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Statement on Organized Play Changes

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

28th November 2017

Below, please find the prepared text of my statement regarding recent changes in the Department of Organized Play. A video of my statement appears below the text; there may be some slight changes in wording between the prepared and the read statements.

Good evening. Today, I have the unfortunate duty of reporting to all of you that Ken Tufts [Worf Son of Mogh] has resigned as the Director of Organized Play, effective immediately. Though I am sad to see Ken step down, I have accepted his resignation; I wish him the best of times in the future. Ken has been a tireless volunteer and champion of First Edition as long as I can remember, and his time, effort, and passionate energy will be sorely missed.

Ken's reasons for stepping down are his own, except in that we both agreed that he had become a lightning rod for our community in recent days. I want the entire community to know that Ken's resignation was of his own free will, and is not part of any attempt to obfuscate or otherwise hide any information from the community. As a reminder, all of the relevant facts made available us as to the events of the 2015 World Championships are laid out in the initial article published 7/26/2016.

Ken is human, as are we all, and mistakes can be forgiven as long as we learn from them. I caution everyone in our community to remain civil and to allow Ken and his loved ones privacy as they deal with this change.

We are aware of the recent information made light about the events of the 2015 World Championship. The only matter that was officially brought to the attention of myself and the Vice Chair was that of the extra card drawing. All of the facts regarding that investigation were laid out in the article originally published on July 26th, 2016. I give you my word there was no intent to cover up or obscure any other information or incidents, and we will continue to act, as is customary, that those accused are innocent until proven guilty. I give my word that we will be taking steps to make sure any incidents of this nature can not happen again.

It's clear from the discussions that faith in the Department of Organized Play has been shaken. We know that we have a lot of hard work to do to restore that faith and restore your trust in us. To these ends, we will be continuing forward with the planned Organized Play Period of Review. During this review, we will be answering your questions to the best of our abilities, and opening dialogue with you to discuss your expectations for our decision making procedures moving forward.

In order to provide a point of contact within the Department of Organized Play, I have asked Maggie Geppert [jadziadax8] to take on the additional role of Acting Director of Organized Play. Maggie will oversee the department through the upcoming Period of Review and until we can choose a permanent replacement. It is our intention to continue on with all existing planned events, including the World Championship in Sydney, Australia in 2018.

We can not and will not abide continued speculation as to the motivations behind the decision to host Worlds 2018 in Australia. It is the current practice of the Continuing Committee not to alter the location of events after they are announced, except in the case of loss of availability or local contact. I've personally conferred with the local event organizer, Kieren Ottan [Honest] his willingness to host the event, so as long as that remains true, we will not alter the Worlds 2018 location.

I can assure you that we will host a discussion, beginning with the Period of Review, about the factors and motivations that you want to ensure are considered for selecting locations of future events. We will use this year's decision making process as a case study to ensure we can develop a well-documented model for selecting future locations of high level events. But, and allow me to be explicitly clear: Worlds 2018 will be in Australia.

To the players and volunteers of Australia: on behalf of this entire organization, we want to offer our sincerest apologies. Since the last World Championship hosted in your country, we've allowed significant harm and injury to come to many of you and your communities. I don't believe most of us realized how badly you had been hurt, and that is inexcusable. A divide has separated us in the intervening years, and no small part of the recent turmoil is directly because of that divide. And though I now offer you our apologies for it, they seem woefully insufficient.

So, today, we begin building a bridge across that divide. Ken is a kind, caring, and considerate man who saw the best in people, and he believed in you. I am going to follow Ken's example and believe in you as well. This entire organization will: we will do everything we can in order to make Worlds 2018 the spectacle it deserves to be, with the support it needs. No longer will we tell you what we think you need; instead, we'll listen to your needs and address them when and where we can. I encourage the entire community to join us.

Today, we say thank you and good bye to Ken, a hard-working volunteer that has done a lot of good for the community. And today, we look toward the future of our Department of Organized Play with optimism, and the knowledge that we have a lot of work to do. It's my continued hope that you will help us learn and grow so that we can deliver the experience you expect and deserve.

Thank you, Ken, for your service. Thank you all for your patience.

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