How the Artwork is Judged
Five judges are chosen, four of which are fisheries biologists or technicians and one is a graphic artist. All artwork for each grade category K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 is judged separately.
For each grade category, all pieces of artwork that meet the rule requirements are placed on tables for judging. Judges are not allowed to look at the information on the back of the artwork. If a judge has a question as to what fish species or plants are depicted, the Reel Art Coordinator will read off this information.
Each judge is first given 10 white poker chips. The judges then place only one chip per piece of artwork. All pieces of artwork that did not receive a chip are removed from the tables. This yields 50 pieces of artwork. The artwork is then narrowed down in rounds. The next round the judges receive 5 poker chips (yielding 25 pieces of artwork), then 3 (yielding 15), then 2 (yielding 10) and finally 1 chip (yielding 5). The five pieces of artwork that did receive poker chips will be set aside to be judged using numbered poker chips.
Each judge is given 5 poker chips with numbers 1 to 5. In this round, the judges will place one poker chip on each piece of artwork. Judges will give 5’s to the artwork they like best and 1’s to the artwork they like least. Each judge places the chip with the number face down as to not influence other judges choices. From this group, one 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 2 honorable mentions are chosen. From the five pieces of artwork that did not receive poker chips in the one poker chip round are then judged with the numbered chips to yield 3 honorable mentions.
This process is done for each grade category. Once all grade categories have been judged, the four first places are pulled out to be judged for Best of Show. This is done by the same numbered chip process.