By Michael Baadke
Proposed changes to the American Philatelic Society’s guidelines for judging philatelic exhibits at APS World Series of Philately national shows have been under discussion by the APS Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges (CANEJ).
Among the changes proposed would be a focus on exhibit classes rather than divisions by type or purpose, and an increase in the number of medal levels available for awarding, from five to eight.
Other changes encourage exhibitor creativity and seek to promote inclusiveness.
If adopted, the changes would be implemented in a new 7th edition of the Manual of Philatelic Judging.
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The 6th edition of the judging manual, revised Oct. 7, 2014, is available online.
Fifteen changes are under consideration, but all were still being debated by the committee during March and could change before a draft of the proposed changes is posted to the APS website. A target date of April 1 was established for posting the draft document.
When that takes place, public comments about the proposals will be accepted for a period of approximately two months.
After that, a final draft will be forwarded to the APS board of directors for approval, with a target date of July 1.
If approved, publication in the 7th edition of the manual should take place by Aug. 1, with implementation on Jan. 1, 2017.
David McNamee, who chairs CANEJ, emphasized to Linn’s that “everything to this point is tentative” and said that “things may change.”
The 15 proposed changes under consideration are:
1. Changing the title of the judging manual from Manual of Philatelic Judging to Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting.
2. Moving Chapter 23A, Literature Class, into a separate manual.
3. Moving Chapter 33, Rules for Shows, into another document.
4. Clearly identifying all rules on page 1 and eliminating statements of “must” and “should” as much as possible.
5. Instead of being written specifically for judges, the manual would address judging in one part and provide exhibiting guidance in another.
6. A less restrictive description of exhibit types would be included in an appendix to the manual instead of the descriptions in Chapters 6 to 23.
7. Guidance would be added to illustrate examples of poor and excellent implementation of criteria; the criteria for exhibit evaluation, however, would remain unchanged.
8. Instead of exhibit classes and divisions by type or purpose listed with requirements of each, the manual would include classes only: multi-frame, one frame, youth, and literature. The conventional exhibit types would be listed but exhibitors would not be required to use them.
9. Picture postcard exhibits, currently in a separate class ineligible for the grand award, would be part of the multi-frame and one frame classes and eligible for all awards.
10. Experimental and topical exhibits would be considered acceptable exhibit types.
11. The current statement about accepting creativity would be revised to emphasize the freedom to create.
12. The current five medal levels (gold, vermeil, silver, silver-bronze, bronze) would become eight, adding large gold, large vermeil and large silver.
13. The existing manual notes that points are not used to score exhibits; the revision would state that points must be used to score exhibits.
14. Along with narrative feedback, the uniform exhibit evaluation form would include scores in points rather than weights.
15. Creativity, inclusiveness, and participation would be added to the current goals of consistency, fairness, and standardization.