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loco_engr
08-03-2013, 07:46 PM
Do CBJ's has precedence over off the street, non-qualified KCBS judges
at an KCBS event?
Where would I find an answer to this on the KCBS site?
Thanks

Side note: today, after signing in, I was told to "go grab a seat at a table."

I was NOT told what tables were for the judges.
I sat on an unoccupied table, right in front (3 rows back)
of the sign in location.
I was not the last person to arrive, more came in after me.
When the Reps started to sort everyone out as to seating
arrangements, I was told I was extra and not needed for
judging. Fortunately, someone decided they didn't want to judge,
so an seat opened up. The table I was at, had an off the street
person, (never judged before) already sitting there.

Thanks any/all help!

Arlin_MacRae
08-03-2013, 11:31 PM
I've never repped a competition so I'm going to go out on a limb and say "Yes, certified judges DO get the nod." I'd like to think competitors would rather they had certified judges tasting their entrees.
And here we gooooooo.

arrowhead
08-04-2013, 06:30 PM
it is not a kcbs requirement that certified judges get the nod over non-certified or celebrity judges. it's up to the organizer.

at the end of the day, teams notice the cbj % of the contest and may or may not return the following year. as a first year event organizer, teams inquired as to what my cbj % was. thankfully, I was at 100%.

this subject has been discussed ad nauseum on this forum and every other forum I frequent. and here we goooooo..............lol


edit: as far as the op checking in early and then not getting a seat, that falls on the reps, organizer and whomever was checking in the judges. easy task made difficult.

loco_engr
08-04-2013, 08:05 PM
" it's up to the organizer."

Really, not the KCBS Rep.?

trolleytime
08-04-2013, 08:33 PM
Yes, it is organizer's decision to allow non-certified judges over certified judges. I have competed in contests before where the organizer purposefully limited the number of CBJs to allow judges from local businesses because she was with the chamber of commerce and these businesses were her sponsors.

At my contest, we give priority to CBJs because that is what our teams expect. I have had to use a few non CBJs before but it was only because of last minute cancellations (day of contest). Our rep does assign seats at the tables based on the list that we've given him a few days before the contest and our judging coordinator plus the rep make sure everybody on the list is seated.

My suggestion is when you check in at your next contest, make sure to introduce yourself to the rep(s) and the organizer and hopefully they remember you when time comes to be seated. It would be nice if all the reps would do pre-seating of judges a lot more. I had to stand in the rain at a contest earlier this year along with about 40 other judges due to sorting by experience. Probably won't go back to that contest again if the same reps are there.

Hope this helps.

D. Moore
Fort Smith Barbeque Society

arrowhead
08-04-2013, 08:40 PM
to elaborate a little more on what d. moore said.

the reps are at the contest to make sure the kcbs rules are followed. that's about it.

the organizer determines the number of teams, what teams, judges etc attend the contest.

carlyle
08-05-2013, 09:31 AM
From the original post in this thread, it seems to me you were the victim of poor communication by the organizer, poor pre event organization by the organizer, sloppy
sign in procedure, again by the organizer.

As posted above, it is the organizer choice as to who sits and who does not.

My advice, first take a class an become a CBJ. If you want to judge it is worth the time and effort. And second, patronize contests that have an organizer who actually organizes and communicates with his judges. If you do those things, I predict a happy judging future that will erase the sour taste you now have from an unfortunate and entirely preventible experience.

loco_engr
08-05-2013, 04:42 PM
Carlyle:

Sorry, I failed to mention that I am a CBJ.
Had to show my membership card to the KCBS Rep at sign in.
I agree that the communication was very poor.
They had different colored plastic(3) on the tables.
I suggested that next year they use one color for
the judges only. Hope it didn't fall on deft ears!

carlyle
08-05-2013, 05:18 PM
Glad to hear that you were already a CBJ. There were a number of ways to handle the situation better. Why anyone would want non CBJ's in the first place is a puzzle. Why they would have seating preference over a CBJ baffles me.

I guess if it happened to me, I would chalk it up as a bad experience, remember who that organizer was, and avoid his contest in the future.

Also , the Reps are blameless here, IMO.

Glad you brought this to the forum.

And, hey Fat Freddy- it was good to meet you at Mason City.

loco_engr
08-05-2013, 06:36 PM
I am still waiting for a response KCBS . . .
I will have more info for next time this might happen.
Where I live, there are not a lot of comps with in what I
a consider reasonable driving distance. I'll prob go again
next year . . . wiser! :biggrin1:

Ron_L
08-05-2013, 06:38 PM
I recommend that you contact KCBS directly. While some board members are also members here this is not an official form of communications to KCBS.

markG
08-05-2013, 06:50 PM
Well, since the lid is off of the can of worms I will ask my question. When judges are "seated", do they chose their own seats or does the rep draw spots randomly?

Ron_L
08-05-2013, 06:53 PM
Well, since the lid is off of the can of worms I will ask my question. When judges are "seated", do they chose their own seats or does the rep draw spots randomly?

The exact procedure depends on the reps. You may be able to choose your own seat to start but folks will most likely be moved around to separate couple, friends etc. and to get a mix of experience levels at each table. It is seldom, if ever, random.

CivilWarBBQ
08-06-2013, 01:29 AM
Let me give you my perspective as an organizer:

I carefully select CBJs and pre-assign them to tables. When the judges check in they simply find their name on the seating list posted at each table. It is often necessary to offer a judging opportunity to a few VIPs for political reasons, but if they are non-CBJs I use them only for ancillary categories, not the main 4 meats.

The Reps I use are the best available and I would trust them to sort out the judges for me, but by doing it myself in conjunction with selection makes for a more efficient process. Plus that leaves one less thing for the busy Reps to handle on contest day. I would encourage you to actively communicate with both the organizer and Reps at every event you judge. Far too many CBJs fail to do this and it is the source of most misunderstandings.

Finally, never forget that judging is a privilege, not a right. When you apply to judge you are asking for a job, not claiming a benefit that is owed to you.

loco_engr
08-06-2013, 01:52 AM
I recommend that you contact KCBS directly. While some board members are also members here this is not an official form of communications to KCBS.

Emailed them Sat. evening, figuring it might take a few days
to get an answer.

carlyle
08-06-2013, 09:30 AM
Civil War- if the system would let me thank you more than once, I would.

What you do is quite close to what I do with check in. Bless you. Will the new KCBScore give us organizers more judging info to allow a more precise sort of judges to lower the odds of "cold tables" and "hot tables" ???

We too use the best Reps available. And yes it is a busy time, but communication is vital.

Yes, judging is a privilege - agree whole heartedly.

Rookie'48
08-06-2013, 06:08 PM
First, let me say that I am NOT speaking for KCBS on this - only for myself as an experienced judge.

KCBS has absolutely nothing to do with how judges are selected or where they sit. These are strictly up to each individual organizer and each one can do it his/her own way.

Some organizers go on a straight "first come - first served" basis. Some use only Certified BBQ Judges, some use their friends, celebrity judges, lodge members, etc. Some use the same judges every year and the only way to get a seat is if some one drops out.

Most organizers use a combination of the above methods for selecting their judges.

Most organizers also keep a list of judges that they have had trouble with in the past - try not to be on that list :wink:.

The KCBS Contest Rep is there to enforce the rules and to make sure that the contest runs smoothly and fairly for all concerned.

CivilWarBBQ
08-07-2013, 05:09 AM
Will the new KCBScore give us organizers more judging info to allow a more precise sort of judges to lower the odds of "cold tables" and "hot tables" ???


Now THAT is the burning question!

I don't know the answer, and I suspect that given how new KCBScore is there has not been an official policy decision made yet. I can see the potential for both good and bad things happening should the data be made available to organizers. Here are a few examples:


Organizers could use the data to eliminate judges who habitually issue low scores from their event. (Good)

Organizers could use the data to pack tables with judges who habitually score high, in hopes of developing a reputation for being a high scoring event and thus attracting more teams. (Bad)

Organizers could leak this information about specific judges to cooks, effectively breaking the blind and possibly leading to harassment of low scoring judges. (Bad)

Freshly minted judges who have been scoring consistently with their tables could have an easier time getting work at contests who previously passed them over because of a lack of experience. (Good)

Fearing "black listing", judges could begin to artificially elevate scores , inflating results and leading to many ties as all scores below 7 become functionally obsolete. (Bad)

The idea who will have access to the judge tracking data is definitely intriguing and bound to spawn a lot of debate over the next few months. These will be interesting times for KCBS members!

carlyle
08-07-2013, 05:26 PM
I do not know if it is a burning question, but it sure will be smokin for a while!

I see your points for abuse, and they are valid. And in my mind, habitual high scorers are just as bad as the low ones.

But the data is golden for being able to level the tables. If your contest develops or has a reputation for fair and consistent judging, that does a lot to attract teams to your contest. Sky high scores invite questions and makes everyone wonder what is going on.

Being able to bring on less experienced judges with some confidence that they will do a good job when you do not have previous experience with them would make judge selection easier. Right now it is a crap shoot about who to choose to fill out what you need after the judges you know are being used and you still need some more.

The Reps I know do not want to black list anyone, but rather rehabilitate those who regularly score too low or too high. My attitude also.

Judges need the feedback about how they are doing. It is like taking a lot of tests, but never knowing what grade you got. Some of the lows or highs will self correct when they get feedback.

There needs to be a lot of education from KCBS to diminish the fear factor with judges being tracked.

After all, the cooks are tracked about how they do at every category at every contest. And the scores are there for the world to see! But they know that will be the case before they enter a contest.

Keeping the double blind private for judging is just as important as having scores public for the cooks.

Everything I see and hear about the new scoring system says it is a step in the right direction.

Interesting times - you said it right.

loco_engr
08-07-2013, 11:28 PM
Do CBJ's has precedence over off the street, non-qualified KCBS judges
at an KCBS event?
Where would I find an answer to this on the KCBS site?
Thanks

Side note: today, after signing in, I was told to "go grab a seat at a table."

I was NOT told what tables were for the judges.
I sat on an unoccupied table, right in front (3 rows back)
of the sign in location.
I was not the last person to arrive, more came in after me.
When the Reps started to sort everyone out as to seating
arrangements, I was told I was extra and not needed for
judging. Fortunately, someone decided they didn't want to judge,
so an seat opened up. The table I was at, had an off the street
person, (never judged before) already sitting there.

Thanks any/all help!

Update: CBJ Percentage: 96%
Musta been the dude @ my table? :-o

CivilWarBBQ
08-08-2013, 12:25 AM
Remember that the organizer has many more cards to play than the one hand a judge is dealt.

Running an event is complex with lots of moving parts and political implications in the community, and the organizer has to try to appease not only the cooks and judges but also the volunteers, sponsors and the press. Sometimes the best play is to put that non-CBJ on a table when he represents a big sponsor or powerful media outlet.

Certainly sometimes organizers make a less than optimum choice, but more often than not there is more to the situation than we realize looking from the outside in.

carlyle
08-08-2013, 10:52 AM
Civil War, there is truth to what you say. But I keep the contest at 100% CBJ's.

We use VIP judges for our Backyard contest and our Kids Q. Satisfies everybody.

Plus I bring a few extra CBJ's ( who know they are extra) for no shows or late cancellations. If they are not needed by me, they go to the Backyard and judge with the VIP's. The CBJ's also know about that before they come.

Not the only way to do it, but just my way of balancing a lot of complicated and political factors.

So Loco engr- here are a couple of insights into your situation from our side of things.
I just hope you have some happier times judging. Wishing you the best.

MikeJ65
08-08-2013, 03:37 PM
I'm pretty sure I know which contest you are speaking of. I emailed the organizer and was told "We can use you, I will email details on Monday". I never got an email, never got a reply to my followup email. At that point, I decided not to drive 2 1/2 hours on a maybe. I guess I was the missing CBJ.

Also, table assignments should never be 'go find a seat'.

loco_engr
08-08-2013, 03:46 PM
MikeJ65:

I don't think you were definitely the missing CBJ.
I person that gave up the seat I got, decided
that since one of her family members wasn't needed
and turned away, they left.
I don't blame you for not risking a 2 1/2 hr drive, not knowing
for sure!

bbq.tom
08-08-2013, 07:01 PM
Also, table assignments should never be 'go find a seat'.

Don't know where you usually judge, but that is more common in the Southeast than actually having an assigned seat. Maybe with the new KCBScore system the organizers/REPs will try to even the tables other than just by experience if they even do that.

loco_engr
08-11-2013, 03:14 PM
Should I expect a response from KCBS to an email
I sent a week ago?

CivilWarBBQ
08-11-2013, 08:52 PM
My general rule of thumb is if I don't get a response to email within 3 days I follow up with a phone call. Email is not a reliable service - many messages end up in a spam filter or simply disappear amid the junk mail and are never read. This is especially true when you send an unsolicited message to an address you have never communicated with before.

Short answer - call the office if you need to communicate with KCBS.

AZScott
08-11-2013, 10:10 PM
Gotta love VIP judges..... I personally hate them and wonder if several of them together are a reason for a low tables.

CivilWarBBQ
08-14-2013, 07:46 PM
Gotta love VIP judges..... I personally hate them and wonder if several of them together are a reason for a low tables.

That's why I keep them to the ancillaries at my events.

I can appreciate the sentiment, however as long as we need sponsors to help cover the costs of putting on contests, VIP judges will be a necessary evil. Unless of course cook teams become willing to pay $800 entry fees to contests!