"I just thought it'd be quite fun to write up a report of my recent (and first!) experience judging for a YCS, so here's my report about YCS San Diego!
I woke up Friday morning at 9 AM to start getting ready for the hectic weekend that was approaching. Around 11, my friend arrives and picks me up and we head for SD. It only takes about an hour and a half, so we arrive at around 1:30 PM to the hotel. I head up and meet with my friend Brandon, and we relax for a bit before I go and survey the convention center. I meet up with Jeff, Billy, and a few others before I had to go change and head to my shift.
I had signed up to do pre-registration, which I expected to be a nightmare. On the contrary, it was quite organized. When we gave out orders to get into a single file line and make sure that nobody was trying to cut and all that, everybody followed them, which made our jobs incredibly easier. I got off around 6 PM and ran back over to the hotel to change and do some swaps for foreign cards, making most of my deck German, which made my entire weekend.
I go off to the judge dinner around 8:30 at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and it was incredibly fun! Getting to know a few fun stories and share spaghetti with a few new friends is always a good time. I end up leaving around 10 PM to head back to my room where Cordero and all my team mates are just relaxing before the main event. Me and one of my room mates decide to sleep while the others go and try to find all the other pros for some games. It's not exactly the most fun trying to go to sleep at 11 PM, get woken up at 12 AM, sleep until 2 AM, get woken up again, and then constantly toss and turn all night due to anxiety though.
I wake up at 6 AM the next morning to get showered and ready for the Judge meeting at 7. We get told to basically look out for slow playing mostly, as it'll be much easier to figure out who adds cards to the main deck. We get in more of the registrants and finally seat them around 11 AM, only 1 hour behind schedule. We pass out the decks and hope it's easy sailing from there.
Turns out many decks are missing 1 card, or just got given the wrong card so we spend another 20 minutes just replacing the cards/decks. I can say thank god they had devised a system for finding the cards quickly so that there wasn't a delay. After that is all said and done, we start round 1! We were assigned to specific zones, and I was in one of the smaller ones because of last minute fixes, meaning I didn't have all that many tables to really watch. I got my first judge call of the day to figure out [ccProd]Blast Sphere[/ccProd]'s Destruction effect vs. [ccProd]Divine Wrath[/ccProd], ruled that Wrath can't be used. They asked for an appeal which was upheld, go me! Some of these cards have legitimate issues where they aren't 100% clear. I end up just signing off a bunch of match slips.
Unfortunately, there weren't many really amazing rulings, but I did have a point where I noticed a player had dropped a card on the floor, and he had forgotten that it wasn't in his main deck, which resulted in him getting a game loss in game 3. Total bummer.
I eventually get shuffled over to Public Events for the remainder of the day, leaving me in charge of about 8 win-a-mat flights at a given time. Surprisingly, it wasn't as intimidating as it sounds, it was actually pretty easy. I walk up to the front to grab something and get pulled into doing more table watching, including having 40 minutes of standing around waiting for a match to finish. I had tried to gather info about it and found out that a game was in Game FIVE, 40 minutes into time mind you. Thank you [ccProd]Ring of Destruction[/ccProd]! The last thing I was asked to do for the day was to watch and check wristbands at the door, not too bad.
After being released for the day, I run over to the subway for one of the tastiest sandwiches I've ever eaten, and end up passing out and feeling a little bit sick at my stomach. It was because of that that I missed my first early alarm and consequently, the judge meeting for day 2. I talk to my lead for the day who informs me that I'll be running regional flights for most of the day if dragon duels doesn't get many signups. I get stuck up at the stage doing deck checks for all the regional flights up to number 6, which helped perfect my ability to count to the numbers 40 through 45 quite quickly. I get up to the point where I'm taking care of 4 regionals at once, which is actually quite annoying when you have people calling for a judge every time you turn around and you constantly have to remember names for the bracket. Once I'm on my last one around 5 PM, I get told that I'll be helping with Public Event playoffs, which was incredibly cool. I thought it was an interesting way for them to handle them, seeing as how I've never actually seen how PE Playoffs work. They basically have a judge to each table kinda like how top 8 works.
I have to unfortunately leave after judging the first match in PE playoffs, but I do say bye to as many people as I can, pick up my comp, and head out. It was safe to say that it was incredibly fun to judge for my first YCS and I definitely can't wait to judge for more!
Now for some pros and cons of the weekend:
Getting my entire deck in German
Ordering $40 in sandwiches at Subway between 3 people and not paying a thing
The abundance of food
Only being wrong on one of my rulings (Chainsaw Insect being attacked and killed by utopia, do they draw or not. I had ruled not and apparently they do, quite interesting to know!)
Being able to meet all of the others from ARG
Headaches throughout the day weren't fun
Anxiety really sucks to have when you're trying to sleep and under a lot of stress managing multiple events at once
Spent a lot of money that I wanted to save"