Online BBQ Judge App Systems

Hey Folks, Kevin here.  This post deals with moving from paper based judges applications to Online BBQ Judge App Systems concept. Not sure how many of you judges or even teams out there are still just so in love with paper apps or emailing pdfs that you just can’t imagine giving them up.

But… I believe there is a better way. 

I’ve been a KCBS and FBA BBQ Judge now for a few years, and although I love being affiliated with these two organizations, I am continually baffled by the archaic manner by which most of the competitions for each group go about recruiting and signing up judges.

What baffles me the most?  Paper.  The use of it.  I can’t stand it!  Ahhhh!

We live in a paperless (or near paperless) society folks.  Right?  I mean dang, I rarely even carry around paper money anymore.  I use an ePass for highway tolls, and I use a mobile apps to order just about anything I can from movie tickets, to food, to travel tickets, etc.  We need Online BBQ Judge App Systems now.

Online BBQ Judge App SystemsBut then the judging applications find their way into my digital life.  

And not the cool mobile apps, either.

Print out this form.

Print your name and information on it.

Submit the form via US Postal Service.

Oh man. I’m starting to itch. I think I’m getting a case of the shingles.  LOL.

OK, true – Shingles are no friggin’ joke, I know.

But still… you get what I’m layin’ down here correct?   I know that some competitions allow you to email pdf copies of forms.  But this still requires scanning or otherwise inserting a digital signature or the like.

Why for the love of all that is smoked and tasty does this nightmare continue?  It CAN’T be fun for competition organizers to sort through paper applications!  And I know I’m not the only one who is wondering why we keep killing trees to sign up for contests as either judges or competitors.   Ok… we can still kill trees.  But at least use what you kill as either charcoal or smoke rendering goodness.

So I was griping about all this to my older brother Steve who started judging KCBS comps this year and is already on number 16!  He’s retired from the US Air Force and got his B.S. back in the 80s in Computer Science from the University of Florida.  He politely let me finish my gripe, and then said “You know, Kevin.  The Rocky Mountain BBQ Association (he lives in Colorado Springs, CO) has its judging applications all handled by an online Judges Liaison Program (JLP).

The Judges Liaison Program is an online program that allows you to manage your judging experience by following four simple steps: Login to your account, sign up for the BBQ events you want to judge, monitor your list position, and Lock In events when the opportunity is presented.

Uh…. I’m sorry.  Where do I send my post card sized judges application? 

Answer… I DON’T!  

As a KCBS judge, I created an account using my KCBS creds, was approved shortly after, and proceeded to sign up for not one but TWO future contests.

Online BBQ Judge App Systems

I didn’t have to ask for or look for a judges application.    I was able to simply click a check box next to the competitions I wanted.  Turns out I am on the list now for a Billings, Montana event in August and am on the waiting list for a Worland, Wyoming one days later.

As the events get closer, I’ll be notified that it’s time to either “lock in” or “give up” my spot to judge.  If I lock in a spot, it’s up to me to get my ass there so that the coordinators aren’t left holding the bag looking for judges on the fly.  This part is universal among judging in all areas, as I’m sure you agree.

So, here’s my question regarding Online BBQ Judge App Systems…

Can Can We Get All KCBS or Your Local BBQ Association to Go Paperless? 

Damn straight we can!  We just have to make a little noise.  Nothing crazy, just polite and then maybe persistent.  KCBS already does this for the Sam’s Club Competitions.  The Rocky Mountain BBQ Association has been using the JLP online judges sign up system for at least a couple years now.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s just a matter of making the decision to change.

So… what do you think?  

Should your BBQ association keep the old paper system or move to Online BBQ Judge App Systems?  Please provide your answer below in the comments area so we can all chime in!