A. Selecting Judges
It remains the responsibility of the promoter to ensure the most qualified and professional panel of judges. The promoter must ensure that the judges information contained within this manual, is provided to the panel of judges, well in advance of the pageant to ensure the highest quality in judges. Additionally, promoters should present this and other pertinent pageant information, including but not limited to
1) Category Descriptions
2) Proper Scoring Procedures
3) Scoresheet Instructions
4) Pageant Schedule and
5) referral of articles published by The Gay United States Pageantry System LLC including category descriptions. Additionally, the aforementioned should be reviewed in the mandatory pre-pageant Judges Orientation session. The detailed Judges Orientation is a crucial part of the pageant, as this helps to ensure contestants that only the highest quality of qualified judges are serving on the panel
B. Judges Etiquette
1. There will be no talking to any of the contestants except for a simple greeting. Avoid contestant contact at hotel, bar, and /or restaurants.
2. There will be no talking at the judge’s table among judges or to anyone around the table. Questions, after a contestant’s performance (not during), should be directed to the Lead Judge, unless otherwise instructed. A thorough judges orientation will alleviate all or most questions.
3. There should be no comments made by any of the judges concerning a particular contestant during or after a particular judging section (i.e. “that was a great interview”)
4. There will be no drinking of alcoholic beverages at the judge’s table during judging or any other time prior to or during competition categories. Judges will not become intoxicated during the course of the pageant. This includes having an alcoholic beverage, prior to the pageant and/or during break from judging duties, during the contest. Remember, contestants are watching you as much as you are watching them.
5. Do not applaud or overreact to any contestant’s presentation.
6. Focus your complete attention on each contestant during each category. A judge should not “take his eyes off of” the performance of the contestant during Talent Categories. Notes may be written on the worksheet but do not look away from the contestant during Talent categories.
7. A judge’s valet should be appointed by the pageant promoter to care for the judges needs. Promoters, valets, and other persons are never to interrupt the judge’s concentration while a contestant is being judged.
8. Tardiness will run the schedule over the allotted time limits therefore, please be on time for every judged event.
9. Do not discuss your scoring with anyone except the promoter, reigning GUS Titleholder, or the official representative of The Gay United States Pageantry System LLC. All questions should be answered by the aforementioned only.
10. At no time will judges be allowed in a contestant’s hotel room or vice versa.
11. Keep your questions simple and to the point during interviews. The contestant is not there to hear your accomplishments. You are there to hear his interview. Promoters are encouraged to review some of the planned questions.
12. All judges are required to stay at least one (1) hour after the pageant ends for contestants “critique”. The critique is designed to advise the contestants of improvements needed and to advise of strong points of the contestant’s package.
13. A judge will not be allowed to judge either state or regional pageant for two consecutive years. There will be no exceptions.
14. A judge may adjudicate no more than two (2) state and no more than two (2) regional pageants during a calendar year. Exceptions are limited to former GUS titleholders and the GUS Advisory Board, all of which have unlimited judging opportunity, unless otherwise declared by The Gay United States Pageantry System.
15. The appearance of the judges must be professional at all times during the competition. Judges should be dressed in “business casual” (no t-shirts, shorts, jeans or tennis shoes). At minimum promoters may wish to require formal or “dress to impress” attire on the final night of competition.
16. The official representative of The Gay United States Pageantry System has the authority to question any judge who violates these rules and to relieve a judge of his/her seat after careful scrutiny of the rule infraction. The entire score sheets of every category may be removed of the judge in question however, clear communication must occur between the representative of The Gay United States Pageantry System, the promoter and the judge.
17. As there are restrictions on frequency that an individual may judge, preliminaries during a pageant season, it remains the responsibility of the promoter to investigate the qualification of the panel of judges to ensure that the contestant is provided with the highest quality of qualified and professional panel of judges. Exception to the judging limitation is for the former GUS titleholders and the GUS Advisory Board of Directors, who are unlimited in their judging opportunities, unless otherwise directed by The Gay United States Pageantry System. The executive offices of The Gay United States Pageantry System shall be provided with a detail of judges including city and state of residence, telephone number and email address for each judge. The executive office of The Gay United States Pageantry System may send a list of qualified judges who are available to adjudicate preliminaries.
18. The pageant promoter is responsible to ensure that the panel of judges is both responsible and eligible to judge. Promoters should make the selection of judges while considering reputation, resume’ of qualifications and to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Potential conflict of interests include but is not limited to partners/mates of contestants, current promoters of contestants (example: a promoter of a regional contest whereby a contestants may be the current titleholder), city preliminary promoters of that particular state contest or a contestant who has already qualified, or intends to qualify, for the GUS pageant, or any of its preliminaries, during that particular pageant season.
19. Any contestant who has qualified or has intention to qualify to any preliminary of a certain Division of GUS (i.e State/Regional pageants or on the National level) may not judge ANY preliminary pageant within that Division, during the same pageant season, in which they intend to compete. This applies to any official preliminary, (City, State and Regional), that is designated as a preliminary in the GUS system.
20. Judges should use the “Judges Worksheet” to make notation of the contestants performance, and subcategory scoring. Then, once completed the scores should be carried forward to the actual Score sheet which is submitted to the tabulator. The “Judges Worksheet” remains the property of the judge, for his reference during critique. Judges should notate positives and negatives, of the contestants performance in order to provide effective critique. The Judges Worksheet is subject to review by a pageant official (GUS, The Gay United States Pageantry System or Promoter) and should be readily available for review, upon request.
21. The identity of the judges will be kept confidential, prior to the contest registration. That is, judges and promoters should not advertise, either in electronic, written or verbal communication, to any persons that they have been selected to judge a particular contest.
22. Judges should not be viewing message board chats/web sites concerning the pageant, while the pageant is in process (from beginning of pageant to the conclusion of the pageant)
23. Administrative Point Deductions shall not be the responsibility of the panel of Judges. The Judges should score according to the category descriptions as applied to the contestant presentation for which they are currently reviewing.
C. OTHER JUDGES INFORMATION
Any contestant who has qualified or has intention to qualify to any preliminary of a certain Division of GUS (i.e State/Regional pageants or on the National level) may not judge ANY preliminary pageant within that Division, during the same pageant season, in which they intend to compete. This applies to any official preliminary, (City, State and Regional), that is designated as a preliminary in the GUS system
The official representative of The Gay United States Pageantry System has the authority to question any judge who violates these rules and to relieve a judge of his/her seat after careful scrutiny of the rule infraction. The entire score sheets of every category may be removed of the judge in question provided careful judgment and communication has been occurred between all involved including the promoter and the judge.
Judges are should maintain a professional appearance. Business casual attire is expected during the pageant. Jeans can be worn with an appropriate shirt, but should not be distressed or ripped. Shirts should have a collar and be either a polo style or button down shirt. No t-shirts or sweatshirts are allowed. Business casual shoes should be worn, athletic shoes such as sneakers or tennis shoes should be worn. For women or performers in female attire the same applies but may wear a dress or slacks that meets the business casual attire. During male interview prior to the pageant casual attire is allowed.
PANEL OF JUDGES:
A panel of judges should be competent and qualified to judge. A State or Regional contest should have not less than five (5) judges. A City Preliminary should have no less than three (3) judges, although a panel of five (5) is preferred. Of the panel of judges, one judge must be designated as the Lead Judge. A Lead Judge is defined as the most qualified and experienced person to assume the role as supervisor of the panel of judges. While the Promoter and GUS are ultimately responsible for the conduct of the panel of judges, the Lead Judge shall be well versed on all of the rules and regulations of the pageant system to ensure that the behavior of the panel of judges is acceptable.
Judges critique will usually occur at the conclusion of the contest, unless otherwise approved by the national office. The Judges Critique session shall detail both positive and negative comments from each of the judges concerning each category. Negative critique is crucial to the future competition success of the contestant therefore the judges should be sure to detail any “flaws” with the competition package. In no instance, should a critique session become a “PRAISE SESSION”
The Judges Worksheet, if used properly during the contest will prove to be a valuable instrument during the critique session. Judges should retain the Judges Worksheet in order to provide effective post pageant critique. Since the Judges Critique Session usually lasts not longer than 5 minutes, judges are urged to make themselves available for contact after the conclusion of the contest for additional counseling.
In order to expedite the critique process, if a judge has no additional comment to add to that already stated by another judging colleague, concerning a particular category, he/she should not “echo” comments already stated but rather defer comment until the next category critique.
The critique session shall be monitored by the promoter, or their official representative. In no way shall a contestant be allowed to show “disrespect” to a judge. Violations of this issue will result in suspension on both the preliminary and the national level.
In general, the critique session, at the conclusion of the pageant shall be for not longer than five (5) minutes per contestant however the panel of judges has option to counsel with each contestant in excess of five minutes.
Pageants with greater than ten (10) contestants may use the approved (by the national office) Critique Sheets in lieu of a critique session for all contestants, however a “face-to-face” critique session, immediately following the conclusion the contest, must be available to the “finalist” contestants. In the event that Critique Sheets are utilized by the promoters, the judges should be urged to be available to the contestants, for more detailed critique, upon request by the contestant.
D. PROPER SCORING PROCEDURES
Judges should be furnished with and advised of appropriate scoring procedures as detailed in the Promoters Handbook.
E. EXPLANATION OF PROPER SCORING PROCEDURES
As per the The Gay United States Pageantry System Rules and Regulations, all preliminaries must use the The Gay United States Pageantry System scoring system. This is the only scoring system allowed. There is to be no substitutions made to our scoring system, score sheets, or point values. Blank score sheets are available, via email, to approved preliminaries from The Gay United States Pageantry System.
The Judges Worksheet should be completed with comments and scores (i.e sub-category scores and total scores)
The scores from the Worksheet should be transferred to the Score sheet, that is, the scores noted on the Score sheet should mirror those noted in the Judges Worksheet.
Promoters should also refer to the Score Sheets Instruction section of the Promoters Handbook.
F. CORRECTIONS AND CHANGES ON SCORESHEETS
There are times when judges must correct or change a score. There is a correct and proper way to do this as shown in Ex. 1, located on the preceding page of this manual. All scoring should be done in black ink only. No pencils! All changes and/or corrections should have a single line put through the incorrect score or total. The incorrect score or total needs to be readable as shown in Ex. 1. The change or corrected total should be written above or below the previous score. The change should be initialed by the scoring judge, another judge on the panel, preferably the lead judge, or the reigning GUS Titleholder. All changes should be double initialed. Judges should always sign their score sheets and date them at the start of the pageant. Tabulators making corrections to category totals should initial the correction and have the scoring judge, secondary tabulator and/or the reigning The Gay United States Pageantry System, to initial the correction. Scores should never be blocked out, scribbled out, “whitened out” or written over, on a score sheet or Master Score sheet; a simple line through the error will suffice.
Contest category Sub-Master sheets are used to tabulate the judge’s scores for each category. When the points are totaled for the category, they are then transferred to the Contest Master score sheets (See Ex. 1 in the handbook)
- Judges should use block style numbers (example: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9)
-If there is need for a score correction, the original score should have one line drawn through the incorrect score, so as the original incorrect score is readable. Then, the corrected score, should be inserted at or near the incorrect score.
-Each correction should be verified by the initials of either the Lead Judge, the reigning GUS titleholder, and the Judge making the correction.