In the shows, hamsters are judged in 5 areas. Firstly colour out of 30 points, which is how the hamster conforms to a written standard (standards can be found here on the NHC website), then type out of 25 points which describes the body shape and whether the hamster is in proportion, fur is given a mark out of 20 points, the hamster then recieves up to 10 points for size, condition which encompasses tameness alertness and aspects of health is given up to 10 points, then finally eyes and ears recieve up to 5 points. All judges interpret the standards slightly differently, so for example a hamster that one judge gives 25 for colour may only get 21 from another. It is important not to focus too much on a hamsters score from show to show, but to compare your hamster's position in that show. Recording the marks of the Best In Show, the hamster that wins the class yours is entered into and those at the lower end give a good idea of how well your hamster is performing.
The following video shows two of our judges each judging two hamsters warning, this video is large and may take some time to stream. You may need to install the "Quicktime" plugin to view the video.
Firstly we have a female black eyed cream, described as having nice even colour for which she is awarded 21 points. The judge also says she has lovely type, which earns her 21 points. She recieves 17 marks for fur, 9 for condition (despite a slightly rubbed nose), being quite a big girl she gets 9 for size, and 4 for eyes and ears due to a small nick in her ear. She gets 81 points overall. The next hamster is a young black dominant spot, she is given 19 for colour, as although her black is described as rich, the spotting is uneaven. She gets 19 for type, 17 for fur, 7 for size as she is much smaller than the previous hamster. Again she is in good condition, so gets 9 points and 4.5 for eyes and ears.
We then move on to another judge, and again the first hamster we see is a black eyed cream female although this one is from the satin class. This hamster is awarded 21 points for colour and 18.5 points for type. The judge notes thinning belly fur on this hamster, reflected in the fur mark of 14.5. 7.5 marks are given for size, then 7.5 for condition reflecting the judge's comment that the hamster is slightly boney. She is then given 4.5 for eyes and ears, and loses a point at the end for the show pen being in poor condition (something the judge may deduct up to 10 points for at their discretion). The next hamster is a sable roan, who although darker than the judge prefers still recieves 21 marks for colour. This hamster also gets 18.5 for type, and 15.5 for fur, 8 for condition, 9 for size and then 4 for eyes and ears which are described as a bit big.