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QansasjayhawQ
12-21-2009, 10:21 AM
I've been eyeballing the Table Captain Certification class.

I was a table captain at my second competition because there weren't enough judges. I didn't think that was right - but the contest rep coached me pretty well and stayed close by just in case I needed a hand.

Ever since then, I've had a lot of table captains and I can say that there are poor, better, good and best table captains.

What are some of the things that you experienced table captains remind your judges about before they start the process of judging samples?

One of my pet peeves is when judges are in a hurry and only give samples enough time in their mouths so they can swallow it.

Some of the regular judges and myself have started waiting until the last judge has placed the last sample on their plate to begin judging. It doesn't take long for the new judges to catch on that this isn't a race.

It seems that some coaching from the table captains could help a lot in many scenarios like this.

What do you do when you table captain? What are the points you make sure to emphasize to your judges?

Falcon 83
12-21-2009, 11:29 AM
Since you and I had a good discussion on judging parity, I may as well add my two cents to your table captain discussion.

I'm certified as a table captain, doing about 7-8 comps as just a table captain and about 5-6 more as table captain/judge. Seems table captains and judges can both be in short supply at some comps.

My main concerns:
I usually start my pre-turn in time briefing by asking the experience level of my judges if I haven't judged with any of them or table captained them. This way I can monitor any less experienced judge.

I then stress to take their time, evaluate and score honestly as the cooking teams have a lot invested to be here.

In the same area of discussion, I move to the comment slips and reiterate the Rep's briefing on turning them in on a score of 5 or less, usually adding that the teams deserve to know why.

Usually, I end with a comment about the 6 judges being a family for the next 2 hours, and that I want all the judges to wait patiently until they each have the 6 samples on their placemats. If I see there are no problems (rule violations, etc.), I will tell them to begin tasting and scoring.

There are other minor concerns and many stories to tell, but I've spent my two cents.

davidh9946
12-21-2009, 11:40 AM
Good points and I agree on getting judges to slow down. I ask two things before serving the trays. First, absolutely no talking until I give the signal that all score sheets have been turned in. Second is your point about asking them to wait until everyone is served. I really try to help new judges with tips about scoring after each category. I don't tell them they are wrong but I give them a general idea of what the average scores were. Most of the new judges seem to appreciate general tips as long as they are discussed on a 1 to 1 basis. Looking forward to the upcoming year.

Funtimebbq
12-22-2009, 08:20 AM
Hi All,

Out here in CA, if one wants to judge several events in a year, we need to travel long distances. In my case, the closest event was about 20 miles and all other were over 100 and up to 500 miles away (not counting a trip to a UT event). So, we see a lot of the same dedicated judges and table captains at the same events.
I for one, do not like a preachy TC. One who is constantly trying to tell us how good they are and how or what we should be looking for. As everyone continues to say, the best cooks always rise to the top regardless of the judges. I try to avoid those I recognize by waiting to see what table they sit at.
I do appreciate a TC who is not in a hurry when passing the boxes around for viewing and who monitors judges to make sure they are scoring each sample as it is judged and not waiting to compare samples. At larger contests, I also like to see a TC be prompt and waiting at the turn-in area so their judges are not rushed when the next category is ready.

Benny

Falcon 83
12-22-2009, 03:43 PM
Why would I want to be a table captain?

There are some perks that people might not think about:

1. You might get accepted at a contest with a long list of judge applications but no table captains applying.

2. There are people who want to enjoy the "spirit of the competition" but don't want to cook or judge.

3. There are people who can't judge.
a. don't like BBQ (God forbid)
b. food allergies
c. don't like chicken, or pork, or beef
d. can't eat the amount of food needed to judge.
e. spouse is on a cooking team at this comp. (KCBS rule)
f. on a cooking team at the comp, but not cooking themself. (KCBS rule)
g. spouse makes the trip to the comp with mate who judges, wants to bond with him/her but does not want to go through the judging class.

4. Table captains get to eat at the grazing table.

Relative to #3, before October of this year, KCBS required prospective table captains to be certified judges. A rule change was made to accomodate the people in this situation. Class fees must be paid but you become a member of KCBS if you already aren't a member.

I know several people who love to just table captain. It's a win/win situation for KCBS reps who don't have to look so hard for table captains and for the people involved in #3.

Think about it.

QansasjayhawQ
12-22-2009, 10:30 PM
Falcon -

Those are good points. One thing I would wonder about is table captains that have less than ten competitions judging under their belt. Sometimes the rookie judges are looking for clues as to what they should be doing and when the table captain has fewer competitions under their belt than the judge - well, that's not a good situation. I relied on the experience of the other judges who did NOT jump up and volunteer to get through, but I feel that if a person is going to table captain, they need to have at least ten competitions judging before they captain a table.

davidh -
No matter if it's in judging BBQ or selling shoes at Walmart - people who are full of themselves are always less than palatable.

Falcon 83
12-23-2009, 07:19 AM
Relative to the required comps to become a table captain, a call to KCBS will be required for this answer. I have heard varied requirements, but no matter what the number is, in my opinion, its still better to have a certified judge with little experience than a "guest" table captain.

I think the requirement now is 10 comps under your belt before taking the class. I had less than 10 when I took the class but I had TCed twice before due to shortages of TCs. I have heard of TCs taking the class the day after their judging certification.

One problem here in the east is the lack of classes.

SaucyWench
12-27-2009, 04:32 PM
We took one of the first table captain classes offered (Dillon, CO.) There were no restrictions on how many comps you'd judged before becoming a certified TC back then. Even before the class, we were often called upon to do double-duty. The one thing I've always told my tables is that I do not allow talking until everyone is done judging, and I'm not afraid to shush anyone who needs shushed. I don't have a set speech I give before judging starts, just try to get to know my table-mates, so I can be helpful if needed, yet trust that my table listened to the judges' CD and will ask questions if they need to. While I'm more than willing to share my experiences, I truly dislike judging at a table with a "know-it-all" table captain, so I don't want to be one myself.

EatonHoggBBQ
12-27-2009, 06:25 PM
One of my pet peeves is when judges are in a hurry and only give samples enough time in their mouths so they can swallow it.


Well one of my pet peeves is when the table captain stands in front of me tapping the score cards on the table and staring at me while I have maybe one or two more samples to judge.
When judging a contest I am usually always last to finish and it seems the tc's are in too much of a hurry to turn in their score cards so they can maybe go and have a cigarette or hurry over to the grazing table to fill their coolers.
When I table captain, I stand away from the table, but within calling distance in case there are any problems or questions. No need to hover over the judges and grab their score cards and constantly ask "do I have all the score cards?"


I truly dislike judging at a table with a "know-it-all" table captain, so I don't want to be one myself.

Agreed. I usually watch where known "know-it-all" table captains are, then try to sit somewhere else.

CivilWarBBQ
12-27-2009, 09:26 PM
I always remind judges to ignore any smudges on the inside of the box lid.

Falcon 83
12-28-2009, 07:21 AM
I contacted KCBS. Since October when they adopted the new rule for being a table captain only (post 5 discussion), there is no longer any required number of comps for a judge before attending a TC class.

Civil War BBQ, your comment goes with mine to the judges not to put large smudges on the score sheet.

smoke-n-my-i's
05-02-2010, 02:54 PM
Why would I want to be a table captain?

There are some perks that people might not think about:

1. You might get accepted at a contest with a long list of judge applications but no table captains applying.

2. There are people who want to enjoy the "spirit of the competition" but don't want to cook or judge.

3. There are people who can't judge.
a. don't like BBQ (God forbid)
b. food allergies
c. don't like chicken, or pork, or beef
d. can't eat the amount of food needed to judge.
e. spouse is on a cooking team at this comp. (KCBS rule)
f. on a cooking team at the comp, but not cooking themself. (KCBS rule)
g. spouse makes the trip to the comp with mate who judges, wants to bond with him/her but does not want to go through the judging class.

4. Table captains get to eat at the grazing table.

Relative to #3, before October of this year, KCBS required prospective table captains to be certified judges. A rule change was made to accomodate the people in this situation. Class fees must be paid but you become a member of KCBS if you already aren't a member.

I know several people who love to just table captain. It's a win/win situation for KCBS reps who don't have to look so hard for table captains and for the people involved in #3.

Think about it.

Great comments and thought here.

I fall into your 3b comment on allergies. Since I am allergic to pork, I can not judge all 4 categories, and since I can only judge the other two IF they have not been cooked anywhere the pork is cooked, there isn't much need to even try it....

I talked to our rep this past weekend abt table captain and mentioned that I keep hearing that KCBS needs table captains. He confirmed that. I just looked and there is only one class between today and the end of the year, and it is 875 miles away.

So if this is the case, why aren't there more classes offered. There is a ton of judging classes, and only one table captain's class. It doesn't sound right to me, but I don't make up the classes. Looks like more people want to judge and eat than to be captain....guess I will try wait for my reply from the email I just sent to KCBS.

LindaM
05-02-2010, 05:34 PM
Relative to the required comps to become a table captain, a call to KCBS will be required for this answer. I have heard varied requirements, but no matter what the number is, in my opinion, its still better to have a certified judge with little experience than a "guest" table captain.

I think the requirement now is 10 comps under your belt before taking the class. I had less than 10 when I took the class but I had TCed twice before due to shortages of TCs. I have heard of TCs taking the class the day after their judging certification.

One problem here in the east is the lack of classes.

There is no longer a judging requirement to become a Certified Table Captain. In the class you learn everything you need to effectively do the job. You do not have to taste food to know how to control the table and follow the rules.

LindaM
05-02-2010, 05:39 PM
Great comments and thought here.

I fall into your 3b comment on allergies. Since I am allergic to pork, I can not judge all 4 categories, and since I can only judge the other two IF they have not been cooked anywhere the pork is cooked, there isn't much need to even try it....

I talked to our rep this past weekend abt table captain and mentioned that I keep hearing that KCBS needs table captains. He confirmed that. I just looked and there is only one class between today and the end of the year, and it is 875 miles away.

So if this is the case, why aren't there more classes offered. There is a ton of judging classes, and only one table captain's class. It doesn't sound right to me, but I don't make up the classes. Looks like more people want to judge and eat than to be captain....guess I will try wait for my reply from the email I just sent to KCBS.

Looks like there are going to be a couple on the East in the next year. One in the fall in Easton, MD and one in the Spring in Highland, NY. Not that it helps you in NC.

watertowerbbq
05-02-2010, 08:22 PM
Why does judge 1 need to wait until judge 6 is finished with the last box before beginning to judge? Seems unnecessary to me.

Contracted Cookers
05-02-2010, 08:35 PM
great post I WISH ALL of the judges were as as serious and dedicated to be the best as you can be. thank you .

CivilWarBBQ
05-02-2010, 09:03 PM
Why does judge 1 need to wait until judge 6 is finished with the last box before beginning to judge? Seems unnecessary to me.

I agree. Folks are there to judge, not have Sunday dinner. As a Table Captain, I don't see a reason to intentionally add a delay to the process. In the rare case of any score revisions the Rep might order, it's best for this to happen after the judges record their scores normally. Pointing out a DQ beforehand may skew the remaining scores.

As a Judge, I prefer to to get started as soon as I have all the samples because I'm usually slower than the rest of the table.

Rookie'48
05-03-2010, 12:15 AM
Matt, I agree wholeheartedly! I always try to sit at the end of the table (large guy mod), so that makes me # 1 or # 6 depending on which way the box is passed. I start tasting after I have all of the samples on my plate no matter if I'm the first or last judge to get my sample.

daedalus
05-03-2010, 08:47 AM
I once had a table captain give a lengthy diatribe as to how we all need to behave as judges. It was very rehearsed, and really very condescending. Some of what he had to say was useful, like how he wanted to run the table, but then he started talking about about how we should judge appearance, and waxing poetic about his philosophy on judging. All but one of us at the table was certified, and the person who was not had still done more comps than I had at the time. They guy literally talked for over 15 minutes! I was so irritated that I brought it up to a rep afterwards. I was told "Oh yeah...he always does that".
To me, a table captain should run the table...they are there to facilitate the system, and I greatly appreciate their efforts. I think most TC's understand that...it's just once in a while you get one with a God Complex.

CaptTable
05-03-2010, 11:54 AM
You do not have to wait until Judge 6 gets their samples before starting judging. You should begin judging as soon as you have YOUR last sample. Less time on the plate for all entries and more time to finish YOUR judging process as there could be only 20 minutes betwen YOUR categories.

In my table captain classes, and probably in all of them, we try to convey to the student that a table captain should not only be in control of the table, but, also, be a part of the table as a team member. They, along with the six judges, make up a table. So don't alienate, but be a part of.

Phillip

BoneDaddy's
05-03-2010, 03:50 PM
You do not have to wait until Judge 6 gets their samples before starting judging. You should begin judging as soon as you have YOUR last sample. Less time on the plate for all entries and more time to finish YOUR judging process as there could be only 20 minutes betwen YOUR categories.

In my table captain classes, and probably in all of them, we try to convey to the student that a table captain should not only be in control of the table, but, also, be a part of the table as a team member. They, along with the six judges, make up a table. So don't alienate, but be a part of.

Phillip

Am I correct in that KCBS does not require a TC to take a TC class. If you are a CBJ you can table captain!

bigabyte
05-03-2010, 03:59 PM
Actually, as I was told by Ed Roith just yesterday at a CBJ class, anyone can be a table captain. They do not even have to be a CBJ. That is a new rule just this year he said.

2Fat
05-03-2010, 05:03 PM
Why does judge 1 need to wait until judge 6 is finished with the last box before beginning to judge? Seems unnecessary to me.
maybe just the old concept of manners--no one starts 'till all are served--just maybe

smoke-n-my-i's
05-03-2010, 05:57 PM
Looks like there are going to be a couple on the East in the next year. One in the fall in Easton, MD and one in the Spring in Highland, NY. Not that it helps you in NC.

thanks.

Easton isn't all that far, abt 6 hrs. It is still strange that there isn't more in NC, VA area. There are some really large comps in the area, and would be a great place to have some. Right off the top of my head, Tryon, NC, Shelby, NC, Rocky Mount, NC, Chesapeke VA, just to name a few. It is really odd that anybody in this area would have to travel a minimum of 6 hrs to take a table captains class.

There are several judging classes, but I have not seen any table captain classes.

watertowerbbq
05-03-2010, 08:53 PM
maybe just the old concept of manners--no one starts 'till all are served--just maybe
when you are at the supper table or at a restaurant, i agree 100%.

however, i don't think it applies at a bbq contest and here is why. when i judge, i focus on the entries. i'm not looking at other judges, talking to other judges or engaging them in any manner. head down, judging the food and moving on to the next entry in a workmanlike process. the single focus of the judge is to be at the task at hand which is to sample the meat, not on pleasantries of a social interaction. that can all take place after everyone has turned in their cards. fwiw, for all practical purposes, the time difference between judge 1 and judge 6 getting the food is very short.

benjet
05-18-2010, 01:07 AM
You do not have to wait until Judge 6 gets their samples before starting judging. You should begin judging as soon as you have YOUR last sample. Less time on the plate for all entries and more time to finish YOUR judging process as there could be only 20 minutes betwen YOUR categories.

In my table captain classes, and probably in all of them, we try to convey to the student that a table captain should not only be in control of the table, but, also, be a part of the table as a team member. They, along with the six judges, make up a table. So don't alienate, but be a part of.

Phillip

Per the 2009 KClBS Table Captain's Instructions (anyone have the 2010 edition handy?)

"The judging process for scoring Tenderness and Taste for each entry should not start until each Judge has all entry samples on their judging plate."

Thought it was interesting enough to share.

Smokesman
05-18-2010, 05:47 AM
I am a cook and a judge and have begun to wonder why the certification process for CBJ and TC aren't combined? Knowing the amount of time and energy that is invested by each and every team at a competition it is appropriate that the reps assemble the most qualified group of judges and captains. I totally agree that the TC is part of the overall team and their roll is very important - experience is important for both. That said if the certification process were combined (each judge expected to TC from time to time as part of maintaining their certification) the task of assembling enough CBJ's and TC for an event would be greatly simplified.

CaptTable
05-18-2010, 07:28 AM
benjet, you are correct that it does state that judges should not start until all judges have all samples on their plate. I've got to say that somehow I've missed that statement before. This is something I would like to question to find out the reasoning behind the statement. I will update when I get an answer. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

QN
05-18-2010, 07:54 AM
Per the 2009 KClBS Table Captain's Instructions (anyone have the 2010 edition handy?)

"The judging process for scoring Tenderness and Taste for each entry should not start until each Judge has all entry samples on their judging plate."

Thought it was interesting enough to share.

This statement appears to be in direct conflict with what is stated on the judge meeting CD that is played at every judge meeting; here is what it says...
Once all of the entries have been scored for appearance, the table captain will
then pass out the entry trays for you to take a sample. Make sure you place the
correct sample on the correct square. Once you have all of your samples on your judging plate, you may begin with the first sample by judging taste and then tenderness/texture. Once you have completely finished scoring the first entry, you may move to the second entry and so forth.

Bunny
05-18-2010, 08:00 AM
Why does judge 1 need to wait until judge 6 is finished with the last box before beginning to judge? Seems unnecessary to me.

Totally agree with you on that one. The reasoning behind "not waiting" on everyone else to have their samples all in a row at the same time is that meat has been sitting long enough. No rudeness intended but we are in there for the cookers. Once you get your plate ready, go ahead. If you sit there and wait for everyone to have their plates full before beginning, that meat sits and gets colder every minute.

As for rushing, no need. There is ample time between each category. It's sad to hear TC rushing judges. Especially the one who taps his cards at the table. Just plain rude.:roll:

And if there are very few CBJ's and very low on TC, I use them at the scoring table. Training for TC is usually done right before the contest, (not like an actual class, but we go over very important issues). As a cook, I'd rather have CBJ scoring my barbecue who's had instruction on how our procedues work than a newbie.:confused:

Bunny
KCass BBQ

CaptTable
05-18-2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks, Mark. I knew I wasn't going completely crazy!:crazy:

CivilWarBBQ
05-18-2010, 02:50 PM
It's no surprise that when the Judging CD conflicts with this Table Captain document, most people go with the Judging instructions. I've never seen this TC doc and it isn't available in the KCBS.us member downloads section, but we hear the CD every time we judge.I actually think this thread has served a great purpose by pointing out the discrepancy so that the BoD can address it and decide which way things are to be done. It's when there are gray areas that we get into trouble, so making the rule clearer will eliminate mis-interpretation and make for a more consistent judging experience.