Level Three

This page will be kept up to date with the definition of a Level Three Judge. To read about the philosophy of Level Three as of Judge Foundry’s launch, check out this blog post.


Level Three Judges make up a large portion of the staff at large events. A Level Three Judge is comfortable with competitive tournament policy, and experienced with all of the tasks and teams seen at large competitive events. L3s are also comfortable leading a small team and head-judging competitive events. You might find an L3 leading one other team member as the deck checks team on a 100-player Sunday event, or head-judging the 50-player competitive event with two judges assigned to them. L3s are also good communicators, noticing problems and communicating them with the leadership around them. L3s promote L1s in their local area to L2 when they are ready for competitive events, and mentor those L1s. An L3 should start looking towards L4 when they have experience leading teams with several judges, head judging events with many floor judges, and extensive mentorship of L2 and other L3 judges. 


To be promoted to Level Three, a candidate must complete the following requirements. Requirements 1-4 may be completed in any order. This is followed by the interview (requirement 5), which is followed by the tests (requirement 6).

  1. Work Events as a Level Two Judge
    1. Work at least four multi-day events
    2. Be a member on a team that is assigned each of these tasks
      1. Pairings
      2. End of Round
      3. Deck Checks
      4. Scheduled Events
      5. On-demand Events
    3. Lead a small team with at least one other judge reporting to them
    4. Serve as Head Judge for a side event at a multi-day event
    5. Work at a competitive event with at least 10 other judges, and 300 players (these may be the same, or different, events)
  2. Write two reviews 
    1. Must be from events that the candidate and the other judge both worked
    2. At least one review must be of a L2+ judge
    3. At least one review must be from a multi-day event
    4. At least one review must be from the past 12 months
    5. Both reviews must have been written since the candidate advanced to L2
    6. Both reviews must contain specific and actionable feedback.
  3. Receive a recommendation review from an L3+, evaluating at minimum the following items and affirming that the candidate is ready for Level Three
    1. Technical performance 
    2. Proficiency at giving a ruling 
    3. Details of one Policy-related discussion
    4. Understanding of the importance of player engagement 
    5. Understanding of the team’s assigned tasks
    6. Leadership and Mentorship skills
  4. Receive additional endorsements from other L3+ team leads or head judges (optional)
  5. Pass an interview with an L4+ Judge including at a minimum the following evaluated items:
    1. Understanding of all judge tasks at large events
    2. Understanding of common upgrade paths for infractions
    3. Understanding of how to handle appeals
    4. Understanding of backing up games
    5. Proficiency with technology tools common to multi-day events
    6. Conflict management for players and other judges
    7. Results of reflections on recommendation review
    8. Understanding of how to certify a judge for L2
  6. Pass the Level Three Policy Exam with a score of 80 or better 


To maintain the Level Three certification, a judge must complete the following items each year

  1. Choose one —
    • Pass the annual L2/L3 rules refresh exam
    • Pass three set update quizzes since the previous maintenance period
  2. Pass the annual L2/L3 policy refresh exam
  3. Choose two —
    • Work at least eight competitive events
    • Work at least four multi-judge events
    • Team lead at a multi-judge event
    • Create educational content (ex: article, conference presentation, video, etc.), subject to approval by an L5
  4. Choose one —
    • Write a self review
    • Receive an in-depth review, covering multiple events, from an L4+
  5. Maintain membership in Judge Foundry by being up-to-date on their membership dues


As a certified Level Three Judge, a judge demonstrates the following proficiencies, in addition to the proficiencies of a Level Two Judge:

  1. Knowledge
    1. Passed the L3 policy exam, showing the skills necessary to handle competitive event judging independently 
    2. Demonstrated understanding of upgrade paths for infractions
    3. Identified the difference between a partial fix, a simple backup and a full backup, and to describe considerations for each
    4. Distinguished between Looking at Extra Cards and Hidden Card Error
    5. Distinguished between Deck Problem and Decklist Problem
  2. Event Skills
    1. Demonstrated understanding of the tasks of all teams at competitive events. 
    2. Identified the steps needed to start a large competitive constructed tournament
    3. Performed a card count as part of an investigation
    4. Performed a deck check efficiently
  3. Leadership Skills
    1. Wrote a review with detailed and actionable feedback
    2. Developed experience leading small teams
    3. Developed experience head judging tournaments at large scale events
    4. Developed experience working at events with 10+ judges
  4. Personal Skills
    1. Demonstrated ability to positively engage with players and create a welcoming environment, even in a competitive setting
    2. Demonstrated ability to recognize and handle all Unsporting Conduct situations.
    3. Recognized and reflected on their own strengths and areas for improvement
    4. Provided feedback for improvement to judges of lower, equal, and higher experience level.


Certified Level Three Judges receive the following privileges as members of Judge Foundry

  1. Use of title Level Three Judge or Judge Foundry Level Three
  2. Access to private Judge Foundry L3 resources, forums, and chats
  3. Ability to participate in Judge Foundry projects restricted to L3+
  4. Voting in Judge Foundry leadership elections
  5. Right to run for a election to the Judge Foundry Board
  6. Access to Update Quizzes
  7. Ability to certify judges
  8. Ability to promote judges to Level Two


3/24: Updated update quiz requirement from “three out of four” to “three” (Philosophy)