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Big Poppa
02-10-2013, 09:21 AM
First off I know that this is going to go bad but am posting it in the hopes that it can be constructive. Also this is not judge bashing....

Cooks at the end of the season sit back and think about what went right and what went wrong with their season. The first rule is that the cook is never wrong...his or her food is always a 180... They never cooked or baxed wrong its always a bad table.he heh ehehe

I put on the Trigg Class last weekend and there were four judges. The first topic that came up was fat on the bottom of the brisket slices....2 judges said they score down if there is fat....two said they score down if there isnt fat.....two said they dock brisket boxes if they dont have burnt ends...

There were several other instances of wildly different ideas of what is correct that it depressed me and then I thought really that after you take the judging class you are on your own.

What do you guys and gals think of coming up with the top thirty oddities/questions and break them down to 6 five question tests. After the reps talk prior to judging judges are given the test sheets and they are quickly graded and the person that needs clarification gets it from the rep. If some one did 5-6 contests you would know how they scored and slowly and surely clear up some of the variances in judging.

Bbq Bubba
02-10-2013, 09:48 AM
First thing i'd do is remove those 4 judges.
I wonder if the teaching is the same across the country?
Mike and Theresa Lake have taught most of the judges in this area and that would never fly.

Muzzlebrake
02-10-2013, 10:05 AM
I really hope this doesn't turn into just another judge bashing thread and we can actually open a civil dialogue about improving the process. So much of what judges do is subjective and therefore is going to be very hard to legislate. However we need a system of checks and balances to ensure that judges are adhering to the objective aspects of their tasks.

I think the thing I find most aggravating is there doesn't seem to be (at least to me) a system of correcting, admonishing or penalizing a judge when they are not using the required judging criteria. Like you said you had 2 judges that will score down an entry on something that is not in the box, clearly in violation of KCBS judging criteria. Or how about the judge that marks you down because of a lack of smoke ring, something the judging instructions clearly say not to do?

I have had discussions with more than one judge who are very happy to admit they use additional criteria above and beyond the standard judging. One judge last year got very indignant with me when I questioned him after he made the statement he judges down if there are only 6 pieces in the box or if he gets the last piece. In my experience this behavior is both widespread and accepted.

If a team violates a rule they are DQ'd, what happens to the judge that judges using something other than the standard criteria? As far as I know nothing happens, partly because it is very hard to know a judge doing this unless they they self identify.

I think the TC's and Reps should be more heavily involved in the process. Last year I actually received a comment card about not having enough smoke ring. My question is how did that comment card make it all the way back to me without that judge being corrected by anyone? If I had violated a rule and say left a tiny piece of foil in that box you better believe the TC and Reps would be heavily involved. They, along with judges are ensuring that cooks are abiding by the rules set before them, why isn't the same true for judging?

Smoke'n Ice
02-10-2013, 10:55 AM
It might be as simple as having KCBS form a committee of judges, reps, cooks, organizers and have them look at the variances and try to come up with a solution.

1. Some of the ideas that I have would be to create a sub-web page for people to post on anonymously with sub-topic areas about cooking and judging problems
2. Committee would cull them and come to a consensus on maybe six misconceptions about the cooking and judging criteria on each of the major meats
3. Place these on index cards and have the TC at each contest read them before judging each category to his six charges or have them read them themselves. Just make sure it happens
4. Each cook team would also be supplied with the same information at the cooks meeting
5. Solicit feedback AFTER the category is judged and have the TC write on his index card comments; ie. new suggestions for inclusion. Something must be written, even no comment.
6. Solicit feedback from each cook team as well

This would then become a form of Kaizen, continuous quality improvement, that could be visited weekly by the committee and it could lead to changes and improvements in cbj and rep training and, gasp, rules.

Some may complain that it would be labor intensive and would cost money. This could be overcome by simply charging an extra dollar from each team at each contest to defray this cost and hire a part time person at the KCBS office to do the computer entry and organizing. I personally would be more than willing to pay this tax to get a more consistent judging crew.

Just an idea to get some form of judging criteria consistency.

Flame on

carlyle
02-10-2013, 11:39 AM
Continuing education- re education of judges is surly necessary and overdo.

Doing a test in the judging building/ tent right before turn ins is not the time to do it.

There is too much going on for the Reps and the organizers right then to add that to the mix. And you do not want an upset or confused judge to get your chicken box right after they did not do well on that test - do you?

I like your idea for some testing , just do it a different time.

Like annual testing before renewing your KCBS membership card. Need a completed testing, that is used as a teaching tool, in order to get your card.

If not testing - then need a completed continuing education course - online?- before
you get your annual renewal.

That is more organized and better for the judge, Rep and organizer.

Ford
02-10-2013, 11:51 AM
Judges are people. Judging is subjective. People see, hear, taste, smell and feel differently. They have different opinions of what looks good and tastes good. Non BBQ example I love very rare steak but a friend wants it well done. We're both right but would score very differently.

If a judge scores down on appearance because of lack of burnt ends, they are saying the box looks ok but would be better with burnt ends. It's their opinion. Same for filling the box, anybody who cooks FBA knows what that means.

What I've read lately on judging posts is not really educating judges but trying to get everybody on the same page. Not going to happen and not good for BBQ.

drbbq
02-10-2013, 11:58 AM
Nobody seems to want to address the fact that there are no standards for the turn-ins. Should the slice of brisket have fat on it or not? I've been cooking KCBS for 22 years and I'm not really sure. How can the judge know which is right per KCBS? If we're not willing to set a standard then I believe all four judges have a right to like or dislike the fat.

I believe the whole system needs to be overhauled and perfect BBQ defined in each category. Perfect at least according to the KCBS standard. Now it's gonna be a nightmare to come to an agreement as to what that is, but it needs to be done or IMO the judge is allowed to have an opinion and not be chastised for it.

SuperQue
02-10-2013, 12:14 PM
I think i'm a fair judge. I judge a box and the meat as its presented. Doesn't matter to me if there is fat on brisket AS LONG AS IT LOOKS GOOD. If there's too much fat then yea, it won't look as appetizing therefore the score should reflect that. If no burnt ends, no problem and i'm not scoring on that fact. The bottom line is that it is all subjective when there are people involved. I judge about 10 contests a year and generally see the same judges throughout the year and by far and away they are very fair in judging. We talk about what we liked and generally agree which entries we liked and why we liked them. And why do the same teams win year over year when they are subjected to the same judges as everyone else? Good bbq wins, plain and simple.

dmprantz
02-10-2013, 12:24 PM
I think that KCBS doing anything to "certify" judges beyond accepting their money would be a good thing. I've toyed with the idea of tests, and I also like the idea of sending in trojan horse entries to validate that rules are being followed: Send through some entries without garnish, some without burnt ends, etc, all at the same table as entries with those things.

The problem I see is when you get to the line between subjective judging and flat out breaking the rules. i.e. Garnish is optional, and you shouldn't score down for it, but is it reasonable to say that you think something looks better with garnish?

dmp

Big Poppa
02-10-2013, 02:34 PM
Once again this isnt bashing judges....It is floating the idea of continuing education.

Ford I understand what you are saying but if there is wild swings in what is judged then I have to believe that there could be room for help.Ray Im with you too....Now getting everyone to agree...I think Ill go back to solvingt my rubik cube blindfolded.

ThomEmery
02-10-2013, 03:10 PM
A online continuing education where CBJs could earn distinctive stars or
stripes or what have you could be helpful to organizers

CBJs could then be seated who have gone the extra mile to be their best

Rich Parker
02-10-2013, 03:40 PM
Nobody seems to want to address the fact that there are no standards for the turn-ins. Should the slice of brisket have fat on it or not? I've been cooking KCBS for 22 years and I'm not really sure. How can the judge know which is right per KCBS? If we're not willing to set a standard then I believe all four judges have a right to like or dislike the fat.

I believe the whole system needs to be overhauled and perfect BBQ defined in each category. Perfect at least according to the KCBS standard. Now it's gonna be a nightmare to come to an agreement as to what that is, but it needs to be done or IMO the judge is allowed to have an opinion and not be chastised for it.

Why do we need a definition of if fat should be allowed on the bottom of the brisket slice? Rules like this would make the entries even more homogeneous than they are now. Taste and appearance are always going to be subjectivity which is a good thing in my opinion.

The_Kapn
02-10-2013, 03:44 PM
I doubt I can articulate this properly, but will give it a shot.

I am a part time KCBS and FBA Judge, retired from cooking.
I hear and see "interesting" things all the time from a very small (but costly) percentage of the Judges.

There is a disconnect with reality/objectively on both the "low side" and the "high side" of scoring.

I did a KCBS event last fall. Table Captain was also Judging.
His stated position was--"I give 9's on appearance and never less than 8 for taste and tenderness". "The teams spend so much money and time to be here, they earn that".
In talking to this guy after, he freely admitted that a lot of the food "sucked"!
We had about 3/4th of the teams that were either brand new, or only had a few comps on their resume at that time.
I talked to the REP and he just shrugged it off.

I did an FBA contest a couple of years ago when a "Master Judge" said he did not like Baby Backs and admitted to "kill them with a score so they will cook real ribs". If I want Pork Chops, I will buy them."
REP shrugged it off.

Cooked an FBA contest a couple of years ago and got a 10-7.5-7.5 on ribs.
Thought that was strange for my strongest meat at the time and every other judge was 9.0-9.5-10 across the board for ribs appearance/taste/tenderness.
Looked at the rest of his scores.
Of his 23 scores in all 4 categories, 21 were 10-7.5-7.5.
That is not "Judging" in any way, shape, or form!
A 7.5 is the "kiss of death" and cost me a GC.
REP said "strange", but "what can I do?"

We have a sport that started as "good ole boys" getting together to cook for a little bit of cash, maybe a trophy, and bragging rights.
The cook teams have evolved into SERIOUS competition for major cash, huge trophies, and major bragging rights with sponsors/books/BBQ Products, etc.

The judging pool has not evolved.

This is one of the reasons Mrs Kapn and I "retired".

Good Luck Y'all

TIM

drbbq
02-10-2013, 03:53 PM
Why do we need a definition of if fat should be allowed on the bottom of the brisket slice? Rules like this would make the entries even more homogeneous than they are now. Taste and appearance are always going to be subjectivity which is a good thing in my opinion.

That's fine and if I had a vote I'd probably agree with you. But then the cooks have to accept that one judge likes the fat and another doesn't so one scores it high and one scores it low.

Rich Parker
02-10-2013, 03:59 PM
That's fine and if I had a vote I'd probably agree with you. But then the cooks have to accept that one judge likes the fat and another doesn't so one scores it high and one scores it low.

I agree with you, I don't see anything wrong with one judge liking a little fat on the bottom and others that don't. It will always balance its self out and good BBQ will always win.

Eggspert
02-10-2013, 04:08 PM
First off, I am a cook primarily but also do judging. I really enjoy both. When I took judging class, prior to our first competition year I was a bit deflated. I went to judging class because I wanted to know the criteria I was judged on as a cook. I left the class feeling like KCBS was more about luck then cook. I wish there there was a specific criteria for judging. If a piece of meat is attractive, evenly shaped, no discolorations and looks like meat you can't wait to eat then it's a 9. If you can find one thing wrong with seasoning, shape color, skin, etc. then it's an 8. 2 things wrong is a 7, etc.

When I went to judging class, the only thing you ask yourself for appearance is, "does it look like something you want to eat." That leaves the door so wide open. Maybe a judge doesn't like sauced ribs, so he is going to give them a 5. Maybe the chicken has red pepper flakes and a judge doesn't like spicy so they score down anticipating spicy. We all hear these stories, but when the only criteria is, does it look like something you want to eat? You have to expect variability. Also, when I was at class they said a 3 point spread in any one category (taste, appearance, texture) that was good judging? What????? I think it should be more scientific, I want maybe a 1 point difference.

Although there is always that argument that teams that do well consistently do well. If it is just luck, then these teams would not do well. True. I think these teams have done a good job with making sure judges can't find anything wrong with there entries. Which is our goal.

What about if KCBS made a video "debunking" some of the false information that has been created by all of the BBQ pitmaster hype? Then the video could be showed prior to events for judges. There is always a good 45-1 hour to kill before judging starts. Make it an entertaining and fun video, so people actually pay attention. Just a thought.

Eggspert BBQ

Big Poppa
02-10-2013, 04:09 PM
OK so Rich....the only point you are getting is fat on a brisket slice? SO your vote is for no continuing education certification?

Thats fine...but I sort of agree with the Kapn.

arrowhead
02-10-2013, 04:55 PM
the rmbbqa has started a judge fairly symposium. the first one they hosted had 39 participants and from the feedback, it was well worth it.

there is another one scheduled for grand junction colorado on march 2nd.

http://rmbbqa.org/smf/index.php?topic=3423.0

Rich Parker
02-10-2013, 05:01 PM
OK so Rich....the only point you are getting is fat on a brisket slice? SO your vote is for no continuing education certification?

Thats fine...but I sort of agree with the Kapn.

I am using the fat on the slice as one example, I just don't want to see the sport turned in to where every judge is instructed to only score well slices with no fat on the bottom, boxes with burnt ends, pork boxes with no pulled pork, or only chicken thighs.

Then would it be off of the table for KCBS to require Plowboy's Yardbird and KC Masterpiece on each entry? What is there to judge when everyone is required to cook with the same ingredients and to turn in their product the exact same way.

carlyle
02-10-2013, 05:42 PM
There is a lot of room between where we are now in KCBS on one end and the ultra restrictive as described by Rich. It is that middle ground that we need to aim for.

Refresh the original instructions from CBJ class and expand on the areas that are known to cause conflict, confusion, and difficulty.

It remains to be seen if the judge tracking that is in the new scoring system is any benefit or not- if and when it ever gets off the ground.

No matter what, all of us on all sides of the judging issues just need to keep talking with each other in constructive ways - like this thread.

Thanx Big Poppa for starting this thread. Just keep stringing us along please.
All puns intended.

Derussi
02-10-2013, 06:26 PM
The KCBS site under "Judges" includes a section for Contining Education and is intended to be a primer for the Master Judge test. The questions ask cover alot of what has been discussed. Before each contest I judge, I always take this test. It reinforces that what is presented should be judged regardless of its chopped, pulled, sliced, sauced etc. It would be nice if all judges had to take this test and receive a passing score.
In a recent Table Captain Class, the subject of and individual's scores severly deviating from the rest of the table need to be brought to the attention of the contest rep. We need to reinforce all of these concepts.

Big Poppa
02-10-2013, 06:41 PM
Derussi this already exists Thanks for letting me know...Once again Im not saying that they should tattoo one set of BBQ to be judged...m saying that with some continuing education you may get a better result. Im not bashing judges...

Here is one example...a well respected judge out here said that he marks down teams that only turn in 6 chicken thighs...especially if he gets the 6th one....

little bit of r & r
02-10-2013, 06:43 PM
Then would it be off of the table for KCBS to require Plowboy's Yardbird and KC Masterpiece on each entry? What is there to judge when everyone is required to cook with the same ingredients and to turn in their product the exact same way.

Kinda like everyone using blues hog now?

The_Kapn
02-10-2013, 06:57 PM
I doubt I can articulate this properly, but will give it a shot.

I am a part time KCBS and FBA Judge, retired from cooking.
I hear and see "interesting" things all the time from a very small (but costly) percentage of the Judges.

There is a disconnect with reality/objectively on both the "low side" and the "high side" of scoring.

I did a KCBS event last fall. Table Captain was also Judging.
His stated position was--"I give 9's on appearance and never less than 8 for taste and tenderness". "The teams spend so much money and time to be here, they earn that".
In talking to this guy after, he freely admitted that a lot of the food "sucked"!
We had about 3/4th of the teams that were either brand new, or only had a few comps on their resume at that time.
I talked to the REP and he just shrugged it off.

I did an FBA contest a couple of years ago when a "Master Judge" said he did not like Baby Backs and admitted to "kill them with a score so they will cook real ribs". If I want Pork Chops, I will buy them."
REP shrugged it off.

Cooked an FBA contest a couple of years ago and got a 10-7.5-7.5 on ribs.
Thought that was strange for my strongest meat at the time and every other judge was 9.0-9.5-10 across the board for ribs appearance/taste/tenderness.
Looked at the rest of his scores.
Of his 23 scores in all 4 categories, 21 were 10-7.5-7.5.
That is not "Judging" in any way, shape, or form!
A 7.5 is the "kiss of death" and cost me a GC.
REP said "strange", but "what can I do?"

We have a sport that started as "good ole boys" getting together to cook for a little bit of cash, maybe a trophy, and bragging rights.
The cook teams have evolved into SERIOUS competition for major cash, huge trophies, and major bragging rights with sponsors/books/BBQ Products, etc.

The judging pool has not evolved.

This is one of the reasons Mrs Kapn and I "retired".

Good Luck Y'all

TIM

Quoting myself because I did not finish up :redface:

Teams are "accountable" through the score sheets.
Judges are "not accountable", be they off the ranch high or low.

I was an evaluator through most of my career.
Always had some sort of "check" on my decisions, no matter how large or how small.

Maybe someday BBQ will figure it out!

TIM

Rich Parker
02-10-2013, 07:10 PM
Kinda like everyone using blues hog now?

Not exactly what i was talking about but it is an excellent sauce that gets used a lot but it sure isn't being used by everyone.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

Rich Parker
02-10-2013, 07:15 PM
Derussi this already exists Thanks for letting me know...Once again Im not saying that they should tattoo one set of BBQ to be judged...m saying that with some continuing education you may get a better result. Im not bashing judges...

Here is one example...a well respected judge out here said that he marks down teams that only turn in 6 chicken thighs...especially if he gets the 6th one....

Well that is the kind of thing that gives good judges a bad name. Same with the chicken licker last summer.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

drbbq
02-10-2013, 07:18 PM
Hey Sterling, do you think two of those judges were wrong on the brisket fat thing? Which two?

rocksbarbque
02-10-2013, 07:55 PM
I take a bite of the brisket and then decide whether I liked it better with the fat or not. I think the fat can add or detract from my score given.

daveinwestmont
02-10-2013, 07:56 PM
I'm taking a judging class in a few weeks just to get a better understanding of what the expectations are of the judges. Additionally I feel strongly about recertification on a periodic basis along with the suggestion of dispelling myths such as fat / no fat, smoke ring and so on.
I certainly understand that this expensive hobby is very subjective in the eyes and tastes of the judges, but physical structure such as smoke ring, fat, skin on / off should be defined black and white.

Big Poppa
02-10-2013, 08:07 PM
Hey Sterling, do you think two of those judges were wrong on the brisket fat thing? Which two?

why Ray as custodian of your royal spot....whichever one you like

Ray it isnt necessarily this issue...it just brought to light that at one comp you can get both rewarded and dinged for the same thing....The burnt end is a better example....

But once again This didnt happen to me....it was conversation with judges.

jimbloomfield
02-10-2013, 08:30 PM
The issue I see is there already is not that many judge classes at least here in California. I support continue education even if it is a minor as a yearly online video and or reading and test. It could address some of the issues mentioned above.

Muzzlebrake
02-10-2013, 09:37 PM
I don't think it's an education problem, I think it is more of an enforcement problem. All judges are required to listen to the judging instructions before each time they judge. Yet in spite of having the rules laid out for them each and every time, some not all, continue to use made up criteria without fear from rebuke.

I understand the subjective nature of appearance, taste and tenderness and think it is one of the things that make the process the challenge that it is. I agree that good food will more often than not score well but that doesn't mean that even the best teams dont get that head scratcher score now and again which I think is more then likely from a judge using other than the established procedures.

My question continues to be why are cooks not held to the same standard as cooks when it comes to being compliant with the established rules and regulations?

Funtimebbq
02-10-2013, 10:19 PM
I'm going to disagree with my friend Jim. There are too many CBJs in CA and not enough contests for them to gain valuable experience. A moratorium of classes in CA would help because each class is sending out 75 to 100 new judges to fight for the few existing seats at contests with the already certified CBJs. Of course, CBJs represent new membership to KCBS so I don't think a moratorium on classes would be tolerated.

Best thing judges can do is stop talking about their personal preferences to cooks. Keep their opinions to themselves or at least, leave it in the judge's tent. If we don't hear it, we can't complain about specific preferences or outright mistaken preceptions.

Benny

2sonsandthebigguy
02-11-2013, 01:03 AM
Derussi this already exists Thanks for letting me know...Once again Im not saying that they should tattoo one set of BBQ to be judged...m saying that with some continuing education you may get a better result. Im not bashing judges...

Here is one example...a well respected judge out here said that he marks down teams that only turn in 6 chicken thighs...especially if he gets the 6th one....

Just like the KCBS judging class I took told us you are NOT to score down on this situation. That is exctally where Big Poppa was coming from when starting this Thread. I think a video, test, or the note card before judging is what kcbs needs for sure.

A judge ever tells me that he will do anything like this example they should be turned into the kcbs office if not at a contest. To the contest rep if at a contest. They should have to repay to take the judge class and be DQed from judging.

Smoke'n Ice
02-11-2013, 06:33 AM
This is close to a mushroom syndrome:

Best thing judges can do is stop talking about their personal preferences to cooks. Keep their opinions to themselves or at least, leave it in the judge's tent. If we don't hear it, we can't complain about specific preferences or outright mistaken preceptions.

I assume that what we don't know, won't hurt us.

drbbq
02-11-2013, 06:54 AM
why Ray as custodian of your royal spot....whichever one you like

Ray it isnt necessarily this issue...it just brought to light that at one comp you can get both rewarded and dinged for the same thing....The burnt end is a better example....

But once again This didnt happen to me....it was conversation with judges.

OK, then do you think there should be burnt ends in the box or not? And if a judge prefers to have them (or not) is he allowed to mark down if there aren't any? I guess I'm having a hard time with training them to a higher level without a baseline as to what a box should be.

Now I'm also in favor of letting them judge as they like, but then we have to accept that one guy thinks it's a 6 and another thinks it's a 9 and they're both right. No cooks want to accept that anymore.

Smoke'n Ice
02-11-2013, 07:24 AM
Would we want to consider using a modified type of TX turnins with no garnish, no sauce, specific number and type of each meat?

RangerJ
02-11-2013, 07:37 AM
Would we want to consider using a modified type of TX turnins with no garnish, no sauce, specific number and type of each meat?

Beat me to it...

Texas does a good job of establishing the baseline that Dr. BBQ is looking for. Now it does not go as far as to say, "fat or no fat". But it does tell you exactly how many ribs, slices of brisket and what type of chicken and the sauce rules are less restrictive in some of the organizations now.

Cooked an FBA event once, loved their concept.

Neither of these addresses continuning education but if your trying to define what the standard is for the judges to start from you can't judge down for baby backs because they are not allowed, you can't judge down for lollipop chicken because its not allowed, etc.

Lake Dogs
02-11-2013, 07:47 AM
OK, then do you think there should be burnt ends in the box or not? And if a judge prefers to have them (or not) is he allowed to mark down if there aren't any? I guess I'm having a hard time with training them to a higher level without a baseline as to what a box should be.

Now I'm also in favor of letting them judge as they like, but then we have to accept that one guy thinks it's a 6 and another thinks it's a 9 and they're both right. No cooks want to accept that anymore.


> do you think there should be burnt ends in teh box or not? And if a judge prefers to have them (or not) is he allowed to mark down if there aren't any?

There's a huge difference in the presence of something potentially undesirable and scoring on something that at IS present, vs. the non-presence of something that you desire and scoring based upon nothing. As I understand it, we're to judge the box as presented, with what IS presented, and very simply is that meat (because we ain't judging the greenery) attractive and appetizing. That simple. Judging off because there wasn't something in there that's not required to be there; MAJOR LEAGUE NO NO.

I'm not saying it couldn't be defined a little better, but it seems to me that it is defined fairly well, but needs significantly more and better training, and enforcement.

Big Poppa
02-11-2013, 07:49 AM
OK, then do you think there should be burnt ends in the box or not? And if a judge prefers to have them (or not) is he allowed to mark down if there aren't any? I guess I'm having a hard time with training them to a higher level without a baseline as to what a box should be.

Now I'm also in favor of letting them judge as they like, but then we have to accept that one guy thinks it's a 6 and another thinks it's a 9 and they're both right. No cooks want to accept that anymore.

As the rules are written he/she is not allowed to mark down if they arent in the box. He/she is to judge what is presented. This example is not really vague.

Personally I think that brisket should include burnt ends but I did not start this thread to set new rules...just to offer the opportunity for continuing educataion for the rules we already have. It is funny that a couple here cant grasp that. This isnt a thread threatening to make everyone use the same stuff or to reinvent anything.

I knew this would not go super well as everything in bbq is so contentious. Airline pilots, Doctors, Lawyers, umpires you name it have some form of required continuing education or process to insure that the task at hand is being implemented in the real world as designed.....

ModelMaker
02-11-2013, 08:02 AM
There is a judge that has started a monthly article in the Bullsheet to address "these oddities" in BBQ judging. Each month a different subject is highlighted and correctly explained per KCBS rules and procedure. These subjects are presented to the CBJ committee for accuracy and then passed on to be printed.
This is just another attempt to get all judges on the same page and is "continueing education" at it's most real level.
And yet there has never been a word written on this site supporting it....
Ed

drbbq
02-11-2013, 08:14 AM
As the rules are written he/she is not allowed to mark down if they arent in the box. He/she is to judge what is presented. This example is not really vague.

Personally I think that brisket should include burnt ends but I did not start this thread to set new rules...just to offer the opportunity for continuing educataion for the rules we already have. It is funny that a couple here cant grasp that. This isnt a thread threatening to make everyone use the same stuff or to reinvent anything.

I knew this would not go super well as everything in bbq is so contentious. Airline pilots, Doctors, Lawyers, umpires you name it have some form of required continuing education or process to insure that the task at hand is being implemented in the real world as designed.....

Yeah my point isn't really being understood either.

Big Poppa
02-11-2013, 08:31 AM
Yeah my point isn't really being understood either.

start a different thread! hahahahahaha

bbq.tom
02-11-2013, 08:59 AM
This would be a MAJOR change to the way KCBS is doing things, but if the judges were required to provide a comment ON the judging sheet for each score for each entry, then the "how" a judge scores would be evident. Of course, this would require turn-ins to be 1-hour apart to enable enough time for each judge to write comments on each score, but for tracking purposes this would sure make it easier for KCBS and for the teams to understand what the judge used as criteria. Personal contact by the KCBS could then be administered to the judges that are not utilizing the established KCBS criteria and/or using preconceived criteria or opinions.

Other sanctioning organizations are using this method with great success.

Sawdustguy
02-11-2013, 11:13 AM
Yeah my point isn't really being understood either.

I understand what you are saying Ray. There have to some standards defined so the judges have something to base their judgement on. A good example of a standard already in use is the doneness test on a rib or slice of brisket. These standards could be expanded easily to include things like fat or no fat etc. Taste and tenderness will always be very subjective but expanding the standards will go a long way to evening out some of the wild fluctions in scoring. I also think standards need to be set so there are not so many 7's, 8's and 9's and judges use the whole scale of point awards.

rooftop bbq
02-11-2013, 11:47 AM
I like the idea of ranked judges as Thom had mentioned with stars or stripes. I think adding a system where contest reps can choose judges based on experience, stars or stripes would help promote further education. As a cook if I was trying to decide between two contests, and one had higher ranked judges it would make my decision easy. I believe Colorado has a system similar to this

Rich Parker
02-11-2013, 11:58 AM
Yeah my point isn't really being understood either.

Apparently, I am not coming across well myself because I am not advocating for no rules just don't want to be told I have to turn in burnt ends. :biggrin1:

Was there ever a time where one side wasn't complaining about the other? I think most of the stories we hear about judging down on this or that are just stories anyways.

jketron
02-11-2013, 04:25 PM
when I judge I judge based on the limited rules we have. Much of what we look for is no written.. in the sense of quantity of fat and so on. We have general rules and then are allowed to be subjective on a piece by piece basis. I would be the first to sign up for continuing education or some type of judge gathering for experience sharing. I do like the fact that we are allow to judge with some flexibility. Whats too much fat, whats too little, too salty, bland, over cooked. Some conclusions may be obvious to some and then not to others. I'm sure there is room for improvement some but what and how does this impact weigh out long term.

Big Poppa
02-11-2013, 06:13 PM
ray and rich...I get what you are asying but how come its so hard to agree that some continuing education might be a good idea?


I don't believe that they are all just stories either . This thread was never about burnt ends being mandatory. It actually was kind of fun because it went just how I thought it would.

big brother smoke
02-11-2013, 06:17 PM
Continuing education in all walks of life is always a good thing, no?

Lake Dogs
02-11-2013, 06:30 PM
Question, although a tad rhetorical, from a non-KCBS-CBJ who competes every once in a while in KCBS: Doesn't KCBS define the tenderness of the brisket, in that it should not fall apart, but bend and be able to be pulled apart with a slight snap. Yes?

If so, how many pieces of burnt ends "pull apart with a slight snap", or bend for that matter?

I ask this, because in MiM, MBN, and GBA tenderness in each category IS defined. For example, the typical moist, tender, bite-through rib of KCBS will generally fail in any of the above because they define them as "pull from the bone with only slight resistance", which is more tender than the bite-through rib...

Pork too. Crusty/crunchy bark; adios. Mushy money-muscle; say g'nite Gracy.

Seriously, doesnt KCBS basically define their tenderness? Taste, absolutely cannot be defined; it's purely subjective. Many of the GBA guys stress how appearance isn't subjective; I beg to differ. I know of plenty of people who salivate when that sauce is thick and heavy, or when that pork fat is shining through, etc. Me, I cannot stand beef and pork fat, frankly. It's nasty to me. Sauce, caked on, I'm just not salivating. Not a huge mark down from me, mind you, I'll let the taste scores reflect it, but they're still not getting my "perfect" scores... What is and isn't appealing to each of us is very different.

Rich Parker
02-11-2013, 06:52 PM
ray and rich...I get what you are asying but how come its so hard to agree that some continuing education might be a good idea?


I don't believe that they are all just stories either . This thread was never about burnt ends being mandatory. It actually was kind of fun because it went just how I thought it would.

The burnt end reference was just trying to prove my point, I know you aren't trying to mandate them.

I agree with you their should be continuing education on current KCBS rules but when you started this thread you talked about how two judges said they would score down for fat on the bottom of the slices of brisket and two said they would score down if there isn't fat on the bottom, which I don't think it is the place of KCBS to tell the judge if they should or shouldn't like fat on the bottom of their brisket slice. I bet if there was a little bit of fat on the bottom and it tasted absolutely amazing all 4 of those judges would score it the same.

G'pa Herb
02-11-2013, 07:53 PM
It has been stated several times that this thread is not Judge bashing...I disagree...this is judge bashing at its finest. Why do I think so? Because every single thing that has been said is blaming judges for not thinking or doing what certain cooks think is right. A cook makes his/her box look the way he/she feels is right, so the judge is wrong if he/she scores differently. The cook goes for a particular taste profile that he/she likes, and the judge is wrong if he/she scores differently. A cook practices on getting meat to a specific tenderness that he/she feels is right, so the judge is wrong if he/she scores differently. So the answer is to require the judge to do continuing education to make him/her think the same as cooks.

If you ask 20 people how a "perfect" steak should be cooked, you will get lots of differing answers, and the cook will think that they are all wrong except the way he likes to eat his steak. Just how will continuing education for people fix this? Send them to class to make them all think that rare is the only acceptable way to eat a steak? Then continuing education for cooks will need to be done to also make them all think that rare is the only way to eat a steak.

My suggestion, leave the judges out of the discussion, and go to the source, KCBS, and take it up with the Board, with the Judge Committee, or better yet, run for a KCBS office and make some changes. I would like to see how rules could be changed so that all cooks would agree on them, so that judges could be held to the set standard. How many of you think that could ever happen?

drbbq
02-11-2013, 08:24 PM
ray and rich...I get what you are asying but how come its so hard to agree that some continuing education might be a good idea?


IMO continuing education would be a waste of time right now. It would involve reminding the judges that you have to have six pieces in the box and that red tip lettuce is illegal. And that the cooks work really hard, and you can't judge with your wife, and you shouldn't indicate that the food is good or bad, etc. They all know all of that. The problems lie in the gray areas.

The CBJ program has certified well over 60,000 judges and so far not one person has failed the course. How serious can this really be taken?

Big Poppa
02-11-2013, 11:38 PM
rich it was the differences in the criteria...thats all.

Smoke'n Ice
02-12-2013, 07:30 AM
Are we, the cooks, as much to blame for the inconsistent judging that we all complain about? The following is an example of what a judge could be presented with at a contest and all boxes have a minimum of 6 portions and are legal by rule:

Entry RIBS table 1
Entry 1: 8 Spare ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 2: 8 Baby back ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 3: 6 Spare ribs, Hollywood cut on green leaf with parsley garnish
Entry 4: 6 Spare ribs, two-bone cut on green leaf with cilantro garnish (judge questioned the legality)
Entry 5: 12 Baby back ribs with no garnish
Entry 6: 8 Spare ribs on a chopped lettuce bed but the inside of the box lid is covered with sauce

This may seem extreme but is very possible at any given contest on a product that there are some guide lines on tenderness. I would venture to speculate that the scores would vary wildly on the same entry.

Sawdustguy
02-12-2013, 07:51 AM
Are we, the cooks, as much to blame for the inconsistent judging that we all complain about? The following is an example of what a judge could be presented with at a contest and all boxes have a minimum of 6 portions and are legal by rule:

Entry RIBS table 1
Entry 1: 8 Spare ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 2: 8 Baby back ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 3: 6 Spare ribs, Hollywood cut on green leaf with parsley garnish
Entry 4: 6 Spare ribs, two-bone cut on green leaf with cilantro garnish (judge questioned the legality)
Entry 5: 12 Baby back ribs with no garnish
Entry 6: 8 Spare ribs on a chopped lettuce bed but the inside of the box lid is covered with sauce

This may seem extreme but is very possible at any given contest on a product that there are some guide lines on tenderness. I would venture to speculate that the scores would vary wildly on the same entry.

Huh????? Why is turning in any of the above a fault of the cook? The turnin should be judged as presented with no bais as to the type of rib or garnish. That is a fact. If the judges don't give you a fair shake and let their biases come through why is that the fault of the cook?

Big Poppa
02-12-2013, 08:18 AM
be a fun table to judge!

Funtimebbq
02-12-2013, 09:51 AM
Are we, the cooks, as much to blame for the inconsistent judging that we all complain about? The following is an example of what a judge could be presented with at a contest and all boxes have a minimum of 6 portions and are legal by rule:

Entry RIBS table 1
Entry 1: 8 Spare ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 2: 8 Baby back ribs on a parsley bed
Entry 3: 6 Spare ribs, Hollywood cut on green leaf with parsley garnish
Entry 4: 6 Spare ribs, two-bone cut on green leaf with cilantro garnish (judge questioned the legality)
Entry 5: 12 Baby back ribs with no garnish
Entry 6: 8 Spare ribs on a chopped lettuce bed but the inside of the box lid is covered with sauce

This may seem extreme but is very possible at any given contest on a product that there are some guide lines on tenderness. I would venture to speculate that the scores would vary wildly on the same entry.

Whether the scores vary wildly as you suggest, none of those 5 teams will know what the other teams have turned in. Only the judges would know. It still comes back to judges who like to tell cooks what is/isn't to their liking. Keeping it to themselves will save all this grief.

Benny

DawgPhan
02-12-2013, 10:33 AM
yep...judges have only themselves to blame. We have all heard the "I dont like BH so i score it down" type of comments.

The judge opened his mouth and removed all doubt....someone said that before me.

G'pa Herb
02-12-2013, 10:46 AM
Taking this a step further, maybe all cooks should be required to take the CBJ class and judge a few comps to get certified to be a cook. Why don't all cooks take the CBJ class and judge to see exactly what the process is to improve their chances of scoring higher.

One step past that: the highest score on the KCBS judging card is a 9, how about all cooks completely specifying their description of what would warrant a score of 9 in the three judging categories for each meat, coming to a consensus of full criteria for judging and then presenting that to KCBS as a solution, instead of what happens now, like in this thread.

I would like to invite all cooks that have posted to this thread, to accept an invitation to post what their idea of a score of 9 would be, for all scoring categories, for all 4 meats, and what factors and/or physical tests would be utilized to verify the meeting of the specified criteria, to garner a score of 9 in each category for each of the 4 meats...and remember, the judges see a box, and do not know who turned it in, so past history of winning, prior accomplishments or who the cook is are not ever taken into consideration.

drbbq
02-12-2013, 10:52 AM
We could just let the cooks judge their entries themselves. This would save a lot of trouble and they'd get the scores they want.

Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ
02-12-2013, 11:04 AM
Seems to me that continuing education in many cases would be reminding judges to simply follow the established rules they swear to adhere to as CBJs. You judge what is presented in the box, not what isn't. If you score down because you got the last piece in the box...grow up, that is just wrong.
However, if a judge was certified and agreed to judge by the criteria as established by KCBS and they choose not to follow the rules, do you think any amount of education will every change them?
Seems like everyone is in the same boat. Cook the best food you can cook, bring it to the turn-in table and roll the dice!

DawgPhan
02-12-2013, 11:04 AM
We could just let the cooks judge their entries themselves. This would save a lot of trouble and they'd get the scores they want.

whoever makes those 180 pins would love it and we could finally get down to the real fact that winning takes a hell of a lot of luck.

GrillBillie_D
02-12-2013, 11:32 AM
I think this is a great topic. Like many have said, I think education is the key. Judges need to be told, then reminded, what the rules are.

Requiring judges to leave comments on why they scored a certain way is a good idea. Logging it and comparing it to what the rest of judges are saying could be used to see trends in judges and identify where/who needs to be educated on the rules.

To me, the goal is make sure the judges are following the rules that have been published. The teams are held to a high standard. Judges should be at least held to a standard.

Muzzlebrake
02-12-2013, 12:01 PM
Taking this a step further, maybe all cooks should be required to take the CBJ class and judge a few comps to get certified to be a cook. Why don't all cooks take the CBJ class and judge to see exactly what the process is to improve their chances of scoring higher.

One step past that: the highest score on the KCBS judging card is a 9, how about all cooks completely specifying their description of what would warrant a score of 9 in the three judging categories for each meat, coming to a consensus of full criteria for judging and then presenting that to KCBS as a solution, instead of what happens now, like in this thread.

I would like to invite all cooks that have posted to this thread, to accept an invitation to post what their idea of a score of 9 would be, for all scoring categories, for all 4 meats, and what factors and/or physical tests would be utilized to verify the meeting of the specified criteria, to garner a score of 9 in each category for each of the 4 meats...and remember, the judges see a box, and do not know who turned it in, so past history of winning, prior accomplishments or who the cook is are not ever taken into consideration.

I cook much more than i judge but like many of the cooks that i know I am already CBJ. I think you will find many more cooks that are judges than judges that are cooks. FWIW the CBJ class is not going to teach what it takes to improve your scores. Most cooks already know the information that is taught in those classes.

My point that I am trying to make is that we do not need more procedures, criteria, rules or regulations, we need to enforce the ones we currently have.

Judges are required to listen to the judging instructions each and every contest before they are allowed to judge yet there are still those that judge according to criteria they made up but also on items that are specifically excluded like smoke rings and items not in the box.

Cooks are not required to listen to the rules before each contest yet they are not only expected to follow them there is a system of checks and balances (at least for much of them)in place to ensure they do.

Why is there not the same in place for judging?

G'pa Herb
02-12-2013, 01:47 PM
Most cooks already know the information that is taught in those classes.

My point that I am trying to make is that we do not need more procedures, criteria, rules or regulations, we need to enforce the ones we currently have.

Why is there not the same in place for judging?

Cooks already know, OK...but what about the knowledge a cook can garner from seeing what other cooks turn in when judging? I would think that this information would greatly help in improving cooks scoring...unless from what you are saying, that all cooks already know everything, know what everyone else turns in, and are all perfect.

You also state that everything existing for judging needs to be enforced for judging, but not one person states by who? Or is the consensus that bashing judges is the constructive manner of doing this? Saying that there needs to be continuing education for judging to fix this has also been suggested as a solution. How will this work when the enforcement that you want isn't working the way you want it to?

I respectfully submit that the judges are not at fault, they are not meant to be self governing or to police themselves to enforce existing rules, neither is it the job of the cooks or teams. There are good and bad judges and good and bad cooks, correct? I would like to know how you feel bashing and critizing the few bad judges fixes this problem in a constructive manner, or, how it makes the good judges more motivated to your cause? This is cause and effect at it finest. Fix the cause that the effect goes away. Not once has anyone spoken out about personal integrity of judges, which in most of the cases outlined here, is the problem.

I am still looking forward to some constructive movement forward from cooks, by documenting what they feel constitutes a score of 9 for all judging categories for all meats, with procedures, tests and baselines to substantiate the reasonings for the score. Come on, do some continuing education, make it better. Until then, this all sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher talking.

drbbq
02-12-2013, 02:13 PM
Judges are required to listen to the judging instructions each and every contest before they are allowed to judge.....

Really good point. There is continuing education at every single contest.

Muzzlebrake
02-12-2013, 02:35 PM
Cooks already know, OK...but what about the knowledge a cook can garner from seeing what other cooks turn in when judging? I would think that this information would greatly help in improving cooks scoring...unless from what you are saying, that all cooks already know everything, know what everyone else turns in, and are all perfect.

In my experience the information taught at CBJ classes in basic at best. As someone pointed out earlier, nobody has ever failed a class. I have never heard of anyone coming out of one with a new idea for presentation. Cooks often do however take classes to improve their skills, these just are not typically CBJ classes.I could be wrong, thats just my experience.

You also state that everything existing for judging needs to be enforced for judging, but not one person states by who? Or is the consensus that bashing judges is the constructive manner of doing this? Saying that there needs to be continuing education for judging to fix this has also been suggested as a solution. How will this work when the enforcement that you want isn't working the way you want it to?

That is the million dollar question. I think the key is combination of both education and enforcement, and not to just have a continuing education program that is really nothing more than a new way to generate revenue.
Not sure where anyone in this thread is bashing judges. I certainly did not see anyone in this thread make statements towards the judges such as the ones you make towards cooks. The examples given I think are not only generic and common, they have been refuted by other judges on this thread. If that constitutes bashing in your book so be it, but I don't see it like that at all and apologize to any judge that has been offended

I respectfully submit that the judges are not at fault, they are not meant to be self governing or to police themselves to enforce existing rules, neither is it the job of the cooks or teams. There are good and bad judges and good and bad cooks, correct? I would like to know how you feel bashing and critizing the few bad judges fixes this problem in a constructive manner, or, how it makes the good judges more motivated to your cause? This is cause and effect at it finest. Fix the cause that the effect goes away.

Please see post #3 of this thread; I think the TC's and Reps should be more heavily involved in the process. Last year I actually received a comment card about not having enough smoke ring. My question is how did that comment card make it all the way back to me without that judge being corrected by anyone? If I had violated a rule and say left a tiny piece of foil in that box you better believe the TC and Reps would be heavily involved. They, along with judges are ensuring that cooks are abiding by the rules set before them, why isn't the same true for judging?


Not once has anyone spoken out about personal integrity of judges, which in most of the cases outlined here, is the problem.

and you say we are bashing the judges? At no point have I now, or ever would I, question the personal integrity of anyone involved in a contest, cook, judge, TC or rep.

I am still looking forward to some constructive movement forward from cooks, by documenting what they feel constitutes a score of 9 for all judging categories for all meats, with procedures, tests and baselines to substantiate the reasonings for the score.

How do you document what is balanced? How do you define what tastes good to someone? How do tell one person what looks good? Its like trying to define sexy. What is to one person may not be to another. IMO it is not only impossible to do what you are asking it would take away from the process. Good judging, like good cooking comes from doing it over and over again.

Come on, do some continuing education, make it better. Until then, this all sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher talking.

I have taken the CBJ class as you suggest as well as the CBJ continuing education offered by KCBS. I have also had Master Judge candidates come and cook with me for their required cook and have scheduled some more for to do so this season. This coming weekend I am traveling halfway across the country to take a cooking class to hone my craft. If you know of any other ways I can "do some continuing education, make it better", I am open to suggestions

see colored text

olewarthog
02-12-2013, 02:50 PM
Let me preface my comments with these credentials. I have never cooked in a BBQ contest but have competed in other cooking contests. I grew up help my dad cook BBQ by shoveling coals from a burn barrel under a concrete block pit covered with sheets of tin. I am a Master Judge in GBA. I am a contest organizer. I am a contest representative for the GBA & run the scoring for at least half of the GBA contests each year.

I totally agree that some form of continuing education for judges would be a very good thing. The question that follows is how to do it. Do you make it mandatory? If so, how do you enforce it?

Before answering those questions, remember that judges are all volunteers. No one gets paid to judge or compensated for travel expenses. (other than a small doggy bag or two)

So, given the above, how to you tell a judge who already spends several hundred dollars a year travelling to judge contests that he has to fork over more money to take a refresher class?

Someone suggested a ranking system & only using judges with a certain ranking. How do new judges gain experience & thus ranking points?

G'pa Herb
02-12-2013, 04:04 PM
How do you document what is balanced? How do you define what tastes good to someone? How do tell one person what looks good? Its like trying to define sexy. What is to one person may not be to another. IMO it is not only impossible to do what you are asking it would take away from the process. Good judging, like good cooking comes from doing it over and over again.



Exactly!

Funtimebbq
02-12-2013, 04:58 PM
We all know, appearance, taste and tenderness/texture is subjective. What is good for one many not be for someone else. There are firm rules regarding appearance and some guidelines on tenderness/texture to follow. Problems only come up when, as the OP stated, judges say things such as "I score down if there is/isn't fat on a brisket slice" or "I score down if there are no burnt ends". It is that closed mind thinking that needs to be corrected.

Continuing education will not be able to take the subjectivity out of judging. We all know that. What can be controlled is to point out to reps. those judges who's comments are clearly biased and violate the judging instructions played at every contest. Because I believe the integrity of the judging system is important, I have and will continue to advise reps. whenever I feel a judge is not following the basic rule of judging which is to judge only what is presented and leave their personal opinions at home.

As for judging credentials, I began judging in 2007 with 19 contests from 5 states in my book by the end of 2009. No small feat for someone from CA back then (now, not so much). In 2010, I had an opportunity to join a very successfull team. Even though I am not on that team anymore, I continue to cook (10 contests in 2012) more than judge. I've only judged twice since 2009. So, I would call myself more of a cook than judge now.

Benny

SaucyWench
02-12-2013, 08:35 PM
I'm interested in what continuing education would entail. I've taken the on-line test and easily aced it. I also audited a KCBS CBJ class a couple years ago, which was almost identical to the class I took in 2001, other than in 2001 we were given a starting point for scoring...everything was to be considered a 9 and judged down from there...seems that caused too many 180's, so they did away with that criteria. Then they did the average 6, score up or down, then they decided to let us figure it all out on our own.
I personally know judges who say out loud to anyone who will listen that they will never give lower than an 8 because of the money & effort the cooks expend. I think this is just as unfair to cooks as someone who judges down because there aren't any burnt ends in a brisket box.
Honestly, I don't know how I should feel about being "re-educated" when I have been doing my best all these years to "objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate."

Big Poppa
02-12-2013, 11:11 PM
I am a judge too.

I think that we should let Ray be our benevolent dictator...heheheh

drbbq
02-13-2013, 06:59 AM
I know where all the bodies are buried.

Big Poppa
02-13-2013, 07:12 AM
Ken Hess told me this week. near the bunker at the greenbrier?

roksmith
02-13-2013, 08:00 AM
Ray makes some good points. Proper education is much more important than continuing education. When I took my judging class, we went around the room and said what we would score a box and why, but when someone came up with a reason that was waaay off the mark, they wouldn't be corrected or be told why they shouldn't deduct for this or that. Scoring what isn't in the box is like trying to read the cook's mind. Knowing how to spot an illegal entry is a good thing to teach, but teaching the right and wrong way to evaluate a box is equally important. Cooks are expected to confirm to a set of standards, it shouldn't be too much to expect the judges to as well.

tigerpaw
02-13-2013, 10:11 AM
I would like or be willing to accept the following:
1. New Judges - for first 10 events be allowed to see their scores and those of their table mates FOLLOWING the contest to compare to see if they are scoring too low or too high. A one day class tasting a few samples does not make one great at judging competition BBQ over Ruby Tuesdays, Applebees, or the local BBQ shack down the road. This would help them bring their scores into line of other experienced judges faster.
2. Returning judges. You are sent an invoice for next year’s dues. You are also sent a review exam. 15 – 20 questions max from a question bank of maybe 100 questions. Pass and your money sent in you are issued your new card. Questions like “Is kale an acceptable garnish” or “A pork box contained sliced, chopped but no pulled, do you score down for this?” Reinforces the judges knowledge of what they are to look at and not for items not in the box.
a. Master Judges – different set of questions. Still have to pass to be allowed to work in that year. A bit tougher questions, but also geared to helping younger, newer judges. “ A new judge asks how you scored the chicken entries – A Offer your insight of what you look for through reinforcing KCBS requirements . B Tell him/her he needs to learn on his own. C. Tell him/her she needs to develop their own taste profile. D. Tell them your preferences for white meat over dark meat entries and you score down otherwise.
b. Lifetime judges would also need to pass this test but already having paid their dues do not have added fee to them. But contests would not be allowed to use them until such time as the test has been passed.
3. Promote the Judge / Cook Team visitation following the contest. Have teams agree to have judges come by for a visit following final turn in and scoring. If only a few are willing to do so in beginning double or triple up judges to teams as needed. Judges would not discuss entries in specifics but more general. “Chicken was very good today.” Not – We had a chicken breast sliced and seasoned very well over a bed of greens you could putt on, with some wings on the sides that had a nice Asian sauce on them and I gave all 9’s. ” Teams should discuss their cooking methods but not to specifics. What type grill they are using? Where they are from? How many contests have they done? Where do they go next? What type woods they use to smoke by. They make their own Rubs? Sauces? If they have some samples at end they wish to share it could be done. But not required. It should be more of a meet and greet and introduce yourselves to each other. Make new friends in the BBQ world. I personally look at event results to see how teams I know fared and send them a note of congratulations if they had a great weekend or a sorry looks like you had a rough time this weekend. Most times I get a reply of “Thanks we had a great time and everything was spot on”. Or “Yea we had a bad issue with brisket that was not to our liking.”
4. Continue Comment Cards. They serve a purpose if filled out well. Couple of questions on test for both CBJs and MJs should be on comment cards. What should or should not be filled out on them. “Should a judge comment on how the garnish was sloppily placed in the box and therefore detracted from the appearance score?” “ My brisket slice was spot on but my burnt end was very tough so I had to mark down a bit for that on Tenderness. Is this a correct comment to be included?”


Let the bashing and gnashing begin.