Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ
Close, but that's not the procedure we use in Georgia.
1) Numbers are changed first. Usually multiple people are involved to avoid delays and double check for errors.
2) Turn-in personnel sort the boxes into the trays, referring to the checkoff list the Table Captain brought back after the last category to avoid placing the any box number on a table twice. (If it's the first category, boxes are sorted randomly.)
3) TC retrieves their tray along with the checkoff list. They cross off each box in the tray from the list. If any repeats are encountered, they confer with the Rep to see if a swap is warranted. (sometimes due to low team counts, etc. a repeat is unavoidable)
4) TC presents the boxes to judges for scoring.
5) When all score cards are turned in to the Rep, TC returns the tray with the checkoff list to the turn-in table for the next category.
In all the contests I have judged or TC'ed the TC's receive the boxes and check to make sure that their table has not received a box from that team before. I have only heard of one pair of reps that do the duplicate checking/re-ordering.
I usually do one or two contests a month. I will admit that even though I try to maintain consistent standards, my judging can vary from contest to contest. Some contests I may judge "harder" than others depending on my mood. Judging for appearance and tenderness allow for the most objectiveness. Does a box look good, is the meat presented neatly, does the rib meat come off the bone cleanly, can you pull the brisket apart or is it a rubber band, is the pork mushy, etc. etc. Taste is almost purely subjective. How can you train someone what good BBQ should taste like? If you can come up with a consensus about what good BBQ should taste like I'll do my best to apply it when I judge.