NAWGJ CANONS – REVIEWED, REFINED AND REINFORCED
What are our Canons, you ask? Canons are acceptable criteria
or rules of judgment as pertaining to our behavior as
professional gymnastics judges. We have always had them but
our National Governing Board (actually the Constitutional
Committee) has reviewed them and clarified them.
Basically the Canons say that we should respect the gymnasts,
coaches, other judges, support staff at a meet (e.g., parents,
siblings, etc.), spectators, and vendors – even aliens if they
show up! Our job, as judges, is to show up prepared, judge to
the best of our ability without bias or even the appearance of
bias, and go home. Meets, judgments and people at the meet
are not to be discussed.
The August Canon is our one new Canon (#16). It reads “A
judge should exercise good judgment when using social
networking media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, texting, e-mail,
etc.) i.e. avoid communicating with coaches or gymnasts
during, before or after a competition; or refrain from making
inappropriate statements about fellow judges, coaches,
gymnasts, clubs or parents.” Social Networking is an
extremely powerful tool. When something is put on the
internet it can go anywhere. A judge should NEVER put
something on the internet that
1. Shows disrespect to anyone and
2. Gives any appearance of bias.
When you say a meet was poorly run you are disrespectful.
When you complain about the food, you are disrespectful.
When you contact a gymnast or a coach after a meet to
compliment them on a routine, you are showing bias. Use “common” sense.”
Remember the old but true
you can’t say something nice,
Don’t say anything at all!
CANON 1: A judge should assist in maintaining
the integrity and competence of the profession of judging
women’s gymnastic events.
CANON 2: A judge should assist the Association
in fulfilling its duty of making
judges available for women’s gymnastic events.
CANON 3: A judge should assist in improving
the system of judging women’s gymnastic events.
CANON 4: A judge should avoid even the
appearance of professional impropriety.
CANON 5: A Judge should be well qualified in
gymnastics, know the rules and be thoroughly prepared for each
assignment. Each team, meet contestant and participant, as
well as the spectators, are entitled to the official’s best
efforts to administer the rules of the sport.
CANON 6: A judge
should prepare for each judging assignment and should,
through study and clinics, keep
her/his judging knowledge current.
CANON 7: A judge should fulfill all
assignments accepted and be punctual. A judge should also
attend all judging and other meetings which are intended to
promote a well ordered and conducted meet or event.
CANON 8: A judge should be alert at all
times, quickly yet accurately produce her/his scores and have
a basis for the scores derived and prepared. If a legitimate
need should arise, the judge should explain and support such
scores by working through conferences and dealing with
inquiries in a dignified, professional manner.
CANON 9: A judge should not solicit
meets for herself/himself or for others.
CANON 10: A judge shall be completely
unbiased. A judge should not give any appearance, especially
at a meet, of any particular friendship with any coach or
competitor. Also, a judge should decline any assignment in
which affiliation with a team or individuals would tend to
influence the judge’s ability to be fair and objective.
CANON 11: A judge should treat gymnasts,
coaches, judges, promoters and spectators with respect. A
judge should respect the privacy, property and feelings of any
judge or other person with whom such judge is living during
the event being judged, and should not do anything which would
embarrass or offend such person.
CANON 12: A judge should at all times both
look and act professionally. A judge should maintain a neat
and well-groomed appearance when judging. He/she should wear
the uniform of the Association (except where other dress is
CANON 13: A judge should not be overly
officious. She/he should not criticize other officials or
attempt to explain other officials’ judgments.
CANON 14: A judge should confine her/his
duties to the purposes of judging; i.e., coaching or meet
directing are not included in a judge’s responsibilities.
CANON 15: A judge should never consume
alcoholic beverages or drugs prior to a judging assignment
where such consumption is evident by odor, conduct or
CANON 16: A judge should exercise good
judgment when using social networking media (Facebook,
Twitter, blogs, texting, e-mail, etc.) i.e. avoid
communicating with coaches or gymnasts during, before or after
a competition; or refrain from making inappropriate statements
about fellow judges, coaches, gymnasts, clubs or parents.
By Hilary Carlson, RJD, Region V