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Questions a Judge Should and Should Not Answer

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Questions a Judge Should and Should Not Answer Empty Questions a Judge Should and Should Not Answer

Post by DragonMaster99 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:29 am

There is some confusion among judges regarding what questions they can and cannot answer during a tournament. While this guide is unofficial, it has input from many former Head Judges/senior judges and is reflective of the philosophy used at previous and current US Premier-level events. The following guidelines are the general rules to answering questions during tournament play:

A judge is always allowed to answer questions as it relates to:

1) Game Mechanics (priority, building a chain, etc)
2) Legality of the activation of an effect
3) Individual Card Mechanics (does a card target, does it have a cost, what type of effect it is, how does the effect work unto itself, card text or stats)
4) Card Rulings from the various KDE releases (remember that only rulings posted by KDE are considered official sources.)

Things a judge should avoid:

1) “What if” scenarios that occur during a match that are not reflected in the current game state
2) Situations that would dictate how a player would best play his/her cards, or would help a player augment his/her strategy
3) Questions from spectators relating to a match in progress, unless it is to notify a judge of an observed error
4) Questions that involve inordinate complexity, or one whose answer would vary depending on how each player chose to resolve his/her effects along the progression of the game state
5) Questions that are not stated (such as answering a question a judge may feel is inferred by the player)

When a judge is called over to a match, he/she should always clarify the game state to ensure that his/her understanding of the events matches that of the players. Once the game state is understood, he/she may answer a question or resolve a situation based upon the following:

When all card(s) are public:

• If the card(s) in question are all public knowledge, or are otherwise mutually known, then it is Appropriate for a judge to give a simple yes-or-no response reinforced by game mechanics.

Ex.: Player A declares an attack with his “Neo-Spacian Gran Mole” and selects his opponent’s “Ally of Justice Catastor” as the attack target. Since both monster effects are Trigger effects that have the same timing, it is Appropriate to inform the players how a SEGOC is created, and how the chain will resolve.

• If the explanation of game mechanics does not provide a satisfactory answer for the player, or the player does not seem to understand what is being told to him/her, a judge may provide an official ruling offered by KDE that gives additional information to confirm to the player the correct resolution of a situation. Giving a ruling in this case should be a last option, as it does little to prevent similar occurrences in future play and does not educate the player(s).

Ex.: Player A controls a face-up “Exiled Force” that is under the effect of Player B’s “Effect Veiler.” Player A activates the effect of “Exiled Force,” and targets an opponent’s monster. A judge is called over to resolve the situation, and explains to the player that “Effect Veiler” will negate “Exiled Force” because “Effect Veiler” negates monster effects that activate or apply on the field, even if the monster is no longer face up at resolution. Player A is not convinced by the floor judge. The judge then further explains that effects will always resolve where they activated, regardless of where the monster is at resolution. Player A still does not comprehend the information being explained. The judge may show the official ruling to Player A to show that he/she is receiving the correct ruling.

When there is a mixture of public and private information:

• If one of the cards(s) in question is private, and the other(s) is public, a judge should instruct the player on how to proceed with game mechanics. Giving a direct “yes” or “no” resolution regarding private information could be construed (and perhaps correctly) by the opponent as coaching, and should be avoided. A judge, however, may always answer “yes” or “no” if something can be legally activated. Providing rulings privately, though they may be public in nature, can also be considered augmenting a player’s strategy and unduly affecting the natural course of play.

Ex.: Player B activates the effect of “Destiny Hero – Malicious,” and removes it from the graveyard as a cost. Player A calls a judge over and asks if he can remove his opponent’s “Destiny Hero – Malicious” with his card in hand (flicking his copy of “D.D. Crow”). It would be Appropriate to inform Player A that:

All costs are paid at activation, before priority is passed to the opponent

Ex.: Player A Synchro Summons a copy of “Scrap Dragon.” Player B calls for a judge and asks if his/her opponent could “get the effect” of Scrap Dragon when Player B activates “this card” (reveals Solemn Warning). It would be Appropriate to inform Player B that:

The effect of Scrap Dragon will activate when destroyed by an opponent’s card effect and sent to the graveyard (reiterating public card text reinforced with the individual card mechanic)

• If, in the course of answering a question through game mechanics, the nature of a private card would be revealed to the opponent against the wishes of the player, then a judge may issue his/her ruling, comment upon the legality of activation, and remind the player that he/she has the right to appeal.

Ex.: Player A controls a face down “Divine Wrath.” Player B controls a face up “Black Whirlwind.” Player B summons “Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North” and activates its effect as Chain Link 1. He/she then chains Black Whirlwind as Chain Link 2. Player A calls a judge over and reveals his/her set card, and asks if it can be chained to his opponent’s “Blizzard.” It would not be Appropriate to explain the game mechanic that cards that specifically negate other cards must be directly chained to the effect they wish to negate, as that would reveal the nature of Player A’s set card to Player B and could influence his/her plays. It would also not be Appropriate for the floor judge to give answers in private, as all game mechanics are public and should be shared publicly, and to avoid any image of impropriety or coaching from the judge. Instead, the floor judge should consider the following example:

Player A: “Can I do this?”

Player A privately reveals set “Divine Wrath”

Floor Judge: “How was the chain built?”

players inform the judge that Blizzard is Chain Link 1, Black Whirlwind is Chain Link 2

Floor Judge: “That is an illegal activation, and cannot be chained in this situation. I can’t say any more without revealing the nature of your set card. You have the right to appeal”

If the situation occurs at a Premier event, a floor judge may consult with his/her Team Lead and the Team Lead may reinforce the ruling while informing Player A privately as to the reasons for the illegality. Either player may still appeal the ruling. In all cases, the Head Judge, at his/her discretion, may opt to keep the ruling but provide Player A with a private explanation

As a reminder, these guidelines are unofficial. Any statements to the contrary of this document by KDE personnel countermand any information held in this document forthwith.



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