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Thread: How Koi Judges Are Selected?

  1. #11
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Sunny, You've brought up Bias, Favoritism & Controversies a couple times. ?


    I'll assure you any Judge I've had the Honor to work with will Award the Koi, not who Owns it.

  2. #12
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    I am just playing the devil's advocate, Troy.

  3. #13
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    I consider myself new to the show scene at less than 10 shows. Man it's a small circle. If ya hang out you'll get to know the real deal. There is no indiscretion. There is no bias any more than what is common to human nature. It's really just a bunch of koi junkies getting together having a good time. Judges are just like us. Heck they have the crappy job- out of pocket expenses, can't show their own koi at that show, can't check out the koi until judging, LOTS OF WALKING, time involved, headach involved. Shoot, makes showin up with some koi on Friday and leaving with them on Sunday seem easy. And honestly I couldn't imagine a way to for the judges to be biased. In most cases you will know what koi is better than the other. If there's a dispute, it's likely the dispute is over two very strong koi. In that case it is not likely any way to be biased as it boils down to JUDGEMENT. That is the key word. In most cases the standouts will be obvious, when it's not obvious, it's JUDGEMENT. In fact, that is only when koi are really judged is when it is close. Otherwise it's just commonly accepted.

  4. #14
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    I hope my questions are not being misconstrued as being anything other than my curiosity about the subject. I just wanted to understand how everyone feels about it. I have only shown twice(2012 and 2013) and enjoyed every minute of it. I did it not because I have anything of quality to show. But I wanted to support our club and to have fun and camaraderie with friends as well as to learn from the judges. I have also been an active volunteer for our show in the past 5 years. I have no hidden agenda. I really appreciate all the replies.

    Sincerely,
    Sunny

  5. #15
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Perhaps I mis-spoke or was just misunderstood. We START the process with discussing a rather lengthy list of names of judges we'd like to have considered for our Show with the AKJA leadership. Most on this list are folks I've never met personally, and are simply recommendations of folks in the hobby who are familiar with these judges as well as the 'culture' and atmosphere surrounding our particular show. They are deemed to be a possible 'good fit', and not meant to necessarily exclude anyone or, god forbid, create any kind of judging 'controversy' -- it sounds like the hobby has had enough of that to go around already. Sometimes it works out and we get a particular judge we've heard about, become interested in their 'koi' philosophy, etc. And sometimes we get someone we're not too familiar with, but is provided at the suggestion of the AKJA management. We are also ALWAYS happy to provide a training ground for candidate judges as well and love to accomodate one at the Show each year in addition to a typical two person judging team.

    In short, I don't think it hurts to 'ask' for a specific judge, we've heard about or had recommended to us, we just like to mix it up if we can. Indeed, it sounds like some of the other shows around the country make a regular practice in at least requesting certain judges, realizing that may not always work out. Our particular Show is coming up on it's 12th year now, and though it is relatively small at rarely much over 100 fish exhibited, it caters to a small but enthusiastic group of area enthusiasts. Many, such as myself, are addmittedly fairly new to the hobby, and I very MUCH like judges who are quick to dispense advise and wisdom about how koi shows are judged, what to look for in selecting fish both for purchase and what to bring to the Show, etc. I like to tell new exhibitors if they are serious about koi, the best two hours they can spend at the show is the judge's educational walk-around on Sunday morning.

    Hope that clarifies my comments on 'requesting' judges. And BTW, we've been delighted with every single judge who has graced our Show since I've been involved.

    -- Regards,

    AlmostGeorgia

  6. #16
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Hi Sunny,

    I didn't view your questions as having a hidden agenda. You also asked if a head judge could over rule the rest of the judges when making a decision. The short answer for American shows is yes they can over rule all the other judges. However, this situation requires a bit more explanation to cover your question adequately.

    In situations where the judging decision is close there will be a discussion between the judges about the merits and demerits of the koi involved. I would estimate at most in the typical show, there might be as many as 4-5 situations where there would be some "initial" disagreement about ranking. Once the judges explain their voting rationale it is very likely that some judges will change their opinion because they might have missed something when viewing this group of koi initially. This is one reason why it is a good idea to have multiple judges as this can produce better decisions. This discussion can result in a unanimous decision or perhaps only a majority decision. On the very rare occasion that after a discussion the head judge's opinion is with the minority the head judge can either decide to support the majority opinion or could claim their head judge privilege and over rule the majority and give the award to the koi they feel should be chosen.

    I have been a judge at about 50 shows to this point. The number of times I have seen a head judge over rule the majority of the rest of the judges at a U.S. show is very small and not a significant issue in my opinion. I have also judged shows where the judges were all given a equal vote and the head judge was not allowed to over rule the majority. The downside of this is the majority has less reason to persuade the minority or be persuaded by the minority to agree with their opinion and it is less likely rather than more likely that a in depth discussion will happen prior to a final decision. So even though allowing the tradition of allowing the head judge the privilege of making a final decision might seem less democratic I believe it usually fosters a better decision and therefore the best possible decision IMO. Remember every judges goal is to do the best possible job in recognizing the best koi on the day at the show. The very best judges have a open mind and are willing to be persuaded by the other judges based on the criteria used to rank koi at a show.

    It is to be expected that judges will be seen by the owners of the winning koi as great judges and also likely the same judges will be seen as poor by the owners of the losing koi. I encourage anyone wanting to learn more about why their koi won or loss a certain award to have a respectful discussion with some of the judges. However, please be prepared to hear that judges honest opinion about merits and demerits concerning their decision and understand their viewpoint.

    Sunny, Hope this will answer your question.

    Ray
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  7. #17
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgeorgia View Post
    Perhaps I mis-spoke or was just misunderstood. We START the process with discussing a rather lengthy list of names of judges we'd like to have considered for our Show with the AKJA leadership. Most on this list are folks I've never met personally, and are simply recommendations of folks in the hobby who are familiar with these judges as well as the 'culture' and atmosphere surrounding our particular show. They are deemed to be a possible 'good fit', and not meant to necessarily exclude anyone or, god forbid, create any kind of judging 'controversy' -- it sounds like the hobby has had enough of that to go around already. Sometimes it works out and we get a particular judge we've heard about, become interested in their 'koi' philosophy, etc. And sometimes we get someone we're not too familiar with, but is provided at the suggestion of the AKJA management. We are also ALWAYS happy to provide a training ground for candidate judges as well and love to accomodate one at the Show each year in addition to a typical two person judging team.

    In short, I don't think it hurts to 'ask' for a specific judge, we've heard about or had recommended to us, we just like to mix it up if we can. Indeed, it sounds like some of the other shows around the country make a regular practice in at least requesting certain judges, realizing that may not always work out. Our particular Show is coming up on it's 12th year now, and though it is relatively small at rarely much over 100 fish exhibited, it caters to a small but enthusiastic group of area enthusiasts. Many, such as myself, are addmittedly fairly new to the hobby, and I very MUCH like judges who are quick to dispense advise and wisdom about how koi shows are judged, what to look for in selecting fish both for purchase and what to bring to the Show, etc. I like to tell new exhibitors if they are serious about koi, the best two hours they can spend at the show is the judge's educational walk-around on Sunday morning.

    Hope that clarifies my comments on 'requesting' judges. And BTW, we've been delighted with every single judge who has graced our Show since I've been involved.

    -- Regards,

    AlmostGeorgia
    Hi AlmostGeorgia,

    Thanks for the clarification to the process of acquiring judges for your show. Sounds like you are doing a great job organizing it. I agree 100% about the tank-talk Sunday with the judges. It is a very enlightening experience for the exhibitors to be able to interact with the judges directly and ask them questions about any koi on the show floor. At our last show, I cornered the honorable judge, Mike Frady, to the side of my tank and started asking him questions about everyone one of my koi being displayed. The answers he provided were invaluable and it was an eye opening experience for me. Best of luck to all your future shows!

    Regards,
    Sunny

  8. #18
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayJordan View Post
    Hi Sunny,

    I didn't view your questions as having a hidden agenda. You also asked if a head judge could over rule the rest of the judges when making a decision. The short answer for American shows is yes they can over rule all the other judges. However, this situation requires a bit more explanation to cover your question adequately.

    In situations where the judging decision is close there will be a discussion between the judges about the merits and demerits of the koi involved. I would estimate at most in the typical show, there might be as many as 4-5 situations where there would be some "initial" disagreement about ranking. Once the judges explain their voting rationale it is very likely that some judges will change their opinion because they might have missed something when viewing this group of koi initially. This is one reason why it is a good idea to have multiple judges as this can produce better decisions. This discussion can result in a unanimous decision or perhaps only a majority decision. On the very rare occasion that after a discussion the head judge's opinion is with the minority the head judge can either decide to support the majority opinion or could claim their head judge privilege and over rule the majority and give the award to the koi they feel should be chosen.

    I have been a judge at about 50 shows to this point. The number of times I have seen a head judge over rule the majority of the rest of the judges at a U.S. show is very small and not a significant issue in my opinion. I have also judged shows where the judges were all given a equal vote and the head judge was not allowed to over rule the majority. The downside of this is the majority has less reason to persuade the minority or be persuaded by the minority to agree with their opinion and it is less likely rather than more likely that a in depth discussion will happen prior to a final decision. So even though allowing the tradition of allowing the head judge the privilege of making a final decision might seem less democratic I believe it usually fosters a better decision and therefore the best possible decision IMO. Remember every judges goal is to do the best possible job in recognizing the best koi on the day at the show. The very best judges have a open mind and are willing to be persuaded by the other judges based on the criteria used to rank koi at a show.

    It is to be expected that judges will be seen by the owners of the winning koi as great judges and also likely the same judges will be seen as poor by the owners of the losing koi. I encourage anyone wanting to learn more about why their koi won or loss a certain award to have a respectful discussion with some of the judges. However, please be prepared to hear that judges honest opinion about merits and demerits concerning their decision and understand their viewpoint.

    Sunny, Hope this will answer your question.

    Ray
    Hi Ray,
    Thank you for your insight to the judges' decision making process. I knew that I would get good answers to my questions with so many judges lurking here. My apologies if those questions seem to insinuate judges are easily corruptible. It was not my intent at all. I do have other questions about the differences in judging standard among AKCA, ZNA, and AKJA, but I will save it for another thread.

    Thank you all for your time.

    Regards,
    Sunny

  9. #19
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Sorry posted in wrong thread
    ricshaw likes this.

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