Personally, I always give a comment card on anything 6 or below, and even sometimes on a 7 if I have time.
Judges DO NOT get 5 minutes per sample as indicated above!!! It is common to see a table not get their boxes until the first table is almost done scoring.
Usually judges get about 1-2 minutes to: pick up a sample, pull all the parsley off so it doesn't effect the taste, bite, think/chew, bite again on a different side of the thigh/rib or a different type of meat in the same box, wipe off their hands and mouths, write down their scores, eat a small piece of cracker and take a drink of water before starting over again with the next sample. Believe it or not (cooks), judges don't have 5 minutes for each sample!
I FIRMLY believe that judging could be improved immensely by having the judges write down on the score cards WHY they gave each sample the score they did. This would be for EACH and EVERY entry! Of course, this means that turn-in times would need to be extended to at least 45 minutes between instead of 30. But would be actual useful information for the teams and would make the judges think more about the score and why they gave what they did.
CMJ - KCBS & Carolina BBQ League (NCBBQA)
CBJ - MBN, NCBS, NCPC, & SBN
CTC - KCBS
Pitmaster and chef - "4 Lil' Pigs" Competition BBQ Team
Author of "A 'Q' Review"
Lang Smoker, BDS, & Holland "Epic"