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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 12-21-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
QansasjayhawQ
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Default Table Captain Questions

I've been eyeballing the Table Captain Certification class.

I was a table captain at my second competition because there weren't enough judges. I didn't think that was right - but the contest rep coached me pretty well and stayed close by just in case I needed a hand.

Ever since then, I've had a lot of table captains and I can say that there are poor, better, good and best table captains.

What are some of the things that you experienced table captains remind your judges about before they start the process of judging samples?

One of my pet peeves is when judges are in a hurry and only give samples enough time in their mouths so they can swallow it.

Some of the regular judges and myself have started waiting until the last judge has placed the last sample on their plate to begin judging. It doesn't take long for the new judges to catch on that this isn't a race.

It seems that some coaching from the table captains could help a lot in many scenarios like this.

What do you do when you table captain? What are the points you make sure to emphasize to your judges?
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Unread 12-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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Since you and I had a good discussion on judging parity, I may as well add my two cents to your table captain discussion.

I'm certified as a table captain, doing about 7-8 comps as just a table captain and about 5-6 more as table captain/judge. Seems table captains and judges can both be in short supply at some comps.

My main concerns:
I usually start my pre-turn in time briefing by asking the experience level of my judges if I haven't judged with any of them or table captained them. This way I can monitor any less experienced judge.

I then stress to take their time, evaluate and score honestly as the cooking teams have a lot invested to be here.

In the same area of discussion, I move to the comment slips and reiterate the Rep's briefing on turning them in on a score of 5 or less, usually adding that the teams deserve to know why.

Usually, I end with a comment about the 6 judges being a family for the next 2 hours, and that I want all the judges to wait patiently until they each have the 6 samples on their placemats. If I see there are no problems (rule violations, etc.), I will tell them to begin tasting and scoring.

There are other minor concerns and many stories to tell, but I've spent my two cents.
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Unread 12-21-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Good points and I agree on getting judges to slow down. I ask two things before serving the trays. First, absolutely no talking until I give the signal that all score sheets have been turned in. Second is your point about asking them to wait until everyone is served. I really try to help new judges with tips about scoring after each category. I don't tell them they are wrong but I give them a general idea of what the average scores were. Most of the new judges seem to appreciate general tips as long as they are discussed on a 1 to 1 basis. Looking forward to the upcoming year.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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Hi All,

Out here in CA, if one wants to judge several events in a year, we need to travel long distances. In my case, the closest event was about 20 miles and all other were over 100 and up to 500 miles away (not counting a trip to a UT event). So, we see a lot of the same dedicated judges and table captains at the same events.
I for one, do not like a preachy TC. One who is constantly trying to tell us how good they are and how or what we should be looking for. As everyone continues to say, the best cooks always rise to the top regardless of the judges. I try to avoid those I recognize by waiting to see what table they sit at.
I do appreciate a TC who is not in a hurry when passing the boxes around for viewing and who monitors judges to make sure they are scoring each sample as it is judged and not waiting to compare samples. At larger contests, I also like to see a TC be prompt and waiting at the turn-in area so their judges are not rushed when the next category is ready.

Benny

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Unread 12-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Why would I want to be a table captain?

There are some perks that people might not think about:

1. You might get accepted at a contest with a long list of judge applications but no table captains applying.

2. There are people who want to enjoy the "spirit of the competition" but don't want to cook or judge.

3. There are people who can't judge.
a. don't like BBQ (God forbid)
b. food allergies
c. don't like chicken, or pork, or beef
d. can't eat the amount of food needed to judge.
e. spouse is on a cooking team at this comp. (KCBS rule)
f. on a cooking team at the comp, but not cooking themself. (KCBS rule)
g. spouse makes the trip to the comp with mate who judges, wants to bond with him/her but does not want to go through the judging class.

4. Table captains get to eat at the grazing table.

Relative to #3, before October of this year, KCBS required prospective table captains to be certified judges. A rule change was made to accomodate the people in this situation. Class fees must be paid but you become a member of KCBS if you already aren't a member.

I know several people who love to just table captain. It's a win/win situation for KCBS reps who don't have to look so hard for table captains and for the people involved in #3.

Think about it.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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Falcon -

Those are good points. One thing I would wonder about is table captains that have less than ten competitions judging under their belt. Sometimes the rookie judges are looking for clues as to what they should be doing and when the table captain has fewer competitions under their belt than the judge - well, that's not a good situation. I relied on the experience of the other judges who did NOT jump up and volunteer to get through, but I feel that if a person is going to table captain, they need to have at least ten competitions judging before they captain a table.

davidh -
No matter if it's in judging BBQ or selling shoes at Walmart - people who are full of themselves are always less than palatable.
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Unread 12-23-2009, 07:19 AM   #7
Falcon 83
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Relative to the required comps to become a table captain, a call to KCBS will be required for this answer. I have heard varied requirements, but no matter what the number is, in my opinion, its still better to have a certified judge with little experience than a "guest" table captain.

I think the requirement now is 10 comps under your belt before taking the class. I had less than 10 when I took the class but I had TCed twice before due to shortages of TCs. I have heard of TCs taking the class the day after their judging certification.

One problem here in the east is the lack of classes.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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We took one of the first table captain classes offered (Dillon, CO.) There were no restrictions on how many comps you'd judged before becoming a certified TC back then. Even before the class, we were often called upon to do double-duty. The one thing I've always told my tables is that I do not allow talking until everyone is done judging, and I'm not afraid to shush anyone who needs shushed. I don't have a set speech I give before judging starts, just try to get to know my table-mates, so I can be helpful if needed, yet trust that my table listened to the judges' CD and will ask questions if they need to. While I'm more than willing to share my experiences, I truly dislike judging at a table with a "know-it-all" table captain, so I don't want to be one myself.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QansasjayhawQ View Post
One of my pet peeves is when judges are in a hurry and only give samples enough time in their mouths so they can swallow it.
Well one of my pet peeves is when the table captain stands in front of me tapping the score cards on the table and staring at me while I have maybe one or two more samples to judge.
When judging a contest I am usually always last to finish and it seems the tc's are in too much of a hurry to turn in their score cards so they can maybe go and have a cigarette or hurry over to the grazing table to fill their coolers.
When I table captain, I stand away from the table, but within calling distance in case there are any problems or questions. No need to hover over the judges and grab their score cards and constantly ask "do I have all the score cards?"


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Originally Posted by SaucyWench View Post
I truly dislike judging at a table with a "know-it-all" table captain, so I don't want to be one myself.
Agreed. I usually watch where known "know-it-all" table captains are, then try to sit somewhere else.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
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I always remind judges to ignore any smudges on the inside of the box lid.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:21 AM   #11
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I contacted KCBS. Since October when they adopted the new rule for being a table captain only (post 5 discussion), there is no longer any required number of comps for a judge before attending a TC class.

Civil War BBQ, your comment goes with mine to the judges not to put large smudges on the score sheet.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 02:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon 83 View Post
Why would I want to be a table captain?

There are some perks that people might not think about:

1. You might get accepted at a contest with a long list of judge applications but no table captains applying.

2. There are people who want to enjoy the "spirit of the competition" but don't want to cook or judge.

3. There are people who can't judge.
a. don't like BBQ (God forbid)
b. food allergies
c. don't like chicken, or pork, or beef
d. can't eat the amount of food needed to judge.
e. spouse is on a cooking team at this comp. (KCBS rule)
f. on a cooking team at the comp, but not cooking themself. (KCBS rule)
g. spouse makes the trip to the comp with mate who judges, wants to bond with him/her but does not want to go through the judging class.

4. Table captains get to eat at the grazing table.

Relative to #3, before October of this year, KCBS required prospective table captains to be certified judges. A rule change was made to accomodate the people in this situation. Class fees must be paid but you become a member of KCBS if you already aren't a member.

I know several people who love to just table captain. It's a win/win situation for KCBS reps who don't have to look so hard for table captains and for the people involved in #3.

Think about it.
Great comments and thought here.

I fall into your 3b comment on allergies. Since I am allergic to pork, I can not judge all 4 categories, and since I can only judge the other two IF they have not been cooked anywhere the pork is cooked, there isn't much need to even try it....

I talked to our rep this past weekend abt table captain and mentioned that I keep hearing that KCBS needs table captains. He confirmed that. I just looked and there is only one class between today and the end of the year, and it is 875 miles away.

So if this is the case, why aren't there more classes offered. There is a ton of judging classes, and only one table captain's class. It doesn't sound right to me, but I don't make up the classes. Looks like more people want to judge and eat than to be captain....guess I will try wait for my reply from the email I just sent to KCBS.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon 83 View Post
Relative to the required comps to become a table captain, a call to KCBS will be required for this answer. I have heard varied requirements, but no matter what the number is, in my opinion, its still better to have a certified judge with little experience than a "guest" table captain.

I think the requirement now is 10 comps under your belt before taking the class. I had less than 10 when I took the class but I had TCed twice before due to shortages of TCs. I have heard of TCs taking the class the day after their judging certification.

One problem here in the east is the lack of classes.
There is no longer a judging requirement to become a Certified Table Captain. In the class you learn everything you need to effectively do the job. You do not have to taste food to know how to control the table and follow the rules.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke-n-my-i's View Post
Great comments and thought here.

I fall into your 3b comment on allergies. Since I am allergic to pork, I can not judge all 4 categories, and since I can only judge the other two IF they have not been cooked anywhere the pork is cooked, there isn't much need to even try it....

I talked to our rep this past weekend abt table captain and mentioned that I keep hearing that KCBS needs table captains. He confirmed that. I just looked and there is only one class between today and the end of the year, and it is 875 miles away.

So if this is the case, why aren't there more classes offered. There is a ton of judging classes, and only one table captain's class. It doesn't sound right to me, but I don't make up the classes. Looks like more people want to judge and eat than to be captain....guess I will try wait for my reply from the email I just sent to KCBS.
Looks like there are going to be a couple on the East in the next year. One in the fall in Easton, MD and one in the Spring in Highland, NY. Not that it helps you in NC.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 08:22 PM   #15
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Why does judge 1 need to wait until judge 6 is finished with the last box before beginning to judge? Seems unnecessary to me.
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