...I haven't received my scoresheets yet, but it seemed like the Northern California region was an severely understaffed this time around. I will be surprised if I get them all back anytime soon. Several other competitions occurring around the same time had to be part of the problem, but the fact that the only drop point (and location of the judging) was an hour southeast of San Francisco and 30-45 minutes southeast of Oakland made it very inconvenient to engage in the competition. I am sure there must have been reasons to put the comp out in the boonies, but for the life of me I can't understand how nobody just vetoed that idea off the bat. I know it kept me from volunteering to steward or anything, and I am sure the same is true for a lot of guys in my club.
Skyler, I am the organizer for the San Francisco region, and I wanted to respond personally to your post.
The competition for our region ended just this past Sunday, 4/22/2012. And I can tell you for sure, we were very WELL staffed. We had approximately 65 judges per session with 4 full sessions. We had plenty of stewards and even an extra person on the cellar staff this year. Moving the competition from Lodi (of which we had great times) actually was a boon to the competition this year, as it was much closer to the larger concentration of judges and stewards needed to run a massive competition like NHC. Lodi would be considered "out in the bonies" by some, while Pleasanton (our drop-off and judging location) is very close to San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, the tri-vallety area, and all of the other East Bay communities. It is about as metropolitan as you can get. We certainly can't be close to everyone's location, but it was my decision to move the competition to an area that would greatly ease the challenges of staffing this huge competition. And I can tell you by our staffing issues from prior years, that decision was a huge success.
Additionally, my staff and I received more compliments this year than I can remember in any prior year: "great job keeping all flight sizes to 7 beers or less", "this judging location was so roomy and comfortable, I want to judge here every year", "this was the most well organized competition I have ever attended...", and many other kind compliments.
From your comments, you mentioned not even participating as a volunteer in the competition, so I find it hard to believe you would have any sense of the "staffing" shortfall you mentioned. We had judges and stewards drive out from Reno, Las Vegas, San Luis Obispo, Redding, Santa Barbara, and even San Diego. Some of those are 8, 9, or more hours away. We must be doing something right to attract people from that far ;-)
As to your scoresheets... Even though our competition only ended 5 days ago, the scoresheets are mailing out this morning!!! That amazing feat can be attributed once again to a staff of 12 volunteers that helped me work last night to match all of the scoresheets up by number to the brewers names, and then stuff the hundreds of envelopes with sometimes as many as 36 entries. I personally was up at 2:30am this morning after the scoresheet sort, labeling, stuffing cover letters, licking and processing all of these score sheet mailers. I am exhausted, but proud to have organized what I feel is one of the best run competitions in the area.
You should have your score sheets within 1 to 2 days. Good luck on your entries!
-- Jon Koerber, San Francisco Region Organizer