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NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?

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at this point I don't see how everyone, or even most, can be made happy.  Last year, having a region full and the whole competition 2/3 full in 8 hours was uncharted territory, yet interest seems to still have jumped by another order of magnitude.  If you believe the numbers listed on the 11 regions, we filled up 90% of an 8250-entry competition in barely an hour of the system actually working.
limit to 10, or 5? - there is only room for 1/4 of the membership to even enter a single entry! 

The average is 3.25 entries per person right now (again, assuming the numbers on the regions are correct...)  Last year it was 1733 people averaging 4.5 entries - way less than 10% of the membership.


P.S.  I don't care much about fame, but glory?  Sure, I admit want to beat the rest of you yahoos!   8)

I think those are good suggestions for better managing the process.

However, it may be time to create a tiered competition structure where you have to qualify to enter the NHC.

That way if you are looking for just feedback, you use a local competition, working your way up to "fame" at the NHC.

That way, there would be less collisions at the NHC level. Most competitive events have this type of structure.

For instance, not everyone can enter the olympics directly, if they are fast on their ipad. Although, if they did the Olympics would be a whole lot more fun to watch.

Good luck to those that made it in.

I'm hearing from AHA members on other boards that are angry not because ti filled up, but because AHA members aren't given a chance to register and enter before non AHA members. I can see their point, we make it possible for the competition to exist and should have first right of refusal.

I do think limiting entries to 5 beers is better.

I think the timing for entering was ridiculous. Servers should have been rented in the various time zones and opened via staged times allowing for people to be off work or on the weekend.

I really like the idea of pre-registering and then having a separate entry time. I think that would definitely ease the demand on the servers.

The logistics involved in satisfying the demands of the Homebrewing Community now are staggering. I think it would be possible to fill 15 locations around the country based on the demand this year. Just having enough BJCP judges is tough.

I wish everyone that has entered or may enter, good luck.


It would be fairly easy, if not done already, to associate your AHA member number with your entry requests. From there you create a system wherein you get a certain number of entries allowed per membership 'age' in years, with rollover. Everybody gets 3 to start, for example, and people who haven't entered before get priority over those who have entered every year.

Or something like that.

There were obviously issues abound with the registration, hence the need to suspend it after just a few hours. I am certain those in the know of everything that occurred will come to reasonable solutions in the future.

I for one also took time out off of work to ensure I was able to get my beers entered.  Not sure if any else had my experience, but the email with the links never made it into my inbox until after 5pm.  By that time, I had already found the posting from Janis with the links, but late enough that the two closest sites to me were already over booked, but in enough time to get into a third.  Unfortunately, I got as far as entering me into the system and they suspended registration before I got any beers entered.  So now I am kinda in, but no guarantees - if the system comes back up while I am at work because I can't take the whole week off, guess I am out even though I planned time off to get in.

I am sure the 15 limit came after much debate and by looking at the number of entrants/entry over the past years is way above what the average brewer is submitting.

Over the past several years, I have tried some different strategies on my way to "fame and glory" of winning in the NHC.  Best I've done is to win in the first round, but never the second.  My excitement this year being that the finals are in my back yard had me double the amount of entries I wanted in compared to the past.  To help my chances, what I have done was to enter as many of the beers into recent, local contests and planned on submitting those entries that had either won in those contests, or scored 38 or better in categories that were flooded with entries but didn't win.  My theory is, I am upping my game in the NHC and giving myself the best opportunity to get as many of my entries to the second round as possible.  So, one suggestion to help improve the quality at the grand poobah of contests may be to require entries to the first round have placed top 3 in category at an AHA/BJCP sanctioned contest in the year prior to the NHC it is to be entered.  This may alter the number of entries or brewers, or not, but would up the ante.

If the issue is system overload, pre-registration could simply be get your personal info loaded and number of entries you have to submit and then get a voucher from the system to get people into and out of the it quickly and efficiently.  Then, following the pre-registration period, which could be pared down from a week to a couple days, or not, provide a couple day window for folks to enter the particulars of their entries and pay.  Once the voucher expires, it is forfeited and can go back to general enrollment based on first come/first served if there are spots available at the site you are registered for.  You can limit the vouchers per entrant at any number, you would allow time for people to get all their intended entries in based on first in/first out for the pre-registration (i.e. remove the complaint that I can't type fast enough or the system didn't process fast enough for me to get all my entries in), and like now, if you don't pay, you are out and others can get back in and possibly enter all the beers they want.

If all of this was already considered or tried in the past, I apologize for redundancy, there are a lot of folks with much higher brain function than me that will figure this out!


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