Yes, it did. The 2013 Italian Barista Championship, a World Coffee Events sanctioned competition, implemented live scoring of the barista competitors throughout each round. Here’s what that looked like:
Our friend & colleague Cosimo Libardo of Nuova Simonelli supplied the above pic, and also offered up some details on how live scoring was used at the event.
- The use of live scoring was not announced prior to the event, and only the organizers and judges knew it was coming.
- Live scoring was managed via an iPad app, which was also used to take photos of the drinks.
- At the end of each routine, within 5 minutes scores were published on the electronic billboard.
- Head judges and members of the WCE board were pleased overall with the scoring, but there will be tweaks before we see it again.
So was this just an experiment? Or is it the wave of the future? As ardent competition watchers, we’re definitely of the opinion that a carefully integrated, professionally operated live scoring system could be a boon for the advancement of competitive coffee as a spectator sport. Having access to raw data and numbers throughout the competition is basically unheard of, and it could make for some really fascinating moments in the crowd.
Can you imagine? The last competitor is one stage, and you know the score to beat, and so does he or she…heart-pounding! Those moments when you’re waiting for the score to come in…exhilarating! This is a ready-made way to make the competition more fan-friendly and accessible, and easily understood by casual onlookers, journalists, and moms. We’re strongly in favor of such a system gaining traction in competitive coffee, with the caveat being 1. this stuff ain’t easy, and 2. this stuff ain’t free.
But still, how cool!
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