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judging and feedback

Here I go onto another soapbox.

One thing that I don't think we do well at in AIS is providing feedback
from judges to members.  So many times after judging, the exhibitors and
the public ask the very legitimate and obvious questions of why this one
got a blue and this other one got an honorable mention.  Sometimes there
is a judge or other reasonably aware club member around to provide a pretty
good approximation to that answer, and sometimes it leads to some excellent
and informative discussions.  Unfortunately, other times there is not such
a person around, or good people are and the answer to the question isn't
obvious to them.

At our show this last weekend, we had about 3/4 of the entries SDBs, and
a few IBs and MTBs.  We asked the judges to choose a Best Specimen and
four runnersup on an overall basis.  They chose a very nice IB for Best
Specimen, and IBs for 3 of the 4 runnersup as well.  To some of us, there
were some clear flaws on those 3 runnersup, ones that would have even
made me think twice about awarding a blue ribbon, and there were a good
handful of virtually perfect SDBs around that were not chosen as runnersup.
So people asked if the judges preferred IBs over SDBs for the queen's table, 
and I was stuck for an answer.  I will probably live the rest of my life
not knowing whether that was it, or if there was something else about
those entries that I have been overlooking.

I'm not sure how we could do better.  I've seen other groups' shows that
have some quick comments marked on an entry tag or checks made on a list.
Doing that well could slow things down.  Maybe just some comments on the
major awards, or some general comments from the judges to the group on
what they saw in general would be helpful.

Jim Wilson, Miami Valley Iris Society, SW Ohio, USA, Zone 6a, AIS garden judge
growing TBs, medians, SIBs, JIs, & a few SPU & species.   wilsonjh@muohio.edu

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