Back and Side Judge Conflicts

There should never be a conflict as they both have roles to play in judging this event and neither can make the main  judgement call for the other:

  • Back-judges can not make an accurate side angle call
  • Side-judges can not establish the path accurately to make a turned time call.

If there is a conflict, it is because one of the two if not both do not fully understand the difficulty of the others judging assignment.

In general, the back-judge is more experience than the side judge.  We all hope that with experience comes wisdom and if not that professionalism.  As a back-judge:

  • you should talk to the side judge about expectations.  If you see an attempted pick call it.  Be prepared to determine if the caber did a fifer, ….
  • You should be professional when dealing with the side judge.  If the call is in question, question it discretely.
  • You are most-likely the senior member of the team, act that way and show respect.

A tail

At a Mid-west games, a back-judge repeatedly question the side-judges calls.  The back-judges less than discrete questioning of the side-judges calls brought into question the side-judges skills. 

The side judge should have discretely reminded the back-judge that he was being unprofessional and that if he had a question, to do so discretely.   However, the side-judge choose to ignore the back-judge, risking his reputation as  a judge.  

Unfortunately, this situation escalated causing the AD to observe the side-judging.  To the AD’s credit, after watching a few of the side-judges calls, stepped in and announced that he was doing an experiment.  He asked the side-judge his calls on several partial turns in a row, each one matched the AD’s call.  The AD announced it loud enough for others to hear! 

The actions of the AD somewhat limiting the damage caused by the extremely unprofessional back-judge.   

The morals – (1) don’t be a dick as a back judge; (2) stand up for yourself when you are a side judge no matter the experience of the back judge; (3) if you are an AD, find a face saving way of dealing with the issue.