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General Category => Events => Topic started by: tmsnyder on December 31, 2013, 02:47:54 PM

Title: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: tmsnyder on December 31, 2013, 02:47:54 PM
Holy moly!  Just got the latest edition of Zymurgy, and talk about a proactive response to the NHC entry problems!  WOW.  That oughta fix it, and if it doesn't no one can say they didn't try.  It's a 180 degree swing from previous registration, a bunch of people spoke up and they listened!

6 entry max
AHA membership required
lottery period for entry
judges/stewards/organizers from previous year NHC guaranteed entries.

I hate to see the lottery in there, but I'm pretty sure that the other three items will make take away the need for the lottery in short order and may even raise the 6 entry max number over time.  Hopefully the lottery will be able to be lifted.

Thank you AHA for getting in front of this, I look forward to entering what seems to be a much more fair competition this year.



Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 31, 2013, 03:57:03 PM
I have mixed thoughts about the lottery but I like the idea that contributing to the system (both AHA membership requirement and guaranteed spots for judges/stewards/organizers) is a threshold for entry.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dbeechum on December 31, 2013, 04:04:56 PM
1) The AHA Membership requirement would have opened up less than 1% of the entries last year
2) Pre-reg is designed to both lessen the load on the servers and allow the AHA to gauge just how many entry slots are needed
3) I definitely like the service bit. I'm just worried that we'll get all of our 1st round locations flooded with stewards and not judges like the hope is.

I don't think you're going to see the lottery go away anytime soon.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 31, 2013, 04:20:50 PM
There have been a few adjustment made in the past - more first round sites, moved Canada site to the US, entry limits. Each has had made some happy, others not so much.

With the huge demand last year, and the large growth rate of the hobby, a bigger course correction was required. It is good that it will be more fair, if you want to compete sign up. My viewpoint - if I don't get an entry this year, always next year. I could not judge this year due to family commitments, but I plan on judging first round this year, and maybe second round.


Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: mabrungard on December 31, 2013, 05:51:30 PM

3) I definitely like the service bit. I'm just worried that we'll get all of our 1st round locations flooded with stewards and not judges like the hope is.


This is an idea that I liked. Clearly, we need an adequate number of the best judges we can muster at the first round competition sites and at the final round. Unfortunately, judges don't grow on trees. Stewards are also integral to these competitions, but their trainability and availability are almost infinitely greater. I have a hard time justifying reserving competition slots to stewards, though. In most cases, they can be staffed with local talent. Judges are often needed from far away to adequately staff a competition.

With 750 entries per 1st round site, that suggests that it would be great to have about 75 judges to conduct that competition in a day with moderate strain on the judges (2 judges per flight, about 10 beers per flight, 2 sessions in the day). Stewards would be half to a third of that number. Hmm? maybe that minor number of stewards is not really a big deal.

What is a big deal is making sure that we get highly qualified judges to the competitions. I would love to see every entry judged by at least one Master or National judge. This competition is not the place to have to include novices. In the interest of fairness and the fact that we should get the best judges possible at the tables, I'm hoping that there is a limited number of Competition Service entries that will be allotted to each of the competition sites. Having two high ranked judges and an apprentice or unranked judge helps build experience and a future judging pool, but should that junior judge get a competition entry slot? I agree with Drew that the Competition Committee needs to make sure that the system is not gamed unfairly. Get the best judges to the competition and reward them with this low-cost perk.  PS: I still say that these judges should also get an automatic pick to attend the conference if they want it.

By the way, reading the entry limit information, 6 entries is the max and that IS likely to be reduced if the preregistration indicates that the overall number of entries is high. I suppose that the true number could be well less than 6.  Do I read that correctly?
 
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on December 31, 2013, 05:58:03 PM
It's complex that's for sure. I can see that the service entries could cause a lot of folks to offer help. but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. The Iron Man competitions work in a similar way and they are never short of help. As long as the number of service entries doesn't get so high that the ONLY way to get in is to get a spot judging or stewarding or otherwise helping out. Then you just have a different mad rush to get in on opportunities to volunteer.

That being said, I can see it providing some competition in the BJCP pool as well. If the best way to ensure you get at least one spot in NHC is to get picked to judge either the first or final rounds, your ranking and experience suddenly become much more important.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: theDarkSide on December 31, 2013, 06:56:33 PM
I wonder if everyone will be locked into a single region again.  If that happens, would it be possible that someone entered in the Seattle region is limited to 2 entries, where someone else entered in say the Atlanta/TN region may get 3-4.

This year will be interesting for sure.  But as Morticai said, I hope it just doesn't end up being a conference and competition for judges and stewards.  Eventually, it will be too much of a hassle to bother entering, which would be a shame, but maybe it will help reign it in a bit.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on December 31, 2013, 07:08:35 PM
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: theDarkSide on December 31, 2013, 07:11:28 PM
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
You are right there.  Has there been any mention if the price per entry was going up?
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on December 31, 2013, 07:26:29 PM
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
You are right there.  Has there been any mention if the price per entry was going up?

I don't remember seeing any. I'll have to look again when my magazine arrives. (still like the print edition)
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: Jimmy K on December 31, 2013, 07:41:43 PM
I'm pretty happy. I'm sure it won't be perfect, but it can be modified again next year and I'm sure in a few years it can serve everyone who wants to participate well.

As for flooding the competitions with stewards - organizers can say no to help they don't need. I do for our competition (graciously). Too much help can be almost as bad as not enough. It will be a great day when organizers get to pick the most experienced help.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on December 31, 2013, 11:20:59 PM
If you live in a rural area it's pretty difficult to become a judge. I've spent some time trying to find classes and exams in my area and it looks like it would be virtually impossible for me. If there's a real shortage it seems it would be less of a hassle.

I'd like to see podcast lessons for the knowledge portion, home study kits for the tasting exam, etc.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: tmsnyder on January 01, 2014, 06:00:30 PM
Having potential stewards come out of the woodwork to help at a competition would be awesome.  Stewards are future judges ~80% of the time in my experience.  If they learn about the competition through these new entry rules, good!

There seems to be an idea in the previous posts that there's a fixed number of qualified judges, and that's what we're stuck with and there can be no other judges.  But that's not the case, there are a lot more judges in the pipeline right now thanks to the bjcp and especially its recent change in the exam.  Raising awareness of the importance of the judges to the NHC the way the AHA has now is going to bump up that flux of new judges even more.

To the poster interested in judging but having trouble finding a study class, you don't need it, you can study on your own, try the commercial examples, practice filling out score sheets, and find some local homebrew competitions and help judge.  Learn the info on the bjcp website back and forth.  Then judge, there's a check box for novice/apprentice non-bjcp judge.  The competition should seat you with their most experienced judges, both to help train you and to counterbalance your relative inexperience.   
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: desertsoilguy on January 02, 2014, 01:53:05 AM
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis.  Now I am concerned that I won't get in as others are to.  Like many I have vacation and family activities planned around the event.   A friend and I plan also to meet up there but the lottery throws a lot of uncertainty into the mix.  Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: mabrungard on January 02, 2014, 02:52:24 AM
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis. 

We can say that a lottery of sorts, was already in place. Those that were fast on the draw, won the lottery.

The activity crunch that this 'need for speed' created, really killed the AHA servers and put those who couldn't be on-line at the proper moment, out of luck.  I don't see a problem with a 'real' lottery. It seems much fairer and avoids the crunch.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 02, 2014, 04:00:19 AM
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis. 

We can say that a lottery of sorts, was already in place. Those that were fast on the draw, won the lottery.

The activity crunch that this 'need for speed' created, really killed the AHA servers and put those who couldn't be on-line at the proper moment, out of luck.  I don't see a problem with a 'real' lottery. It seems much fairer and avoids the crunch.

+1 martin. I managed to get a spot least year bit it was a stressful experience. This will take the sts out of it for folks that work, our are otherwise indisposed at that one moment when the severs open up enough to let you register.

I think at least for now we should reserve judgment given that this is how it's happening anyway.

Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2

Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: bluesman on January 02, 2014, 07:26:07 PM
Change is upon us! I think this initiative is a positive action toward the betterment of our marvelous growing hobby.

The competition subcommittee will continue to search/evaluate further measures for future competitions. This ongoing effort is focused on addressing the continued growth and change of our fun-filled hobby. We will strive to keep an emphasis on the quality of judging, in order to meet our goal of allowing the best homebrewed beers, meads and ciders to compete in this awesome and unique competition.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: AmandaK on January 02, 2014, 08:51:55 PM
If you live in a rural area it's pretty difficult to become a judge. I've spent some time trying to find classes and exams in my area and it looks like it would be virtually impossible for me.

Jim, that's not entirely true. While I live in an actual city now, I became a judge while living in a tiny Illinois town where there was no one to help within a 200 mile radius. I ended up finding a Grand Master in Sacramento that was willing to tutor me via email. There are several options for remote tutoring, so don't give up hope!
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on January 03, 2014, 01:15:06 AM
I dig your tenacity. You proved the need for me to admit the virtually part of impossible instead of plain old impossible. I'd like to do it, but right at the moment I don't know where to start.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 03, 2014, 01:35:34 AM
I dig your tenacity. You proved the need for me to admit the virtually part of impossible instead of plain old impossible. I'd like to do it, but right at the moment I don't know where to start.
Jim, do a search for BJCP online courses. No endorsement for any that show up, but they are out there on the interwebz.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on January 03, 2014, 01:40:39 AM
Will do
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: james on January 03, 2014, 02:15:41 AM
I dig your tenacity. You proved the need for me to admit the virtually part of impossible instead of plain old impossible. I'd like to do it, but right at the moment I don't know where to start.

You're probably a bit less than 2 hours from me in Tri-Cities.  We've been doing a yearly BJCP study group, but I don't think it is completely necessary to learn and get experience judging. 

Locally we judge county fair (about 30ish entries each year) but the bulk of my judging experience comes from driving to Portland and Seattle.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: Stevie on January 03, 2014, 02:26:50 AM

If you live in a rural area it's pretty difficult to become a judge. I've spent some time trying to find classes and exams in my area and it looks like it would be virtually impossible for me.

Jim, that's not entirely true. While I live in an actual city now, I became a judge while living in a tiny Illinois town where there was no one to help within a 200 mile radius. I ended up finding a Grand Master in Sacramento that was willing to tutor me via email. There are several options for remote tutoring, so don't give up hope!

Teckam or Pratt?
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on January 03, 2014, 02:31:44 AM
Awesome guys. Thanks James. I also have a crazy work schedule to wrestle with. I will become a judge but it make take some MacGyvering
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: AmandaK on January 05, 2014, 11:24:21 PM

If you live in a rural area it's pretty difficult to become a judge. I've spent some time trying to find classes and exams in my area and it looks like it would be virtually impossible for me.

Jim, that's not entirely true. While I live in an actual city now, I became a judge while living in a tiny Illinois town where there was no one to help within a 200 mile radius. I ended up finding a Grand Master in Sacramento that was willing to tutor me via email. There are several options for remote tutoring, so don't give up hope!

Teckam or Pratt?

I went with Teckam and still can't praise him enough for what he did for me. Great guy.

beerjudgeschool.com I believe
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: Stevie on January 05, 2014, 11:40:10 PM



I went with Teckam and still can't praise him enough for what he did for me. Great guy.

beerjudgeschool.com I believe

He really is a good guy and great judge. I regret not taking advantage of one of his study groups. School and work got in the way.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on January 05, 2014, 11:46:54 PM
I'll look into that Amanda, by the way congrats on making Zymurgy!
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: Jimmy K on January 06, 2014, 03:03:41 PM
Thomas Barnes in New York is a National judge and grader. He put together these materials - the first two especially concentrate on how to write a scoresheet. I wish I had found it before taking the exam as he nailed a couple of my common problems. I also passed by studying on my own.

Of course, getting into an exam when you live in a rural area is also tough.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: tmsnyder on January 06, 2014, 10:40:14 PM
We're talking about rules changes related to getting beers entered into the NHCompetition, not getting tickets to attend the NHConference.  But yeah it looks like the conference is going to a lottery system too.

Two different problems.  The NHCompetition not being able to judge all the beers that people would like to enter is (IMO) a matter of not having the (willing) judge pool capacity.   It seems to me at least that the changes they made will address the judge pool / site side of the equation and # of entries.

The NHConference running out of tickets is a case of demand outpacing supply.  The places lined up to host the conference two years in advance now have to be what, 3000? 4000 capacity places?   That's big and by the time it's determined that the place is too small, it's too late.  Can't move the location.  It will really start to decrease the list of cities that are even able to host, JMO.  Not much you can do about that except maybe jack up the ticket price to limit demand. 

Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis.  Now I am concerned that I won't get in as others are to.  Like many I have vacation and family activities planned around the event.   A friend and I plan also to meet up there but the lottery throws a lot of uncertainty into the mix.  Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: Jimmy K on January 07, 2014, 04:10:22 PM
Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.
I'm sure nobody wants a lottery, including the AHA, but due to demand, AHA had to pick the best from a bunch of less than perfect options. The 20% more slots will help, but Philly was almost double the size of Seattle. So it's impossible to estimate if 20% more is enough. Given the problems with registration last year, status quo is not the right way forward.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 07, 2014, 05:13:12 PM
I think the changes are for sure in the right direction.  I still would have liked to see maybe another 'round' added on in the way of qualifier competitions around the country.  Try and get the '1st' and '2nd' round o the NHC to be of higher quality beers and thus reduce the number of entries that way.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 07, 2014, 11:32:50 PM
I think the changes are for sure in the right direction.  I still would have liked to see maybe another 'round' added on in the way of qualifier competitions around the country.  Try and get the '1st' and '2nd' round o the NHC to be of higher quality beers and thus reduce the number of entries that way.

but how big would the new 1st round have to be? it's a challenge getting 10 or 11 clubs to volunteer organize and judges to judge 750 entries each. Either the first round would have to have a lot more sites so more clubs/judges or a lot more entries so just more judges.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 07, 2014, 11:34:43 PM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dbeechum on January 08, 2014, 12:52:54 AM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.

There was a lot of talk about that concept as well and just in trying to plan the logistics of it - oh boy. Not fun.

Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 08, 2014, 02:09:48 AM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 02:41:25 AM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
I agree that's just how judging goes. The same thing will happen to you in the 1st and 2nd round of the NHC. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not sure I see how that would be a negative against having qualifier competitions for the 1st round throughout the year. I can definitely see how logistically it would be a bit of work... But it seems to me it would be worth it.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 08, 2014, 02:14:20 PM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
I agree that's just how judging goes. The same thing will happen to you in the 1st and 2nd round of the NHC. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not sure I see how that would be a negative against having qualifier competitions for the 1st round throughout the year. I can definitely see how logistically it would be a bit of work... But it seems to me it would be worth it.

Why not just seed the brewer, not the beers? Someone who competes a lot will have enough ribbons/medals to qualify. That would be a lot of record keeping for someone, though.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 02:30:42 PM
Sorry. Yes that's what I meant. Of you medal you get an entry.  That would account for up to the total number of medals times the total number of participating competitions. Any remaining slots could go into a raffle.  I'm sure some of the won entries would go unclaimed.

I do see that someone would have to enter the data etc... I'm thinking an application would need to be written so you can have this take place at the competition level. The competitions request your AHA number upon registration if you wish to participate.  I'm sure we could work with the major competition software folks and have an export created. I could easily help with writing an import tool for the AHA. I mean most of it would be automated at that point.... I think most non-Michigan competitions I've entered use the open source BCOE&M software.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 08, 2014, 03:39:30 PM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
I agree that's just how judging goes. The same thing will happen to you in the 1st and 2nd round of the NHC. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not sure I see how that would be a negative against having qualifier competitions for the 1st round throughout the year. I can definitely see how logistically it would be a bit of work... But it seems to me it would be worth it.

Why not just seed the brewer, not the beers? Someone who competes a lot will have enough ribbons/medals to qualify. That would be a lot of record keeping for someone, though.

In my mind you are still essentially raising the cost of entering the NHC to lower demand. I don't enter a lot of competitions partially because it's an expense that I don't need most of the time. But the NHC is an exception. As it is a highly respected contest I'm sure there are a lot of folks you aim for it as their one, or one of a very few, contests each year. If you are trying to gain entry to NHC by winning a separate qualifying event with it's own entry fee you have again made it so someone who can afford to enter ten or hundreds of beers in contests all year long has a much greater chance of getting an entry than someone who has to refine and collect their very best efforts and enter only in 1 or 2 contests in the hope of winning on the merits of their entry rather than on surviving attrition.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 04:09:05 PM
there would only be 84 medals per competition.  There will still be slots available for a lottery afterwards.  Medaling in one of the competitions would only guarantee you a slot. I'm sure at least a portion of those slots will go unused in the NHC... so they would be slots (in addition to the un-claimed slots) that would go to the lottery.  So in theory you could go on like you have been and still take you chances on a lottery or you could take steps to secure a position by helping out with the NHC the previous year or medaling in one of the selected comps.  I think it would increase the quality of entries in the NHC.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dbeechum on January 08, 2014, 04:17:45 PM
I think it would increase the quality of entries in the NHC.

This goes back to the debate - what is the purpose of the NHC - quality or a chance for any member to win. In the survey's done by the AHA it's pretty clear that the membership favors the open chance for any member to win.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: james on January 08, 2014, 04:26:57 PM
there would only be 84 medals per competition.  There will still be slots available for a lottery afterwards.  Medaling in one of the competitions would only guarantee you a slot. I'm sure at least a portion of those slots will go unused in the NHC... so they would be slots (in addition to the un-claimed slots) that would go to the lottery.  So in theory you could go on like you have been and still take you chances on a lottery or you could take steps to secure a position by helping out with the NHC the previous year or medaling in one of the selected comps.  I think it would increase the quality of entries in the NHC.

I slowed down entering competitions last year (only entered 4 or 5 including NHC), this year I am planning on entering NHC and probably 1 other.

In your situation someone who wanted to enter could just pay the $30 to register a competition and register themselves and their friends as the winners.  It'd be cheaper than entering a bunch of other competitions.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 04:27:36 PM
I think it would increase the quality of entries in the NHC.

This goes back to the debate - what is the purpose of the NHC - quality or a chance for any member to win. In the survey's done by the AHA it's pretty clear that the membership favors the open chance for any member to win.
I agree it depends on that.  I wasn't aware of those survey results.  To me there are 100's of competitions 'anyone' can win and the NHC should be 'special' so that's where I was coming from.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 04:29:48 PM
there would only be 84 medals per competition.  There will still be slots available for a lottery afterwards.  Medaling in one of the competitions would only guarantee you a slot. I'm sure at least a portion of those slots will go unused in the NHC... so they would be slots (in addition to the un-claimed slots) that would go to the lottery.  So in theory you could go on like you have been and still take you chances on a lottery or you could take steps to secure a position by helping out with the NHC the previous year or medaling in one of the selected comps.  I think it would increase the quality of entries in the NHC.

I slowed down entering competitions last year (only entered 4 or 5 including NHC), this year I am planning on entering NHC and probably 1 other.

In your situation someone who wanted to enter could just pay the $30 to register a competition and register themselves and their friends as the winners.  It'd be cheaper than entering a bunch of other competitions.
It wouldn't be anyone who wanted to do a competition.  It would have to be specific competitions the AHA would pick out ahead of time so people could see which competitions they would want to enter etc... They would also have to be decent sized competitions say 300-400+...
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: theDarkSide on January 08, 2014, 04:54:03 PM
It wouldn't be anyone who wanted to do a competition.  It would have to be specific competitions the AHA would pick out ahead of time so people could see which competitions they would want to enter etc... They would also have to be decent sized competitions say 300-400+...
I wonder how many competitions the AHA would need do this with.  If the only way to get entry into NHC was one of these competitions, I bet those would fill up very fast, especially if there weren't that many qualifying comps.  As it stands right now, the local comps that I usually submit to (some well over 500 entries ) are filling up in a couple days to a week.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 08, 2014, 09:04:17 PM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
I agree that's just how judging goes. The same thing will happen to you in the 1st and 2nd round of the NHC. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not sure I see how that would be a negative against having qualifier competitions for the 1st round throughout the year. I can definitely see how logistically it would be a bit of work... But it seems to me it would be worth it.

Why not just seed the brewer, not the beers? Someone who competes a lot will have enough ribbons/medals to qualify. That would be a lot of record keeping for someone, though.

In my mind you are still essentially raising the cost of entering the NHC to lower demand. I don't enter a lot of competitions partially because it's an expense that I don't need most of the time. But the NHC is an exception. As it is a highly respected contest I'm sure there are a lot of folks you aim for it as their one, or one of a very few, contests each year. If you are trying to gain entry to NHC by winning a separate qualifying event with it's own entry fee you have again made it so someone who can afford to enter ten or hundreds of beers in contests all year long has a much greater chance of getting an entry than someone who has to refine and collect their very best efforts and enter only in 1 or 2 contests in the hope of winning on the merits of their entry rather than on surviving attrition.

These days I usually do 3 or 4 local comps and the NHC. Some of those I are not before the entries are due. Looking at the BJCP site, no competitions are registered in MI before June.


Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 09:14:47 PM
In talking about using existing competitions. You medal at one of them you're allowed to enter the 1st round of the nhc.
Dan, if you compete for a long time, you will have a certain bias against this. A 40+ beer in one competition will be a 32 in another. Then well respected folks give you great feedback the next time you put it out there. You can't say that judging is an exact science.

My experience.
I agree that's just how judging goes. The same thing will happen to you in the 1st and 2nd round of the NHC. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not sure I see how that would be a negative against having qualifier competitions for the 1st round throughout the year. I can definitely see how logistically it would be a bit of work... But it seems to me it would be worth it.

Why not just seed the brewer, not the beers? Someone who competes a lot will have enough ribbons/medals to qualify. That would be a lot of record keeping for someone, though.

In my mind you are still essentially raising the cost of entering the NHC to lower demand. I don't enter a lot of competitions partially because it's an expense that I don't need most of the time. But the NHC is an exception. As it is a highly respected contest I'm sure there are a lot of folks you aim for it as their one, or one of a very few, contests each year. If you are trying to gain entry to NHC by winning a separate qualifying event with it's own entry fee you have again made it so someone who can afford to enter ten or hundreds of beers in contests all year long has a much greater chance of getting an entry than someone who has to refine and collect their very best efforts and enter only in 1 or 2 contests in the hope of winning on the merits of their entry rather than on surviving attrition.

These days I usually do 3 or 4 local comps and the NHC. Some of those I are not before the entries are due. Looking at the BJCP site, no competitions are registered in MI before June.
Jeff,
I didn't mean as a solution for this years.  It would start after the NHC so the competitions would range from after the NHC (comp) registration to the month before the first round registration for the next year so you always have roughly a month to get one in.

theDarkSide,
I wouldn't mean to make every slot for the NHC to be open from competition only just a portion depending on how many competitions wanted to participate.  I do realize there are competitions that are overrun already... I would think some competitions would welcome it though.

At any rate seems there have been surveys and most people wouldn't want the NHC to be merit based and would prefer to have anyone enter anything so long as they win the lottery.  So this whole thing may be moot.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 08, 2014, 09:21:22 PM
[...]At any rate seems there have been surveys and most people wouldn't want the NHC to be merit based and would prefer to have anyone enter anything so long as they win the lottery.  So this whole thing may be moot.

I would take issue with your characterization of "merit" vs "money" based but I do agree that, at least for this year, it's a moot point.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 09:23:15 PM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 08, 2014, 09:33:19 PM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
There is always this one.
http://midwesthomebrewer.com/Circuit.aspx

A guy we know said he spent about $2k on entries and shipping the year he won.  :o
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 09:37:24 PM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
There is always this one.
http://midwesthomebrewer.com/Circuit.aspx

A guy we know said he spent about $2k on entries and shipping the year he won.  :o
Haha True enough.  But that does require a ton of entires.  I was just proposing a way to get some slots in the NHC based on merit vs random lottery.  I didn't mean to say you HAVE to enter 20 comps or you're not going to get to enter the NHC. 
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 08, 2014, 09:44:29 PM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
There is always this one.
http://midwesthomebrewer.com/Circuit.aspx

A guy we know said he spent about $2k on entries and shipping the year he won.  :o
Haha True enough.  But that does require a ton of entires.  I was just proposing a way to get some slots in the NHC based on merit vs random lottery.  I didn't mean to say you HAVE to enter 20 comps or you're not going to get to enter the NHC.
That was just a comment on a way to show your brewing chops, not about the NHC.

The NHC has been inclusive in the past. Even a new brewer can win medals, or have a shot.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 10:04:19 PM
yeah that is def a very expensive way to show your brewing chops... I do realize the NHC has always been inclusive and anyone can enter.  Things change.  It used to also be where everyone who wanted to enter could enter. 

From the Competition section of the AHA site:
Quote
The National Homebrew Competition, an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition, is the world’s largest international beer competition recognizing the most outstanding homebrewed beer, mead, and cider produced by amateur brewers worldwide.

To me that says they want the best of the best beers for the competition vs the best of the select few that randomly were chose to participate.  Adding this layer would be no different than there being a first and second round for the NHC itself.  It's just kind of a pre-qualifier that would give those brewers that demonstrated brewing merit in other competitions a chance to try it on the 'big stage'.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 08, 2014, 11:13:28 PM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
There is always this one.
http://midwesthomebrewer.com/Circuit.aspx

A guy we know said he spent about $2k on entries and shipping the year he won.  :o
Haha True enough.  But that does require a ton of entires.  I was just proposing a way to get some slots in the NHC based on merit vs random lottery.  I didn't mean to say you HAVE to enter 20 comps or you're not going to get to enter the NHC.
That was just a comment on a way to show your brewing chops, not about the NHC.

The NHC has been inclusive in the past. Even a new brewer can win medals, or have a shot.

This is what I meant about money v. merit.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: udubdawg on January 09, 2014, 12:36:13 AM
Well it wouldn't be money to the AHA... It would be simply used to evaluate merit.  Unless you can think of a better way to evaluate brewing merit for a given year...
There is always this one.
http://midwesthomebrewer.com/Circuit.aspx

A guy we know said he spent about $2k on entries and shipping the year he won.  :o

I think I might try for this this year.  Finished one dummy-entry away from 3rd place this year; in 2014 I'll enter 4 of the circuit comps and be eligible.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: bluesman on January 09, 2014, 05:44:05 PM
Spreading out the pro-brewers sounds like a neat idea. This will give everyone a better opportunity to enjoy each individual brewery, as opposed to having them run altogether. It may make for a better appreciation/experience for attendees.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: theDarkSide on January 10, 2014, 01:12:09 PM
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/2014-national-homebrew-competition-registration/

Any mention of what the fee will be per entry?  That could be a deciding factor for some deciding how many they want to enter.

Also, since they are allowing you to enter alternate judging locations, does that mean you may send some entries to one location and some to another?
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: udubdawg on January 10, 2014, 01:25:42 PM
I appreciate the updated information.

any harm in telling us the 12 First Round locations now?
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 10, 2014, 01:34:59 PM
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/2014-national-homebrew-competition-registration/

Any mention of what the fee will be per entry?  That could be a deciding factor for some deciding how many they want to enter.

Also, since they are allowing you to enter alternate judging locations, does that mean you may send some entries to one location and some to another?

I read that as you select where you would like your entries to go first. If that site fills before your entries are assigned, you will have your other preferences on file. The reasons would be you are comfortable with the judging centers past performance, quality of judging, and shipping costs. I don't read that as the ability to split entries.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 10, 2014, 04:47:36 PM
I appreciate the updated information.

any harm in telling us the 12 First Round locations now?

6 are now listed on the BJCP competition schedule list, late March and early April.
http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: AmandaK on January 10, 2014, 04:49:57 PM
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/news/2014-national-homebrew-competition-registration/

Any mention of what the fee will be per entry?  That could be a deciding factor for some deciding how many they want to enter.

Looks like $14 here: http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php (http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php)
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: snowtiger87 on January 10, 2014, 07:30:09 PM
$14  >:(

That is ridiculous. A 45% increase in price over last year. What do we get for that increase?
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: theDarkSide on January 10, 2014, 07:39:05 PM
$14  >:(

That is ridiculous. A 45% increase in price over last year. What do we get for that increase?

Last year was $12 entry fee so only 16%
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 10, 2014, 07:39:49 PM
$14  >:(

That is ridiculous. A 45% increase in price over last year. What do we get for that increase?

Last year was $12 entry fee so only 16%

+1
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: mabrungard on January 10, 2014, 08:10:39 PM
What do we get for that increase?

I think the only thing that the contestants can and should expect from that increase is that a better contest is held. I'm hoping that the extra dollars are going toward providing better support to the judges, stewards, and organizers that donate a lot of time for this great event.

Having contestants kick in a few extra dollars doesn't seem that outrageous. If the cost gets too high, contestants can maybe hold back on sending off that questionable beer and only send beers that they think are real winners. That is how supply and demand works. When the cost is under the perceived value received, that invites contestants to send any beer in. Unfortunately, I can bear witness that there are a LOT of poor beers sent to the NHC first rounds!

Here is to an even better NHC! 
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: klickitat jim on January 10, 2014, 08:34:53 PM
How about everyone is welcome to enter. But if your beer scores below 30 you are banned for a year, and the names of the banned brewers are published along with comments on how bad it was. That might make people only send their best.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: AmandaK on January 10, 2014, 08:39:10 PM
How about everyone is welcome to enter. But if your beer scores below 30 you are banned for a year, and the names of the banned brewers are published along with comments on how bad it was. That might make people only send their best.

Ha! What if you send in 15 beers and do poorly with all of them? Lifetime ban?

jk, jk  ;D
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: james on January 10, 2014, 08:39:40 PM
How about everyone is welcome to enter. But if your beer scores below 30 you are banned for a year, and the names of the banned brewers are published along with comments on how bad it was. That might make people only send their best.

I'm sure that is in jest but beers less than 30 aren't bad, in fact I'd say generally that is right around the average score. 
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 10, 2014, 09:18:08 PM
How about everyone is welcome to enter. But if your beer scores below 30 you are banned for a year, and the names of the banned brewers are published along with comments on how bad it was. That might make people only send their best.

That would be a big job. Are you volunteering?



Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: AmandaK on January 10, 2014, 09:33:21 PM
How about everyone is welcome to enter. But if your beer scores below 30 you are banned for a year, and the names of the banned brewers are published along with comments on how bad it was. That might make people only send their best.

That would be a big job. Are you volunteering?

It would be a huge job. We sometimes do this in our competition for our own amusement. Beers over 30 are saved and under 30 are dumped. The over 30 beers become part of the "mystery beer party" later in the night.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 11, 2014, 03:05:25 PM
Having all the beers above 30 reminds me of Lake Wobegone, where all of the children are above average.
Title: Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
Post by: denny on January 11, 2014, 05:38:07 PM
It would be a huge job. We sometimes do this in our competition for our own amusement. Beers over 30 are saved and under 30 are dumped. The over 30 beers become part of the "mystery beer party" later in the night.

We save the bad ones fro off flavor training sessions.