Judging Guildelines

Judging Guidelines

 

Overview: The purpose of this article is to give judges some guidelines on judging arts and sciences competition entries in the SCA. The guidelines mention the losing and gaining of points. This is an abbreviated way of describing how to assess the entry in a particular area. The system described here can be used for any competition where documentation is required, and can be modified for those in which it is not. It was written specifically for the rules we use at Kingdom Arts & Sciences Faire in Meridies. Each piece entered is judged on a scale of 1-5 in four areas: documentation, authenticity, execution, and complexity.

  1. In General
    1. Timing: With independent judging you must pay attention to the pacing of your judging. Scores are due to the faircrat at a specific time during the day to ensure proper evaluation and selection of a Champion. Use your time wisely. If you are judging a consumable category (cooking, B&V etc…) or a Performing/Live Art category you need to make sure you attend the performances when scheduled.
    2. Cooperation with other judges: in the event that there is a significant discrepancy among the judges’ scores for an entry the judges will be asked to confer with each other and reach a consensus on the appropriate score. This is to ensure fairness in judging and should be done in a timely fashion to facilitate the selection of a Champion.
  2. Static Entries
    1. 1. If the Entrant is standing with their entry:
      1. If you desire to initiate conversation you may. If you do not and the entrant attempts to initiate conversation, politely ask that they allow you to judge without discussion.
      2. You may ask for questions or for clarification regarding points of the documentation or the entry, but if the entrant conveys information that is completely missing from their documentation this information cannot affect their score.
      3. If the entrant does convey information which, if it had been included in the documentation, would have improved their score feel free to let the entrant know. This is a way that the entrant can learn how to improve their documentation.
      4. If you missed something in the documentation and the entrant points it out to you that is fair game to affect their score.
    2. Look at the entry.
      1. Make a judgment about the type of item and the time and place in which it is set.
      2. Look at the quality of the workmanship, materials, techniques, etc.
    3. Read the documentation. Documentation should give you a feel for the artisan’s overall knowledge of the subject matter.
      1. Look for a type of item, time and place in the documentation; every entry should have a location and a time in history (e.g. 14th century Italian painting or 12th century Norman shoe.)
        1. Is the time and place listed? [If not, points are lost.]
        2. Does the documentation describe the item correctly as to time and place? [If not, points are lost.]
      2. Look for a description of the materials, techniques, tools, styles, etc. Are these things listed? [If not, points are lost.]
        1. Are they listed correctly? [If not, points are lost.]
        2. Where they differ from those in period, does the entrant explain the difference? [If not, points are lost.]
      3. Read the bibliography.
        1. Are the sources good? [If yes, points are gained.]
        2. Were primary sources used? [If yes, points are gained.]
        3. Are there obvious problems with the sources? [If yes, points are lost. Make sure that you put this in your comments.]
    4. Look at the entry again.
      1. Does the entry agree with the documentation? [If not, points are lost.]
      2. What is the quality of the item?
      3. How period is the item? Did the artisan try as much as possible to use period materials, techniques, styles, colors, motifs, etc., and where the entrant varied from period there was an explanation for it?
      4. How difficult to make and/or research was the item? Sometimes very simple items to make are very difficult to research. Be careful that your assessments of difficulty take into account research time.
      5. How unusual/creative is the piece? Items that are unusual (not many people have done them) or are a particularly difficult to research period or place, or are in some other way unique, deserve extra consideration for these qualities.
      6. Did the artisan make some of his/her own tools to produce the item? [If yes, points are gained.]
    5. Score the item and write comments.
      1. Based on your evaluation, give the entry a score that is appropriate within the scoring system that you are using.
      2. Write comments. This should be based on the good and bad points that you have already noted while judging. This is extremely important to the entrants – do not take it lightly.
      3. Always start with something positive.
      4. Be constructive, not critical. Say “You might want to work on your technique” instead of “Your technique is sloppy”.
      5. Never say anything you can’t defend. If you tell someone that their sources were bad, you better be able to give some good ones.
      6. Don’t shoot the bull or guess if you don’t know something. It’s not a crime if the entrant knows more about something than you do.
  3. Brewing and Vintning
    The system for static entries will apply except for the following:

    1. The judging sheets will be different.
    2. The steward may have input into final scores and writing comments.
    3. No points are lost for using modern sanitary methods of sterilization and production.

 

    1. Live Entries (Performing Arts, Live Arts, Costume Revue, Hairdressing and Cosmetics)
      1. Glance at the documentation to get a feel for what the person will be doing and what they know. It will also help you to formulate questions for the entrant.
      2. Listen to the entrant’s introduction, if there is one.
        1. What do they know about the work? Do they set it in a time and place?
        2. Is the entrant confident in their information about the entry?
      3. Observe the entry — Performing Arts
        1. Come to a determination about the time and place of the performance and whether this matches what the entrant has told you.
        2. Come to a determination about the quality of the performance.
        3. Come to a determination about how authentic the piece is.
          1. If it is an historical extant piece, this should be easy.
          2. If it is an original piece, look at the type, genre, and style. Are they period?
        4. Come to a determination about how authentic the performance is.
          1. Was the piece done in a period performing style?
          2. Were props, sets, costumes, etc. in a period style appropriate to the performance?
        5. Come to a determination on how difficult the piece is.
          1. An original piece that is well documented will generally earn more points.
          2. A piece that is difficult to research will generally earn more points.
          3. A piece that is more difficult to perform will generally earn more points.
      4. Observe the entry — Costume Revue, Hairdressing & Cosmetics
        1. Come to a determination about the time and place of the piece.
        2. Look at the piece carefully, observing the quality of work, materials, colors, motifs, techniques, etc. (See II.C. above)
      5. Speaking with the Entrant.
        1. If you desire to initiate conversation you may. If you do not and the entrant attempts to initiate conversation, politely ask that they allow you to judge without discussion.
        2. You may ask for questions or for clarification regarding points of the documentation or the entry, but if the entrant conveys information that is completely missing from their documentation this information cannot affect their score.
        3. If the entrant does convey information which, if it had been included in the documentation, would have improved their score feel free to let the entrant know. This is a way that the entrant can learn how to improve their documentation.
        4. If you missed something in the documentation and the entrant points it out to you that is fair game to affect their score.
      6. Look at the documentation in more detail. (See 2.3 above)
      7. Score the piece and write comments. (See 2.5 above)

Entries shall be judged on their own merit and not compared to any other entries.