Introduction to the Waterslager Standards
By Sebastian Vallelunga
The translations of the various standards that accompany this introduction
are meant to show the differences that exist from one set of national or federation
standards to another.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the COM and "International Standards". My source for a lot of the information on how the COM works is a Spanish Timbrado judge who is a COM member, but the same is true for all breeds of song canaries.
COM is an umbrella organization for running a World Show and for certifying international judges to work at it. The COM is much closer to our NCBS than it is to some kind of a United Nations or World Court of birds that can make rules for bird shows everywhere.
So, what is happening in terms of scoring in one country is not always what's
happening in another. Beyond the score card (which seems to be the same everywhere
except Holland), there is also the interpretation of it and the local practices.
Like whether 2 points for staaltonen is done in Spain, Italy or wherever,
like it is done in Belgium.
My own reading of the KBFK newsletter for November-December, 2005, confirms that the OMJ (COM judges' organization) has ratified a new standard to be used at the World Show after three years of work.
According to Luc Vermincksel, our WWC Show judge of 2005 and 2006, the new standard has two significant changes. Rather than multiplying the scores by 3 after the fact, the points possible will be raised by a factor of three. At first glance this seems insignificant, but it is a big move. Let's say we're talking about Klok. Now it can be scored at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. Multiplied by 3 these give 12, 15, 18, 21, 24. Under the new system, the Klok could be scored 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, etc., a much more discerning system (or a much more picky one depending on your point of view, I guess).
The other change is to unyoke the tjokken and tjokkenrol tours, making them worth 6 points each. On one hand, these two are as different as fluiten and fluitenrol and should be scored separately. On the other hand, tradition is on the side of combining them and the difference is only a matter of the tempo. As I said earlier, up to now the score cards have been the same internationally with the exception of Holland's. However, if Luc is right, this won't be the case once this new standard is adopted by some other countries. He says the vast majority of Belgian judges want to stick to what they've been doing at home.
So, the term "International Standards" is very misleading and any suggestion that waterslagers are being scored in an identical way everywhere in the world is simply not true.