Monday, 19 February 2018
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To encourage participation in the IHS SOTY/HOTY Program, starting with the 2010 candidates new HOTY winners (past winners are exempt) are to receive a $500.00 cash prize and all winners, past and future, will receive a trophy. Moreover, expenses incurred in shipping of wood may be reimbursed, but an estimate of the costs must first be approved by the the IHS Board Of Directors and receipts for such expenses must be supplied before reimbursement is made.


The IHS HOTY program presently concerns Exotic Hibiscus as opposed to Landscape or Commercially Mass Produced varieties, at least until such time as it has a membership capable of providing candidates and trailing stations capable of evaluation the special needs of the latter categories. This program is based upon international trialing stations which comparatively grow all candidates under similar conditions. These stations periodically provide requested photos and data to the HOTY Panel Of Judges (HPOJ) which makes the final selections.


IHS HOTY program is designed to select quality seedlings at two levels of distinction, one considered the most beautiful without consideration of other characteristics (to be known as the IHS Seedling Of The Year or IHS SOTY) and the other being the best of the most beautiful as demonstrated in trialing of the selected SOTY candidates over a three year period (to be known as the IHS Hibiscus Of The Year or IHS HOTY). Moreover, it is designed to permit anyone who has quality seedlings, either as the hybridizer or grower, to enter regardless of where in the world they might be. If the candidate is presented by other than the hybridizer or grower, hereinafter, known as the applicant, the owner as defined in this text (either the hybridizer or if he gave away seed, the grower) should provide either email or snail mail authorization for the candidate to be considered for either of the above; said authorization to constitute agreement with the terms and requirements of the this program as stipulated herein. The hybridizer, owner or applicant, simply need to be members of the IHS, subscription in same being free of charge, or be a member of any of the IHS affiliate organizations at the time their entrant is accepted.


The applicant must, within the SOTY deadlines (same as for the Trimestrial Photo Competition, "TPC"), provide to Mr. Kes Winwood, 3 images (digital) of the different blooms of the same candidate along with the following information:


A) Parentage

B) Size of bloom (average and range from min to max, e.g., 7" - 6.5 to 9")

C) Texture of the bloom (thin, average, good, excellent)

D) Symmetrical form (reliable, average, variable - meaning sometimes less than ideal)

E) Duration of the bloom (1 day, two day, more than two day)

F) Angle of bloom presentation on the bush (upright, lateral to upright,lateral, lateral to down angle and pendulous).


The basic preselection mechanism is via the IHS SOTY selection which runs concurrently with Trimestrial Photo Competition (TPC), in which the membership selects what it considers to be the best in seedling candidates. The top 6, and in case of a tie vote rounded off to the next highest number, in each SOTY selection will be retained for final judging for a total of approximately 18 candidates. If the person owning the entrant (either hybridizer or grower) for any reason wishes, they may withdraw their candidate or candidates. Additionally the HPOJ will suggest supplemental candidates bringing the total to 30, which in the final voting the membership will reduce to 15. The HPOJ will then select the SOTY and nine runners up that will all go into international trialing for three years.


The final selection of candidates totaling 30 will be presented to the membership to determine what they consider to be the best. This will be done at the same time as the voting for the annual champions of the TPC, or shortly thereafter. The top 50%, normally 15, as voted by the membership (rounded off to the next highest number) will then be considered by the HOTY Panel Of Judges and their decision rendered within one month, providing the final stamp of approval of what constitutes the most worthy bloom and nine runner ups. As this part of the preselection process will be based on the appearance of the bloom and the information provided by the hybridizer, these will be called the Seedlings Of The Year or SOTY which will represent the considered opinions of the membership and judges as to the most beautiful seedlings of the year.


Wood, generally four to six, 6” pieces of each of the 10 selected SOTY winners will then be sent to the IHS propagation station within the first quarter of the year following the announcement of the SOTY selection winners. The wood will be grafted and grown by the propagation station for 14 to 16 months, after which approximately three or four 6” pieces of each candidate will be delivered to each of the IHS trialing stations in late Spring of the following year.


In this manner it is hoped that all trialing stations will receive enough wood to get all candidates growing at the same time with a back up or two incase of losses during trialing. The propagation station will also have additional wood in the case of take failures. The trialing stations will evaluate the 10 SOTY candidates for an additional three years. Although trialing stations may change, at the present we have four including two in Europe (Germany and Sicily), one in the US and one in Brazil.


A HOTY coordinator will work with the trialing stations in getting the data to the HOTY panel of judges.
Depending upon whether the data is complete as hoped, additional sources of info may be sought where necessary.
Upon receipt of all data and info, the HPOJ, will select the best of the ten and their runner ups at the end of the trialing period.
The winner will be designated the IHS HOTY GOLD MEDAL winner, the next two runners ups as IHS HOTY SILVER MEDAL winners and the following two as the IHS HOTY BRONZE MEDAL winners. The esteemed title of IHS HOTY Gold Medal winner, will consist of the best of the most beautiful as proven by its performance during trialing and confirmed by the HOTY panel of judges.




The panel of HOTY judges will base their opinions for both the choosing of the SOTY and HOTY candidates on a point system.
To view the templates for each click here on SOTY Voting Template or HOTY Voting Template.
Additionally, the HOTY information voted upon will come from the photos and data provided by the trialing stations.
Click here for the HOTY Trial Form...
The winning SOTY and HOTY winner's photos along with this point system evaluation will become a permanent part of the IHS web site, although the judges will remain anonymous.


The panel of judges will be determined as follows: The IHS membership and membership of its affiliates will be consulted as to those willing to serve on this panel indicating that they should have some sort of bloom and/or seedling evaluation experience and/or some credentials in photography and/or photo analysis. Those persons who are interested, will be requested to make their submission, with a resume of their experience to the current IHS President. He will pass this information to the Board of Directors who will have the opportunity to discuss the candidates and then vote to accept or not each candidate with the intention of ideally representing different parts of the world. The president or board members might also solicit candidates for the boards consideration, and in the event a judge resigns his post at a later date, the board will be authorized to appoint a replacement. The President will be a observing member of the HPOJ, voting only in case of a tie.


It will be permissible for members of the board, membership or members of IHS affiliated organizations to be members of the HOTY panel of judges. Those that might have candidates for consideration for either the SOTY or HOTY will not be able to vote on their own candidates.


For example:
Candidate #1 has a total of 45 points from one judge, 28 from another, 52 from another and 39 from another for a seedling that none of the judges has presented in candidature. The total would be 164 points, divided by 4 judges would provide a point average of 41.
Candidate #2 has a similar total of points from the first three judges, but the latter Judge is ineligible to vote since it is his seedling being considered, resulting in the total points by the three eligible judges of 125 divided by 3 which provides a point average of 41.67.


IHS Seedling Definition:
Seedlings are new hibiscus plants that have been raised from seed. The owner of the seedling being entered as a candidate to this program may be:


1) the hybridizer: the person that has cross-pollinated the flowers to produce the seed, and in the event the hybridizer has given away seed to a seed bank or other individuals,


2) the grower: the person who has acquired the seed but grown it to first bloom. A seedling continues to be called a seedling for up to 3 years from the date of the first flower. A HOTY candidate may remain a seedling for an additional three years during the trialing period, meaning that it can retain seedling status for a maximum of 6 years from the date of first bloom.
Therefore, it is possible for a seeding to be known only by a number for recognition, a working name or it may be registered in which case it will have a unique permanent name.




Sports not being grown from seed and generally being a minor mutation that results in a color variant of otherwise often identical plants, are therefore not eligible for SOTY or HOTY consideration.


Trialing station will provide information and bush photos every 6 month to the HPOJ, via its chairperson. They will additionally supply 3 bloom photos (top, diagonal and lateral) taken during the last 6 months of trialing which the trialing station considers representative of the candidate and no more than three photos that might vary from those provided for the SOTY competition, perhaps including seasonal or daily changes.


Entries may be submitted in any size, but they will be presented for competition by using Paint Shop Pro to resize the largest dimension to 300 pixels and they will be compressed to result in an image size of approximately 20K. Because of the nature of the medium, i.e., digital rendering via the internet, and because alterations are often difficult or impossible to detect, we have little choice but to accept any image regardless of the manipulations undertaken to render it in its final form. Members will judge it simply on its appearance, and we, of necessity, will have to ignore the elements, which resulted in the actual image submitted. Photos should be of flowers on backgrounds of predominantly natural hibiscus foliage, realizing there may be other extraneous things in view, such at pots, mulch, sky, ocean, etc.