The Official "Judges Handbook"

Hooked on Sims
Hooked on Sims
Joined: 9:55 AM - Jun 22, 2007

8:01 AM - Jun 30, 2008 #1

The Official "Judges Handbook"

All members are expected to review the handbook and become familiar with it, not just current judges. Judging is a big part of any contest, and this handbook will make sure that all participants of them will feel as if they are being judged fairly, and cut down on any judge/contestant issues.

Key points are bolded for easy reference.


1. Judge anonymity is up to the discretion of each contest host, and is not a requirement. However, If your judges are not going to remain anonymous, their names must be listed somewhere on the first page of your contest thread.

2. Contestants are expected to be respectful to all judges and hosts. If you have an issue with what you feel are unfair critiques, do not explore the issue in the contest thread. PM the judge/host in a polite manner. If the judges are anonymous, PM the host.

3. As a contestant, if you fail to take unfair judging issues up in a polite and mature manner, the host has the right to eliminate you from the contest, and you may receive warning points.

4. As a judge you make a commitment to the host to give critiques on time and until the final round. If you fail to do so, you may be reported by the host and/or given warning points.

5. As a host, if you are going to allow "outspoken" role playing judges on your panel, make it a point to note this in the first post of the contest thread. This way, contestants can make an informed decision before applying.

6. It is the job of all hosts to read their judges comments before posting them! Make sure they are judging based on the round specifics, and that they have all the proper elements in their critique. Make sure that if there is role play involved, the comments are still helpful. Most of all, just take a brief moment to make sure the overall critique makes sense. It is frustrating to read a comment you can’t understand when a quick review and edit would have fixed the issue.

6b. Once all photos for a round are handed in, judges have a time limit (host specified) to complete comments. Once all comments are finished, hosts must review each. If a host feels a comment is not acceptable, they should add "not approved" at the end with an explanation. The judge then has a time limit (again, host specified) to edit their comments. If the comments are not ready on time, the host has the right to edit the comments as they see fit, however, they may not alter the general message of any critique.

Reasons to disapprove a critique:

a. The critique borders on offensive.
b. Includes inappropriate or irrelevant commentary.
c. The critique is hard to understand.
d. Does not follow judging guidelines.

7. We understand that there are judges who role-play in personalities that are very “outspoken”. However, there is a difference between an “outspoken” judge, and a downright mean judge. To make sure all comments and critiques are fair (and most importantly, helpful) for each contestant, ALL judges, role playing or not, should make sure to include these elements in every comment they make. For judges that like role play, examples of what you should stay away from are included.

A. What did the contestant do wrong? Make sure you tell them!

Bad: “What is this? I don't even know, but it hurts my eyes to look at it!” This is bad because it does not tell the contestant what they did wrong! It does not help them improve, nor does it encourage them to keep trying.

Bad: “…You look like you just wiffed someone take a poo, and this is not fierce and your look is not model at all!" Again, this does not tell the contestant what they did wrong. It only makes fun of the photo. Also, how does a contestant know what’s “fierce” enough?

B. What could they have done to fix the problem(s), or improve the photo? You can’t expect a contestant to do better if you don’t give them pointers on how to do so.

C. Note at least one positive element of the photo. This can give a contestant the motivation to do better, and be encouraged that they are on the right track with something.

D. If you think a photo is perfect, simply saying: “OMG! This is amazing!” will not suffice! Getting a sentence long critique on something you worked hours on is frustrating, even if the critique is completely positive. Tell them exactly what is amazing so they know what things they are doing well! Also, if possible, give them at least one thing to improve on so they can continue to do well.

8. If you are going to role play as an “outspoken” judge, that is fine. We understand the entertainment value they can bring to a contest. Just remember to be tactful with your humor, and make sure your criticism is constructive and follows the above guidelines.

9. Sometimes, we don’t notice when comments are too harsh because we type, post and walk away. After you are done your comments, step away for an hour or so, then go back and re-read them. Do they still sound ok? Do they make sense? Are they overly harsh? If so, edit them accordingly.

10. Try not to base comments too heavily on the beauty of a certain model. Beauty is subjective. Of course, during applications/casting, this is a big factor, but steer clear of this once the contest has begun. At this point you should be judging on the photo. Critiques on things contestants can fix such as a bad choice in hair color, make-up… etc. are perfectly fine, but do not give comments such as “I think your nose is too wide…” OR “I don’t like that your eyes are so close together!”

Although they are sims, we all know how annoying changing our models can be once they’re made, and to judge a contestant on a model they think is fine (and are probably proud of) is not fair nor encouraging.
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