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First Training Event and future plans

REPORT BY WILLIAM CHUMLEY (WGUK Education Director)

It was an exciting and confident start to the 2008-2009 education process on Saturday in Warwick. I was happy to meet the returning judges (Jason Oates, Cheryl Marshall, Allison Doherty, and Trevor Tomalin), along with some new faces like Karen Walsh and Matt Johnson. Both Karen and Matt showed immediate insight into the system and contributed significantly to this critical kick-off weekend. Additionally, there were many instructors ready to pursue accreditation. My thanks to Paul Morgan, Ian Kirk, Barry Davis, Rob Da Costa, Dave Fletcher and Martin Ibbs for making the day supportive and informative.

The foundation of the philosophy was presented in that we want to ensure that judges understand "how to judge" and "how to apply numbers management" to any system. The next step will be for us to "dig in" to the WGUK system. We reviewed good judging fundamentals, along with some basic numbers management. Then, we visited upon achievement and how we must always judge what is truly being achieved by any of the performers.

The judges need to look for every opportunity to reward the performers. And, the system needs to be clearly defined so that the judges only have to worry about themselves and the achievement of the performers when assigning a score. The philosophy will be to ground the judges in sound judging principles, solid understanding of the scoring system, specific tape dialogue, and critical application of the criteria to assigning scores. 

Here is a summary of our initial objectives for the start of the season:

Energized group of WGUK judges.
a) Dedication to a life-long learning process as it applies to judging, growing as individual artists/judges, and in support of the WGUK community.
b) Sustained support and recognition of the performers’ achievements and of the units’ intentions.
c) Willingness to practice the craft of judging.

Judges who understand and apply good judging principles at all WGUK shows.
a) Commitment to judging by the uniform rules of WGI and by the uniform rules applied through WGUK.
b) Understand the judging process and how it may be applied to any judging system.
c) Willingness to engage in mutual discussions with peers in order to grow through self-critique and to learn from the strengths of others.
d) Willingness to listen in critique with the understanding that instructors have the privilege of engaging in a mutually beneficial discussion.
e) Understanding that judges do not interpret the judging system by their own experiences but rather follow the interpretations that are agreed upon by the community of units, instructors and judges.

Judges who apply the WGI system with integrity to all decisions.
a) Understand the WGI system.
b) Judge with the clear intention of rewarding the designers and the performers with every possible point.
c) Judge with the clear intention that the judge is a witness to the performances and that judging is never personal or “about the judge.” It is always about rewarding the performers for their achievement.
d) Be accountable for yourself, your intention, your decisions, and your growth. 
e) Willingness to learn from the experiences and the dialogue with mentors, fellow judges, and instructors.

Please join us for the upcoming events.

Ongoing Training – Next Steps
a) Judges will interact with William weekly via email.
b) Judges will be working on small assignments with William in preparation for November.

29/30 November - Birmingham 
a) WGI System.
b) Caption Specific Focus.
c) Tape Dialogue.
d) Numbers Management.
e) DVD judging – caption focus and numbers experience.
f) Live Performances.

4 January - Preview Day - Judges Training
a) Caption Specific Focus.
b) Preview Day – live judging.
c) Tape Dialogue.
d) What does a number mean?

10/11 January – Judging Training Day - First Show
a) Solidify philosophy, tape dialogue, and numbers management.
b) Actual, and trial judging.

William Chumley can be contacted at judges@wguk.org.uk