Recently the Judgecast interviewed Tim Shields (Owner) and Nicolette Apraez (Program Manager) about the Judge Academy. /u/jessejames0101 did a great write up of the 3 hour long interview here. What really stood out to me was Tim’s comment about shipping foils.
Q: “When we ask these questions like ‘what’s an L2 going to look like?’, ‘What’s a GP head judge going to look like?’, ‘Are there tests going to be available?’ and a lot of the answers are ‘we’re still working on it, we’re trying to figure this out.’ I just wanted to give you guys an opportunity just to briefly touch on the timeline aspects of all of this.”
They touch on how crunched they’ve been for time. Nicolette Apraez talks about how she had finished moving to Portland earlier that day, and has only had a few months to work on things. Tim talks about how ideally they would have had a year to a year and a half of time to hire staff and secure a stable source of funding, and how that wasn’t the case for them. Tim said he has had 4 months to work on this and “sold [his] power” to fund the project. He talks about things that they’ve gotten started, like assembling a programming team, and touches on things that they don’t have done yet and don’t have answers to. “I don’t know how we’re going to ship foils into eastern Europe yet for instance” (Judgecast Interview, 01h 22m 30s), he says.
This is a huge red flag for me. Since a certiifcation from the Judge Academy is not required to judge events, the JA’s main draw is the promos they mail you with your membership. We were already promised an additional shipment of foils on November 15th if we complete our “membership requirements” before November 1st (Judge Academy website Q&A, “Alright so when do I pay my membership fee?”). If the shipping issues are not resolved before then, do Eastern Europeans just miss out on a batch of foils? Will this be touched on more before launch or be left in the “we’ll figure it out by October” pile?