For Judges

Team Compendium recommends…

Pokémon TCG Judge Essentials

You can’t be fair and correct without having, knowing and using these resources. There’s more to judging than being fair and correct, but unless you’re basing your rulings off these documents, you’re making stuff up.

  1. Pokemon TCG Rulebook
    Many rulings questions are only answered in the rulebook. Many fundamental principles, from which other rulings are derived are only found in the rulebook. Rule books are no longer printed and put into theme decks, but are found online.
    Rule Book download link:
    Search that may also work if they change the link:
  2. POP Penalty Guidelines
    Every penalty should be supported from these guidelines. Fact: you cannot be consistent as a Judge unless you know how to use these guidelines. Tip: study up before events, so they’ll be quickly useful on your event clipboard and during judge meetings.
    Download link: Penalty Guidelines
    Search that should take you to the page where you can find them:
  3. Rulings Compendium
    This is your reference to the comprehensive set of OFFICIAL rulings for the TCG. Download links are in the right margin and don’t forget our ‘mobile’ version for your smartphone or tablet.

Pokémon TCG Judge Growth

There is no substitute for working under a great judge for challenging and growing your judging skills. However, these judging resources will help you grow and can also give you perspective on what your Judge mentor is sharing with you.

  1. Pokémon TCG Judge Manual
    A big picture of judging from attitude to techniques. Begun in 2008 by Premiere Tournament Organizers in response to a challenge by Mike Liesik, this document is a repository of judging techniques and attitudes from many different masters. Read it to learn from people who have been there before in order to develop yourself or recruit, challenge and train your judge team. Download links:
    Play! Pokemon Professor Forum copy, PokeGym Professor Forum Copy, Direct Link to latest version.
  2. Ask The Rules Team
    Can’t find it in the compendium? Something came up at the last event and your want to cross-check your card or gameplay ruling? Ask the Rules Team forum is the place to get a speedy answer from the guys who work with Play! Pokemon week in and week out to publish the rules.
  3. Judge’s Chambers
    forum to ask questions about penalties and tips on judge technique from judges who have judged and head judged at Regionals and above.
  4. Play! Pokemon Professor Forums
    These are good forums for general questions about helping at events. Pay especial attention to answers given by POP staff and experienced judges and organizers.

Pokémon TCG Judge Tools

This section covers some tools that make the mechanics of judging easier.

  1. Floor Kit
    Take these with you: pens; clipboard for reference materials, notes and penalty sheets; watch or stopwatch with countdown timer (to back up the score table); kleenex pocket pack (for JRs tears and spills). Add digital resources as available, e.g. mobile compendium.
  2. Deck Checking
    The official POP Deck Checker’s Checklist and the Standard Format Legal Cardlist topic on the PokéGym should be reviewed if you’re going to be helping with deck checks.
  3. Penalty Reporting
    Fresh from U.S. Nationals and the World Championships comes the Clipboard Penalty Sheet — it has checkboxes for the categories from the Penalty Guidelines and not only makes it easier to quickly record the penalty for the Head Judge, but helps you think clearly about which penalty has been earned.

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