'Is it a match?' The annual in-house competition

As club competitions go the annual in-house battle rates very high up in terms of excellent entertainment as well as exposing just how deviously imaginative some people can be to get a result which suits their own interests.
The basic idea is for club members are divided into two teams for the evening. Members bring in prints so that the two teams can compete against each other in a friendly spirit and to see a huge range of photographs taken by a large number of photographers. One team puts up a picture which the opposing team has to match in terms of subject matter or perhaps photographic technique. The three appointed judges then pronounce if the two images are a match and then which is the best and points are awarded. Doesn’t that all sound very civilised and democratic?
Well, yes it is until the possibility of winning takes hold. And it was clear as always with this event that there are no holds barred when the possibility of gaining the upper hand can be achieved by attempting to sway the judges in their decision-making process. How otherwise could you consider that the picture of a puffin put up by one team could possibly be called a match with the other photo of a single feather? Only by loudly explaining that a puffin is just a lot of feathers and that the judges need to take that into account. Other stretches of the imagination were also called for when a picture of fish were apparently matched with that of an otter. Why? Well of course the otter had fish inside him. And of course a bulldog is very like a swan isn’t it because it is a living creature? Simples!
A change of judges at half time failed to prevent the barracking until a result was declared with one team in the lead by four points but no one really minded as the in the end the score hardly mattered.
As chairman Peter Tickner commented at the end of this highly enjoyable evening, there were many really good images displayed and it would be interesting to see how they fared in forthcoming more traditional competitions.