Joining the Konami Judge Program
Q: What is the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: The KONAMI Judge Program seeks, certifies, and registers KONAMI Judges. The program offers resources, training and support for registered judges. Anyone wishing to judge at official, Sanctioned KONAMI events such as Regionals, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championships (YCS), and World Championship Qualifiers (WCQ) must join the Konami Judge Program.
Q: Why would I want to be a KONAMI Judge?
A: People join the KONAMI Judge Program for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for something to do at a tournament other than play, others want to grow the Organized Play scene in their area; some enjoy teaching new people how to play and others feel at home in the social structure the Judge Program generates.
You may have the opportunity to receive some nice gifts and souvenir items through judging, but the primary motivator for most judges is the sense of accomplishment they get by contributing to Organized Play. Through judges’ efforts, tournaments can happen and people can enjoy the game.
Q: How do I join?
A: In order to join the KONAMI Judge Program, you will first need to take and pass the online Rulings Comprehension Level 1 (RC-1) test. You will need a valid CARD GAME ID number and email address in order to take the test.
You must score at least 80% in order to pass. Once your test is completed, you will see your score on screen.
If you have passed the test with a valid CARD GAME ID and email, you will receive an email containing a link to an online registration form for the KONAMI Judge Program. This is not an automatically generated email, so you may need to wait up to two weeks. Prospective judges should fully complete the online form, then await an email confirmation of acceptance.
Q: Do I have to take the online Rulings Comprehension Level 1 (RC-1) test in order to join the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: You will need to take and pass the RC-1 online test, as described above. This test provides you with a benchmark indication of the ruling and game mechanic knowledge needed to begin as an effective judge. You will find events much more enjoyable when you know you are prepared.
Q: Is the process different for judges in different territories, like KDE-US and KDE-E?
A: Regardless of territory, every prospective judge must begin by taking and passing the RC-1 test, then completing the online application to join the KONAMI Judge Program.
Information and instructions for separate territories may come later.
Q: Is there an age requirement to join the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: You must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to join the KONAMI Judge Program. To judge at a many Tier 3 events, you must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
Q: Will I get a special Judge ID card or a shirt or anything when I join?
A: You will not receive any items simply for joining the KONAMI Judge Program. You may be able to receive such items by judging at events which specifically offer them.
Taking Certification Tests
Q: What certification tests are available?
A: Currently available tests are the Rulings Comprehension Level 1 (RC-1) test, the Policy Comprehension Level 1 (PC-1) test, and the Demo Comprehension Level 1 test (DC-1).
All Level 1 of these tests are available to take online.
The Rulings Certification Level 2 (RC-2) test is available as a paper test, taken in person at select Tier 3 Events such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) or World Championship Qualifiers (WCQ).
Q: Does passing a test automatically make me a judge?
A: No, it does not. If you wish to join the KONAMI Judge Program, you will have to complete an online request to join form. Information about the form and a link to complete it will be emailed to you after you pass the Rulings Comprehension Level 1 (RC-1) test.
This email is not automatically generated, so it may take up to two weeks to receive it.
Q: Do I have to pass both the RC-1 and the PC-1 in order to join the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: For the time being, you only need to pass the RC-1 in order to join the KONAMI Judge Program. However, we recommend that you also take and pass the PC-1. The more you know, the better you will do at an event.
Q: Are the tests available in multiple languages?
A: Rulings Comprehension Level 1 is currently available in English. Additional languages will be added later.
Policy Comprehension Level 1 is available in English and Spanish. Additional languages will be added later.
Rulings Comprehension Level 2 (available only in person at select events)is available in English and Spanish. Additional languages will be added later.
Q: How do I take a Level 1 test?
A: You can go directly to the test by clicking on the link for that test on the KONAMI Judge Program home page, http://www.yugioh-card.com/en/judges/index.html.
You will need to input your name, your CARD GAME ID number, and a valid email address.
Q: How should I prepare for a Level 1 test?
A: For the Rulings Comprehension Level 1 (RC-1) test, you need a solid understanding of basic game mechanics, as covered in the Official Rulebook. You will need to understand how cards interact with one another, and be able to understand the card texts presented to you in the test.
You should carefully study the Official Rulebook before attempting the test – not only will you need to know this information for the test, you will need to know it in order to be an effective judge.
You can find an online version of the Rulebook here: http://www.yugioh-card.com/en/rulebook/index.html
For the Policy Comprehension Level 1 (PC-1) test, you need a solid understanding of KONAMI Tournament Policy.
There are two Official KONAMI Tournament Policy documents and several addendums –
Official KDE-US Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Tournament Policy
Official KDE-US Tournament Infractions and Penalties Policy
Official KDE-US Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Tournament Policy COVID-19 Addendum
Official KDE-US Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Tournament Policy Speed Duel Addendum
Official KDE-US Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Tournament Policy Remote Duel Addendum
You will need to study all these documents, not only to prepare for the test but to prepare to be an effective judge.
You can find the latest version of each document here, under “KDE OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT POLICIES”:
Q: Do I have to join the KONAMI Judge Program if I take a Level 1 test?
A: No, you do not. You are not required to join if you don’t want to.
Q: When will I find out if I passed a Level 1 test?
A: Your final score will be displayed to you when the test is completed.
You will need to score 80% or higher in order to pass.
Q: What do I do after I pass a Level 1 test?
A: Rulings Certification Level 1 (RC-1) test: As long as you pass the test and provide a valid CARD GAME ID and email address, you should receive an email from KONAMI within two weeks. This email will congratulate you on passing, provide you with some additional information about the KONAMI Judge Program, and will include a link to the online form to complete, if you decide to join the KONAMI Judge Program.
The email is not generated automatically, so you will need to wait for KONAMI to process your test results and contact you.
Q: If I don’t hear back about my Level 1 test, what should I do?
A: If you have not received an email from KONAMI within two weeks after you pass the test, and you are sure you entered your CARD GAME ID and email correctly, first check your spam filter to see if the email was misdirected there.
If you do not find it there, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire. Please include your full name and CARD GAME ID, and an explanation of the problem.
Q: Will more tests be added later?
A: More tests will be added as the resources to study for them are made available.
Q: Can I take a Level 1 test if I don’t have a CARD GAME ID?
A: You can take the test, but you will not receive an email confirmation or be able to join the Konami Judge Program if you do not have a valid CARD GAMEID.
Q: How can I get a CARD GAME ID if I don’t have one?
A: You can get a CARD GAME ID at any Official Tournament Store (OTS), or Sanctioned Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament.
You can find a list of Official Tournament Stores and Sanctioned Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments at www.yugioh-card.com – please select your territory from the map, and go to the Organized Play section of the appropriate territory.
You can also get a CARD GAME ID directly from the KONAMI Card Game Network (KCGN) website, here: https://cardgame-network.konami.net/
Q: An online test isn’t working for me, what should I do?
You can email email@example.com if you encounter any technical problems with the test. Please be as specific as you can about the problem, so we can better assist you.
Q: How do I take a Level 2 test?
A: Level 2 tests are not available online – they can only be taken in person, on paper, at select Tier 3 such as the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) or World Championship Qualifiers (WCQs). If you are interested in taking a Level 2 test, you will need to follow these steps.
1) You must have already joined the KONAMI Judge Program (taken and passed the RC-1, submitted an application to join, and been registered).
2) You will need to attend an event (a YCS, WCQ, or higher event) where a KONAMI representative will be present to administer the test. You can use the contact information provided in the Event FAQ for any given YCS or WCQ to inquire about the test’s availability.
You do not need to be on judge staff, or registered as a Duelist in the event, in order to take the test.
3) You will need to speak to the representative on site to determine a time for your test.
4) You will need to properly prepare for the test – you will usually only receive one chance per event to take the test.
Q: How should I prepare for a Level 2 test?
A:For the Rulings Comprehension Level 2 (RC-2) test, you will need to have a solid understanding of Advanced Rules and Problem-Solving Card Text.
You will find information on Advanced Rules here: https://www.yugioh-card.com/en/play/fast-effect-timing/
You can find information on Problem-Solving Card Text here: https://yugiohblog.konami.com/articles/?s=Problem-Solving+Card+Text
Not only do you need to understand this information in order to pass the test, you need to understand it to be a better judge.
Q: What are the benefits to passing a Level 2 test?
A: Passing a Level 2 test shows that you have demonstrated a better than average understanding of the test material. This can help your chances of being selected for events such as Regionals, or Tier 3 events like YCS or WCQs. It is recognition of additional knowledge you possess, and an acknowledgement of the extra effort you have put into learning rulings for the game and/or tournament policy.
It will not automatically increase any gifts or souvenirs that you may have an opportunity to receive, and it does not mean that you “outrank” judges without any Level 2 certifications.
General Judge Program Information
Q: What is expected of a KONAMI Judge?
A: A KONAMI Judge should…
- behave in a respectable, respectful manner
- uphold high standards of personal behavior, in person and online
- avoid making derogatory comments about a competitor’s products
- avoid making derogatory comments about KONAMI’s products
- refrain from negative behavior towards others
- wear clean and appropriate clothing while judging
- learn and stay up to date on Tournament Policy
- learn and stay up to date on rulings for the game
- encourage people to participate in Organized Play
- support other KONAMI Judges as part of a team
- cooperate with other KONAMI Judges to maximize everyone’s efforts, instead of working against one another or competing for “territory”
Q: Do I need to join the KONAMI Judge Program in order to judge at tournaments?
A: You need to be a Registered Konami Judge in order to judge at Tier 2 events, such as these:
- OTS Championships
- Regional Qualifiers
- National Championships
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS)
- World Championship Qualifiers (WCQ)
You do not need to be a Registered KONAMI Judge in order to judge at most Tier 1 events, such as local KONAMI Official Tournament Store (OTS) tournaments. However, we strongly encourage you to join the KONAMI Judge Program if you are interested in judging at any level. Registering as a KONAMI Judge may give you access to resources, support and gifts that you cannot get otherwise.
Q: How do I prove I am a Registered KONAMI Judge?
A: For judges in North or Latin America, your Tournament Organizer or OTS owner can start by checking the Online Registered Konami Judge List. Links to the list are found here: https://www.yugioh-card.com/en/judges/
These lists are periodically updated with Registered KONAMI judges who have opted-in to be included. The list is not updated on a set schedule, so there may be a delay between your registration and your inclusion on the list.
This list will include your first name, last initial, judge certifications, and CARD GAME ID – it will not include your email or other contact information.
Your information will not automatically be added to the online list; you must opt-in.
If the list does not provide the necessary information, Tournament Organizers or OTS owners can email firstname.lastname@example.org if they wish to verify your status as a registered KONAMI Judge.
Judges can also email email@example.com if they have questions about their information on the list.
Q: How often will I receive emails about judging opportunities and other updates on the program?
A: Judge Call emails are sent out to registered KONAMI Judges in North and Latin America for events such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) and World Championship Qualifiers (WCQ). These kinds of emails go out every few months during Tier 3 event seasons.
Emails may also sent to Registered KONAMI Judges in all territories to inform them about updated Rulebooks, updated Policy Documents, etc.
There is no set schedule for these kinds of emails.
Judges do not receive advance notice about products, Forbidden & Limited Lists, etc.
Judges do not receive “spam” or advertising emails from KONAMI. The KONAMI Judge Roster is kept for the exclusive use of the KONAMI Judge Program.
Q: Can I still play in tournaments if I become a KONAMI Judge?
A: You do not have to stop playing in tournaments once you become a KONAMI Judge. While you cannot play and judge in the same tournament, you can continue to attend tournaments as a Duelist.
Q: Is my KONAMI Judge status linked to my CARD GAME ID or my KCGN account?
A: Your KCGN account registration information is not linked to your KONAMI Judge Program information. They are two separate lists of data.
If you make any changes or updates to one list, it will not change or update the other.
The KONAMI Judge Program does not have access to your KCGN account.
Q: How do I get an official KONAMI Judge shirt?
A: KONAMI Judge Shirts are usually given to judges for judging at a YCS or WCQ.
You will not receive one in the mail, or receive one for judging at a local or Regional tournament. They are not available for purchase.
Q: Do I get anything for judging?
A: Judges at Tier 3 events may receive a gift of product. Different kinds of events in different territories may receive slightly different gifts. Judges at some Tier 3 events might also receive hotel sponsorship and partial assistance with or reimbursement for travel expenses, when eligible.
Judges at Tier 3 events in North America are paid an hourly wage, in accordance with all applicable laws and employment regulations of the location in which the event takes place.
Compensation for judges at Regional events in North America is administered by the Tournament Organizer, in accordance with all applicable laws and employment regulations of the location in which the event takes place.
KONAMI may provide a judge gift for select OTS events, such as the OTS Championship.
Judges should discuss their status at Tier 1 OTS events with the OTS for which they are judging.
Q: What other opportunities are there for judges?
A: Judges can judge at local, Tier 1 events such as Premiere! Events and OTS tournaments; or local Tier 2 events such as OTS Championships and Regionals. Judges with some experience have the chance to be selected to judge at Tier 3 events such as YCS or WCQ. Judges may also be contacted for demo opportunities (provided they have passed the Demo Comprehension Level 1 test and completed a request to join form) or working at various conventions.
Q: Are there levels to the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: Currently, judges are able to attain Level 1, by passing both the RC-1 and the PC-1 online tests.
Q: How do I move up to the next level?
A: Level 2, for judges who have passed both the RC-2 and PC-2 test, will become possible when the PC-2 test is finalized and made available.
All subsequent levels will be treated in the same manner.
Q: What are the benefits of a higher level in the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: Achieving a higher level in the KONAMI Judge Program shows that you have demonstrated a better than average understanding of card rulings and tournament policy. This can help your chances of being selected for events such as Regionals, or Tier 3 events like YCS or WCQs. It is recognition of additional knowledge you possess, and an acknowledgement of the extra effort you have put into learning rulings and policy.
It will not automatically increase any gifts or souvenirs that you may receive, and it does not mean that you will automatically “outrank” Level 1 judges.
There is much more to being a successful judge than passing tests – the tournaments you have judged, the roles you have fulfilled and the contributions you have made to the program and your fellow judges all count more towards success than your test scores. The most outstanding judges in the program have proven their ability through their actions and have not had to rely solely on a Level to demonstrate their worth.
Judging and Organized Play/Finding Opportunities to Judge
Q: How do I start judging at local tournaments?
A: If you haven’t done so already, you should talk to the store owners and Tournament Organizers in your area to let them know you are available to judge. Check the Events pages on www.yugioh-card.com to find listings for Official Tournament Stores, Regional Qualifiers, Premiere! Events and so forth, if you need contact information for tournament stores near you.
Your home store doesn’t have to be a KONAMI Official Tournament Store (OTS) in order for you to judge there, but tournaments held in non-OTS cannot be Sanctioned.
Q: Is there a limit on how many registered KONAMI Judges can judge at one store?
A: There is no limit, it is entirely up to the store.
Q: How do I start judging at a Regional Qualifier?
A: If you are interested in judging at a Regional Qualifier, you will need to contact the Tournament Organizer for that event. You can find contact information for Tournament Organizers in the www.yugioh-card.com Regional Locator for your territory.
Q: How do I get to judge at a Tier 3 event, like a YCS?
A: Judge Calls for Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) and World Championship Qualifiers (WCQs) are handled by KONAMI. In the Americas, registered KONAMI Judges receive an email announcing the call.
Not everyone who applies for a Tier 3 event will be chosen. If you want to judge at this level, you should increase your experience and skills by judging at local and Regional events, fill out the Judge Call applications carefully and thoroughly, and be patient! There are many more judges applying for each Tier 3 event than can be accommodated at the event.
Q: Will KONAMI pay all of my expenses for judging at a Tier 3 event?
A: KONAMI provides hotel rooms at no cost to eligible KONAMI Judges at select Tier 3 events. Assistance with travel costs may be made available to eligible Konami Judges at select Tier 3 events. Judges who incur travel costs to get to select Tier 3 events may be eligible to receive additional product to help with those costs.
Q: How should I dress to judge?
A: Judges should dress in a manner that is worthy of respect.
Judges at a Tier 2 event such as a Regional or YCS will have a specific dress code, provided to them by the Tournament Organizer or Judge Manager. It is the judge’s responsibility to adhere to this code.
For Tier 1 events, judges should:
- Avoid wearing clothing that is excessively baggy, extremely tight, or overly ornamented.
- Avoid wearing accessories such as hats, caps, bandanas, or oversized jewelry.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you may be standing for a long period of time.
- Avoid wearing or carrying clothing or accessories representing a brand other than Yu-Gi-Oh! or Konami.
Grooming and hygiene are also very important –Judges should arrive showered, with deodorant applied, with their hair clean and properly groomed.
Q: Can I play and judge in the same tournament?
A: No, you cannot. If the tournament is Sanctioned, you cannot participate as a player if you are listed as a judge for that tournament. Anyone who judges and plays in the same tournament risks penalties, up to and including suspension from KONAMI Organized Play.
Q: Can I be the Tournament Organizer and a judge in the same tournament?
A: This is acceptable only for local Tier 1 tournaments, but it is not encouraged. It is better for the tournament to have a separate Tournament Organizer and judge, or judges. Whenever possible, have a judge in addition to the Tournament Organizer.
In a Tier 2 tournament, the Tournament Organizer cannot also judge in the tournament.
Q: My local store isn’t a KONAMI Official Tournament Store. Can I still join the KONAMI Judge Program?
A: Yes. You do not have to be near an Official Tournament Store (OTS) in order to join the KONAMI Judge Program.
Remember that non-OTS cannot run Sanctioned tournaments.
Q: How can I help my local store become a KONAMI Official Tournament Store?
A: Stores who are interested in becoming a KONAMI Official Tournament Store can begin the process of applying here: https://www.yugioh-card.com/en/ots_program/
Q: Is there a way I can become a Tournament Organizer and run Sanctioned events outside of a store?
A: You can contact Konami Customer Service at the address appropriate to your territory, and request an application to become an Independent Event Host. Independent Event Hosts are able to order tournament supplies and run Sanctioned events, even if they do not have an Official Tournament Store.
Q: Can I get a copy of the KONAMI Tournament Software (KTS) or KCGN so I can run my own tournaments?
A: Only Official Tournament Stores and Independent Event Hosts are able to gain access to KTS or KCGN.
Resources for Judges
Q: What kinds of resources are there for judges?
A:Official KONAMI Tournament Policy Documents:
If you have not already done so, you should download, print, and read the Konami Tournament Policy Documents. There is a great deal more to judging than just knowing card rulings – you will need to know the information in these documents in order to be an effective judge.
You can find the latest copies of the Konami Tournament Policy Documents here:
KONAMI Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Strategy Site:
Information about KONAMI Organized Play can be found in the Events page. Look through the drop down menu on the “Events” tab to see everything.
Q: Where can I find answers to judging questions, such as card rulings and tournament policy?
A: For the most reliable, official news, you should consult www.yugioh-card.com. You will find the latest news about Organized Play, Policy Documents, and general news about the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, along with product release dates, card legality, and card rulings for recent releases, should they exist.
Your best rulings resource is Problem-Solving Card Text. This is a standardized way of writing card text that contains information on how the cards work. Learning how to properly read Problem-Solving Card Text will solve most of the questions you have about card rulings.
You can find information on Problem-Solving Card Text here: https://yugiohblog.konami.com/articles/?s=Problem-Solving+Card+Text
For questions about tournament policy, please consult the Official KONAMI Tournament Policy Documents mentioned above. There is a great deal more to judging than just knowing card rulings – you need to know tournament policy as well in order to be an effective judge.
There are two documents and three addendums, they each contain important knowledge that is necessary to both judges and Duelists.
Q: I have other questions about Yu-Gi-Oh!, what are the appropriate contact emails?
A: KDE-US (North and Latin America):
Judge issues : firstname.lastname@example.org
Duelist issues: email@example.com
Organized Play (North America): firstname.lastname@example.org
Organized Play (Latin America): email@example.com
Rules and gameplay questions (North and Latin America): firstname.lastname@example.org