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Simple observation

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Rick Carter, May 20, 2013.

  1. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    The solution: The competitors in each category rank all of the mounts except for their own as their favorite from top to bottom. Tally all of the ballots and the mount with the lowest score wins.
  2. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Panel scoring is just that. A communication amongst the judges. In B&C scoring, it is an agreement amongst the panel on score, and measuring points. The same applies here. It is a collective opinion and score. I don't see anything wrong with that.

  3. Derrin

    Derrin New Member


    Don't know the winner for this year, but it sure does kinda cloud his win, or am I reading too much into this?? I think this post , by Catman, sums it up. What did the starting of this post actually accomplish??
  4. ElkinsTaxidermy

    ElkinsTaxidermy www.ronelkinstaxidermy.com

    Open, civil discussion about the shortfalls of taxidermy competition judging. Sometimes, change is good.
  5. From what I have seen working in the competition room and having my ass handed to me as a competitor I believe the personal integrity of the individual judging is really at the crux of the matter. Personal integrity encompassing how the education, experience and competence of the judge is applied to the mount in question and the suppression of their own opinion. Opinion, education and experience are the human variables which cannot be made 100% constant between two or more individuals.

    Another variable which goes against the judge and competitor, besides what I have stated above is the “visual inspection” being performed. Having performed visual inspection for 20+ years now and teaching it for ½ of that in the industrial world, I can state without a doubt that one person does not see exactly the same thing as another, even if they are taught by the same teacher in the same class. Judging is nothing more than a visual inspection / comparison. It is a comparison to a known feature using two dimensional reference photos and some 3D reference, but it does not always compare to an absolute value. The only way judging could be entirely absolute was if it were based strictly on numbers. If there were standard measurements which were always applied to all attributes looked at, you would have a way to help remove the “human factor”, but without such a standard you only have the experience and education of the judge. Numbers do not lie and are not subject to opinion. Integrity comes into play (IMHO) from the moment that the judge steps into the room. All should be on an even playing field, but because of human nature and the variables that comprise it, there never will be that even field. The only constant we have is that the judges are the variable.

    I believe that the use of three judges to comprise one score is an attempt to defeat this hurdle, but until those who judge can walk into the competition and leave their personal opinions outside, maintain an open mind and know the anatomical aspects of the animal better than the best competitor who entered a mount, this topic will be never ending.

    The real shame of it all is that the variability and individuality that makes us all unique in what we do is the downfall when it comes to judging the same.
  6. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

  7. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Panel scoring doesn't work. 3 judges should put in their score/ opinion and the three averaged without any discussion about scores or anything else. If one judge is playing the "buddy system" the other 2 will make him look like a fool. If you discuss the entry then one judge can influence the others.....no discussion and you'll get a more honest critique...!!
  8. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

  9. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    I see yours and Ron's point now. I stand corrected.
  10. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    I'm still curious about this "standard". When you have judges judging that have never finished in the top three at the world or people that don't compete and have never finished in the top three explaining it. I did not say only a world champion because often what sets 1 from 3 apart can be very minor and any given day the numbers could be reversed. How are they to know what the "standard" is ? When two of the best known bass taxidermists in the industry plus another previous fish world champion all show up with the best bass they can do I would think that the best that day would be a world champion. Part of competing at the masters level at the world show is a huge comitment of time. There is not a single taxidermist out there that can produce a perfect mount , only one that is close at best. Everything is based on negatives with the score sheet. The presentation and originality is definitly disappearing. There is more to taxidermy than a proper butthole or deep throat. I'm also not a fan of bending over or having to get on my knees to view something either. There were mounts there on plywwood and one with a chair leaning against it because they would not stand alone on the carpet. Is this acceptable to even be judged ? If the best that day is not good enough why commit to the time and money to go. If the best don't show up where does this "standard" go? I guess if all you want to see are fish,birds,and open mouth deer doing stuff they can't do without someone playing keep away with a doughnut all impaled on a stick then is that the "standard" that is being created.
  11. Phil hit it on the head. OBVIOUSLY there can only be one winner, the judges made their decision. Who cares wether they seperated it by a 1/3 point or two points. The out come is still the same. Dont play "judges judge" if your not in there competing. By whats been said here I suspect we can see this same thread after the next World show? Its just the way it go's. I would like to see outcomes different some years but who am I to judge outcomes when I was not in there competing. Again Phils comment made the most sense to me. You guys are trying to dissect something that isnt dissectable and merely wasting your day away.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Panel scoring DOES work, but only when applied properly. Back in another life, I was into1 and 3 meter diving board competitions. We had 3 judges. All scored the dive and the low score was tossed. The system is used in diving, skating,and other Olympic sports. With multiple judges, both high and low are tossed. This keeps judges in line as well as competitors in line.

    Mike the analogy wasn't about ONE WINNER. It was about NO WINNER AT ALL.

    Overland, I concluded that "standard" was an overused word to BS someone about an intangible the judge had decided couldn't be met by the person asking. I'm grateful that Rick and Harry were up front and honest about it.
  13. catman

    catman Active Member

    Panel scoring is judging by jury. What difference does it make. Mistakes will be made. One ref did not see who touched the ball last, he asks another ref. the wrong call is made. IT'S JUST A GAME!!!!!!. I know some guys got knocked around harder than others, I am glad I do not take it that serious anymore. I really feel for those guys that got a raw deal, but play the game long enough and you will get a bad call. Weather you want it quit over that is entirely up to you.
  14. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    Everybody seems to have a valid argument when it comes to how they feel. I understand that winning a best in world should be exactly that, the best in the world. What would be the harm then in NOT giving a best in world when the scores don't average 90. I understand that. But, when you have exceptional pieces that fall a little short, why not give away the 2nd and 3rd in world WITHOUT giving out the best in world title, as long as the judges concur that there will not be a BEST of award, and agree that the next two in line are worthy of recognition to the art of taxidermy, the next two in line still get recognition for having an outstanding entry, without having the BEST title to go with them.
  15. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Based on points. 2nd and 3rd still need to be 90 or above. Sub category ribbons fall in line with score sheet. There were small mammals in the 90s that didn't recieve category ribbons. Always are some things that are very nice that get nothing. With the amount of birds that were there I'm sure there were 90s that got nothing. You have to shoot for a 90plus and whatever happens after that sometimes its better to be a little lucky. You have to play in order to win. If you don't try you can't know how it works.
  16. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Panel judging...deducting or awarding points...knowing a competitors style...mounted on your form, your favorite form...workshop mounts...

    In the perfect world maybe some of this has some application. In a three day show, most does not. You have world show judges running around telling all who mounted what. You have guys like me who simply recognize the mount style. You just cannot control all the variables.

    You can however, limit the way we can screw it up...

    Last years winner isnt always this years judge, many good judges never happened to win it all, or win big at all. Some folks are teachers, some just are not.

    What truly is the difference between a mount mounted at someones class being entered...and a mount, done by the taxidermist, that he called everyone for advice on, as he mounted it?

    I have so much more to say, but Im boring, I get that.

    Hire judges with integrity.
    Compete with integrity.
    Try to ignore gossip.
    Stop bullsh*tting people into thinking it doesnt matter, youre just there to learn...you want to win, thats ok.
    Dont make a million rules to control things you cannot control.
    Allow the system to shake them out in order. If a mount is the best there, but doesnt meet the criteria of the scoresheet in a high enough numerical evaluation, dont award the top award to it.
  17. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Bill, I agree with your "rules" you listed and I just want to expand on those line by line.
    "Hire judges with integrity." This is the tricky one. If you've been competing for any period of time you know who is and who isn't on the up and up. The "buddy system" only creates animosity and judges that participate in this are lying to themselves and their "buddy".

    "Compete with integrity." I've seen competitors arrive in the same truck as the judge and the judge help him unload the piece. I don't care if it's so good you can see it breathing if it wins it DOESN'T LOOK GOOD. This kind of stupidness only creates doubt and no doubt it should!! Also, don't show your entry to the judge prior to the show. When my son worked for me if I were to judge a show I wouldn't allow him to compete or if he was competing I wouldn't judge. Even if he had the best piece in the show it still WOULDN'T LOOK GOOD!!! Use you head people!!!

    "Try to ignore gossip." Don't give anyone anything to gossip about and this one you won't have to worry about.

    Stop bullsh*tting people into thinking it doesnt matter, youre just there to learn...you want to win, thats ok.
    I'm a competitive person. I played basketball in both high school and college and since I played sports it has carried over to my taxidermy and I love it. I'm not gonna hide the fact that I'm competing to win and that's OK. I may learn something along the way but winning is what drives me. Conversely, you have to lose some of the time, it's part of the game but that doesn't mean you have to like it!!! LOL

    "Don't make a million rules to control things you cannot control." No comment needed. Self explanatory...

    "Allow the system to shake them out in order. If a mount is the best there, but doesnt meet the criteria of the scoresheet in a high enough numerical evaluation, dont award the top award to it." This needs fixin!! I've heard the comment that "no mount is perfect!!" I disagree. No live animal is perfect either so why are we trying to make something that is not perfect, perfect?? A flat spot here, symmetry problems there, wrong color on feet, body too long....and on and on...We have set the standard on what is acceptable, not the animal even though the animal is the one that should be setting the standard. I've seen live ducks with a crease right down the center of the breast but if you mounted one that way you would get hit for a visible seam. What I'm trying to say is some of the 'standards' are set unrealistically and that needs to be relaxed with more emphasis on presentation and overall anatomical accuracy and not that one wing tip is a half inch back further than the other.
  18. Nyati

    Nyati I love tahr huntin

    I couldn't agree more Phil

    Stefan has never won a world title but I would say he would rate as one of the very best bird judges there has been.

    There has been mention about the judging system being one of deducting points and looking for the negitives. Larry has just designed a new score sheet and when he was doing this is it was made public through Breakthrough. If anyone has an issue with the way shows are judged why didn't they discuss an alterative when Larry was working on the score sheet as it would have been the logical time, not after a show.
  19. Really? Who decided that?
  20. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    That is my opinion.