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A Guide to Show Scribing

Updated: Mar 30, 2019

The Role of a Show Scribe

Cats shows generate a lot of paperwork. The judges have a book of judges slips, certificates to sign and a lot of decisions to make! The Show Scribe is a role that differs from show to show and state to state but is really an assistant to the judge. You are someone to help the judge. It differs from stewarding as you don’t handle cats but there is a big overlap in the roles as far as paperwork and helping is concerned. A scribe is sometimes referred to as a ring clerk.

A Show Scribe should be well prepared and presented, keep the area they are working in tidy, be polite and friendly with the judge but in no way distracting. You will get into a rhythm quite quickly with the judge and the stewards and this will help the show run smoothly. Have pens and note paper handy.

Remember that you should not comment on exhibits, talk to the judge about them except to answer questions, talk to the exhibitors watching about the cats or the results (unless the judge has given them out). You can enjoy the show and the cats you will see up close and personal but you will have to show some care and restraint in what you say and do while you are a scribe.

You may be given the judges book to read out exhibits and to mark placings for them ready for then to sign or they may control the book themselves. They may ask you to keep a separate note of their choices or rankings as they judge. This may be a simple list of breeds or a complex scoring system.


It is very likely you will look after the challenge and award of merit certificates plus CCCA awards if they are pre-printed for the show. This will involve taking out any absent cats cards and crossing any cards not awarded. If they are signed as you go along take care to cover the cat’s info. Judges are not concerned with such things but it does just make sure there is no question of them being provided with information they don’t need to know before making decisions.

Show Results

You will need to check things that are important to the show results

  • Have the placings for each class been recorded on both parts of the slip and are they legible

  • Has the judge recorded that a certificate is awarded or if it is not awarded has that been clearly marked

  • Has the judge and yourself or a steward signed the judges slip

  • Are the slips being sent up to the show secretary? If there is no runner at the show you may need to leave the table at a convenient time and take them up. Be wary of random exhibitors taking them as they may want to snoop on results that have not yet been announced (yes it is tempting!!)

  • When it comes to classes with multiple cats, best of breed placings and top placings check the judges results for cross judging. For example a second best blue point male ragdoll cannot get third best group one entire cat if the first best blue point male ragdoll is not the first or second best group one entire cat. This is tricky and takes a bit of experience to spot but it does happen so be vigilant.

Rosettes and prizes

As a scribe you may also be given rosettes and prizes to manage for top placings. You can use the judges placing slip to number them and you can put them out as they are announced. Do your best to keep the results secret till the judge announces them. If you are asked to announce numbers for exhibitors to bring cats up to be announced mix them up so they are not in order.

Extra things to be aware of

Some of the things we do locally may be different or confusing for a visiting judge. You should help them with the Cat of the Year and CCCA type slips using the top placing slips to make sure they are not cross judged.

If there is any other way to assist your judge from ordering lunch, helping finish paperwork after judging, checking information during judging with the show team, politely managing the exhibitors watching or the general public visiting the show, anything at all a scribe should be ready and willing to help.

Being a show scribe is a great way to get more involved in our hobby, great for getting started before progressing to stewards training and a really nice way to contribute to our association and cat fancy community. Why not put you hand up to help at the next show?


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