Players and #judges4you

Written by Weedmonkey on January 12, 2012

Recently, it has come to my attention that some players are having difficulty understanding the position of both judges and other players where rulings that require a Magic-League judge are concerned. This article will explain what is expected of players, and how to help issues be resolved as efficiently as possible.

Why Judges Exist

Put simply, judges are here to help resolve the issues players have in a match. Whenever an issue arises in a match, we always encourage players to bring it to the attention of a judge rather than resolve it themselves. Some players feel insulted or threatened when they are asked to join #judges4you. Don't be - players are just doing the right thing!

When You Join #judges4you... is always important to bring all your information with you! If you have a screenshot, upload it. If you have log files, upload them to the log viewer. If you have an opponent, bring them with you ;). Judges cannot rule on issues presented to them via private message, nor without their opponent in #judges4you - this is both to provide transparency and accountability in rulings, and to make sure that all players in a match are aware of how the judge is handling the issue.

The more information judges have upfront, the less time is wasted waiting on players to provide different pieces of information.

During a Ruling... your best to be patient. Arguing with your opponent delays the ruling because the judge has to sort out the squabble between you and your opponent before they can investigate the issue. It is best to be patient, and answer only the questions directed at you.

Being rude or belligerent during a ruling is poor behaviour, both towards judges and your opponent. Passions can run high during a ruling, but keeping them in check helps make rulings go much smoother.

After a Ruling...

You may not always agree with a judge's ruling - and that's okay. Judges are human too, and that means we are capable of errors from time to time. If you disagree with a judge's ruling, the right thing to do is appeal the ruling (which is as simple as saying 'i would like to appeal'). If a higher-level judge is around, they will be more than happy to handle the appeal. Arguing with a judge doesn't do anybody any favors.

If you are unclear about why an issue was ruled in a certain way, come back to #judges4you and ask for a more in-depth explanation after your match is complete. That way your match isn't delayed, but you still get to learn about why an issue was a ruled a certain way, and (hopefully) avoid making the same mistake in the future.


  • Have all information ready to give a judge if they need it. If a judge doesn't require the information, they'll let you know. However, it is better for all involved if there aren't delays in handling a ruling because judges are waiting for players to provide information.
  • Conduct yourself appropriately in #judges4you. There is no excuse for acting like a five year old child on red cordial in #judges4you. The less time judges have to spend dealing with poor behaviour, the quicker judges can get players back to their match!
  • Answer all questions to the best of your ability. We understand that players don't have perfect memory, and that players don't always speak English as their first language. If you're honest, you have nothing to worry about :).


  • Join #judges4you to watch a ruling. Players should be able to have a judge handle their ruling without other players sitting in on a ruling. Players can feel intimidated by having other players 'sit in' on a ruling, and judges can become confused if people are randomly commenting on rulings in progress.
  • Argue with your opponent or a judge. If you disagree with a judge, then appeal. If you disagree with what your opponent is saying, then do your best to be patient. Judges always endeavour to rule with as much information as they can, and if there is any inconsistency between what you and your opponent say a judge will get to the bottom of it.
  • Try and fix an issue by yourself in a match. Often, players will attempt to fix a problem only to find out that they've lost the opportunity for a quick, easy solution. Having a judge assist you and your opponent is the best solution.

Let There Be Rulings

Whilst brief, I do hope that this article highlights some of the common issues players have when handling judges, and helps to highlight what is needed for a quick and painless judge ruling in #judges4you.

- Roo

Back to Magic: the Gathering Articles

by GunsAndDope on 2012-01-12 11:54 CET

If you get a MWS error, please remember to take a printscreen of your computer's status.

There are actually people out here who will cause their program to crash just to get the free win.

by Burton911 on 2012-01-12 13:30 CET

"Try and fix an issue by yourself in a match."

While I dont know what you call an issue, i disagree in this matter. I mean seriously there are people whoe drag you to j4u for even the tiniest bit of an error when playing just a mini.

In trials and masters however the matter is different, since there accumulated warnings actually do something.

@the article: isnt all what you said common sense anyway?

by Djinn on 2012-01-12 13:46 CET

Burton911, we keep track of all the penalties given in "just minis". If a player is observed to have too many of the same penalties, he will be warned/banned. So, bringing up issues even in "just minis" is still worth it, as we can keep track of how our players are behaving/playing all their matches and not just master's

by Burton911 on 2012-01-12 13:51 CET

If somebody does this on on a regular basis in Minis, the skill of the opponents probably is enough to take care of him/her, cause hes obviously not good enough then (there is like ZERO benefit in doing this in minis, expect for wasting time of evey other player in the mini)

by xJudicatorx on 2012-01-12 16:48 CET

@Burton911: It's strange that they call it common sense when it's not common at all.

@Article: 1. Sometimes you do have to fix issues yourself in matches because they aren't worth waiting 15 minutes for a judge over. 2. I feel like there are times that I *have* to argue with my opponent simply to point out to the judge that I don't feel like what he is saying is true. Because silence often implies consent.

by warwizard87 on 2012-01-12 23:36 CET

Honestly I have on more then one occasion given my self a game loss after a disconnect since we couldn't reconnect and I know I will get one anyway it isn't worth dragging it out and wasteing both mine and my opponets time or the judges.

by Lynolf on 2012-01-13 11:54 CET

Judicator said it all: what if there are no judges around? We all know that has been a problem in the league for the past years...

by Djinn on 2012-01-13 13:16 CET

If you believe there are not enough judges at a given time, become one yourself. Judges are part of the community working for the community. We spend our spare time making you able to play magic and have fun with it. We try to solve the players' problems and the community's problems. Do you?

by Lynolf on 2012-01-13 22:25 CET

Have you ever thought that the reason I don't become a judge (and maybe everyone else in the league) is because I don't spend enough time here to get the job done? I'd rather not be a judge than be a bad judge and get dejudged later for that, and with good reason.
And seriously, that argument is getting very old. Be humble and recognize that the biggest problem in magic-league judges is not, in my opinion, "bad judging", but the fact there are very few judges available when they are needed, which in turn leads to more confrontations between players.

by derflippi on 2012-01-14 01:37 CET

The core answer I see is:
Want something? Do something.

All content on this page may not be reproduced without written consent of Magic-League Directors.
Magic the Gathering is TM and copyright Wizards of the Coast, Inc, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Join Swagbucks!