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Orinoco -

Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?

This was an interesting question raised in the BJC business meeting. Are they discouraging younger, less experienced performers from getting involved? This came about because this year's BYJOTY competition featured Circomedia graduate Eilidh Sela who picked up the Judge's Choice Award (although not the BYJOTY title decided by popular vote) with a very high quality, very slick & very professional hoop act.

Various suggestions were made to deal with this: excluding graduates, dividing entrants up into categories etc. none of which felt right to me. If it's just about making a fair competition I feel I'm quite capable of deciding who is good for their age/for their length of time juggling/for their level of training so long as I'm given that information.

The main reason I don't want to see young graduates or soon to be graduates excluded is because I think it is a great benefit for young kids to see accomplished performers closer to their own age. I think it is more motivating & exciting to see what they could be like in a couple of years rather than what they could be in 15-20 years. I think young kids are more likely to relate to & interact with another teenager/early 20-something than they are with someone much older. It would be a great shame to take that opportunity away from them.

unigamer - - Parent

I was at the meeting when this came up because it was obvious everyone had a strong opinion and a debate would take up the rest of the day so I kept my mouth shut.

Personally, I believe the format is right as it is. There are nowhere near enough entrants to start splitting into categories and you would still end up wanting to award a "british young juggler of the year title" so the problem wouldn't go away. A younger competitor, say 11 or 12 has ten years to keep trying and learning from previous attempts. That should be more than enough time for a keen (very) young juggler to improve there skills.

It sounds a bit harsh but I don't like the idea of BYJOTY turning into "cutest kid" competition because that takes away any serious prestige of the title. I vote on the merit of the act, last year that was Max (?) the young diabolist because his was the combination of the most entertaining and skillful act in my opinion. His age didn't come into the equation and it didn't need to.

A "most improved" award would encourage entrants to keep entering each year but judging it would be a nightmare.

I don't have a problem with graduates participating, if they have dedicated a portion of their life to be better performers then good for them. They will have sacrificed other education paths so an improved chance of winning BYJOTY seems like a reasonable reward.

It's Him - - Parent

In my opinion thinking that someone should be excluded through training would be bad. Yes Eilidh had a very nice hoop routine that showed the polish you would expect from someone going through Circomedia training but other Circomedia students have entered in previous years and I don't think that any have yet won. (I could be wrong but my list of previous winners in my head doesn't bring one to mind).

You then have to start asking where do you join the line? Eilidh is 20 and is a 2nd year Circomedia student. She has presumably had some training before that but was it as part of a group or ad hoc? Both Peter who won and Christopher (who did S-Staff) have been part of Concrete Circus for a number of years. As such they are experienced in performing in front of a large audience (they performed at MKJC last year for example). They also have had encouragement from seasoned performers and others and advice on how to improve their acts. In the case of Peter, he has been working on that skill (amongst others) for roughly 7 years.


7b_wizard - - Parent

(2cts:) On many chess tournaments, there's rating prizes, so that many, also not so good players have a chance to win a prize (even though it remains hard). Or also, after a few rounds played in a qualification part, new groups are formed (like group A level and group B level) to seperately play out for the top A level prize and for the lower B level prize; with the same intention of not only the very best winning prizes. So maybe categories of participants for different prize values or different kinds of prizes could help to sort such asymmetry in skills out. (roughly: let there be something for everyone, be it prizes, groups, categories, chances on sth, anything, many consolation prizes \second prizes for girls, for youngest or best among youngest, for furthest journey to the event location, for most original, most skilled, most appealing performance - the top prize and holy grail remaining the BYJOTY) [but I feel highly incompetent on this, just hope to maybe deliver a little mosaique stone to the discussion]

Richard Loxley - - Parent

I have no problem with people who've had extensive training entering the competition.

There might be an argument for excluding professional performers and keeping it as an amateur competition, if the goal is to produce new talent?

Perhaps saying that if you make your living from performance, you shouldn't be entering? But I'm not sure if any full-time performers have entered in the past anyway?

As said, if the competition isn't broken, don't fix it. If it looks like it's not achieving its aims, then perhaps tweak it then.

^Tom_ - - Parent

Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?


^Tom_ - - Parent

By which I mean yes.
I just can't read.

Or alternatively, in answer to the question, should they be excluded, please see my previous answer.

lukeburrage - - Parent

Yes they should be allowed to compete. It's what the competition is for!

Little Paul - - Parent

I’ve been saying for years that I want to see more training for byjoty entrants, not less.

I want to see acts that have had development, direction, advice from outside the performers head. I want to see acts that have had the cruft cut, I want to see acts that have been practiced, thought about, and refined.

Ok so some people get that st a formal training school, some may get that from people at their local club. There may be more that we as a community can do to help young jugglers be the best that they can be!

At one point, the IJA had a mentoring program for young jugglers preparing an act for the juniors, and that isn’t a terrible idea!

More training less making it up on your own please!

peterbone - - Parent

What were the arguments for not allowing them to compete? I've not heard any here. I'm amazed that it was even brought up.

Orinoco - - Parent

I don't know the guy who raised the issue so I can't be certain of his intention but my understanding was he felt that it wasn't a fair competition because a young kid who hasn't had any formal training doesn't stand a chance against someone who has (although as pretty much everyone has pointed out, this is not the case).

I've never set foot in a boxing ring, I don't think I have any right to think I have a shot at a title belt.

Everyone has the option to put the work in. I think the idea that more training/work/thought/preparation = success is something that needs to be reinforced.

^Tom_ - - Parent

The person who raised it at the BJC meeting was under the impression that BYJotY is a kid's event. Therefore they thought it was not right that those who are not kids/overly trained should take part. Either he or someone else made that point that as a trained engineer, he would feel that it was inappropriate to enter a kid's engineering competition.
Then the discussion went on for far too long into a back and forth between "I don't really think it's very fair to single out Circomedia students" to "Well, maybe we generally could consider dropping the age limit" whereas I would have preferred a swift "You are entitled to your opinion, but many disagree, and it's up to the organiser of the event[1]"

[1] my personal opinion (above that what I tried to write above) is that whoever organises such an event should be allowed to run it however they want until such a point as they lose the support of the community (which, for example, would be a reasonable consequence of announcing that noone named David is allowed to compete). It's then up to the previous organiser and the convention organiser to decide if the event will take place, and who/how should organise it/it should be organised.

Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

Seriously? People are questioning whether being young and British is not a satisfactory qualification? Fucking bonkers. If you're gonna run a competition based on excellence in a given field, you should be gleefully embracing that excellence. And if it's really a problem and the poor lickle beggars are being intimidated by the slightly bigger, slightly less younger buggers, then split the competition into British young jugglers and British younger amateur jugglers who haven't been to circus school, although BYAJWHBTCSotY is a bit of a gobfull I'll admit.

The thing about competition is that it is fundamentally elitist, about ranking people on some scale or other, which is why you typically have one winner and many losers. If there is a worry that potential entrants may be frightened off by, you know, talent, then why not just ban talent and start dishing out a plastic gold medal to everyone and be done with it?

Somebody needs to decide whether it's a competition or a parade.

Little Paul - - Parent

*smashes imaginary like button*


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