Strength & Health, Page 36, October 1968
In 1966, S&H published the individual scoring on the Mr. America Contest. This was the first time that the judges' scores had been made public in the history of the sport. Up to that point the individual scores had been guarded like the crown jewels, leaving many people with the impression that they must hide them because things may just not be on the up and up. We strongly recommended that this practice become standard procedure for future national-level contests. The response we received from contestants, fans, and A.A.U. officials was gratifying. Yes, even from the very officials that some peopel suggest we would be doing a disfavor. Every official I talked to that has been on a national physique contest panel wanted his scoring reported. Some associations began reporting the scores of the local Mr. contests on the spot so that the contestants would know just where they stood before they left the scene. The fear that the reporting of facts would alienate the athletes and the officials has been unwarranted. It has, on the contrary, done just the opposite. Now the competitor knows his weaker points and exactly where he stands, without guessing. The truth, in the final analysis, is not so hard to swallow after all.
Judging the Mr. America Contest is done by the point system. The judges can give a maximum of 5 points to each contestant for: symmetry, muscular development, and general appearance for an overall maximum of 15 points. A panel of seven judges vote for Mr. America. The high and low scores for each contestant are eliminated to prevent bias and the remaining five scores are totaled. This gives the sub-total. A five point maximum for athletic ability is allowed for each contestant and this is added in after the sub-total. This gives the final total for the contestant. In cases of ties the high and low scores are added to determine the highest man.
It is interesting to point out some of the facts on this year's scoring. The variance in scoring was fairly consistent except in a few cases. Usually 2½-3½ points separated the high and the low score. However, on one contestant there was a glaring difference of 6 points between the high and low score. On two competitors there was a 5½ point gap and on yet two more there was a 5 point spread. This is certainly too much variance when one considers that but 15 total points are being worked with. Some judges scored consistently higher on all the men while others are lower point givers. Bob Bendel gave a total of 85 more points on the 27 men than did Don Haley, for example, and Bendel had the high score on 16 contestants while Haley had the low score for 12 men. It should be noted that both were very consistent. There was no geographical favoritism as far as scoring went. For example, Charles Gschwind of Cincinnati, Ohio, actually gave lower scores to the three men from his home state (Anello, Johnson, and Haywood) than did some of the other judges.
It is obvious from watching these men work that they do an extremely capable and conscientious job. The scoresheet only helps to prove this fact to the general public. Integrity shouldn't be hidden, the facts are much easier to digest than some suspected.
- A group of contestants hold the overarm position during the prejudging. This is where the Mr. A is really selected.
- The men who made the decision: Charles Gschwind, Joe Paul, Colin McMath, Bob Bendel, Len Bosland, Ralph Countryman, and Don Haley.
- The top five strike a pose for Doug White's camera after the judge's decision has been announced: Waller, Coe, Haislop, Dickerson, and Collras.
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