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Disqualifying Entries On Appearance

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    Disqualifying Entries On Appearance

    So the demand on judge is so high that most competitions have a lot of rookie judges. They take a class and no test and are Certified BBQ Judges. A larger part of the time in the class is spent teaching them to be botanists and tell the difference between legal greens and illegal greens and how to spot things like pooling of sauces. Shouldn't judges be focused on one thing and one thing only: The meat? Why are we distracting them with salad judging? Let's have the Table Captains or someone else open the box, decide if they garnishes and presentations are illegal. If they are, the box should never get to the table. This is a simple purely objective matter. Let the judges focus on the subjective: Judging meat! I know of a great cook, a former Team Of The Year winner who was recently disqualified by rookie judges for "pooling" when they were looking at chicken juices, not sauce. This is a travesty! And it is easy to fix. I have raised the topic with several Board of Director members and all I get is "we'll think about it." C'mon folks, you can think about the tough problems. This is a no-brainer. It is an easy fix! Fix it!

    #2
    Even a rookie judge is trained to know the difference between juices and a what's clearly a puddle of sauce...or at least they should be. You shouldn't disqualify for petty things, and I agree the salad recognition part if it has no place in BBQ judging other than it's there because of tradition so let's keep it. If I were offered the chance to audit and update the rules I certainyl would jump in same as you. And the "don't compare!" stipulation is rather silly. You HAVE to compare. You compare what you're tasting to what you like, that's how you know if you're tasting a 9 or a 5. I've tasted "competition barbecue" that tasted like my mom made it in the oven or a crockpot, just with a mahogany crust. No smoke. I would rate it a 6, because to me this is "average", it is nothing special, but it's certainly not a disqualifier worthty of a 3. But how many rookie judges are able to govern their own choices in this manner? Clearly in the case you mention above not all, sadly. A test should be required to pass the CBJ class, otherwise it's just churning out uneducated judges who paid their money.

    Comment


      #3
      I think a lot of rookies are intimidated and nervous. I hear about this problem with juices being called pooling often. Judges should NOT have to ever DQ an entry. They have one job only: Judge the meat. Focus on that alone.

      And I heartily agree on the idiotic "don't compare" rule. It is human nature to compare. It is a contest whose goal is to name a winner. Why not compare? If A is better than B then make sure it scores higher! We can try all we want to be objective but this is not an objective exercise. It is a subjective exercise. Judging, voicing an OPINION is by definition subjective.

      I have offered to introduce KCBS to a food scientist whose specialty is product testing. The kind they do in quality control and product development at major corporations. They have not shown an interest.

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        It's as easy as taking hunter safety class or a concealed carry class. You take the class, hear the lectures, watch the slides, question and answer, dos and don'ts, do a juding session as you would for real with samples of eac meat, discuss why you'd rate something hi or low, go over the rules, pay your money, you're certified. Like many certification classes.

      • pgski
        pgski commented
        Editing a comment
        Judges can't disqualify. They can bring up a possible violation to the table captain after everybody scores for appearance. The table captain then calls over the KCBS rep and the rep decides if there is a violation. Then directs the judges what to do.

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        pgski, welcome to The Pit! We're referring to the whole process of disqualifying.

      #4
      Great topic didn't realize the standards for to become a judge were so loose. I always imagined the process to be more rigorous. I don't know if you've written a full length article on this topic. But I know I for one would be very interested to read it if you ever do.

      Comment


        #5
        That never change a score rule is also stupid. Look, the human sense of smell and taste is not very sensitive. We are not very good at it. There is ample evidence that you like something now and an hour later dislike it. So give the judge all the help he can get. If he goes through eight samples and realizes he scored the first one too high, let him change it. The goal is to get it right.

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by Meathead View Post
          That never change a score rule is also stupid. Look, the human sense of smell and taste is not very sensitive. We are not very good at it. There is ample evidence that you like something now and an hour later dislike it. So give the judge all the help he can get. If he goes through eight samples and realizes he scored the first one too high, let him change it. The goal is to get it right.
          I see their point- equal opportunity, whomever gets the highest total 'excellents' & 'greats' overall wins... But I also see your point. If you & I & Dave square off at your house, and Max & Jerod are judges... They have to pick a winner. What if they like all of ours, and give each of us a 9? No one wins, we tie because we all made pretty good stuff. That won't work. In a showdown someone HAS to win! Logic says Max & Jerod would COMPARE and pick 1st 2nd and 3rd even if it was tough.

          Not sure why they don't see it that way.
          Last edited by Huskee; July 22, 2014, 08:03 PM.

          Comment


            #7
            New member here & glad to see this discussion. Meathead... as a cbj & tc, I kind of see your point.

            Only received my cbj a year ago last March and have judged 21 contests (18 sanctioned + 3 backyard, although 2 of those were kcbs licensed). Another one this coming weekend

            I do believe the current process works very well. The cream of the crop always seem to remain at the top. In judging we were taught to score an entry on how well that cook accomplished what they set out to do. Some guessing is in order here, but most times it's pretty obvious. Is the meat still the star of the show or did the process and/or spices/rubs/sauces overpower the star. Was the meat tender and not mushy nor dry. Did the meat, as presented in the box, say to me "Grab Me". One must remember that our scoring scale is based on our individual lifetime bbq experiences. An average score (6) is like something one might see in a restaurant that also serves some bbq (might just be baked with some sauce applied). In the past 15 or 16 months, scores from a single judging table are very close. It's really amazing when that Excellent product comes along and every judges gives it a 9. Of course, it's also the first thing we talk about once released to discuss amongst ourselves.

            Have really enjoyed my journey so far. Getting to know and making friends with so many good people, judges and pitmasters alike, has only increased my overall love of this thing they call BBQ.

            Bob
            Last edited by Bob Bass; July 21, 2014, 09:21 PM.

            Comment


            • Papa Bob
              Papa Bob commented
              Editing a comment
              you have been a busy boy bob my hat is off to you sir. I got mine may of this year and only have done 2 I feel embarrassed.

            #8
            How long would you give a judge to change his score? Would he be able to change it after he tasted all samples? Wouldn't it be comparative judging then? KCBS is not comparative, nor is IBCA. MBN does compare though. I'm not familiar with the other sanctioning bodies out there. I know in KCBS an entry has to grab the judge (in a good way, of course) with one bite.

            Comment


            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              It is goofy to deny human nature and ask people to be objective when forming an opinion, which is by definition subjective. Look, food scientists have LONG ago proved that you cannot be objective when judging. There are people who actually study evaluation processes for a living. The people who run the quality control line at Kraft, or the sensory panels at General Mills would laugh out loud at the idea that the judges can somehow not subconsciously compare. Stop the pretense! Ask them to compare and make sure the best sample gets the best score! There are books on the subject. I once published an article co-authored by Dr Harry Lawless of Cornell's Food Science department on Sensory Evaluation in the Journal of the American Society of Testing and Materials. In those days I was the president of the Beverage Testing Institute and I hired Dr. Lawless to help me bring some science to wine, beer, and spirits judging. I have written to KCBS and suggested they hire Dr. Lawless or someone to help them fine tune their methods and take advantage of the HUGE wealth of knowledge out there, but I got no response.

            #9
            Meathead, can you put on a class? If you can put on a certified class I'd take it.

            Comment


            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              Someday I'd love to do some cooking classes, but to put on a judging class you have to take the instructor classes and tests, and since I disagree with so much of the judging methods, I would fail.

            #10
            I will settle for a class that will suit me instead of contestants.

            Comment


              #11
              As an aside, there is a question that I usually ask fellow judges at at contest. Do you cook? I asked half a dozen yesterday at a contest in Virginia. Only one said he did . . . once or twice a year, and that's about the average answer I get. Seems a shame.

              Comment


              • Christobol
                Christobol commented
                Editing a comment
                ​Not having any experience in competitions or judging, I have to wonder how well someone can judge if they don't cook at all, or can barely grill a burger. From my personal experiences the more I know about cooking methods, ingredients, chemical reactions etc the better I can evaluate what I'm eating. And not only what I taste, but I should expect to taste and see.

                Is it possible the experience bar is so low because it's a challenge to find judges?

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                That's what they say...but every contest I apply to judge is full...so maybe more so in certain areas than others.

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