Originally Posted by Balls Casten
and I hope the judges that hand out high scores stand out as well.
Aren't many of those in New England
A team from here goes down south, and it adds 20-30 points to your score.
I really do like the new system, gives us a lot of good feedback. They also handed the teams a note saying that comment cards were not integrated with the new software, and would (as least temporarily) stop being used. (Our rep told us the new numbering scheme made it harder to track the comment cards.) I do like the cards, but they don't get used often enough, and the new scoring system does give you a lot of useful information, so it's not a bad trade off. I wouldn't mind seeing them come back, but I suspect KCBS wanted to drop them anyway. I'm sure that they could have figured out how to track the cards if they wanted to.
Now the question is: is this information also going to be used to evaluate judge's performance?
Judges that, for example, give everyone a 7 all the time (or a 9) will be exposed here. Maybe those judges need to attend the CBJ course again. Mike from Lakeside is now retired from BBQ and making beer. He tells me that beer judges have to pass a certification exam, one that is quite difficult. Maybe a "lite" version of that asking questions about the KCBS rules, even an online test taken periodically, would be a good thing. Taste is subjective, but people mark down for things they shouldn't like the number of pieces (over 6), smoke ring, meat temp - a periodic validation that people understand the rules wouldn't be a bad thing.
One thing we heard in Troy from a judge, after the turns ins. They heard another judge say they mark down for less than 8 pieces of meat, because they want the "table captains to have a choice too." I'm sorry, but that is a little over the top for me. 6 pieces is the requirement. I judged this contest last year, and spoke directly to a judge that was marking down for 6 pieces. I explained that for chicken we liked to include the biggest, meatiest pieces of chicken we could find to give the judges the most flavor, and if we find what we want, we can't fit more than 6 in the box. We prep more pieces, and it doesn't mean we don't have more that are turn in quality, but we can only fit six unless they want us to do the little trimmed balls 'o chicken thing. THAT judge, at least, later told me she hadn't thought of it that way and now no longer marks down for that.
Anyway, the now scoring system could be used to detect "problem judges", will be interesting to see what happens with it.