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A judge's nightmare

With an increasingly verbal agility population, show managers are finding that they can not be too careful in appointing judges. In addition to the usual problems with equipment hire, rosettes and burger vans, it can be difficult to find enough suitable judges for the rings. An experienced judge - who for obvious reasons prefers to remain anonymous - has submitted this draft Statutory Letter of Appointment, following a rather vivid dream. It may seem a bit extreme but, ask yourself, is this what our sport is coming to?

Dear Judge,

Thank you again for agreeing to judge at our show. I am pleased to confirm that your course plan has been accepted at club, area, regional and national level.

We note that you did not include the mandatory photo of yourself in your proposed judging outfit. Please send it immediately for approval.  N.B. No clashing colours, please. Nothing to draw attention to you, particularly no facial studs e.g. nose, lips, tongue, eyebrows etc and no visible tattoos. If  worn earrings must be discreet.

In line with EU rulings, men and women can wear skirts or trousers. Although not in the rules (as yet,) we would ask in the case of a man wearing a skirt, please could you please shave your legs, if very hairy. All skirts must be worn no more than 1in above the knee, but can be any distance lower down the leg.

Please find enclosed various forms [as per list below] for completion and return to me in the sae.

  1. Confirmation of Fitness [dated within one month of show] – to be returned complete with authorised certificate from medical officer together with their charge invoice.

  2. Copy of your judging qualifications [must have the authorised passport photo attached] plus any certificates etc.

  3. Your invoice for judging fee – as agreed £200 plus a separate invoice for your travelling expenses.

  4. Current optician's report [6 monthly tests are statutory]

  5. Medical Test Card for completion on day [Please confirm blood group]

Health screening
In accordance with the latest rules, I confirm that we will have the required medical testing equipment up and running by 6.00am on the day of the show. Please be available in the Show Secretary's marquee for your EEG appointment which is booked 6.30am. Electronic scales will record your body weight/height ratio and peak flow meters. Blood pressure tests will follow which will partly determine your fitness on the day to judge. The 60 metre sprint area to test your speed will be available from 6.00am. Your pulse will be taken before, immediately afterwards and 10 minutes after to determine your recovery rate.

You will also be required to have a short interview with the registered counsellor to assess mental stability in relation to judging. Your appointment for this is 7.00am. For the club's part we have fulfilled the rules to have a qualified counsellor situated in a quiet private area for your use, should you be worried about post-traumatic stress, anger management or just need a friendly word with someone.

The enclosed standard issue health card has to be completed with all these results before 7.30am in order for the medical team to assess your fitness to judge.

Can I also take this opportunity to remind you that training in the ring is strictly prohibited. Any words, therefore, used in the ring by the competitor other than the numbers of the obstacles will result in elimination and instant dismissal.  The competitor's show ID card should be entered with the offence and signed by you. Can I remind you that two offences will result in a three month suspension from licensed competition with immediate effect.

You should also refrain from conversation with any competitor whilst judging and that includes engaging eye contact. I don’t think I need to remind you that your license will be endorsed for this infringement. We would also strongly advise that you do not be seen talking to any competitor on the day of judging as there have been reports of run rigging for the obvious huge sums payable to successful competitors.

We can also assure you that the security guards will be at your ring one hour before competition begins and will eject anyone from the venue who abuses you or your ring party. We actually have extended this rule to include anyone who does not smile at you and your ring party.

Standard electronic timing and CCTV [complete with sensitive microphone equipment] will be tested at 8.15 and as per the rules and regs the club will keep a copy of the video for seven years.

Best of British...
May I take this opportunity of thanking you for accepting this judge’s appointment and wish you the best of luck. Have a lovely day. We can assure you that we will have all the necessary re-suss equipment up and running from the opening of the show should you require it. Any further rules and amendments will be provided one month prior to your appointment.

Yours sincerely

Show Secretary


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