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Camera club AGM last night and changes to competitions

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
I know this may not be terribly interesting to some, but there are a few in camera clubs here so I am posting about it because it may help.

There was some drama at my camera club last night. It was our Annual General meeting where we do the boring stuff like vote on officers, rule changes, membership fees, etc.

Two things were discussed for almost an hour.

Agenda Item #22 – Competition Rules - Judging

from ...
2.2 The judges are aware of the competition level for a group of images.

to ...
2.2 The judges are not made aware of the competition level for a group of images.

Agenda Item #23 – Competition Rules – Scoring and Awards (4 Regular Competitions)

from ...
2.3 In all classes, members will be awarded an AM for a score of 24 and higher. An HM will be
awarded for a score of 23 or 23.5.

to ...
2.3 Awards will be issued as follows: Novice HM for a score of 22.5 or 23 and AM for a score of
23.5 or greater. Advanced HM for 23 or 23.5 and AM for 24 or greater. Specialist HM for 23.5 or 24 and AM for 24.5 or greater.
HM = honourable mention, AM = award of merit

The first one was not understood at first by a lot of people. The idea is that judges may show a bias and score higher for a Novice to "give them a break" and be tougher on Specialists because they are supposed to be better. It did eventually pass.

Background on the second. A few years ago we did two things:

1. We went from just Novice and Advanced to adding the Specialist category because we had a few Advanced photographers that would win the year end trophies every year.

2. Changed the HM and AM decision from the judges deciding to it being based on the score. We always had scores, but had many cases where judges gave one photo with 24 an AM, and another a HM. By going to the points threshold the process was deemed to be more fair.

Since going to the points based awards we have tweaked it every year. This year the novice category has fewer overall awards and the specialist had way more. The specialists is a smaller group and they only enter good photos so that sort of makes sense, but the idea was to make it harder for them and easier for novice. After much debate, and an amended motion, we decided on adjusting the novice category but not the specialist.

One thing I found interesting, a few of our long time members (joined in the 80's) still prefer the old judging system where the judges arbitrarily decide on the awards. Maybe just because "that's how it's always been".

The other big item was moving our meeting location. We have met at the same location, a branch of the Toronto Public Library, for all 55 years of the club's existence. Due to changes in how the Library handles bookings and increased costs, we looked into moving. We found a church not too far away (8 minutes by car) that has a much larger room and much more parking. We can get people off our wait list with the larger space for meetings. We already had people tell the executives that they would be leaving because it was "outside their winter driving radius" :club:
 

wraggtime

Always on
So Dom I’m assuming you judge out of 25?
we went from scores out of 20 to scores out of 10 as judges only seemed to score from 11-20 as they didn’t want to upset anyone . As a result the competition is much closer and people tend to up their game rather than putting in ‘that will do’.

We have club class, intermediate and advanced so judges can be fairer on club and harsh on advanced but the problem I see with scrapping classes is the beginners will hardly ever get top marks and maybe discouraged from entering, I’ll be interested to see how it works out for you guys.
 

Hatter

Always on
Premium Member
How many typically enter your competitions, Don?
Our club doesn't have any categories newbies and experts are judged equally alongside each other. We generally get about 25 entrants.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
So Dom I’m assuming you judge out of 25?
we went from scores out of 20 to scores out of 10 as judges only seemed to score from 11-20 as they didn’t want to upset anyone . As a result the competition is much closer and people tend to up their game rather than putting in ‘that will do’.

We have club class, intermediate and advanced so judges can be fairer on club and harsh on advanced but the problem I see with scrapping classes is the beginners will hardly ever get top marks and maybe discouraged from entering, I’ll be interested to see how it works out for you guys.
30, 3 judges 10 points each. They generally do not score less than 6 unless it is really bad.

How many typically enter your competitions, Don?
Our club doesn't have any categories newbies and experts are judged equally alongside each other. We generally get about 25 entrants.
I think they said last night over the year 52% of members entered at least once and that each competition had about 33%. We have about 100 members. I only entered the first competition of the year, we have 4, as I kept forgetting at the deadlines :)
 

Hatter

Always on
Premium Member
Yeah... we only have one.
We have nine competitions over the season though - roughly one per month.
 

MikeB

Always on
Premium Member
Our club is struggling with too many photographers in the advanced class and too few in the novice. The intermediate class seems to be working fine. Points are cumulative and permanent so achieving the advanced class comes from a lot of awards or some awards and a lot of years. We are now debating the establishment of a master class where the points expire making turnover more likely.
 

Ogofmole

Always on
Moderator
I belong to two camera clubs, both run very different. One club is a member of a Federation so we get involved in quite a few competitions. But my other club has no competitions, no committee and does not belong to any Photographic Federation and it is doing very well, in fact we get lots of younger members and is always well attended on a club night.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
Wow 3 judges we only can afford 1 lol.
We give $25 each. Our dues are $80 per year. With the move we will also be cutting our expenses by half as the room rental will be less.

Yeah... we only have one.
We have nine competitions over the season though - roughly one per month.
We have 4 from Sept to April (I think our season is short, should go to June IMO).
 

Keitht

Always on
If you have many on the waiting list who will be able to join and participate following the move, surely that outweighs the potential loss from those not willing to drive a maximum of an additional 8 minutes. Cutting off their noses to spite their faces comes to mind. Fresh blood in any organisation should always be welcome.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
If you have many on the waiting list who will be able to join and participate following the move, surely that outweighs the potential loss from those not willing to drive a maximum of an additional 8 minutes. Cutting off their noses to spite their faces comes to mind. Fresh blood in any organisation should always be welcome.
Yes, it seems rather silly to me, it is not far and on good (as good as they get in Toronto) roads. We have added a lot of new members in the past couple of years. I suspect we will increase our membership limit from 100 to at least 110, if not more, now with the larger space.
 
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