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1975 January Issue of Gymnast Magazine
Recap of the start of NAWGJ pgs. 32-33

These old issues can be found at http://issuu.com/ - type in "Gymnast" in the search bar.

The following is taken from the Jan. 1975 issue:

National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges

During the USGF Congress 1974 this one year old organization was discussed at length at two separate meetings. Mrs. Shirley Bryan, chairman of the USGF-WC, prefaced the discussion by its National Judging Director, Kitty Kjeldson at the closing Women's Committee meeting by these statements:

"As you know, we have 1,671 USGF/DGWS certified judges for women's gymnastics in the United States. It was the USGF Women's committee which initiated the request for the formation of such an organization which has been sorely needed for many years. Jackie Fie and I have worked hand in hand with the association from the very beginning.

It is to be clearly understood that it is an independent organization. It is not a branch or a division of the USGF Women's Committee. However, from the standpoint of the USGF Women's Committee, we have pledged our 100% support. We are the first organization to do so.

We have turned over to the directors of the Association the assignment of judges for all USGF meets in this coming season from the local through the national level. In this first year, we will work in helping with those assignments.

The assignment, or the selection of judges is not a unilateral decision of that association. The USGF Women's Technical Committee was asked to develop and submit the criteria for selection of judges and we have a committee working on that. The USGF Women's Committee has submitted criteria for all our meets.

From this point on, we have turned the responsibilities of judging assignments over to them. The USGF was the one who asked for such an association, the USGF is the one who has helped get it started, and the USGF is on record of 100% support and cooperation.

We know that there may be some little ruffles during the year. It is the first year at trying something new, but we are totally supportive and we are requesting all judging assignments for USGF sanctioned meets to come through that committee."

KITTY KJELDSEN - NAWGJ National Judging Director
The following presentation has been prepared by Renee Hendershott from notes taken at two NAWGJ meetings at the USGF Congress.

The National Association for Women's Gymnastics Judges is a professional organization for men and women who are certified USGF/DGWS judges of women's gymnastics. In this first year of its existence, the main work of electing officers has proceeded from National, through Regional and State levels.

The Regional Judging Directors have conducted elections in their own regions. The list of State Judging Directors will be completed very soon and published in all available media. In just a few states there were too few judges or not enough persons willing to accept a position, the State Judging Directors had to be appointed. Otherwise, all officers are to be elected and will serve two year terms. Odd numbered regions will hold elections every other odd year and even-numbered regions on alternate even years.

The Association will serve you and its membership in a number of ways: At the request of any organization, we will assign USGF/DGWS certified judges from among our membership on a rotational basis to meets of a dual, triangular, local, district, sectional, state, regional, and national nature.

AIAW and USGF have already requested this service for the 1974-1975 season. The NAWGJ will assign judges for AIAW Nationals and USGF meets at every level including Elites. (Since judges have already been assigned for several USGF sanctioned meets on the lower levels, the service will be used on a random basis for USGF meets this season. ).

The organization requesting judges must present NAWGJ with the criteria it wishes to be used in determining eligibility of judges. The AIAW has already presented its criteria and the USGF-WTC is working on the criteria to be used for all levels of USGF competition.

If a request for judges comes in for a national level meet, it is sent directly to Ms. Kjeldsen, National Judging Director. From the National Office, copies of the criteria and a letter will be sent to each Regional Judging Director. Each RJD will recommend judges from her Region on a rotational basis, by letter, to the National Judging Director after receiving the approval from the National Judging Director and the Meet Director. Keeping one for himself the MD signs the contracts sends one to the National Judging Director, and one to the judge.

This way the judges are assured they will be paid the correct amount, and the MD is assured he will have his judges on the day of the meet.

This is the way it will work on all levels. Only on the Regional level, the request and criteria will be sent to the Regional Judging Director who will negotiate with her SJD's for judges, etc.

Any organization is invited to use this service of the NAWGJ for which there will be a small fee. Once the NAWGJ is fully organized, the assignment of judges will be only from within its membership.

As has been known for a long time, there are many problems in judging in international circles. The same problems exist right here at home on a smaller scale at all levels. The NAWGJ will try to do as much as possible to curb these problems by arbitration between judge and coach or meet director involved or by disciplinary action on its member when called for. It wishes to hear at the State, Regional, or even National level about any already existing problems in your area.

The list of SJD's is not yet complete. For now you can contact your Regional Judging Director or Ms. Kjeldsen about any existing problems, and if you, as a rated judge, would like to have a voice in the handling of such matters and also wish to be eventually assigned to the meets that the NAWGJ will be covering, we ask that you please join. Your SJD has the forms you will need to fill out. For the present you can contact her through your RJD.

Membership dues are $15.00 per year for the judges with a Regional or National rating. For those with other ratings, the fee is $10.00. All checks should be made out to Mrs. Betty Sroufe, National Treasurer and sent along with the filled out form to your own State Judging Director.

When possible, financial aid will be given to people from the various states and regions to attend National or International courses such as the one held in Washington D.C. this past summer. This will be for judges who have the qualifications required by people who are running the courses. It is hoped that enough money will be left to pay travel expenses of officers required to attend meetings of the organization.

The Code of Ethics being written now will be followed and enforced at all levels. Any unethical conduct of officers or members will be presented to the appropriate Governing Board. Following a hearing, a member, Director, or Officer may be withdrawn from her position and membership in the Association. The code will be distributed soon to all State Judging Association members.

Members of the Association are to be considered professionals. They have put a lot of time and money into getting a rating and are expected to attend refresher clinics, keep up to date, and be members in good standing in the judging association. We will offer a professional product and hope that meet directors will treat them with professional courtesy.

A national judging contract is being developed and will be available soon. We will also be working out some agreements for judging conditions, fees, length of session, etc. in cooperation with the coaches at different levels. We hope that judging fees can be standardized throughout the country. For the present we have adopted the fees recommended by the USGF-Womens Committee:

Per Session (2 1/2 hours)

FIG Brevet and FIG National: $25 plus $.12 a mile and $20.00 per diem.
National: $25 plus $.12 a mile and $20.00 per diem.
Regional: $15 plus $.12 a mile.
State and Local: $10
Associate: $8
Apprentice: $5

All Active Status Reports of members must now be sent to the State Judging Directors, who will send them on periodically to the Certification Coordinator. Non-members should send them through the normal channels. (Directly to the Certification Coordinator).

Since only rated judges may become members of the Association, the question has arisen about the possibility of allowing unrated judges to receive the newsletters. This was discussed at length. The USGF State Chairmen will be sending out in their newsletters most of the information you will need. The USGF is still in charge of training new judges and administering judges' certification exams. Officers in the NAWGJ will not at present, administer the exam unless they hold a Test Administrator status from another source. The USGF will keep you adequately informed and assist you in your initial training. So, we urge unrated judges to join the USGF Women's Committee. When you become a rated judge, NAWGJ will take you from there and see to it that you are kept up-to-date and assigned to meets, etc.

We also urge our members to retain or initiate their membership in the USGF Women's Committee. The USGF is 100% in support of us and we must give them our 100% support!

National Judging Director:
Ms. Kitty Kjeldsen
Hadley, Mass
National Secretary:
Joanne Aschenbrennner
Longmont, Colorado
National Treasurer:
Mrs. Betty Sroufe
Fairfield, Ohio

Regional Judging Directors:
Region 1:
Judy Smith, Concord, California
Region 2: Arlen Crossman, Lebanon, Oregon
Region 3: Judy Bodman, Boulder, Colorado
Region 4: Dr. Mary McLellan, LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Region 5: Linda Morton, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Region 6: Gail Davis, Guilford, Connecticut
Region 7: Betty Lou Breeze, Rockville, Maryland
Region 8: Wilma Guy, Birmingham, Alabama

We urge all rated judges to become members of the Judges Association, because eventually, and as soon as possible, we will be servicing our membership only. We are putting a lot of time and talent into these jobs and we do need your support.

For example, there have already been two meetings of all of the National and Regional Officers. They came at their own expense and have spent much time in working out the constitution and By-laws and a Code of Ethics for judges. NAWGJ is ready to present their case for a vote on the USGF Governing Council. This will eventually be heard in the proper chambers. The Regional people have run elections for State Judging Directors and begun membership drives at their own expense.

The membership has voted itself to be completely separate from the USGF Women's Committee and the USGF Women's Technical Committee, and this automatically cuts them off from any funding from the USGF. Of the dues that members send in, the National Office will retain only 25%, 75% will be sent back to the Regional Judging Director. She will, in turn, retain 25% and send 50% right back to the State Judging Directors.

The money will be used to help to run judges' training and refresher clinics for rated judges who need to update themselves. These will be run in co-operation with the USGF Judges' Training Committee headed by Mrs. Delene Darst. The SJD's will, once they get organized, send out bimonthly newsletters containing judging information on all levels including FIG and USGF Technical Rules and interpretations.

Lee Bjella 2014