What does a Judge do ??

I have been very lucky in my shooting career to meet a number of fantastic people. One of which is International Judge Katy Lipscombe.

This is what she had to say about judging:-

“What does a Judge Do? Apart from drink tea, eat cake and stand in front of your telescope…..

A Judge’s main role is to make sure that it is a level playing field for all archers, so a shoot in Bedfordshire is run using the same the rules as a shoot in Manchester and as a shoot in Australia.

We do this by literally checking the playing field – we measure the field to make sure all the distances are within tolerance; we check archer’s equipment to make sure no one is accidentally using equipment they should not be and we make sure archers follow the rules of shooting and scoring – including doing line cutter decisions with our trusted magnifying glasses.

We are also responsible for the safety of everyone, which is why we check the area around the targets to make sure it is large enough and that no one can accidentally walk into the area. Judges are also constantly watching to check no one is drawing back their role in a dangerous way and that no one is in front of the shooting line during shooting.

Believe it or not, Judges are also there to help the archers as well as the Organising Team. Hopefully, the days of the Judge being an unapproachable authority figure are gone. If you have a problem on the field, such as an equipment failure or bouncer, then we are there to help you. We are also there to answer any archery related questions you might have about the rules. We try to educate archers and to explain the rules so archers know why things are done the way they are, some of the rules can be confusing but if you know why the rules are the way they are then it helps understand them. Judges also work closely with the Organising Team to make sure the shoot runs smoothly, we are all part of the same team who just want it to be a good shoot which the archers enjoy.

Judging isn’t just about what happens during the shoot. Judges are often the first to arrive at a venue and the last to leave and are on their feet all day. We also work hard before the event to make sure we are up to date with the rules, there are lots of emails and communications to read with the latest news, rules and procedures as well as lots of training material. There are also conferences and seminars to attend. As Judges move through the grades there are several exams to take to progress, and at least every four years we have to take a re-accreditation test. So it is a lot more work then it may look.

Katy looks like she has found the next Olympic Champion …..

That said it is great fun – you get to meet lots of different people and make new friends. The other Judges are a great group of people, very friendly and supportive, especially when new judges are learning. We are a family and look after each other. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday then stood in a field helping archers with my fellow Judges, even if it is cold and wet. And there is also a lot of tea and cake!!

A bit about me – I started judging when I was 14/15, my Dad was already a Judge so encouraged me. I moved through the grades in the UK and became a Continental Judge in 2007 and then an International Judge in 2011. Internationally my best moments have been being the Assistant DOS at the 2012 Olympics, being Chair of Judges at the European Games in Minsk in 2019 and being selected as Deputy Chairman for the 2020(2021) Paralympics in Tokyo. That being said, I would not give up judging my local shoots with my friends for anything. I am also the Judge Liaison Officer for SCAS, so if you have any questions just contact me at judges@scasarchery.org.uk.”

If you have some thoughts on this please do drop us a line at info@aim4sport.com and title your email “What does a Judge do?”, and some of the replies will be posted online.  Please let us know your thoughts.

Shoot ‘em strong and see you on the shooting line soon.