Contests, Conflicts, Judges...

Erik Pilawskii (
Wed, 20 Sep 1995 14:11:23 -0700 (PDT)

Hi All,

I've been following the discussion on Event judging with interest. I'd
have to say that I agree with most of what has been said. The major problem,
as I see it, is simple competency. How could I, for example, judge an F-15?
As far as I know they are annoyingly loud and have computers that launch
things... and that's all.
The second difficulty is subjectivity, though I think little can be
done about that. Let's face it-- judges are human, and they have their
own little biases and preferences. For example, I once won a 'Second'
with a FW.[ ] (omitted for Matt's sake!). Not on the basis of how well
it was done, I think, but because the judge thought the scheme was "very
cool". Go figure. It was sitting right next to a devastating Ki-44-IIc
with exposed wing/fuselage panels, and of higher workmanship! Indeed!...
Moons ago, when I lived in Long Beach, CA, they used to have only *two*
judges per a/c category, fellows who were thought to be rather 'expert'
on those machine types. There were, as well, many categories for entry--
a fact which not only kept things very relative, but also spread around
the awards, which was popular. For example, you'd have something like
"WW II-Axis-Fighters-Single Engine-O/O/B-1/72". If there were more than a
dozen entries, they'd try to break it down further (WWII-Axis-Fighters-Single
Eng.-0/O/B-1/72:Bf.109s"); there was *always* a separate P-51 category,
for example. I can't say that this method was actually superior to any
other-- I imagine the effects of subjectivity might be even more magnified by
it-- but one only rarely had to contend with a judge docking you for, say,
having appropriately wrinkled fabric on a Gunbus, or a "horrible looking"
white-wash winter scheme on a Po-2 [@#&%*!@&%!! damned judge!].
I think the Grand Prizes were decided by having the various groups of
judges hash it out amongst themselves. I suspect that might have been
pretty interesting! In any case, I think that sort of methodology kept
some of the 'edge' off the contest, and (for me, at least) made it much
more enjoyable.
"You only killed the Bride's Father, that's all!..."
"Well, I really didn't *mean* to...."
"DIDN'T MEAN TO?!?!? You put your *sword* right through his head!--"
"Oh, Dear... is he all right??..."