Italian Nationals 2009 Public Report

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The letter G!ood morning to everybody.

Another major event, another report.

Haven't I told you that I'm convinced that event reports are one of the best ways to help all judges to get experience and to feel part of a group? ;)

Thursday: the Third Italian Judge Conference

For the third time in a row, Thursday has been the day of the Judge Conference. About 35 judges of the 40 who judged Nationals arrived the afternoon before the event to participate in the conference and to enjoy the very enjoyable atmosphere.

As usual, the conference was divided in two parts:

Part 1: public conference.

  • "Introduction – Why We Meet" by Cristiana Dionisio, L3
  • "Before, During, and After a Tournament" by Davide Succi, L2
  • "Judge Level Structure" by Riccardo Tessitori, L5
  • "Magic by Examples" written by Diego Fasciolo, L3, and translated by Matteo Callegari, L2
  • "M10 – New Rules, New Policy" by Salvatore La Terra, L2
  • "M10 – New Policy" by Thomas Marchiori, L1, and Davide Succi, L2
  • "Jobs on the Italian Website" by Mirko Console, L3
  • "Do You Know the Italian Judges?" a funny quiz by Simone Zanella, L2

(You can find some of the documents here

Part 2, private conference for L2+

  • "Who Does What on the Italian Website" by Matteo Callegari
  • "L1 Certification" by Mirko Console
  • "HJ Responsibilities" by Riccardo and Cristiana
  • "Consistency on PTQs" by all level 3s
  • "News from the Office" (Italian championship and initiatives) by Enrico Boccabianca

The two parts were divided by the first judge dinner of the weekend, with a great surprise for our judge manager. Cristiana's birthday almost always happens the weekend of our Nationals; this year, we were lucky that the precise day was the day of the conference and we could almost literally submerge her with gifts to make her start the weekend the best way possible. This birthday-party-and-gifts surprise was the best we could do to reward her for everything she's been doing for us during the whole year!

Friday: meatgrinders day and a few numbers to describe the event

This year, thanks to the new Total rating & rankings, there were many more qualified players (almost 300) and we expected fewer players than in the past for the meatgrinders. Nevertheless, 720 players participated in the seven different meatgrinders (in seven different formats). At the end of the weekend, the total number of players was 2069 (for 804 unique players), a little less than last year, but indeed a good number for the biggest national event of the year. Each meatgrinder had a L2 as head judge, and it was a good opportunity for each of the L2+ to see how their colleagues normally work, especially for those who live in more remote areas.

Saturday: a new Head Judge

Congratulations to Mirko Console, the youngest Italian L3, who had the honor of headjudging his first Nationals. 228 players, two drafts with 29 pods, large staff, two DQs: excellent work, it was a great pleasure!

A little bit of rules

1 – I animate my Mutavault and I attack; my opponent plays Pollen Lullaby; is my Mutavault going to untap? Yes; Pollen Lullaby doesn't affect permanents' characteristics; therefore it changes the rules of the game without "marking" the permanents its effect will apply to; when Pollen Lullaby's effect applies, Mutavault is only a land and it's not affected.

2 – Mistbind Clique enters the battlefield and immediately gets exiled with its champion ability still on the stack; when the ability resolves, if I choose to exile a Faerie I control, will I tap my opponent's land? No, the ability that taps the lands is separate from the champion ability and, because the Mistbind Clique is no longer on the battlefield, it doesn't trigger.

3 – I attack my opponent's planeswalker, he blocks. If I play Harm's Way, will I be able to deal damage to my opponent's planeswalker? No, because Harm's Way can redirect damage only to a creature or a player, not to a planeswalker; note that the rule that allows to redirect damage from a player to his planeswalker applies only to non combat damage *and* from sources you control.

A little bit of rewinds

1 – A land that should enter the battlefield tapped is unintentionally put in the battlefield untapped; then, the land is used to quickly play Honor of the Pure; then the player immediately attacks. The opponent hasn't the opportunity to stop the game before the attack; for this reason, the game is rewound until the moment the land entered the battlefield, just before playing Honor of the Pure. At the end, the player just had to tap another land and repeated the same actions, as the answer was "You need to tap another land." In case he really needed an extra mana, he wouldn't be allowed to put another land onto the battlefield (because playing the tapped-land was a legal action).

When the tournament ends

It's very hard to appropriately describe the atmosphere during the dinners and the evenings at the end of each working day. Good chats, good games (most played this year: Smallworld), good laughs. Really, it can't be described with words...

The worst and the best moments

The worst moment of the weekend was when I was informed that a couple of players were caught attempting to steal a bag. Even if it was great that the attempt wasn't successful, it was indeed very sad to hear that there were ignominious people intentionally trying to ruin other people's life.

The best moment of the weekend was at the beginning of Top 8; the player who came in 9th (Giuseppe Reale from Rome), just after having received his prize, came to the main stage saying that he wanted to give his prize to the youngest players in the hall (under 14 years). It was great to announce it at the microphone and to hear the deserved applause from everybody; a wonderful action I would love to see every day of my life.

Mailing list and reports, reports, reports

As usual, a dedicated mailing list was created (you might have seen it done for a few GPs and PTs in the last year too). Travel advice, introductions, jokes, serious announcements... for a total of 546 mails!

After the tournament, Simone Zanella (an L2 who had the role of shadowing the Head Judge for all the weekend) prepared the structure for a mini-report that everybody was encouraged to write and send to our public mailing list; 30 judges out of 34 wrote it the week after the event! In case you like this idea for your next events, here you have our structure:

Who am I:
I'm a judge since:
This was my Nationals number:
My role during these Nationals:
What I expected from this event:
What I didn't expect from this event:
The most interesting ruling:
My best moment:
My worst moment:
The most useful subject of the Judge Conference:
The best moment outside the tournament:
A personal goodbye to the HJ:

Special award to... Sandro Manfredini

This is a new feature of my reports; I will (try to) always introduce the judge who surprised me the most at the event.

Sandro is one of the Italian L2 judges; he's a mathematics teacher at a university, he's married with two daughters, and he often misses summer events because he's on holiday with his family. In fact, Sandro didn't come to this year's Nationals, but he got the special award anyway because he has been updating the Italian translation for the CompRules in the last three years; the M10 CompRules had a major update, and Sandro finished updating the translation one week after the English version was released, awesome!

A tournament dedicated to... the city of L'Aquila

As you might have heard, in April there was a quite big earthquake in the center of Italy; the epicenter was very close to a city called L'Aquila (it means "The Eagle"). 295 people died and thousands of people lost their home.

On the way home from Nationals, we took the highway that passes through this city and it was quite shocking to see, almost four months later, a huge field filled with tents along the highway.
We had the opportunity to remember how we are lucky and to think about all the many actions that we could do to help people to live a better life...

... and this is my final ruling!

Riccardo Tessitori

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