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What food do you serve at test sessions (for judges, what served at test sessions)?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Jozet, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Jozet

    Jozet Well-Known Member

    Test Chairs: What food or refreshments do you serve at test sessions?

    Usually, if it's just a short AM session, I'll have bagels, coffee, tea, water, cut fruit.

    It's when sessions go over lunch or span AM through lunch hour that I feel like I'm either not serving enough or too much.

    Also, does the club purchase everything, or do you have volunteers donate food? Right now, I'm purchasing for the club and trying to stick to a budget.

    Judges: What kinds of hospitality set-up do you see at test sessions? What are your expectations?

    Most judges seem happy with whatever, but occasionally, I feel like I messed up and didn't have that one particular thing a judge wanted (eg. only had caffeinated coffee, not decaf.)

    Thanks for any info!

    (Link to completely gratuitous update of my daughter's 2Axel progress. :cool:)
  2. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Sounds like what you are catering is fine. I usually don't expect anything except when judging competitions. But then our test sessions go no more than 3 hours. Being offered a tea, coffee or hot chocolate is nice but then I don't drink tea or coffee, only hot chocolate. Cup of soup is quite nice too when it is really cold though.

    I think the club should pay for it. Volunteers shouldn't have to pay for that sort of thing out of their own pocket.

    I wouldn't feel too bad if it is not perfect. You are a volunteer yourself I and would trust that you would be doing your best to cater to everyone's needs.

    Does your club provide blankets and things for judges to keep warm? Whilst I take my own gear, if it is cold having something to wrap around me is appreciated.

    And gratuitous double axel is looking good :)
  3. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    My club has a budget to purchase food for judges, but some test chairs bring extras if they're so inclined. They're certainly not expected to, though.

    If your test sessions are going over a meal time, it might be nice to bring in trays of veggies or sliced meats/cheeses, so that people who are extra hungry can put those on bagels and make a sandwich.

    Also, one thing that's small but makes a really big difference: it's great to have the hot water or coffee ready when the judges have a break. It's really frustrating for the judges if they only have a short time between tests to get refreshments but the hot water is all gone or the coffee urn is empty. At my club, there are other people besides judges with access to the break room (e.g. ice monitors, accountants) so sometimes things can get used up without the test chair knowing.

    (And yes, the double axel is looking very nice!!)
  4. skatefan

    skatefan home in England

    The Club should cover judges' expenses and the cost of providing them with hot drinks/soup. We are lucky that there is a very good drinks machine at the rink, but the Club has its own stock of coffee/decaf, tea, chocolate, sugar, milk and biscuits plus kettles. The judges at test sessions don't usually ask for anything else tbh but we have been known to order a delivery of bacon or sausage sandwiches on request! - but then the test sessions are usually 2-3 hours. If the session should run over a meal time we would probably organise soup and a sandwich platter in a warm room. But it would all be paid for by the Club.
  5. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    Far from a test chair, but one of the clubs I joined a few years ago just asked people on their mailing list to donate some of these items for an adult competition that took over half a day. I said I would be willing to do it, so I brought milk and creamer for the coffee and tea other people were bringing in. Things worked out well for them and I guess they were able to save some of their budget money that way. I am hoping they use it to bring back the adult edge class they offered to both members and non-members last summer that was really good.

    And :cheer2: for double axel progress!
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Our club usually has long sessions that include lunch time, and numerous judges.
    We usually order sandwiches, salad, and/or soup, and dessert, from some place like Panera or Cosi.

    Judges appreciate hot food in the middle of a long day next to the ice. The trick is finding a way to keep it hot. Soup or chili in a crock pot is an option.

    If there are numerous judges, they may not all like the same things, so variety is good.

    For smaller sessions with few judges, a test chair may ask the judges to order in advance from a specific takeout menu, or ask if there are any food restrictions and then plan a homemade meal that takes those restrictions into account.
  7. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    Our rink will no longer let us bring in homemade food since it competes with their Food sales during hockey games. So you bet staying on top of the hot water, hot coffee is a big priority. Hot soup always goes over well; as does space heaters for them by the boards during testing. Also, we contract with the rink for some meals for the judges; they get an allowance at the restaurant. We also try to have water and kleenex for the testers!
  8. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Our test sessions are almost always little over an hour (though every now and again we get quite a few and have to have about two hours). So the judges actually prefer not to have anything (even tea and coffee) because they just want to push through the tests.
  9. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Our test sessions are always combined with a competition, so the judges are there for 2 days. Tests usually take most of one day.

    For lunch we do a box lunch from Panera, they fill out their order in the morning. We put out bagels, coffee, and juice in the morning. We stock the room with parent-baked snacks and usually a few savory foods too.
  10. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Soup in one of those thermal mugs, by the way, is fricking brilliant, especially if you're sitting on the tech panel and can only take a mouthful every now and again.
  11. Jozet

    Jozet Well-Known Member

    Yes, today was one of those test sessions. 50 tests...not 50 smiles. ;-)

    Great feedback and ideas, everyone! Thank you.

    And seems like Panera should support their local skating rinks. Popular with test chairs! I offered to order salads/sandwiches, but only the judges staying the entire test session took me up on it. I'll try a crock-pot of soup or chili next time with a sandwich tray, and see how that goes over. This rink is usually warm, but today it was brisk...the blankets or maybe some cushions for the bench might be something to put in my test chair pack.