I have not judged a competition but have eaten quite a bit of competition ribs. What I have found in most of the ribs is that they taste very similar. It's because the rules are such that it places them into a box and cooks are dictated to cook the ribs in that fashion. I understand that there has to be certain criteria to be met to be judged but I think there should be some other rule or personal opinion thrown into the judging that would give the ribs and cooks a wider spectrum to have a wider variety of BBQ. It should be what people like, not what the rules have made it to be!
For me I like my ribs to have a little pull off the bone but not FOTB. I also don't like a lot of smoke to my ribs (it makes them taste hammy). I get a slight smoke going, wrap, and finish with sauce.
UDS, Weber Kettle, ECG, In-Ground Pit, Imperial Grill, & Charbroil Grill