WWA Decoy Carving Competition Judging and Rules


WWA, the Chairman of the show, and the show committee are committed to the IWCA code of ethics for both IWCA and non-IWCA classes. Every effort is made to secure capable and qualified judges. A judges’ briefing will be held prior to judging to review the rules for the classes, answer questions and assure a standardized approach. It is understood that any judging and critique of art will involve some subjective assessments by each judge, and a panel of three judges is used to minimize the impact of the subjective element while allowing individual judges to recognize good and bad attributes of various decoys during the deliberative process. In placing and assignment of awards, the decision of the judges is final. The only exception to that would be if, after judging is complete, it is found a decoy is ineligible to compete or after assigning places a decoy is found to have deteriorated in paint, cracked or separated. Ineligible and disqualified decoys will forfeit any ribbons or awards, and decoys below them will be moved up per IWCA rules, even in a non-IWCA class.

Judges may choose to discuss entrant decoys following the end of judging at the judge’s discretion, to assist the carver in getting input as to the good attributes of the decoy and the things needing improvement. This is entirely a voluntary choice by judges and they are not required to do so. Time constraints may limit or eliminate the availability of critiques. Competitors are expected to be respectful and ask positive, pertinent questions directed to improvement, such as, “How can I improve this decoy?” and “What are the strengths of this decoy and where can I improve?” In most cases, asking, “How come that decoy got first and I got 2nd ?” make it easy for the judge to give a short answer like “the bill on your decoy is too short and the wrong color” and not get you additional critical information about the strong and weak pints of the entire decoy.


Should a rule be found to not be explicit enough for entries in a class or division, or a problem occur for which there is not a specific rule or interpretation, the Chairman of the competition will confer with the judges, the Board of the competition, and if possible the IWCA to resolve any contradictions or gaps in the rules. The problem and resolution will be announced at the competition and published in the final results sheet. Every effort will be made to make decisions based on the letter and intent of the rules of this competition and the IWCA.