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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 04-20-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
pop's smokin hot que
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Default Just wondering

For two years now I have read post "wondering what judges are looking for." Just wonder how many comp teams have ever judged an event. If not, how in the world do you know what you are competing against? I know I have been in both camps. After many events, I am more prepared to compete now than when I competed in the past. Do yourself a favor, take a break judge four or five events. Then you will know why you are getting the scores you are getting.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 06:25 AM   #2
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Great advice!!! Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping a new judge seated beside me (his first contest). He'd been cooking for many years but this was his first time to judge. Fortunately all the rest of the table were experienced and he got to see how serious we were about it. I think his biggest learning point was how hard it is to score the top entries. It is all about 8's and 9's and how many you can get.

I'm a cook, too and I know cooking has made me a better judge. Likewise, judging has made me a better cook. There's no substitute for knowing both worlds.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Great advice Lester! You're absolutely correct. I became a judge long before I became a competitor. I was a little surprised to learn that 50% of the class attendees actually had no real intention of judging but were there to learn and understand what they're being judged against, how, and why. Without judging and/or becoming a CBJ, competing is like driving down the road without knowing the destination.

Correspondingly, my best friend and teammate and I had barbecued many times together when we were forming the team. I talked on and on about what judges see, how they judge, etc. He didnt get it. I dont know why, but the points weren't getting through. So I had him sit in on a few comps and judge. THIS drove the points home. I guess a picture is worth 1000 words...
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Unread 04-21-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
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I judged twice. I didnt find it it very helpful at all. Presentations, flavors, tenderness were all over the place. Some of the food really bad actually. I also got sick to stomach both times. Must be all the injectable stuff cooks use. I think the best place for a new comp team to start is to take a class by one of the cook teams out there.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 09:45 AM   #5
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<------- never judged, nor taken a judging class
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Unread 04-21-2011, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledneck View Post
I judged twice. I didnt find it it very helpful at all. Presentations, flavors, tenderness were all over the place. Some of the food really bad actually. I also got sick to stomach both times. Must be all the injectable stuff cooks use. I think the best place for a new comp team to start is to take a class by one of the cook teams out there.
+1 I didn't learn anything the two times I judged either. All I learned is that some people do not take instructions and do what they want. They go in one ear and out the other. I judged as honestly as I could, but could not say the same for some of the others at my table. They could not have cared less and they were going to do it their way.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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A person certainly does not need to judge to learn what it takes to get G.C.'s or calls for that matter.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
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+1 I didn't learn anything the two times I judged either. All I learned is that some people do not take instructions and do what they want. They go in one ear and out the other. I judged as honestly as I could, but could not say the same for some of the others at my table. They could not have cared less and they were going to do it their way.
-1. I judged last year with ALL of the Team of Year contenders cooking the event. I learned a bunch!
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Unread 04-21-2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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I have judged bbq once and won't do it again. As a competitor it can be deeply frustrating to hear some of the things you hear in the judging tent regarding some peoples opinions. In turn, I also met some incredible judges that I soon found myself hoping that all judges would be like them. Instead of judging take a turn in quality sample to a team that you respect and ask them for their honest opinion. In every case I've always had an honest assessment of my food and I've often been able to try theirs. You will gain more knowledge doing that with 3 or 4 winning teams than you ever will judging.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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Now on the other hand. I did judge the oklahoma joes world brisket finals at the GAB 2 years ago. I gotta say it really makes you want to step your game after trying the best of the best.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 11:37 AM   #11
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Having cooks judge and having judges cook with a team are both important

for the improvement of competition BBQ. IMO

Thanks for this thread. It is good to hear about both the good and not good experiences. We can all learn from both.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #12
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I made it a point to take a KCBS judges class about the same time I got the competition bug mainly to use as a reference point to how other folks were cooking, flavors, presentations etc. That combined with a class with Ray (Dr.BBQ), and actually judging several events (Grill Kings, BOB, Hudson Valley, Yardley) gave me a pretty fair overview of what this crazy avocation is all about.
If you can do it, I think it is a pretty good idea.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
-1. I judged last year with ALL of the Team of Year contenders cooking the event. I learned a bunch!
I just wish you would have sat with me and heard what I heard. It took all the willpower I had to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut during the judging. I don't make a habit out of criticizing the judges for the marks we get, but if I said I learned anything of value in my judging experience, I would be lying to you. Now if I sat down and judged with all the TOY contenders I am sure it would be a different story. You are not comparing apples to apples.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #14
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I would absolutely LOVE to take a judging class, but a certain gigantic sanctioning body hardly ever has any judging classes anywhere near me!!!

Am I gonna have to organize my own???????
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Unread 04-21-2011, 05:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop's smokin hot que View Post
Then you will know why you are getting the scores you are getting.

I started competing and judging in 2003. I am at 24 KCBS events and a few others like IBCA...We have probably cooked in 35 contest in that time frame. Not sure I have taken a great deal of insite away with me on what judges are looking for as a competition team by judging...Can you elaborate more on what you think the benefits are for a team?
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