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Unread 05-30-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
daedalus
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Default I need judging opinions

I was judging a contest yesterday, and found myself in an interesting conversation with my table captain. We were discussing judging philosophy, specifically how an entry should be judged if there is more than one cut of meat in the box. In the case of pork for example, where we typically will see sliced, and chunked, and pulled all together, or in chicken, where the cook gives us both thighs and breast meat.
My tc(who has been doing this for over 15 years) said that he thinks that a judge should take a sample of all types of meat offered, and then score based on the best one only. So if they give us a really tender thigh, and a breast which is dry, we should give them they score they deserve for the thigh and ignore the dry breast. The theory seemed to be about trying to give the cook the highest score possible.
I have always felt that the score should be more of an aggregate of whatever is in the box. In the case of the tender thigh and the dry breast, the overall score would be slightly lower than if they had only turned in the thigh. I think that if the cook chooses to put it in the box, then it should be judged.
To me, this is a pretty major and fundamental difference in approach, and I think it merits some discussion. I would love to get as many insights and opinions as I can from both judges and cooks. What do y'all think?
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Unread 05-30-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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Daedalus, I'm with you on this. If a cook puts, say, pulled pork, slices & chunks in the box and the pulled is an 8 but the slice & chunks are a 6, my score will be an aggregate, probably a 7. As you say, if the cook puts everything in the box, all should be tasted, hopefully bringing the score up for the cook, but often I think they would be better off picking one version, because a bad bite can send them the other way too. In almost 10 years as a CBJ, I've never heard your TC's method of "throwing out the low score" during judging!
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Unread 05-30-2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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I sample one of each and do an aggregate score as well. If they don't want the score to reflect that piece of meat, don't turn it in.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I sample one of each and do an aggregate score as well. If they don't want the score to reflect that piece of meat, don't turn it in.
Agree 100%
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Unread 05-30-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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With you 100 percent!!! How's that for a consensus. If it is in the box then the entire entry should be judged together.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 10:39 AM   #6
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In my CBJ class the instructor said that he personally will base his score on the better piece but that it is up to each judge to decide how they want to score multiple entries. I generally base my score on everything I eat, but I don't give each one a numerical score and then average them out. But if I have something that is out of this world I'm going to give the team a 9.

Yesterday when I judged - half the chicken entries had multiple types, and almost all the pork and briskets did as well - I wonder how long it will be before teams start turning in spares and baby backs?
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Unread 05-30-2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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I took a class last weekend at the Great American BBQ in Bonner Springs, KS. The instructor told us the score should reflect the best piece of meat.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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and we wonder why there is no consistent judging....instructors teaching their own prefrence and the saying do want you want

if its turned in judge it, score it
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Unread 05-30-2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurycea View Post
In my CBJ class the instructor said that he personally will base his score on the better piece but that it is up to each judge to decide how they want to score multiple entries.
See, I find this to be problematic. I do not believe that something like this should not be left to the discretion of the judges because it is more of a procedural issue. It completely changes the approach to judging. The biggest reason for sanctioning through the KCBS is so that the teams can be sure that the judges are on the same page. Having judges that have been trained differently defeats the purpose of having trained judges at all.

I would hate to be a cook, thinking that the standard operating procedure is to judge only the best pieces, and then find out that half of the judges are handling differently. In my opinion, the KCBS should figure out how they want this situation handled, and them make sure that their CBJ's know what their position is. All it would take is to add a blurb to the judging CD that talks about how to handle this scenerio.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
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I agree. I also think this is something that should be covered by KCBS and mentioned on the CD and the rules handbook. The cooks are going through great efforts to do as much as they can to get the highest scores from the judges. They already look for the most uniform and consistent pieces of meat. If having multiple cuts of meat can affect their scores as well, they should know ahead of time what they need to do to get the most out of their entry, and not just leave it up to chance on how that judge decides they are going to score that particular day.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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Agree that it should be ascore based on everything.

Now as to the different teachings and non recertification of CBJ's - I got mine in 2002 and still haven't judges as a CBJ. There needs to be a CBJ manual created with all this type of info in it. Maybe even pictures of excellent boxes and others of poor boxes. But mainly it needs to explain all these variables so that each CBJ can download a copy. And then somebody needs to send out update notices every year.

And instructors need to follow the script not add their opinions and thoughts as part of the class. Off soap box now.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 01:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daedalus View Post
See, I find this to be problematic. I do not believe that something like this should not be left to the discretion of the judges because it is more of a procedural issue.
I think it is too complicated for a rule to be written about it. What if there are four thighs and 2 legs on a bed of pulled chicken? Does nobody average them, do 2 judges take a thigh, a leg, and some pulled and average those, the next 2 take a thigh and pulled and average those, and the last 2 just score the pulled, or does each judge take either a thigh or a leg and some pulled and average those? There are just too many options that can be put in a box.



Quote:
Originally Posted by daedalus View Post
Having judges that have been trained differently defeats the purpose of having trained judges at all.
That is a problem. A couple of years ago I read a comment from a rep and CBJ instructor that said

Quote:
Judges are told to score each type of meat presented separately and divide by the number of types. If you do great pulled pork and a judge gives you a 9 but then he judges your sliced a 5 you are going to end up with a 7.
Since I was taught something different I emailed KCBS and asked what was right. The response I got was that it is up to each judge to decide. If that is the current policy then instructors and reps shouldn't be teaching something different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daedalus View Post
In my opinion, the KCBS should figure out how they want this situation handled,
I think they have


Quote:
and them make sure that their CBJ's know what their position is.
That would be nice.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 01:24 PM   #13
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Think of the NFL with referee's enforcing rules as they desire. It would be chaos.

Ford, I cannot agree with you any more! ABSOLUTELY. Talk about where KCBS
should spend the money, THIS is where they should spend the money. Every
CBJ should have/possess this book, without any exception. It should be their
judging bible. In it should be an exact "judges charging" section so that at ever
competition they're charged (ala. tasked) exactly the same. If judging is consistent,
then frankly, IMHO, there's no reason to participate in a sanctioned cookoff.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 01:28 PM   #14
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> Since I was taught something different I emailed KCBS and asked what was right.
> The response I got was that it is up to each judge to decide. If that is the
> current policy then instructors and reps shouldn't be teaching something different.

Wow. Up to each judge to decide... And now wet get to the heart of the problem.
They have no clue there is a problem. That, or they want to embrace inconsistency.

Not good.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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Great Thread!

I was quite surprised when I took my CBJ class that the interpretation of good BBQ and scoring was left up to the judges discretion as has been mentioned here. I also cooked in my first competition last weekend and got to see this discretion first hand as I had a box that got a 24(6,6,6) and a 36(9,9,9). I am sure you all see this all the time, but that disparity bugged me a lot. 12 points was the difference between 1st and 80th, so a few points can matter SIGNIFICANTLY. The judges need to be careful with their scoring.

I look forward to the day that KCBS takes a more active roll in training judges what is good, though I would guess they hesitate to do so, because then the evolution of competition BBQ may be limited as all judges will be looking for what was good as of the latest training class/material date. I would hope that they can find a nice middle ground that will allow for more consistent scoring yet still allow the flexibility that I assume they are trying to maintain.
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