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Thread: Judging bias

  1. #1
    Senior Member bjoiner's Avatar
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    Default Judging bias

    Saw a post on FaceBook regarding field trial judging bias and how HT people have no or little chance of winning or placing. Personally, I haven't seen it. The field trails I have been at and watched all of the dogs, the dog that I thought won did end up winning, and the placements were pretty close as well.

    I wonder if that perception is a lack of understanding due to the difference in judging between the two types of events. To me HT judges put a lot more emphasis on blinds and seem they use the blind as their only manner to eliminate dogs. It may be due to limited distances on marks or lack of knowledge on placing marks. FT judging emphasizes marks (consistent with the rules). I have seen HT folks in the gallery say, "That dogs marks were better, but my dogs blind was better." To me that shows a lack of understanding. What are your thoughts?

    Also there seems to be some selective memory of all handlers regarding their and other dogs.

    PS. Please no names of judges or events if you use an example.
    Bubba Joiner

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    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I haven't seen any bias. Occasionally I will run under a judge that will avoid in the future. Right now I can only think of one and I haven't seen him judging in a long time.
    Wayne Nutt
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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjoiner View Post
    Also there seems to be some selective memory of all handlers regarding their and other dogs.
    This most likely.

    As a judge, I get a number from the handler coming to the line and write down in my book what the dogs do. It is rare when I am working through placements that I have a clue what dog/handler team belongs to the number. Often the ribbon ceremony is when I find out who actually won.

    I don't think blinds get more emphasis in FTs vs HTs. I could argue it is even the opposite. It may look that way to those called back from the marks, do an okay blind and are dropped, but I think that is more likely that they combination of the two no longer has them in the trial.

    I do however think the standards are higher. What might be an okay blind in a MH test, may well fail in a Q and is highly unlikely to get you back in an AM. However, if your dog passes the blind and has good marks, it keeps playing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bjoiner's Avatar
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    By emphasis I don't mean judged easier in FT. It just seems to me that HT judges, in general, tend to use the blind to drop dogs rather than marks.
    Bubba Joiner

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    This most likely.

    As a judge, I get a number from the handler coming to the line and write down in my book what the dogs do. It is rare when I am working through placements that I have a clue what dog/handler team belongs to the number. Often the ribbon ceremony is when I find out who actually won.

    I don't think blinds get more emphasis in FTs vs HTs. I could argue it is even the opposite. It may look that way to those called back from the marks, do an okay blind and are dropped, but I think that is more likely that they combination of the two no longer has them in the trial.

    I do however think the standards are higher. What might be an okay blind in a MH test, may well fail in a Q and is highly unlikely to get you back in an AM. However, if your dog passes the blind and has good marks, it keeps playing.
    Handlers in HTs when running FT Quals have a tendency not to challenge the blind and many times are subsequently dropped for poor blinds . My observation as a judge (eights points plus HT and FT) they seem to fear the blind more, hunt testers. It appears in my opinion as a judge and a contestant in the Master stake, there are far more training issues with blind work. Ran a Master a few weeks ago and some of the dogs were 50 yards off line trying to do a land blind and had many , many whistles on their water blinds. Now this is regional in the mid-west, can't speak for the rest of the country. Mostly amateur handlers, Pros do a much better job of blind handling, probably because of more confidence in the trainability factor. A very hacky. slip whistles, cast refusals, and poor initial lines in the AKC hunt tests are going to be penalized , sometimes severely along with a double handling on marks, is probably going to get you tossed.
    Earl Dillow

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    Bubba I thought about getting the popcorn out but then thought better!
    Facebook posts, Rtf posts and opinions in general all come from the eyes of the beholder. Exam the experience, success and the path taken to those lofty heights of opinion.

    Now we enter, judge and enjoy both venues. What i have seen is the dogs dont really care about the venue and in the end it is about dogs picking up birds. If your going to have success at the ft level you better be committed both with your effort level and your pocketbook plus it helps to have a good well trained pooch and have the "dog gods" smiling on you at the correct time.

    At the ht level always remember it is your team against the standard and if the goal is simply a ribbon well that can be achieved over time however if you can try to master the test you generally can walk away with something to work on

    When I judge seldom do I know anything but the number and at times it gets laughable when a pro brings up 20 or so dogs and he gets the names mixed up. The really successful handlers ( mostly) are humble, dedicated folks working to get thier team better.
    My opinion
    Dk

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    Senior Member bjoiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kress View Post
    The really successful handlers ( mostly) are humble, dedicated folks working to get thier team better.
    Dk
    That is absolutely true, no matter what venue.
    Bubba Joiner

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    To me HT judges put a lot more emphasis on blinds and seem they use the blind as their only manner to eliminate dogs.

    Au contraire!!! Ain't nobody going to beat my little HT dog on blinds, but she sometimes defeats herself on marks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjoiner View Post

    I wonder if that perception is a lack of understanding due to the difference in judging between the two types of events. To me HT judges put a lot more emphasis on blinds and seem they use the blind as their only manner to eliminate dogs. It may be due to limited distances on marks or lack of knowledge on placing marks. FT judging emphasizes marks (consistent with the rules). I have seen HT folks in the gallery say, "That dogs marks were better, but my dogs blind was better." To me that shows a lack of understanding. What are your thoughts?

    Also there seems to be some selective memory of all handlers regarding their and other dogs.

    PS. Please no names of judges or events if you use an example.
    I saw the post as well:

    The politics in field trial judging is a joke...
    This was my reply:

    Get into the game, pay some dues and take your lumps, and start judging. People will look at you differently when they know that they have to come under your sharp pencil.
    i do think a). there are some people who are political and that's just the nature of competitive sports. I know 2 judges that as long as their one close friend doesn't pick up, there friend will win or place. Well known in my circuit. I had two members of a field trial committee and a placing contestant apologize to me at one trial when I got the RJ. Everyone knew what happened. To pretend it doesn't happen would be living in a fairy tale. I just won't run under those types of judges, as I would get more pleasure by flushing my entry fee down the toilet one dollar at a time and watching the swirl. But clubs should just not ask these people to judge. In large, I think there are more people who try and do the right thing by the dogs than to pick based on who is running the dog.

    and b: there are hunt test people who don't understand the judging of field trials. I was running my own dog in a qual against a well known hunt test pro. To this day, I am sure he still thinks he beat my dog because my dog hooked a retired gun (something I personally believe is impossible since you can't hook what you can't see) and pinned a mark. His dog went straight to the area, and put up a moderate hunt. His line may have been better, but my dog's mark was clearly superior. He felt that because he was in the area of the fall, the hunt really didn't matter. This shows a lack of understanding to me.

    So, I think there is some of both. but it exists in hunt tests as well. People who get passes that barely meet the standard.
    Last edited by JusticeDog; 07-20-2014 at 07:51 PM.
    Susan

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  10. #10

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    I ran a derby where one of the amateurs that was running was friends with the judge and helped marshal. His dog had fairly large hints on every mark in the derby and that dog got 4th and should have a jam at best. There is politics in everything, you hope it doesn't affect placings but it does. There definitely is a buddy buddy system in field trial judging.... Disclaimer: I have only been around a short time so maybe it was just the couple I watched but I even over heard people in gallery comment on that dog has had big hunts on every bird and cheated water but will probably place because he was friends with judge. Was even standing up with judges while they were picking marks

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