Youth participation in judging will provide multiple benefits in addition to the skills learned in the project area. Judging exposes youth to team work, effective communication skills, analytical thinking and assists in gaining the confidence to defend decisions. Developing these skills will benefit youth in almost every other area of life, both now and in the future.
Developing an understand the basics of what is being judged Creating Consistent Procedures for contest Teach youth importance of Purposeful Notes Preparing for Written Reasons Presenting Oral Reasons
A knowledge of the standard with a quick, accurate observation. Ability to recognize desirable and undesirable traits. The ability to form a mental image of several items and rank them. Reasoning that takes into account practical considerations. Honesty and sincerity in order to avoid any bias or prejudice. Steady nerves and a confidence in one's ability to make independent decisions based on the merits of the class being judged. Evaluating and ranking a class according to its appearance the day of judging, regardless of its placing at a previous show and/or its future potential.
Format a situation/scenario Make it simple and clear Relevant to the topic Make sure youth can determine the needs and situation Remember that judging is the forming of an opinion and being able to back it up. It is not always a matter of right or wrong.
Make sure that the youth know that quality standards do exist and they have been prepared to the level of judging you are providing. Class identification must be clear. Announce class numbers and name at the start of the contest. Be sure that each item/animal is clearly marked 1 2 3 4
Make sure youth can determine the needs and situation i.e. make a snack after school, Breeding livestock or Feed for an animal Items in the class should be the same type of thing/specie. I.e. four water buckets, four bread items, four of a kind Determine the level of difficulty you want to achieve. Larger differences are easier to judge and create larger cuts. Equally matched items are harder to judge and create smaller cuts.
Observe – get a feel for the class, sometimes this is where you find your top and bottom pairs Examine/Compare – Measure the pros/cons of each individual animal or item Decide – make a final decision on your top middle and bottom pairs Tell Why – take notes and prepare for oral and written reasons
Gather materials needed 4 items per class Pencils and score sheets Timer Scoring system Master score sheets Volunteers to assist with contest Class ID
Have responsibilities assigned for selecting the class, judging the class and creating cuts for the class, group leaders, judges for oral and written reasons and runners for taking judging cards to the tabulation table. In many cases multiple tasks can fall to one person – i.e. group leader will bring cards to tabulation table.
Analyze the entire class from a distance. Look for something that stands out — an easy top or bottom or maybe the class divides itself clearly into a top and bottom pair. This helps narrow the class and gives a mental picture that will help as reasons are given. Examine the class at close range. Your placing may be confirmed or changed by closer examination. Handle the products, it this is permitted, to help discover finer points of quality. Make a final decision. Take notes to prepare for oral reasoning.
Keep youth moving class to class at predetermined times. Silence during the contest. Youth may ask questions of group leaders, adult volunteers but not discuss with each other. If necessary have handlers that have knowledge of the class being judged to avoid confusion after the judging group has left.
Have group leaders mark all cards before moving on to the next class. Group leaders are responsible for their group moving to the next class. Leaders should remind youth of the classes that they will be competing in oral and written reasons. Group leaders are also there to remind youth to judge in silence.
A top score is based on 50 points with deductions coming from errors in placing. An official judge places a class and assigns a numerical score to indicate the differences between the pairs in the class. A class of four has three pairs, a top, middle, and bottom. A numerical penalty or cut is assigned to each pair according to the difficulty of placement of the animals. For example, if one shows more quality than another the penalty is larger than if they are very similar in traits and quality.
1 point: The pair of items is very similar and could easily be switched in the placing. 2 points: The items are very similar but one has a slight advantage. This switch within the pair could be logical. 3 points: The items are similar, but there is a clear advantage to one of the pair. 4 points: The items are not of similar quality with one item showing definite advantage. This is should be an obvious placing. 5 points: One is clearly better than the other. The placing is obvious after short deliberation. 6 points: The items are not even comparable. 7 points: Reflects a superior item compared to an inferior one.
http://www.worldaccessnet.com/~normans/hor mel.html If you do not have a computerized scoring system in place you can use this website to determine youth placing. Enter the official placing and the cuts and then print a master score sheet for all possible combinations. There are twenty-four (24) possible placings for each class.
There is smart phone application developed by the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University. This free app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The name of the app is: e- judging.
Official Placing – 3, 4, 2, 1 Penalties (Cuts) – 3, 2, 5 Contestant Placing – 4, 3, 1, 2 Did contestant place 3 ahead of 4? No 3 3 ahead of 2? Yes 0 3 ahead of 1? Yes 0 4 ahead of 2? Yes 0 4 ahead of 1? Yes 0 2 ahead of 1? No 5 Sum of Penalties 8 Contestant’s Score (50 – 8) 42
Determining a ribbon placing is generally done on a curve. Where there is an obvious break in the scoring is where a change in ribbon is determined. Some programs grade on a number range to find their ribbon awards.
Do not be discouraged if you do not agree with the judge. Focus on logical informed reasons for your decision. Show respect for others and their opinions.
If a member saw the class accurately and gave sound reasons for the placing, they should not be penalized for giving importance to a different aspect of the item than the judge. Reasons are an opportunity to explain why you made your choice. Reasons are not scored according to same placement as the official contest judge’s score. Scores are based on ability to make an organized, reasoned argument for your decision.
Organize their thoughts Learn to express themselves in a logical, convincing manner Speak effectively Develop a system for analyzing a situation Think more clearly on their feet Improve their voices Develop their memories
Reasons have four areas that add up to the total score. Knowledge of subject Use of Appropriate Terms Presentation Organization
Make A sincere and precise presentation. An appropriate voice level. With a strong voice. Clear enunciation and voice inflection, including correct grammar. Speak with the utmost conviction and sincerity. Do not talk too rapidly. Vary your delivery - make your main points impressive. Proper presence, eye contact, posture, no distracting mannerisms. Do not stand too close to the official. Stand with your feet spread to about the width of your shoulders. Keep your hands together. You may gesture slightly, too many gestures are distracting to the listener.
Be prompt. When it is your turn to give a set of reasons, do not keep the official waiting. If you find yourself being rushed, just ask the official to extend your time. Never carry a notebook during your reasons. Do not chew gum, play with hair, or do things that can distract from your presentation. Enter the reason room with an air of confidence but do not over do it. Look the official in the eye, or at least give that impression. Above all, do not let your eyes wander. Do not go over two minutes on a set of reasons. This is a rule for most collegiate judging contests.
Do not repeat the placing of the class at the conclusion of your reasons. If you drew an adequate mental image the reasons taker will know the placing. “kind of”, “better”, “animal”, “number 1 is” – instead say “1 is”. Do not use "it" every item has a descriptive alternative These words tend to be weak: “placing, criticizing, faulting”. Instead, say "I placed, I fault, I criticized,"
There are many words and phrases to use as transitions from one pair to another or one topic to another. When compared to peers in the class In addition to Not only Granted Shifting focus to Moving on I concede True Yes Admittedly I recognize Now I realize But, nonetheless However Nevertheless But even so I do not deny
When taking notes for a set of reasons class you will need to make notes on each pairing of items. General statements Reinforcements Grants Criticisms
General statement: The most important factors for placing the pair this way. In my top pair of heavier muscled, red steers, I placed 1 over 2 because he is thicker made and more adequate in his finish.
Reinforcements: Go into more detail to back up the general statement. In my top pair of heavier muscled, red steers, I placed 1 over 2 because he is thicker made and more adequate in his finish from hooks to pins. The number one steer also carried a desirable amount of finish overall on this day.
Grants: Grant the biggest assets first. I realize that 2 is a trimmer steer and should display a carcass with a superior yield grade.
Criticisms: List the primary reasons for the lower placing individual to be in that position. However, his cutability works to his disadvantage as he is less likely to receive a choice stamp.
In my top pair of heavier muscled, red steers, I placed 1 over 2 because he is thicker made and more adequate in his finish from hooks to pins. The number one steer also carried a desirable amount of finish overall on this day. I realize that 2 is a trimmer steer and should display a carcass with a superior yield grade. However, this works to his disadvantage as he is less likely to receive a choice stamp.
The key difference between oral and written reasons is that the youth has the ability to present their views in writing with correct grammar, spelling and legible penmanship. Transitions, scoring and terminology are all the same for both oral and written reasons.
Sound knowledge acquired through practice and experience in order to give effective reasons for a decisions made. A firmness to stand by and defend one's placing without offending or in any way implying that other decisions are inferior.
KNOWLEDGE OF SUBJECT (40 %) Recognized the important differences, saw major strengths and weaknesses (the ability to determine the differences between pairs). USE OF APPROPRIATE TERMS (25 %) Correct names and parts of idea or animal, proper comparative adjectives (differences between pairs). PRESENTATION (20%) Oral : Clear, distinct voice, use of correct grammar, poise and confidence, eye contact with judge, posture, grooming (hair combed or brushed and neatly dressed). Written : Legible, correct grammar, correct spelling. ORGANIZATION OF REASONS (15%) Introduction (important statements first, small points at the end), logical order (comparison of classes or pairs), conclusion.
Judging is choosing between four selections and being able to explain a placing order confidently. It is not good vs. bad or right vs. wrong. It is most ideal compared to least ideal. Be sure to provide a challenging situation for a senior member while keeping in mind that you need to have a familiar topic for junior members. A contest should cover a wide range of abilities and teach while challenging all participants.