Flying pattern and judging pattern in competition have always been tied at the hip.  In the past 20 years or so, contestant judging has become the standard method of judging competitions.  This means that we, the contestants, must become proficient in judging as well as flying pattern schedules. 

We also have spent huge amounts of effort, time and money to practice and hone our flying skill accordingly.  We must be cognizant of that fact and be prepared to do the very best job as judges that we can do.  We should take every opportunity afforded to practice our judging in order to become better judges in addition to practicing our flying.

Judging requires critical observation and thinking and knowledge of the rule book.  Studying the mandatory zeroes and downgrade process and applying them judiciously, consistently and fairly for everyone, is at the heart of great judging.

As an individual judge, consider the following code:

1.   Approach your job with enthusiasm.

2.   Be prepared. Study the schedule you will judge for a least a few minutes, using the Judge Assistant Sheet

3.   Treat all flyers with equal respect and courtesy.

4.   Do not fraternize with individual, or groups, of flyers.

5.   Do not preconceive the performance of anyone.

6.   If you see no errors in a maneuver, you must score 10, for anyone, not just the “Name” pilots.

7.   Similarly, if a “Name” pilot blows a maneuver, he deserves 0 (zero) just the same as anyone else who does the same

8.   Score every maneuver based on all observed downgrades. Never use “Impression Judging”

9.   Judgment calls come with the job; maintain consistency with your decisions.

10. Score maneuvers you missed observing with NO (not observed); do not assign arbitrary scores.

11. Be independent; do not concern yourself with the judging methods of others.

12. Do not discuss any flyer’s performance or scoring while judging.

13. Avoid looking at the scores of anyone while judging.

14. Do not distract the other judges.

15. Do not distract the pilots and their callers, unless you are asking them to land the plane