Starting in the 2019 custom callmaking competition, you can apply to be a judge.
Is Judging Really Fair
With each competition, the call making team works dilengently to ensure fairness of judging. However, as with any type of competition, there is always the concern among competitors: Was the judging truly fair? We understand those concerns and strive to obtain judges who are qualified to do exactly that ... judge calls while remaining unbiased as to whose calls they are judging. The truth is every judge plays a call differently. It's our job to find judges to fit the label of experience. Where does that experience come from? It could come from being a callmaker, an experienced turkey hunter who uses calls, or a collector who looks for a particular sound when playing a call. We understand that with any type of competition, there will always be differences of opinions, and at times, competitors may feel the scores they received were not entirely fair. Judges, like all individuals will hear sounds differently and play calls differently. In all fairness, one should not view the competition as flawed. Those differences of opinion add to the variation of judging. We do not share judge names with callmakers and do not release the scores they have given until all judging is complete for that reason. We do, however, work to address those concerns but we also ask competitors to view judging from a judge's perspective, as well. Judges are given the task to judge an enormous amount of calls in a short period of time. This task is not taken lightly. They work to fulfill this task to the best of their ability.
For the past several years, we have given the opportunity for call makers and competitors to sign up to become a judge. We are offering to do so again this year. Judging calls is, indeed, a difficult task for any individual and can lead to quite a bit of animosity. We appreciate all the hard work and time each judge freely gives. We also appreciate the amount of time and work that is placed in each call and the pride one takes (rightfully so) when creating these types of calls (a beautiful work of art). We, the callmaking team, would like you to know we appreciate both the callmaker and collectors as well as the judges and strive to ensure fairness and accuracy for this competition. We do not take our jobs lightly and work hard to improve this competition each year.
With that being said, we do understand that judges sometimes need to be replaced. We go through a thorough vetting process to obtain our judges for this contest. Unfortunately, we can only judge their performance based on the results of their scores. New this year, we will allow you to judge your judge. If we receive a large amount of negative feedback on a judge's scores, we will evaluate whether or not they should return for the next competition. Please remember, this does not mean a judge will be eliminated solely based on if you receive a score you do not agree with OR that we will alter the results from any contest that has already been finalized. The objective is to make sure the competition is fair from year to year. With allowing this evaluation from the call maker, it provides grounds to re-evaluate judges to ensure they are not less fair then than they should have been.