Originally Posted by Bourbon Barrel BBQ
As much as I love the feedback I see this as creating a serious amount of complaints to reps and organizers. Its like eating at a real dive of a restaurant. Sometimes you just don't want to see whats going on behind the scenes. Im hoping for the best though.
Many of us with years and years of experience in cookoffs (not just BBQ) have known this and some of us have preached and tried to inform teams of this. There is a luck factor involved. Even if you train and train and get very well "educated" judges, group a few together with the same tendencies and same biases (we all have them; we're human) and the same types of preferences, and what you'll get are "good" tables and "bad" tables. It happens. I'm sure there's some scientific law here that applies.
For this reason, MANY sanctioning bodies force tables to change judges (mix up the mix) every category. You'll still end up with good and bad tables, but they've shifted and mixed.
There's still the luck of who else's BBQ landed on your table. Trust me, even if you judge each on their own merits, a judge, after tasting 3 or 4 fairly average or below average entries gets one good one, watch that score. It'll go WAY up. Deserved that high? Possibly; possibly not. Same on the other side, if yours is 4th in their tasting and they've had 3 in front of you that were off-the-chart awesome and yours is then very good too, the odds of getting that perfect score are fairly low.
It happens. We're dealing with humans.
For these reasons, many/most seasoned competitors will counsel new competitors to not read too much into any 1 competition scores, and dont change recipes, etc. until you've had 3 or 4 or 5 competitions saying the same thing. THEN and only then should you consider making changes.
Kudos to KCBS for showing this (like many others have done for a while).