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First, let me say that it is too bad that you have such bad experience
with STC competitions. But I must come to the defense of the No. CA
competition. This competition is hosted by the East Bay, SF, Scto,
and Silicon Valley chapters on a rotating basis. What happens
consistently in the judging meetings is an overview of the requirements
of lead judges and team judges.
Standard comment form used
At least two sets of comments for each entry
Comments, had to be typed, and offer substantive
comments, "Too, crowded" "Poor Quality" and statements
as such weren't allowed -- constructive criticism was only
allowed. And if the team judges did not provide quality
comments, their lead judges were responsible for doing them.
Of course, not all the judges were perfect, but making the lead judges
accountable really made a difference.