Hello everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and are starting to think about the 2019 winter season. As always, there are new and exciting events being planned both in the U.S. and abroad. WGI is expanding at a blistering pace and I’m so pleased to have so many of you – the finest – involved. Below are some reminders, updates and news flashes that will keep you in the loop and help nudge you in the direction of a high school gym full of (mostly) young people displaying incredible skills.
In the past several months, Beverly and William have been sending out information to assist in your transition from the fall to the winter. There are no changes in the philosophy, approach or your job when it comes to the judging aspect of what you do. That said, it is imperative that you review the educational information, exercises and direction we have been training the last several seasons. Again, we trust you to manage your own education and personal growth. More and more of you are venturing into a second and even a third caption. Please solicit the assistance of your manager in order to maximize your growth and thus improve your individual brand. One of my good friends described what we do as a moving sidewalk. Are you standing on it, walking on it as it moves forward, or have you side-stepped it?
A new judge orientation was held in December with fourteen first and second year judges. The intimate setting allowed for detailed work regarding numbers, commentary, critiques and pertinent information regarding travel, Competition Suite, organizational structure, and professionalism. They are an energetic and excited group of people that will undoubtedly contribute to the WGI brand now and in the future. Please do your best to welcome them to our team.
Similar to last season, panels will meet at all February regionals to discuss a variety of topics. In most cases that will take place during the pre-contest meeting and after the regional over libations at the hotel. Last season was very successful in identifying judge concerns and clarifying a variety of topics. These informal educational opportunities are used to build camaraderie, expand our frame of reference and learn from each other. In order for us to have these conversations prior to the contest, it will require some preparation from you. Unlike years in the past, the office will not be sending out placemats, score sheets, judging manuals, colored bloom adjectives, or pre-contest checklists. All of these are located on the judge portal. If you need assistance finding any of these documents, check with your manager. Arrive at your first regional with these documents printed and in hand, that will save time in the preparation portion of the pre-contest meeting.
Due to the expanded schedule at Championships (“A” class begins on Wednesday), we will not hold a judge meeting on Wednesday night in Dayton. Instead, we will have an electronic meeting the week prior to Championships, additionally, our individual pre-contest meetings in Dayton will most likely be a bit more involved than in the past. More information regarding this electronic meeting will be coming from the office as we get closer to April.
Finally, as you recall I eliminated the “accountability forms” that were used in the past for you to communicate with me regarding your experience at regionals. Please do not interpret that as a decrease in the importance of communication; I can’t stress to you enough the importance of being proactive in this regard. Don’t hesitate to send me an email, text or call whenever you would like to share with me anything about the weekend’s events. This holds true when monitoring your travel for weekends as well. Let Dale and myself know the moment you perceive there to be potential for interruption in your travel plans.
I have the utmost respect for each and every one of you – your dedication, flexibility, professionalism and work ethic is what impresses everyone involved at WGI. Your support team is here – don’t pause in reaching out to any of us at any time. Safe travels and I’ll see you all soon, Curtis.