I haven't competed in quite a while and hope to get back in to it later this year. That said, I find the new wording sad and another step away from BBQ (traditional BBQ if you will) embracing grilling, etc. and catering to people who haven't a clue as to what BBQ IS and isn't.
If they wanted to help food safety, then word it as such, but without the no parting rule it sure seems like this is now allowed (and endorsed).
Call me crazy (you wont be the first), but I've been rather disappointed as a judge lately with all the MM's coming across the table and chopped pork and pork strings sauced into oblivion. Mind you they make for beautiful presentations, but the taste is almost completely of sauce and along the way we've begun to lose what constitutes BBQ itself.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from everywhere)