(The Plains) -- It would appear that poor competition organization will be a topic revisited on a relatively frequent basis on this blog -- at least for the foreseeable future. The latest organizer to fall down on the job is the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club with their Boots & BBQ Festival at Will Rogers Downs.
We didn't judge this competition. We attempted first contact with the organizers on 10/17/11 -- shortly after the event was posted on the KCBS website. It was received and acknowledged which is a great start to the process:
"I have forwarded your message to Steve Gragert who will again be responsible for the judging and judges. Thank you for your interest
Unfortunately that was the first and last communication received from the organizers. Steve Gragert never got in touch. He never replied to followup emails. Actually, to ask a valid question, if Mr. Gragert is "responsible for the judging and judges" then why is he not the one listed as the judges contact on the KCBS website?
So there was no trip to Claremore. Not for us anyway. We do know another organizer who made the trip up to meet with Reps, Judges and Teams. He had heard Claremore boast of a very respectable 50 team lineup which would make it worth his while to travel 2+ hours each way. He was disappointed to arrive and learn that they actually didn't make the 30 team mark. Further, the teams that were there were teams he'd already talked to for the most part (and to Claremore's credit some of them are excellent teams).
Only 29 teams explains why they didn't need judges. It doesn't excuse them from contacting judges to thank them for inquiring and explaining that our services would not be required this year as opposed to just letting us wonder. Do they owe us that email? No. But it's a common courtesy type of thing. Sort of like if I were confirmed to judge and then couldn't I would inform them with as much advance notice as possible to seat a different judge.
Each letter in the KCBS acronym, by definition, stands for a word. We are part of a society -- what say we act like it and be a little more courteous?
UPDATE: It was explained to us that the Claremore organizers use judges from prior years. Fine. We can respect that. We still say they can at least practice enough courtesy as to tell us as much. It doesn't take much time nor effort, it's free and it helps foster goodwill.