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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 04-18-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
BrisketBelly
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Default Question - should I complain or just deal with it?

I wasn't sure if I should even post this, but it has been eating at me since yesterday and I wanted to get some feedback from folks who are familiar with KCBS competitions. I signed up to judge a competition a few months ago, was accepted and sent a packet for the event. I took a day of vacation from work to attend and packed my family into the car and drove to the competition, approximately 90 minutes from my home. I knew that we would arrive close to the start time of the judges meeting, giving me approximately a 15 minute window upon arrival. As a new father, getting on the road with the baby put us behind later than I intended.

We were just outside of the venue at 10:45am, the judges meeting was at 11. Unfortunately, the entrance we used to get in last year was blocked by the police this year and were directed to another entrance. When we got around all of that, we were directed to a public lot instead of the judges lot. I got out of my car at exactly 11. I left my family behind and got to the tent 6 minutes late. When I got to the sign in table, I was told that the judging was full. I thought she was joking but then I saw 4 other people also standing there being told the spots were filled. About 10 minutes later, the gentlemen running the event approached me and I questioned him about my spot being filled. He reminded me that I was late and told me all judges spots were filled. Since the meeting had not yet been started, I asked if he overbooked judges or if they just took volunteers willing to stand in as a judge. He said that the event was 100% certified judges. He then said that I could help at the front table if I wanted, but I declined. At that point I was upset and would rather spend the rest of the day at the festival with my family. So off I went to track down where they set up camp for the day. It ended up being a nice festival and the time spent there with my family was great.

But, the entire reason the agreed to go there was so that I could judge the competition, as it is one of my hobbies. Getting there a little late and being told I can't judge was frustrating. I am usually in the judges tent well ahead of the set time, and the judges meetings never really begin until well after that set time. I'm sure the event coordinators could have judges on standby in the case of no-shows. And, I was certainly late to the 11am set time. I understand their need to fill the spots, but I feel slighted for the way I replaced as I stood there before their meeting even started.

I just thought I would put it out there and if I get any feedback, I would like to hear what you think. Thanks for listening.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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Complain or deal with it....

Given those two choices I say deal with it. You were late.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Frustrating, yes but aside from being late...even if you weren't late, you still may have been one of the four judges who were signed up to judge but not selected and still asked to help in another capacity. The others may have been certified judges as well.

Seems that overbooking judges is somewhat common considering that no-show judges are just as common. The organizer has too much on the line to take a risk.

Just a thought... KCBS should warn prospective judges of these types of scenarios at the certification classes.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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I can understand the frustration of driving 1 1/2 hours & not being able to judge. And I think I can understand how you must feel about getting there before the meeting started & having been bumped out of "your" seat.
However, the fact is that you weren't there at 11:00 (as you readily admit) and the organizers and/ or Reps have no obligation to "hold" your spot for you. At most of the comps that I have judged when the set time gets there the Rep starts getting people to thier seats and filling tables as needed, lining up Table Captains, etc.
Admittedly, 6 minutes seems awful fast for all of that to happen, but really there is no one to complain to and you have no valid complaint. It's kinda like the cook who gets to the turn-in table with his chicken at 12:05:09 - he has no entry in that catagory. Arbitrary? Maybe, but the rules is the rules .
On a personal note, I always carry the cell phone number of the organizer or one of the Reps just in case of an emergency. Luckily I haven't had to use that yet. I hope you have better luck in the future & don't let this one episode sour you on that comp or judging in general.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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Typically judges are instructed to check in well before the official meeting - this gives those in charge time to fill the seats of the no-shows. As Rookie suggested, if you are unavoidably detained but you know you will be just a few minutes late the best thing to do is call the Judging Coordinator from your cell phone and let them know you are on your way.

Though I sympathize, as someone who plays the role of Judge, Cook and Organizer I can honestly say there are only two things you are expected to do as a KCBS judge: show up and follow the KCBS judging criteria. In exchange for this you are provided with admission, bbq, refreshments, goodie bags, etc. all at no cost.

Expecting judges to be on time isn't too much to ask, IMO.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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I can fill your pain, but check in time is check in time.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 11:09 PM   #7
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I understand everyone's response and I'm thankful for your input. I suppose the part that bugs me, and I didn't detail earlier is this: I've judged competitions where there weren't enough judges and my table judged 7 entries to compensate. I've also had it where there were too many judges and sometimes we only got 5 entries. Knowing that this competition turned away (at least) 5 judges who all were at the tent before the meeting got started just doesn't seem right.
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Unread 04-19-2010, 12:08 AM   #8
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If you were competing and turned in your entry 6 minutes late, would you expect it to be accepted? Sack up and be on time next time.

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Unread 04-19-2010, 12:32 AM   #9
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IMO...this situation is far too insignificant to even worry about you getting
bumped for being a bit late.
I'm sure you would have had fun judging the contest....but; as luck would
have it...you were given a gift of unmeasurable value....you got to spend
the day with your wife and children.

There is nothing; that is more important; or valuable than that.
It wont be long; and your kids will be out of High School; starting
their own lives.
You will be asking yourself, where all the time went; and wishing you
could have spent more time with your family.
Enjoy the time you have together; and treasure it; because it will be
over much too soon.
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Unread 04-19-2010, 12:49 AM   #10
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I can feel your pain. I was suppose to judge an event last year(drove an hour for it) and there 4 or 5 of us that got bumped even when we were there by the time we were suppose to. We were told their were a few townspeople that wanted to judge, hence we got bumped. I would imagine many of the teams competing would have been pissed if they knew certified judges were bumped for townspeople. I just went with it and helped in the back room, in the end it was nice to see another part of the judging process.
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Unread 04-19-2010, 01:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrisketBelly View Post
I've judged competitions where there weren't enough judges and my table judged 7 entries to compensate. I've also had it where there were too many judges and sometimes we only got 5 entries. Knowing that this competition turned away (at least) 5 judges who all were at the tent before the meeting got started just doesn't seem right.
Ah ha ! Now this part does make a BIG difference because under KCBS rules you MUST have 6 judges per table, no more, no less. If they had five extra judges they can't put them in - there's gotta be six. Maybe that had something to do with it .
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Unread 04-19-2010, 06:22 AM   #12
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This has happened to me once and at first I was a bit upset but I got to volunteer for other duties and found it to be a lot of fun and got to taste a lot of food at the grazing table, so I guess deal with it.
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Unread 04-19-2010, 06:46 AM   #13
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I would DEAL with it and thank them for a wonderful thing that they are doing. So you were late and got to spend a day with family. The promoters and those helping run a comp have their hands full and have to do what they do to pull this off.
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Unread 04-19-2010, 07:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillman View Post
IMO...this situation is far too insignificant to even worry about you getting
bumped for being a bit late.
I'm sure you would have had fun judging the contest....but; as luck would
have it...you were given a gift of unmeasurable value....you got to spend
the day with your wife and children.

There is nothing; that is more important; or valuable than that.
It wont be long; and your kids will be out of High School; starting
their own lives.
You will be asking yourself, where all the time went; and wishing you
could have spent more time with your family.
Enjoy the time you have together; and treasure it; because it will be
over much too soon.
^^^^^^this^^^^^^
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Unread 04-19-2010, 07:57 AM   #15
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As an organizer also, I'd do the same thing - you were late. We cooks are expected to be on time for turn-ins and late is late. Same applies to judges. I require 100% CBJs at the contest we put on. I treat them all well with goody bags, opportunities to sign up for the same raffles the teams sign up for, veggie and fruit trays after the last category, we do what we say we will do, etc. In return, I expect fair judging and to check in on time. That's not too much to ask.

About this judging seven entries thing... was this not a KCBS sanctioned event? There isn't even enough spaces on a score card for such an occurance. And you can't compare the contest you went to this weekend with the others and make a broad statement that it isn't fair that these judges were turned away before the meeting started.

I'm in the "deal with it" camp on this one.
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