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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 06-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
Wampus
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Default Do boxes ever really get switched?

Because this past weekend really made us wonder.


I'm not just whining because we got our arse handed to us.
I know people say it all the time but we really don't know that the fark happened.
Our stuff was good.
Last weekend, we won brisket.
Did EXACTLY the same thing this weekend. Bad scores. D.A.L.

NEVER have we scored DAL in any category. Now I'm not saying we can't just have a bad week or a "not so good" brisket. But to go from winning to DAL with like a 144.00 score in 1 week?

Another thing that had us wondering was that we got a comment card with our ribs that said "The ribs were very vinegary." Only.....we don't use ANY vinegar in our rib recipe. None. Nada. Never had a comment or even a thought about vinegar in our flavor profile for ribs.

Pork? Absolutely one of the best pork cooks we've ever had. Taste was amazing and meat was perfectly cooked. We overshot last weekend a bit, but this stuff was flat out good.
Scored 25th out of 29.



As I said, I'm not just pissing and moaning. Seriously. We take the scores we get. Whatever.

But, this was just flat out ODD. At what point do you start really wondering if something was switched up? Even if we did think that was a possibility.....what then?


Just thought I'd run it by y'all.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Not all reps are created equal. After the last BOD meeting, we now have 2 that we will never compete under.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Yes boxes get switched during the renumbering process, but it's a pretty rare occurrence and in the couple of times I've seen it happen it always gets caught and corrected. It's a lot more common to see comment cards go to the wrong team.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:12 AM   #4
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It does make you wonder, doesn't it? The judges in Davenport handed us our asses in a clamshell this weekend, too, and the scores didn't make sense to us, either. Honestly, our food wasn't the best that we've ever turned in, but it wasn't as bad as the judges thought it was, and that isn't just the cook in me talking.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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I suppose that mix ups could happen, but I think due care is being taken to avoid this.

KCBS Reps can and do audit scores if something seems amiss. Within the last couple of years, contests I have been at are looking up team numbers at turn in, and telling the person doing the turn what the team name is - just to verify that it's right. At the contests I attend, they check which tables your boxes have gone to, and try not to send any team's turn in a given table more than once. Sometimes the boxes are mixed up so they don't go to the table in the order that they were turned in. I don't know if all of these things are standard KCBS practice, but most of the northeast reps are doing these things as a practice.

It seems that a lot of effort is being made to ensure that turn ins are fair to the teams. I think, from what I see the few times I have judged, is that the process is pretty reasonably managed.

It's most likely the judge didn't correctly describe the flavor, but didn't like something about it. Maybe there was not vinegar, but had that taste. Judges will equate a taste with an ingredient. It was probably too tangy or not enough sweet for their taste.

For example, a common complaint from teams is getting a comment card that says the food had a "lighter fluid" taste when the team didn't use lighter fluid. It's probably a case of the judge describing the flavor incorrectly vs. a mix up. If you smolder a wood fire you can get creosote on the surface of the meat which will impart a lighter fluid taste to it and earn you a "lighter fluid" comment card.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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I've talked to a few judges and asked about the numbering process and how all that works, so I know that they take great care to make sure thes mix ups don't happen and I'm not even thinking that it really DID happen, but it made us wonder is all.

Again, it's not like I'm just wondering about fluxuating scores from one contest to another. I get that judges tastes are different and there are so many variables that can affect a box once it leaves our hands, but it's just so extreme of a score for us that we've never had. We've been NOTHING if not consistent this and last year. We just have it down now. Some weeks are better than others, sure, but from 1st to DAL?

We've been running pretty close to top 50 on TOY scores, or at least top 100 for all categories. That shows consistency. Every week things end up pretty much the same for us, at least score wise. Not always "placement", but that's expected to a degree I think.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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I'm in the same boat as you after this past weekend. My chicken average on the year has been 169. This past weekend I cooked really good chicken and got a 147. At this contest they did not hand out score sheets at all so I have nothing to go off of. How would someone go about having this looked into, or is it something that will never go anywhere so why bother?
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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All I'm sayin is we got four 1st briskest, two 2nds, and 1 3rd this year but our second to last comp where the IBCA president won and we got DAL also it makes you wonder alot. Not whining either but we could not find our brisket anywhere on the judging tables afterwards, but there was one empty box with no knife cut marks in the foil indicating it was not judged and the juice where the meat touched the foil tasted just like mine. There were some really sorry briskets in the finals table so you know it's like WTF! I have heard about boxes going out the back door several times. There is no proof but people just don't dream up this kind of stuff. I have no doubt that it happens. We just don't walk up our boxes anymore. Either my mom, sister or BIL do it, problem solved.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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I'm clueless about those scores Wampus. I'm not whining like a little school girl, but. There's no way in he•• that we scored that bad. We knew our chicken wasn't perfect but the other 3. Completely clueless. Might be time to hang it up for me!!
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post

But, this was just flat out ODD. At what point do you start really wondering if something was switched up? Even if we did think that was a possibility.....what then?


Just thought I'd run it by y'all.
I'm assuming this was a KCBS event? If so and you really think you got switched out you can go to the rep and ask to see your box since they save them. They will go through and pull your empty box with the blind number still on it then peel it off in front of you to make sure that the original team number underneath is yours. I don't know what happens if it isn't your original number since every time I've seen it done the numbers have been correct.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Sometimes I wish my box had been switched!


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!"
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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We actually thought the same thing at Sams club the first year. We had been top 6 or 7 in chicken at every event that year and finished second to last in Chicken and DAL overall. The thought crossed my mind briefly but I've tried to dismiss it as only a bad cook. That's the kind of thing that can get in your head and make you start doubting the whole judging process and that is no good.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzcardz View Post
Sometimes I wish my box had been switched!


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!"
We have turned in some junky ribs that were super salty smoke ring all the way through falling apart sloppy, and walked 1st. Even I thought you gotta be joking me!
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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzcardz View Post
Sometimes I wish my box had been switched!


And I've yet to hear anyone ask "What the heck happened? There's no way our entry should have been in the top five!"
Apparently you weren't at Green Lane when we took first in brisket
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Unread 06-24-2013, 12:04 PM   #15
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Kempis, I got a comment card back that said 'brisket tastes like salmon', we still took a 3rd, but, apparently, one judge felt we had cooked it with some salmon. That cooker specifically never saw fish, as it was for pork and beef. Who knows sometimes.
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