Junior Showmanship:
From a Show Club's Point of View

Published September 2001

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Let's suppose you are a member of a show-producing cat club and you are considering offering a Junior Showmanship (JS) class. What does a club need to know and to do in order to offer and promote a JS ring?

Why should a club offer a JS ring?

JS classes are a way of mentoring and encouraging the youngest members of the cat fancy. JS helps educate the breeders, clerks and judges of the future. Every club should be interested in nurturing the children who will be the future of the cat fancy.

How does a club know there are any Juniors interested in JS?

Check with your members. Contact 4H. Don't forget to look in the HHP ranks. Juniors will need a CFA registered cat, so be ready to volunteer a show kitty to an interested child.

Who can we get to judge the Junior Showmanship class?

The JS class can be judged by any person currently in the CFA judging program.

You can have a special JS judge, or it can be a regular judge who is officiating at your show. If the judge is officiating, and the Junior's cat is also entered in the show, the cat NO LONGER must be x'd out of the JS judge's ring, but can be shown in ALL rings including the JS judge's.

In the future, Juniors who have participated in the JS program but are no longer eligible (they have "aged" out) will be able to apply to CFA for permission to become a JS judge themselves!

It is imperative that the judge should have prior knowledge of the breeds to be presented in Junior Showmanship classes so that they familiarize themselves with the proper ways of handling those breeds and prepare questions relative to the age of the Junior and the breed they are exhibiting. If the Show Secretary does not supply a list of the breeds being presented in JS, then the Judge should request such a list well in advance of the show date.

What classes should our club offer for JS?

There are 4 basic classes of Junior Showmanship, all based upon the age and experience of the children entered in each class.

Age in years
HAS NOT competed in
HAS competed in at least
Junior Division
Senior Division

The Senior division has the OPTION of having the young person handle a cat of the same breed the Junior is exhibiting and having the Junior compare and contrast the two cats.

As the JS program develops, there is the possibility of having a child at the Senior level also handle and judge 2 cats of a breed other than the one being shown by the JS handler at the show. This requires Juniors to know breed standards and grooming requirements for the breeds other then those they are showing.

The Junior and Senior divisions may be broken into further sub-groups, depending on the ability level of the participants.

What rosettes does a club provide for the JS rings?

Each Junior will receive a participation rosette which can either be worn by the Junior or hung on their cat's benching cage.

Novice classes are not ranked. However, depending on the number of participants, rosettes are needed for the other classes

# of Competitors
# of awards

A club has the option of offering a prize/rosettes for best Junior Showmanship Handler. Each winner of each class or division is eligible to compete.

How much is the entry fee for JS?

The Entry fee for JS is $5. This should include a double cage for the cat. There is a special JS form that you can include with your mailout flyers. Your JS entries have the same closing date as your regular entries for the show. Similarly, the JS should receive a confirmation in the same manner as any exhibit.

Although JS is not a money making venture for the club, the JS cat will usually also be entered in the regular show - so the club gets an extra entry... and nurtures the next generation of cat fanciers.

Is the JS listed in the show catalogue?

In a separate JS division in your show catalogue, the JS receives their own number along with the JS's name and age plus their cat's age, breed, sex/neuter/spay.

If the JS's cat is also exhibited in the show, the cat has its own separate number and listing in the catalogue as per usual.

How do we "mark" and record the JS results?

Each Junior is evaluated and scored out of 100 points. The JS judge evaluates each Junior on a JS Evaluation Form provided by CFA especially for this purpose. The Junior receives a copy of their evaluation, a second copy is filed with CFA with the regular show package. The 3rd copy is kept by the judge.

Judge Kitty Angell with her winners of each
Junior Showmanship class at the first JS show in Florida


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