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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 10-14-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ
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Question IBCA Scoring number to word association?

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum and the world of competitive BBQ. I have competed in two IBCA comps this year without a call......so yes, i have a lot to learn. However that is a different matter. What i wanted to post was that i was fortunate enough to table captain at an IBCA event last weekend. It was definitely an experience worth the time. I've been learning to cook KCBS style after traveling to K.C. to get my CBJ and CTC. From the boxes i saw, they are not the same so i learned a lot just by seeing what was being served and also learned a lot about the IBCA judging process by watching our fine volunteer judges. However, i also noticed something of concern. Seems in my mind at least that many off the street judges may not all associate a score of 2 or 3 on a final table as being as bad as it would be to a cook receiving those scores. I left feeling that my score of a 7 and your score of a 7 may be two entirely different concepts. With that in mind, what would you all think about associating words with the 1-10 scale to add a little consistency to untrained judges?

Here is my initial thought of a word associated scale but please feel welcome to make suggestions as you see fit. This is only intended to generate ideas and feedback. Thanks in advance. Clint.

10 = Best thing I've ever tasted, 9 = Excellent, 8 = Very good, 7 = Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Not Very Good, 3 = Bad or poor, 2 = Very Bad, 1 = Inedible, Thanks in advance,
Clint

Last edited by Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ; 10-14-2010 at 05:59 PM..
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Unread 10-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ View Post
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum and the world of competitive BBQ. I have competed in two IBCA comps this year without a call......so yes, i have a lot to learn. However that is a different matter. What i wanted to post was that i was fortunate enough to table captain at an IBCA event last weekend. It was definitely an experience worth the time. I've been learning to cook KCBS style after traveling to K.C. to get my CBJ and CTC. From the boxes i saw, they are not the same so i learned a lot just by seeing what was being served and also learned a lot about the IBCA judging process by watching our fine volunteer judges. However, i also noticed something of concern. Seems in my mind at least that many off the street judges may not all associate a score of 2 or 3 on a final table as being as bad as it would be to a cook receiving those scores. I left feeling that my score of a 7 and your score of a 7 may be two entirely different concepts. With that in mind, what would you all think about associating words with the 1-10 scale to add a little consistency to untrained judges?

Here is my initial thought of a word associated scale but please feel welcome to make suggestions as you see fit. This is only intended to generate ideas and feedback. Thanks in advance. Clint.

10 = Best thing I've ever tasted, 9 = Excellent, 8 = Very good, 7 = Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Not Very Good, 3 = Bad or poor, 2 = Very Bad, 1 = Inedible, Thanks in advance,
Clint
There is some truth to what you are talking about, but the judges usually get it right. I know several cooks from Texas that have done KCBS and IBCA regularly during a season with fairly similar results. That tells me that trained or not the judges are getting it right more often than not. I think most folks can understand the concept of scoring on a 10 pt. scale. If someone off the street is going to score a quality entry as a 3 I don't know that adding a lable will make a difference to them. More importantly I think that lable might be more likely to influence other judges, more than the occasional rogue, and skew scores the other direction.

At the end of the day it's up to the cook to understand what they need to put in front of the judges to score well. If they do that, they are rewarded more often than not, and the evidence is how often you hear the same names called at awards on a regular basis.

I'm evidence that the judges got my rib score right this past weekend.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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OK...
Thanks for the reply. Kinda think you believe i am mentioning this because of my lack of calls...which would be 100% inaccurate. I am also not saying that your call is not correct. Just stating a fact of what i witnessed during judging.
Again. Thanks!
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Unread 10-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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Clint, I like it, and I do something similar using almost the exact same words when
charging judges for CASI and other chili cookoffs.

Jorge, honestly, at one point in time I was of the same opinion as you have, and then
seeing scores on a few chilis range from 9 down to 1, it was obvious that something
was ghastly wrong. He's not telling them what they should like, but if they like it,
he's giving them a range.

When charged (explaining the scores, etc) we've seen a MUCH tighter range of scores
on the same chili's, usually no more than 2 or 3 difference. And, yes, we see some 3's
and 4's come across occasionally, but they're consistent.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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I agree with Jorge, as a judging official in Texas I have seen first hand the judges getting it right, and I mean RIGHT! I'm a true believer in random judges.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #6
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I think what Carnivorous is saying is that he saw 2's and 3's on the FINAL TABLE. I can see why that would seem odd, since the entries have already been judged once and scored well enough to make FINAL TABLE. If it was a small contest, there may have been some entries that just werent that good. At larger contests, I doubt you'd find many 2's or 3's on FINAL TABLE. That's my take anyway.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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A seven-point range would most likely git 'er dunnnn:

* It sucks

* Bastard put sauce on it

* It don't suck

* Ain't as good as Applebee's

* It's free, innit?

* Almost as good as McRibs

* Does it come with a beer?


< DISCLAIMER > Yes, we've done IBCA contests. < /DISCLAIMER >
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Unread 10-15-2010, 06:57 AM   #8
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Bayou Boogie, That is exactly what i am saying. There were 15 entries that made final table due to a tie on a preliminary table. None of them deserved a 2 or 3 and i believe any cooker at that contest would agree had they tasted them.

DivaHerself, Now that's FUNNY, but seems to be ironically true for some street judges... "hey you, wanna judge some Q?" "no really you can, doesn't matter if you just downed a 12 pack and smoked 1/2 a carton of cigarettes and can't taste any flavor but salt... come on in and see if its as good as the grillin you do for the folks at the bar" ha ha ha...

Really though, i'm not trying to upset anyone here. I just know that some people are better with numbers and some people are better with words. Just don't think it would hurt someone's score to have both on the judging form as everyone would be judged the same. The first time i tasted my first sample for judging i remember thinking, what number is this in the world of competitive Q....not a clue...maybe its a 9..next sample, no now that's an 9...until i tasted enough, i really didn't have a basis to know what 7, 8, or 9 was...a little guidance might help for others in that situation.
Oh and for anyone who competes in KCBS also...that is how they score, numbers associated with word descriptions.

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Unread 10-15-2010, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ View Post
OK...
Thanks for the reply. Kinda think you believe i am mentioning this because of my lack of calls...which would be 100% inaccurate. I am also not saying that your call is not correct. Just stating a fact of what i witnessed during judging.
Again. Thanks!
Not my point at all, and I apologize if you or anyone else took it that way.

My point was that some cooks are gifted at developing a flavor profile that scores well, and gets the attention of the judges while offending the palates of as few judges as possible.

There are folks that just don't get the same flavors that the majority of people do. Some tastes may be very strong to them, while mild to others. At that point it's not a preference for them, it's actually the way the food may taste.

If it was the final table then I'm a little more inclined to lean your direction, but there are several reasons for a low score even at the final table. By the time the judges are getting to the bottom of the box they may be getting to the least desirable samples the cook had available to turn in. If you need 7 slices of brisket but are only happy with 4, the last 3 are the best that you have available for whatever reason. Slice 5 may be enough to sink your chances, and it may be fair. Some samples just don't do well sitting out, and a sample has been out for a while by the time it hits the final table. A sauce used on ribs may change greatly in texture and how it reacts when the sample is chewed. When I first started cooking IBCA, and competition BBQ, years ago the guy I cooked with had a killer sauce. If it sat out, about as long as it would take a box to get to the final table it was awful. It would coat your tongue, your teeth etc. and it was just plain unpleasant. We'd nevered tried it that cold and tacky before until one of us picked up a rib while we were cleaning up. Changed sauce recipe and ribs started to hit.

I understand your point, and the desire for more consistency. My concern is that in focusing on the random rogue judge, you will influence the majority of judges that are generally in line. my .02
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Unread 10-15-2010, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
... My concern is that in focusing on the random rogue judge, you will influence the majority of judges that are generally in line...
Yep, you're gonna get a couple of judges here or there that no one can please. I think it is up to the rep or organizer to have quality judges at the final table. Or at least the table captain should question a very low score.

But if a judge scores like that accross the board, you have the same chances as anyone.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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I judged a taco competition this past weekend where the scoring system was built off of KCBS. I have never judged KCBS but it was well explained around where our scale should start and then we find reasons to score up. I thought it worked really well among the table I was at when we discussed what we had after scoring the entries. I agree with you, a 1 to 9 scale is very large and a 7 being a 2 with a judge is excessive. More than likely it is a misunderstanding of the judging scale.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 10:46 AM   #12
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We've also been at an IBCA contest where the final table received some well-deserved low scores, for good reason. The organizer had tried to load experienced judges to the final table, but he had a lot of clueless VIPs judging the preliminary tables. You got it, the VIPs thought the stuff they sent to the final table was the greatest they'd ever tasted, and the experienced judges at the final table subsequently shot it down.
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