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CarolinaQ
12-07-2012, 01:15 AM
For those that have not read the article “Thoughts from the Judges Advocate”, by Dave Compton in the December edition of the Bullsheet, I would highly encourage you to take a few moments and read this article describing the actions of Judges, Table Captains, Organizers and Contest Reps. As a KCBS competitor, I was very disturbed by these revelations to say the least!
Considering the time, attention to detail and financial outlay that I put into a turn-in box, and then to think that a Judge, Table Captain, Organizer or Contest Rep is doing things with my turn-in box that could potentially cause me a low score or disqualification is beyond disturbing!
I'm not a top team and I don't get to compete in a ton of contest each year like some folks, but even if it's only one contest, it's still a lot of time and money invested.
A few highlights from the article:
Table Captain that opens the box, looks at the entry, then makes a face so that you know exactly what he thinks the appearance score should be on that box.
Or the one who shakes the box like it’s a present under the tree.
The Judge who takes multiple pieces of meat from a turn-in box while judging to stuff in his or her cooler to take home.
Talking on a cell phone, texting or taking photos with a cell phone while Judging is still in progress.

motoeric
12-07-2012, 03:00 AM
Hi,

Does this actually rise to the level of being a problem that should be seriously addressed? It seems to me to be a situation where you can't protect against idiocy and the occasions when this happens must be incredibly scarce.

I've never seen a table captain give visual clues to their opinion of a boxes appearance. I've never seen someone shake up a box. I've never seen people taking from the box to put in their cooler, but I can imagine that is more common than the other problems. Hopefully it's the sixth judge and they are taking extra (ie. enough to sample and then some for their cooler). I have seen people on the phone during judging, but not while they are judging. It's more that someone from table 3 is on the phone while table 5 is still actively judging. Still wrong though.

I also realize that the problems of regions vary greatly, so my perspective is coming from events in the NY area.

The majority of judges, table captains and reps take their job very seriously. I fully support their dedication and place in the competition community.

Problems should absolutely be addressed, but it's dangerous to overstate concerns.

Eric

bmonkman
12-07-2012, 05:35 AM
Is The Bullsheet an official KCBS publication?

Brian

RibnOneOff
12-07-2012, 07:11 AM
Is The Bullsheet an official KCBS publication?

Brian

Yes, monthly newspaper sent to all KCBS members.

ModelMaker
12-07-2012, 09:04 AM
I think the JA is pointing out the very rare, very worst case senarios in a attempt to make those of us that judge think a little bit.
Thinking is a good thing.
Ed

CaptTable
12-07-2012, 09:09 AM
Make sure you read the next to last paragraph, also. He says, and I quote
"the vast majority of Judges and Table Captains are great folks who really enjoy what they are doing and try their best to do it well. By far, the average person in the “tent” does understand the Rules and wants everything to go just right." unquote.

Please don't let this turn into a judge, TC, Rep, and KCBS bashing thread! Does this crap happen? Sure. And I'll go out on a limb here and say that it probably always will. It will never go away as long as humans are involved.

DawgPhan
12-07-2012, 09:15 AM
seriously, who ever is putting together the bullsheet needs to exercise a little editorial control. Last month it a front page article about how the public that comes to bbq contests are mouth breathing idiots who are only there to bother the competition teams. This month it is an article about how the judges screw up your entry.

How about we leave the articles about the "dirty truths" in the circular file and publish articles about the positive things about competition bbq.

Outnumbered
12-07-2012, 10:31 AM
I think the JA is pointing out the very rare, very worst case senarios in a attempt to make those of us that judge think a little bit.
Thinking is a good thing.
Ed

This about sums it up. If we are going to have a paper, it should at least serve a purpose beyond making us feel good about ourselves. I commend KCBS for running the article.

Does it ruffle some feathers? Sure it does. Should we all get our feathers ruffled from time to time? The truth hurts. We need to call attention to shortcomings and this is the best vehicle KCBS has to communicate with every single member of the organization.

Well done, KCBS.

carlyle
12-07-2012, 05:42 PM
Hats off to David for a good thought provoking article.
Sometimes those unthinking non verbal clues that just happen actually say a lot.
Everyone needs to be on their toes.

As Capt Table correctly says, read the last paragraphs that put the observations in perspective.

I know David as someone who works tirelessly to make judging better for all of us.
And bless him for doing that.

Bentley
12-07-2012, 07:46 PM
For those that have not read the article
A few highlights from the article:
Table Captain that opens the box, looks at the entry, then makes a face so that you know exactly what he thinks the appearance score should be on that box.
Or the one who shakes the box like it’s a present under the tree.
The Judge who takes multiple pieces of meat from a turn-in box while judging to stuff in his or her cooler to take home.
Talking on a cell phone, texting or taking photos with a cell phone while Judging is still in progress.

I am a Certified Master Judge, have been judging for 10+ years, in 6 different states and I have never seen any of the above mentioned things happen even once.

Rookie'48
12-08-2012, 02:30 AM
seriously, who ever is putting together the bullsheet needs to exercise a little editorial control. ....
...How about we leave the articles about the "dirty truths" in the circular file and publish articles about the positive things about competition bbq.

I'll disagree on this for a couple of reasons.

First & foremost, as I stated in the article, most judges, Table Captains, etc do their damnedest to do the best job possible. However, there are some who just might need to re-think what they are doing and I think that pointing out some of the most troubling things might do that.

Second, I'm hoping that by pointing out some of these problems that other judges / TCs will quietly let the offender know that what he's doing is wrong.

And finally, if some one is doing these things and thinks that it's perfectly okay then I don't really feel that we need or want that person involved in the judging part of competition BBQ.

Read the article again. Notice that I did my best to point out that these problems are not widespread - but they are still problems. Maybe some one will read that & think: "Dang - I've done that - I won't do it again".
If that happens then I've done what I tried to do.

DawgPhan
12-08-2012, 10:25 AM
I'll disagree on this for a couple of reasons.

First & foremost, as I stated in the article, most judges, Table Captains, etc do their damnedest to do the best job possible. However, there are some who just might need to re-think what they are doing and I think that pointing out some of the most troubling things might do that.

Second, I'm hoping that by pointing out some of these problems that other judges / TCs will quietly let the offender know that what he's doing is wrong.

And finally, if some one is doing these things and thinks that it's perfectly okay then I don't really feel that we need or want that person involved in the judging part of competition BBQ.

Read the article again. Notice that I did my best to point out that these problems are not widespread - but they are still problems. Maybe some one will read that & think: "Dang - I've done that - I won't do it again".
If that happens then I've done what I tried to do.


training judges should be done through the official classes. not articles in the bullsheet.

Secondly anecdotes are not data. Everyone loves to tell their war stories, but those stories are great for friday night, not so great for the official publication of competition bbq. We need to be presenting ourselves in the best light possible. If you gave the last two bullsheets to someone not in cometition bbq, I dont think they would think very highly of it. Last month the front page was people who attend contests are stupid, this months front page article is people who ask me about competition bbq are stupid. Inside this month's bullsheet is an article about all the horrible things that happen.

I dont doubt that your heart was in the right place, but KCBS needed to say no to that article and the last 2 front page articles. Competition BBQ needs to have a far more engaged public at these contests, we need their money and articles about how stupid they are, or how horrible the process is, isnt helping.

Diva
12-08-2012, 11:55 AM
I don't think sugar coating it is the answer either. Let's face it, the Bullsheet is a LOT of ads and a little bit of "stories". There are hardly recaps of events, unless its the Great American BBQ Tour. Things do happen in the judging tent, not often, but, it happens. Addressing it is better than the alternative.

WineMaster
12-08-2012, 12:28 PM
training judges should be done through the official classes. not articles in the bullsheet.

Secondly anecdotes are not data. Everyone loves to tell their war stories, but those stories are great for friday night, not so great for the official publication of competition bbq. We need to be presenting ourselves in the best light possible. If you gave the last two bullsheets to someone not in cometition bbq, I dont think they would think very highly of it. Last month the front page was people who attend contests are stupid, this months front page article is people who ask me about competition bbq are stupid. Inside this month's bullsheet is an article about all the horrible things that happen.

I dont doubt that your heart was in the right place, but KCBS needed to say no to that article and the last 2 front page articles. Competition BBQ needs to have a far more engaged public at these contests, we need their money and articles about how stupid they are, or how horrible the process is, isnt helping.

I think you are only taking the worst two points of both articles and blowing them up. There is a lot more fiber in the articles if you keep an open mind.

DawgPhan
12-08-2012, 01:53 PM
I don't think sugar coating it is the answer either. Let's face it, the Bullsheet is a LOT of ads and a little bit of "stories". There are hardly recaps of events, unless its the Great American BBQ Tour. Things do happen in the judging tent, not often, but, it happens. Addressing it is better than the alternative.


:roll:

carlyle
12-08-2012, 09:56 PM
DawgPhan - respectfully- KCBS is big enough, strong enough, and old enough to not be afraid to tell it like it is.

Turning the Bullsheet into a piece of fluff is not the answer and would perpetuate the problems. Put things out in the open and then clean them up and proclaim the improvement.

And judges get trained once. The career and the habits both good and bad can go on for decades. Hopefully refreshers will soon be offered and and utilized.

And where else is KCBS going to address topics to all members at once? Should the organization ignore or cover up known problems? We already have enough stuff that goes on behind closed doors. Don't need more of that.

And there are a lot of BBQ people who are not smart enough to be on the Brethren
to find out what is what.

And lots of us like KCBS warts and all. A photoshopped version is not necessary.

Articles like David's do not hurt KCBS, they help make us all better.

Uomograsso
12-08-2012, 11:38 PM
But writing articles that make it seem that judges are only in it for the food they can take home or that they aren't trained properly is tabloid journalism. I have been judging since 2008 and have done about 40 contests. I have never, ever seen anyone treat a box with other than utmost care. There has be zero shaking or rough handling. I have never seen anyone, other than official photographers, taking pictures of boxes. In between rounds I have seen the smart phones come out and people check their e-mail, surf the web, etc. The only time I have seen a judge take more that one piece was at the Battle of the Brisket in 2009. That judge was NOT a KCBS CBJ. I was the table captain and after all judging was complete I told the person that they should only take one piece of each type of meat and no more.

Most judges I have sat with and known are conscientious and strive to do the best job that they can. There may be some bad judges out there, but I haven't run into or sat with any of them.

Crash
12-09-2012, 04:07 AM
Competition BBQ folks (cooks and judges) are a very, very small niche of society. I don't see how the general public could be offended by these articles at all. Honestly, that's the reality. It's my understanding that the KCBS BullSheet is only for KCBS members, not the general public. Please correct me if I'm wrong, it happens often.


IMO, the offended parties seem to be judges. I'm a judge, but mostly a cook, and I honestly enjoyed reading both of the articles. Sometimes, ya just need to step back, crack a beer, take a breath and not over-analyze things.....enjoy it for what it is. If you don't enjoy it, turn the page.

fesdwino
12-09-2012, 11:06 PM
I have only judged a bit over 30 contests, mostly on the West Coast, but I have never seen the type of behaviors described. If bad behavior did occur I'm certain the TC would discreetly pull the judge aside and provide a little on-the-job training.

Fat Freddy
12-09-2012, 11:29 PM
My very first comp I judged(Council Bluffs,IA) a few years ago, there was not enough Table Captains but plenty of judges. At our table they asked who had the most experience and they(the rep) made him the table captain and replaced him with another judge. I dont remember anything about the first 3 categories but the brisket stands out to me because this "table captain" on at least 2 of the boxes that were full said "make sure I get to taste some of this". Now he may have only said that because the boxes were full, I am not sure, but to me that comment could be taken different ways and it did happen. I did not say anything to the rep at the time because I didnt know if this was the norm. I learned right away that this should not have happened because I talked to other judges at this contest afterwards.

I just told that story just to say sometimes stuff does happen, whether intended or not, so for KCBS judges to talk and think about it is a good thing in my opinion.

nmayeux
12-10-2012, 04:41 PM
seriously, who ever is putting together the bullsheet needs to exercise a little editorial control. Last month it a front page article about how the public that comes to bbq contests are mouth breathing idiots who are only there to bother the competition teams. This month it is an article about how the judges screw up your entry.

How about we leave the articles about the "dirty truths" in the circular file and publish articles about the positive things about competition bbq.I actually laughed when I read this quote, as this was the first take I had from last month's paper. However, upon taking a closer look, I whole heartedly agree with managing expectations of the attending public, and like the letter in the current paper with the proposed disclamer.

As for the judging part, if any judge who is also a competitor saw any of those actions in the judging tent, I'm sure the rep would be called at a minimum, and a swift kick in the ass would insue at the maximum.:-D That turn in costs any team a pretty penny and a whole lot of work, even if it is crap. Respect is the key!

DawgPhan
12-10-2012, 04:56 PM
I agree with managing expectations, not sugar coating and all the other points made about the content of the articles, I just disgree that the bullsheet is the best place for them.

While it may only get mailed to members, I have seen stacks of them at contests, I see them laying around at bbq joints, my copy stays where visitors might read it, and lots of other places where someone who isnt in on the joke might read it. Remember that whole promoting competition bbq thing?

nmayeux
12-10-2012, 08:05 PM
Do you agree with the swift kick in the ass though?

DawgPhan
12-10-2012, 08:18 PM
Do you agree with the swift kick in the ass though?


you shake my box and a swift kick in the ass is the least of your worries. :shock:

Rookie'48
12-10-2012, 11:48 PM
. . . . . I just disgree that the bullsheet is the best place for them.

Okay, so if not in the BullSheet - where?
How else would / could / should this be handled?
The Reps are not going to catch every infraction, there's just too much going on.
The Table Captain may or may not see it and may or may not feel comfortable correcting a judge on something like that. And then again, the TC really has no authority to do anything other than call for a Rep.
My intent here was to get the attention of those very few judges who do these things. Again, they aren't widespread problems but they are problems.
Unless and until KCBS has a practical continuing education program up and running for our CBJs and TCs there are going to be some people who need some "guidance" every once in a while.

DawgPhan
12-11-2012, 09:15 AM
Oh wait, I forgot that you are a board member....one of the recently elected 4, right. now everything makes sense.

Rookie'48
12-12-2012, 01:46 AM
DawgPhan -

PM sent

Bunny
12-12-2012, 09:16 AM
After reading everyone's comments I am certainly glad that Dave posted that article. I've been repping since 1987 (no jokes here, please!), and the incidents have happened, but rarely. The best a rep can do is correct it when it's seen or reported. And believe me, reps work hard to keep things in control. MOST judges are courteous and take their judging seriously and table captains try their best. When one comes along that doesn't like playing by the rules they usually are not invited back.

I, for one being a cooker, rep and CBJ Instructor, find relief that this article is reaching many more people than I could alone. So I thank you, Dave, for writing it up and I certainly look forward to more educational articles.
Keep up the good work!

Bunny Tuttle
KCass BBQ

sdbbq1234
12-14-2012, 11:48 PM
Not sure if I agree with his comments, which I just read (yes, I am late to the game), as my wife and I have never experienced any of the table captains actions mentioned.

Now, I can say, that we have seen what would appear to be judges that just take one small bite, and quickly toss the rest in a zip-loc baggie for snacks later on. We were of course not so sure about their intentions to their being there in the first place.

wallace

JimmyDAL
12-15-2012, 06:54 AM
They should ban coolers! I judged a Comp and a large percentage of the judges were more concerned with filling their cooler. Pissed me off.