The IJP and other Judge organizations

Hello everyone! Several months have passed since WotC has stopped their contract with Judge Academy, and communities have started the next step, organising around local or global organizations.

The goal of this post is to share the position of the International Judge Program (IJP) together with the local organizations as well as share as many of them as we can. If we missed one, don’t hesitate to inform us at hello@internationaljudgeprogram.org

1. The IJP Direction

The IJP wants to cooperate and work with each organization of judges that aims to help and grow judge communities.

Our goal is not to micromanage or replace local judge initiatives. We believe that many topics are better handled locally (contact with local TOs, conferences, swag …). The IJP wants to help provide a framework around Levels, exams, education and more. We wish to also create synergies between regions and around the world by representing the Judges to third parties.

We acknowledge that there are fundamentally two ways to reinvigorate the global judge community:

  • A federation of local organizations
  • A global program (such as the IJP) adapted to local needs

 

We believe our main and common goal should be to restore a global community and provide a clear and unified certification for tournament organisers of all sizes around the world, giving all judges a motivating development path and tools to grow.

So, regardless of the organization structure, we would like to collaborate and grow a consistent system.

Values are also important to us. As unlikely as they are to appear, we cannot collaborate with organizations that do not share common values such as Diversity, Inclusivity, Quality, Feedback and Fairness. For example, a for-profit entity has a conflict of interest between helping the community vs seeing them as clients, and might at some point take decisions that are not optimal for Judges. In another example, an entity that does not value Fairness and Diversity might put requirements or goals that are too difficult to reach might stifle regions with less Organized Play or fewer Judges.

2. Why Local Organizations Matter to Us

The IJP was created with an international scope, but a judge community cannot be taken care of from an international level only. We need to team up, coordinate and support existing and new local organizations in order to ensure judge communities around the world are properly taken care of.

For this reason, the IJP does not want to substitute or remove any local structure existing in any region, but instead we want to coordinate with them and work together, supporting each other, creating synergies. We would like to create an environment where local communities can manage the way that fits them best and, at the same time, have the possibility to learn from and mentor other local organizations.

It’s important to clarify that when we say “local organizations” there are no preferences of their legal form. It doesn’t matter if they’re legally constituted associations or a group of local judges coordinating their community, what is important to us is that a group of judges is taking care of their local judges and, at the same time, they’re connected with the IJP and share its values to ensure their judges get the benefit of being part of a global program. For instance: organizing conferences or other educational activities, mentoring, communication, social activities, acquisition of judges, creating local swag to represent the region, etc.

If you meet these criteria, reach out to us at  hello@internationaljudgeprogram.org , we’ll add the relevant details of your organization to our locals organizations list page.

3. A Word On The Unified Levels System

While there is a lot of value on local management of each community, in the IJP we believe there must be some degree of homogeneity when it comes to judge levels and certifications. They exist to tell the world (Tournament Organizers, players and other judges) about the quality and skills of a certain individual. In order to achieve this they must be reasonably uniform and well known. When it comes to levels 1 and 2, they will mostly act in local communities and it’s important they’re consistent inside their communities, but may have some variance compared to other communities. Levels 3+ are designed to operate at larger events and work frequently with Tournament Organizers outside their local areas, this is where international consistency becomes more important.

In the IJP we believe that having multiple levels/certification systems will result in a drawback for the judges. Tournament Organizers will risk being familiar with only one major system and ignore or underrate judges with different certifications. This is why we believe local organizations associated with the IJP should not have their own levels/certification system, but instead provide their input and use the one provided by the IJP, including the regional adaptations and flexibility included in it.

4. The Communities

To round up this article, here is the list of organizations that we are aware of so far, including links to their page when possible.

If we have missed your community (apologies!) and you would like to collaborate with the IJP, please send us an email to hello@internationaljudgeprogram.org and we will add it ASAP.

Please also note that the list of organizations in this article will not be updated with future changes but our page about local judge organizations will be!

  • South Africa There is a judge organization, we will add the details to our organizations page as soon as we have them.

 

  • Japan → Local community is organized in a Discord server, reach out to us for an invite.
  • There is currently an organization in creation, we will add the details to our organizations page as soon as we have them.
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