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Best Practice – Duties of Subsidiary Judges


You will soon be embarking on your Judges Training Scheme and the following Guidelines are here to help you in your preparation for your 9 assessments and eventually the final test.

It is best to have a Judging Folder to take with you to shows containing the following items:

  1. BS. Colour Standards 2012 with the current and updated Guidelines
  2. BS. 2019 Rule Book with the current updates.
  3. Two or three judging sticks (remember the Bio-security Guidelines).
  4. Pens of different colours (if you wish).
  5. A small magnifying lens (for those rings which are difficult to read).
  6. A notepad (to help you record information that you may need)
  7. Other necessities as you feel needed (small piece of chalk for those rings where the colour infill has disappeared).

It is important to keep abreast of the Show Rules, Patronage Conditions, Judges’ Panel Conditions (in particular Judges Conditions A4, A5 & A6), Procedure for Judging Patronage Shows, New Guidelines, Standard Show Cage (Team Cage as well),  Classifications and Definitions/Corrections/Types of Patronage and Best Practice. All these are to be found in the 2019 B.S. Rule Book between pages 10 and 21.

Guidelines – These are frequently updated, so please ensure that you are familiar with the new Guidelines as laid out on pages 75 – 83 of the Colour Standards 2012 booklet and any further changes. All these pages will form part of the test paper to be taken at the end of your three year assessment.

Directives – Please note that there are only 3 Directives for you to remember (See Colour Standards 2012, page 75):

Scaly face – birds showing any sign of scaly face must be removed from the show bench by the show management team.

Long Flight/Long Tail – birds showing these characteristics shall be disqualified (see new B.S. Guidelines).

Major Faults – birds displaying 2 Major Faults will not be able to win any major award other than a class win.

Colour Dots – It is best to stick the dots/spots in the centre of the cage label to keep uniformity and to avoid damage to cage paint when removed.

Challenge Certificates – Please acquaint yourself with all types of B.S. patronage shows and the value of Challenge Certificates, Certificates of Merit, BIS, Best Young Bird, Pair & Team certificates at each show and the qualifications for awarding the certificates. (Rule Book, page 11)

Cage Labels – Please acquaint yourself with the procedure of what you are allowed to write on the cage label and how to fill in the two boxes at the top right hand corner of the label.

  • Ensure that the Colour & Section run down boxes on the cage label are filled. VERY IMPORTANT.
  • A section judge is not permitted to alter the order of placing the birds of a particular colour.

(Rule 8, page 13)

  • Please put a “dash” or a “cross” in the class position of the cage labels for birds from 8th onwards. This is done to indicate to exhibitors that you have looked at the exhibits.

Wrong Classing of Birds – On occasions birds will have to be wrong classed for a number of reasons. It is always advisable to consult with fellow judges before doing so. Please remember that you are allowed to write on the cage label the following:

  • Class position
  • BOC & Colour line up position
  • Section Award & Section line up position
  • W/C & Reason
  • Disqualification/Removal from staging & Reason

See B.S. Guideline 28, page 78 of the Colour Standards 2012 booklet.

Pairs & Teams – As from the 2015 show season there will be classes for Pairs (cock and hen in one show cage) and there are CCs (nil point) for the Best Pair & Best Team. However, the same qualification for awarding a CC still applies for the Pair & Team CC as it does for a colour. (see Rule Book 2019, page 11, Patronage Condition 22(viii)(b)). This means that you need to have either 2 exhibitors (not partners) benching correct birds (2 Teams or 2 Pairs)  or 7 entries from one exhibitor (4 pairs or 2 teams to make it over 7 birds). Also the Pairs & Teams need to be of one colour and variety and in the case of the Teams they can be either all of one sex or 50% of each sex. The points allocated for both Pairs & Teams are general colour & variety 50 and uniformity 50.

Major Awards – Section 30, page 78 of the Colour Standards 2012 booklet explains how major Awards are selected. This is based on at least 50% of the judges being in favour of a selected winning bird but not a simple majority. For example if you have 4 judges at a show with a vote 2:1:1 for a bird then that is 50% of the vote and that bird gets the award. However, if there are 5 judges and the vote is 2:1:1:1 then there is no winner here and a system needs to be devised by the show manager to select a winner.

Yellowface Varieties – There should be no confusion to where Yellowface/Goldenface varieties should be exhibited as each class is well described within the classification.

Yellowface/Goldenface Classes: Only the Normal, Opaline, Cinnamon, Opaline Cinnamon & Albino Yellowface/Goldenface to be exhibited in this class.

Rare Variety Classes: Only the Anthracite, Fallow, Rainbow, Saddleback & Slate (also in the Yellowface/Goldenface form).

Rainbow: Y/F or G/F Opaline Whitewing Blue Series Including Grey.

Any Other Colour: Only the Lacewing, Greywing, Yellow, White, A.O.V. Clearwing, Y/F Whitewing Blue Series, Any Non Standardised Variety & Half-Sider (also in the Yellowface/Goldenface form).

Best Opposite Sex – There seems to be some confusion on how to select the overall Best Opposite Sex in Show if there is such an award at a show. The selection needs to come from two birds only but not necessarily from the best with the yellow dot and green dot. The two birds that need to come forward for such an award are Best Any Age Opposite Sex to the BIS and Best Young Bird Opposite Sex to the BIS. So it is commonsense if, for example, the BIS was a hen then the overall Best Opposite Sex in Show must be a cock so an any age cock needs to be brought forward against a young bird cock for that award. (See Rule Book, P 13, No. 5 for Judging Order)

Classification – The classification has now been unified and came into operation in 2014 for all types of championship shows. This is with 50 classes in each section and 25 CCs. This should make the task that much easier to follow. Each variety is named in the classification so there should be no room for error in wrong class exhibits if fanciers read the classification carefully.

Rare Varieties – This is always an area that fanciers in general find difficult; how to recognise the rare varieties. The only way to overcome this problem is to visit as many specialist & rare variety shows as you can. There is now one S&RV show in most area societies. Also do your utmost to visit as many breeders of the specialist & rare varieties as possible and ask them to explain the features and differences of each variety. Study the pictures in the Colour Standards book: all of which will be of help to you in understanding the specialist & rare varieties. I urge you to acquaint yourselves with the rare varieties and study them at the shows. I stress that you should do your best to attend specialist and rare variety shows to assist you in that task.

Stewarding – Judging is all about having an eye for the bird and knowing judging procedure and both can be achieved at shows. Try to exhibit at as many shows as you can and always book yourself as a steward. Go a step further and have a chat with the show manager well before the show explaining that you are a Subsidiary Judge and that you will appreciate it if he/she can put you as a chief steward so that you can gain firsthand experience on judging procedure and dealing with all show/judges paper work. Be more proactive and ask judges to explain things to you after judging is completed.

Mentor – It is always best to befriend another fellow judge that you feel comfortable with and look up to him/her as your mentor to assist you with any queries or concerns that you may have during your period of assessments.

Dress Code – Always be smart/smart casual and wear the B.S. tie and badge with pride when possible. B.S. ties can be obtained from Jason at the B.S. Office.

Finally, when you have completed your nine assessments you must apply in writing to the BS Office well before the 1st September if you wish to take the Final Test (Judges’ Panel Condition B.8.d., page 12). Good luck and enjoy your assessments this year.

Trevor Terheege

Judges’ Training Scheme Co-ordinator

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