowing that all spectator judge calls should be away from the table I feel that you should have pulled the spectator aside before he started explaining what occurred.

June 15, 2015 11:54:54 AM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), Hall of Fame

USA - Northwest

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Some discussion among L4+ judges on this interesting topic… none of us feel this is Outside Assistance.

Yes, it's awkward that the spectator reminds player B of the trigger, which B probably won't forget again - but the spectator is trying to get a judge involved, as per the guidelines in the MTR.
Originally posted by MTR 1.11:

If spectators believe they have observed a rules or policy violation, they are encouraged to alert a judge as soon as possible. At Regular or Competitive REL, spectators are permitted to ask the players to pause the match while they alert a judge.

I would ask the player to be more discreet next time, but they did not commit an infraction.

d:^D

June 15, 2015 12:04:29 PM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Originally posted by Scott Marshall:

Some discussion among L4+ judges on this interesting topic… none of us feel this is Outside Assistance.

I assume though that if you had sufficient belief that a spectator deliberately did this to “get around” the Outside Assistance penalty that you'd apply it anyway?

i.e. If it's a genuine “oops” then, no penalty. But “Talking to a Judge” is not a ticket to say what you like and get away with it.

June 15, 2015 12:18:36 PM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), Hall of Fame

USA - Northwest

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Originally posted by Mark Mc Govern:

I assume though that if you had sufficient belief that a spectator deliberately did this to “get around” the Outside Assistance penalty that you'd apply it anyway?
Apply what? An infraction that wasn't committed?

This spectator did what the MTR says he should do. There is no infraction for following the rules.

A similar scenario has been discussed, where a spectator notices an infraction but doesn't say anything, because it benefits his friend. That spectator has also done nothing wrong - even if he failed to do what's right. The MTR doesn't require spectators to get a judge for an infraction, but it does *encourage* that, and (Regular/Comp REL) allows interruption of a game.

If this spectator had interrupted when the Rancor was played with “dude, remember your Eidolon trigger!”, we'd have OA. That's not what happened.

d:^D

June 15, 2015 12:29:37 PM

Pedro Gonçalves
Judge (Uncertified)

Iberia

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

This looked like textbook Outside Assistance to me, but Scott's post made me reconsider. Yes, technically that spectator just reminded the players of a trigger that they may otherwise keep forgetting, but it was also in compliance with the Tournament Rules. It looks to me like this is another case of “we want players to call a judge, so issuing them a penalty because they did so is probably not a great idea”.

Edited Pedro Gonçalves (June 15, 2015 12:30:11 PM)

June 15, 2015 02:17:14 PM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Originally posted by Scott Marshall:

Mark Mc Govern
I assume though that if you had sufficient belief that a spectator deliberately did this to “get around” the Outside Assistance penalty that you'd apply it anyway?
Apply what? An infraction that wasn't committed?

Apply OA.

For example: AP casts Inquisition of Kozilek, and NAP responds by casting the only card in his hand - Lightning Bolt. Spectator pauses the game to get a judge and then loudly (for the benefit of his friend NAP, who has Eidolon) “Judge has NAP missed the Eidolon trigger from the Inquisition?” The Eidolon trigger isn't considered missed, but the spectator has just reminded NAP about it.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that if a Spectator goofs then sure, no infraction. That'll be 99.9% of the time. But a spectator could use the pretence of calling a judge to give OA to a player. Unlikely, but in theory it's possible. And I'd rather not have them use “I was asking the judge a question” as a Get Out of Jail Free Card.

June 15, 2015 02:26:19 PM

Mani Cavalieri
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), GP Team-Lead-in-Training

USA - Northeast

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

I thought this was fairly cut-and-dry OA, until I read Scott's posts here. I think I understand the reasoning here, but have a couple of probing questions that I'd like to get off my chest (if any of the are barking up the wrong tree or missing the point, please let me know!):
Originally posted by Scott Marshall:

I would ask the player to be more discreet next time, but they did not commit an infraction.
1. Why would we ask the spectator to be more discreet next time? Is it just out of an abundance of caution (i.e. just because, in general, we'd like to have all such communications be out of earshot of the players), or was there something actually unwanted about how the spectator handled this in this specific case?

2. If “Judge, player B forgot his Eidolon trigger” isn't an infraction but is unwanted, then why is it unwanted?

3. If the spectator had been more discreet (i.e. said the exact same thing, but to you privately), what - if anything - would you have said to the players? Would you have said that there was a missed trigger but no penalty, or simply instructed them to continue playing, or something else? (This is really just another way to figure out if it's unwanted that the spectator “remind” Player B of their Eidolon triggers.)



If I'm understanding this correctly, the biggest reason why OA doesn't apply here is because the spectator believes an infraction has occurred and one did occur (even though there is no penalty recorded with it), and they got a judge…but like I said, I want to make sure I understand you here; I don't want to be badgering. Thanks!

Edited Mani Cavalieri (June 15, 2015 02:26:34 PM)

June 15, 2015 02:50:13 PM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), Hall of Fame

USA - Northwest

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

Originally posted by Mark Mc Govern:

And I'd rather not have them use “I was asking the judge a question” as a Get Out of Jail Free Card.
I'm far more concerned about not discouraging the kind of behavior that we want, than I am about preventing the odd corner case (which, admittedly, we don't want).

In those odd corner cases, where you believe a player is trying to Cheat - but fails to break a rule! - you discourage them from repeating that behavior, but you don't DQ them.

B missing this instance of his Eidolon trigger can't be considered generally detrimental; if he were the one casting the spell that triggers it, it would be detrimental. (Ah-ha! Another symmetrical example!) So, if a spectator points out this error privately, you thank them, but explain why it's not a situation where a Judge should step in. (“Judges do not intervene in a missed trigger situation unless they intend to issue a Warning…”)

Hopefully, that covers Mani's questions as well.

d:^D

June 15, 2015 03:17:58 PM

John Carter
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), Tournament Organizer

USA - Northwest

Calling a judge as an outside assistance

It is also reasonable to instruct a spectator to vacate an area if their behavior presents a concern.

If benign cases, advice on how to better handle the situation is usually enough. In shifty cases, others will likely appreciate judges recognizing the problem & doing what they can even though it might not be what concerned players want.