Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee

Appropriate quotes for judges

March 18, 2015

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Daffodil Enthusiasts, General, Judging, Shows

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I have written down a couple of quotes I have heard regarding daffodil judging and was searching with no success to see if I could find the original quotes. Does anyone have the quote by Carey Quinn about awarding ribbons and not withholding them and one by Tichenor (I must have it spelled incorrectly as dafflibrary doesn’t pull up a thing from that name) about young and old judges, judges early and late in the season, etc.?

8 Responses to Appropriate quotes for judges

  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    March 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Becky, Ted Snazelle quotes this before every CMDS show. Dr. Bill Bender gave a speech once in which he quoted Judge Quinn as saying, “The goal of a good judge is to give blue ribbons, not to withhold them.”
    (I have just skimmed the judging section of the Carey Quinn book, and it’s not there, so it must just be remembered from that speech, and Dr. Bender repeating it often.
    Bill Ticknor said that young judges always judged more severely than old judges, and that all judges judged more severely early in the season than at the end of the season. “So may we,” he concluded “always judge like old judges late in the season.”
    Bill Ticknor was also remembered for almost single-handedly curing ADS judges of the “single entry syndrome,”in which they automatically deciding that a blue ribbon should never be given to an entry that had no opposition.

  2. Ben Blake, California
    Ben Blake, California
    March 19, 2015 at 2:04 am


    Taking your hint that the name was misspelled, I found 120 references to Bill “Ticknor” on


  3. Keith Kridler, Texas
    Keith Kridler, Texas
    March 19, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Does anyone have the quote by Carey Quinn about awarding ribbons and not withholding them. from Becky?

    This quote I believe is in the first chapter of the fifth edition of the judges handbook. It is actually a question in the ADS judges School 1B this year.

    As far as new student judges being more strict, than older judges. During point scoring in the ADS judges schools you can have four “experienced” judges score a daffodil at 94>96 points and most student judges, once they are aware of “all” of the faults possible will seldom score these blooms above a 91. ADS Judges handbook and ADS slide programs, exhibiting daffodils teach a student judge to look for every single speck of dirt, grain of pollen, perfect form, overlap, shape for that division.

    Common question from students is OK, every flower has these faults, if we see them, we should deduct for each of them, makes it impossible for most flowers in a daffodil show to be a blue ribbon….IF you actually point score, and deduct for any fault.

    Just an observation but you might, want to have more lenient judges working the sections in the “small growers, youth and classics” classes where first time exhibitors might be entering blooms.

    At the Texas show, I pulled blue ribbons off of three tables where pretty nice blooms did not merit a blue in that class. There were 16 blue ribbons on those tables, 12 “different” exhibitors won a blue ribbon out of those classes! There were I think 27 different exhibitors in our show, there were I think 20 different exhibitors that won at least one blue ribbon.

    Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

  4. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    March 19, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Following Keith’s hint, I went to my Judging Handbook , and bingo! As an italicized heading for Chapter 9, Judging–“It is the responsibility of the Judge to award blue ribbons, not withhold them.” Judge Carey Quinn.

    Of course those of us lucky enough to hear Dr. Bill Bender repeat this valuable bit of guidance have an added layer of memories to reinforce this.

  5. Darrin Ellis-May, Georgia
    Darrin Ellis-May, Georgia
    March 19, 2015 at 7:55 am

    All, Judge Quinn’s quote is the Chapter 9 header (page 89) in our judging handbook.


  6. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    March 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Looking again at all the show pictures, I remember a valuable piece of advice from my Judging School I in Portland in 2000, where I thought the privilege of being taught by Ruth Pardue, Richard Ezell, and Nancy Gill was valuable enough to miss climbing Mt. Hood. One of them said, “The best way to judge a collection class is to stand back and look at all of the entries, decide which one ought to win, and then move up close and see if there is a reason why not.”
    This has stayed with me for fifteen years, and I still believe in it.

  7. David Adams, New Zealand
    March 24, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Loyce has it right. When we judge an entry we can look and see which flower/collection should be first and then compare the entry with EVERY other entry to find any reason why we should not make it first. If another entry is better then continue the same process with that entry. I call this positive judging and it is much quicker than negative judging. To me negative judging is when we choose to eliminate the worst entries and work our way to he top. This takes valuable time. A good and confident judge can see a good flower from a mile away.
    When I have been convenor of our premier selection panel I have noted that the premier selection judges seem to make their decision in the first thirty seconds. As stated they should then ask the question Loyce .has suggested ‘Is there any reason that this flower should not get the award?’
    Let’s all become positive judges.


  8. Phyllis Hess, Ohio
    Phyllis Hess, Ohio
    March 27, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Loyce you were very lucky to be taught by 3 of the best!!