GSCCC Judging Competition Checklist

Scoring Spreadsheet

Time of Judging

Judging must take place between the 15th of the month and the 22nd of the month.

Deadline for postmarking the mailed entries is the 1st of the judging month.

In the event the postal or delivery service fails to deliver an entry by the time the rest of the entries are judged, and the postmark shows it was mailed on time, the club entry shall be given an average score for that month based on its other scores for the year in that category, or may be allowed to make a double-entry in a later competition.

 Notification of Receipt of Entries

When the judging club receives print entries and/or a CD, they will send an email to the entering club notifying them that their entry was received.  If an entering club does not receive email confirming receipt of entries (print and/or digital) they should contact the judging club to inquire about their entries.

 A judging club may not submit entries in the competition it is judging.

 Judging Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines are to help you run an efficient competition with a
minimum of errors and questions from competing clubs. Following the guidelines will
help us have consistency between competitions.

 If your club is judging PJ or Nature, read the PJ or Nature rules to the judges before they judge any entries.  

If your club is judging Pictorial, remind the judges that anything goes. Manipulation/alteration is permitted. Just judge the image as art and don’t downgrade it because you think it has been manipulated in Photoshop. Realism is not a requirement.

For print judging, it is preferred that a light box, projector light, or floodlight be used to illuminate prints.

Pictorial Color prints are judged in one category, and Pictorial B&W prints are judged in one category.  Color/B&W Nature prints are all judged together in one category.  Color/B&W Photojournalism prints are all judged together in one category.

Judging of digital images may be by digital/video projection or by one or more monitors at a single location, or via the Internet.

Digital and print entries are always judged separately.


The 7 places to be selected are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st Honorable Mention, 2nd Honorable Mention, and 2 Alternates. Alternates will only be used if a winning image is declared ineligible.


Three judges must be used with each judge scoring 1 to 5 points for a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 15 points per image.  Do not use a 27-point scoring system.  

Before you start the scoring, give the judges a quick look at all the entries so they can get a feel for images they will be judging.

Each judge should use the following criteria for scoring each entry.

Score       Quality of Entry

5              Excellent
4              Good
3               Average
2               Poor
1               Disqualified 


Disqualifying Images 

Nature – There are two reasons for disqualifying a nature image: (1) The image didn’t fit the criteria for Nature, i.e. a domestic plant or animal and (2) an image has been improperly manipulated (see the Nature definition). 

Photojournalism – The only reason for disqualifying a PJ image is for improper manipulated (see PJ definition).  Almost any image can be published in a newspaper or magazine, so do not disqualify a PJ image based upon subject matter.

Pictorial – Anything goes in Pictorial, so do not give a disqualification score.

Score all the entries one time.

Highest scoring image shall be declared 1st Place, and so on down the line.

When you have to break ties for awards, do an "In or Out" to work your way down to the award winner. "In or Out" is simply each judge scoring a 1 or 5 for each entry in
question. Two 5s are in and one or no 5s are out.  Keep doing this until there is a winner. 

Or, the judges can talk among themselves and pick winners to break ties.

Do not re-score images …with this exception:

If the judges decide that a lower scoring entry is better than a higher scoring one, simply raise the score of the lower one. For instance, if you have one entry with a score of 15 and several with scores of 14, then the judges can re-look at the 14s and if they think one of them is better than the 15, they may increase its score to 15. NO SCORE CAN BE LOWERED.

Note:  In the rare event that a judge or spouse’s picture comes up for scoring (by reason of being a member of another club submitting entries) he/she should disqualify themselves from judging that picture. In such a case, the score for the entry would be the average of the other two judges’ scores plus those two scores.

Reporting the Results

The judging club should log its results in the Excel Competition Form (on the Results sheet, incorporating all results for all competitions into that single sheet and file) and email it to and, the respective GSCCC VP, Competitions and GSCCC Newsletter folks.

Make sure the scores for the ribbon winners on the Competition Reporting Form and the scores on the Competition Log are the same. Make sure a lower-level ribbon winner does not receive a higher score than any of the higher-level ribbon winners.

Return of Entries

All print entries should be returned as soon as possible after the judging, and in no event later than the end of the month of the judging. 

Original mailing containers should be used for return unless the entering club provides another.

Each club’s Entry Form, to which the judging club adds the winning titles, makers names and club names, should be returned in the same container with the club’s entries.

Entering clubs are expected to provide adequate protection for their prints and postage for return.  In the event such is lacking, a letter, email, or telephone call to a negligent club should explain any delay in the return.

Compensation for Judging

The judging club’s final cumulative score will include a compensatory score as allowance for its one-month of contest ineligibility.  The compensatory score shall be determined by dividing the number of contests the club entered into the total number of points the club received in those contests.

Additional compensation allows one “at large” entry in the year-end competition in the same division the club judged.  Such an “at large” entry is not required to have been previously entered in a GSCCC monthly contest.