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Re: Judging

On Sun, 19 Oct 1997 10:58:40 -0600 (MDT), Ian E. Efford wrote:

>Anner stated:-
>"The idea that the opinions of the uninitiated have some special
>over those of the sophisticated and discriminating is not credible. This
>romanitic primitivism. My observation earlier that the unsophisticated
>often able to enjoy more things because they have fewer preconceptions
>not an endorsement of a naive approach to the subject over that of a
>one, but a suggestion that in the process of refining our personal taste
>risk closing ourselves off to experience. The appreciation of the naive
>be broad, and that is good, but the appreciation of the connoisseur is
>and that is also good. I seek to balance these."
>One can agree or disagree with Anner but she entirely missed the point
>that I was making.  I suggested the use of representatives of the great
>unwashed as a test of the above concept rather than as an advocate of
>it!  This point was contained in the last sentence where I suggested
>that, if there is a difference in the judging results between the public
>and the trained judges, one should very carefully examine these
>differences and determine the reason for them.  In so doing, one would
>determine where judges' training made any difference and, if it did,
>where those differences were.  From there, one could begin to develop a
>training programme for judges that would improve judging within AIS.
>Ian, who is arguing for more credible connoisseurs, rather than romantic

Once upon a time I did write something on the original thread, but for 
some reason, it never seemed to have made the list.  I'll relate some of
that msg, and elaborate on the points that seem to have been brought up 

I am a judge.  I am a certified judge of fish.  The kind you keep in 
aquariums.  I do have a specialty, but that is beside the point here.  
It took me over 2 years to complete the training and apprenticeship to 
become certified.  There are a couple of things to keep in mind here.  
One, when we judge a fish, we judge it at a certain point in time.  At 
that point in time it may be better or worse than it is at another point
in time.  The judgement is made at a specific point in time, and what we
see before us is what we must use in judging.

Second, we do follow a set of guidelines to determine the quality of the
fish.  These guidelines are boased on what is in the scientific 
literature, the hobby literature, and what we have seen before 
concerning the fish in question. We also must follow the judging 
guidelines laid down by the show committee.  These differ in what the 
group considers to be important in a fish, but are very similar from 
show to show.  Ie., the pointing may be different, but seldom affects 
the end result.

When one looks at a class of fish, some decisions are made very quickly.
 Fishes can be dropped from consideartion for a number of faults, or the
greiviousness of one fault.  This will reduce the number of fish we need
to look at carefully, and cuts down the time needed in judging a show 
(judging a show is usually a long, time-consuming process, lasting 
several hours for even a small show with only 100 or so entries and any 
time we can save is appreciated).

Now, I do not suppose it is much different for an iris judge than it is 
for a fish judge.  We probably look at similar things in what we are 
judging--color, shape, size, etc.  A certain variety of iris is supposed
to display certain characteristics, just as a certain variety of fish 
will display certain characteristics--and the same for species.  What 
the judge needs to look for is the specimen that closest resembles the 
ideal of the variety or species that he is looking at.  Once that 
decision has been made, it does not matter what happens to specimens in 
the class afterward.  Losers may well look better when the public sees 
them, winners may even die during the duration of the show.  But, at 
that particular point in time when the judge was doing his thing, that 
specimen was the one to beat.

Now, you may note thta I refer to the individual entries as specimens.  
Well, that is how a judge must look at them when he is entering.  Any 
prejudices he has must be set aside while he is judging.  The easiest 
way for me, and other judges I know, is to become detached from the 
entries and look at them like a scientist would look at his work.  After
the judging, we can put the prejudices back into place.  This is also 
why you do not see many judges (at least in the fish world) showing 
fish, even if he is not judging that particular show.

Now, when you have the public judging, and many shows have a People's 
Choice Award of one sort or another, where the public votes for its 
favorite entry, is a whole different ball of wax.  The full brunt of 
prejudice comes into play, and one cannot predict what the public may 
find enticing on any given day or weekend.  Seldom does the public 
choose a fish that the judges thought was worthwhile.  To use the public
reaction to determine how something should be judged is not a very wise 
decision.  The public is fickle.  What they like one day is not 
necessarily liked the next.  There is no consitency (sp?) in their 

A person who develops a variety can, and should, put forth what the 
variety should look like.  The color, the fins or falls, the size, the 
shape, etc.  

Some fish will do well in a certain kind of water.  In another kind of 
water, it will not do so well.  A certain iris will like a certain kind 
of weather and do well in a certain part of the country, but not so well
in another or a different weather pattern the next year.  These 
differences will be reflected in the judging of these specimens at the 
shows.  Someone pointed out, much earlier, that certain iris do well in 
shows in one part of the country, but in another part, they do not do 
well or are not seen.  This is why.

Thanks for your patience in reading through this rambling.  I do look 
forward to a continuation of this topic and its resolution in the minds 
of those on the list.  You all have given me, a novice when iris are 
concerned, many hours of reading and learning since I joined the list.

For aquariums, visit http://www.petsforum.com/was/
the Worcester Aquarium Society site.  Lots of links available.
For dogs, visit http://www.petsforum.com/ace/ to recieve
information about A.C.E. Agility Dog Club in Massachusetts.
Now in Virginia, Zone 6 or 7.

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