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Old 02-19-2008, 08:43 AM
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Help resolve a judging issue?

I am part of a non-profit organization that hosts car shows for all makes, models & vintages. We judge the cars within the decade of their manufacture using a "concours" style approach that assumes perfection (170 out of 170 points) but takes off for flaws or poor execution in such areas as exterior, interior, engine, rear hatch or trunk, wheels and tires, curb appeal. We give some bonus points for true extraordinary effort or appearance.

The focus is on pride of ownership and upkeep.

We use four judges and average the scores.

We also use a more informal scoring to choose: Best Stock, Coolest Custom, Erotic Exotic, Trucks Rule, Rolling Thunder (bike), Most Potential and the Most B|tchin' Car in the Show (this last not to be confused with Best of Show, which is the car that wins its decade with the highest score)

We allow two ballot awards: People's Choice and Veterans' Choice.

Here's the problem:

There has been some discontent over one entry taking mulitple tropies, ie. the Best of the '60's has the highest score in his decade so he wins Best of Show; but he was also voted People's Choice and had the Coolest Custom, according to judges. Some of us feel these should be spread around, but we want to be fair and not open our system up to being arbitrary and inconsistent.

Can some of you with car show and judging experience offer any advise. This has become very contentious at the Board of Directors level and we want to get our season off the ground.

Thanks,
Hy Libby
Public Information Officer
www.CarShowForTheVets.com

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Old 02-19-2008, 11:36 AM
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You know how I see it, if the car deserves all the awards it deserves all the awards. This isn't the Pinewood derby at the Cub Scout pack. I have only judged one show, so maybe that kinda stuff goes on, but I don't buy it.

Let's exaggerate, let's say there is nothing even close to that winner. Let's say there are four cars in its class and they aren't even close. They are all poorly built and just not even close. The best car is a knockout show car with every square inch detailed to perfection. The best car in the class is a "custom" by every sense of the word, so it just one other car in the show, one of the four in his class, but it is FAR less deserving. Then the people choice, come on, what are we the electoral college? If the PEOPLE voted for that same car, who are the judges to change it. I have seen MANY times where "Peoples choice" was in my opinion far the best. But the PEOPLE have spoken, give it to him.

I say give the awards to the car that deserves it, period.

Brian
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:10 PM
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I tend to agree with Brian but can certainly see your dilemma. I've seen this happen at various shows and it DOES cause some serious blowback among participants. Two years ago I was at show where my friends '48 Chevy pickup took home SIX trophies, including best paint, best interior, people's choice and best of show. Granted, I'm a little biased, but the truck deserved every last one of those trophies. But that's little consolation to the dozens and dozens of participants who went home with zero recognition for the hard work they put in on their own vehicles. I know for a fact that some participants refused to attend that show the following year because they didn't like so many trophies going to one entrant.

There is no simple answer to judging controversies. In fact, many shows I attend are simply eliminating the trophies altogether or just handing out a very few "special recognition" awards. There are ALWAYS going to be folks who go home in a huff no matter how hard your club tries to be fair and impartial.

Best I can offer is keep the points awards and "Peoples Choice" selections pure...if somebody wins them all based on points or votes, so be it. However, I think discretion can be used when it come to some of the other awards like "Mayor's Choice", "Club President's Choice" etc. I think there you could have a rule that says if an entrant has already won in the points category or people's choice category, then these awards move down the list to the second or third place selections...until you reach an entrant that has not won another award.

Not perfect by any means...but then you're not going to find a perfect system. It's just the nature of the beast.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:11 PM
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Obviously if the people like the same car that the judges do, there must be something wrong with your judges! Just kidding.

It really seems natural that a winner of a class is likely to take other top awards, and the fact that one car might get multiple awards indicates that you're duplicating awards.

If you want to continue with different awards that have similar criterea, you could avoid discontent by doing something like giving people's choice awards to the top 2 vote-getters, with no indication which got the most. That would ensure that someone other than best-in-show gets peoples choice.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
I tend to agree with Brian but can certainly see your dilemma. I've seen this happen at various shows and it DOES cause some serious blowback among participants. Two years ago I was at show where my friends '48 Chevy pickup took home SIX trophies, including best paint, best interior, people's choice and best of show. Granted, I'm a little biased, but the truck deserved every last one of those trophies. But that's little consolation to the dozens and dozens of participants who went home with zero recognition for the hard work they put in on their own vehicles. I know for a fact that some participants refused to attend that show the following year because they didn't like so many trophies going to one entrant.

There is no simple answer to judging controversies. In fact, many shows I attend are simply eliminating the trophies altogether or just handing out a very few "special recognition" awards. There are ALWAYS going to be folks who go home in a huff no matter how hard your club tries to be fair and impartial.

Best I can offer is keep the points awards and "Peoples Choice" selections pure...if somebody wins them all based on points or votes, so be it. However, I think discretion can be used when it come to some of the other awards like "Mayor's Choice", "Club President's Choice" etc. I think there you could have a rule that says if an entrant has already won in the points category or people's choice category, then these awards move down the list to the second or third place selections...until you reach an entrant that has not won another award.

Not perfect by any means...but then you're not going to find a perfect system. It's just the nature of the beast.
I really don't know of a way out of it. Other than to have awards that can't possibly overlap. Have different classes like "50's, 60's" then categories with "Best interior" for each class. That way the 60's overall winner may get best interior but so will a car in 50's and 70's and the other classes. This goes for all the "special" awards.

The thing with any "judged" event, I don't care if it is a car show or a gymnastics, there are going to be people who think they deserved the win. Plus, there are going to be people who really did deserve to win. Such is the fact we are only human.

Brian
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipangle
Obviously if the people like the same car that the judges do, there must be something wrong with your judges! Just kidding.
Sometimes the judges are looking at execution of the work while "people" are looking at flash.

Brian
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:46 PM
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I've been in numerous hows, some 'professionally' judged, some judged by 'car guys', some national... I even was a judge several times. In my opinion, the best car for the placing gets the trophy or trophies. If the best in class, also is People's Choice and gets best of Show, so be it. If you are in a car show to get a trophy and your car is not of the caliber as the one 'beating' you... be ready to accept that or don't enter the show. Quality and conservation seem to me to be better criteria than.... "Oh he hasn't gotten anything for a long time and he's always here..." my $.02
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:14 PM
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I think that MARTINSR's suggestion about avoiding overlapping Classes is probably your closest solution but even that won't solve all your dilema - - - I, personally, don't like to show where there are local judges. I prefer the shows where the contestants do the voting and let the chips fall - - - after all, who better to judge a Hot Rod than another Hot Rodder ???
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:34 PM
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I agree not to have local judges whenever possible. The last year I judged a car show,one of the reasons I quit was because the chairman was overriding judges decisions and changing our scores. Here was a guy who barely knew how to drive a car let alone judge one.overriding our scores because his "friends" came up and complained if they didn't get a high enough score. When no vans showed up, a guy with a panel truck insisted on being moved to a van class to procure a sure 1st place win,and the chairman let him. A guy with a restored 37 plymouth tried running in the unrestored class....argued with myself and another body shop owner that his car had never been repainted.When we showed the chairman the tape lines on the trim, he said we couldn't call the man a liar, "just judge it as an unrestored. And the final straw was the "best of show" picked by the chairman and his wife, did not even win his class.....not even close! 8 of the 12 of us judges have refused and never judged a show for them again.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:46 PM
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People that cry over a $5 trophy need to take a look in the mirror. I happen to enjoy shows that are NOT judged at all. They bring out the best people, the REAL enthusiasts, people that are openly willing to share their experiences and advice, and THAT'S what makes this hobby enjoyable to me; nice people with similar interests, looking to grow the hobby.

Take a look at the 32 Ford in my photo album. That's a shot from our local cruise night. The owner of that beautiful rod (a complete stranger) asked my 11-year-old daughter if she'd like her dad to take some pix of her in it behind the wheel. You think he'd even consider such a thing if the car was going to be judged for an award? I don't think so! Same situation for the 37 Ford at the same show.

So my advice? Ditch the trophies and awards, and watch how much more enjoyable the show becomes.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:31 PM
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Thank you!

I would like to thank you all for your comments. We considered everything that was said and came to a consensus; it has helped settle an issue that was getting in the way of our best intentions.

In case you're interested, it goes this way:

1. We're not ready to stop giving trophies; at our events, they are a big part of reward and recognition.

2. We're opposed to the "everybody's a winner - here's your trophy for showing up" approach. That's pretty much like not having trophies. See #1.

3. We don't like the participant voting idea because of the risk of ballot stuffing by a club or large group.

So:

4. We have a valid, objective, scoring system with no collusion among the judges, and will do our best to explain to our attendees that sometimes the scores fall in such a way - along with the ballot choices - that someone can win more than once. We've decided to announce the scores for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class just to show how close they are sometimes.

We have no illusions that this will make everyone happy, but at least we can say it's the way the chips fell, not favoritism.

So, thanks again and keep on hot roddin'. At a later date, we might want to start a dialogue with some of you who might want to take our "Car Show for the Vets" concept to your locale. We have a format that generally pleases the crowd and does a lot of good for veterans.

Check out www.CarShowForTheVets.com when you get a minute.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzn 4 Abruzn
We have a valid, objective, scoring system with no collusion among the judges, and will do our best to explain to our attendees that sometimes the scores fall in such a way - along with the ballot choices - that someone can win more than once. We've decided to announce the scores for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class just to show how close they are sometimes.
Sounds about as good as you can get given your parameters. As others have said, you'll never please everybody.

One thing that WASN'T mentioned in the above suggestions that your club might also want to think about is coming up with event activities to make everybody's day more enjoyable...and take their minds off the trophies and judging. I've found some of the best shows with the least amount of grumbling are those that have lots of other stuff going on during the day. Shows that have special exhibitions or hot rodding demonstrations going on. Shows that are combined with other events such as tractor pulls or antique and steam power shows. Or shows that are combined with craft fairs, food fairs or hobby fairs.

We have one show here in Wisconsin that is rapidly becoming a big favorite and that's the Nekoosa Pumpkin Fest. They do goofy things like have a giant pumpkin contest (last year's winner was over 1300 lbs). They hollow out giant pumpkins, people climb inside, and they race them down the river which runs by the show grounds. And at the end of the day everybody gathers at the adjacent baseball field and they drop a 700 lb pumpkin off of a 50 foot crane (a site you have to see to believe). At that event, the trophy presentations are a rather small and insignificant part of the day. The folks that run this show are very creative and they spend a lot of time thinking about how to make peoples day a real hoot. And every year people leave that show in a great mood. And every year event participation has grown by leaps and bounds. It's a "must attend" on my own personal calender.

So just something to think about for future years.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:22 PM
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Thanks again...

...those are great ideas (especially the pumpkin drop).

We have always tried to keep our shows short (11 to 3); we generally have good eats, and we've had entertainment ranging from a jazz quartet to Mexican folk dancers.

We do our raffles in two sessions to break up the day.

It should be said that most people leave very happy. We get good feedback and when we show up at other events, lots of folks take the time to say how much they liked ours.

We as organizers always stand at the exits of the parking lot and wish all our attendees a happy and safe ride home.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:47 PM
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I'm sorry guys, but JUDGED shows suck. If your cars has to be that perfect if will more than likely be a TRAILER QUEEN.

REAL HOT RODS are driven and voted on by REAL HOT RODDERS!!!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:36 PM
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The best shows I've been involved with were not judged. For the $25 entry fee, you got a tee-shirt, a free lunch and a dash plaque. Everyone relaxed, had fun, 50/50 drawing, a great time.
Dan
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