Protocols for Judges

by Frank Regan

Information on this subject may be found in the Rules and Regulations booklet published by the NDCA.  Some additional suggestions to take note of are as follows:

  • Dress in a manner that indicates your respect for the profession that you represent.
  • Judges should refrain from conversing with competitors on the floor.  They should refrain at all costs from being drawn into conversations, however brief, by competitors on the floor.  This is bad taste and can easily be misinterpreted by the casual observer.  Some pro-am teachers are in the habit of allowing themselves to become verbally inappropriate.  While a lighthearted and even whimsical approach can be at times a pleasant distraction, it must not be overdone and judges must safeguard themselves from possible criticism by avoiding this type of occasion.
  • If you make a mistake and for example write a number down twice, do not suffer anxiety when this is drawn to your attention by the chairman of judges.  The chairman is simply doing his or her job – do not take it personally. Anyone can make a mistake.  If time permits, scan through the numbers that you have written down and ensure that there is no duplication.
  • It is a good idea to carry two pens.  Running out of ink can be cause for mild embarrassment.
  • Be in the ballroom 15 minutes before you are due to commence judging.  Schedules are sometimes subject to change.
  • Above all do not be influenced by results of previous competitions.  Your observations are valuable.  Stick to your convictions.  You do not have to agree with the assessments of the other members of the panel in order to be regarded as a proficient adjudicator.