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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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Old 11-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #76
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 08-02-10
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I have also noticed the rule of no box hitting the same table twice . Is this necessarily a good thing to let a box sit and get cold so it doesn't hit a certain table?
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:25 PM   #77
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Join Date: 04-14-07
Location: Lakeland Florida

Comment cards. If you get 999995 and get a card that says too sweet are you going to change or say that's a jerk I got 5 9's and that's what I need. If only one judge is low the comments are useless. If you get 3 or more low scores then comments may be helpful if they all say the same thong. You'd do far better by asking an experienced team to taste and give their honest opinion. Most of us will do just that if you ask Friday night. If you ask me I'll say sure but I'll be honest so you might not like it. Don't take my comments as criticism of you but as a way to improve. It took 7 years for my first grand and 2 or 3 till my first blue ribbon. It takes time and lots of practice.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:24 AM   #78
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The only time I ever questioned a score was when we recieved a 2 for taste from one judge, and 8s and 9s from the rest. It was a data entry error, and the result moved us from 3rd to 1st place in brisket. Other than that sort of head scratching outlier, I would never officially question a score. Too many other things affecting scores.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:29 AM   #79
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After reading this thread, I wasn't sure I wanted to post, but I will offer my thoughts.
I am a new KCBS judge, not many KCBS competitions under my belt, but I have judged food prior to doing BBQ. We were told at our KCBS class that cooking teams spend a lot of money to enter these contests, between entry fees, meat and other costs and we should give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. Of course, the judging scale is 1-9, so why shouldn't 6 or 7, be an average score?
Judges are told to judge each sample by its own merits, and not compare two different samples until AFTER they are scored.
So if I were to view Sample 1 and I say WOW that looks great...I want to eat that and go 9 on that appearance, taste sample 1 and it was average, and go 7 or 6 on that, and it was tough and rubbery and go 5.
In the end, the total would average to a 7 or 6...(am I correct here?) So, one element of the sample screws the total score.(in the computer)

When the smoke clears, and all the samples are judged and the sheets leave the table, conversation starts between judges and you hear some interesting things. I have heard several times references to the cost and how teams deserve at least a 7 for paying out what it costs to compete.
IMHO, I believe that competition teams deserve an Honest score, from honest people who love BBQ and want to do an honest evaluation.

If I applied the same logic to what I compete in, just because I showed up I should be granted a high score without ever getting my gear out, just because I spent a couple K on equipment. For me, I want to be judge honestly for my skill, not for showing up.

And brethren, this is only my opinion. I do think that what the KCBS offers in the way of a judging class and judging standards to be lacking.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #80
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I am a competitor who started out as a judge and am sick of reps and other judges worrying or caring about how much it costs to compete in contests. What we spend on a contest should have no influence on how a judge should score. I will go so far as to say KCBS needs to tell reps to stop referencing costs when giving instructions to judges. We spend whatever amount of money on a contest because we choose to, not because we expect a rep to tell judges about how much we spend. I don't expect to receive a good score based on how much money I've spent, but rather on how my food tastes and looks.

Having said that, I sent an email to our KCBS BoDs back in April about a couple of reps telling judges they needed to score 8s and 9s with an occasional 7 at a contest. My first email went unanswered. The second recieved a response more concerned about my grammer mistakes and never responded to the actions of the reps. I will share these with anyone who sends a PM if interested.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #81
Big Poppa
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Join Date: 04-11-09
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Im staying away from most of this...BUT I cant wait for the new scoring system....and Because of the interpretations of judging and subjective nature you have to cook a bunch of contests to work it out or just let it go.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #82
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Join Date: 06-09-10
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Do you know when the new scoring system might be in place?
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:23 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Brauma View Post
Concerning comment cards, we have never received a comment card that was useful. Case in point, we got a 1st place Brisket this year in July. The very next comp we did the exact same thing in brisket: same grade of beef, same rub, same sauce, same everything. At that next comp we scored middle of the pack and got a comment card that read, "your sauce on the brisket tasted like super market gravy". I wanted to find that judge and show him our brisket trophy from 3 weeks ago.

Again, it made me shake my head and ask myself why I keep doing this. But here I am prepping for next season!!!

The best input I get is not from comment cards but from talking to judges (preferably experienced judges) after judging and before awards. They will tell you things like what was scored down at their table and why, and what they like to see and taste.
Why did you not find this useful? The judge told you he didn't like the way you sauced your entry. Personally, I would much rather get such a comment than an 8-5-8 score with no explanation. At least you know why you received the low score, and the judge did tell you what their perception was, rather than conjecture on what you did. It's the comments that do this that I don't like, i.e. "you cooked it too long", "can taste your lighter fluid", etc.

I appreciate even the off-the-wall comments though. At least then I know I had a bad judge, rather than an undercooked piece of chicken or some other issue that might only affect a single judge's score.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:11 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
Y'all just haven't figured it out yet, any time you think you nailed it you should expect crap scores. Conversely when you turn in crap look for that top score, it's something in the stars me thinks.
Seriously though, I'm thinking the "problem" is the 2 kinds of judges. one judge uses 7,8,9's pretty much exclusively. They think if they give a 7 the poor cook team will not win and they feel bad after being instructed by the Rep to "give the team the benefit" because they've spent so much money.
Then there's the other kind of judge that sores as they were taught, each entry has the potential to be scored 2 thru 9, and is very aware that a score of 6 is average and there is plenty of average out there.
So, in my opinion until all KCBS judges get off this 7,8,9 only mentality, you cooks are going to continue to be amazed and amused...


I have seen judges that think if something wasn't that good, well then give it a 7. Some of the things we turned in were NOT even a 6, but we ended up getting a few 7s, and 8s and 9s.

If I were scoring my entry, it would have been 5 or 6.

I also think that at the judges meeting the morning before the contest, we hear the reps talk about giving low scores and that the judge "should" fill out a comment card. Of the contests I have judged at, for ever 3 comment cards I fill out, there were maybe 1 other card filled out at the table. And some of the entries were down right bad. The entire table agreed, but nobody else filled out a comment card; instead, they gave it a 6-7.


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Old 11-26-2012, 08:02 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
I didn't mean to put words in you mouth sorry, but seems to be ok for you to let us all know how every single cook will feel and that cooks still take issue with the scores they received regardless. I don't feel that way so please don't speak for me. Because if I felt that way I would never improve.

I agree that filling out cards might not improve judging. That isn't my/the point. What comment cards do is reflect why the score was given. Therefore it can help the cooks to figure out how to improve. I understand there are many out there that haven't gotten many useful comment cards, but I have and the helped improve my end product.
Thats fine, you are the exception. I think it's human nature to want to blame someone other than one's self when things do not go as planned. Some are more vocal about it than others claiming the judges don't know good BBQ. Some keep it to themselves. As for me, it's out of my control. I do the best I can and let the cards fall where they may. I don't let bad results ruin my weekend. Do I wish I could have done better, of course but that is where I end it. Do I think the judging could be better, of course but openly criticizing the judges or your results makes it look like you are sour grapes so I don't.
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