Thanks for posting this -- it's good to keep up with changes, trends, and proposed changes!
I braise stew meat and beef tips but nothing that I que. There has been discussion that many competitors, in search of "cripy" chicken skin are closer to grilling the chicken than barbecue.
Dump the garnish! We don't cook lettuce. It's a distraction. Save that "eat with your eyes" for the commercial steakhouse. Judge me on my que not whether you like flat leaf parsley or green leaf lettuce best. (We had this dicussion in NJ! :D)
Any starting point is going to be a point of contention -- to say 5 is average leads to lazy judges not actually judging and just marking cards -- after all "average" isn't so bad!! Additionally, to say 9 as the start and go up or down from there is bogus, too -- if 10 is max there ain't nowhere to go. And to say that 9 (or 7 or
is a good starting point assumes that average competition que is above average from what you get elsewhere -- well, guys, I hate to bust your balloon but there is a LOT of mediocre competition barbecue out there.
It's always going to be subjective and the different associations are trying to get things established that at least allow everyone a level playing field.
Now these are just my opinions - I'm going to play by the rules no matter which sanctioning body I'm competing with. Our FL association has now been invited to the national meeting of the minds (KCBS, Mim, etc.) in February - if the associations are finally starting to meet together I think we're well on our way to a true national bbq championship and probably some consolidated rules -- who knows? :D