Re: On gold, silver and bronze

Matt Bittner (
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 07:24:08 -0500

On 21 Sep 95 at 8:55, typed diligently:

> Hello all,



> 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.

This sounds good. However, you've given the impression to the
judges you have, that gold is more than a commodity. You've strained
your judges by saying they _may_ hand out one gold, if appropriate.
Since you only hand out one gold, then you've gone back to the
"first, second, third" type judging. What happens if there are two
models worthy of gold? It sounds like you've told your judges to be
"picky" (my word) when handing out golds, so naturally there will be

However, your's sounds like the best solution yet. It just sounds
like your criteria for golds is too strigent.

One way the Des Moines club I was in did their "gsb" awarding was
based on a "points" system. You would "score" models - first on the
"basics", and then on the "presentation" (e.g. finish, actual
presentation, etc.). From there, the "experts" would step in, or
others would be asked. The Des Moines group, however, was lucky in
a couple of regards. First, they have TWO National judges they can
call on. Second - and most important for "us" WW1 types - they have
Chuck Stearns and Greg Van Wyngarden to call on. (For those in the
Midwest area, the Des Moines club is planning on a contest next fall.
If you're in the area, you WILL want to attend. The Des Moines folks
put on one of the best contests around. No bias, either! ;-) )

Another case in point: at the KC-Con this past spring, "they"
decided to limit the number of awards in one of the categories I was
in (small armor). This meant they gave out only one "gsb" each, and
wouldn't budge. Anything else they thought was "worthy" was handed
an Honorable Mention ribbon. (Steve H. could probably explain the
reasoning behind this). I think there were 7 or 8 entries, so the
only reason they limited the number of "gsb"s handed out were
because? One could argue "because of the number of entries", but I
thought the gist of "gsb" was to give any "worthy" model an award.

Ah well. Life will continue. (BTW, I took a "bronze" at KC-Con -
which, to this date, the person who took "gold" can't understand why
"just" bronze...)


Matthew Bittner WW1 Modeler, ecto subscriber, new dad, PowerBuilder developer; Omaha, Nebraska

"It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob." - Brain