Seeking input on judge selection
I was just curious if any of you have ever not attended a particular show because of who the judges were. At our club meetings, when we are selecting judges, we often have lively discussions on indivdual judges and their consistency in placing classes. In some cases, individuals have had very bad experiences with specific judges (not always just with the judging, but sometimes with differences of opinion, arguments etc) and the end result is that we may decide not to use a particular judge because of that reason. I'm just curious about how everyone feels about judge selection and their specific decision to attend a particular show. Thanks in advance for your comments. Rich
Good for your club! Unfortunately, so many clubs just hire someone they can ''afford'', is someone's brother-in-law or the guy who's close & won't need a room. Others let one person handle it & they often don't know a judges' strengths or weaknesses. Then there's the ones who get the same people year after year.
In answer to your question, yes, not often, but I have. Those have been where I've witnessed blatant dishonesty or ineptude. Shows, for me, are about seeing old friends & comparing what we've accomplished, but I still want the judging to be fair & knowledgable.
I'd be curious to see if the judge selection does actually affect the entry numbers at a show. I hear people claim that they'd never attend a show that a particular judge was hired for, but when it comes right down to it, would they really stay away? Some judges are better than others, sure. Some just need more experience, but how are they going to get it if current gossip has it that they're bad, and shows don't hire them based on that? I am sick and tired of the excuses that I hear which allow some clubs to hire the same judges over and over. I'm sick of hearing that so and so is no good, because "someone" saw him judge once and said so. This one's too slow, this one is crooked, and on and on. Sure there are a few that most of us probably would never want around, for various reasons, but one new judge a year in with the old line up isn't going to kill anyone, though you'd think it might the way some people carry on. I really hate those clubs which allow one person alone to pick out the lineup. Exhibiting turkeys maybe has given me a more enlightened outlook than some people. Turkeys are often not taken seriously, a lot of judges don't know them, and too many don't care to. At some shows the judges figuratively choose staws, and the looser has to judge them. As a result, I don't have the strong feelings for or against a lot of judges, that some of the more popular breeds have. I like new people. Sometimes we even get a new judge who takes an interest in them. Overall, it's not that big a deal, but you wouldn't know that by how seriously some people take it. Also, SOME of a judge's faults can be corrected or at least brought to his attention by a good clerk, keeping the judge organized, encouraging him to move along a little faster, not chatting as much, etc, but too many shows get whatever bored cub scout they can find, who spends most of his time looking up at the ceiling or around for his friends.
For me personally, I have times when I wish I couldn't go because of a certain selection of judges, but I usually go to support the local show as do most of my friends.
On the other hand I know for certain that it affects the attendance of a show. I was told first hand by a couple of people that they would not attend our show one year because of the judges. They had judged at a show a month earlier.
I am going to a show in the Southeast this month and a friend of mine out east won't show up because of the judging line up. I agree with him on his opinion of the judges but I am riding out there with 2 of my other friends, it all evens out.
I personally believe that most clubs take into consideration the selection of their judges in regards to its affect on the numbers of the show. At least from what I know about the shows in my district. Some may not have a lot of choices because of financial restrictions, but they do antagonize about it.
Good thread Rich and I have not attended a show I would have normally attended due to judging combinations. I happens on ocassion where a team of judges are hired that I feel would not do my birds any justice and I choose not to frustrate myself by attending. Does not happen alot but I would say about once every couple years. As an exhibitor you vote on how well a show is managed with your entries. I have given up a few shows I used to attend just because I though they were managed poorly. We are lucky here in the midwest we have a large selection of shows to attend. I know other areas are not that blessed.
Matt, We are not quite as fortunate and don't have as many shows to attend here in the mid-atlantic, however, it amazes me that many people don't even support their own shows or neighboring shows. With many clubs facing problems with higher rental costs of show halls, it becomes more important to get enough birds at a show to make sure you cover expenses. I know at Delmarva, we would be happy if we could just break even on every show. We put up a lot of prize money in the hopes of getting more people out but that doesn't seem to be a big incentive for some folks either.
Patrick, I agree with your assessment that if you don't give them a chance, how are they ever going to learn synopsis. That is true, but in order for them to learn, we need to speak up when they screw up. Most of us who have been at this game for a while don't have any problem telling a judge that they messed up a class. For the most part, I feel quite comfortable mentioning my opinion if they mess up a breed that I show. I don't try to be cruel but I do try to make my point. On the other hand, I can understand if a judge continually doesn't get it after many promptings that they probably deserve to lose assignments.
I also agree with you about shows that continually use the same judges. What is up with that. I can understand rotating them around a bit, but the same judges every year? Why bother showing there? I do appreciate shows like Lucasville who bring in new blood regularly and at times, the new blood turns out to have some problems, but at least they got a chance and we as exhibitors had a chance to see how they do.
I did not post this thread to complain as much as to see if it matters to people who the judges are. When we pick judges for Delmarva, it usually invovles a lot of discussion, consideration for mixing it up a bit. We will not have the same judge twice in a row even though we have had judges over the years every other year from time to time. Ultimately, even a bad judge sends someone home happy, but when they miss the birds and fail to properly follow the standard, that opens a much bigger can of worms.
A few disjointed, rambling thoughts-
The utilizastion of less capable judges for the sake of variety is not a good strategy for the long term sucess of a poultry show.
Further it is not the job of poultry shows to provide a practice field for inexpierenced, and/or less capable, judges. Nor is it the responsibility of exhibitors to provide birds and entry fees for financing those practice sessions..
Is it possible that the APA and ABA, who hold the liscencing of judges as their sacred right, have crowned judges that are not yet up to the task?
I think that most poultry shows budget about 50 cents per bird to pay the judges. A fifty cent opinion. What should exhibitors expect for that? How much expertise can a judge be expected to provide when few make enough to cover travel expenses?
Dishonest judges? Call me too trusting but-
In my years I have only known two judges that I was convinced were dishonest. One of them was capable of doing a fine job, the other was not. They are both dead. Personally I consider it ridiculous that so many judges are thought dishonest. For the $200 or so they get paid to judge birds at the per bird rate of fifty cents do you really thing they are going to foresake their reputation, their freinds and their lifelong hobby? For what? How many dollars, what favors, what benefits, does all this dishonesty cost on the open market?
Hell-the problem is dishonest exhibitors not dishonest judges.
As always, you bring up some good points.
I'm not saying to bring in less than capable judges simply for the sake of variety, but I'm just tired of the fear of the unknown, or, worse, the belief in gossip which prevents clubs from finding out on their own who is capable and who isn't. I do believe that we all owe it to the fancy to give the new or less experienced judges some slack, and room to grow, initially at our expense, but overall as an investment in the future of the fancy. The APA and ABA could make the judge's licensing procedure more rigorous, but then there are still doctors and lawyers who go to school for 8 years that are not any good at what they do either.
Paying judges what they're worth, or even enough to cover expenses? Get real! No one wants to hear it. The money has to come from somewhere, and so far no club has been willing to take the lead. People are too scared of what MIGHT happen. Our national organizations now LOOSE money on every membership, but still no one's had the guts to stand up and say enough, and force people to financially support the fancy that they say they love.
I've been saying for years that our entry fees need to be in the 5, 6, 8 dollar range, so that we can at least afford to pay judges what they need to attend our shows, to say nothing about paying some of them what they are worth. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all afford to rent show halls like the Ohio National, instead of having to prostitute ourselves to some rinky dink fairgrounds just for the reward of having our show there?
Dishonest judges? Let's just say that we're talking two different versions of dishonesty here.
I would not skip a show because a certain judge or judges were hired. But given a choice between two shows, of course judges would make a difference.
Being relatively new to the hobby, I have had the pleasure of meeting only a few judges. In my desire to learn and improve, I usually seek out the judges after a show, and ask questions. Every judge I have ever spoken to has been friendly and I have learned from each of them.
I rarely comment and for what it is worth - my opinions are simply that - my opinions - much like everyone else's - but having a father who was a judge (and to some a good one, and to others not) gave me a unique perspective on what they go through without carrying the burden myself.
Let's face it - if a judge is active - they must love it because the money is not exactly tops.
They are people with their own perspective and personal opinions. they will tend to vary from day to day - from week to week - and from year to year. With time in the showroom and time judging classes comes experience and also some evolution. Let's face it - the birds "Evolve" - why can;t judges? We all do anyway in one way or another.
HATS OFF to all of t hem for taking the leap to be judged themselves.
Unless I am showing the exact same birds year after year - staying away because I do not like the judge is ridiculous. We need to breed to our own personal desires (based on the standard) and hope the judge agrees on that particular day and moment in time.
If I am showing for the big prizes - then I am in the wrong hobby. It does feel nice to win - no one will argue that. Funny how we often dislike the judges that we don't win under. Could there be a correlation. need scientific research on that one.
A good judging staff is something a show secretary depends on and I see no reason to hire the same ones time and again if there is no unreasonable complaints. There is a procedure for protests. To my knowledge, it is rarely used.
As long as you know that the odds are against you winning - there rarely is a problem. Right?
evidently I have to enter something outside the post, the stuff in bold is mine
Originally Posted by fancybantams
Hallelujah and Amen!! I deal with people all the time who are convinced that there are only a half dozen or so capable judges in the entire fancy. Period. End of story. It's a fact. No discussion.
Originally Posted by fancybantams
In your own words, you don't show, so you don't know. It's one thing to be able to read the rules, congratulations, but that's all you can do. Rather than speculate about things which you have no knowledge of, such as exactly how much hassle upholding a protest will cause the club, maybe you should try actually becoming an exhibitor and seeing first hand what it's all about, before you tell the rest of us just how it all works. Maybe then you can be an authority on that subject too. BTW, not all show committees agree on which judges to hire. Some take a vote, and the majority wins. Some show committee members have strong feelings against some of the judges that their show hires, and would probably be overjoyed to uphold a protest. And some do reluctantly agree when a judge has made an obvious error. Just some of the many things which you didn't consider due to your unfamiliarity with how the process works in the real world, behind just what you have read in the yearbook.
Originally Posted by goosedragon
"In your own words, you don't show, so you don't know. It's one thing to be able to read the rules, congratulations, but that's all you can do." Yep thatís my phrase, I sort of like it, but what more do you expect me to do? Are you claiming that overruling a judge is not going to cause any hassle? I never quantified how much hassle, exactly what are the units for hassle, the Hissy? If I exhibited and filed a protest would I have any better knowledge of the hassle the protest caused the judge, the show committee, or the host club? I think not, unless I was a member of the host club. Would it be wise to protest? I might run across that judge in the future, he might even have friends who are judges. What would I gain by protesting?
Originally Posted by Patrick
In case you missed the original point, fancybantams pointed out that the protest procedure was rarely used, and I suggested why that might be true because it was a losing proposition. "I like long shots but I want a big payout if I win. ~gd"
BTW We all know that Patrick is the final authority on most subjects. The showroom may be the real world to some people but I am not one of them, and I donít apologize for that.
I think I am going to buy a pair of dueling pistols! Lighten up, who really cares!
In our region, I'm known as the person that likes to follow the judge and clerk, learning as much as I can from the judging process. I enter my birds to learn. Learn about the breeds, conditioning, what judges like about show room setup, and then in the process, I learn each judge's strengths and weaknesses. No two judges are equally talented in each and every breed. There are many approaches used by APA judges, and I admit that I prefer some over others. However, even those I disagree the most with always end up teaching me something new. They are the ones that tend to give me an alternative way of looking at my chosen breeds.
By hiring from across the spectrum, and keeping the judging perspectives varied, we end up with judging results that seem to keep everyone happy. We don't have the boredom of seeing the same birds on champion row, show after show. The practice of creating some diversity in the judging results also seems to remove the perception of "politics". People can walk away feeling confident that the results were in fact just one person's opinon on that given day. And really, that is all we are paying for when we hire a judge.
I've never heard of anyone not showing because of a judge hired, but have seen people loose interest when it's the same judge over and over.
What will keep me from supporting a show is elitist and unfriendly show management. Locally, our hobby is small enough that we don't have problems with cheating, or even people making a scene when they disagree with a judge. Unfortunately, there are some of the old guard that take their past success a little too seriously. They show to prop themselves up rather than to support heritage breed conservation. My watching the judges and learning from them has allowed me to become very competitive very fast. It has allowed me to improve, build, and grow the shows I have a hand in managing. This is why I show. There are some from the old guard that resent the success.
Well this year, one local show added a new rule. "Those too close to the judging will be deemed as cheating". THere is no secret as to whom the rule was made. Therefore, without the opportunity of learning, I stayed home with my. Despite hosting the Canadian National last year, they only drew just over 300 birds, and was the smallest sanctioned show in the region. I wonder who their approach is helping?
Same thing happened at another local show 4 years ago. We stopped going until last year when they hosted the provincials. I decided to at least go for the points. Talk about a change in attitude! Not only was I allowed to watch the judging, but I was asked to volunteer, and share my advice with their novice exhibitors.
Any show I have a hand in managing will put education first and foremost. I will not allow bad behavour in some other region to diminish our ability to educate and attract novice exhibitors. For the APA to continue playing a meaningful role in heritage breed conservation, we need to be teaching these novice fanciers how to effectively interpret the SOP. I know of no better way than turning the judging process into an educational experience. We even table judge our turkeys and I encourage the exhibitors to wrangle their own birds. FWIW, I've yet to meet a judge uncomfortable with our open and friendly approach to chicken showing.