Description of Judging Positions at World Finals
At World Finals, we strive to provide teams with the best possible competition conditions. Although we recognize that certification is not required to perform the duties of some of the positions, because of the extensive commitment that must be made in advance, we require certified judges for all members of a long-term or spontaneous judging team. This assures that, should someone drop out at the last minute, we have an ample number of judges already committed to World Finals who can competently fill any judging position. We sometimes have to make changes in assignments right up to the first day of competition. World Finals is a hectic time, but there are many rewards. Every position is important and must be filled.
It is also important that we offer an opportunity to people who have never before judged at the World Finals. As those folks who have judged at World Finals in the past know, the experience is extremely valuable and helps these judges provide a lot of help to their local associations. We will use many experienced World Finals judges since our goal is to make sure the teams have the best possible experience. However, we will include at least one judge new to World Finals on each long-term judging team and five to the spontaneous judging pool, so some folks who judged many times in the past may be asked to stand down this year in order to give other folks a chance to bring the World Finals judging experience back to their associations. We will also consider geographical location when selecting judges.
Quantities given are per problem and per division unless otherwise stated.
Head Judge (one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous judging team)
The Head Judge for Long-Term or Spontaneous is the leader of the judging team. The Head Judge must keep the judging team on time and on task.
Long-Term: The Head Judge reviews scoresheets, compiles scores and prepares the master
scoresheet. He/she presents the scores to the team coaches and answers questions regarding the teams'
long-term scores. Should a coach raise an issue that the Head Judge cannot settle, the Head Judge then
contacts the Problem Captain and has the Problem Captain take over. The Head Judge must be
thoroughly familiar with the long-term problem and have the ability to handle people in a friendly, but
firm, manner. The long-term Head Judge sometimes doubles as a Problem or Style Judge, but this does
not allow very much time to return scores and talk with coaches, so in this event you may wish to
schedule teams a little farther apart or allow longer breaks.
Spontaneous: The Head Judge reviews the scoresheets to make sure the judges have filled them
out correctly and, in verbal problems, that all the judges have recorded the same number of responses.
The Head Judge compiles the scores and prepares the Master Scoresheet. The Head Judge designates
who reads the problem to the teams, who checks that the correct team entered the room, and who "chats"
with the team. The spontaneous Head Judge always scores the teams as well.
Problem Judge (generally two or three per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous judging team)
Long-Term: The Problem Judge scores the team's long-term solution. In a performance problem
this is generally a subjective opinion and the Problem Judge generally scores all aspects of the solution
except Style. In a technical problem the Problem Judge is usually assigned a specific area or task to
observe and scores only that portion of the team's solution. The Problem Judge gives his/her scoresheet
to the Head Judge to compile onto the Master Scoresheet.
Spontaneous: In verbal problems, the Problem Judge evaluates the team's answers and interrupts
the team if it repeats answers or gives inappropriate responses. In a hands-on problem, the Problem
Judge generally scores some specific aspect of the problem.
Scorechecker (one per long-term judging team and possibly one for every 4-5 spontaneous rooms)
This is an optional position, but if you have enough volunteers it's recommended to add a
Scorechecker to every long-term judging team. This individual collects scoresheets from the scoring
judges and reviews them before sending them off to the Scoreroom. The Scorechecker makes sure the
judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of
points for objective categories. In spontaneous, a Score Compiler would be stationed in the
Spontaneous Judges' Break Room and check scores before they are sent to the Score Room.
Staging Area Judge (one or possibly two per long-term judging team)
The Staging Area Judge is the first official to greet the team in Long-Term. He/she puts the team
at ease while reviewing the team's paperwork. The Staging Area Judge forwards the paperwork to the
appropriate long-term judges and inspects the team's props, membership sign, etc. He/she evaluates the
cost, the legality of the solution (if there are specific parameters), and whether items were made by the
team members. The Staging Area Judge may ask the team members some basic questions in this regard
but should pass along any concerns he/she has to the other judges for questioning after the team finishes
its performance. The Staging Area Judge generally introduces the team to the Timekeeper. Sometimes
the Staging Area Judge also serves as Timekeeper. If you are fortunate to have enough judges to have
two Staging Area Judges, one can handle the paperwork while the other talks with the team, answers
questions, and generally makes certain the team is at ease. This is helpful if your tournament is on a
Style Judge (two or three per long-term judging team)
Style Judges receive the teams' Style Forms from the Staging Area Judge and review them for
accuracy and to learn which areas they are to score. The Style Judge scores these areas and gives the
scored Style Form to the Head Judge for compilation onto the Master Style Form. Style Judges do not
confer with each other to determine scores. Style Judges sometimes also serve as Problem Judges.
Timekeeper (one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous team)
The Timekeeper is responsible for giving each team the exact amount of time allowed for the
problem. It is critical that the Timekeeper be precise and exact in this regard.
Long-Term: The Timekeeper introduces the team to the judges and the audience. In problems
where a penalty for overtime is given, he/she keeps exact time of the presentation and assesses a penalty
for teams that go overtime. In other problems he/she stops the team at the end of the 8 minutes.
Spontaneous: The Timekeeper reviews the various times that will be given, e.g. think time,
practice time, response time, and clearly tells each team when to begin and end each timed portion. The
spontaneous Timekeeper often serves as a Spontaneous Problem Judge as well.
Weigh-In Judge (one or two for the long-term structure problem, Geometry Structure)
Weigh-In Judges check that structures meet the height and weight requirements and fulfill any
other requirements for the problem. If a separate weigh-in site is used, once the Weigh-In Judges finalize
their check of the structures and either approve them or assess appropriate penalties, they retain the
structures in a container until approximately 25 minutes before the team is scheduled to compete.
Weigh-In Judges must be available at least one hour before the first team is scheduled to compete until
15 minutes before the last team for the day competes. In a small competition, the Weigh-In Judge may
also serve as a Problem Judge.
Doorkeeper (one per long-term problem site, unless the space is open with no entrance or exit door)
Doorkeepers make certain that audience members do not enter during a team's performance. They
also make certain that spectators give right-of-way to teams entering and exiting, help with crowd
control, answers questions outside the door (such as "which problem is this?" or "where are the
restrooms?" or "is this site on schedule?") Doorkeepers should, ideally, be certified officials, as they are
substitute officials the day of the tournament, if someone is ill or does not show up to judge.