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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 10-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
Butcher BBQ
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Default Judges-Not what you expect

I have had some recent contest that I feel that the judges need to be recognized as being very good. We haven't won the contest but, we did get reserve twice and 4th once. You only hear about how the judges are all over the scale. Well, we (cooks) never get on the boards and say good job judges. I feel this summer we hit a stretch of bad judges and not really because when you realize the smallest thing has changed in your flavor profile and you change it back the score you expect come right back. WOW its not brain surgery. It was me after all. Again thanks for doing what you do and allowing us to to what we do.
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Unread 10-14-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

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Unread 10-15-2009, 07:06 AM   #3
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I agree. It's always easier to complain about them when you get those strange scores that make no sense than thank the ones that do it the right way.

Thank you judges (and please, all the good ones out there, please be at my tables this weekend!)
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Unread 10-15-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thank You,
I always try to give my very best, because I know you all do too.
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Unread 10-15-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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Not much Judge love here...
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Unread 10-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Larry, bro, we compete and judge so don't hate me half the time.
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Unread 10-15-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
Thank You,
I always try to give my very best, because I know you all do too.
ModelMaker
I think that Ed summed it up pretty well.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 06:51 AM   #8
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For the most part this year, I think the judging was "fair" to us. We didn't win anything but I'm sure thats cause we have quit found what their tastes are. There was only one contest that I can think of that I new we did better than that.
Anyway, great post BB and thank you judges for being fair with us cooks.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 06:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
Larry, bro, we compete and judge so don't hate me half the time.
Getting hated half the time is better than getting hated all the time!

I thought the starting post on this thread was fantastic and thought more would pick up on the opportunity to compliment and thank all the judges who work hard. I was surprised so few responded.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 07:16 AM   #10
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Glad to see kudos go out to judges, but don't expect much judge-love here. This
is a very cooking team centric site. Should be, that's what its here for. However,
many team members have no love for judges. Just doesn't happen...

I'm another 50/50 judge/cook guy. I can't speak for every judge, but 98% are as
honest and fair as anyone I've ever seen. Only on one occasion did I ever see a
judge screw someone, and it was in an ancillary category that she should have never
agreed to judge. Otherwise, all judges at every table somehow magically determine
the best tasting Q. Very VERY few times I've been at tables where we disagreed on
which one was best, and on those tables we had 2 fabulous entries and a few
preferred one for reasons and the others preferred the other for other reasons...
Again, all agreed both were best, just disagreed on which of the 2. Also, we talk
about this AFTER the judging has been placed/finalized. Not during.

Go figure, on the days where I've put out very good Q, I scored well. Days I didn't,
I didn't score well. Go figure...
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Unread 10-16-2009, 09:56 AM   #11
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I will have to say that the judges, for the most part, are wonderful. They come out each weekend and try their best to judge the food as objectively as possible. I don't think anyone here HATES judges but just like any portion of society you are going to have bad judges. I've heard comments from judges like, "if it has grill marks I will NEVER mark well...this is BBQ not grilling." Or how about "I never give 9's to anyone because nothing deserves a perfect score." Or how about "babybacks are cheater ribs and don't impress me I give straight 6's when I see them."

These are the ones we complain about and the ones that should be found out and expelled. I know other sanctioning bodies tract judging performance and try to "level" the tables so that every cook gets a fair shot.

I've been a helper at a number of judging classes. I have seen each one graduate people you'd really like to ask to go home and never think of judging BBQ again because you obviously don't like it. We all saw them when we took our class. The room is asked how they voted on chicken and you get a few 9's a bunch of 8's a majority of 7's a couple of 6's and then no 5's and the proctor asks "Anyone under a 5?" Yep you know it; you saw it at your class. One or two people raise their hands and basically say they just ate dog food. Then the ribs and guess who didn't like them either. The pork? Yep they hated that too oh and then the brisket. Geez you wonder if it was actually meat from the way they carry on. Unfortunately when I get good marks from most and then get that one terrible mark all I can think of is these haters and their comments. I heard one state that the pork "just tasted too much like pork". SERIOUSLY! Yeah the class laughed but this person took the pledge! I know some will say a forget that one mark its dropped anyway. Well the fact is had that person not been judging my marks might well have been better.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 10:23 AM   #12
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I've done my share of judge bashing, but it was mostly for the lack of CBJ's that failed to show up to support some of the events in the PNW.
We cooked a few first year events with big payouts and great teams and not enough trained judges to go around.
I always wondered if it worked in our favor or not? We got 180's in Chicken and Ribs, and had a very successful season, so I'm not complaining.
When I judge, I don't feel the love, but I do take it as seriously as I'll cook.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip View Post
I will have to say that the judges, for the most part, are wonderful. They come out each weekend and try their best to judge the food as objectively as possible. I don't think anyone here HATES judges but just like any portion of society you are going to have bad judges. I've heard comments from judges like, "if it has grill marks I will NEVER mark well...this is BBQ not grilling." Or how about "I never give 9's to anyone because nothing deserves a perfect score." Or how about "babybacks are cheater ribs and don't impress me I give straight 6's when I see them."

These are the ones we complain about and the ones that should be found out and expelled. I know other sanctioning bodies tract judging performance and try to "level" the tables so that every cook gets a fair shot.

I've been a helper at a number of judging classes. I have seen each one graduate people you'd really like to ask to go home and never think of judging BBQ again because you obviously don't like it. We all saw them when we took our class. The room is asked how they voted on chicken and you get a few 9's a bunch of 8's a majority of 7's a couple of 6's and then no 5's and the proctor asks "Anyone under a 5?" Yep you know it; you saw it at your class. One or two people raise their hands and basically say they just ate dog food. Then the ribs and guess who didn't like them either. The pork? Yep they hated that too oh and then the brisket. Geez you wonder if it was actually meat from the way they carry on. Unfortunately when I get good marks from most and then get that one terrible mark all I can think of is these haters and their comments. I heard one state that the pork "just tasted too much like pork". SERIOUSLY! Yeah the class laughed but this person took the pledge! I know some will say a forget that one mark its dropped anyway. Well the fact is had that person not been judging my marks might well have been better.
From a judges perspective, I couldn't agree with you more. There are just
some who shouldn't. This is in most cooking competitions, BTW (we also
compete in chili cookoffs (CASI), and see the same crapola. Why on
earth someone who doesn't like pork BBQ, or brisket, or chili, or whatever
would go judge this is just beyond me. In my example above, the lady
was judging (and she was certified for a LONG time) an ancillary chili
contest; open chili, most anything goes. Someone presented a great
tasting chili that was made with black beans in it. I'm not here to debate
whether this fits your or my definition of chili. However, she thought it
looked like (these are her words exactly) deer poop, and wouldn't touch
it. Happens that on this day, that was easily in the top 2 chilis, but it
placed at the bottom due to her score. Why do this (judge) if you're
not fully prepared to JUDGE is just beyond me. But, they're there...
I personally ran into an occasion where I got all 8's and 9's on a chili,
then one lady gave me a 1. Yes, a 1. 10 people judging, I get 5 8's,
4 9's, and a 1. How on earth does this happen? Ok, she doesn't like
cumin; I get it. But a 1?..... Anyway.....

Otherwise, most judges are as impartial as anyone can be, and I for
one really appreciate it.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #14
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I think that it is extremely important to continually emphasize that apocryphal stories of horrible judges and judging experiences are anecdotal at best.

It strikes me as very odd that while I hear stories more often than I would like about judges that are less than optimal, I never heard the reciprocal. I am in fairly regular contact with many, many judges. Although a judge will certainly discuss the food that they have judged, I have never heard them speak negatively about a team. I have never heard any derision, any attempt to lessening of the importance of their contribution, any degradation of the energy they put in or any claim that teams don't appreciate what judges go through.

For the upcoming Battle of the BBQ Brethren, there are numerous judges who are traveling hundreds of miles, paying for gas/tolls and staying in hotels in order to participate in the event. These are clearly not people who 'just want a free lunch'. They are passionate about our hobby and deserve a seat at the table (no pun intended).

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Unread 10-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
I think that it is extremely important to continually emphasize that apocryphal stories of horrible judges and judging experiences are anecdotal at best.
In my case I have to disagree with your comments. Since I was privy to a number of classes given for judges and saw the results in each class I think a viable conclusion can be drawn from it. Had I only commented on what I saw on my sheets then yes it could be considered anecdotal evidence. This is why a team should know which table they hit on all categories and be able to converse with others to see who was where and what happened. Other sanctioning bodies do this without being asked. A bad judge is a bad judge and is just like the rotten apple when it comes to the preceived integrity of the other judges.



Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
For the upcoming Battle of the BBQ Brethren, there are numerous judges who are traveling hundreds of miles, paying for gas/tolls and staying in hotels in order to participate in the event. These are clearly not people who 'just want a free lunch'. They are passionate about our hobby and deserve a seat at the table (no pun intended).

Eric
Monetary outlay and distance of destination really aren't a litmus test for integrity. I welcome them all equally and thankful they are willing to participate but will not offer them a free pass because they drove for a while.
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