"The Junior Circuit" – One Family's 2017-18 Season So Far and a Look at the Makeup of Junior Top 16


This is the companion discussion topic for this article.


Hi Dillon, this was a great article! Thanks for sharing. I have one junior and a new senior that I am hoping to start traveling the circuits next season. I’ve been considering taking the testing for Judge as I think it would be interesting and potentially helpful. I’d love to hear about your personal experiences entering as a Pokeparent and deciding to go into judging.

Thanks again!



Being a professor that be very rewarding working with players, but also frustrating due to the poor processes and tools Pokemon provides . Learning all the rules, complex interactions and gameplay issues has helped me understand the game better, and in turn I’m able to convey that to my kids. But there’s a lot of headaches with the Professor program itself, including poor communication from TPCI, and lack of formal training or mentoring in North America. So really if you want to be a professor, you’ll be teaching yourself (or at least finding the resources yourself).

If you like the complexity of the rules and are motivated to teach yourself, I would recommend getting into it. Look for other experienced judges in your local area to learn from, they’re a great resource.


Hi Dillon, really enjoyed reading the article. I have some concerns about junior level engagement and you seem to be knowledgeable about that. I have a little brother who enjoys playing but isn’t very into competitive play for a couple of reasons. My parents aren’t very supportive of the pokemon tcg as a hobby in general, and that’s kind of a barrier for us to overcome as brothers. Any advice on how to bring parents on board with committing more? I know it’s a complex issue, but I’m the only one providing any sort of support for the activity and it gets hard when planning to go to big events on deciding whether to bring him or not. Luckily, maxing out on league cup top 4 points is easy where I’m located where theres 8+ league cups in a quarter, so he’s on schedule as far as league cups finishes go.

Thanks for your time!


That’s a really tough situation. As a parent, I personally really enjoy the game (having played Magic off and on in high school and college), so it was easy for me to get on-board with Pokemon TCG. The thing I tell parents at my league is that Pokemon is a excellent tool to teach math skills, critical thinking and sportsmanship. Those are traits any parent can support, but even then, some can’t get past the fact that its a “cartoon” and “childish.”

As for travelling to events like Regionals, a lot of burden falls on the parent typically (hotel, getting there and back, sitting around being bored during the tournament). On the prize size, The top 64 juniors get some sort of pack prizing, (1 box for top 32, 1/2 box 33-64), which is nice since Regionals never hit 64 juniors, so everyone gets something.

If your brother can make World’s, you may want to work on convincing your parents to take you World’s in Memphis, if that’s the 1 trip they’d support.