Regionals Prep: What to do when you have a ruling problem

With all the Regionals posts about conflicts with other players and "bad judging" I thought I might offer some suggestions.

1. Review the Players Handbook
You might laugh, but this is a good "refresher", since it's a good chance that we haven't read it in a year or two. Pay attention to stuff like the Battle Phase chart and other detailed sections. Review the spell speed charts. Don't overlook common/easy stuff. Yoyo always chains a Trap or QP spell to an opponent's RoD to prevent his opponent from chaing BBtD to it.

2. Review Appendix A: Yu-Gi-Oh! Policies
You can find this PDF on the UDE web site or click on: http://www.upperdeckentertainment.c...ioh_policy.aspx. There's no excuse for not knowing these rules and policies.

3. Review Appendix P: Tournament Penalty Guidelines
You can find this PDF on the UDE web site or click on: If there's a rules infraction, this will explain what should happen next. This is more for the judges, but it won't hurt players to become acquainted with this document.

This is a simple one, but overlooked most of the time. Even if you're playing the same deck you've played for the last 3 months review the rulings for every card in your deck and side-deck. Take an hour or 2 and visit You can even print off some of the pages and pack them in your binder to have as a handy reference.

5. Check the errata
Visit and check for errata on any card in your deck or side-deck.

6. Calling for a judge
If during the duel, you have a disagreement with your opponent, don't argue with them, just call a judge. Raise your arm and give a good shout "judge!". Look around and make eye contact with a judge, or perhaps they'll look over and tell you they'll be with you in a minute. Be patient. If it talkes 5 or 10 minutes they'll give you a time extension.

7. Be calm.
There's nothing that makes you look worse than acting like a spaz. It's customary to allow the player calling for the judge to address them first. If it was your opponent, let them talk. Listen to how he's explaining the situation to the judge. Is he making an incorrect assumption? When he is done, ask if you may present your case. You'll get a chance to voice your side of the story. If you're calm, it makes you appear more confident, and that will make you "look" more right. We're all hoping that the facts themselves will make a clear case one way or the other, but don't underestimate the human factor. More on this below.

8. Be polite, NO exceptions!
Under no circumstances should you be rude to your opponent (at least in front of the judge) or the judge. The ONLY time you should ever raise your voice is when yelling for the judge. When the judge comes over don't start with "Dumb-ass over there tried to activate Waboku after I summoned Jinzo." That is not going to win you any points with anyone. Being calm and polite when your opponent is wrong makes you look like a better sport. If you are the one breaking the rules, being calm and polite makes it look more like a misunderstanding, rather than cheating. A yes sir, no sir and a thank you sir can go a long way. After the match, don't tell your opponent "you're good, I just out-played you." That's like a slap in the face. Most people get a little ruffled or upset when they lose. Keep it to a short "good game." and move on.

9. No foul language
Not a damn, crap, **** or even a "that sucks." It's unsportsmanlike and unprofessional. No matter how upset you are, no matter how bad the ruling you get is, it's better than getting ejected.

10. No Bribes or threats
Don't screw around and risk getting banned from UDE events forever. They *do* keep a banned list. Don't believe me? Here it is: It looks like these people were doing stupid things. Threats could easily result in you being escorted out of the building by the police.

11. Don't cheat
There's 2 players on either side of you and 2 players on either side of your opponent. Not to mention Judges and observers walking around. You don't know who is watching or perhaps right behind you. Don't be foolish and get DQ'ed because you tried to draw an extra card.

12. There's (almost) always a higher power
If you're not happy with the ruling a Judge makes, kindly ask for the Head Judge. Chances are the Head Judge has more experience and more knowledge. State your case to him/her in hopes of a reversal. You can ALWAYS appeal to the Head Judge, but if you were loud, rude, or used foul language you have sunk your own ship before it even sailed. Judges talk and compare notes. They'll alert each other to troublemakers.

13. Still not right?
You may kindly ask for the names of the Judge and/or Head Judge. Write or email a letter to the company hosting the event and to UDE. Again, be polite and professional. If they open the letter to read "Your suck-*** judges dic*-ed me out my Nationals invite" I'll bet you my next paycheck it'll be in the trash before they can even finish the first sentence. This doesn't mean they are going to DO anything about it, but if they get enough complaints from enough players they could look into the matter.

... other non-judge or ruling related topics...

14. Hang onto your stuff
Don't be a crime statistic. Hold onto your deck and binder at ALL times. Take only what you can afford to lose. Don't do more than 1 trade or sale at a time. Don't get so excited about a deal that you forget to check the hologram or logo.

15. Arrive early
If you're driving make sure you leave early enough to account for construction, detours, heavy traffic or maybe a speeding ticket. It would be a shame to drive 2 hours to an event only to arrive 20 minutes late and have to go home empty handed.

16. Have fun
If you don't have fun, you won't be back. Have fun!!!!
If it appears the judge is having trouble understanding the scenario from a verbal explination or if the story of what happened is different between you and your opponent then offer to re-create the situation for the judge. Do the re-creation slowly and allow the judge time to digest it.

Make sure to always include EVERYTHING that happened when explaining to a judge, not just the parts that YOU think are relavent. Often times I get a partial scenario with key elements left out that changes the ruling completely. (Fiber Jar was flipped from an attack, not just flipped face up or some such thing)

Don't depend on your opponent to keep track of both of your life points. Keep track yourself of both on a play by play basis. If there is a discrepency about life points the judge will go with the person who's kept track...on PAPER.
Your right a bad ruling and ruin the game for you i should know it happend to me

i didnt check the ruling for level mod. and i was running a hours deck the point was to discard hours and bring him back with level mod. well i was doing great until round 3 i was playing this old guy and i play that combo he stoped me and called a judge " this hurt alot because it was my friend who came over" he told him what happened and he went to check it in ronin then he told me i couldnt play that combo i finshed the game but afterwards i was in tears all my hard work down the drain even today i reusue to play in a regionals event

this could of been avoided on my part though by following your rule 5 i might play in my next regionals though my friend build me a cool deck and i checked it on ronin

i dont know if that was on topic but i just wanted to say this my bad if it is
The only thing I would like to add is: No one is right all the time and there comes a time when you have to accept a ruling that goes against you and just make the next draw, believe it or not everyone has made a ruling mistake once in their lives so it is possible that you can be wrong about your interpretation, even if you read it on Pojo or somewhere else...
This actually brings up something that happend at my regionals where a SJ judge and our head judge conflected on a ruling

okay i cant remeber the card but it went something like this

player a attack with his monster

player b counters with mirror force

player a actavates his monsters effect who says pay 1000 life point negate and destory the actavation of a trap card.

player b counters with ring of destruction

player a actavets the effect again

well from what i heard a judge a SJ said that you cant actavate that effect twice in the same chain but our head judge looked at ronin and found nothing and then read the card and also found no reason why player a couldnt do it twice player b was pissed becasue he heard for the head judge at SJ that you counldnt

i'm sorry i dont know the exact card i will look for it and post it when i find it again i do know it's a fusion monster though

that kinda what you mean right advocate
Your probably talking about Ryu Senshi. In that case, it's a Multi-Trigger Effect. So buy nature, unless the text said otherwise, it would naturally be able to be activated multiple times in the same chain. Hence the part that says "as long as this card remains face-up on the field."

The problem often lies in that players often take rumor and the first word of the first judge they ever ask at face value, and never research the information on their own. A lot of times players slap together a deck an hour before the tournament, for what reason I can't imagine, and, as a result, fail to be fully prepared for the tourney and the potential card interactions they failed to research.

If you really want to minimize ruling errors, know your deck way ahead of a match, and don't just take your friends word on card rulings. Take the time to research your cards using the FAQ/RONIN/Netrepâ„¢ and the Judges List and make sure that your friends aren't just perpetuating another Yu-Gi-Oh! myth.
And as a small addendum to what DJ said, check to see if the card you are using has an errata to it. They have an errata section along with the rulings on the UDE site and RONIN/Netrep keeps the latest text of a card so just double check with that too.