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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 11-19-2012, 05:17 PM   #16
markG
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Am I the only guy that thinks 7's making you almost DAL is a problem? With a three points system it's anybody's guess who will win.
And there is the winning answer. I am a newbie this year and there were some things that I turned in that should have been a solid 3 and got 7's. The scoring scale is wide for a reason, I thought. I would rather get an honest 3 than a (lowball in the mind of a nice judge) 7, so I can know that it was REALLY bad and give me something to work on.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 08:08 PM   #17
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This is nature of the beast for a big contest. A lot of new judges from whatever area it's in a lot of really good teams. They are crap shoots.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:08 PM   #18
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And there is the winning answer. I am a newbie this year and there were some things that I turned in that should have been a solid 3 and got 7's. The scoring scale is wide for a reason, I thought. I would rather get an honest 3 than a (lowball in the mind of a nice judge) 7, so I can know that it was REALLY bad and give me something to work on.
The problem is the cooks all want high scores so they're ok with the three point system. It's ridiculous IMO.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #19
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not to say this happened to you, but....was our 4th year in the 2012 St. Louis BBQ Bash, it is a 95 or so team comp., a lot of fun....it is 8 catagories and the first catagory we turned in was chef's choice...smoked beef tenderloin and grilled lobster medallions with a lemon grass and butter sauce...anyway, they started the calls for all catagories and we got 5th in brisket 2nd in chili 2nd in pork and was thinking we prob. were in the top 10 or so....well they begin to call the overall places starting with 10 and we dont get called and started to wonder that was weird....well you dont get your scores till two days later in this comp. ..so my team mate goes to get our scores and sees we are 67th overall and got top 14 at least in all the other catagories.....he starts to look at each catagory to find out which one we bombed and sees chef's choice and sees 000 000 000 000 000 000 for our scores in chefs choice....to make a longer story short he gets incontact winth the organizer finally gets the score found the organizrer finally gets back to us appologizing and said we were actually 4th place overall and not 67th.....so lost scores or switched scores which ever you wanna say it deffinitly does happen
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markG View Post
And there is the winning answer. I am a newbie this year and there were some things that I turned in that should have been a solid 3 and got 7's. The scoring scale is wide for a reason, I thought. I would rather get an honest 3 than a (lowball in the mind of a nice judge) 7, so I can know that it was REALLY bad and give me something to work on.
+1 on that.
The last two comps we did this year we put out in my opinion some of the best food to date and finished in the bottom third. The best results we had was the worst cook of the year, almost could't even put the ribs in the box without them falling apart. The brisket was wayyyyyyyyyyyyy overdone, the chicken was a disaster and the pork butt was dry ( I fell asleep and the cooker got way outa control) but we finished in the top third. I know it's a crap shoot sometimes but it does make you wonder how could that be. I also would like to get a true honest score, if it sucked I really want to know and why. I would like to see a few more coment cards so that way you can have a good idea what was wrong, getting just one really leaves you hanging.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #21
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How do you know your awesome brisket was still that good when the judges tasted it?. A lot can happen to brisket slices being held in a box and while laying on a paper mat. I'd bet money your slices were dry, dull and bland by the time the judges got to them.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 10:46 PM   #22
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We cooked the same contest and cooked the best chicken we have cooked to date (or so we thought) and landed 73rd..... We also felt that our brisket was a little over done, but it landed us a 12th place.

Overall, we felt good about all of our food so I'm trying not to be reactionary and change my entire chicken program because of one bad contest. It does drive you crazy though.

I know that Gary and Dionn from Holy Smokes told me before awards that they felt that their pork was terrible, yet they got first in pork and landed the RGC. Who knows, but I'll be out their weekend after next to give it another shot.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #23
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I blame it on the margaritas.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 06:59 AM   #24
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As stated earlier, there is not much way the boxes could have been mis-numbered. At our turn-in table, as do most reps, we use two (2) people to change numbers. One reads the box number, the other looks down the list to find the corresponding alternate number, removes the sticker and covers the box number. The reader is watching to ensure the proper sticker is used.

Table captains are instructed to not remove boxes from their table until told that the numbers had cleared (ALL matched). All boxes are kept until well after awards just in case someone does want to question their entry, so please feel free to do so any time.

As for scoring input. Each card is double checked before "save" is pressed. Top 2, middle 2, and bottom 2, along with any individual score of 20 or less, is audited for each category. We even audit some individual teams that surprise us by being near the bottom when their reputation indicates they are usually higher. Then, when individual team score sheets are printed they are EACH reviewed to make sure no particularly low score may have slipped by for ANY team.

I thought the scores n Cumming were actually pretty high. The grand champion in Plant City would have finished 33rd in Cumming.

Ray is right, right now 7's are deadly. Do I have an answer? No. Decimals? Wouldn't the deadly 7 just change to 7.5 or 7.8? Someone will determine the magic number.

Sorry for the long post, but just wanted to put a couple of things out there. Hope it eased some minds that every effort is made to ensure the scoring is as honest and fair as possible. Knowing how much money (both spent and available to win) is on the line makes it pretty stressful for us, too.

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Unread 11-20-2012, 07:02 AM   #25
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You said these judges stopped by and commented, I'd give you a high score also since I couldnt be secrective and vote in private, surprised they didnt say 9's,, (This is on top up having several judges stop by and taste our turn in brisked and give us their thoughts (at least 8s in T&T).
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Unread 11-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #26
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There's been a few contests this year when we've turned in what we thought was fantastic, well-cooked and presented food.

And then we say through awards, still waiting to hear our named called after GC is called... The fall Rome comp and Winder were two that were the biggest disappointments.

We didn't come out of there with much money or hardware, but to come away in 5th overall in that field...I'm still grinning from ear to ear.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #27
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Bottom line, it happens to everyone at some point or another. As long as there are humans involved it will be so. You just always have to cook your best then hope and pray you land on good tables. Excellent cooking is only part of the winning equation.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #28
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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...
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Unread 11-20-2012, 09:07 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub View Post
Bottom line, it happens to everyone at some point or another. As long as there are humans involved it will be so. You just always have to cook your best then hope and pray you land on good tables. Excellent cooking is only part of the winning equation.

Agreed, I think it will balance out. I have taken some walks at times that baffles the mind. You got to take the good with the bad!
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Unread 11-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
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...
Ed
I do agree it appears that there are 2 kinds of judges. Not sure if that will ever go away, but it can certainly be worked on.

To your statement "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 don't think is accurate because I (and probably other cooks) would still be "amazed/amused" with large fluctuations using the whole scoring table.

So to that point one way I see to somewhat "fix" or at least shed more light to why a score was a 7, 6, 5, etc is to have the judges use feedback cards a lot more even for 6's and 7's. If I see a random 6 in flavor or tenderness when all the other scores were 8's and 9's I have no shame in saying I get the knee jerk "what the heck is this person thinking" reaction. Did they in fact get the one piece in the box that was dramatically different then the others or are their standards much higher or whatever.

Because there are judges out there that say cooks just can't handle a 5, 6 or a 7 and immediately cooks jump on the defensive thus keeping the cooks vs judge line very large. Sometimes that is true simply for the fact because we don't know why we got those scores. Yes I hate getting those low scores, but I hate even more that I don't know why so I can work to improve my product. Even if it is a 7 I want to know why.

So for the judges that don't cook or even the ones that do cook and think cooks can't handle a low score that is just part of the story for me. Because how would they like it if you were told something was awful/mediocre (for anything in life), but given no explanation to why and how to improve so the next competition (scenario) you can fix the issue. Yes we spend a lot of money and no that isn't a reason to simply give us higher scores, but give us a reason you thought the food wasn't up to your standards of "excellent/9" so we can improve.

Anyways that was a little long and I realize having that many comment cards filled out would be difficult, but something to think about.

I always like these kinds of discussions because I think they will help to improve (not perfect, as you will never please everyone) the scoring system. Comments like "deal with it", "suck it up" etc lead nothing to constructive conversation for what the op was looking for.
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