On gold, silver and bronze

21 Sep 95 08:55:00 EDT

Hello all,

I have been following the discussion on competitions and judging (of
static scale models) with some interest. Most particularly I'm
interested in the apparently low opinion of gsb style competitions.

Somehow I don't think that the gsb comp I have been involved with as both
judge and competitor is quite the same thing, since many of the
criticisms don't seem to apply.

I'd like to describe our system, and would like a more detailed
description of the way the gsb competitions previously mentioned were

The major competition in our area has changed to a gsb award system to
correct some of the inconsistencies in the earlier methodology. We found
that the classes were unevenly represented, both in numbers and quality.
This lead to the ludicrous situation of trophies being handed out to 1st
2nd and 3rd in some categories where the models (to be brutal) would be
lucky to finish last in other classes. OTOH some absolutely magnificent
models failed to get so much as a "well done" because they had been
beaten by the tiniest margin by 3 other superb efforts.

We changed to gsb to address these problems. Now the judging panel in
each class _may_ hand out one gold medal and as many silver and bronze
"as they can justify". Their deliberations are audited by the chief
judge any time there is a multiple award. They are not obliged to make
_any_ awards at all in a class if they determine that no model is of
medal standard. Finally, in exceptional circumstances, the chief judge
may sanction the award of a second gold medal in a class (though it must
be a unanimous decision of the 3 panel members, chief and assistant chief
judge) He is also responsible for ensuring consistency between panels,
and can ask a panel to reconsider their awards.

Where no medal is awarded a "Best in Class" certificate is awarded.

The results have been uncontroversial and successful. In the 40 classes
(20 each year) so far, we have had 5 instances in which no medals were
awarded at all, and 24 others in which no gold was awarded. We have yet
to have a double gold. There have been 4 instances of 2 silvers, and 6 of
two bronzes. Though it is possible within the rules we have never had an
instance of three or more silver or bronze awards.

Those mathematically inclined will have deuced that we awarded just 11
golds of a possible 40. This HAS caused comment, but in my hearing it has
all been favourable, comments of the "makes it worth winning" type.

Part of the success of this system is due to the panel judging format in
which each panel consists 2 judges from different clubs, plus a
non-aligned judge who is not a member of any club. Naturally panels may
judge more than 1 class and, since judges are forbidden to judge a
section in which they are entered, the panel memberships are fluid.

We have no trouble finding good judges thus far but the load is heavy, so
that may change.