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View Full Version : Moving from "Pro" to "Backyard"??


The_Kapn
01-24-2012, 11:07 AM
Let's say a team has competed in about 20 contests in the last 3 years in the "Pro" division.
Never set the circuit on fire, but has walked one or more times in each meat catagory.
Then they decide to compete in the "BackYard" division.
Not just a KCBS question--all sanctioning bodies.

Is this a good thing for the sport ?

TIM

ps. NO, this is not us. :-P

K-Train
01-24-2012, 11:12 AM
I say bad. Once you decide to cook pro you're pro, especially if you've walked. We walked at our first pro contest, then one of the guys on our team wanted to go back down. I told him nope. Once you go up, you've gone up.

dmprantz
01-24-2012, 11:27 AM
It's not unusual for some one baseball to bounce back and forth between majors and minors if he's just not quite good enough, or if he needs to improve on something on the farm....I think the same rule can be applied here.

I also hate the term "pro" to describe these competitions. I'm not a professional. I do tend to cook in "sanctioned" competitions though. Contrasting sanctioned with unsanctioned, I think there are a myriad of reasons to move back and forth between sanctioned and unsanctioned competition, and I don't think it's a bad thing. Now if the person is able to consistently wipe the floor with the unsanctioned division, maybe it's not fair....

The most important thing to factor to me is what the contest organizer allows. Some events say the unsanctioned portion is open to "any one with a grill or smoker" and others say that no member "may have cooked on a pro team." Find out the rules and follow them. If you don't like the rules, complain to the organizers, not the cooks. That's my $0.02.

dmp

boogiesnap
01-24-2012, 11:40 AM
in that instance, i'd think fine, although 20 comps worth of experience would be quite an advantage alone vs. "backyard" division competitors.

any more success than stated above i would think kinda unfair to the other teams.

Balls Casten
01-24-2012, 12:04 PM
Describe “backyard”.
If you are talking about a cheaper entry fee, less categories type of backyard division. Then sure, I often wished it was only a rib contest … or just brisket.
If someone is moving “down” to have less competition or to go after a valuable prize. Then of course not.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
01-24-2012, 12:22 PM
20 comps in 3 years is quite a bit.Iif it were just a handful I'd say ok but that's an awful lot of experience to be back down in backyard. I'd say if they drop down and win a contest or two they need to go back up to the pros.

Sledneck
01-24-2012, 12:32 PM
If they promise to donate any winnings to a charity then I'm all for it.

Another scenario. Let's say a team has cooked kcbs events only for the last 6 or 7 years.has won a contest or two and many category calls. They decide to do a contest with let's say FBA sanctioning. Would it be ok for them to compete in the backyard division ?

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
01-24-2012, 12:40 PM
If they promise to donate any winnings to a charity then I'm all for it.

Another scenario. Let's say a team has cooked kcbs events only for the last 6 or 7 years.has won a contest or two and many category calls. They decide to do a contest with let's say FBA sanctioning. Would it be ok for them to compete in the backyard division ?

I can't see how that would be fun. Maybe if they suddenly couldn't afford to compete in pro and it was a local contest? I just can't see why somebody would want to.

dmprantz
01-24-2012, 01:30 PM
I can't see how that would be fun. Maybe if they suddenly couldn't afford to compete in pro and it was a local contest? I just can't see why somebody would want to.

In 2010 there was a first year local MBN competition. They had a "backyard" division which was open to any one with pit. There was also a relatively sizeable entry fee difference. I don't cook MBN, but I do love a local competition. I entered in the backyard, and I'll tell you, I was not even close to the only sanctioned KCBS competitor there. I have absolutely no shame in what I did.

I did pretty well in awards though, and decided not to return to the backyard comp in 2011. For 2012, if they have it again, I think I'll try my hand at MBN. I think that was all okay.

dmp

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
01-24-2012, 01:39 PM
In 2010 there was a first year local MBN competition. They had a "backyard" division which was open to any one with pit. There was also a relatively sizeable entry fee difference. I don't cook MBN, but I do love a local competition. I entered in the backyard, and I'll tell you, I was not even close to the only sanctioned KCBS competitor there. I have absolutely no shame in what I did.

I did pretty well in awards though, and decided not to return to the backyard comp in 2011. For 2012, if they have it again, I think I'll try my hand at MBN. I think that was all okay.

dmp

I guess that makes sense. MBN is a different animal.

Lake Dogs
01-24-2012, 02:00 PM
In 2010 there was a first year local MBN competition. They had a "backyard" division which was open to any one with pit. There was also a relatively sizeable entry fee difference. I don't cook MBN, but I do love a local competition. I entered in the backyard, and I'll tell you, I was not even close to the only sanctioned KCBS competitor there. I have absolutely no shame in what I did.

I did pretty well in awards though, and decided not to return to the backyard comp in 2011. For 2012, if they have it again, I think I'll try my hand at MBN. I think that was all okay.

dmp


Oh NOOOOOO!!!!! Welcome to the dark side (MBN)!!!!

After doing it a time or two (competing in MBN), I find that it's all I want to compete in. It's just SO darned tough; that's the fun of it to me. And no, I didnt and wont compete in their Backyard division, refer to below:


To the question: To me being as 99% of us, whether we actually make a profit at this or not, don't do this as our profession (ergo. we ain't a real Pro). To me, if a competitor wants to rule the Backyard section, I'm thinking let him have it. Then again, to me, if you ain't competing with the big boyz, you ain't competing.

The_Kapn
01-24-2012, 02:02 PM
Anyone have thoughts on "why" some events have a "BackYard" division?
I think the reason for their existance might lead to some sort of policy on who qualifies to cook them.

Also, I wonder how I would feel if I entered my first (or 5th) local BackYard event and all the marbles were taken by a team with an established "Pro" history.
Not sure I would have any interest in doing it again either as a BackYard team or a "Pro" team.

Just some thoughts and questions.

And, the MBN example is good.
MBN is so into their own thing that prior experience in other bodies is not a huge advantage. Some for sure, but not to the extent of moving within KCBS, FBA, and others.

TIM

Lake Dogs
01-24-2012, 02:10 PM
For many years many organizers have felt pressure to have basically an ancillary "division" for guys who are too intimidated to compete against the big kahuna's. I personally never understood it, but they have and have had the backyard portions for a long time. I'm not sure why either KCBS, MBN or other sanctioning bodies now have backyard divisions, but it's probably to try to bring the new/smaller teams into the fold and not have them alienated. It's probably this very thing that brings KCBS to the question of should they allow gas as a fuel source or not... It's that "lets be inclusive" and embrace the rookie thing.

But, yeah, if you're a rookie and you get trounced by a pretty well healed team in a backyard division, I can imagine that it pretty much defeats the whole purpose.

Jorge
01-24-2012, 02:11 PM
To the best of my knowledge, KCBS does not have any rules covering this. Going a step further, I don't know that KCBS should adopt any. I think this issue currently rests with event organizers, and it should probably remain that way.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
01-24-2012, 02:22 PM
How about moving down to backyard is allowed if the entire team competes in pink tutus and tiaras?

The_Kapn
01-24-2012, 02:29 PM
To the best of my knowledge, KCBS does not have any rules covering this. Going a step further, I don't know that KCBS should adopt any. I think this issue currently rests with event organizers, and it should probably remain that way.

My thoughts exactly, but....(IN GENERAL)
When the organizer has a BackYard event, the sanctioning body normally Rep's and scores it.
Most of the time, the judges are CBJs assuming enough are available. If not, the reps hold a quicky course so the judges at least know how to fill out a score card.

The BackYard teams go to the same cook's meeting as the Pros and normally have to follow the same rules as the Pros. The Reps hand out the boxes and accept them for scoring which is done with the sanctioning bodies software.
Results are announced at the same awards ceremony and the BackYard teams get the same printouts.
The only normal difference is that the BackYard teams may cook less catagories, but not always.

With all this in mind, the sanctioning body is in the middle of this.
The teams do not understand that the organizer sets the guidlines and will blame the sanctioning body when things go wrong.

Maybe the sanctioning bodies need to divorce themselves totally and let the organizer handle all the logistics, judging, scoring, rules, etc.

Right now, there is mixed credit and liablilty which may not be a good thing.

Just some thoughts.

TIM

parrdist
01-24-2012, 03:13 PM
Here's my thoughts. If the contest has both a Backyard and a "PRO" division, and you have been cooking in the "PRO" division then NO you should not cook in the Backyard division. Now if there is a contest that is non Sanctioned and you want to enter and the rules say nothing about Pro's being excluded, have at it. I find most non sanctioned contest are held as a fund raisers with little or no prize money.

I agree with getting rid of the term PRO, and go with Sanctioned and Non Sanctioned.

drbbq
01-24-2012, 04:14 PM
My thoughts exactly, but....(IN GENERAL)

Right now, there is mixed credit and liablilty which may not be a good thing.



This is so rare in the world of BBQ. (Sarcasm)

It seems that some just like a big smokescreen and we have plenty of them.

BBQ Bandit
01-24-2012, 04:52 PM
Here's another viewpoint.

1. Haven't flown my own colors or paid an entry fee at any contest.
2. Been a supporting (non-cooking) help... lending a hand to a team for a number of times.
3. Have compiled a comp ready set-up, including trailer and cooker.
4. Have cooked for the masses (charity/church/troops).

Would I consider entering a Backyard division?

Nope... won't go there.

71-South
01-24-2012, 05:13 PM
For me, it's about a 1-day contest and cost of entry. With 3 kids and a boat, I don't have the time or money to jump head first into 2-day comps. I'd need more cooking surface, sleeping equipment, etc., etc., etc.

If there were local comps that were one day events where I could show up early, do some cooking, have fun, and go home, I'd be interested. I just can't find any. Anyway, point is I wouldn't really care who else competes since it's about those other things for me.

moocow
01-24-2012, 05:45 PM
I would like to enter one, whip the crap out of everyone and take all of there money! I think it would be good for my self-esteem!:-P In all seriousness we talked about entering a small 1 day local contest for fun but we were going to cook on drums, something we don't usually do at contests. We were also going to try some new recipes to. We did not end up doing it because it was the week before the royal. Do you think it would have been unfair for us to compete?

Candy Sue
01-24-2012, 05:47 PM
The designation "pro" is gone in the newest version of KCBS scoring software. Expert and other are the terms. In my opinion (and my opinion only), do what you want to do.

Don't even get me going on MBN backyard! Blatant copy of KCBS, again in my opinion and only my opinion. Only contest that ever refunded my entry fee was an MBN backyard event. Yes, there's more to the story, but I'll not detail here.

Jorge
01-24-2012, 05:48 PM
I would like to enter one, whip the crap out of everyone and take all of there money! I think it would be good for my self-esteem!:-P In all seriousness we talked about entering a small 1 day local contest for fun but we were going to cook on drums, something we don't usually do at contests. We were also going to try some new recipes to. We did not end up doing it because it was the week before the royal. Do you think it would have been unfair for us to compete?

It depends of if 'he who shall remain nameless' would be making snow angels in the dirt:thumb:

bander7003
01-24-2012, 05:56 PM
I guess it would depend on the intent of a backyard competition. Is it intended for inexperienced rookies? For me, I would say that it just doesn't feel right to compete at a high level and then drop down. I have never competed, although I have been interested in the idea. I don't have any competition set-up and have never had the chance to help out at one. I would be more likely to compete once in a backyard/rookie division to get the feel of competition. But I think I would limit it to once or twice. Once you get the feel of things, compete with the big boys for the cash.

The_Kapn
01-24-2012, 06:13 PM
Let me clarify before this wanders off into never-never land :wink:

I am specifically refering to "concurrent" Pro/Backyard events which are sanctioned, or appear to be sanctioned, and are administered by the sanctioning body.
Not asking about non-sanctioned contests (those are fun, BTW, and should be open to all) or seperate events such as the grilling contests held by NEBS. At least as I understand the NEBS process as being totally seperate from the other event.

The topic of "what is a pro" is valid but is outside this discussion.
Warrants a thread of it's own for those who want to talk about it.

My basic question is--"Is it OK and fair to the other teams for a team with Pro experience go to BackYard and compete"???

I have had 2 personal experiences with this.
One was a MIM contest a few years back.

One was recent. I contacted a KCBS organizer and the Pro side was full. Was invited to come cook the BackYard.
Told him even though I had not cooked KCBS in a couple of years, I was a regular FBA Pro cook.
Was basically told that it did not matter, I was welcome to come cook BackYard.
Thanks, but no Thanks.

Just sticks in my craw a bit.

TIM

boogiesnap
01-24-2012, 06:22 PM
well, that changes the original intent. a pro team that has been more or less unsuccessful(a couple walks over 20 contests)and is there to win and not JUST for fun, go ahead move to backyard. if after 20 events you're not improving, you prolly won't.

if a team has enjoyed moderate to high success, absolutely no.

for me, i did 1 amatuer comp cuz there was no entry fee. great way to get feet wet. now that i've gone "pro", i.e sanctioned(which i like this terminology better too)i wouldn't feel right about trouncing on newbies.

Crash
01-25-2012, 04:48 AM
I think it depends on what the Backyard categories are. We've competed in three separate sanctioned events that also had a backyard event. We competed in both the "Pro" category and the Backyard category at the same time and on the same day.

As far as I can recall, many (if not all) of the Backyard categories were nothing similar to the "Pro" 4 meats. I think the last BY event we did on the same day as an IBCA event had chili, burgers, salsa and carne asada as BY categories.

Should that exclude a "Pro" team from competing in the BY event? In all honesty, 8 turn-ins every half hour could do more harm than good to a "Pro" team.

If the "Pro" and BY categories are totally different, I don't see an issue at all. If they are the same, I can totally see the argument.

Lake Dogs
01-25-2012, 09:59 AM
One was recent. I contacted a KCBS organizer and the Pro side was full. Was invited to come cook the BackYard.
Told him even though I had not cooked KCBS in a couple of years, I was a regular FBA Pro cook.
Was basically told that it did not matter, I was welcome to come cook BackYard.
Thanks, but no Thanks.

Just sticks in my craw a bit.

TIM


Tim, this last one hit me wrong too. I guess it's probably due to a zealous organizer trying to maximize the return of the event (derive most benefit to help the event and in turn better-serve the community) unfortunately at the cost of some (potentially) beginners experience. Sometimes salesmen dont know when to say No.


Candy, while I could be wrong, I think MBN had their Backyard "division" the year before KCBS did, or maybe it was 2 years before. Mind you, I think both are kinda funny/peculiar, as Tim as adequately stated. Either way, I think most BBQ sanctioning bodies copy this and that from one another (yes, even KCBS has copied ideas/techniques from others) and have done so consistently.

AUradar
01-25-2012, 01:15 PM
i've only done one contest and I was in the backyard division. I didn't see any difference between us and the pro's. The entry fee was twice for the pros ($200 vs $100 i believe) but there was basically no pay out for the backyard. I came in 3rd on chicken (no payout) and 3rd overall (got $25). With the money I invested in the cook, the extra $100 for a pro wouldn't have broken the bank.

The guy who won the backyard would have come in about 18-20th if he was in the Pros.

So my feeling, if someone who could compete on a pro level (has walked) had decided to do this one for funnies, it could have very well ruined my experience. This isn't good for the "sport" as a whole. Nobody wants to compete against a ringer. If I compete I want a chance to win. I choose to compete in the league that my skills should best fit. If I choose to compete in backyard skill level then thats who should be there.

Another difference I saw between the pros and backyards was the caliber of the smoker. You bring a multi thousand dollar rig, or even more, and I have to compete with that with my UDS????? I won't be happy. I know, I know, its the cook not the cooker, but the cooker does play a part.

But to say if someone has ever competed as a pro shouldn't be allowed back in a backyard is a bit extreme I think. I might do a pro competetion if I wanted to do a comp that didn't have a backyard division. And in making the transition to pro, in any sport, its not uncommon to bounce back and forth between divisions until your skill level is fully there. Play up one year, down the next, so forth.

I think its a gray line.

boogiesnap
01-25-2012, 01:31 PM
well said, but one very strong point:

the clamshell does not care 1 iotta what the food came out of.

neither do the judges, NEVER feel intimidated by anothers cooker. i've lost to and beat $10,000 jambos with my $400 WSM.

TooSaucedToPork
01-25-2012, 02:28 PM
Memphis in May has had a “backyard” division called Patio Porkers for a very long time (20+ years, at least I seems that long). When the MBN split from MIM in mid 2000’s they took these ideas and rules with them to form their own “Backyard Division”

Now I like MIM’s rules that once a team or head cook has won a Patio Porker event, they are no longer allowed to cook in that division. If you win Patio, then you are good enough to cook with the Big Boys…(and girls)

MIM also states a head cook that has cooked in the “pro” division can not move back down to the Patio Porker division. This keeps the integrity of the “Backyard Division” intact.

This does not apply to other sanctioning bodies, only MIM. I feel that if you are a “pro” and switch sanctioning bodies (i.e. KCBS to MBN) you can with good conscience cook a few backyard events to get used to the judging system. But once you start winning, move up to where you belong and give the division over to the rookies…

King
01-25-2012, 06:52 PM
As a full fledged backyard BBQ competitor, I look forward to squaring off against a pro. Don't take backyard comps for granted...it's only one day, just hours in fact...no time to drink beer...the judges are not experienced...and they are hardly the same categories you find in a KCBS event.

The bigger the BBQ trailer, the more confident I am. I bet it's humbling for them to watch me win with my WSM and kettle. I've beaten pro's, caterers, restaurant owners and folks with lots more experience.

Looking back, all of them became real good friends and we shared lots of good times. I can't thank them all enough for making me better and pushing my BBQ knowledge to the limit. Now, I'm making the jump to KCBS this year...I'm looking forward to it.

Wampus
01-26-2012, 02:51 PM
My basic question is--"Is it OK and fair to the other teams for a team with Pro experience go to BackYard and compete"???

Let me take a stab at this as a guy who's only competed in the backyard thusfar.....

I did a backyard in ribs last year. This year, I'm teaming up with another brethren and we'll compete as a pro team together. He's competed for 2 years on his own. I actually cooked with him last year twice, but only as an extra set of hands. I knew his plan (recipes, techniques, etc), but only because I asked and he told me. In the event that I cooked in the backyard, I was helping him out on his pro team, but had my UDS in his camp and had also entered in the backyard myself for ribs.

I ended up winning the BY ribs comp.

NOW....I've never really thought about this until reading this thread and how it may have looked......but.....

I entered honestly. At the time of that comp, I'd only visited teams at 2 other comps and helped Jimmy out at one other comp. Literally was just an extra set of hands.....not a cook, per se. I entered the backyard with my own recipe, my own plan, my own cooker, my own rub, sauce, etc. Used all my own supplies even. I was a legitimate backyard competitor.

BUT....since I cooked in Jimmy's camp, I wonder if the other backyard guys may have thought I was part of a pro team?



In answer to Tim's original question, I don't know if it should be allowed or not, but I don't think it's FAIR or COOL. If I had gotten beat out by a pro team who was cooking in the backyard, I'd have thought it BS. (only thing is.....did the other guys think that's exactly what I did?) The backyard is (IMHO) for guys just like me. I'd visited and hung out with a few teams, and thought I was a pretty good cook, but this was the very first time I'd put MY ribs to any kind of a real test. I wanted to see how they stood up. If I wanted to put them up against legit pro teams, I'd have entered as a pro cook. So, to me....the INTENT of the B.Y. is to have it be for "noobs".

A lot of folks on here are pro (sanctioned:roll:) competitors. Just thought I'd put in a viewpoint from an actual backyard competitor.

My opinion.....

Wampus
01-26-2012, 02:56 PM
What about this.....

In one of the KCBS sanctioned events I was at last year, there was an "anything but" category. I turned in my beans. Now, this was the first ever contest that I'd cooked anything in, even as a "helper" to Jimmy.

I noticed that a lot of other teams turned in for this category too. Is this the same thing that we're talking about? Seems like it's different, no?

TooSaucedToPork
01-26-2012, 03:27 PM
What about this.....

In one of the KCBS sanctioned events I was at last year, there was an "anything but" category. I turned in my beans. Now, this was the first ever contest that I'd cooked anything in, even as a "helper" to Jimmy.

I noticed that a lot of other teams turned in for this category too. Is this the same thing that we're talking about? Seems like it's different, no?

Totally different.

Ancillary or "Anything But..." Catagories are additional to the four main BBQ Meat turn ins for KCBS. Sidedish, seafood, sauce etc...

A backyard competition will usually be a separate comp in and of itself.

You do have Rib cookoffs, Grilling competitions, and many other feats of Q that can be part of a contest. There also could be a fine line between what is considered "backyard" and what is considered one of the above.

My opinion is...

If at a contest there is a completely seperate "backyard" team area from the "sanctioned" or "pro" area (i.e. backyard teams are all together in one area OF THEIR OWN at the contest) and you can't cook in that division unless you have a team spot in that area, then that is a backyard competition.

If it is a rib cookoff the day before or after a KCBS contest, it is not "backyard"...it is just another contest to enter.

The_Kapn
01-26-2012, 03:32 PM
What about this.....

In one of the KCBS sanctioned events I was at last year, there was an "anything but" category. I turned in my beans. Now, this was the first ever contest that I'd cooked anything in, even as a "helper" to Jimmy.

I noticed that a lot of other teams turned in for this category too. Is this the same thing that we're talking about? Seems like it's different, no?

The thing you described is considered "ancillaries" to most of us.
A post above refers to the same sort of entries.

These are catagories outside the ones sanctioned and are added by the organizer for various reasons.
Beans, steak, seafood, desserts, "anything but", wings, and chef's choice are common.
Open to all teams and individuals.

Really nothing to do with my question.

Lots of fun :-D

TIM