I was curious what credentials a person must have to be a judge. I would have thought one would need to at least be competing in the masters to be able to judge even the amature or youth divisions, even won a blue. I have seen this not to be true, since there was a judge that was receiving second place ribbons in the professionl div., yet was considered qualified enough to judge just one division "below" themselves. I do not know how judges are chosen and that is why I am asking. Is it up to each association? Maybe it is hard to find judges, I don't know, but my opinion is I would like to know my judge had to work their way "up" a little higher than average in prof. Answers to questions or opinions appreciated.
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The answers to this post should be interesting.
Does that mean that Sandra Day O'Connor needed to be a convicted felon to sit on the Supreme Court. How about Eric Greg. He was a major league baseball player and never played a day in his adult life. The current head of NFL officials never played football outside high school. Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio were baseballs greatest hitters and neither of them was ever able to manage a team. I used to certify C-5 aircraft as being ready for flight but never in my life ever sat behind the yolk of that aircraft in flight. So just WHY would a TAXIDERMY judge have to have competed and won to make you happy. I can look at a piece and tell you the scales are lifted on a fish and the eyes are in backwards. I can look at a deer and see the pupils misaligned or the hair patterns not aligned or look up the nose and see it's not finished or painted properly. I can see paint overspray on the glass eyes. I can tell that a ducks feet aren't injected properly and there's shrinkage and that the wings stink because the meat wasn't all removed.
In the NTA, we do have a rule that says all of our judges at all levels must be certified by the NTA through procedures set up for them. In non-affiliated states, most times they use these same judges but there's no reason they have to. That doesn't mean that those "certified judges" don't make mistakes or aren't even good judges. It just means they've completed the requirements to be certified. Even the very BEST JUDGE in the world is held in low esteem by the guy who's just presented the best work of his lifetime to find out that it didn't rate a 3rd place or even ribbon at all. Ask one of those people what they think of 'certified' judges who've "worked their way up a little higher than the regular professional." As has been noted here on more than one occasion, judges are seldom hired to find out what's right with a mount, rather what's WRONG with it.
Do you by any chance remember Major George Montgomery III he flew C-5s.
I worked toward the goal of being a judge. It has been pretty exciting, and alot of fun. also scary. I had to get a blue ribbon at Nationals. enough points (blue ribbons) at state level. then do an assist under an already certified judge. I think it is a good system. Im not the best by far, but I do try to be possitive, and helpful in judging.
Really, that's all I wanted to know. Maybe I should have left out the details. I think judges do need to look at what's right, not just wrong with a piece and then be able to tell the competitor how they might do it differently next time. I have only competed a couple of times and met some very helpful judges. Sandra Day O'Conner had to study law for 8 years then practice interpreting it for about 30 before she became one! The sarcasm on this site can be too much.
You, like many others come on and make statements without ever considering each word you used. Your initial thread almost insisted on some background preparations before you could accept being judged at a competition. I feel the same sense of silliness when I see men giving their positions on abortion. As far as I know, no man has ever been pregnant.
Dan gave you the criteria of an NTA certified judge, but many non-affiliated shows don't use that. They have an artist, another taxidermists who isn't competing, or just some guy off the street. Every year at the Nationals, we present the Mayor's Award from the host city. The mayor or his designated representative comes in and selects a piece using whatever whim drives him or her in that selection. No one ever said the anything about that (probably because of tastefulness rather than truth). If you go really far back, you'll see those systems in place before 1971 when there WAS no NTA. The first "National Champions" were selected from within the ranks of the memberships.
Judges are usually in a no win situation regardless of their integrity. Taxidermy competitions are ego driven affairs dealing often with prima donna personalities. I've seen stark depression from individuals who'd won it all the year before only to go without a ribbon on successive years. To a person, the excuse was that it was a "good old boys club" or the judge was just picking on me. I don't compete because I'm neither talented enough, industrious enough, nor interested enough in doing it. From that position, I hear a whole lot more than either competitors or judges on those perceptions. It would be very nice to think that judges do look for what's right, but be realistic. They expect to find the "right" things as they don't need correcting. It's the "wrong" things that need the improvements and those are the things that bring the scores DOWN from the 100 that every piece starts out with.
I always blamed the judge. For 12 years, I got judged "way too hard". then I had to realize my work was crappola. I took lessons at A.R.T. going in with the attitude I had to be retrained. I wanted a National Championship. after classes, came home, did a trout, took it to Columbia, and won. I was thrilled. most competitors dont mount critters as well as the judge, so the judge has to be able to understand that, and not have the attitude that there are no blue ribbons at this show, because they arent as good as what I can do. Now you go to a big show, and the judge is judging other judges. then look out. I hope I didnt make that too confusing. I will get beat this year at our show, because I havent been able to work on show pieces. but I will be able to look at the fish, and know who will beat me.