Friday, August 15, 2008

RAMBLINGS: Organizers, Judges, Competitors


If we look at competition BBQ as a bar stool, the three legs of that stool are the competitors, the judges and the organizers. No one leg is more important than the other. Unfortunately, outsiders wouldn't realize that from visiting the internet. With frightening regularity there is a one sided debate about the value of judges. If you visit BBQ forums with any regularity you will see the same arguments over and again. Judges are inept. Judges are poorly educated. Judges have no respect for the effort and expense of the competitors. Judges are only interested in getting some free food.

That is pretty much the only argument. I’m fairly certain that the debate is initiated by competitors that haven’t done as well as they would like. Most of their rhetoric is based on anecdotal evidence. So here we see a not infrequent pitting of two integral components of a successful event against each other.

Should the organizer feel slighted for not even being in the discussion? Where do they fit into the equation? Where is the event organizer love?

The discussions that take place regarding competitions are almost always dominated by the competitor, with regular interjections by judges. An extremely rare addition to the dialogue is made by or about the organizer. That’s the way it should be. The hierarchy of discussion is pretty much on target. The quantity of threads for each grouping is where it should be at. There are more competitors than judges and their involvement is more detailed, hence they have more topics to cover. There are far, far more judges than there are organizers, hence the dearth of organizer discussions.

Unfortunately, frequency of discussion can be falsely equated to primary importance. Regardless of word mass on forums, the three different functions are equally important to the success of any competition. Without the competitors, there would be no reason for anyone to be at a competition. Without the judges, we would have no way to determine how anyone did at the competition. Without the organizer there would be no competition.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be taking an in depth look at the role of the competitor, the judge and the organizer. What is expected of each, how someone adopts that role and what can each do to better themselves will be covered.