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mat around for all the judges and volunteers to sign. As is customary for judges celebrating a significant milestone, Laurie and I led the judge’s oath. I was also congratulated by the cook teams that had heard it was my 30th. That in- dicated to me, that judges and cook teams can work to- gether to improve the sport of BBQ. Thank you to everyone who was at Watertown or took time to send over 150 likes and congratulatory comments via Facebook. Front row (L to R) – KCBS Reps Ron and Dena Milhous, Gretchen Noordsy, Mark Noordsy (holding his signed placemat), Hilary Holm and Don Collier. Back row (L to R) – Keith Tweten, Brian Cable and Craig Hinrichs oughly read each question and don’t assume you know the answer. In other words, judge what is in the box, not what you think should be in the box. I have learned many things since embarking on this jour- ney. Judging is a serious and integral part of the sport of competition BBQ. Not all BBQ is excellent and it is the judges role to differentiate between excellent (9), very good (8), above average (7) and the remaining scores of 2- 6. Judging is double blind, so if you are planning to talk with the cook of that perfect rib you tasted after judging, you won’t have any idea who it is. Cooks fine turn their turn-ins for one great bite of BBQ, so their competition recipes aren’t necessarily the same as they or you would cook at home for a meal. And finally, cook teams are ap- proachable, great people. Make sure you stop by and say “hi” to them and thank them for competing. If it weren’t for the cooks, we would be judging a cracker eating, water drinking contest. And, if it wasn’t for the judges, it would be just a backyard cookout. Let’s not forget that it takes cooks, judges, organizers, reps, volunteers and sponsors to make this sport work. In the world of BBQ ... it’s the people you meet ... and the friends you make.    Once the contest was over, all that was left was to send in the re- quired documenta- tion to KCBS and take the open book test. The test is 50 questions and you must receive a score of 90% or better to pass. KCBS has a judge continuing educa- tion test you can take as practice. It was a tad stressful working my way through the ques- tions and even double checking some of my answers by looking them up just to be sure. You press submit at the end and wait for your nearly in- stant feedback --- and, yes, I am now a KCBS Certified Mas- ter Judge and I have the certificate to prove it. My suggestion to future Master judge candidates is to thor-  SEPTEMBER 2019 - 41 Laurie Tweten (50th contest) and Mark Noordsy (30th contest) ad- ministering the judge’s oath at Cookin’ on Kampeska 

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