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rib runners
01-20-2013, 03:24 PM
Just a thought......Since so many people want to eat and judge bbq at contest, why not charge judges to do this. It looks like many contest have no trouble filling their judging needs most of the time. Where else can a person do something this rewarding for not to much cost.
Considering what a cook has to lay out to do a contest, it seems right that judges would share some of the expense to put on a contest. :idea:
Sams club has no trouble filling their judging needs! Also, new judges have a hard time getting to judge contest that have been established for a few years.

I will get off my soap box now and let the fires begin.

Life is Good when you can eat and run.

Ron Yater, KCBS member and judge since 1994.

fnbish
01-20-2013, 03:36 PM
How much do you think they should they charge?

Fat Freddy
01-20-2013, 03:40 PM
I like your idea because you are thinking outside the box, but in your scenario my question would be who would get the judges fees? Would it be added to the prize money for cooks, used to lower entry fees, or just for the organizers to do with as they wish.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
01-20-2013, 03:47 PM
why charge a judge anything? CBJ ( KCBS certified Judge) that is well trained and up to the task to tell me my Q sucks is better then a neighbor that is just there to eat and says it rocks. They have to keep up their membership, thats a fee enough to me.

accuseal
01-20-2013, 03:49 PM
Seriously? Many judges travel a considerable distance, spend a night or two in a hotel to be a VOLUNTEER judge and HOPEFULLY sample some good Q. They also get to try the inedible garbage that the guy who is going to finish D-A-L turned in. Do you want trained judges or some yahoo lookin for a cheap meal?

Sent from my SCH-I905 using Tapatalk 2

Red Valley BBQ
01-20-2013, 04:49 PM
No reason why organizers couldn't charge $5 or $10 to be a judge. Since most comps are a reason to raise money for a charity, the organizers could donate the judging fees. This may also weed out the judges that are just there for a meal. If the judges have a little something invested, the free meal guys may take it a little more seriously. And who would be put off by donating a little cash to charity? Roc City does charity judging for their rib cook off, they charge $20 to judge only ribs and they have no shortage of judges.

Mogator
01-20-2013, 05:29 PM
As a judge and now a cook, I can see both sides of this issue, while i think it's reasonable to ask for small donation/fee , I would prefer the funds collected be equally distributed to those teams cooking that allowed a CBJ to cook with them for that particular contest as part of their MCBJ requirement(with caps in place so as not to get carried away) and the residual revenue being donated to a BBQ charity like OBR or Kookers Kare..just a thought

little bit of r & r
01-20-2013, 05:33 PM
I think they need to ban coolers. It sickens me to see a judge walk in with a cooler seriously the one free meal wasn't enough no wonder judges score full boxes better.

rib runners
01-20-2013, 05:34 PM
Judging fees and use of said monies would be at the discretion of organizers.

And again, we run into the question of " trained judges". As a cook you get the 8's and 9's from one judge and the person sitting next to them gives a 5 or 6 on the same box of meat.

As a judge, I see the people that are there to eat and socialize and others that take their time to access each entry with do diligence. The yahoo's take as little of a bite as they can so their take home bag is a little heavier when finished.

And there is really no comparison of money spent between cook and judge.

Life is all good either as a judge or cook when at a contest.:grin:

Ron Yater

Lake Dogs
01-20-2013, 05:52 PM
Just a thought......Since so many people want to eat and judge bbq at contest, why not charge judges to do this. It looks like many contest have no trouble filling their judging needs most of the time. Where else can a person do something this rewarding for not to much cost.
Considering what a cook has to lay out to do a contest, it seems right that judges would share some of the expense to put on a contest. :idea:
Sams club has no trouble filling their judging needs! Also, new judges have a hard time getting to judge contest that have been established for a few years.

I will get off my soap box now and let the fires begin.

Life is Good when you can eat and run.

Ron Yater, KCBS member and judge since 1994.

As both a CBJ in multiple sanctioning bodies, and a competitor who competes in different sanctioning bodies' competitions:

> Considering what a cook has to lay out to do a contest

With the exception of a few contests that are purely there to benefit a charity, most competitors compete for the chance to win trophies and money. I dont think the judge has that chance. For the judge 100% invested is lost (money wise).

> Where else can a person do something this rewarding for not to much cost.

Other than 2 or 3 competitions that I judge VERY local, the others I usually spend about $100 to judge, with a nights stay (sometimes 2), the eating out, the gas, etc. And this is all at a loss with no opportunity to regain any of the money back. I/we do this because we enjoy it, and we enjoy the comradere.


I offer as evidence what happened at a very prestigious contest that always draws over 100 teams each year, and these are BIG teams, as this is an MBN (was MIM) event. Big Pig Jig in 2005 and 2006 had so many judges come in that the judges were there only having to judge 1 event. So many, even judges complained. I know I did too, because I traveled about 170 miles to get 1 draw; on-site ribs, and of the 3 teams that I drew 2 of them pulled their entries, so literally I got to judge 1 rib.

The next year, 2007, they decided to charge judges $25 for the privilege. Frankly, I and apparently almost every judge that had been there for many years and help to make it as prestigious as it was decided that they didnt deserve the honor of our presence. They barely had a contest that year. No one that I know of went to judge that year...

They're back; no charge. Now they limit it to the first few hundred judges (MBN requires a LOT more judges than does the average blind-only competitions).

Smokin Mike
01-20-2013, 06:05 PM
I say no.

I feel that they(and me) pay for KCBS membership dues is enough, and they are taking a risk with sampling BBQing, even I had accidently turned in underdone chicken once.

You start charging or "suggested donation" to judge, you will have problems with the various health codes for every county, possibly all bbq must be cooked it NSF labeled cookers, extra costs for having the inspectors there. I see it as a big problem. I cooked at a peoples choice once, and the inspector almost didn't allow me to give samples to the "suggested donation" paying public, not having 3 bay sink, but my handwash sink did count, and I was good to go.

Yes I do know that you are suppose to have a 3 bay with solutions, and a separate hand washing sink, but I do not cater. I just cook for friends, family, and sometimes for judges.

KevinR
01-20-2013, 06:12 PM
So, let me get this right...

Because the teams pay fees to compete... The judges should also pay to judge the work of the contestants? So, a referee should pay to officiate a football game?

Just a thought. :wink:

Theresa B
01-20-2013, 06:46 PM
Little bit of R&R- you would really rather see your food thrown in the trash? That is a stunning statement to me.

little bit of r & r
01-20-2013, 07:01 PM
I guess my statement could have been taken that way I have judged a few contests but compete more. The contests I have judged the judges barely nibbled the meat so they could take it home to let everyone else eat it. That doesn't settle we'll with me how the hell do they know what it tastes like? I think there are some ways to make the teams feel better like maybe donating what is left in the boxes to homeless shelters or food banks.

bbq.tom
01-20-2013, 07:02 PM
Why not! New CBJs (first timers) should be charged $20 for their first contest. CBJs with less than 8 contests should be charged $50. CBJs with 9-15 contests need to pay $100. More than 15 but not Master CBJs should pay $150. Master CBJs should be charged $250 per contest.

Oh by the way, if you don't have enough judges they will just eliminate the paying cooking teams without refunding your entry fee.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

But seriously, I wouldn't mind paying a "small" judging fee providing I know that it is going to a charity or similar. As it is, we (my wife and I) usually have to drive several hours, spend at least one (sometimes two) nights in a hotel, and both of us take vacation on Fridays in order to judge. By NO MEANS am I trying to equate my cost with that of a cooking team (I cook too so I know the expense), but judges have no possibility of winning ANY money or other awards. Personally, it doesn't make any difference to me whether the scraps left on my plate after judging come home with me or not so that is definitely NOT a reason why I judge.

Just saying...

little bit of r & r
01-20-2013, 07:02 PM
Theresa how big is the cooler you bring? I guess that's how you tell who the better bbq judge is.

MilitantSquatter
01-20-2013, 07:07 PM
Theresa how big is the cooler you bring? I guess that's how you tell who the better bbq judge is.


doesn't seem to me you have truly given this as much thought as your original question/post would lead others to believe..

:rolleyes:

Theresa B
01-20-2013, 07:48 PM
I guess my statement could have been taken that way I have judged a few contests but compete more. The contests I have judged the judges barely nibbled the meat so they could take it home to let everyone else eat it. That doesn't settle we'll with me how the hell do they know what it tastes like? I think there are some ways to make the teams feel better like maybe donating what is left in the boxes to homeless shelters or food banks.


My experience in the Mid Atlantic is that any boxes that have over the required 6 servings is returned to the volunteer and staff table (those other than judges that are helping with the event). At no time have I ever seen any judges packing up leftovers from this table. I always take a minimum of two bites from each sample to ensure that I have objectivlely judged the sample. With that being said, that would indicate there are leftovers on my judging plate. This is what I bring a cooler for.:becky:

arrowhead
01-20-2013, 08:30 PM
not for me. not only the costs associated with travelling to a contest, i also purchase t-shirts, raffle tickets, support contest vendors.

i've never taken leftover food home. i leave a contest full.:-D

little bit of r & r
01-20-2013, 08:38 PM
Maybe it is a southern thing for judges to take left overs home. I have seen it at every contest besides sam's

arrowhead
01-20-2013, 08:51 PM
Maybe it is a southern thing for judges to take left overs home. I have seen it at every contest besides sam's

it's not just a southern thing. i've seen judges take coolers home from every contest i've judged.

TooSaucedToPork
01-20-2013, 11:08 PM
Well trained, seasoned judges are hard to come by. I am a CBJ in KCBS, MIM, and MBN and a cook in NEBS, MIM, MBN, and KCBS so I see both sides of the spectrum. Lets go percentages.

I think it is safe to say that 90% of BBQ Teams do less than 5 contests a year.
I'd say 80% of judges do less than 5 contests a year.

NOW...the difference.

The majority of those 10% of BBQ Teams that do more than 5 contests a year are winning money back, thats how they do more than 5 contests a year.

Those 20% of CBJ's that do more than 5 contests a year are dishing out 100% of the money to judge our food. Figure a hotel room for 1 or 2 nights, Gas, a meal or two at local restaurants, a few tasty beverages...well, it stacks up. This is love, I will take a judge that travels for the LOVE of BBQ over a guy that would travel 30 miles from their house and pay a $20 (or more) fee.

Charging to Judge is what peoples choice contests are for.

Just my 2 cents.

CivilWarBBQ
01-21-2013, 01:07 AM
Pay To Judge has been tried, and as Hance said it nearly killed the Big Pig Jig, which is one of the most long running and prestigious events in the South. A few events have made the move of eliminating the traditional free T-shirt and offering the option to pre-pay for one when you send in your judging app, but that's about as far as you dare go as an organizer.

My question is what is your motivation behind the idea of charging to judge?

Yes, teams pay plenty to participate, but they also have the chance to win that money back and more. Typically 75-80% of the money teams pay in entry fees goes right back out as cash prizes, and any remaining funds are used to buy trophies, ice, power, water, garbage collection, etc. - all items that directly benefit the teams too.

Judges are compensated for their time and travel by what they consume and what they receive in their goodie bag. Cooks can hope to win more than they spend, judges will NEVER do so.

Bottom Line: If you want experienced, quality people to be CBJs, you cannot charge them. If you want cooler-toting people who have no interest in serious judging and see the judging tent as an all-you-can-eat buffet, then go ahead and just collect $9.95 a head from anybody who walks in the tent on contest day.

CivilWarBBQ
01-21-2013, 01:15 AM
I think they need to ban coolers. It sickens me to see a judge walk in with a cooler seriously the one free meal wasn't enough no wonder judges score full boxes better.

As an organizer, I do ban coolers.

No food leaves the judging tent at any contest I run, period. Extra samples from the boxes goes to the grazing table to feed table captains & volunteers. Judges have the opportunity to visit with the teams who agree to provide them with take-home food if they request it (most do not).

This system seems to work well for all involved.

Jorge
01-21-2013, 09:24 AM
Just a thought......Since so many people want to eat and judge bbq at contest, why not charge judges to do this. It looks like many contest have no trouble filling their judging needs most of the time. Where else can a person do something this rewarding for not to much cost.
Considering what a cook has to lay out to do a contest, it seems right that judges would share some of the expense to put on a contest. :idea:
Sams club has no trouble filling their judging needs! Also, new judges have a hard time getting to judge contest that have been established for a few years.

I will get off my soap box now and let the fires begin.

Life is Good when you can eat and run.

Ron Yater, KCBS member and judge since 1994.

What's your goal? Increased contest revenue? Improved judging?

I can see it increasing revenue, maybe. That assumes that the contest has a reputation strong enough to draw judges willing to pay. I can also see it creating a situation where the organizer is forced to drag judges off the street which introduces a whole new set of issues.

Some of your assumptions are off as well. I know, first hand, that there have been Sam's Club events that came up short of judges. If you've been a CBJ since '94 you may recall the reaction from some judges when the Royal decided to charge folks to judge the invitational.

Slamdunkpro
01-21-2013, 09:36 AM
This is such a bad idea on so many levels.

rib runners
01-21-2013, 01:24 PM
"Lets flip the coin". What if judges were paid to judge a contest. Do you think cooks would get a more serious quality job at what they write on the score sheet? Could bbq organizations be more demanding at the qualifcations for judging?
Maybe taking some of the money paid to the cooks and spread it out to judges.:idea:

That was my thought process to start with, if a little something was charged maybe it would eleminate some of the "willy nillious" of some of the judges. I know there are many judges that do a great job and try hard to be fair with the numbers. And I would think that people taking their time and money to judge would want to do a good job.

The only way that charging judges to judge would work is if every contest bought into the idea. And we all know, that is never going happen. Contest would end up short of people judging. This is probably why no one would step into that puddle.:crazy:

Wouldn't be nice to live in a perfect world.:wink:

Thanks to all for your fead back.

Ron Yater

Pigs on Fire
01-21-2013, 02:05 PM
From what I have seen, the judges have plenty of opportunity to visit with teams on Friday (if they can get there that early) and after turn-ins on Saturday. They can get to know as many cooks as they wish and I am sure the cook teams will offer some left-overs.

I see many teams on here that covet their leftovers. We usually don't, mainly because we are either tired of BBQ or our freezers are full and/or we just don't want to deal with it.

I will say that I think we are blessed in the GA area to have some of the best judges....judges that take their responsibility seriously and they are dedicated. We generally see many of the same ones at most every contest. That in itself is a decent dedication. Some might call them eaters, but they are taking time away from their families or other responsibilities to allow us to have a hobby.

jbrink01
01-21-2013, 03:31 PM
No. Only if you want to kill the hobby / sport / pastime / job that we call competitive bbq. Think bbq night at the local all u can eat cheap family joint and you'll have your judging pool if you charge.

Jorge
01-21-2013, 04:59 PM
"Lets flip the coin". What if judges were paid to judge a contest. Do you think cooks would get a more serious quality job at what they write on the score sheet? Could bbq organizations be more demanding at the qualifcations for judging?
Maybe taking some of the money paid to the cooks and spread it out to judges.:idea:

That was my thought process to start with, if a little something was charged maybe it would eleminate some of the "willy nillious" of some of the judges. I know there are many judges that do a great job and try hard to be fair with the numbers. And I would think that people taking their time and money to judge would want to do a good job.

The only way that charging judges to judge would work is if every contest bought into the idea. And we all know, that is never going happen. Contest would end up short of people judging. This is probably why no one would step into that puddle.:crazy:

Wouldn't be nice to live in a perfect world.:wink:

Thanks to all for your fead back.

Ron Yater

The next step would be merit pay. I'll pass.

sdbbq1234
01-21-2013, 05:36 PM
:pop2:

SaucyWench
01-21-2013, 06:13 PM
Ron, you need a hobby! :wink:

Stoke&Smoke
01-21-2013, 06:49 PM
I have to disagree.
We judged 2 years almost, and I put the leftovers I liked in a cooler when the organizer allowed it.
Some will say gross, whatever but it wasn't like anyone else was going to eat it, I hate throwing away food, and I never kept a piece I hadn't taken a bite out of (as opposed to some I'd seen putting food in their coolers indescriminately)

Once I'd taken a bite of a piece of rib or whatever, nobody else would want it so why throw it out? And I guarantee I did my best to judge each entry fairly and for its own merits.

At the same time, we saw judges who would write down scores for taste and texture based solely on an entry's appearance, and announce it to the table. But they had no cooler. Did that make them a better judge?

Also...I've had lots of food as a judge that was totally inedible. It ain't all award winning.

rib runners
01-21-2013, 07:11 PM
Ron, you need a hobby! :wink:

See what happens when your retired. :decision: I guy sits around thinking, what if? :rolleyes:

I have met so many great people in the bbq hobby and most people have good hearts. I try to be friend, helper and teacher if needed to most along the way.

Thanks, Ron Yater

SaucyWench
01-21-2013, 07:51 PM
I understand, and it's the off-season on top of it! See you at Winterfest?