How to Handle Rules Disputes

How to Handle Rules Disputes

October 28, 2015 | 2 min to read

The Magna Carta includes about 5,000 words.

The United States Bill of Rights: 475.

Magic's comprehensive rules? 107,382.

It's a complicated game, and that's a good thing. Intricacy is what makes Magic a lifelong hobby. But that intricacy can sometimes make for tough rules questions for WPN retailers and organizers.

How best to resolve them? The first thing to know:

It's Your Call

It's Wizards' policy to defer to tournament organizers (TOs) in rules disputes.

But we offer plenty of tools to give you the confidence that you're making the right decision.

Try These Resources

1. Get a Judge

Only Competitive Rules Enforcement Level events (GPTs, PPTQs, etc) require a judge, but even at Friday Night Magic, a judge can drastically strengthen the integrity of your event.

Contact a judge through your Regional Coordinator, recruit a judge from within your player base, even become one yourself—you won't regret it.

2. Live Chat with Judges

If you can't have a judge on site, this is the next best thing: judges offer live Q&A on their blog.

The chat is monitored 24 hours a day, so if you have internet access and a few minutes, this is your best bet.

3. Check Gatherer

Our online card database serves as a kind of FAQ for every card ever printed.

Scroll down to the "rulings" section and there's a decent chance you'll find your answer.

4. Call Game Support

Above: Support Rep Roscoe Wetlaufer

From 7am to 7pm, Game Support is available to tackle any sticky card interactions that come up.

They're trained by Wizards to handle rules questions, so if you'd like an authority to settle a dispute, don't hesitate to reach out. (Note: not all regions offer phone support.)

Set Expectations Early

With some combination of the above resources, you can build a process to address rules questions quickly and confidently.

Whatever process works for you, it's a good practice to let players know how to ask a rules question and how the question will be handled.

So add your process to your pre-event announcements, or post something in the store!

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