banniere LOOF

Judges Rules

Version applicable since January 1st, 2017

Printable version

This page lists the LOOF Judges Rules, which contain two parts:

You may also want to download a contract (last updated January 1st, 2016) between the cat show organizer and the judge,
or look at the list of LOOF feline judges.

These rules were approved by the LOOF Board of Directors on December 12th, 2005, and later amended by the Board of Directors (up to October 4th, 2016).


I Place of the Judge in the feline world

I-A Definition of the Judge

Judges constitute a body of cat breeds specialists playing an essential role in maintaining and improving these breeds.
The judge may deliver Standard Conformity Certificates to cats of the breeds he has been licensed for.
The judge's role is capital: he sanctions the result of a selection work and favourably orientates the breed's evolution by his advice.
The judge must keep in mind the cat's well-being.
The judge must perfectly know the standard of each of the breeds for which he has been licensed.
In any case, its judgment is final.
Trainer judges (or instructors) are judges who have been approved by the judges' commission. That agreement should be validated by the Board of Directors.

I-B Aptitude Criteria

The LOOF approves as able to judge purebred cats the persons:

  • having followed the specific training course described in these rules;
  • having successfully completed the LOOF qualifying examinations required to judge a given breed;
  • registered on the official list of LOOF judges, with mention of the breeds they are entitled to judge (LOOF agreement);
  • having committed themselves in writing to respect all the LOOF rules as well as the official texts ruling the feline world and its shows.

I-C LOOF Judge License

LOOF judges are holders of a license whose delivery guarantees the respect of the knowledge control procedures:

  • Regularly take part in the continuing education seminars;
  • Having at least fulfilled their function in a Standard Conformity Competition twice in each yearly period;
  • If the judge has not judged at least twice during the preceding year, he could be declared “in sleep mode” (the judges' commission will determine the conditions to restore his position).

A list of LOOF judges, updated by the judges' commission and published by the LOOF is available for clubs organizing cat shows.

I-D LOOF judges’ list

This list must include, for each judge, the following information:

  • Name, first name, postal address,
  • Phone Nr, fax Nr, e-mail address,
  • Breeds and status (active or in sleep),
  • Languages.

I-E Judges’ commission

It gathers the LOOF licensed judges within LOOF.
Its Rules are approved by the Board of Directors.
It is in charge, among others, of:

  • The judges rules on an ethical level;
  • The judgment contract;
  • The examination organization and rules;
  • The trainings’ durability.


II Judge’s Training Course

II-A Training’s principle

Training follows three successive steps:

  • Show secretaryship as a volunteer, then examination to reach trainee status.
  • Trainee, with a theoretical and practical program sanctioned by suitable examination.
  • Judge, in the different breed categories defined by the rules.

II-B The Trainee

II-B-1 Admission conditions to trainee status

The trainee candidate should submit his application before the LOOF Judges’ Commission.
The trainee should be sponsored by a LOOF judge or agreed by the LOOF Judges’ Commission (a judge cannot sponsor more than two trainees simultaneously).
The judge will sign his acceptance to follow his pupil’s training all along his course. His/her responsibility towards the trainee and the commission is bound by that acceptance. There could be a co-sponsorship (same obligations), sponsors and trainees will be able to part for personal reasons by telling the judges’ commission and, mentioning, for the new trainee, the name of the new sponsor. In no case may the sponsor be a parent or life partner of the candidate.

In order to request the trainee status, the candidate must fulfil the following:

  • be over 18;
  • produce 5 show secretaryship certificates (no more than one per week-end);
  • own an affix registered under his/her name;
  • have produced and shown in person at least two cats bearing his/her cattery name and having reached the Grand International Champion/Premior status;
  • have bred (or bought before the kitten is 5 months old) and shown in person a cat of a breed contrasting with the previous one (in terms of morphology and coat, e.g. Maine coon/Singapura), having reached the Grand International Champion/Premior status.

II-B-2 Access to trainee status

It is an open book examination, the goal being to give the candidate a feline culture. This exam won’t be on the breeds, which will be the subject of classic theoretical and practical tests. That examination should lead the candidate to get through the LOOF Standards guide, the LOOF rules, books about genetics, researches on the internet, etc…
This work may be done by the candidates at home, the estimated time being 120/150 hours. It will be addressed to the judges’ commission or to the corrector designated by the commission, with a copy to the candidate’s sponsor. The candidate will be given a deadline allotted by the commission to accomplish the work. If, at the end of that period, and except authorization from the commission, the work has not been given, the candidate will have to ask for another examination.
Once the work is done, an interview with the judge examiner, the corrector and the sponsor will end that procedure. The interview will also evaluate the candidate’s motivation to reach trainee status. The interview may be done at the LOOF offices or any other place that the commission would choose, whether at a show, the day before or in the evening. Never during the show itself.
When the candidate will have satisfied the procedure, he will get to trainee status.

II-B-3 Training

During training, the candidate will have to attend a training seminar on felinotechny organized by a veterinary school. He will also have followed a cat CETAC or CCAD session.
Transitionally, date reports concerning that requirement may be allowed by the commission, notably for trainees already following the program before April 10th, 2006.

He must take part in breed seminars and in pedagogical rings and perform evaluations on breeds or breed groups on the basis of models approved by the judges commission.

II-B-4 Trainee certificates

They are delivered during a Standard Conformity Competition recognized by the LOOF - one certificate per day of competition which the trainee has attended under instruction of a LOOF judge or LOOF approved judge.
The certificate, in conformity with the model approved by the commission, has to be filled by the instructor and signed by the club’s president. The instructor makes his observations on the trainee’s capacities and behaviour, on the number and breed(s) of cats submitted to the instructor’s judgment.
The trainee will have to obtain his certificates in different regions of France and in foreign countries.

II-B-5 Trainee’s admission

The procedure implies the trainee’s admission, first from the judge(s) chosen as instructor(s), second by the club manager. That agreement must be requested at least 15 days before the date of the show by the trainee from the club manager, who is free to accept or refuse. If the club accepts, it is the trainee’s responsibility to ask the judge(s) who is (are) free to accept or refuse.
The elementary civil rules imply that acceptations or refusals have to be communicated 8 days before, under their own responsibility, by both sides.
Traditionally, but not mandatorily, the organizing club offers lunch to the trainee, if possible with the judges, and he may be present with the judges during the “Bests” selection.
The trainee may in no way have his own cats or those belonging to any person sharing the same home judged during the shows where he acts as a trainee.

II-C Becoming a judge

Note : The 2017-2018 season is used as a test period for a new way of organizing examinations, in pre-determined shows and under the control of a judge dedicated for the examination. During this period of time, articles II-C-1 and II-C-2 are being suspended.

II-C-1 Admission conditions to Examination

In order to undergo a theoretical examination, the trainee must have followed the required training sessions and have obtained the following trainee certificates:

  • For Persians/Exotic Shorthairs: 15 certificates among which at least 3 in 2 foreign countries, with a minimum of 500 cats, including at least 40 cats in each variety and/or colour (self, tabby, silver-smoke, bicolors and colourpoint)
  • For semi longhair breeds without shorthair correspondence: 15 certificates among which at least 3 in 2 foreign countries, with a minimum of 500 cats covering the whole set of breeds included in this group.
  • For shorthair breeds with semi longhair correspondence: 15 certificates among which at least 3 in 2 foreign countries, with a minimum of 500 cats covering the whole set of breeds included in this group.
  • For shorthair breeds without semi longhair correspondence: 15 certificates among which at least 3 in 2 foreign countries, with a minimum of 500 cats covering the whole set of breeds included in this group.

At the beginning of each semester, trainees must transfer copies of their trainee certificates to the LOOF together with a statement of their work in progress. This statement will have to be approved by the trainee’s supervisor.
If the trainee does not fulfil this obligation, he will have to give the explanation to the commission. If the trainee spends more than 2 years without getting forward in his training program, the commission will consider he has abandoned the training.
Transitionally, the judges already engaged in the former course will have an equivalence for the certificates obtained by April 10th, 2006, i.e. 30 cats per certificate in chosen category representing the majority of the category being examined.

II-C-2 Examination to become a judge

When the candidate has reached the required number of certificates, he submits his wish to have the first judge’s examination to the judges’ commission – the examination must be the one of his breed category. The sponsor will share his appreciation of the work produced. The assessment should be written and commented.

  • Theory
    For each of the groups mentioned above, it is a written examination. It will concern all the knowledge that the candidate should have acquired: felinotechny, genetics, breeds standards included in the group etc. 50 questions are planned.
    The examination will be corrected by 2 instructor judges designated by the judges’ commission. The trainee should have at least 90% of right answers, while the remaining 10% may be completed through a discussion with the examiners.
    The examination could also be completed (or even in some cases partly replaced) by an essay intended to conduct a thorough research, aiming to sustain the documentary fund of the judges’ commission.
  • Practice
    The trainee will have to write a detailed judgment sheet for each of the cats selected by the examiners. The latter may ask the trainee to make a ranking, to tell the maximum points they would give each subject, etc…
    Nota bene: the judges who are already engaged in the former course will keep on with the same system.
    For the new exams by breed group that they would have to pass, the procedure of minimum amounts of cats seen above will be applicable.
    The examination, signed by the examiners and certified by the organizing club, on a model provided by the judges’ commission, is validated by the LOOF which will keep a copy in its archives.
    Should the candidate fail to pass practice, the judges commission shall propose a minimum lapse of time to the candidate for the completion of an additional study, in agreement with the candidate's instructors and sponsoring judge.
  • Instructors
    1. A judge may not undertake the instruction of a trainee for a given breed if he passed his examination for this breed less than 3 years before.
    2. Every LOOF licensed judge having an allbreed qualification for more than 3 years may be an instructor.
    3. LOOF licensed judges having a qualification for a breed group for more than 5 years may hold a theoretical examination for this breed group according to the LOOF rules. They may hold a practical examination for any of the breeds belonging to this group.
    4. For some breeds, a list of instructors will be published among judges having at least 5 years of experience in the breed.

    To hold a practical examination in a LOOF-affiliated club, the examiner judges will have to comply to one of the requirements b, c or d above, whether LOOF licensed or not. Concerning practical examinations held abroad, the presence of one judge complying with the above requirements is desirable but not mandatory.


III Judge’s Rights and Duties

III-A Continuing education

Judges and trainees will have to attend trainings, seminars, think tanks, cattery visits, etc. or organize them, in order to update their knowledge. A minimum of 8 hours of training per year will have to be dedicated to that knowledge update or its transmission by the contributors.
Judges will also need to refresh their knowledge through specific tests every year. Any default to these obligations may lead to a non renewal of the license.

III-B Education Seminars

They can be organized by the LOOF judges’ commission or any other association, with the help of qualified persons besides the judges: veterinarians, geneticists, biologists, breed clubs as well as short training courses at breeders’ or veterinarians’ premises. It is the judges’ responsibility to look for those courses anywhere where they might be organized or be their initiators.

III-C Contract

It rules the relationships between the judge and the club managing the standards conformity competition. It is annexed to the present rules and is an integral part of it.
When a judge examiner or any outer contributor is requested outside the context of a show to conduct a seminar, he receives the same compensations as those included in this contract.
Every 2 years, the judges’ commission examines the possible updating of those contributions and submits them to the Board of Directors’ approval.

Download this contract:

NB : The latest tax scale published (2015) leads to compute a cost of 0,4029333... € per km,
which may be rounded to 0,40 €.

III-D License

The LOOF license is an authorization to judge in LOOF cat shows, allotted to the judges having satisfied the obligations provided for by the LOOF Judges Rules.
It is delivered to the judges according to the conditions provided by the Commission’s Rules, and may be delivered to judges from other federations members of the World Cat Congress, subject to their fulfilling the conditions required by the Commission’s Rules concerning knowledge updating, according to the mode described in the commission’s rules.
The federations will have to certify the abilities of the judges requesting the LOOF license.
The license is renewed every year to the LOOF judges, if they are up to date on their membership and if they have fulfilled the requirements of the present rules.
Every year, the LOOF licensed judges shall send to the LOOF the list of the shows they took part in and those where they judged.
If they don’t satisfy that obligation, their license may be suspended.
A judge, who has not judged at least twice during the preceding year, will be declared “in sleep mode”. The judges’ commission will indicate the trainings to follow for a possible knowledge updating.

III-E Conditions for a judge from a WCC-affiliated federation to get a LOOF license

These conditions comply with objective principles.

  1. Formulate a written request addressed to the LOOF judges commission;
  2. Answer a test concerning LOOF standards and the way to get conformity certificates to these standards;
  3. Show theoretical and practical examination certificates as well as the trainee certificates obtained prior to these exams;
  4. Hold the whole range of certificates required to be qualified for at least one of the breed groups recognized by LOOF, i.e.:
    • Persians/Exotics
    • Semi longhair breeds without shorthair correspondence
    • Shorthair breeds with semi longhair correspondence
    • Shorthair breeds without semi longhair correspondence
  5. The judge accepted under these conditions as LOOF licensed judge will be put under a probatory status for one year,
    or must have been invited at least 5 times by LOOF-affiliated clubs and satisfactorily complied with the judges rules
    during the corresponding shows.
  6. Not be the subject of complaints.

For allbreed judges having completed the full course of North American federations, paragraphs a, b, e and f above are applicable whatever the citizenship of the applicant.
When these federations don't recognize some of the LOOF-recognized breeds, the applicants will have to undergo the theoretical and practical examinations for each of these breeds according to conditions defined by LOOF.

III-F Agreed Feline Judges

Allowing specific exceptions decided by the LOOF Board of Directors, LOOF agrees all judges recognized by federations which are members of the World Cat Congress, for the qualifications validated by their own federations.
The case of judges of other federations and of so-called « independent » judges will be studied individually by the Judges Commission.


(back to top)


I Principles

These rules apply to LOOF judges. By their membership, the latter accept their principles and obligations.
The judge is the ambassador of the LOOF and the representative of the LOOF judges’ commission whatever the private or public circumstances of his life may be. He is thus bound to a general reserve duty and to refrain from any public behaviour or word that could give a negative image of judges.

I-A Judge’s duty towards his function

In any circumstances, and whatever the context may be, the judge shall fulfil his function in total independence, with calm and dignity. His quality as a judge commands him obligations and reserve towards everyone he gets close to, while fulfilling his functions or as a simple exhibitor.
The judge shall never publicly criticize the choices or judgments from other judges and whatever his personal affinities, shall not let himself influenced by anybody, judge, breeder or club manager.
As an exhibitor, he shall, according to his function as a judge, avoid to make any comment about other cats, in any way, good or bad. When not in his function as a judge, he shall not refer to his quality, especially during his commercial contacts.
A judge may in no way have his own cats or those belonging to any person sharing the same home judged during the shows where he acts as a judge.

I-B Duties towards breeders

The judge shall not forget his role as an instructor; he will have to give explanations about the qualities or faults of the cat being presented, compared to the standard and advise, objectively, the exhibitors every time it is possible.
The judge must be objective and judge the cat only. Without demagogy, he does not only satisfy the breeder, his judgment is impartial and without concession.
Towards the breeder, who often knows perfectly his breed, he shall fulfil his functions with simplicity, courtesy, modesty and equity. But most of all, the judge shall not encourage the breeder to keep on a way he judges, in all conscience, as bad.

I-C Relationship between the organizing club and the judge

The relationships between the show manager and the judge are written in a contract whose model is annexed to the present document.
A judge should quickly reply to the invitation that is sent to him by a club.
If, apart from his judgments, a judge is to fulfil additional functions (trainee instruction, examination…) he should be informed in advance.
A maximum of 40 cats may be judged per day.
French clubs should respect a proportion of 75% of LOOF licensed or approved judges. This proportion will have to be reached in 5 years on the basis of 50% by September 1st, 2009 and 5% more every year to reach 75% by September 1st, 2014. A show manager must have taken out an insurance policy covering his responsibility for the show. That insurance also has to cover his responsibility towards the judge. The insurance policy Nr and the name of the company must be mentioned on the contract submitted to the judge.

I-D Ethic

The judges’ commission may be referred by the Board of Directors concerning any dispute that could affect a judge and may suggest the appropriate penalties to the Board of Directors.

I-E Budget

The judges’ commission has an annual budget at its disposal.
Its running is ensured by the amount of the examination fees paid by the candidates, by the LOOF involvement in the commission’s running, by the licenses attributed to the judges, by the seminars, by the different contributions supported by the users, by the eventual donations from clubs, sponsors and donators.

II Running

The judges’ commission, exclusively composed of LOOF licensed judges, has at least one annual meeting.
Its Board, composed of 3 to 7 members, whose representative is preferably a member of the LOOF Board of Directors, runs on a permanent basis and communicates thanks to any modern and appropriate means. The tasks are distributed between the board’s members on demand and according to their respective skills.
The commission prepares and organizes the trainees’ examinations, goes through the candidates’ files, designates examiners if needed. The commission supervises the judges and trainees’ permanent training, and also organizes seminars. The commission renews the licenses after having checked all required conditions are fulfilled.


Find back this page: "Cat Shows", "Judges", "Judges Rules"

© LOOF, 2009-2021, all photographic credits, unless otherwise specified, go to

Today is 25.09.2023