Guess I could add a bit more.
My table had a great Table Captain and 4 judges with varied levels of experience, plus me and one other NEWBIE.
I am fortunate to have many years as an evaluator and was very comfortable in this role for BBQ. Evaluation is supposed to be a matter of taking the rules and the guidance ,looking at the "situation" with no pre-conceived notions, and then rendering judgement. I was careful to avoid comparing the meat prepared by DF or me, at keast until after the score was entered.
I really wish I could say all the Judges did the same. All but one at my table seemed to be objective and really "think it thru". Unfortunatley, on Judge was there to fill the leftover bag and wanted lots of sauce on everything. That judge thought that meat the consistency of mashed potatoes was perfect. The other new judge was still caught in the excitement of "real BBQ" and gave mostly 9's and 10's.
Overall, I feel the scoring was "creative" to the high side all around. I do think the best got scored as such most of the time. But, on the other end of the scale, the scores given were really high. But, our scoring system and the guidance given to new judges encourages high scores, so I guess it works for the region.
As it has been said often here, the judging remains a crapshoot. It would be a lot less of one if the judges were able to follow the guidlines. It will always be subjective, but there are bounds to how far we roam with personal preferences.
DF and I worked with a only 10 of the 30 Judges there and my experience with this one judge was probably unique to the room.
Also--someone down here decided that a little vinegar injection was good. A couple of other teams decided a bunch of vinegar must be better. HINT- if you open the box and vinegar burns your eyes, ya probably are using too much. 2 of our brisket boxes were this way and downgraded "way down" into the 8's
"Flirtin' with Disaster" BBQ Team (RETIRED)
FBA and KCBS Cook and Judge.
Former owner of a WSM, a Smokey Joe, a Charbroil Commercial gasser (junk), the legendary "StudeDera", a Fast Eddy PG500, and Sherman.
Now cooking with a Yoder YS640
Proud Pellet guy cooking on real wood.