Originally Posted by mossyoak
For those of you who have taken these classes, are the worth the money?
Yes, I think that the class is worth the money. That being said, the class will only give you an overview of the rules & the judging process.
Your real learning will start at your first contest after you've finished scoring the chickie, or what ever else might be the first catagory that day. Then you will hear the other judges at your table talk quietly
amongst themselves about what you have just tasted: "What did you think about #2 ..... #4 tasted salty and raw ..... #3 was one of the best that I've ever had ....." and so on. Listen to what the others are saying. You might dissagree but you will have some idea of how the other judges scored each entry & why.
For my first 4 or 5 contests I told my Table Captain that I was a new judge & asked if he / she would keep an eye on my scores & let me know if I was way off from the other judges. I didn't want to be giving 6s & 7s if the others were giving 8s & 9s. Or vice versa.
Jump in there & judge a few comps. Have fun. Come out to a few comps on Friday evening, walk up to a team & tell them that you're a new judge who wants to learn all that you can about BBQ.
95% of the teams that I know will tell you to come on in, sit down, have a beer & ask away.