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Unread 11-17-2006, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default KCBS - Advantages of Membership?

I've wonderd for a while now, if there was any, or what the advantages were of membership in KCBS.

First my perspective:
I am a backyard guy. I've never competed, and don't forsee doing so, although I have enjoyed stopping by a few competitions to visit fellow Brethren.

My understanding is that you don't need to be a member to compete, but to me it seems like KCBS is geared towards competitors/competitions, and I am not even sure what advanage there is as a competitor.

Are there any tangible advantages to Competitors? Backyard Q'ers? Just Plain Enthusiasts?

I did find it interesting to see that thread titled "Bd of Dir Election Vote it or smoke it? " was placed in the "Competition BBQ" forum rather than the "Q-talk" forum. Is that a telltale sign that KCBS is geared to competitions?

I did see on KCBS' site that they state their mission:
"The mission of the Kansas City Barbeque Society is to celebrate, teach, preserve, and promote barbecue as a culinary technique, sport and art form."

Yet when I think of KCBS, all that really comes to mind is competition, and it makes me think that their mission is missing two words at the end of it - "in competitions."

In fact, much to credit of Phil and everyone else here, I think the BBQ Brethren does more to fulfill the KCBS mission than KCBS does.

Or am I clueless and missing something?
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Unread 11-17-2006, 10:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by timzcardz
I've wonderd for a while now, if there was any, or what the advantages were of membership in KCBS.
Tim, Good questions, IMO, but I am going to ignore some of them. You will get plenty of feedback.

My question is, do you have any more local barbecue organizations? I am a member of a local org because i want to help promote the popularity and enjoyment of 'cue. Since the people in the org are more local to me, it serves as much more than a 'competition' org - it is a social group.

I still get visibility to KCBS(or IBCA for that matter) through this org, in terms of the competitions that it sponsors or publicizes.

I in no way mean to besmirch the importance or integrity of KCBS here. I think they do great work.
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Unread 11-17-2006, 10:07 AM   #3
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This is an interesting topic that you raise. I think the KCBS leadership is seeing this issue right now as I've heard it from some of its leaders. "What do you get for your membership?" They are seeing it in their renewal rates.

For me, I get a Bullsheet once a month, but I often read the same stories first on the forums. The cover story on the latest Bullsheet about Lions and Buffalo (or whatever it was, I thought it was lame), I had read weeks earlier on another forum. I see contest results on forums long before the Bullsheet. You also see top 10 on forums vs. top 5 in the BS. So, I guess I'm saying that I get little value from the BullSheet now that I'm on the forums more.

Despite that, I still pay my $35 a year. It does benefit me in the end as it supports KCBS which supports the contests that I enjoy. Other than that, it doesn't enhance my life.
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Unread 11-17-2006, 01:40 PM   #4
somebody shut me the fark up.
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I'll go out on a limb here (and probably fall off) but I don't veiw their mission with the "in competition" portion being implied.

I too Tim, have not and don't see competing in my foreseeable future (maybe when the kids are grown, just not enough time now, for me, I know some still do it and the kids participate, but not mine).

I would strongly suggest you take a KCBS Judging class. I did, and I learned alot. And here is my take from what I learned.

To have you competition certified KCBS, you need to follow "guidelines" or "criteria" that have been established to "even the playing field" so that you can settle the age old argument that started decades ago (or longer) between you and your neighbor. Namely, I think my barbecue is better than yours!

Oh yeah! Says who?

Well, now if you bring that century old argument forward, you can now have a place to go and see if you indeed have better barbecue, within a field of people that are approximately started on a level playing field, by following the regulations and criteria of a KCBS sanctioned event.

You will never be able to account for the wide ranges of "what tastes good" in the different judges mouths, but hopefully, with the number of qualified judges growing, and at least trying to judge based upon the same system applied to all entries, and with the scoring system, hopefully you will start seeing (and you see this in the Bullsheet alot) that teams will over time consistently place, if they do indeed have good barbecue.

So how does this benefit me, the backyard guy?

I know the criteria the judges are using, and I can apply that criteria to how I perfect my craft out in the yard. I think I have improved my techniques since learning how my stuff would be judged, and I enjoy the look on peoples faced when they taste real barbecue. Could I place in a contest? Probably not. It would definitely be a crap shoot first time out. But if I stuck with it, who knows. Is that important to me right now in life? Nope. But I do enjoy reading about my friends here that I see place.

So to me, the KCBS is all about achieving a criteria of what defines good barbecue, then goes out and sanctions events to get people out (like you said you visited a few people at comps) and maybe they'll just get a taste test of what real barbecue is. Then they can go home and try to get their ECB or first smoker to do that, then they're hooked.

I also think MIM is certifying a criteria, taking it one step further to certify the Team Presentation of both their competing station, and their talk through and knowledge of what you know and do.

I don't go to other sites, and rarely read the Comp forum here, so the articles and who places where are all news to me when I see them in the Bull Sheet.

Plus, I like reading about MokanMeatheads Kookers Kare charity, and the Barbecue Month at the Retirement homes, and all the human interest stories that the KCBS is involved in and promotes. I think Remus's articles can be funny, and I have even snagged a recipe idea or three from the Bullsheet.

So, for me, I do think I benefit from being a member, without competing myself.

But, as with everything else in life, your mileage may vary.

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Unread 11-17-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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Without going into philosphies and deep thought..

IF your a competitor, some events give a discounted entry fee that will make up for the 35$ in one or 2 events.

Judging classes are also discounted for members.

You get the bullsheet to give u the hour of reading.

Your supporting the sanctioning body whos charter is to help promote our craft. Kinda like giving to the booster society or a local sports team.

And for those of us that are just in the yard.. I'd consider it nothing more than a donation that gives me a newslettter.
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Unread 11-18-2006, 06:54 AM   #6
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Your supporting the sanctioning body who's charter is to help promote our craft. Kinda like giving to the booster society or a local sports team.

In the long run we have all paid more for less many times over. With out KCBS we would still be lost BBQ people wondering, they have pulled us all together and now we compete and are somewhat organized and yes there is room for improvement. But when isn't there room for change. So Join or renew. There is a ton of information in the bull sheet.
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