judge in the USA, not in Canada

As an “inactive judge” (I missed the FIG course for this quadrennial) I saw things more objectively at the competition last weekend.

If you are not judging or coaching, gymnastics meets are slow and boring in Canada. The “action” is short compared with the period of time I spent sitting on my butt.

I love gymnastics — but, as a spectator, was ready to exit when the meet was half over.

Certainly some of the American competitions are much more efficiently run than are ours in Canada. Some competitions there do everything they can to shorten the meet.

Post-competition I visited (drank beer) with the judges and heard the usual concerns.

“The judging regulations are not clear. Not smart.”

“The rules are changed too often. It is confusing for judges and coaches.”

“I’m giving up my holidays / missing work to judge.”

This competition the judges were aggravated by being charged a $50 “membership fee” in my region. For some reason the Provincial Gymnastics Association does not deduct that $50 from the first honoraria judges get each season — far easier for all concerned. (I immediately offered to have my club pay that fee for the judges in my city.)

Correction – judges can have the $50 deducted from honoraria, I am informed.

Bottom line — Canada does not treat their judges well enough. When we judge in the USA we are well paid and treated with respect. That is not the case, normally, in Canada.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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