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  • 1 Post By SouthPark
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  • 1 Post By Azizan
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orchid AOS award system - HCC, AM, FCC - breakdown

This is a discussion on orchid AOS award system - HCC, AM, FCC - breakdown within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hi all. I'd like to ask a few quick questions about awarding orchids - for ...

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  1. #1
    SouthPark is offline Member
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    Default orchid AOS award system - HCC, AM, FCC - breakdown

    Hi all. I'd like to ask a few quick questions about awarding orchids - for general knowledge only.

    I was just wondering about the break-down of the scoring for the orchid flowers. Can orchids with just 1 or 2 flowers in a spike ever obtain FCC?

    Is colour involved in the award score? Or is the judging purely based on the shape of a single flower? Eg..... perfect geometry, symmetry, proportionality.

    Also --- while sometimes the maximum score is in eyes of beholders and the judges, can an HCC awarded orchid have individual flowers that are equally as impressive/perfect as an FCC awarded orchid?

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by SouthPark; December 27th, 2018 at 06:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    An interesting topic. Wish those who have experience will care to answer.

  3. #3
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    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
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    I am sure that it is not based on a single flower, unless the plant in question is normally single-flowered , as most Paphs are.
    It should not be a Brit who is answering questions about AOS medal judging!
    And the RHS system used here is quite different. I also have no idea of the basis used in CAOB, ot other systems. But my understanding from US judges who I have talked to when they were over here, or at WOCs is that in USA there is a rigid framework, matks are allotted in sections, i.e. for colour, shape, flower arrangement on the spike, etc. and added up. If the plant- not single flower- scores over a certain amount ( 70 .? ) HCC is automatic. Over 80, then AM, over 90 then FCC. I may have the actual numbers wrong, but that is the basis.
    There are very many judging panels, and I am told that the standard varies a little - human nature .
    The RHS has only one panel , traditionally made up of 50% trade and 50% amateurs speciallising in different genera, plus a couple of expert taxonomic botanists from Kew ( one of our National institutions - Royal Botanic Gardens , Kew - established 300 + years ago, and holding herbariums etc as well as The Jodrell Lab, which does a lot of the dna work which drives us all mad.
    The system here is that a plant is passed around the panel and discussed, and then any panel member may propose an award. If so there is a vote. I forget the numbers for AM, we don’t have HCC, but FCC requires unanimity - no votes against. I once had a Paph before them- way back when I had the uK National Collection. ( my own plants, but officially designated as such) and I got 14 votes for an FCC and 1 against... so I got “only” an AM. Favoured growers can spectate ( I have on occasions) but not when your own plant is under discussion, and of course if it is owned by a membr of the panel, they go out of the room for the discussion.
    It is, I regret to say, subject to the risk of favouritism, own-back etc., for whilst in theory they are all judged anonymously, in such a small world, everyone in the panel will have a pretty food of who owns every plant before them ,and since no marks are used, there can be no subsequent criticism. You get an award, or tou don’t .
    I have been told that My name came up for inclusion on the panel more than once, but my public criticicm of their decisions and especially of the secretive system m meant that they would not accept me. Yah boo sucks, says I.....

  4. #4
    SouthPark is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    I got 14 votes for an FCC and 1 against... so I got “only” an AM.
    That sounds pretty much an FCC orchid. I'm deeming it an FCC. There have been cases where AM awarded orchids later advanced to FCC. Yours was probably FCC in the first place. But wouldn't be surprised if your orchid had gone on to get the FCC later..... at another time.

    Thanks for mentioning aspects of the score breakdown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
    That sounds pretty much an FCC orchid. I'm deeming it an FCC. There have been cases where AM awarded orchids later advanced to FCC. Yours was probably FCC in the first place. But wouldn't be surprised if your orchid had gone on to get the FCC later..... at another time.

    Thanks for mentioning aspects of the score breakdown.
    Agreed. It doesn't make sense how 14 FCC versus 1 against and you get AM. I can't do the math here.

  6. #6
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    Its just the Rules. Must be unanimous for the FCC.

    A little story ? When I was a young man and bought my first house ( that is when the mortgage company bought it, and I started paying them back... ) an old uncle, the gardening expert in the family, gave me some advice : join the RHS. Way back then I had to be proposed and seconded (!) but eventually i was elected.
    A bit later i wanted some advice about the awful soil in the garden of my new house. It was one of very many on a new estate. We all joked that the site forman had started by taking off the top soil, as builders do, but he then sold it elsewhere instead of putting it back when building work finished. Probably true !

    So I went to the RHS for advice. The adviser asked “ is it a large garden or a small one ? I had in fact picked the largest plot on the estate , a whole one tenth of an acre !!! But caution led me to ask where they drew the line. The answer was that anything above 5 (whole) acres was large, anything less was small....
    I then concluded that maybe I was wasting my time and membership fees.
    Maybe they have now advanced a few small steps from the eighteenth century, maybe....

  7. #7
    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    ...
    We all joked that the site forman had started by taking off the top soil, as builders do, but he then sold it elsewhere instead of putting it back when building work finished. Probably true !
    ...
    I always wonder where did the supermarket black soil came from.

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