Horticulture Judges Review

Extract from the DSD bulletin, Summer 2010

Judges Review
Jim Small, Chairman of Horticulture Judges

As I write this column I am looking forward to the upcoming horticultural judging school to be held in Lake City, Florida on May 22-23, 2010. (Editorial note: The Judges School is held every two years) It will be a time for experienced judges to get together and talk roses, renew their certification by auditing the school, and work with those individuals who aspire to become members of our group. I understand that there are several people in the District who are planning on attending the school and taking the apprentice judge examination, given on Sunday, May 23. Qualifications to take the exam include having been a member of the American Rose Society for thirty-six (36) consecutive months prior to the school, having exhibited for at least three years in a total of at least five ARS rose shows, having worked as a clerk with accredited judges in at least three rose shows, and having knowledge of the characteristics of at least 100 varieties, including varieties in all classifications. The ARS will certify each applicant. There is a $10 processing fee that is nonrefundable. I am going to try to send out application forms to candidates ahead of the school but will have forms there for those who decide at the last minute to apply.

Jim Small pondering an issue at the 2010 DSD Judges School. Photo by Bobbie Reed

The structure of the school and the examination will be changed a bit from those given in the past. There is a slightly revised teaching schedule with a question period after each presentation. In the afternoon hands-on sessions, there will be more emphasis on the practical aspects of judging in a rose show. The revised examination will consist of both a written and practical section. The written section has 100 responses and contains a variety of true/false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions. New emphasis will be given to the knowledge of the requirements for each of the ARS certificates. The practical examination will have seven parts, Rose Identification and Classification, Judging the One Class per Variety Show, Point Scoring, Judging Sprays, Judging Miniatures and Minifloras, Judging Other Rose Classes and Open Blooms, and Judging Challenge Classes. In many cases, candidates will be asked to write general comments on specimens and note disqualifications and penalizations, such as streaked petals, loss of substance, dirty foliage, split centers, etc. Candidates will need to be familiar with the Guidelines for Judging Roses, especially the parts of a rose, the prime elements of judging and the points assigned to each of the prime elements, the difference between disqualification and penalization and the reasons for each, and the ethics of judging.

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