Months before

Make a decision to attend the show.
Communicate your commitment to the Show Coordinator(s).
Make your travel plans & arrangements and hotel reservations.

4-6 weeks before

Make decisions about who you would like to show.
Communicate your decisions to the judge organizing assignments.
It is often necessary for judges to focus on some classes and forego others, in order to have a judge for each class.
Obtain gerbil ID#’s and enter your gerbils in the show on schedule. Remember any registered gerbil can be entered if needed to fill classes during the show, so register companions as well.
Begin quarantine.

Days before

Pack for you and your animals. Remember to bring:
Your Judges’ Manual
Pens, pencils, calculator, tape and other supplies you like
Your judge’s coat
A list of who you are showing in what classes

Before the show about 9-10 AM

Try to avoid identifying particular animals with their owners to maintain your objectivity.
Prepare your show tanks and have your animals ready in advance of the “call to tables”.
Let the Show Steward know when you’re ready for him or her to have a volunteer place your animals on the show tables for you.

Judges’ Meeting 10-11 AM

Usually begins immediately after the call to tables. (Check the show schedule.)
At some shows, experienced clerks will be checking the classes for animals in the wrong class and suggesting ways to split classes.
Lunch will be provided for you during or shortly after the meeting.

Class Review

If not already done, check for animals that should be moved to another class. Determine how to split large classes. Check with the Show Secretary to be sure your splits maintain the “three members in each class” rule.

Class Judging on average 4-5 hours

Collaboration is encouraged, although you must first ascertain which judges are neutral (i.e. not competing in) a given class.
In an “exhibition format” style show, results are announced class-by-class as they are decided.
Write down enough information on Judging Cards to prompt your memory during the announcement of results.
The Show Steward will record your placements on the Show Secretary’s result sheets and ribbon the winners, marking the ribbons with gerbil ID#’s and show info. However, you should check over the final results and ribbons to be certain it represents your decisions.
Make notes in your Judges’ Manual any time you notice a discrepancy or questionable item in the standards.

Best in Show

Judges generally take a break between class judging and Best in Show. The Best in Show process is described in the manual.

Announcement of Results

Judges are expected to present their ribbon winners and speak about their qualities. Be brief, positive and informative. This is an educational opportunity prized by all participants. Public speaking is part of the job, so be prepared!

Evening of Show

Make yourself available to any members who wish to discuss their animals.
Shop around freely for animals now that you need not worry about identifying them!


Record in your own records the classes you judged.
Make notes for yourself about things that went well or badly for you, and things you’d like to try next time. Judging skill improves with practice and reflection.
Forward your questions or corrections on standards to the Head Judge or the person working on the current revision set.

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