Letter From Mary Seefried

Dear All,

The purpose of this email is to bring to the attention of all judges that in 2009 a new rule was
introduced to encourage judges to talk about results where differences between the judges could
lead to a lack of confidence by riders and trainers in the judging system.

This ruling was brought in to bring Australia in line with a current successful practice for FEI
international competitions and judges.

As per Rule 10.6, outlined below, it is now part of the role of the C judge to initiate a discussion of the results of those which meet the following criteria. (8% or more difference for national tests up to and including Advanced level and 5% or more for FEI level competitions).

The quick discussion that now needs to take place should be an open friendly discussion to
explore the reasons for having a difference of opinion and help with an analysis of their own judging. This could be a very useful tool for professional self-development. It is definitely not about who is wrong or right!

The evidence the ADJC and the ADC is receiving is that some C judges are not carrying out this
task. There may be various logistic reasons why this may not be possible e.g. scores not available,
you need to judge in another competition immediately etc.

It is clear this is part of the responsibility now of C judges and they need to think about this role
attached to the position of C judge and liaise with the OC to make it possible. Whilst it is the Chief
Judge who is required to initiate the discussion other judges of the competition may also do the
initiating (and mostly we do this as part of the debrief after the competition).

We would welcome suggestions from SDAs and judges as to how this practice could be assisted
logistically by OCs or others. One option is a form to be filled in by the C judge and a draft can be
found at  (link to ea menu id sport dressage froms)

The actual rule is outlined below.
Rule 10.6
Allocation of Marks and Scoring the following applies:
 where there is a difference of 8% or more in the EA levels up to and including Advanced between
individual judges the Chief Judge must initiate a brief discussion between the judges, preferably with sheets available where possible where there is a difference of 5% or more in the FEI levels between individual judges the Chief Judge must initiate a brief discussion between the judges, preferably with sheets available where possible. 

I would welcome your comments on the draft form and any suggestions you may have to encourage this dialogue between judges. Above all, on behalf of the riders in our sport, we would really like to see that the practice of discussion becomes a usual part of the judging process.