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Competitive REL » Post: overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

July 23, 2018 11:32:58 PM

Eser Unger
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Hello!

So,i was a floor judge at a small (16 player) pptq last weekend and when i was walking around I overheared 2 players in one match talking. “This could have been a warning, you know!”. However none of them called a Judge so i did not react to that phrase.
I later, after the match, asked them what that was about and they both said “nothing important” and that they were friends and so on. They clearly did not want to make a fuss about it.

However now that I think about it, should I have reacted and looked what was going on? The person who said it was clearly okay that the other player made a (probably GPE) violation and corrected them without calling a judge because they did not want to. Is it okay for me then to ignore the issue?
In such situation, do I have to react, look what is going on, educate players and give out penalities (if that would have been the case) or is it completly fine if they handle the situation by themself and enducate themself witout me being involved.

thanks in advance and greetings,
Eser

Edited Eser Unger (July 25, 2018 08:06:55 AM)

July 23, 2018 11:52:46 PM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3), Regional Coordinator (USA - Northwest), Hall of Fame

USA - Northwest

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

From the IPG:
If a minor violation is quickly handled by the players to their mutual satisfaction, a judge does not need to intervene.
While the bit of conversation you overheard sounds a bit odd, it's most likely something minor; things that aren't minor tend to be reported, even between friends.

d:^D

July 24, 2018 06:15:55 AM

Eser Unger
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Scott Marshall:

From the IPG:
If a minor violation is quickly handled by the players to their mutual satisfaction, a judge does not need to intervene.
While the bit of conversation you overheard sounds a bit odd, it's most likely something minor; things that aren't minor tend to be reported, even between friends.

d:^D

That was my thought, but i was not sure if i needed to step in, thanks :-D

however, now a new question arises, at what point is the error big enough that i should step in all by myself even if the players did not call for a judge but notice the error and try to fix it by themself? (we should leave errors aside that go unnoticed by both players for this)
I mean, should i step in if the fixing is not really how things shoud be done? Or do i still leave it as it is because they both agreed to do it as such?

I mean obviously if another player tries to put themself in a position of advantage due to making a fix by themself and making the other player agree to that they are doing a Unsporting Conduct - Cheating and i should defenitly step in at that point.

greetings,
Eser

Edited Eser Unger (July 24, 2018 06:43:28 AM)

July 24, 2018 12:13:26 PM

Erin Murphy
Judge (Level 2), Scorekeeper

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Eser Unger:

however, now a new question arises, at what point is the error big enough that i should step in all by myself even if the players did not call for a judge but notice the error and try to fix it by themself? (we should leave errors aside that go unnoticed by both players for this)

As judges, we're not just there to react to judge calls. We should be proactive in getting involved.

If you're watching some Magic and you see something go wrong, there's nothing wrong with stopping the match and asking “What's just happened?”, even if nothing actually went wrong. If no infraction has been committed, it's still an opportunity to educate the players to play more carefully.

As for how big the error is, if someone's missed a trigger, you usually won't step in unless it's a generally detrimental trigger. For most other Game Play Errors, it's safe to step in and investigate what's going on.

July 24, 2018 07:10:23 PM

Eser Unger
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Erin Murphy:

As judges, we're not just there to react to judge calls. We should be proactive in getting involved.

If you're watching some Magic and you see something go wrong, there's nothing wrong with stopping the match and asking “What's just happened?”, even if nothing actually went wrong. If no infraction has been committed, it's still an opportunity to educate the players to play more carefully.

As for how big the error is, if someone's missed a trigger, you usually won't step in unless it's a generally detrimental trigger. For most other Game Play Errors, it's safe to step in and investigate what's going on.


That makes sense, Thank you!

Good to know for the next time something like this happens c:

July 24, 2018 11:23:15 PM

Tristan Hof
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

I guess if you got time for this (at a 16 player PPTQ you should) just check what's odd. However if you see players actively reaching out to you I strongly consider going there first.
The reasons for Warnings players are thinking about can be various like not announcing prowess triggers, over accidentally attacking with a summoning sick creature to rolling a dice to determine winners. I consider looking after the players and educating them about the situation as good customer service.
But we also expect players to know the rules and the IPG. If they do not call us it sometimes might be in our interest as well to not get involved (exactly in those cases Scott mentioned above) and complete other tasks like deck checks.

July 25, 2018 08:06:36 AM

Eser Unger
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Tristan Hof:

I guess if you got time for this (at a 16 player PPTQ you should) just check what's odd. However if you see players actively reaching out to you I strongly consider going there first.
The reasons for Warnings players are thinking about can be various like not announcing prowess triggers, over accidentally attacking with a summoning sick creature to rolling a dice to determine winners. I consider looking after the players and educating them about the situation as good customer service.
But we also expect players to know the rules and the IPG. If they do not call us it sometimes might be in our interest as well to not get involved (exactly in those cases Scott mentioned above) and complete other tasks like deck checks.


another exapmle might be casting a spell on an illegal target or activating an ability at a time one is not allowed to activate it.
I mean, I myself often as player tell my opponents, you can't do that and we just rewind the action automatically without making a big fuzz about it.

But I understand now, thanks for your help c:

July 25, 2018 10:06:32 AM

Francesco Scialpi
Judge (Level 2)

Italy and Malta

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

In general, being proactive is all good and well.

I would push myself to say that often you don't have to wait for players calling a judge: you may catch some signals telling you players may benefit from your help.

https://blogs.magicjudges.org/articles/2015/04/28/keeping-floor-coverage-active-and-player-focused/

“Some great things to watch out for as signs of a table possibly needing a judge include:

Players with raised voices: a disagreement
Player reading a card: a rules question
Players both looking over life pads: a life total discrepancy
One player looking around / looking bored: possible slow play
A player is overly conscious of judge location: either really wants a judge or is trying to avoid oversight for their shady actions.
Discussion between players in adjacent matches: seeking an answer but not asking a judge, or possible Outside Assistance”

July 25, 2018 01:54:58 PM

Eser Unger
Judge (Level 2)

German-speaking countries

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Francesco Scialpi:

Players with raised voices: a disagreement
Player reading a card: a rules question
Players both looking over life pads: a life total discrepancy
One player looking around / looking bored: possible slow play
A player is overly conscious of judge location: either really wants a judge or is trying to avoid oversight for their shady actions.
Discussion between players in adjacent matches: seeking an answer but not asking a judge, or possible Outside Assistance"

this is actually really helpful!
I will look out for these signs at my next pptq!

the artiqule is quite good too.
Thanks a lot :-D

July 25, 2018 09:01:58 PM

Isaac King
Judge (Level 2)

Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Whether you step in or not should be determined by what you think is going on. If both players are truly happy with the fix they're proposing, by all means leave them to it. We don't want players to see judges as unforgiving penalty dispensers and avoid calling us because they want to avoid a Warning. For example if one player knocks a card off the top of the deck and says “I'll just shuffle that away” or a player tries to attack with a creature with summoning sickness and the opponent says “that can't attack yet”, there's really no reason to step in.

However it's important that we don't take this too far and allow players to “get away” with things they shouldn't be. If it looks like one player is uncomfortable with the fix proposed by their opponent but is just going along with it in order to not seem rude, you should step in at that point. Also be aware that if you're watching a game and a player proposes a fix to some minor error, the fact that you're standing there and not saying anything can seem to provide an implicit approval of their actions that might cause the opponent to not speak up.






Originally posted by Tristan Hof:

The reasons for Warnings players are thinking about can be various like not announcing prowess triggers, over accidentally attacking with a summoning sick creature to rolling a dice to determine winners.

Unrelated to the discussion at hand, I just want to remind you that failing to announce one's prowess trigger is never a Warning.

July 26, 2018 12:33:51 PM

Milan Majerčík
Judge (Level 2), Scorekeeper

Europe - Central

overhearing "This could be a warning" at REL Comp without a Judge Call

Originally posted by Isaac King:

a player tries to attack with a creature with summoning sickness and the opponent says “that can't attack yet”, there's really no reason to step in.

While I agree that there is probably no reason to step in, I would also recommend to you to make at least a mental note of the situation (or a non-warning Infraction record in WER).

Do you know what makes an efficient and successful cheater? Among other things also the ability to convince the victim and possible law enforcers that, when caught doing illegal things, the cheat was actually an honest mistake.

If a cheater is called out for doing a beneficial illegal game action, they usually first try to apply their charisma to evade a Judge call at all.

However, I am not saying that everyone is a cheater. I expect that the vast majority of game errors are just simple mistakes. Do not start a witch hunt ;-)

When a player is known for making frequent game errors, they may be a cheater or just a bad player. Disqualify the former, educate the latter.

Edited Milan Majerčík (July 26, 2018 01:57:53 PM)