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Thread: Understanding koi shows--

  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    Understanding koi shows--

    Koi shows

    There are koi shows and there are ‘other’ koi shows!

    This subject would seem to be simple enough yet there are many types and styles of koi shows and unless one have some basics to draw from, an exhibitor can get quite confused as to what is going on at a particular koi show?
    First and foremost there is the AMATEUR koi show. This is THE prototype koi show as 90% of all koi shows are put on by amateur koi fanciers. In this show, only amateur hobbyists are allowed to compete with their own pets and only against the pets of their fellow amateurs. This is the typical ZNA annual koi show for instance, and also the typical show for most of the AKCA associated koi club shows.

    The second most common variation from this prototype is the amateur koi show where dealers are allowed to compete in a special DEALER DIVISION within the amateur koi show. It is important to point out that at no time does the dealer compete with his or her customer directly! Instead, there are separate awards for this division. The purpose of this dealer division is to acknowledge the supporting dealers and also to enhance the value of their reputation and stock for all to see. Therefore promoting this division is a living example of the close relationship between dealer and customer without bringing the actual amateur show into question in terms of credibility and reputation.

    The third type of koi show is called the COMBINED koi show. This is usually a celebratoryor jubilee event in which special acknowledgement is make that both DEALER and HOBBYIST will be competing in the same event. And often in the bigger shows, the same concept of ‘divisions’ is created. It is typically done to raise entry numbers to make an event note worthy in it’s scale. And many an enthusiastic new show chair person falls in love with this idea! It can work fine or it can cause for difficulties when mixing hobbyists and dealers as direct competitors so the event planners need to be aware of the risks and not just focus on the desire for numbers.

    Fourth in this review of types of koi shows is the actual DEALER SHOW. This is a show typically run by a dealer ( or small group of dealers) in which their supplying breeder or a group of supplying breeders judge the fish sold by the dealer to the amateur community. And often the dealer will invite amateur judges to give credibility and a sense of objectivity to the event. This is a fun Saturday afternoon for the participating customer base. But it should be viewed more as a teaching event and a trade show and not a pure competition.

    Finally, now that we have divided the koi show ‘laterally’ into four types of shows, lets go ‘horizontally’ and divide them again!
    Koi shows can be either ‘OPEN’ or ‘ CLOSED’ shows. What this means is that since 90% of all shows are amateur shows, they are put on by local koi clubs. And that club can decide if their show is to be open or closed to non members or non supporting dealers. Once upon a time the closed show was used as a technique to induce budding exhibitors to join the club in order to show. From a practical sense this increased membership, helped stimulate interest in meetings , acted as a fund raiser for putting on the show as shows can be expensive for clubs. This was later viewed as maybe unfriendly and demanding of the public so it became less popular thru the 1990s. But Closed shows did make something of a come back when disease concerns had planners thinking about more control of the level of sophistication of exhibitors with no club education or awareness of health concerns. The thinking here being that members were educated as to protocol and preventative measures and walk ins might not be. This was then a real consideration for the safety and health of members show fish.
    The open show then is the opposite in which any amateur from any other club or the general public is invited to attend and enter. Many have confused this open designation to mean OPEN to amateurs or dealers. That is an incorrect use of the word and concept and a confusion with the term ‘combined’ . Remember , combined is a type of show. Open is the rule of entry.
    It is my sincere hope this primer helps straighten out the many misconceptions out there in the internet world of koi. It will be posted on the ZNA America board next Wednesday as a feature article for all our ZNA chapters.
    Best, JR

  2. #2
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    Dec 2003
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    actually JR has identified the "kinds" of koi Shows based on many different descriptors...his categorizations are based not on the goal of the show but on the people associated with the show...
    people that love to hide the reason they are having a "show" and are tryingg to serve their own interests.
    it would be better (and it is about time) that koi shows establish and state clear measurable objectives for shows and assess their effort.

    I see this untrue statement over and over..." Agood time was had by one and all blah blah blah"

    With a clear objective a koi show would better improve/increase the hobbyists/hobby

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    well unfortunately Luke, when these types and styles were created and evolved thru hard lessons and experience over the last 50 years by active and committed show volunteers and officers, you were not around to explain this to them !
    Seriously folks, internet wondakins aside, this is the structure of the koi show world on the grand scale. If you gound yourself in the purpose of the koi show you will be able to logically follow the evolution of things yourself.
    The purpose of the koi show is;

    1) to bring koi fanciers together to compare their pets with other's pets and learn about koi appreciation from the outcome.
    2) to make the lesson fun through a sense of friendly competition amongst members
    3) to promote the hobby. This means in terms of growing the membership and increasing sales for the supporting dealers as people strive to get better and better stock. The classic approach of any good dealer is to sell lower grade to the beginner until they get their techniques and skills down and then move then up in a series of steps to higher and higher grade and less and less numbers. That is the koi business--a guiding hand and front line advisor.

    If you focus too much on the competition, the formula becomes lopsided.
    If you focus too much on the money to be made, the formula becomes lopsided
    If you focus too much on who owns the competing fish the formula becomes lopsided
    If you focus too much on entry numbers the formula becomes lopsided

    If you focus on the fish and the display of the chapter's fish entered, and take away from that WHY the best fish are best, and enjoy the competition, conversation and companionship of fellow kindred spirits, you get it.


  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
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    I just don't get the bug up Luke's derriere about Koi shows.

    Different shows with different "direct" purposes but common "indirect" purposes.

    Competition and showcasing is the obvious on the surface, be it strictly amateur, professional, or combined. Each show sets its own rules and the rules set the focus of the show. Not really all that complicated.

    As to "professional influences" in an amateur show, get over it. Both sides of that coin are completely dependent on the other for their existence. Take away the hobbyist support and all the dealers/breeders die on the vine. Take away the dealers/breeders and the hobby vanishes. Even in Australia there is the need for breeding and marketing among the hobby community for the hobby to survive, which to their credit they do very well.
    Larry Iles

  5. #5
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    NorCal Biotch!!!
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    Since we now know the difference between shows, does it really matter since some areas maybe see if that one show a year?
    The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    I see you've become the 'buster' of the board these days Tony, good for you! looking to de-throne Luke?! LOls
    It's not a matter of your ( and please forgive me for what I'm about to say) limited perception. Like Luke, you are suggesting that the koi show began with your arrival to koi several years ago now. I know you don't mean it in an arrogrant and/or bitter way but just in a limited way as that is your perception. I'm just sharing with you the actual history of koi shows around the world for the last 50 years. This is the history of koi shows forged around a lot of learning, A few thousand shows ( yes, a few thousand over 50 years for sure in Japan, the UK, the USA and the rest of Europe and Asia) experience, people nonsense ect.
    As a judge who has judged 60 plus shows and an exhibitor who has competed at a few dozen shows and venues here, In Asia, Europe and in Japan, I'm not sharing MY perception but rather my observation.

    We have many folks who don't participate in the social structure of BKKS, ZNA or AKCA. That's perfectly fine-- absolutely fine as we all have to march to the beat of our own drums. But to sit outside the structure of organized koi and comment on "how it should be" or " as I see it--" is not a reasonable advantage point , IMHO. Kinda like me screaming at the TV when a quarter back fumbles the ball, no? ( which I do by the way! LOLs) JR

  7. #7
    Jumbo Bern's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Sunningdale, UK
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    Hi Jim,

    That's a fair description of Koi Shows over here too.
    Type 1's abound in the UK.
    Type 2's wax and wane.
    Combined Shows haven't but they have in Europe.
    Dealer shows are very rare and have generally been shortlived.
    However, a new one sprang up in Wales last year and I've heard it will be repeated.

    There is a perception (here) that Open means big, and Closed small but that's not entirely accurate.

    Most of our established shows have their own character. Some attract more firstimers, others are more like koi-kichi outings. But all do their bit in their own way to promote the hobby.

    Most only become lopsided in the aftermath when members play "who's got the biggest" in the forums.

    South East Koi Club

  8. #8
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Southern California
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    Simply put, a koi show is education wrapped in camaraderie inside a competition.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Cool. And yes, I will steal that description as my own! LOLs

  10. #10
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    Dec 2003
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    JR now you've decided to take the Waddy Position..I've been here longer, and I know the people that started shows and therefore it is what they did and I say that is...and you are a mere pup suckling at my tit.
    You pretend that the foreshows are proof that shows today are done for the good of the hobby...nothing could be less true...
    in the beginning a show was considered a good show if the fish were sold...shows do change ( i almost wrote "evolve" but then "evolution" has the stigma of an advancement being made)... I Like all the koi shows I attend... but with an organized event the goal should be clearly stated and a way to measure the degree to which the goal was met will enhance the show in the future.

    I'll give it back to you in an example...
    i do orientation at the gym. With each person i sit and establish their baseline of their health. and from there we establish a performance level....and attainable short term and long term goals.
    And they are taught how to keep data on each and every workout... each person is allowed the freedom to workout in a manner which they want. But the people that keep good data far outperform the ones that do not. They stay on track and direct their energies towards goals.
    All the people that work out do improve from the effort...sorta like koi show committees...they come in sweat, move some weight and go home feeling they done good.
    However the ones that have developed goals and logical ways to meet those goals, and keep their goals in sight, and continue to keep data understand what works and what does not..they also feel stronger about what works...

    As it is now koi people just say "let's have a show"..and when the dust settles they say "That was good." And that is about all they can say.

    Directing the effort of a show committee and koi club to accomplishing a goal would be better than not.

    A goal could be as simple as
    Increase club membership by 15 members.
    Improve the knowledge base of the average hobbyist in regards to the phyiscal needs of koi. (pre testing and post testing is unheard of in "seminars. it should not be... pretesting could be done before the show (on-line by those that register to bring fish) and the seminar presenter could be better aware of shortcomings within his seminar population so he could direct more resources to improving the knowledge of the attendees.

    or the most obvious one..i
    Increase the number of hobbyists entering koi by 4 more than last year.

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