01st Feb2016

UPDATED! IPC 2016: Changes to the Photographic Competition Judging Process

by Christine


***** Update Notes are italicized (thanks Dan & Francie for clarification help).*****

As I write about photographic competition topics, I will put them under a header of IPC with whatever “competition year” we are in. That means that this topic pertains to anything that is going on from approximately September 1 through August 31, depending on the IPC dates. This does not mean that the topic pertains ONLY to the IPC competition. I apologize for any confusion, but that’s the way I’ve always done it here at Wootness.

Some of the rules below only affect competitions at a district level (specifically the INs/OUTs change, the lowest score alternate change and the Majority Automatic Challenge addition) as there is scoring on the district level only. The remaining change affects both IPC and District levels.

These rules are not required to be duplicated on any other level, so check your state or local guild rules for the specific rules that govern their competitions.

Greetings and salutations! I haven’t been around much lately, after IPC last August, the fall passed in a blur and then it was the holidays and then IUSA 2016 and now here we are, mere weeks from the first PPA District deadline – ack! How did that happen?

While at Imaging 2016, I had the opportunity to attend the Judges’ Refresher training. While there, we were all apprised of a few new judging guidelines that are going into effect this year. Normally, I like to back up my information with resources, and I anticipate that new Jury Chair and International Photographic Competition manuals will be uploaded to the PPA website before too long with the changes in place. Meanwhile, this information has been shared on several social media platforms and I have some fuzzy cell phone snaps of the slideshow from the judges’ training – so I think we can all go with the concept that I’m going to give you some real information here based on fact. As soon as the official documentation supports it, I will add that in. (meanwhile, see IPC Facebook page post dated 1/26/2016 HERE)

There are four changes that have been made. Every single one of these changes benefits the maker/image and gives every opportunity for a merit to be awarded. I think that most competitors will find these changes to be to their advantage.

1. In the past, images scoring 78-81 would be brought back for a review called INs and OUTs. This is no longer the case. The only images that will be brought back for review are those that initially scored a 78-79. This is a PPA District Competition change.

2. In the past, the computer would randomly select a juror for each image that was to be considered the alternate. The jurors are unaware as to which of them is the alternate and all jurors participate fully in the challenge discussions. The change will be that the lowest score will now be the alternate score and will not be figured into the final average score for the print. If, during the challenge process, the jurors change their score and a different juror now has the lowest score, that is the new alternate. This is a PPA District Competition change.

3. In the past, albums submitted to the event album category were judged by a panel that contained at least 3 approved wedding jurors. that requirement is now also in place for the wedding portrait subcategory within the portrait category. This is a PPA District and IPC change.

4. If a majority of the jurors on the panel give an image an 80+ score, but the image’s final average score is not an 80+, this is called a Majority Automatic Challenge and the image will be discussed and re-scored. For example, if you have a panel that scores an image 80, 80, 80, 80, 75, 75, the average score is a 79 (we have dropped one of the 75s as the lowest score). A majority of the jurors have given this a “merit score” however, the final average was not 80+. We now have an automatic challenge and this image will be discussed.

There’s also a flip side to how this rule works. If a majority of the jurors give a score of less than 80, but an average score of more than 80 is decrived, that is an automatic challenge. (Example scores: 85, 79,79,79,79,78. The 78 is dropped as the alternate/lowest score and the average is 80. Although the majority of the judges scored this image below an 80, it scored an 80, so it will be an automatic challenge and will be discussed and rescored).

This is a PPA District Competition change. (CWN note: merits and loans are determined at the IPC level by a majority thumbs up/thumbs down vote, so there is a comparable majority rule already in place at the IPC level)

So, there you have it, all the changes that are new and improved for your competition pleasure.

Peace, Love & Merit Scores,


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