All these insights are interesting but the fact remains that the expectation of the judges for the Brisket category is that the brisket will be sliced. The rules ALLOW chopped, shredded, etc. but the expectation is sliced. Same as when you go to a restaurant the the menu says Texas Style brisket - chopped, chunked, shredded is not the expectation - I know that if I get chopped or shredded or a fall apart chunk of meat that it'll probably be good, but it's not what I expected when I ordered.
Competitors KNOW that they CAN put other forms of brisket in the box but the KNOW if they don't have decent slices they don't have a prayer of scoring high. Like Jim and many others we use chopped or shredded brisket and burnt ends to enhance the box and give the judges more to taste and "love".
If KCBS changes to "beef" as the definition like they do for "pork" then the EXPECTATION of the judge changes.
Right now sliced brisket is the expectation and standard for the BRISKET category. As a judge and competitor I know and understand that. This will not change as far as I can see.
The training is adequate - someone in another "judge training" thread asked if the instructors give tips -- well, the pull test is a tip for checking the brisket - not hard and fast since everyone has a different idea of what he pull should be. Same with the tip that "usually" if the team doesn't put slices in the box it's because they missed. Common sense says that if you want slices in the box and it's overdone then you'll cut thicker slices - you have too if you want slices. Same with tough brisket - slice it thinner so that you have some hope of helping it be "tender" enough to score something.
The judges are hammered all throughout the class that personal likes/dislikes are to be set aside. You indeed judge based on what you're presented - don't blame the judges for the cook missing the target for the brisket!