Carolina District of the American Rose Society

You, Too, Can Be A Judge
by Russ Bowermaster
Bradenton, FL

Click below for Additional resources:
Qualifications for Appointment as an apprentice Rose Judge
Application for Apprentice Rose Judge Certificate
2012 Judging School Registration

     You probably have often heard the rhetorical question, “Why should I become a rose judge?” I hope, in this short space, to provide some sound reasons why becoming a rose judge should be the desire of more of our rose exhibiting members. The first point I would like to make is that in becoming a rose judge, you immediately acquire a new dimension in the appreciation of roses. 

     Our constant search for beauty is enhanced by the knowledge learned in our studies to become a rose judge. My second point concerns the enjoyment experienced as we broaden our horizons by visiting other areas and meeting fellow judges and rosarians. Rose people are special all over the world. Whatever their background or vocation, the common interest of roses make us kindred souls.

     Of course, to become a rose judge, certain qualifications must be met. I will delineate those here and provide some background and reasoning for some of them.

     A person applying for designation as an apprentice rose judge of the America Rose Society must:

  1. Have been a member of the American Rose Society, either regular or joint, for thirty-six (36) consecutive months immediately preceding application.

  2. Have personally grown roses in an outdoor garden or be engaged in their scientific culture.

  3. Have knowledge of the characteristics of at least 100 varieties, which includes varieties in all classifications.

  4. Know and follow the American Rose Society rules and technical requirements.

  5. Be observant and careful in all details.

  6. Be a person of high integrity and able to subjugate all personal likes, dislikes and biases.

  7. Be able to substantiate decisions with concrete and specific reasons.

  8. Be diplomatic, constructive, definite and understandingly assertive in adhering to rules and passing judgment.

  9. Have exhibited for at least three years in a total of at least five ARS rose shows. Won at least five blue ribbons and at least two classes for which ARS certificates are available.

  10. Have worked as a clerk with accredited judges in at least three rose shows.

  11. Have satisfactorily completed an authorized American Rose Society Judging School and pass the written and practical examination.  

An applicant who fails qualify after completion of an authorized school may not re-apply until the following calendar year.


  1. A person anticipating attending an authorized American Rose Society Judging School and taking the examination for appointment as an Apprentice Rose Judge shall complete an application and submit it to their District Chairman of Judge, preferably at least six weeks prior to the scheduled school date along with a check for the fee. Later applications will be accepted, but the applicant will be informed that it may not be possible to verify his or her eligibility for appointment as an Apprentice Rose Judge before he or she takes the exam.

  2. The District Chairman of Judges shall review the application and, if the applicant is considered qualified, forward the application and fee to the American Rose Society for verification of ARS membership.

  3. The ARS shall verify ARS membership. If the applicant is found not to have been a member of the ARS for thirty-six (36) consecutive months, a letter to that effect will be sent to the applicant with an information copy to the District Chairman of Judges. The fee shall be refunded.

  4. After the applicant has taken the examination, the District Chairman of Judges shall grade the examination and forward the graded examination along with his or her recommendation as to whether the candidate has passed or failed the examination to the ARS.

  5. The Chairman of the Judging Committee shall review the examination and determine whether the applicant passed or failed, and forward the examination and this information to the ARS.

  6. The ARS shall inform the applicant of the results of the examination.

     I hope this will convince those who have been indecisive about becoming a Rose Judge to study the Guidelines for Judging Roses and to take the examination at their next District Judging School. For those who have stated they would never become a judge, perhaps this will serve to give you more thought and decide that judges are really advanced rosarians, and you can be one of them.

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