After raising some questions ; did a quick observation of the situation and underlined expectations of each ; I think it's time to bring concrete proposals.
That there is 50 or 300 entries in a competition, It's time for us to imagine a fair unique system that can be understood by all.
Before talking about the scoring system, It should be in my opinion to talk first about our way to classify the phenotypes of breeding discus forms.
The classification allows to distribute the discus color and pattern in categories with identical phenotypes.
Interests of a better classification for the discus
A classification of the discus must become a guide facilitating understanding and access to the discus competition.
This would allow us to avoid past mistakes and minimize controversies through rules known by all.
This classification needs to be scalable because breeders continue to select new phenotypes of colors. The inclusion of a new item in the classification, could be done in a Committee where a breeder would have shown his work of selection.
During my Conference in Arvert 2016, the Italian breeders from "SG Discus" had for example demonstrated the evolution of their selections on "tiger" turquoise discus. (vertical stripes) as well as their new phenotype of pigeon blood "jaguar "..
Note the evolution of the 'Jaguar' boss at the phenotype "pigeon blood." (SG Discus)
This classification will have to give a chance to win for each breeder and each phenotype. From today, a "cobalt" discus breeder can hardly hope to win a trophy with his fish... (This phenotype is often set face to blue diamond during discus competitions in a "solid blue" category)
This classification could become an objective for breeders, providing a reliable basis in order to create a standard for the discus breeding forms.
Finally, a system like the one I'm going to introduce you could help contest organizers to distribute entries in categories recognized by all.
What is (At the present time) the best category for a cobalt discus breeder ?
Presentation of the classification system
The classification system must define the types of phenotype that may belong to the same category.
So, as pointed out me Cüneyt Birol (International judge) in a personal communication ; It is important to note the use of the term "phenotype".. (All the observable characters in an individual)
Indeed, variety designation cannot be done at the present time because it would create problems of interpretation.
Also, in contest, We judge the phenotypes and we should (at least at first time) stay on this appelation.
Of course, as you will see further, I use terms or words that have emerged in history and which designates a known phenotype. I didn't sew the interest to add confusion by changing "phenotypes names" to a topic that requires clarity.
So, a "leopard" phenotype coming from a good inked name among breeders will not be again renamed...
Human always named new phenotypes with appellations coming from the color seen on the animal. No offense to the purists... one of the first names was the word "turquoise".. No need here also to change something recognized by all.
Trade names are here excluded.
Classification of the breeding forms
The presented classification is only dedicated to the breeding forms coming from selection.
You will find the main mutations that are at the origin of most of our actual phenotypes :
The blue diamond ; the ghost, the snakeskin ; the golden; the pigeon blood ; the albino ; the snow white
The Organization of the classification of phenotypes will form a tree held in 6 main levels.
This classification proposal is scalable and must be able to welcome new phenotypes considered stable.
What is the place of the calico discus?
Several authors have classified types of discus. I could study some systems that have in my opinion demonstrated their limits on several aspects . However some approaches could be kept.
Problems I could notice is from a genetic consideration of presented fish in competition but, in my view, we must judge phenotypes.
Other proposals exclude too often some phenotypes or group them together in a too simple way.
In addition, the evolution of work selection done by breeders over the years is not really taken into account.
It is essential for me to listen to the breeders who select their lines with clear objectives. Today their work is not always taken into account in the classifications we offer them in competition...
Two fundamental categories...
Before i start, I think it's important to propose two "open" categories in contests.
I have seen many controversies due to the presence of a unique "open" category.
I think that it is essential (If the registered number of discus allows) to offer at least two categories "open" : category open pattern (pattern level 2 pink) and « open solid» (solid level 2 pink).
This system is often proposed in Singapore and has the distinction of being much more fair. It also limits comparisons between two completely opposed types of fish and judgments become less subjective.
I think that it is better to not compete together 2 so different phenotypes
(pattern vs Solid)
The discus of level 1 to 3
To start my tree, I think we can (From today) divide the discus in 2 large groups : The pattern discus and the solid discus.
As I explained above, These two types of phenotypes should not be judged in the same category. I think it is therefore necessary to have 2 «open» categories (pattern and solid).
In the level 2 of this classification, the pattern fish can be separated into 4 branches :
The fine pattern discus, large pattern, the "calico" (See above), and the "heckel cross"
The discus "calico" or "patches" are rarely met in competition. But we should take into account this phenotype. The discus 'Heckel cross' boss met little but this phenotype must integrate classification. (stripes + vertical central bar)
On Left, a category 'end boss' right discus discus of category 'large boss '.
Discus category 'Hekel cross' boss
"Solid" fish from the level 2 can be divided into 3 branches :
Fish 100% solid, discus solid at 90% and the "heckel cross' United (solid + vertical central bar)
Left a discus category 100% solid, on right a discus solid 90%
Discus category 'Heckel cross United '.
Thus divided, some varieties such as the "pigeon butterfly" or "cobalt" would find a clear place and access to a specific standard for their phenotype : solid color body with a striped and contrasted color on the face.
In order to simplify the tree, each albino counterparts phenotypes will not be repeated. But each phenotype presented here may have its "twin albino.".