the rule of thumb we use is this: make it so when the table captain opens the box the judges think to themselves "I gotta have some of that!" The meat touching thing is not huge but make sure that if it does that does not stick together. Example here is that if 2 ribs were to stick together then that counts as one portion therefore another judge has nothing to sample.
As for portion size it needs to be enough that the judge can get at lest 2 bites, 3 or more is better. For ribs we turn in 6+ individual ribs "Hollywood style" (meat on both sides). For pork its usually a ball in the middle and they take what they want. Chicken is 6 portions of thighs or what we choose to cook that day, and brisket is 6+ slices.
For the sauce. This is a big discussion around here and my 2 cents is that if you follow the rules then sauce makes no difference. IF you choose to use it and most do make sure it does not pool anywhere in the container. I use very little sauce unless I am going somewhere that is used to seeing lots of sauce on their meat.
I am not sure if any of this helps but the best thing to do is do a practice run and submit pictures to the brethren, any of us is happy to help you get started on the right foot or thigh as the case may be
Kevin a.k.a. Smokcrates, BBQ P[FONT=Arial]hilosopher[/FONT]
Partners in Swine Comp. BBQ Team
Ole' Hickory CTO /
2 x Weber 22.5 One Touch Silver (red , black)
Weber Smokey Joe
Char-Broil Gas Passer