The difference between a good judge and an exceptional judge, is how the judge interacts with the crowd.
A Win-Win for All involved
Fostering crowd interaction is not a judging requirement. However, the judge has the power to enhance crowd entertainment. By doing so, the judge generates possible memorable moments, which will lead to return visits in the coming years. Crowd involvement also benefits the throwers who will feed off the crowds attention both in their actions and in their throws. A win-win for all.
Build Tension and Drama
Building drama when being a judge is an art form and takes practices.
When there is no announcer or when the announcer is concentrating on a different area of the competition, a judge can be a substitute announcer.
In distance events, the judge should, at the very lest, announce the distance after each throw for the audience and the throwers, whether the announcer is available or not. The judge can take it one step further by:
- Announcing at the end of each round, who are the top throwers and/or the throw to beat.
- Announcing the improvement a competitor needs to make over his/her last throw in order to move up a position or to take over one of the top three spots or to beat his PR.
- if a thrower’s distance needed is well beyond his capabilities, the judge should obviously avoid embarrassing a thrower; To encourage throwers, comments about how close to their Personal Record (PR) is better.
In Height events, a judge can get crowd participation by:
- telling them this is Joe Thrower’s last attempt, how about giving him some support.
- Use this sparingly as If done to often, the crowd won’t care.
- telling them in heavy athletics, their is competition between throwers and competition against oneself, setting up the announcement that the next thrower is going after a PR.
Other things that a judge can do:
- While raising the cross bar, ask throwers to work the crowd. Throwers can bring the implement over to the crowd so they can relate to its weight. They can explain the event, or the technique, or …..
- in the distance event, do the same thing after the completion of a round. This will give the judge a chance to scan the score sheet for a competition update.
Technology and Entertainment
With technology, spreadsheets that generate judge’s score-sheets can easily be modified to provide a column containing the thrower’s personal record from the registrations. if personal records (PRs) are at the judges finger tips, they can easily be used to engage the crowd.