Just a few tips for those of you planning to attend the ZNA Judging Seminar for the first time:
1. Bring a clipboard and a pencil with an eraser. You'll actually be standing around a tank of live moving fish and will need something hard to put your judging paper on and write. Unless you think you are really an expert, you might want to have an eraser on that pencil (hint: not too many got it right in Chantilly).

2. There will be pictures of the Koi to judged in the gathering room and at the show tank location. Do NOT use these photos to make your selections for the judging. What you see when the picture was taken and what the Koi will actually look like in the tank may be two different things totally. Remember, it is the Koi of the moment, not the moment the photo was taken.

3. Use the photos in the gathering room (prior and after you trip to the show tank) to identify differences between the Koi and make locating them easier and grading them quicker. You may want to do something like this: Koi "A" is a marunten Kohaku, so on your score sheet atop of "A" you write Maruten. Now you have a clear identifier of what Koi "A" is without even looking at the picture and to also keep you from entering a mark in the wrong column. Do the same for the other 4 Koi and you are way ahead of the game.

4. The info in the above steps are mentioned because this is a TIMED event and you can use all the short cuts possible if you are to do your best.

This is a very fun and challenging event and I always learn something about judging and Koi quality. I think that you will find that a lot of dealers and judges often learn a few things/tricks also, especially if the judge is from Japan (our judge this year is the U.S. District ZNA chairman - Ron Goforth, the only full Certified ZNA Judge in the U.S.)

There is a cost involved of $25 for ZNA members and $30 for AKCA members. If you are not a member of one these organizations, there will be registration forms on had by most area clubs.

Rod L.
President - ZNA Southern Koi Association
CoChairman - CFKS