Question: How important is the score, or is it most important to rank the bands correctly?
Answer: Both are important, no doubt, but the primary responsibility of each judge is to rank the bands correctly in his/her caption. Ranking and rating go hand in hand. When judging a performance, I will constantly evaluate everything that is being presented to me as the show progresses and make notes if necessary. This forms my first impression of where that band might be placed in each scoring “box”. After the performance has concluded, I reference back to the criteria for each sub-caption, making sure that score I’m assigning is representative of the commentary I’ve just provided. Once I’ve assigned a score in each sub-caption and totaled everything up, I then reference that number to my tote sheet where I’ve kept track of other scores that I’ve given for that particular contest. If by chance I’ve created a tie within the caption, I again reference the criteria as well as previous notes I’ve taken for those two bands. I will then normally make a small adjustment (usually .1 or even .05) to break that tie. Since this is a competitive environment, my personal opinion is that judges should make a decision within their captions and not tie groups.
– Mark Culp