Pointing System in Classes of Mixed Entries
26th Nov 1997
A few weeks ago I wrote about the percentage judging system where a top quality dish of the lower pointed vegetable has an equal chance of winning against a higher pointed poor quality cultivar in the "Any other vegetable class". I have received numerous letters regarding this item and I have to say that the vast majority of them was in favour of adopting this system.
The Hampshire Federation of Horticultural Societies has for many years been promoting the wider acceptance of this pointing system in classes of mixed entries, and Mr Peter Mauder from Havant Hampshire firmly believes that such positive and decisive thinking merits more positive support. Mr Maunder went on to say that the percentage method of assessment of all dishes in contention is much fairer and more readily understood and accepted. Quality in the form of appearance, freshness and eating potential is of prime importance.
Another letter from Mr Ron Macfarlane of Pembroke also spoke even stronger in favour of such a system, he would even like to see this system being used when the judges at the end of the show have to award the best exhibit in the vegetable section. The fact that Ron this year won the National Vegetable Society class for onions under 250 grams as well as getting the best exhibit in the RHS Autumn show in London may certainly have prompted him to write as these onions have a maximum pontential points of 15.
I actually agree that there is some merit in what he is saying and perhaps the powers to be at the National Vegetable Society executive may wish to deliberate on it. The overall quality of Ron's exhibit this year was as near faultless as anything that I have seen for a number of years and would have come very close to getting the maximum points from me. I hasten to add however that I will never award full marks to any vegetable exhibit as I perasonally feel, regardless of how good an exhibit might be, that we will never achieve absolute perfection in the growing of any vegetable.
A letter that I received from Mr Charles Holmes of Co Antrim who is the Secretary of the Northern Ireland Vegetable Association thought the percentage calculation table was a great idea and he went on to say "Would it be possible for Garden News to make some of these up in laminated plastic form, perhaps in a size that would fit into the new RHS/NVS judges handbook. I do not mean these to be given free with every copy of Garden News, but perhaps with a stamped addressed envelope". I would go even further and ask Garden News to produce these, charge a pound for them with the proceeds going to Children In Need.
Well what about it Mr Editor, the overwhelming feeling seems to be that this percentage table is a good idea and as we are not all rocket scientists and able to quickly work out the percentage value off the cuff, it would be a very useful addition to the judge. Of course we would all be eternally grateful to Garden News for giving those people who want it, a very useful judging aid!!
The only contentious letter (two in fact) came from a Mr Bill Bossom of Enfield Middlesex who is a rose breeder with some much simpler ideas on judging which I shall discuss fully next week.