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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 10-19-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
Bigmista
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Default Kinda pissed about new judges

Viejas 2008 was the biggest contest ever in the state of California. They had a judges class on Friday. Most of the people in that class ended up as judges in this historic contest. 45% of the judges were brand new this was their first contest. TOY, ROY and a $6500.00 GC were on the line, this is the last contest of the season for us and this rookies are giving out 3's in taste and 4's in tenderness.

Do you think rookies should be allowed to cut their teeth in big contests with so much on the line when they really have no concept of what goes into creating competitions BBQ?
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Unread 10-19-2008, 12:25 PM   #2
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Similar thing happened the last time we competed in Modesto. There was a judging class the day before and many of the judges were from the class. Scores that weekend were all over the place. Maybe things would have worked out the same with all seasoned judging, maybe not. But the point is that it seems to be unfair to some folks.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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I was in the top 10 in brisket every contest I cooked in this year. I get to this contest and I get a 4 and 5's in tenderness? I've never made a brisket that tough in my life!

Is a 4 "it takes two wild horses to pull it apart" or "better break out the chop saw"?
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Unread 10-19-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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What were the alternatives? Did they have experienced judges that they were turning away?

Sometimes you have to play the hand that you are dealt. If the organizers didn't have other judges to fill the ranks then their options were limited.

On the other hand, if they withheld certain spots in order to have an incentive for people to take the judging class and used those reserved spots for brand new judges at the expense of more experienced people, that's a problem.

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Unread 10-19-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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New judges tend to differentiate more - they're trying to reward the entries that really stood out in their minds, or fit the criteria they were taught in class. It makes for more varying scores, but a 9 is still a 9...

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Unread 10-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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Mista - I understand where you are coming from but I don't think it's fair to point fingers at the judges.

Someone's BBQ was good enough to get lots of 8's & 9's and were worthy of GC and were evaluated by the same pool of judges. If anything, blame the organizers for the inability to recruit enough experienced judges and still accept the # of teams they did for a big contest, or for holding a class immediately before the contest etc.

I think there are lots of contests like this especially in growing areas.. Northeast is somewhat like this as well. I could only guess how many inexperienced judges were judging the AR Open with 500 teams.

Don't stress it.. Hopefully you had fun and you nail another 10 ten in your first contest for 2009.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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I recently attended an FBA judges seminar and also judged a competition (though it was a funcook) the following day. I don't know how your scoring system works but if you give anything below a six in FBA there has to be something really, really bad wrong...you even have to inform the head judge as to why you scored that low. I'm sure I'll take some heat on this but my stance is that no - rookie judges are probably not the best to judge a comp. of that stature. Given- you can get a low score from a veteran judge just as easy as a rookie but from a rookie standpoint I can tell you that unless a judge is experienced and has actually competed in a contest or tried to cook competition quality BBQ at home they have absolutely no idea the kind of time and preparation that goes into what's in those turn in boxes. Appearance is one thing but tenderness is something that is mastered by many hours of practice! I recently got a new smoker and started trying to cook the four different categories at home. I thought I was a pretty decent cook but my stuff is crap compared to the food I sampled judging my first event, which makes me appreciate a good or great entry even more now! just my 2 cents...
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Unread 10-19-2008, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Do you think rookies should be allowed to cut their teeth in big contests with so much on the line when they really have no concept of what goes into creating competitions BBQ?
I don't think its a bad thing to have rookie judges as long as the reps try to keep the same number of rookies at each table.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warfrat View Post
I can tell you that unless a judge is experienced and has actually competed in a contest or tried to cook competition quality BBQ at home they have absolutely no idea the kind of time and preparation that goes into what's in those turn in boxes.
Until a sanctioning body includes a new evaluation category of 'Amount of Effort' for judging, how much time and prep that goes into a teams food is irrelevant for the purposes of scoring.

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Unread 10-19-2008, 03:04 PM   #10
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I understand your pain Neil. Our Pork was off the charts......and we hit that wrong table and wound up 37th. Two judges at that table hit us hard while the other 4 loved it. It kept us out of the big money for sure. Oh well, that's the way this game goes....but I do feel your pain.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
Until a sanctioning body includes a new evaluation category of 'Amount of Effort' for judging, how much time and prep that goes into a teams food is irrelevant for the purposes of scoring.

Eric
What I mean is that you can't just run out to the local grocery store get some meat throw it on the grill and turn out quality comp. BBQ. (at least I can't anyways) If that's the only type of BBQ a rookie judge has ever had, they don't really have a lot to compare to. I'm sure some teams have more elaborate prep and cooking efforts than others and I'm not saying that their "effort" is relevant to how good or bad the results are. Also, cooking on a time schedule where everything has to be turned in at certain times and look,taste and feel are at their best is different than a Sat.afternoon cook for a few buddies in the backyard and thus takes a little more effort in the "attention to detail" department. BTW- no offense intended to rookie judges (I'm one of them)
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Unread 10-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #12
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So "big" contests deserve "better" judging??????

First off lots of contests each year have a judging class on Thursday evening and those folks get to judge Saturday. That's how it usually works.

Second what 's the difference from a small 30 team contest and a "big" one that the big one should have different judges? Be thankful that they had some training and were not dragged in off the midway at the fair or some other scenario.

Last thing - how do you know the "new" judges gave out the 4's? Maybe it was a P.O.'d long time judge. You're making an assumption here and we all know what an assumption.

I can't believe I just defended judging. For the record more training is needed as is a compulsory 1 hour review before every contest. But nobody at the KCBS agrees with me so I guess I'm in the minority.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
So "big" contests deserve "better" judging??????
Yes I believe their should be more experienced judging at bigger contests. They don't send rookie refs to the Superbowl or the NBA Championship because there is too much at stake to leave a decision up to someon with no experience.
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Unread 10-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Yes I believe their should be more experienced judging at bigger contests. They don't send rookie refs to the Superbowl or the NBA Championship because there is too much at stake to leave a decision up to someon with no experience.
Well, it is the system you signed up to compete under, and I'd love to hear your proposal for a fix...
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Unread 10-19-2008, 05:03 PM   #15
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Hey guys I think Mista needs a hug

Last edited by Sledneck; 02-27-2009 at 09:45 AM..
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