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Judges Education, Provisional Judges Programs, including donated judging services, Judges’ Directory, overturning AKC’s Solicitation Policy; all were instituted by the SCJA.


April 20, 2011 | TheDogPress


We received an interesting letter from which we will share extracts.  We called Lt. Col. Wallace H. Pede who verified it is part of the Welcome-Information packet sent to new Senior Conformation Judges Association members.


The letter pulls seniority and rank, clarifying “bragging rights” on issues that have become issues in the judging community.  First up is the matter of Judges Education.  While many breed clubs have long worked to educate judges on the finer points of their breeds, the SCJA was the first national group to educate judges on AKC rules and judging protocol.  It states “The ACEF, American Canine Education Foundation (our sister organization formerly known as the Senior Conformation Judges Association Education Fund), started judges education for the entire country and put on the first week-long Judges Institute at Indiana University in Indiana, PA in 1989.  This is confusing to some of our members since they are aware that Jerry Penta, American Dog Show Judges (ADSJ) President, has been doing his annual institute at Indiana University in Indiana, PA for some years.”


The judges groups’ initials can be confusing but the Senior Conformation Judges aren’t “old”, they just have seniority by being first on just about everything.  The letter is easy to understand - “Back in 1989, there was no American Dog Show Judges (ADSJ) and Jerry Penta was a junior judge with a few breeds who volunteered to join the more senior judges to coordinate and oversee the SCJAEF’s first judges institute.”


It wasn’t long before there were other judges associations.  And people being people, disagreements and competition ensued.  The SCJA letter points out “… some of the recent negative statements by both the American Dog Show Judges (ADSJ) and the Dog Judges Association of America (DJAA) Presidents reflecting on the successful efforts of the SCJA to remove AKC’s ban of SCJA’s program to help all the non-Group judges" goes on to set the record straight.


SCJA tried to get the other two judges associations to help convince the AKC that its sudden denial of the Senior Conformation Judges' long-standing “Help The Provisional Program” was in fact contradictory to Federal Statutes, but failing that, the Senior Judges had to go it alone.  “We had no help whatsoever from the American Dog Show Judges (ADSJ) or the Dog Judges Association of America (DJAA)…” and in no uncertain terms, SCJA the letter stipulates “… it was an official letter from the ADSJ to the AKC complaining about the SCJA’s 'Help The Provisional Judges Program' that was responsible for the AKC directing our program be discontinued.


Ironically, “The ADSJ took the position that the SCJA program discriminated against judges by only helping the provisional judges -  well no kidding - that was the sole purpose of the SCJA’s “Help The Provisional Judges Program”.


The SCJA took on the matter of soliciting, something every successful professional (contractor, doctor, lawyer, etc.) does everyday.  Charges of “solicitation” had become a weapon to be used against a judge, often by other judges.  One extreme example is inadvertently pointed out in the letter, “… the DJAA President was also unhappy with the SCJA’s success and indicated that he had a new mailbox on his computer and that it was for anyone who solicits - - so he could be sure they were never hired by any club he had any influence with.  This is surprising since DJAA’s present President personally participated in the SCJA’s “Help The Provisional Judges Program” when he was an SCJA member and SCJA Board member by being one of the Group judges that donated their services for one or two shows a year for those clubs utilizing provisional judges.”  Update: In 2012 AKC announced solicitation for assignments is accepted.


It wasn’t long ago that judges had to keep a low profile, making it very difficult for new judges or those not "connected" to get assignments.  The SCJA helped level the playing field by publishing the “first-ever photo directory of judges” and as a side note, the other judges’ association presidents, Dr. Jerry Penta and Col. Purkhiser, were in the SCJA’s photo directory.


The Senior Judges, secure in their own positions, went a step further by instituting a “Help The Provisional Judges Program.” The SCJA furnishes any requesting show chair a list of provisional judges, complete with “distance they are willing to travel, actual provisional breeds as well as approved breeds and the fact that all judges on the list are available for the particular date of the show requested by the show chair, no waste of time on phone calls.”  What a great help for honest show chairs!  But what seems to have angered the other judges associations is that the SCJA also furnished a list of Group Judges who donate their services in order to help the clubs afford to help the provisional judges!


After being told they couldn’t do that, the letter states “the SCJA is bringing our old system back to its original format (as it was prior to the ADSJ’s criticism of it to the AKC).”  Good news in these economic times when clubs are struggling to stay solvent and still provide the best judges.  What’s not to like about Group judges donating their services??!!


So if you or your club would like to participate in an exceptionally beneficial program to help new judges and the clubs who hire them, forms can be found on their web site at (#1)

The letter covered much more, including news about the upcoming ACEF 2011 Judges Institute in Las Vegas.   Having covered the 2008 Judges Institute (#2) we can tell you it was a learning experience no one who is serious about the sport can afford to miss.  Details will be posted on the ACEF website. (#3)


The Senior Conformation Judges Assoc. was founded in 1983 by All Breed Judge Mel Downing, President, Lt. Col. Wallace H. Pede as Executive Secretary, and 1st Charter Member, All Breed Judge E.W. “Tip” Tipton.




(#2) 2008 Judges Institute

(#3) ACEF website




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