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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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Old 07-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
Smoke'n Ice
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Default A different perspective on the new “Score Program.”

Early on, we had a 3 point scoring system with the judges being told to start at 9 and grade down. Because of concern from cooks and judges that it was unfair not to use the full point system, the BOD implemented a different start point and assigned definitions to each of the numbers. Initially, this had the desired effect of moving more toward a 5 point system.

Gradually, the system, with seasoned CBJ’s, has shifted back to a 3 point system because of places like this board and others that stigmatized the use of a number below 7 as unfair to our “great” bbq turn-in.

The new “score system” points out the judge that use a full 9 point system because they don’t “know” better, and the experienced judge who only use a 3 point system. The real question is “Which one really needs to be educated?”

I know that my bbq turn-in’s do not always deserve a 7-8-9 and am surprised at times when I get them. I place more faith in the new or VIP judge who gives an honest opinion than the seasoned judge who gives me a 9 for dog food.

How do I know which was which at a table? It is simple, look at your old score cards and you can spot the newbie or VIP vs the experienced as the former used a full 5 point system. The new “Score Card” will make this even more obvious to everyone and allow the reps to keep the “seasoned” judges from congregating together based on historical information and the rep can EMPHSIS the point system, starting point and definition and encourage the seasoned judges to consider it as well.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Come to the northeast, there is more than a 3 point system used. In fact at some contests it's not that uncommon to have a 6 somewhere in the score and still finish in the top 3. If you are in the top 3, you are certainly not average.

I also don't think that the food that experienced cooks turn in is average and most of the time it is going to be a 7, 8 or 9. I also think that the margin of difference between an 8 & 9 most of the time is very very small and its not hard to just over or under shoot you meats and they end up as a 7.

All in all I think the judging is much more accurate then we give it credit for and even if we don't want to admit it, there are lots of cooks out there deserving 7's, 8's & 9's. I also think we don't really tend to hear for the folks that the get 5, 6 & 7's consistently. I just don't think those are the people spending as much time on BBQ forums as the 7,8,9 crowd and they also just don't want to talk about it as much.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:04 AM   #3
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I agree with you on the lack of a full scale being used and would fully support the push to get the full scale used.

I guess I don't see that this score reporting impacts that one way or another, however.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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This goes beyond the scoring system. It is really about judge training and re-training. My wife and I were certified by the same instructor, but two years apart, and the way that the scoring system was described was completely different. Without re-training or recertification for judges there is no consistency.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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I have always believed that a judge who only uses 7, 8 or 9 is just as dangerous as a judge who only uses 5, 6 or 7.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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i'd have to agree with sean in regards to the northeast. i know for a fact that judges here are not afraid one bit to hand out 5 and 6's for food that i would consider to be pretty good(not even mine mind you).
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
i'd have to agree with sean in regards to the northeast. i know for a fact that judges here are not afraid one bit to hand out 5 and 6's for food that i would consider to be pretty good(not even mine mind you).
Regional differences are also an issue. Honestly, I've seen pictures of boxes from other regions of the country that were category winners or even 180s that would even get a 6 in appearance around here. But, as long as there is consistency within a single competition, that doesn't matter as much to me. I'll probably never cook a competition in the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest, so comparing the scores there to the scores in the midwest doesn't really do much for me. But, it may to teams who travel the country.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I agree with you on the lack of a full scale being used and would fully support the push to get the full scale used.
So are you saying there should be more 3's, 4's and 5's?
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:31 PM   #9
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We just competed in troy comp and scoring was all over the place.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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In the upper midwest it is not uncommon for presentation to see plenty of 6's and 7's and most likely you will be under 14 total 9's out of 24 presentation scores. When I went down to Gadsden, AL, I got 21 total 9's in appearance which is unheard of up here.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
i'd have to agree with sean in regards to the northeast. i know for a fact that judges here are not afraid one bit to hand out 5 and 6's for food that i would consider to be pretty good(not even mine mind you).
That's a no chitter! @ Lake Placid I know on cow the first three judges gave me 989, 855, 999 with the other 3 somewhere in between. I did get a comment card for 755. The thing that was disturbing is the judge wrote 755 on the coment card and I didn't have a 755 on my score sheet. I had an 855. Did the judge write the wrong score on the comment card? Or did the wrong numbers get entered?
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlebrake View Post
So are you saying there should be more 3's, 4's and 5's?
Bit of a leap, I'd say. I would, however, encourage full scale use. If 6 is the, mid point, that should be the score for the average entry. Right now are you sure the 8 is just OK, or is it really exceptional? Depends on the judge and you still really don't know that under this new system.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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IMHO as soon as a judge has judged enough BBQ that his or her standard for what is good BBQ goes up more than a little, that judge needs to either stop judging, or take a long break from it.

Some cooks complain about judges being taken from the general public at IBCA comps because most folks don't really know what good BBQ even is, so they end up being too generous with their scores. I think its just as bad to have judges who have judged so much that they consider themselves a connoisseur of what BBQ should be.

Now I have no doubt that there are folks who could judge 40 contests per year and never let it affect their standards, but there are many who would.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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How often do you look at the COMPLETE list of competitors at a contest and their scores? You will see PLENTY of scores in the 140s, 150s and low 160s, MEANING that judges are giving scores lower than just 7-8-9.


As a judge, it seems that MOST of what I get at the table is at least above average and better!
Maybe I'm just lucky to be judging great teams, but believe me, I've had below average (and worse) barbecue and I know the difference! I've only been judging for 5+ years (60+ contests), but I've eaten and reviewed over 500 Q-joints in the USA. Generally speaking, competition barbecue is at least above average compared to barbecue in general.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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Maybe the "Average" score should NOT be "6", but should be "4". That way you would have only 3 scores "below average" or worse, and 5 scores "above average" or better. Would truly seperate the scoring spread a bit more.
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