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By Claire King

There has been very positive progress in the judges' competency over the past year. The quest to grow our judging panel began at Nationals 2007, when international FAI judges Pia Berggren and Barry McAuley were brought to the Nationals events to train and guide our SA judging team. An open invitation was sent to all members to join the training camp and learn about judging.

At Nationals 2008, Pia returned to continue training and brought with her Sweden's Omniskore system. Our judges got to learn the electronic scoring system and our competitors and spectators were treated to a particularly exciting Nationals where they could watch live scoring of the FS rounds on the big screen, creating an atmosphere second to none.

As a result of the visiting judges and their efforts, several members have attained their National judge ratings and several their FAI ratings (in FS and CP). The drive has also sparked a revived interest in judging amongst PASA members.

The improvements drive has not stopped there. The judges have formed a committee, chaired by Ettienne Bosch and guided by each discipline's representative on the SSA, which aims to further improve the discipline in South Africa through a proactive restructuring of the judging competency and organisation, reassessment of requirements and processes, and positive recruitment and training initiatives to keep growing the panel.

Competitors spend so much time, money and effort training for competition and it's great to see the energy and enthusiasm going into the judging of those meets. Look out for the proposed changes ahead the next SGM and give your input.