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Report 2008 - Nazionali Rimini - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 2-8-2008 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

A report about a National Championship? Isn’t it “just a simple National championship”?
Just before writing this report, I wondered why I tend to consider Nationals at the same level as a Grand Prix, and I will use a few interesting numbers:
37 judges (32 sponsored and 4 volunteers)
879 unique players
2300 players in total
my professional event number fifty ^__^
In this report I will not talk about rules, I will not talk about game situations; I will talk only about the event in general, extra activities, preparation, meetings, community… so that it will give a little taste of who we are and what we do, other than answering judge calls.
 
Planning ahead: PTQ Frosinone
Nationals took place in the first weekend of August, but we started planning it and looking forward to it way before. When spring arrives, we start being thrilled by the approaching Nationals; it’s a long summer weekend where we all meet, where we play together during the night, where we can see old friends again and meet new friends.
At the end of June, a PTQ took place in my little city (Frosinone, which is located in the center of Italy, between Rome and Naples). Since when I started organizing PTQs, there is a tradition: all Italian L3s are invited for a long weekend of good food, little sleep and a lot of gaming!
After playing a lot of Mario Kart on the NintendoDS console and being licked for hours by the two most ferocious dogs in the world, the serious part of the weekend begun: the roles for Nationals and the L2 renewals.
 
L2 renewal: the exercises
2008 is the year when all L2 will retest; we decided that Nationals would have been the best moment to complete the renewal process for our thirteen L2 judges. In the five weeks before the event, we asked to do five exercises (at home, sending the answer by e-mail), one per week:
1) Evaluate the L3+; the goal was to check if they had at least a small idea about how to evaluate a higher level judge, and if they had at least a small idea about what L3+ do (this was the hardest exercise).
2) Evaluate the L1, by choosing one who will be sponsored to Nationals; the goal was to check if they were able to evaluate a lower level judge and if they have at least a small knowledge of the other judges in their country (we do require L2+ to be part of the group).
3) Activity outside tournaments; the goal was to make them aware that being a L2 judge doesn’t mean “just tournaments”; each of them does a few activities for our website, our mailing lists and uses the Judge Center (all of them are somehow active outside tournaments).
4) Five question to ask to a L1 candidate; this was the most important exercise, because the “new L2” will be able to test new L1 judges; they had to choose five questions that a L1 candidate must answer correctly (“what are the phases and steps of a turn?” is ok; “what are the layers and sub layers?” isn’t).
5) Memory stick for a PTQ; they had to list the files they would bring to a PTQ they had to HJ; the goal was to make them think for a few minutes about what useful files they would suggest a new L2 to bring to a PTQ (all of our L2 judges regularly HJ PTQs with more than 100 players). The most funny, quite common answer was “your phone number”.
 
Let’s meet: the Judge Conference
The event officially started on Friday, but we all gathered on Thursday for our second Judge Conference; it was divided in two parts: one public (all certified judges can attend) and one private (invitation only, for L2+ and a few L1 willing to be more involved).
All judges working at Nationals (except two who had to work on Thursday) attended the public one, and three other judges came just for this meeting (even if they weren’t going to play at Nationals), for a total of 35 participants.
This was the program for the public part:
- Introduction by Cristiana Dionisio
- Deck Check, timing and procedures by Mirko Console
- The Italian Judge Website: who works on it, why it is useful by Simone Zanella
- The Judge Center, what's in there by Matteo Callegari and Gianluca Bonacchi
- Reviews, why and how by Diego Fasciolo
This was the program for the private part:
- The "new" level 2, what are they, what they do, what we expect from them by Riccardo Tessitori
- Certification, what we evaluate and how we evaluate a level 1 by Diego Fasciolo
- Team leading and Resources Management by Luca Simone
- The Merit System of Sponsorships by Cristiana Dionisio
- 2008/2009 WotC Italy Programs by Enrico Boccabianca
 
Friday meatgrinders
Friday was the meatgrinders day, and this year there were six!
Three of them (the longest) started in the morning:
1) Sealed, individual
2) Sealed, 2HG
3) “100 città” (100 cities); this is an invitation only tournament; players qualify from every single city championship; Swiss; top8 qualify for Nationals
Three of them started in the afternoon (therefore receiving many people from the morning tournaments, too):
1) Extended
2) Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Block Constructed
3) Under1700 (for the first time this year); invitations by DCI rankings were given to the Top100 players at the end of June; the same day (without announcing it before!) the rankings determined who could play this special meatgrinder
Attendances:
2HG has always been limited to 64 teams… and every year there are 64 teams participating!
100 città has 80 players on average, every year
The other meatgrinders usually have between 120 and 180 players.
 
Nationals and public events
194 players participated in 2008 National Championships, the head judge was Luca Simone (who advanced to L3 at PT Valencia) and the shadow head judge was Mirko Console (who advanced to L3 at PT Kuala Lumpur).
Major public events (PTQ, Trial, Vintage, Legacy, 2HG Father and Son, 2HG Boys and Girls, Junior) were excellently managed by Diego Fasciolo.
8men public events and **the most important tournament of the weekend** (called “Stupid stupid tournament”, not sanctioned, 15 card Block Constructed ^__^) were managed by me.
Cristiana Dionisio had the role of Judge Manager (or “mum”, since she was feeding us and making sure we enjoyed the weekend).
Raul Rabionet (who advanced to L3 at PT Valencia), who speaks perfect Italian, was our special guest for the second time.
Each L2 judge was the head judge for one of the major public events or meatgrinders.
There were three scorekeepers:
Federico Calò, Nationals
Sauro Panzacchi, major public events and 8men tournaments
Danilo Raineri, major public events
All L2+ (except one, who lives on one of our islands and never travels) judged 2008 Italian Nationals; all L2 were retested (completing the L2 renewal interviews by Nationals was one of our goals).
 
The day is over
Judging, judging, judging… and having fun in the evening, too!
A four days event; it may look long and exhausting because of the hard work… it’s true, but only in part.
A four days event is really exhausting because we stay awake until 2AM every night to chat and play!
On Friday night (the night before Nationals Day1), the WotC Italian office organizes the Player Party (like the party the day before pro Tours and Worlds); since the last three Italian Nationals took place in Rimini, the party took place on the beach, wow!
The other nights, you could have heard a lot of laughter in our hotel or in little restaurants.
Even if not as crowded as during pro Tours, there were a few tables of EDH.
For those who already played Citadels with me: Pietro Lombardo played his first game and killed me, by mistake, on turn two!
More, we found a new game: Mario Kart on Nintendo DS, sooooo funny to play in groups; next time to join: GP Rimini, September the 13th and the 14th.
 
Goodbye
Monday morning, we woke up late, we had lunch and the last chats on the beach, and we said goodbye to all these many friends we see only a few times per year.
It has become a family, a family with different last names, a family whose members live below different roofs in different cities, but it will always be the family we are proud to be a part of… and this is my final ruling!
 
Riccardo Tessitori