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View Full Version : No More Comment Cards ???


dosvans
02-11-2013, 10:09 AM
Just took a Table Captain Class this past weekend, and heard something that was a bit concerning. The instructors of the class, who are also KCBS reps, told us that the use of comment cards will be eliminated with the use of the new KCBS scoring system when fully implemented. From what I understood, the use of the new scoring system will not allow for a comment card to be associated back to a team. Didn't totally understand the logic to be honest. Has anyone else heard this? As a cook team, I would hate for comment cards to go away even if not that many are given out.

bbq.tom
02-11-2013, 10:55 AM
As a cook I value comment cards when filled out with valid observations/constructive criticism and NOT telling me how to cook.
As a judge I think that there is value to the cards as long as judges put some thought into what they observed/tasted/felt and not trying to tell cooks how to cook.

I still think that going to a scoring system where the judge must justify their scores given with comments on each aspect of the judging process would be MOST beneficial.

Hadn't heard about Comment Cards going away yet.

Pole D
02-11-2013, 02:47 PM
That would be a shame. As a new team, getting a number with no comments means jack. Give me the feedback so I can get better.

dmprantz
02-11-2013, 02:55 PM
At one time, the story was that in an attempt to keep the double blind system in tact, there would be no way to write a comment card and figure out the final team. We had a conversation about it here, and I suggested two or three approaches, but nothing ever came of them. I think there was more discussion, but no movement. I've heard rumours that it's a deliberate act to get rid of them, and that could explain it, but that's just rumours. If this is a concern of yours, I'd suggest that you eMail the KCBS BOD and let them know. The head of the KSBScore commitee is on the board, and having the rest of the board know that it concerns you will be good too.

dmp

brownkw
02-11-2013, 02:55 PM
That's the first I've heard about this, assuming that it's true. If true, it would be a real shame to take away a judge's ability to provide constructive feedback.

jketron
02-11-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm a judge and have taken the table captain class and didn't hear they were removing the comment cards

Fat Freddy
02-11-2013, 04:12 PM
Just a thought but maybe we should ask the BOD members that are Brethren as well. Then we dont assume anything. Then we will know for sure and can maybe hear feedback. This may have been something that just indeed happened and Dosvans was told accurately, but it seems I have read this very thing for a couple of years now.

dmprantz
02-11-2013, 04:22 PM
I'm just talking out loud here (and maybe outta turn), but I think that the Brethren who are directors appreciate the option of officially chiming in to KCBS threads as they feel comfortable. I think any time that they do it is great, but "official" stuff should go through official channels, and these guys guys have the right to be more than the positions...that said, I'd love to know the current status of this.

dmp

Bunny
02-11-2013, 05:07 PM
The comment cards were brought up at the rep meeting at the convention that they would probably not be used because they would not be compatible with the new program. Today, I heard the discussion is not over. So it sounds as if the BOD hasn't made any final decision or may find a new way to implement them.

Smoke'n Ice
02-11-2013, 05:25 PM
I am an old person (70) who learned to program in college and turned in the fortran cards at the window and came back for the results which were usually wrong and tons of paper. I have several patents in communications, was a part of the team that refrubished the ENIAC, and I still fail to understand the limitations and slowness and less than robust software that we in KCBS are currently paying for and not getting. Maybe some of you younger generation hot shots can help me out here.

I truely believe that limitations are manufactured or dull programmers and dullers managers.

Fat Freddy
02-11-2013, 05:29 PM
I'm just talking out loud here (and maybe outta turn), but I think that the Brethren who are directors appreciate the option of officially chiming in to KCBS threads as they feel comfortable. I think any time that they do it is great, but "official" stuff should go through official channels, and these guys guys have the right to be more than the positions...that said, I'd love to know the current status of this.

dmp

You are absolutely right and maybe I should have wrote my response different. What I meant is that until we hear from someone who knows what is going on then all of this is just an assumption that has been talked about before. Dosvans heard it at a class this past weekend so he may know something others of us dont and once i hear from someone "official" then I will form an opinion.

Bunny
02-11-2013, 05:35 PM
Just took a Table Captain Class this past weekend, and heard something that was a bit concerning. The instructors of the class, who are also KCBS reps, told us that the use of comment cards will be eliminated with the use of the new KCBS scoring system when fully implemented. From what I understood, the use of the new scoring system will not allow for a comment card to be associated back to a team. Didn't totally understand the logic to be honest. Has anyone else heard this? As a cook team, I would hate for comment cards to go away even if not that many are given out.

Just repeating what I heard from a BOD member and now I'm hearing different today.

dmprantz
02-11-2013, 06:17 PM
Maybe some of you younger generation hot shots can help me out here.

I truely believe that limitations are manufactured or dull programmers and dullers managers.

My understanding is that it has to do, not with the skill of the developers, but with the business processes put in place by the product owners. In the current system, each team has two numbers: The public one that goes on the box, and the private one that the judges see. When a judge fills out a comment card it is for the private number, and some one must associate that with the appropriate score sheet.

In the KCBScore, from what I have been told, that process is somewhat different. In an effort to keep the double blind system in tact, the "private" number is not printed on the score sheet, so there is no (easy) way to find the correct score sheet on which to affix the comment cards.

There are, of course, ways around this.

dmp

Smoke'n Ice
02-11-2013, 07:20 PM
Check out the PNWBA score system, uses a bar code system. I can't read bar code without help and I don't know many that can. They give a sheet of bar code labels to the cook and he attaches one by his name to the master sheet.

The cook places a label to each of his boxes prior to tunr in. At turn in the box bar code number is scanned and the computer gives the box a human readable number. Blind as a bat all the way through and only when the final print out is done does the rep even know who is who. This is just one simple solution and totally removes the appearance of not so blind numbers that are currently used. Most of us who judge and cook, by knowing what folk turn in, figure out the number being added system in short order

dmprantz
02-11-2013, 07:24 PM
Check out the PNWBA score system, uses a bar code system.

I have personally made that suggestion to multiple cook and KCBS directors, past and present. Every one thinks it's a great idea, and I've had directors tell me they were going to look into it. Haven't heard back since, but I agree with you. I was just playing with one of our cool, affordable USB barcode scanners at work today (We're rolling out several next week). I believe the new system makes it harder to guess the alt-id.

dmp

Smoke'n Ice
02-11-2013, 09:07 PM
My smart phone is a bar code scanner and it actually interfaces to my computer. Not a lot of investment to KCBS, just an app or two.

Sawdustguy
02-12-2013, 08:11 AM
I have to be very honest. We have received a number of comment cards and never have we gotten any worthwhile feedback. Most of the comment cards have been replys like "You should have used KC Masterpiece Sauce as it is my favorite", "Your flavors were intense, I hope you didn't use any MSG", "Your ribs should have been more fall off the bone" etc, etc, etc. Not much use in that sort of feedback.

CivilWarBBQ
02-12-2013, 10:13 AM
I have to be very honest. We have received a number of comment cards and never have we gotten any worthwhile feedback. Most of the comment cards have been replys like "You should have used KC Masterpiece Sauce as it is my favorite", "Your flavors were intense, I hope you didn't use any MSG", "Your ribs should have been more fall off the bone" etc, etc, etc. Not much use in that sort of feedback.

Give the comment cards to the organizers. I guarantee the three judges who wrote the comments you quoted would never be invited to judge at any contest I run again!

Full Draw BBQ
02-12-2013, 10:52 AM
We have only gotten a few comment cards back, but they were important to us and we really appreciated the time it took to write out the comments. For the most part, they were slight issues that we knew, but it was nice to read that a judge thought the same thing, and it kept us from a higher score.

Alexa RnQ
02-12-2013, 10:54 AM
Give the comment cards to the organizers. I guarantee the three judges who wrote the comments you quoted would never be invited to judge at any contest I run again!
Exactly! For comment cards to work to their fullest, they've got to be utilized in both directions. We've discussed feedback with the reps at events, because in some instances it was obvious that reeducation was needed.

Even a comment card that seems contradictory and nonsensical can have value, though. We got one card that told us our ribs were "tough and fell off the bone". While that at first seemed to contradict itself, it also spurred us to figure out what the judge was trying to say and to correct the problem.

Every card expresses an impression. I'd rather know that impression is out there, because we might run across it again.

DawgPhan
02-12-2013, 11:11 AM
I think that one of the issues with cards is the judges have difficulties in describing their reaction to your bbq.

Judges should describe the problem, not attempt to diagnose it.

swamprb
02-12-2013, 11:17 AM
IMO with 30 turn ins a KCBS CBJ does not have sufficient time to give a detailed usefull comment card on all boxes presented.

PNWBA on the other hand has 1 hour turn ins and I get more comments that hit the mark than off the wall ones.

GrillBillie_D
02-12-2013, 11:39 AM
Bar codes? What a simple solution to a simple problem. Scan, given a "real" number next to bar code. Go be judged.

CivilWarBBQ
02-12-2013, 04:34 PM
The only way bar codes can work is if the hardware to read them is supplied to the Reps. Currently KCBS requires Reps to provide their own computer, printer, etc. so I don't see that happening.

Also, as someone who has worked in IT for 30 years I don't relish the idea of relying on electronics inside the judging tent. Too many things can go wrong given the time-sensitivity and often terrible weather conditions on the contest site, not to mention the sketchy power situation.

With the manual paper system, all of the judging portion of the event could be done by candlelight, if need be. Tabulating and printing the scores can be done offsite back at the Rep's hotel room in a pinch. (With a corresponding delay in announcing awards, of course.)

Smoke'n Ice
02-12-2013, 06:44 PM
The only way bar codes can work is if the hardware to read them is supplied to the Reps. Currently KCBS requires Reps to provide their own computer, printer, etc. so I don't see that happening.

Also, as someone who has worked in IT for 30 years I don't relish the idea of relying on electronics inside the judging tent. Too many things can go wrong given the time-sensitivity and often terrible weather conditions on the contest site, not to mention the sketchy power situation.

With the manual paper system, all of the judging portion of the event could be done by candlelight, if need be. Tabulating and printing the scores can be done offsite back at the Rep's hotel room in a pinch. (With a corresponding delay in announcing awards, of course.)

As I stated previously, my cell phone (any smart phone) can read bar codes. A simple app could be generated that would create the alternate number. The reps go thru, do all the entry, print it out and then look at the app to see what numbers in each category belong to each team. Safeguard would be to email the file to KCBS for backup, just in case the phone is dropped into the porta potty. Christ, I could write the software requirement specifications for it and I havn't done one since I retired 7 years ago when I wrote the last one for a CAN bus system for use in an industrial instrumentation environment.

Bentley
02-12-2013, 07:24 PM
I thought KCBS is a single blind system? IBCA is a double blind type system.

dmprantz
02-12-2013, 11:21 PM
It depends on your definition of "double blind." Judges do not know the team whose box they are judging, and teams do not know which judges scored their box. It may be possible to figure it all out after the fact, but at least that's the theory.

dmp

White Dog BBQ
02-13-2013, 05:12 AM
Man, without comment cards how will I know if I am using lighter fluid?

Hawg Father of Seoul
02-13-2013, 01:07 PM
Man, without comment cards how will I know if I am using lighter fluid?

Now that's funny!!

I bet a lot of the people who get the lighter fluid comment cards use the blue bag. It is hard to pin point that flavor until you "know" it.

JD McGee
02-13-2013, 01:24 PM
We appreciate constructive criticism from comment cards...I would hate to see them discontinued. As far as the PNWBA bar codes...they are very efficient and very blind...that said...they do fark up on occasion. The PNWBA also supplies the Head Judges with computers for comps and I believe the scoring software was designed by a PNWBA member and is proprietary.

Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

CivilWarBBQ
02-13-2013, 03:21 PM
As I stated previously, my cell phone (any smart phone) can read bar codes. A simple app could be generated that would create the alternate number. The reps go thru, do all the entry, print it out and then look at the app to see what numbers in each category belong to each team. Safeguard would be to email the file to KCBS for backup, just in case the phone is dropped into the porta potty. Christ, I could write the software requirement specifications for it and I havn't done one since I retired 7 years ago when I wrote the last one for a CAN bus system for use in an industrial instrumentation environment.

Yes, tech solutions always seem so obvious to us tech people.

I do have one question though.

Did you ever find yourself with a dead battery on your phone? ;)

Smoke'n Ice
02-13-2013, 06:13 PM
Did you ever find yourself with a dead battery on your phone? ;)

the short answer is not in the last 28 years, it's a matter of discipline and if you find yourself in situations without access to a charging station, acquire a spare battery. Had to use this method several times in Tianjin.

DawgPhan
02-13-2013, 08:34 PM
the short answer is not in the last 28 years, it's a matter of discipline and if you find yourself in situations without access to a charging station, acquire a spare battery. Had to use this method several times in Tianjin.

but you do recognize that sometimes cell phone batteries run dead, right?

Running the scoring of a kcbs event through a cell phone would make me nervous.

dmprantz
02-13-2013, 08:55 PM
Most reps seem to run the scoring software on laptop computers. Those usually have batteries which can die, right? Yet somehow, I am not nervous from those. One of the big reasons is because most laptop computers are able to plug in to standard MAINS power and run indefinitely. As far as I know, all modern cellular phones also have the ability to be plugged into MAINS power and run indefinitely. Most, including mine, are capable of being plugged directly into a modern laptop computer and use that power (mine is plugged in as I type this). I honestly don't see power as being an issue with cell phone usage by reps at competitions as long as we trust our reps to be able to bring the appropriate charge cables, or replace them at the closest WalMart or truck stop. Personally, I would recommend a USB pistol scanner which costs about $200 and has no battery. They could probably be purchased cheaper if bought in bulk. Barcode printers (if they can't use their score-sheet printer) are another $100.

The fact that a rep's competition hardware (laptop, printer, etc) is not supplied by the KCBS is news to me. It does add more cost to the rep, but I feel that that it could all be furnished by the KCBS. Of course, that's a different discussion. In the end, this is my favourite option, but it is only one that could be employed to solve the incredibly complex issue of figuring out which team gets which comment card. There are others that would require no additional hardware to be purchased, though some may require the rep to do more work. Others may require changes to KCBScore. I know we may be loath to put more work on reps, but it's my understanding that some areas are so full of reps that they no longer accept new applications. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who would be honoured to have that responsibility if it took more work that it does now. Think about this: There must be some way for a rep to determine the TeamID of a box in case of a DQ so that the team can be notified. Surely that same mechanism can be used here.

dmp