Not if they are entered digitally from the start!
That's what I'm thinking. Wouldn't it be so much easier if you could look at the ID and/or beer name on the slip banded to the beer, select it from the list of beers in that category, and then fill in a form that adds up to a score.
I can see that adding in comments will be harder in a digital environment, but we could allow for an audio comment that would make it even easier than writing it out longhand.
I entered my first comp and just got the scores back last week. All I got was a single score for each beer. Not helpful at all to improve my brewing.
Scores are nice to see but in my opinion they really only tell an entrant if the judges thought the entry was on the low, mid range, or high end of the Scoring Guide group (Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Outstanding) that it finished in. What's really important about a homebrew competition is the feedback that you're supposed to receive about the entry. Unfortunately all that was received here was a score and no feedback. Being a first time entrant it's tough to figure out which comps to enter and which ones don't meet your needs. I'd suggest checking out the competition sections on the AHA, Brewing Network, and Homebrew Talk forms to see what folks are posting about the different competitions. One thing about the forum world, they seldom hold back any punches. I'd also suggest Googling the competition name to see if folks have blogged about their experience with a particular competition. Finally if you belong to a homebrew club ask around to find out what others think about a particular competition.
Tiny soap box - Introducing electronic devices and voice recognition software to the judging portion of a competition would be a huge challenge. I'm a National judge, coordinated several competitions, and for 5 years implemented electronic medical records systems in clinics. Part of those implementations involved teaching Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, and Medical Assistants how to prescribe medications and submit dictations using electronic devices. They were all moving out of the world of paper medical charts and into the world of the electronic one, which is pretty close to what we would be attempting here. One, the learning curve for these professionals was huge and they all have a background of some kind of formal training. Second, the start up and maintenance costs would blow any competition budget. There would have to be some sort of standard device with a standard software image in order to reduce the user learning curve and troubleshooting support. Bring your own device in my mind is not an option because different devices, different operating systems, different operating system versions, anti virus, and keeping software versions up to date would be a maintenance nightmare. Off my soap box. I now return you to the previously discussed topic.