SO YOU HAVE TO LINE JUDGE
While preparing to line judge may seem overwhelming, taking the time to learn how to be a good line judge can help you feel 100% more prepared.
How can I be a good line judge?
The first way to be a good line judge is to understand the ruleset as well as what is a valid strike. As a fighter you should already know this, but as a reminder:
Think about the following pictures, and just from the moment captured were both touches valid?
Why do Line Judges disagree?
Line judges disagree because they can only see from their vantage point of the ring. Additionally as fighters are often moving around the ring that perspective changes. Think about splitting the ring in half. With most fighters body positions in the ring you will only be able to see one side or the other. This is one reason why it's very important for line judges to move up and down their line to try to gain the best perspective of the exchange.
What should I do if a Director steps into my point of view?
How do I communicate with the Director?
There is an established system of calling communicating with directors, quickly and efficiently
Indication of point
The Judge will indicate the point they are calling or "voting" for by raising it over their head and using the other baton to indicate where they saw the contact made.
invalid hit or safety
The Judges here are holding the batons straight over their heads to indicate the they witnessed an illegal or invalid hit and possible safety or sportspersonship infraction
The Judges here are looking down as all line judges should do, as to not change their mind based on someone else's perspective as well as crossing the baton in front of them. This indicates a simultaneous, where BOTH fighters made contact at the SAME time.
But what if I didn't see anything?
Line Judges can ONLY call / vote what THEY personally SEE (not hear). You should only EVER call what you personal see. If you do not see an impact touch when the Director calls hold simply hold both batons straight down and do not make eye contact. This will quickly let the Direct know that you did not see the touch.
When will you most likely be needed to help?
It really matters which event and tournament you are participating in.
CS matches are usually preselected with line judges who meet the criteria for certification.
Regional Tournaments: Regional Tournament who selected to organize their matches at POOLs often use the bracelet assignment system, where all fighters in 1 pool are assigned to line judge for another pool usually 2 hours before or right after they fight in their own pool.
The Single Elimination bracket: In these matches there is no way to predict who will move on from their bracket are therefore who will be available. Directors will often have to ask fighters who are not fighting until later in the bracket to line judge or perform another type of rotational duty.
After a Fighter gets out of Single Elimination matches:
Based on the culture of TSL as a all volunteer organization it is left to the fighters to return to help after they have fought and not moved on in the bracket and relive fighters who are moving on. Everyone wants the best judging team when they fight and that means everyone should be willing to study, learn, and help when it is time to serve their community.
Annual Tournament is our big community tournament, and it really is ALL HANDS ON DECK. This huge 4 day tournament requires everyone to help out. Like Regional Tournaments fighters usually help with Line Judging during this time. However, as you've already done, you sign up to work those times. During the Single Elimination part of the tournament we cannot sign people up in advance because we have no idea who will move on ? That's why we really need people to return to help so we can meet our tournament needs within the allotted time CombatCon provides.
That was fast!
Some Fighters fight VERY fast and their sabers move fast too. As a Line Judge it can be determine FIRST IMPACT. The First Touch is the Valid hit as long as it was to a VALID spot. This NOT the loudest hit. Remember Line Judges aren't listening they are watching. It is important to know what you see (or don't see). The loudest point may NOT be the first one and it is important to watch for the BOOP.