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Competition questions!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by bulletbob, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    whats with the system of having blue ribbons for scores above 90 that say first place on them? Doesn’t that open things up for deception? How many people other than competitors are going to understand well it really wasn’t first place?
     
  2. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    You are not competing against each other, only a score sheet in this set up. I went to a show a couple years ago that was like this. I got some red ribbons but they don't mean a thing because I know I did not truly earn a second place. My main reason for going was the seminars and critiques. I know my work isn't good enough to place (I am only a hobbyist anyways). You are probably correct that many will not understand it is not really a first place but I am sure there are those who will display them in their show to get their customers to believe they earned this placement.
     

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    [​IMG]

    :)

    Kerby...
     
    Megan :), Chippers and BrookeSFD16 like this.
  4. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    623
    1,171
    Texas
    ".......whats with the system of having blue ribbons for scores above 90 that say first place on them? Doesn’t that open things up for deception? How many people other than competitors are going to understand well it really wasn’t first place?"

    Bulletbob,

    I can answer your question since I set the precedent. As best as I recall, this is how first place ribbons, are still awarded to entries that aren’t actually singularly first place.

    At the first Taxidermy Review competition in 1976, (then the only competition anywhere,) I awarded ribbons to only one first, one second, and one third place in each category based on numerical scores on a score sheet. At the 1977 competition I added an honorable mention ribbon (yellow) to all other entries of obvious merit that hadn't placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd to encourage participation. In only one year the quality of entries had jumped remarkably, to an extent that awarding only four place ribbons were inadequate to recognize many more entries of obvious merit too good for a mere honorable mention.

    In order to correct what I saw as a shortcoming in the rules, I decided that each entry that measured up to a minimum 90 points on the scorecard actually was a first class mount equivalent to a first place if perchance the first place winner had not happened to have entered at all. (I hadn’t thought of a runner-up ribbon at the time.) I then added a best of category ribbon to single out the top piece. It also seemed logical to me to recognize every entry that scored a minimum of 80 points as a second place. The same for 3rd place. In truth, a mount that scores 96 is every bit a fine as one that scores 97. The score sheet simply forces a judge to pretty much flip a coin with numbers being the winner.

    Competitors appreciated the changes which brought more fairness to the competition while still singling out the top piece as a best of category. Every state and national competition since simply followed suit. I understood that this system was inadequate but was nevertheless acceptable to the majority of participants at the time. If I had maintained the original first, second and third place only contest, participation would have seriously fallen if the expectations of competitors with unrewarded meritorious entries received nothing more than a critique from a judge they never heard of before. Even though many new competitions were coming on line, there weren’t any new strategies for judging beyond scorecards.

    I also volunteered on an NTA competition committee in the early 1980s and wrote its rules which closely mimicked the TR rules. They were grudgingly accepted and implemented over plenty of objections from board members because no one else had any better ideas. Basically what appeased the nay-sayers to accept my suggested rules at the time was to give all the credit for writing the rules to Al Holmes who happened to be the NTA competition committee chairman who submitted the rules to the BOD. All I expected was a simple thank you from anyone in that association. I would have gladly said You’re welcome.

    Back to your question, -Bob, it isn’t actually deception that is taking place so much as it is that we’ve done things as we have for so long that no one knows any different, and few like you had the insight to see and question the status quo except for distinguished men like Bob Berry, or myself and a few others like Fisherman who responded on my last post (Points to Ponder). We recognized long ago that using numbers on a score sheet in such as a taxidermy competition is rather juvenile, from an age when competitions were still adolescent, if I can put it in those terms.

    In my opinion the only hope for change in the anomalies in competitions today, in this age of remarkably high standards of quality and artistry, is for Larry Bloomquist to gather together his brain trust and devise new rules more akin to a matured art and an adult class of participants. Only a nationally recognized and established entity with proven credentials has the credibility to effect changes more reflective of fine art societies and their exhibitions, contests and rules.

    While it’s no longer hard for me to resist the temptation to take a deserving jab at the NTA for its failure to ever be that national entity which leads the field, I prefer to say that if Breakthrough’s editors can’t think of a way to choose firsts, seconds and thirds without numbers on scoresheets, it may never happen. Those who win first place blue ribbons and never a best of category, are not about to complain.
     
  5. DTS 1046

    DTS 1046 Member

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  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    The ribbon system is the only one a competitor should focus on. It takes true skill and artistry to achieve the 90+ score. It's the only part of a competition a person has control over. The blue ribbon gets one into the final round for best of category. Now you're talking about luck. You have no idea what you may be up against. Best to be determined about the ribbon and gracious about the hardware.
     
    Megan :), KatieC, Lance.G and 7 others like this.
  7. DTS 1046

    DTS 1046 Member

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    The NTA in 1978 also only had 3 ribbons a 1st, 2d, & 3rd. I know the multiple ribbons gave encouragement to many more entrants and expanded the quality of Taxidermy across the country. I say "Thanks Joe" for all you have done for the industry. M.Dinges
     
  8. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    To me it’s like a participation award and by putting first place on it opens it up to be used deceptively! Now if it said finals qualifier or 90 plus that would be different! As far as I’m concerned there is only one winner or first place and that’s what makes it special,but with the system that’s in place now it’s oh they got a blue/first place ribbon and may have possibly not truly even finished 3rd!
     
  9. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    There is some luck involved, but over the years and in many competitions you will see certain people win in many places and with many different mounts, it is because they are good! Ya they may screw up now and then but next time they will probably win.
    The numbers on the score sheet are only for the show staff to know who should get a medalion or special award.
    The main thing is to get a blue ribbon. A red ribbon is a piss-me-off...you screwed up ribbon, now go back home and learn some more. A green ribbon is a participant ribbon. (well not really, but that is how they made me feel).
    It gets to be a game. You know what a certain judge likes and what not to bring to a show. You get to learn what composition (thanks Joe Kish) that judges tend to like.
    I have thought about competitions for many nights and days and I can not think of a better way to run them.
    The only thing that gets annoying is the amount of special awards given out at state shows, ie; some deer with the highest score that was mounted on some suppliers form gets a trophy or plaque. The deer could have scored 75 but yea it gets a trophy. I am all for encouragement, I would rather see best mammal, best deer, best fish, best reptile ( lol Kerby) etc. in each level, meaning novice, pro , masters, masters of masters.
    When I look back over the years, the awards I have kept are, best of shows, Inchumuk, (means a lot to me) and Hardendorf. Peoples choice, State champion, WASCO and WTC medalions. Most of the other ones are in a box somewhere or in the wood stove.
     
  10. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    I have seen a person win a third place ribbon on their mount, but get a first place ribbon with their habitat. They then throw the third place ribbon away, keep the first place habitat ribbon and say the won first with their mount.
    You can tell your customers a lot of bull and they will believe it ......for a while, but the longer you stay in business the more they will know that you produce quality work and they will find out that the other guy is producing crap.
     
  11. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    I get where you guys are coming from but if you know you got the 4th best 90 score does the ribbon really matter? You didn’t win and you all are talented enough that after your critique you know what the judges didn’t care for and probably knew the weak points of the piece before you went to the competition.
     
  12. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    Carolin marketing is a huge part of business and I would argue that most dont see through the average mount compared to the great one as far as customers go unless the piece is really bad. The customer is proud of the animal but most really know very little about what they have mounted!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    A lot of taxidermists use their awards in their advertising. No matter what the award, that is certainly their right. Personally, I don't spend a dime on advertising. I don't need to. I recommend going for the 90+ points though. It will make you better taxidermist in the long run.
     
  14. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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  15. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    Sorry I didn’t mean to hit the button for quoting skywalker. My opinion is do your best,get your score and critique, go home and improve your work, and don’t be deceptive about the ribbon that you may have received. I disagree with those that say the scores are for the officials the scores are in my mind a measure of each process accuracy or correctness, if not than it’s just being judged on the judges favorite pieces or persons or animal. My point of my original question is call the ribbons what they really are and in my eyes a blue ribbon says
     
  16. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    That you won and you didn’t win a thing you did excellent work possibly but there is only one winner and hopefully everyone else learned from their experience thus the score sheet!
     
  17. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Some of the awards are picked by other taxidermists and some by the public. And if this process is done before the ribbons are out, then every mount can appeal to the voter (not the color of the ribbon).

    :)

    Kerby...
     
  18. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

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    Bulletbob, people lie and a lot of marketing is lies or stretching the truth.
    So would you like to see a first second and third ribbon in each category? and then everyone else gets nothing? It may work but I think you would see the membership drop, and that is the last thing your state association would like to see. You see everyone (like kids) would like to go home with a prize and a juicy juice.
    You could look at it this way.....like when you were in school and everyone that got over 90% got a gold star, everyone who got over 80% got a happy face, and everyone over 70% got a "you did much better than last time."
    Yes the public has no clue how these shows are run and a competitor/taxidermist can write whatever bullshit he wants on his business cards or website.
     
  19. bulletbob

    bulletbob Member

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    Yes I would like to see the true first,second,and third place get ribbons. They all get the score sheet and a critique if they choose! Or if the ribbon system stays the same I would change the wording on the ribbon. I can’t imagine spending time and money to go compete at anything and the ribbon is the determining factor as to if I go back next year! For me I compete at things to see where I stand,after that is to see if I can win, and also to learn and along with the winning comes the money or prizes.
     
    pir^2h likes this.
  20. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

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    Our state ribbons states Habitat award on it.