One of the most informative, entertaining and engaging parts of the APPA judging is when a “Challenge” takes place i.e. when one judge “challenges” the score, and “challenges” the other judges to change their scores based on listening to his/her opinion.
Who, When and How do Challenges Happen?
The challenge process has been developed and refined over the years to a point where we now have some parameters that guide when and how a challenge takes place. This document will explain the parameters and the process so that you will all get a better understanding and more benefit from the challenge process.
An Automatic Challenge…When a judge scores higher than the average
Once an image has been scored, the system automatically calculates the “Average” score, and usually, this is the score awarded to an image.
But consider for a moment a scenario where an image receives an average score and one judge give the image a score which is 10 points or more different to the final score.
For example, an image receives the following scores:
Judge 1 scores 76
Judge 2 scores 73
Judge 3 scores 89
The average score for this entry is 79, but judge 3 clearly has a different opinion of the worth of this image than the other judges, and therefore we need to understand why she thinks the image is worth more points than all the other judges. We want her to try to persuade the other judges to increase their scores by listening to what she has to say about the merits of the image.
Over the years, the system has been refined and we now have a parameter which says that if any judge scores an image with a 10 point difference from the average, that judge is automatically obliged to “Challenge” the other judges and potentially persuade them to change their scores.
When is an Automatic Challenge Not Automatic?
If the score of an image is 74 points or less, the judge with the challenge entitlement does not have to make the challenge. If however, the score is 75 or more than the automatic challenge is…automatic, and must take place.
How Does the Judge make an Automatic Challenge?
The judging system will flag to a judge that an automatic challenge is available to them and whether it is mandatory or optional. Equally, the panel chair will have this information presented to them on their panel chair console. The panel chair will invite the judge with the automatic challenge right to make the challenge and start the debating process. Only if the score is less than 75 points can the judge decline to make the challenge.
Once she has finished her challenge, the challenger judge can say nothing further. At this stage, the panel chair will ask one or more of the other 2 judges to verbally respond, either agreeing or disagreeing with the challenging judge.
Once the panel chair is satisfied with the debate, he will ask all 3 judges to rescore, at which point the entry may well have a new score.
An Automatic Challenge…When a judge scores lower than the average
An Elective Challenge…When a judge scores 5 points away from the average
Once an image has been scored, just like with an automatic challenge, the system automatically calculates the “Average” score, and usually, this is the score awarded to an image.
Any judge whose score is 5 points away from the initial score announced (higher or lower) may challenge
So consider for a moment a scenario where an image receives the following scores:
Judge 1 scores 78
Judge 2 scores 74
Judge 5 scores 83
The average score for this entry is 78
Whilst the scores are closer than in the examples of an automatic challenge, judge 3 still has a different opinion of the worth of this image than the other judges, and therefore we need to understand why she thinks the image is worth more points than all the other judges. We want her to try to persuade the other judges to increase their scores by listening to what she has to say about the merits of the image.
Now the “Elective Challenge” process comes into play.
How Does the Judge make an Elective Challenge?
The judging system will flag to a judge that an elective challenge is available to them. Equally, the panel chair will have this information presented to them on their panel chair console. The panel chair will invite the judge with the elective challenge right to decide whether they will make the challenge and start the debating process.
If judge 3 decides not to elective challenge, the initial score of 78 is accepted.
If however judge 3 decides to challenge, the panel chair allows the judge to debate the image.
The panel chair will also invite one or more of the other judges to contribute to the debate.
The debate with an elective challenge is different to that with an automatic challenge, in that the challenging judge is allowed a “Right of Reply”, in other words having argued their case, and listened to the other judges, the challenging judge has a further opportunity to respond in the debate.
The reason for this additional opportunity is that when the panel chair invites the judges to rescore, only the 2 x non-challenging judges can re-score. The judge who instigated the challenge cannot re score.
Once the rescore has taken place the entry will be awarded the average of the rescore.
The GOLD Challenge:
If any single judge scores an image in the Gold range (90 points and above) they can make an elective challenge in which case the same elective challenge procedures outlined above apply.
So Why Do We Do All Of This?
Quite simply, because we want to do our best to ensure that every image is given every opportunity to achieve a score which takes account of the considered and reconsidered opinions of the judges.
Even our judges are not always right first time, every time, and the challenge system recognises this and facilitates this.