An AIS Judge, Should I Be One?
How many times have you heard someone say, or said yourself "I'm
not going to that meeting, it's Judges Training, that's just for
judges". I want to correct this misconception. Judge's Training is
designed for AIS Judges but anyone can attend and every one will learn
from the information presented at these classes. AIS Judges Training
sessions are presented on a variety of topics all concerning our
favorite flower. Even to someone who wants to just grow pretty flowers
and has no intention of ever becoming a judge these training sessions
are important. They will help you understand what the difference is
between a poor plant and a good one and why it is important for every
gardener to know the difference.
Now if you have attended several training sessions you may think you want to
become an AIS judge. With the honor of being an AIS judge comes certain
responsibilities and duties. Though judging at shows may be the most
visible duty of a judge to the public, it is not the most important. The
most important responsibility of a judge is voting the annual AIS ballot
for the AIS awards and medals. In this way the AIS judge recommends to
the public top quality iris for their gardens by endorsing the very best
irises. These awards also encourage hybridizers to produce top quality
irises. To vote the ballot knowledgeably a judge must grow a selection
of newer varieties of many types. He must also visit gardens during
bloom time each year to observe as many irises as possible. This takes a
commitment of time and money. The AIS judge is also committed to
promoting AIS and it's goals by judging shows, giving presentations when
asked and supporting the local clubs. If you are willing to fully take
on these responsibilities you will make a good AIS judge.
How do you become an AIS accredited judge? There are several steps in the
process and several levels. The AIS requirements are only a minimum and
each Region may have additional requirements.
A Brief Summary of the Region 13 Judges
Training Program Requirements to be Completed as a Candidate for AIS
1. Make application to the Region 13 Judges Training Chairman for entry into the judges' training program.
2. Have a copy of the most recent "Handbook for Judges and Show Officials".
3. Maintain three years of continuous membership in the AIS. However, training to become an Apprentice may start before the
three years are complete.
4. Successfully complete a minimum of two training
sessions for a total of ten hours, passing written examinations on each
session. At least one hour of this training must be on garden judging
and one hour on show judging.
5. Submit an annual activity report.
6. Get the recommendation for advancement from five
Requirements to be Completed as an
1. Maintain continuous AIS membership.
2. Complete two, two-hour sessions of garden
training under different instructors. At least one session must be on
some iris other than tall bearded.
3. Complete two, two-hour sessions of show
judging training under different instructors.
4. Successfully complete a two-hour course on
awards and balloting.
5. Complete all requirements within three years after
becoming an apprentice judge.
6. Complete an annual activity report each year.
Requirements for Maintaining Status as
an Accredited Judge
1. After an Accredited Judge has served the Society for
fifteen years a Judge is elevated to the status of Master Judge. This is a
lifetime appointment. This class is divided into two sections.
A. An Active Master Judge must vote their AIS ballot and
return their activity reports annually. They must also complete three
hours of AIS approved judges training in a three year period. Failure to
complete these requirements will result in their becoming Retired Master
B. Retired Master Judges are not required
to fulfill any of the obligations outlined above, but may not vote the AIS
Emeritus Judges are appointed by the AIS Board of Directors. This honor is only
given to Accredited Judges who have shown outstanding leadership in the AIS
at the national level. Emeritus Judges are not required to fulfill any of
the usual obligations of other Judges accept to maintain AIS membership.
Submitted by Carla Lankow for the KCIS Newsletter, December 1997