This is the first time I have seen this thread and as I have been reading through the posts I think this topic is great. I am not a judge but do compete. I have not had this issue come up so I have never even thought about it but as I was reading I have to agree with Dr BBQ's first post on the second page. Obviously double blind judging is there to eliminate judges from knowing who's entries are who's. This should permanently and forever eliminate anyone's complaining if a judge is hanging out with any one team no matter what the circumstances. I see Ray's point about Poobah cooking prime rib in one of our guys tents and think it was a very classy call to make just getting them to take a look at what was going on. We all know that it's very difficult to realize that you may be doing something stupid when you obviously don't have it in your head that you are. But I will say that although these competitions are expensive and time consuming and a lot of us take this sport very seriously, there is a reason we all do this. I don't even think it's really all about BBQ. It's the comraderie! Where else can you go and drink beer with your best friends, hang out all night without the wives nagging you, compete in something you love with the passion that makes life grand? In my opinion if you take away the hanging out or comraderie the sport dies, period! Again I see the gray area and think this topic is fantastic but bbq cooks are judges and vice versa so the same people who compete with their friends, judge their friends and so on. Forbid that friendship and you will end up with no one wanting to judge, thus no competition. Make judging triple blind and blindfold the damn judges lol cause I'm hanging out with my bbq brothers until the sun comes up Saturday morning. At that time I will clink my coffe cup with my friends and bid them farewell and good luck cause I have a job to do and that job is to find the best bbq cooks in the world, no matter if they are my brothers or not. This is the way it should be. Use your farking head, get out of the tent when Saturday rolls around, don't touch the pit Friday night, go around and wish all the teams good luck cause even though they may not be a member of our site we are all in fact brothers in barbecue. Some of us are just smarter than others and know to hang with the cool crowd.