Author Topic: NHC Final Round Sign Up  (Read 4074 times)

Offline spaterson

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2015, 11:26:02 PM »
Well, let me put this response in as non-coded language as I can muster.  If I am not judging, I am not working.  It's that simple.  As Gordon has mentioned many times, beer judging is not the same thing as bikini judging.  Beer judging is work.  In fact, working a contest in any capacity is work.  NHC is the most expensive per person vacation that I will take this year.  As an East Coaster, I am spending a boat load of money to attend the event.  Judges and stewards are not getting "comped" for the conference, which means that they are paying to work.  Many of the judges in my area who are attending the conference have stated that they will judge if needed, but would rather not do so for the same reason.  None, and I mean none have expressed interest in stewarding the contest.
Hi S.,

Thanks for sharing your reasons for not volunteering.  Your argument against judging is more applicable to 8 or 9 years ago when the competition ran all day Thursday, and into Friday which really cut into the seminar tracks, and thus was a huge disincentive for people to judge. 

This year, if all goes to plan, the score sheet judging and category BOS for all 28 categories will all be completed in the morning.  The conference seminars don't start until 12:45, so judging doesn't even compete with the seminars.  If you're already in San Diego at the hotel, and probably awake quite early, why wouldn't you volunteer to help out the competition? 

Your chance of judging is drastically better if you sign up to volunteer ahead of time.  Bruce is going to assign judges on Sunday, June 7, so sign up before that if you want to judge.

Also, just to let you know there are already some BJCP judges volunteering to be stewards in the competition, and for that I am very grateful.  In a competition judged largely by very experienced judges, it helps to have stewards with more than a basic understanding of how a competition works.

Thanks to all of the volunteers in the First Round and in the Final Round!  This competition could not happen with out your help!

Anyway, the choice is yours.  See you in San Diego!

Cheers,
Janis

+1 To all Janis has said and to add my 2 cents.
I hope all that participate or not, don't loose site of the fact that what you are doings is helping or not in the successful completion of the largest beer judging competition in the world.  Yes, it is work and many of us, yes, even us stewards get our $$$ payback in just being part of it!  Isn't that what the AHA is about.  That's why it is called an Association.

So being that it is the largest competition going, wouldn't you want your association to put up best of the best at each table. Judges and Stewards.  Based on my experience at both NHC's and local competitions, is early organization of getting judges and stewards signed up and assigned to tables that makes the big difference.

Step 1 - Eat breakfast
Step 2 - Look at the list for your table assignment
Step 3 - Judging of all categories styles is done by 12:30pm
Step 4 - Enjoy the rest of NHC!

Sign up now and "Be Part of It"!
 
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2015, 12:49:27 AM »
Shame it doesn't allow you to check both Steward and Judge. I am Provisional looking out to September for the Tasting exam.

Does checking judge also qualify you for steward? Hate to show and be turned away.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2015, 01:00:33 AM »
Shame it doesn't allow you to check both Steward and Judge. I am Provisional looking out to September for the Tasting exam.

Does checking judge also qualify you for steward? Hate to show and be turned away.
Im hoping to go next year and plan to volunteer to steward with hopes of being on the American Wild table.

Anyway, Matt I've not been to finals but have been to round one. I think you'll stand to learn just as much either way.

Offline macbrews

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2015, 03:26:35 AM »
Judging at the NHC finals is one of the coolest things I have gotten to do....twice.  It was certainly not a burden.  You meet other judges from all over the country(ies) and sometimes you sit at a table with someone like John Palmer.  Hard to beat that!

Hell, I would pay to do it......


Offline jeffy

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2015, 02:43:37 PM »
Judging at the NHC finals is one of the coolest things I have gotten to do....twice.  It was certainly not a burden.  You meet other judges from all over the country(ies) and sometimes you sit at a table with someone like John Palmer.  Hard to beat that!

Hell, I would pay to do it......

I was on a panel of Specialty beers one year with Drew and Randy Mosher.  That was cool.
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Offline macbrews

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2015, 04:07:17 PM »
Come to think of it, if I was a Steward, I could bug all of those guys.  Maybe that's what I'll do next time.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2015, 01:29:31 AM »
Hell, I would pay to do it......

You are paying to do it.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2015, 02:56:49 AM »
So being that it is the largest competition going, wouldn't you want your association to put up best of the best at each table. Judges and Stewards.  Based on my experience at both NHC's and local competitions, is early organization of getting judges and stewards signed up and assigned to tables that makes the big difference.

The $10,000 question is, is rank equivalent to experience and overall competency, especially at the National rank?  There are a lot of two and three year Nationals and many 10-plus year Certifieds in the BJCP.  Who is more qualified to judge at NHC? Who has performed more service for the BJCP?  Granted, I am not one of these Certifieds, but they do exist.  In fact, I worked a competition with a Certified judge that has held the rank for much longer than ten years from what I can ascertain.  To be fair, this kind of disconnect occurs in many professions that require certifications.  However, to say that all of the National and above judges are the best of the best and most experienced is not only an elitist way to look at the problem, it is a disconnect from reality. 

Most National and higher judges are people who continued to sit for the old exam/or new exams until they earned a high enough score to be advanced when combined with their experience points.  It's that simple. Very few of these judges walked in off the street and scored a 90, and no qualitative assessment a judge’s performance at contests was made by a higher-ranked judge before the candidate was advanced; therefore, advancement goes to those who test well. Do we really want judges to clog the exam session pipeline in what is often a futile effort to advance to from Certified to National (there's a huge element of luck when sitting for the BJCP Beer Judging exam just as there is a huge element of luck when competing in a contest)? I am certain that that was not the intention of the BJCP and the AHA when they decided to limit access to certain events to National and above, but that's the reality on the ground.   There are judges who sign up for every tasting exam session that is available.  Many end up scoring the same or only slightly better than they did on their previous attempt.  This situation results in Provisional judges not being able to land a seat at a beer judging exam without being wait listed

Here's my proposal. The AHA and BJCP should reserve a proper subset of the judging assignments at the final round for Certified judges who will be paired with truly senior-level judges.  The Certified judges can be chosen via merit, contests worked, or a lottery (this selection will be made before the gates are opened to anyone who is interested in judging in the case where not enough National and above judges sign up).   This approach would be win-win for the AHA, BJCP, and anyone who ponies up the dough to enter any AHA/BJCP-sanctioned contest.  A quick review of any regional contest judge roster will reveal that the lion's share of the judges are Certified and Recognized judges, with Certified usually being the larger of the two ranks.  Certified judges are often assigned as head judges on flights.  Many of these Certified judges will not advance to National for one reason or another.  If a Certified judge is not competent enough to judge at NHC, what does that say about the legitimacy of regional contests?


Edit: fixed quote
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 07:02:55 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2015, 01:16:02 PM »
Mark,

1. Well I guess that was better than Friday's "let's treat Amanda like a child" post. Perhaps you'll delete this one too?
2. If my good friend and top-notch judge Mac is paying to go to the conference, he isn't paying anything extra to judge.  And any opportunity cost is outside of the conference.  Keep saying people are paying to judge if you like, but you sound ridiculous.
3.  Philly had something like 197 judges in the morning, the most ever.  Almost 50% were National+  - We need at least 224 judges to finish 28 categories in the morning, and if we go 3 per team like we did prior to '14, we're at up to 336.  Last year my flight had one person who wasn't even BJCP; I paired him with the highest ranking person on the flight, myself.  Multiple R and C judges worked the category.  Point is, I don't see any way we don't need/can't use Certified Judges, but go ahead and assume you're being left out before it happens if you really want to.
4.  After you failed your first BJCP exam, your attitude sucked.  You mentioned you got a talking-to, and it definitely improved.  It seems like it has worn off.
5.  It seems like maybe, just maybe, 2-3 weeks before the competition isn't the best time to suggest an overhaul of judging Nationals.  They are trying to get volunteers right now - has even one of your posts helped with that?  Maybe take the BJCP exam rants to the BJCP page?

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Offline wsoublo

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2015, 07:08:20 PM »
If you can't score an 80+ on the tasting exam, you don't deserve to be a National judge.  There is no luck involved.  If you score less than an 80, you have demonstrated a deficiency in writing score sheets.  Nearly 80% of the tasting exam is based on how well the judge demonstrates he or she understands filling out a score sheet as well as fully describing how they perceive each beer.  Only 20% of the score is based on how "accurate" the judge's perceptions align with the proctors.  Even if you don't perceieve and write all score sheets 100% correctly, you still get credit for what you do perceieve correctly.

A person that has judged for ten years as a Certified judge, either doesn't care to retake the test to increase their rank, hasn't judge enough competitions or acquired enough experience points to reach National, or has deficiencies in knowledge to qualify with their testing scores.  There's no luck involved in reaching National on the tasting exam or written exam, so to answer your questions, a 2-3 year National judge has most likely provided more service to the BJCP than a 10 year Certified by judging more competitions, proctoring or grading exams.

The only argument I could see is if a certified judge has 50+ experience points with at least 25 from judging, then maybe the BJCP could award an honorary National status, but even then the Certified judge should easily score an 80 on the tasting exam if they have that much experience and understand how to write thorough score sheets.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 07:12:23 PM by wsoublo »

S. cerevisiae

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2015, 08:42:17 PM »
My attitude went sour the moment the AHA decided to give preference to Grand Master, Master, and National judges during the lottery, and it has not improved much since.  Even non-judge AHA members were irritated by that decision because it created two classes of members.   

Why create a thread about needing more judges, and then conclude the original post by stating "Judging assignments will go to the highest ranking judges first, Grand Master, Master, and National in the past, but there is a chance that some Certified judges may be called upon?"  The conjunction connected compound sentence  serves no purpose.  Ranked judges know that judging assignments are based on rank, and non-ranked judges know that the probability that they will judge is low going into the selection process.  However, by adding that final sentence, Bruce unwittingly told Certified, Recognized, Apprentice, Rank-Pending, and Provisional judges who have never attended NHC that they need not apply.  I judged the final round last year as a Rank-Pending judge. 

As far as to the post directed to Amanda, well, I realized that following up a post that I saw as condescending with a post that would be seen as condescending was not the proper way to address the problem.  No one goes through the trouble of becoming a judge to steward contests, and no judge should ever tell another judge that he/she should steward a contest if his/her rank falls below the cutoff. That's leadership 101. If a judge wants to steward a contest because his/her rank falls below the cutoff, then he/she will volunteer to fill the role without being told to do so.  I am fairly certain that most ranked, Apprentice, Rank-Pending, and Provisional judges are aware that they can volunteer to steward the final round.



S. cerevisiae

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2015, 09:55:14 PM »
If you can't score an 80+ on the tasting exam, you don't deserve to be a National judge.  There is no luck involved.  If you score less than an 80, you have demonstrated a deficiency in writing score sheets.  Nearly 80% of the tasting exam is based on how well the judge demonstrates he or she understands filling out a score sheet as well as fully describing how they perceive each beer.  Only 20% of the score is based on how "accurate" the judge's perceptions align with the proctors.  Even if you don't perceieve and write all score sheets 100% correctly, you still get credit for what you do perceieve correctly.

There will always be an element of chance as long as the difference between a Certified score and a National score on the beer judging exam is one point, especially on an exam that is as subjective as the beer judging exam.  I am willing to bet that we would see score differences that are greater than one point if we sent a set of exams two different sets of graders just as we see competition scores that are greater than one point when we send a beer to two different competitions.   While great strides have been made to make it less so, the beer judging exam is and will remain the least objective of the three exams.


Quote
A person that has judged for ten years as a Certified judge, either doesn't care to retake the test to increase their rank, hasn't judge enough competitions or acquired enough experience points to reach National, or has deficiencies in knowledge to qualify with their testing scores.  There's no luck involved in reaching National on the tasting exam or written exam, so to answer your questions, a 2-3 year National judge has most likely provided more service to the BJCP than a 10 year Certified by judging more competitions, proctoring or grading exams.

I know there are at least two Certified judges in my area who have held the rank for a long period of time.  I also know a Recognized judge who has held that rank for a long period of time.   In all three cases,  I am positive that all judges would easily advance if they chose to re-sit for the beer judging and written exams.  Every one of these judges has more than enough experience points to advance to at least the next rank.   

With that said, I would be curious to see what the average time in rank is for a Certified judge.  I know that advancing from National to Master is a difficult task for many judges.   One of the most knowledgeable judges that I know appears to be stuck at the National level.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 12:20:31 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline AmandaK

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2015, 01:09:59 AM »
My attitude went sour the moment the AHA decided to give preference to Grand Master, Master, and National judges during the lottery, and it has not improved much since.  Even non-judge AHA members were irritated by that decision because it created two classes of members.

This is irrelevant seeing as there are plenty of tickets still left.

As far as to the post directed to Amanda, well, I realized that following up a post that I saw as condescending with a post that would be seen as condescending was not the proper way to address the problem.  No one goes through the trouble of becoming a judge to steward contests, and no judge should ever tell another judge that he/she should steward a contest if his/her rank falls below the cutoff. That's leadership 101. If a judge wants to steward a contest because his/her rank falls below the cutoff, then he/she will volunteer to fill the role without being told to do so.  I am fairly certain that most ranked, Apprentice, Rank-Pending, and Provisional judges are aware that they can volunteer to steward the final round.

For those who missed Mark's comments about me, here it is:


I will respond to that with this: those of you that know me personally already know that I am not condescending and readily help my fellow judges and brewers. If Mark thinks that I am "telling him to steward", he is wrong. I am attempting to help.

As to his earlier assertions of my competition experiences... my last stewarding role: May 29, 2014. The last time I took on a third chair rank pending judge (when I didn't have to) and showed them the ropes? February 20, 2015. I also spent most of 2013-2014 helping out budding competition organizers in the KC area, in addition to hosting a judge training course for 15 of our local to-be judges. (Which all of them scored high enough for Certified, 2 scored high enough for National, and 1 scored higher than my own Master score.) So again, all of those arguments are irrelevant.

After watching this for a few days, I now see that there is no helping in this case. However, I will not be talked to like I am a child. If you cannot be respectful, then please refrain from posting.
Amanda Burkemper
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S. cerevisiae

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2015, 06:32:17 AM »
This is irrelevant seeing as there are plenty of tickets still left.

However, one cannot argue that giving Grand Master, Master, and National judges preference over all other members was not a mistake.   Every member pays the same dues; therefore, the AHA should give all members an equal shot at a ticket or not hold the event.  I used to belong to another organization that gave a similar kind of preference to a proper subset of its membership.  That organization no longer exists because it created such bad blood within the ranks that members who were not part of the privileged group started to withhold their dues.  Granted, the organization was much smaller than the AHA, but even the AHA would be a radically different organization if 3/4ths of its members decided to not renew their membership in a single fiscal year or calendar year.

Quote
I will respond to that with this: those of you that know me personally already know that I am not condescending and readily help my fellow judges and brewers. If Mark thinks that I am "telling him to steward", he is wrong. I am attempting to help.

Not only did you suggest that I should steward because the "The learning experience alone is worth it," you threw in that your husband will accept any assignment that Bruce gives him.  The fact that your husband will happily accept any assignment is something that I can respect.  However, that kind of statement places pressure on people to conform, or risk being labeled as non-team players.  How many junior judges are going openly say, "Heck no, I am not going to accept a non-judging assignment" after reading what you posted?  Those who do not agree will remain silent because they do not want to be labeled as non-team players.

With that said, do I think you were attempting to be mean? No, you were being you, but, all the same, what you said could be construed as condescending.  Judges learn how to become better judges by judging, not by stewarding.  I am not the only person who read what you wrote and came to the same conclusion.

From what I can ascertain, you are a highly-motivated BJCP judge.  The BJCP needs highly motivated judges.  I am not a gung-ho BJCP judge.  I do not find judging to be a fun way to spend my free time.  I definitely do not look for judging opportunities.  When I stated that "If I am not judging, I am not working," I meant it.  I was not looking for a way to be part of the final round if I was not needed to judge.  I would prefer to spend the hours that the competition is running doing things in San Diego.  I only signed up to judge because the competition needs judges, and I know what it is like to work a competition that is short of the required number of judges. 
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 06:34:11 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline jvoeltz

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Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2015, 06:45:58 AM »
I thought NHC (the competiton and the conference) was supposed to be fun and without drama....