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2009 Judging Review Event report

Event held on Saturday 9th May and report by William Chumley (Education Director)

<empty>At the end of our first year in The Way Forward, WGUK Board members, judges, and instructors met on the 9th of May to recap the season, hold an open forum, and to discuss ideas for the future. WGUK Chairman, Mark Gutteridge, kicked off the session in Birmingham by restating the goals of improving our overall culture, achieving common understanding of the judging system, and of growing both the judge ranks and the skills of the judges, In the end, we are all working toward creating the most effective contest experience for the member units.

It was agreed that there was a positive change in the culture and that the judges improved both in application of the system philosophy and in determining the results at the Finals competition. There was growth in the judges, and we were able to utilize the instructors as judges across the season as well. Whilst there were some bumps in the road, these were to be expected as a natural part of the change process. We did highlight some questions from the season and determined these would have been easily remedied during the season with more open communication and the re-establishment of a critique structure. The board is taking on the challenge of adding critiques into the show schedule as logistics will allow.

In looking back at the season:

- we completed six dedicated training days for the judges

- we held previews attended by both guards and judges

- we added to the judge ranks

- we held the Midseason Regional using all certified judges

Also of note:

- Judges completed home studies along with weekly accountability reports

- Judges received weekly feedback on commentary and numbers management

- Judges improved in their confidence and application of the system

William Chumley, WGUK Director of Education, commented, "I am very happy with our progress in this vital, first year implementing change. I felt the cultural shift immediately at the first show. After spending several months with the judges before the season, it was great to see the community rise to working together throughout the competitions. We have made great strides.  We have much work remaining, and the commitment of everyone involved will see us through."

The group discussed many topics of note from the season, including application of the scoring system across all classes, score progression across weekends, numbers management, seedings, Cadet criteria, critiques, the Preview Day, and ways to improve the understanding and application of the Equipment and Movement captions. We also discussed recruiting strategies to grow the judge pool.

Look for ongoing training sessions, and open forums, scheduled across the summer and into the autumn.

A document of formal proposals/suggestions made will be forthcoming to give those that didn't attend at last some opportunity of being aware of what will be discussed by the Board in June.

We look forward to continual growth, improvement, and camaraderie.

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

A request was made to make the Judging Sheets available to download and these are can now be access by the link in the Judging Section of the WGUK website.