Unquestionably it would potentially increase the number of entries, especially in the final quarter of the year. Since the FOAM cup has been a MCAB qualifier, it has seen an increase of around 350 or so to 750. Part of the reason is that it is the second to the last qualifier of the year and people are trying to get in to the MCAB. Each competition would just need to cap their entries at a level that they could handle. If they were concerned that too many "outsiders" would flood the available slots, then have two entry periods. One for club members and then open it up to all.It wouldn't be right to have a qualifier that gave members of one club (or any other group) preferencial registration. It would provide them with an easier route to qualification than other brewers get.
Exactly. Exclusivity is not the goal here. Increasing the volunteer base is the only long term solution I see. More volunteers, more first round sites, more entries can be judged at both the regionals and the nationals, more people are happy.