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THE Meatman
07-29-2012, 08:06 AM
after every weekend i take a look at the KCBS website and check out the scores. i have noticed a pattern...all the GC scores from the northeast seem to be lower, 655-670 than elsewhere, (say the midwest 690-700). has anyone else noticed this? is our bbq not as good or are the judges in this neck of the woods tougher? for example at the harpoon championships in vermont GC score of 670, RGC of 660. at the Racing for bbq event in Lees Summit,MO the top 7 teams were all over 670. am i being crazy? or has anyone else noticed this? thanks Meatman.

Rich Parker
07-29-2012, 08:09 AM
There is a theory that the judges are less experienced up North and that inexperienced judges give lower scores. I don't know if I buy in to that because I have seen and heard that master cbj give lower scores to.

I have noticed this year the GC point total here in MI have definitely increased over last year.

Pack-A-Smokes
07-29-2012, 08:14 AM
I have thought about this at some length. My conclusion is that it is futile to compare one comps GC scores to another. If you had the exact same judges at each comp then you could compare, but you don't. If What scored a 670 in TX was given to judges in TN, it may score 675 or 660.
That is my take on it anyways. I don't really think one comp or one area has better BBQ just maybe more critical judges in one area over the other. I am sure there are some differing opinions on this.

Alexa RnQ
07-29-2012, 09:24 AM
The same used to be true in California. For several years running, the west had the lowest GC score of the year in the country. As the judging pool gained experience, scores have gone up.

big matt
07-29-2012, 09:42 AM
The same used to be true in California. For several years running, the west had the lowest GC score of the year in the country. As the judging pool gained experience, scores have gone up.

Northern Cal had the lowest GC score I have ever seen..Dave Malone(All Sauced Up) won a comp up there with a 611..that score will get you bottom 1/3 at most comps maybe even lower.

boogiesnap
07-29-2012, 10:18 AM
There is a theory that the judges are less experienced up North and that inexperienced judges give lower scores. I don't know if I buy in to that because I have seen and heard that master cbj give lower scores to.

I have noticed this year the GC point total here in MI have definitely increased over last year.

i would suggest quite the opposite up here. i feel the food is such high quality, competition so stiff, and standards so high, that you'd better cook your arse off to score well. but what do i know, i've only been playing the game a little while.

also northerners can be a crotchety bunch. :becky:

huminie
07-29-2012, 10:29 AM
I think there are three things that come into play. First, newer judges are taught to start at a 6 (average) and work up from there, rather than start at a 9 and deduct points if necessary. Second, newer judges tend to be "afraid" to give out high scores for fear something better might come along. Third, in some areas, judges seem to think of themselves more as "food critics" than judges and they critique the food, looking for the tiniest of faults to mark down for.

In the end, as long as all teams are judged by the same pool of judges it should work out. But ya, you can't compare scores from different contests and different regions and assume the food quality is different based on the scores. GC winning BBQ is awesome no matter what the actual score.

Slamdunkpro
07-29-2012, 10:31 AM
i would suggest quite the opposite up here. i feel the food is such high quality, competition so stiff, and standards so high, that you'd better cook your arse off to score well. but what do i know, i've only been playing the game a little while.

also northerners can be a crotchety bunch. :becky:
I agree and will add that I don't think there is as much "score creep" here.

Lakeside Smoker
07-29-2012, 11:21 AM
630's used to win comps up here a few years ago. I'll take a 670 any day!

-Mike

THE Meatman
07-29-2012, 05:31 PM
I think there are three things that come into play. First, newer judges are taught to start at a 6 (average) and work up from there, rather than start at a 9 and deduct points if necessary. Second, newer judges tend to be "afraid" to give out high scores for fear something better might come along. Third, in some areas, judges seem to think of themselves more as "food critics" than judges and they critique the food, looking for the tiniest of faults to mark down for.

In the end, as long as all teams are judged by the same pool of judges it should work out. But ya, you can't compare scores from different contests and different regions and assume the food quality is different based on the scores. GC winning BBQ is awesome no matter what the actual score.
I didnt think it was supposed to be a comparative judging system. kind of like a dog show where you judge to a standard not compare this to that.

CBQ
07-30-2012, 02:25 PM
It's not your imagination. KCBS reps have told me the northeast scores are statistically the lowest in the country.

There are some very good BBQ cooks in New England. Two of the last three winners of The Jack are from MA. So why are the scores so low?

I think there are two reasons: increasing demand and frame of reference.

BBQ is becoming more popular, with more contests and more restaurants showing up in the northeast. As a competitor, I like that I have more choices in contests, but it also means more new judges are needed, and they will all start with varied expectations about what good BBQ is.

I think the frame of reference for the new judges is different up north. Living in Kansas City with 125 BBQ restaurants within the city limits, or in Rhode Island with maybe 20 in the whole state, you are going to have different expections and experience. While there is a growing pool of qualified and experienced judges in the northeast, the general population still thinks that par-boiled ribs are great, and some of the new judges start with those expectations. I think some may also bring expectations of having a "fine dining" experience and rate accordingly.

For the most part, the best food still wins, which is the point of course. I don't think you can compare scores across regions. Even just in the northeast I don't think you can compare scores between say, Long Island, NY and Merrimack, NH. That's why NEBS and the Empire State TOY lists now use the percentage of teams that you beat instead of your score.

sweetracks
07-30-2012, 02:58 PM
I have noticed this year the GC point total here in MI have definitely increased over last year.

I've noticed that too Rich. Last year we thought anything in the 660's would get us in the top 5 conversation, this year it gets 6-15. What a difference a year makes. Maybe everybody in Michigan just got better over the off season :laugh:

DawgPhan
07-31-2012, 12:22 PM
not trying to start a blank measuring contests, but someone mentioned score creep the other day. 172's in categories didnt get called in Cleveland, TN and would have won every category in VT.

I know that you can't compare scores from contest to contest and that there are great cooks in NE just like there are every where. Just thought that I would point it out as a talking point. 2 contests, both had multiple world champs cooking, plenty of great teams and yet the scores are very different. Could the judging be that different? is it an issue?

ique
07-31-2012, 12:44 PM
I personally dont think the lower scores up here mean much. You still have to win your table. Whether that's with a 165 or a 172 doesn't really matter.

Some tables will score higher than others and there will be head scratcher scores for sure (I had one at Harpoon). I dont think thats limited to the Northeast though.

Lake Dogs
07-31-2012, 12:47 PM
> For the most part, the best food still wins, which is the point of course.

Chris hit many good points in there, but I think this (above) pretty much says it. No, I dont think it's an issue.

CivilWarBBQ
07-31-2012, 01:41 PM
The only thing I can add to the discussion is a comment I heard from a judge from New Jersey who was sitting at the table with me at a contest in Georgia a while back. While waiting for the entries to come in, I struck up a conversation, asking how they came to be judging an event so far from home.

The reply was that this judge was thrilled to judge contests in the South because the entries were so much better than what they saw at events close to home.

:peep: Before I get burned to the ground for this post, remember I'm just the messenger here! Just passing the info along...

huminie
07-31-2012, 03:43 PM
Last year Brethren member Gadragonfly (Julie) from GA came out to NorCal and judged a contest. I believe she expressed that the quality of the turn ins was on par with the other regions she had judged in. She was very impressed with the judges as well.

BBQ is very subjective and it should be no surprise that an individual would find one region's flavor profiles more to their liking than another region. Everyone has their preferences.

boogiesnap
07-31-2012, 04:24 PM
The only thing I can add to the discussion is a comment I heard from a judge from New Jersey who was sitting at the table with me at a contest in Georgia a while back. While waiting for the entries to come in, I struck up a conversation, asking how they came to be judging an event so far from home.

The reply was that this judge was thrilled to judge contests in the South because the entries were so much better than what they saw at events close to home.

:peep: Before I get burned to the ground for this post, remember I'm just the messenger here! Just passing the info along...

farkin judge 6. :twisted:

Balls Casten
07-31-2012, 08:10 PM
Of the contests we were in, GC averaged ...
2009 - 669
2010 - 678
2011 - 679
2012 - 683

ModelMaker
08-01-2012, 10:07 AM
I think there are three things that come into play. First, newer judges are taught to start at a 6 (average) and work up from there, rather than start at a 9 and deduct points if necessary. Second, newer judges tend to be "afraid" to give out high scores for fear something better might come along. Third, in some areas, judges seem to think of themselves more as "food critics" than judges and they critique the food, looking for the tiniest of faults to mark down for.

In the end, as long as all teams are judged by the same pool of judges it should work out. But ya, you can't compare scores from different contests and different regions and assume the food quality is different based on the scores. GC winning BBQ is awesome no matter what the actual score.

Sorry, can't let you spew so many unfounded statements! I can't tell from your signiture if your a CBJ or not, if you are I suggest you take a refresher class (it's free).
Newer judges are NOT taught to start anywhere, not 6 and up, or 9 and down. That may have been the case well over a decade ago, but no longer is that the case.
Each box is to be judged on it's own merit, not for what might be next.
As far as "food critics" I think that is more of a personal opinion than a fact.
Judges new and experienced are just a bunch of normal people with various ideas of what great BBQ should be.
Using guidlines set forth by KCBS, each judge is to score each entry as instructed in their certification class.
Ed

ique
08-01-2012, 10:26 AM
Judges used to be trained on starting at 6. It wasnt 10 years ago.

Sorry, can't let you spew so many unfounded statements! I can't tell from your signiture if your a CBJ or not, if you are I suggest you take a refresher class (it's free).
Newer judges are NOT taught to start anywhere, not 6 and up, or 9 and down. That may have been the case well over a decade ago, but no longer is that the case.
Each box is to be judged on it's own merit, not for what might be next.
As far as "food critics" I think that is more of a personal opinion than a fact.
Judges new and experienced are just a bunch of normal people with various ideas of what great BBQ should be.
Using guidlines set forth by KCBS, each judge is to score each entry as instructed in their certification class.
Ed

huminie
08-01-2012, 11:29 AM
Sorry, can't let you spew so many unfounded statements! I can't tell from your signiture if your a CBJ or not, if you are I suggest you take a refresher class (it's free).
Newer judges are NOT taught to start anywhere, not 6 and up, or 9 and down. That may have been the case well over a decade ago, but no longer is that the case.
Each box is to be judged on it's own merit, not for what might be next.
As far as "food critics" I think that is more of a personal opinion than a fact.
Judges new and experienced are just a bunch of normal people with various ideas of what great BBQ should be.
Using guidlines set forth by KCBS, each judge is to score each entry as instructed in their certification class.
Ed

I am not talking about what is SUPPOSED to happen. But we all know what is supposed to happen is not always what is happening.

Those are my theories for what is going on...yes, absolutely my personal opinion based on what I have seen and heard inside and outside the tent. (Yes, I am a CBJ, but a cook first.)

Ackman
08-01-2012, 12:34 PM
I am from the Northeast and took the judges course last year I think it was. There are not a lot of competitions around where I am so hard to build up much experience. I would say that I would expect newer judges to tend to score lower that would certainly be true of me. And I would expect that there are fewer experienced judges in this area. The fact that you are not allowed to go back and amend a score, intellectually means that you have to leave some room to go up even if you think the first box is excellent…what happens in the next is better.

But what do I know

roksmith
08-01-2012, 12:44 PM
A 9 is a 9.
An 8 is an 8.
It should not matter at all what comes before or after.

Tack
08-01-2012, 03:10 PM
How true Roksmith Judge the box as it is not against other boxes.

ModelMaker
08-01-2012, 06:58 PM
Judges used to be trained on starting at 6. It wasnt 10 years ago.


I took my class in '03 and Mike Lake said "in the past" so I assumed in the past was more than 1 year previous.
I have helped in 3 different CBJ classes since then and they were taught not to start at any certain number in each of those classes.
So I'll stand by my "at least a decade statement".
Ed

CBQ
08-01-2012, 06:59 PM
... intellectually means that you have to leave some room to go up even if you think the first box is excellent…what happens in the next is better.

But what do I know

Give it a 9 if it's great, give it an 8 if it's good. Don't worry about what comes next. If the next dish is great, give it a 9 too. KCBS judging is not supposed to be relative.

I try to judge at least once a year. In my experience, you are hardly ever going to get 6 good entries anyway. Give 'em what they deserve, and if they are all good, no worries. Reps worry more about judges handing out too many low scores vs. too many high scores.

Muzzlebrake
08-01-2012, 10:13 PM
I am from the Northeast and took the judges course last year I think it was. There are not a lot of competitions around where I am so hard to build up much experience. I would say that I would expect newer judges to tend to score lower that would certainly be true of me. And I would expect that there are fewer experienced judges in this area. The fact that you are not allowed to go back and amend a score, intellectually means that you have to leave some room to go up even if you think the first box is excellent…what happens in the next is better.

But what do I know

Steve,

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, I'm certainly not trying to pick on you but it is thinking like this that tend to get under the skin of many cooks. The only thing you are missing is telling us about the cooler for your leftovers......

Tree are plenty of contests in the Northeast to judge. Where once going back to back was unusual, there are now teams doing 6-8 straight weeks of contests. You may have to travel some but teams and many judges regularly travel 4 or more hours.

As the others have already pointed out, each entry is supposed to be judged on its own merit and not compared to other entries. What if the opposite of your scenario were to happen and the entry you gave a score that left you room to move up turns out to be the best one of the day?

DerrickG
08-01-2012, 10:22 PM
Sorry, can't let you spew so many unfounded statements! I can't tell from your signiture if your a CBJ or not, if you are I suggest you take a refresher class (it's free).
Newer judges are NOT taught to start anywhere, not 6 and up, or 9 and down. That may have been the case well over a decade ago, but no longer is that the case.
Each box is to be judged on it's own merit, not for what might be next.
As far as "food critics" I think that is more of a personal opinion than a fact.
Judges new and experienced are just a bunch of normal people with various ideas of what great BBQ should be.
Using guidlines set forth by KCBS, each judge is to score each entry as instructed in their certification class.
Ed

As it states on the cards.... "6 is average".
Average is subjective. While a judge may think he cooks great q and can do better than what is in any box that comes across the table, his average may be higher or lower.
Just as some one that just took a class may think all that comes to the table is above average...just perspective.

SmokinGuitarPlayer
08-01-2012, 10:59 PM
I've noticed that so far, in the past 2 years, there has not been one single 180 at any contests we have been at ...in the Mid-atlantic area ... you would think that SOMEBODY , one of those great cooks, would get at least one perfect score. there are quite a few in teh midwest and other areas. Any one else watching that ?