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View Full Version : First Comp Judging Today (Long,sorry)


Rookie'48
06-24-2007, 12:34 AM
Yeah, I know that judges aren't the most popular folks around the BBQ circut, but what the fark do I care, right? I took the CBJ class at the end of April in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa & judged my first comp today at Marshalltown. I've been to a few comps as a spectator, two comps as a part-time team member (think: dish bitch, slave labor, etc), and then as a volunteer at the Bar-B-Qlosal.
Today was kinda strange for me for a few reasons. First, I was nervous about being a 'newbe' amongst all of the 'old pros'. Second; just who was I to judge these guys/gals who have cooked more in a couple of years than I have in my whole life. The list goes on...
I had made up my mind (what there is of it) that I was going to do the very best job that I could do. I talked to a few of the more experienced judges to find what they looked for. I even asked the table captain to keep an eye on my scores in relation to the others at the table, and to let me know after the contest was over if my scores were very much out of line with them.
I ate some very good "Que" today, as well as a lot of so-so. I gave each entry the best evaluation that I could. I tried my best to be as fair as I could be and to give any benefit of the doubt to the cook, as I would want if I were the cook.
At the end of the judging, the table captain said that all of our scores were pretty consistent around the table and that mine were"right there" with the other judges. In talking with the other guys at our table (after the judging slips were turned in) it seemed that most of us felt the same way about most entries.
I know that at least one, if not more, of my table mates competes as well as judges, so they should know what to look for. I think that what we see in the judges tent is a different view than what we see under the EZ-Up. It's all the same "Que" but from a different perspective.
I know that I'm a first time judge & that there's a lot to learn, but I, for one, want to be the best & fairest that I can be.
Dave

MilitantSquatter
06-24-2007, 03:27 AM
Dave - I think it's great that you judged, enjoyed it, were fair in your evaluations etc.

Don't underestimate your ability to judge based on it being your fist time out.. It you follow the rules as written, judge fairly and with an open mind as the entries are presented there is not much more that can be asked other that you enjoying the experience of judging...

Sounds like you enjoyed it overall and will be out there again soon. Good judges are definitely a good thing so I'm sure teams out in your area would appeciate your services.

Puppyboy
06-24-2007, 04:40 AM
Good job Rook.

When I judge my first comp, the other judges were more then willing to explain things before the samples were presented and after the slips were turned in.

Soon, you'll be the old dog sitting with the newbies.

BBQ_Mayor
06-24-2007, 07:44 AM
Hey Dave,
Looks like you on the way to being a great judge. Keep doing what your doing, keep and open mind to each entry and I think you will be fine.

Saw you and John sitting in the beer garden during the awards. I would have stopped and said hi but was making a bee line for the port-o-lets.

WalterSC
06-24-2007, 07:44 AM
Way to go Dave I too was nervous my first judging even though I had been cooking on a BBQ before coming to judging. Fols laugh and say man what a easy job but its anything but easy. I wish you good luck in judging it can be rewarding , dont be afraid to ask the senior judges questions if you have them , I get them all the time. As for me I am happy to answer questions anyone can throw at me if it helps increase thier abilities as a judge. I feel being a cooker give you a greater appreciation for what is presented to you .

Bentley
06-24-2007, 01:51 PM
Sounds like you put a little time and effort into your judging, kind of like us competitors...that's all I ask from a CBJ! Thanks. Did you bring your cooler? LOL

Smokin Gator
06-24-2007, 02:05 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have taken the FBA class but have not had the chance to judge yet. I am excited to do so.

It sounds like to me you were very thoughtful in your approach. One of the things that they told me at the class and that I will keep in mind is to assume that if it made it to the table it is a 7.5 (average Q). Then judge up from there. I think I will only go down during my first couple of judging experiences if there is a real strong reason to do so. I guess I am more worried about penalizing an otherwise high scoring team than I am inflating one that won't do well anyway.

ModelMaker
06-24-2007, 02:49 PM
Dave I was scheduled to judge but health concerns are keeping me home.
M'town was my first contest last year and that first one sure gets your blood pumpin eh? Each one is a event only to itself, they are all different in crowds,cooks,way the judging is handled. I'm really ticked I missed it along with meeting the other judges again, the cooks that make the trip worth while, and just the brotherly atmosphere. I did get to do
BarbeQlossal and think I can pull Waterloo off before surgery. If not will see you all down the road.
I look forward to meeting up .
ModelMaker

Papa Tom
06-24-2007, 03:45 PM
Yeah when judging the absolute best sample is your first one after that it's a bit more confusing.
Everybody that competes needs to judge at least once. I guarantee it will change your perspective some.

butts a fire
06-24-2007, 09:18 PM
Thank you for judging fairly and respectfully from a competitors point of view. Keep up the good work, I think the main thing that you can do as a judge is be consistant. Sounds like you and a good experience.

Rookie'48
06-24-2007, 10:05 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments, brothers:-D . M'town was my first and Cameron, Mo. is my second judging. I've got kids & g-kids (plus a couple of g-g-kids) in Hamilton, so Cameron seems to work out well. That's most likely all the judging for this year, but I'll be helping "Q'n 4 Fun" at the Ducks comp in July at Ankeny, Iowa. I'm the 6'2" 260 pounder with the beard & patriotic suspenders.
Dave

Jeff_in_KC
06-24-2007, 10:25 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments, brothers:-D . M'town was my first and Cameron, Mo. is my second judging. I've got kids & g-kids (plus a couple of g-g-kids) in Hamilton, so Cameron seems to work out well. That's most likely all the judging for this year, but I'll be helping "Q'n 4 Fun" at the Ducks comp in July at Ankeny, Iowa. I'm the 6'2" 260 pounder with the beard & patriotic suspenders.
Dave

Hey Dave, good job on the judging! We'll be competing at Cameron next weekend. Drop by and say hello! :-D

swamprb
06-25-2007, 05:53 AM
I went through the same things you experienced, and it's not a task to be taken lightly. I was amazed by how many people were judging that didn't cook and just wanted "good BBQ". I want to be involved and be able to try to cook and make it presentable and have and idea what the judges are considering before I throw myself in front of the bus. Just like a ballgame needs umpires a comps gotta have judges.

Brian

Roo-B-Q'N
06-25-2007, 08:00 AM
Great thread Dave. My first judging expereince was the same. All I wanted to do and still want to do is be fair and open minded. I tink that it is so important for a judge. My wife and I spent all last year judging before jumping in on the cooking side. Gives you alot of insight. Keep up the good work.

Bentley
06-25-2007, 11:21 AM
I was amazed by how many people were judging that didn't cook and just wanted "good BBQ".
Brian

The "Cooler Kings"...usually the worst judges there are, and they are going to tell me how their brisket is so much better then anything they have ever had at a competition! LOL

And people wonder why I want ALL judges to have to cook with a team at least once a year!