[Bards] Topic: Comparisons

Michael Silverhands silverhands at sbcglobal.net
Thu Dec 14 09:05:16 PST 2006

Gerald wrote:

> At Stargate Yule a question was asked; why must the A&S and bardic  
> champion
> be announced as a "surprise" to the winner, while the martial  
> community has
> the "advantage" of knowing the winner at the end of the final round.
> My answer was simply that we can't compare the two; they are oil  
> and water.
> ...<snip>...
> But the biggest difference, in my opinion, is that of the ability  
> to call a
> blow.

Exactly. Martial combatants judge themselves; bardic competitors are  
judged by others.

In martial combat, there's usually just one judge who determines the  
winner (the fighter who calls the blow). He or she knows immediately  
when that occurs.

In bardic competitions, there's usually a panel of judges who  
determine the winner. They need time to talk among themselves, tally  
scores, compare results, discuss their opinions, and choose a winner.  
Competitions are *very* rarely so objective in their scoring that the  
winner could be immediately (or even quickly) determined; the  
subjective element takes time to resolve.

Alden wrote:

> ...  It may just be tradition that keeps us from revealing the  
> winner until court.  Maybe "artistic folk" just like the added  
> drama, or perhaps we just default to the attitude we extend to  
> awards, where we carefully guard the knowledge to maintain the  
> surprise.
> In thinking about this, I think it might be fun to hold a bardic  
> competition, where the running scores are announced at the end of  
> each round.  Then after the final round, the competition organizer  
> could really play up the reading of the scores to announce the winner.
> Alden

A la "Last Comic Standing" (or "So You Think You Can Dance", or any  
of the other crop of artist competitions on TV)? I like this idea. :-)

It would just require that the judges have previously worked out  
clear and consistent criteria for scoring, thus making it possible  
for them to determine and announce the winner quickly.


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