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Thread: Judging Philosophy

  1. #1
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    Default Judging Philosophy

    Judging by nature is subjective as much as one endeavors to use objectivity. The rule book as a guide states marking is of the utmost importance. Natural ability is important to improving the breeds. Training ability also is important. In a normal AA stake there are usually 2 marking tests and at least one blind to test training and control. I’ve judged with people that look at the marks for placements and use the blinds to separate like marks and other judges that weigh the blinds as either equal to a set of marks or some percentage thereof. I remember that Master judging evolved a scoring system to try to standardize. I realize that aside from the above there are many factors that lend into the final analysis at every trial style, perseverance, pleasing to the eye etc. but in general terms, how do you judge and separate like work at weekends end.

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    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
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    Not exactly but basically each bird has the same weight. This weekend we had 8 marks to judge and 3 blinds. By pure numbers the marks are more important. I have made the comment to a cojudge that wanted to drop a dog for a poor blind, not a failure but poor, that we didn't drop dogs in the first series for 1 bad bird, why drop them for 1 bad blind. 1 hunt and a bad blind, 2 hunts, I try to use that as my guidelines.

    I also judged with someone that during placements, said "blinds are just a tiebreaker we're only judging marks right now. And I couldn't possibly disagree with that more.
    Last edited by Daren Galloway; 03-09-2020 at 07:47 PM.
    Daren Galloway

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    Senior Member drunkenpoacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daren Galloway View Post
    during placenta
    Sounds gross, what trial was that?
    Last edited by drunkenpoacher; 03-09-2020 at 02:29 PM.
    "I'm thankful someone stood up to him, even if it was a woman." Franco 10/18/19

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    Quote Originally Posted by drunkenpoacher View Post
    Sounds gross, what trial was that?
    God damn autocorrect
    Daren Galloway

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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Is it possible to discuss Judging without reference to the Rule Book? Apparently, so.
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    Words or phrases in bold print are emphasis added by me.
    Page 32 - 21. Tests or retrieves which are not to be considered
    by the Judges at the final summing up should not be held.

    Page 48 - 13) Before arriving at their final placings in any stake, the Judges should make direct comparisons, series for series, between all of their dogs under consideration for those places.

    Page 49 - Section 22 of the “STANDARD’’ states:“The Judges must judge the dogs for (a) their natural abilities, including their memory, intelligence, attention, nose, courage, perseverance and style, and (b) their abilities acquired through training, including steadiness, control, response to direction and delivery.’’


    Page 50 - Natural Abilities(1) Accurate marking, or memory of “falls’’ is of paramount importance. However, this does not imply that dogs which excel in marking shall not be severely penalized, or even eliminated, for deficiencies in, or a lack of the other required “abilities.’’

    Page 54 - Abilities Acquired Through Training. The other group of attributes to be considered by Judges includes those abilities which dogs acquire through training. The importance of these acquired qualities varies in different stakes, for example: A “reasonable’’ degree of steadiness and general obedience are the requirements in Derby stakes. A greater degree of steadiness and some degree of the other qualities are expected in the Qualifying stake. There should be expectation of full refinement in “acquired attributes’’ in those stakes carrying championship points.

    The passages quoted above would seem NOT to support judging of blinds as pass/fail. They also support penalizing poor performance on blind retrieves in the final decisions of placement at all times, not just as a tie breaker.

    To address the original poster's topic, My personal philosophy is to try to set tests which are increasingly challenging over the entirety of the trial and pass fair judgement on all of the dogs. My personal experience and success in All Age competition is limited. As such, I only accept Minor stake assignments. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    So, if you set up tests with increasing difficulty then the LB more difficult than first series land marks increasing more with WB then water marks most difficult?

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    In a sense, yes, but judging blinds is very different than judging marks. I don't think it's possible to make a direct comparison between the two. I believe A 'softball' land blind does not aid in separation of the relative work among the field of dogs, so the land blind is usually pretty stiff, with the water blind being more so.

    First series marking tests are always a concern; if the test is too difficult or too easy it sets things in motion that are not desirable. If I have to be wrong, I would prefer that they were too easy. Once dogs are eliminated, there's no going back. My experience is in judging Derby and Qualifying stakes, so I try to be generous on callbacks.
    It's always nice to have more than a handful of dogs going into the last series.- Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Sometimes I feel that, like a lot of things, judging field trials is somewhat of an art form. Looking at the numbers and maybe also the quality of the field, along with quality of the grounds and the daylight hours and wind and weather conditions. Like the guy trying to walk with a ballon full of water between his legs, squeeze too little and it falls out, squeeze too much and the ballon breaks. It’s certainly a balance trying to balance the importance of the marks and the degree of difficulty with the blinds. Sometimes you miss and adjusting in stride is necessary. Flat fields with little cover to severe terrain and lots of cover and smallish tank ponds to mind blowing technical pond complexes. 90-100 entry Opens and 75-90 entry AM’s compared to 30-50 stake entries. Balance can be difficult.
    Last edited by Ken Barton; 03-10-2020 at 07:51 PM.

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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    I am disappointed that in a portion of the forum devoted to judging that in this thread only one person has seen fit to note the Rule Book - Paul. If you can’t reference the Rules, essentially you are saying I get to pick who I want the way I want. Which to me is nothing less than anarchy - or laziness.
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