Author Topic: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?  (Read 38979 times)

Offline bonjour

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2013, 12:53:02 PM »
I like the radical idea of 1 beer per membership.

But that potentially means 30K entries.
I think it's more like 38K, figure over 40K for next year
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Offline starkiller4299

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2013, 01:03:19 PM »
I have stewarded for the last two NHC second round competitions, and having recently become BJCP Recognized, I'd love to steward / judge for 1st round.  But the closest one to me is something like a 7 hour drive.

No, thank you!

PS seriously, how is Chicago not an entry location?

Offline surfin_mikeg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2013, 01:04:27 PM »
We also considered the situation where only beers that qualified in other competitions could be entered.  Personally I think this goes against the spirit of the NHC, where anyone can win.  I think the inclusiveness is one of this competitions greatest strengths.  We rejected the idea of a dramatic increase in the cost for the same reason (+1 Kai).

We considered adding entries to each region, but many of the regions are already at the limit of what they can judge.  We considered adding regions, but lack areas with enough qualified judges to judge 750 beers who also have organizers willing to shoulder the burden, and this could lead to problems judging the additional entries in the second round.  We considered cutting the limit to 500 per region while increasing the number of regions, but this floods the 2nd round with too many entries to be judged effectively.  And on and on and on.


I see this with national sports, the model works.  You have to qualify in each individual sport regionally to compete nationally.  Sometimes it means a weekend away to make it happen, but it's been worth the effort. The amount of national competition "fodder" is greatly reduced, the national level resources are still a bit tapped out but not overwhelmed, and I see more networking on the local level to have a larger impact on the national level.

Personally I've never competed with brewing and look to do so soon, but really looking for good feedback.

Offline phunhog

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2013, 01:13:06 PM »
Don't bump the price. That would make the amount you can throw at this a big part of your chances to win.



Kai

+1  Turning it into a rich man's game defeats the purpose IMHO.

I don't think so at all. What it will defeat is....I have 15 beers ready to enter. 10 average ones, 4 very good ones, and 1 outstanding beer but.....WTF....I will enter ALL of them!  If you really, truly believe your beer is that good and could medal you will spend 30-50 dollars on a single entry.  Let's emphasize quality and NOT quantity.  If you are just looking for feedback on your beers....well there are a lot of other BJCP comps that will give you that and guess what??.....Many, many times it is the same judges as the NHC.  As it stands now are the winners at this years NHC really the "best" or are they the "luckiest" for being able to get their entries in.

disagree.  I have a bunch of beers I think are medal-worthy, and wouldn't pay that much for one entry, let alone the 8 I registered yesterday.  It's too much money, and I would just sit out.  How is that making it about quality?
But that is under YOUR control!! Right now the only people who got in had all afternoon to sit at their computers( i.e. didn't have other commitments).  A lot of people got shut out due to no fault of their own! If you raised the price to 30-50 dollars an entry and published it six months in advance....you could budget for it. If you choose not to enter because it costs too much...well that is YOUR choice and at least you were given ample chance to enter the NHC.

Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2013, 01:13:40 PM »
I have stewarded for the last two NHC second round competitions, and having recently become BJCP Recognized, I'd love to steward / judge for 1st round.  But the closest one to me is something like a 7 hour drive.

No, thank you!

PS seriously, how is Chicago not an entry location?

What's wrong with Milwaukee?  Those guys put on a great competition.

Online theDarkSide

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2013, 01:16:56 PM »
If you choose not to enter because it costs too much...well that is YOUR choice and at least you were given ample chance to enter the NHC.
Kinda like a poll tax?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2013, 01:19:29 PM »
PS seriously, how is Chicago not an entry location?
Seriously, there was not a volunteer to organize it.  The same goes for Portland OR, the previous organizer declined and the Oregon Brew Crew was contacted and asked to host a site and they did not respond.

There were 11 judging centers available (because of 2nd round constraints) and various places were contacted to see if they were interested in hosting.  The first 11 to say yes got them.  It's not like the AHA assigns judging centers based on where the brewers are, it is where the organizers and judges are.  No organizer = no judging center.

It is a ton of work to run a judging center and people get burned out and don't want to do it year after year.  That is totally understandable, and we shouldn't put too much pressure on these valuable volunteers.  If you want to run a judging center then talk to Janis - starting in July.  If you want your city to host a judging center year in and year out, I'd suggest you get a small crew of volunteers and rotate the organizer so they can train others and maintain the desire to do it.
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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2013, 01:19:55 PM »
The pre-qualification argument to reduce entries is not a good one.

It isn't a good argument, or you disagree? There's a difference. The way I see it, the AHA has to implement at least one of three options:
  • An entry fee high enough to discourage entries;
  • An entry cap so low it reduces the number of entries;
  • A qualification requirement that reduces the number of entries.

We can certainly disagree about which option (or which combination of options) is best. Personally, I feel #1 is inherently unfair and that we're already past the point where #2 could help. Since the average number of entries is 4.5 (in 2012), even with a cap of one per brewer the first round would likely fill up. On the other hand, beers that score less than 30 in the first round are ineligible to advance anyway. From the competitions I've judged/stewarded (relatively few, I admit) that's roughly the over-under for all entries. So right off the bat you can eliminate on the order of half the entries without having to reduce the "openness" of the competition. It would *still* probably fill up, but at least we could get back to the registration window being open long enough that most people have a chance.

As a model, I think the GC should look to other fringe sports that have to deal with this same issue (namely, a lot of amateur interest in the sport relative to the governing body's resources). Look at golf, or chess, or poker, or billiards. All have gone through these kind of growing pains, and they've all implemented some sort of qualification requirement for their open national championships. (To be fair, the WSOP also has a high entry fee.) If they didn't, the US Open would last six months and bankrupt the USGA.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2013, 01:24:20 PM »
But that is under YOUR control!! Right now the only people who got in had all afternoon to sit at their computers( i.e. didn't have other commitments).  A lot of people got shut out due to no fault of their own! If you raised the price to 30-50 dollars an entry and published it six months in advance....you could budget for it. If you choose not to enter because it costs too much...well that is YOUR choice and at least you were given ample chance to enter the NHC.

YOU are the one that said it was about quality.  Do you want the best beers, or not?  Your plan limits them.
YOU are the one that said "If you really, truly believe your beer is that good and could medal you will spend 30-50 dollars on a single entry."  You didn't say some people, or most people, you lumped us all together.  I really, truly believe I make multiple medal-worthy beers.  I will NOT pay what you suggest. I have the money.  It is beyond what I think is reasonable, thus I will not spend it.  Under your plan the NHC loses my awesome beers, and is therefore of lower quality.   8)

I knew months in advance when registration was going to start, and made sure I had no other commitments.  Hey, wait, that makes it sound like I budgeted for it...

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Offline starkiller4299

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2013, 01:31:50 PM »
Sorry if it seemed like I was being accusatory with that exclamatory statement....I know that the competitions are volunteer driven.  But with all the shiny new breweries in town, and the legions of homebrewers, it just seemed really surprising that no one stepped forwards.  And like I said, if one was closer (I live, relatively speaking, out in the sticks) I'd be happy to help!

And nothing wrong with Milwaukee...except that it's on the far side of the lake!

Offline lodovico

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2013, 01:34:37 PM »
Start by making the competition open to AHA members only. Period.

Doesn't solve all the problems, but it's a start.

Offline redbeerman

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2013, 01:35:56 PM »
I too set aside time to make sure I was where I needed to be to enter.  And I was successful.  I only entered three beers.  All three beers have been tasted by BJCP judges and were given good reviews.  I have taken it upon myself to only enter beers that I think have a shot.  I did not do that in the not too distant past, but it wasn't a problem four or five years ago.  I will be taking the BJCP exam soon.  I have judged as a novice in the past and have spent a lot of time learning about beer.  I look forward to volunteering in the future, but I understand burnout as well.  The number of willing and able judges is a gating factor for this and other competitions as well.  We saw a 50% increase from year one to year two at the Delaware State Fair and I expect it will continue to grow.  Getting judges together is time consuming and at times frustrating, ask Ron.  I have heard many good suggestions here.  Let's keep the dialog going and try not to stomp each other too hard. ;)
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Offline noghri_vir

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2013, 01:37:30 PM »
PS seriously, how is Chicago not an entry location?
Seriously, there was not a volunteer to organize it.  The same goes for Portland OR, the previous organizer declined and the Oregon Brew Crew was contacted and asked to host a site and they did not respond.

I'm the president of the Oregon Brew Crew and we passed on the offer to host it. I replied back to the email sent and can provide a copy if it showing that it was sent. Based on the negative experiences we've had hosting it in the past few year and based on the negative experiences that were passed on to us by members of the clubs that hosted it last time it was in our area, it was an easy call to choose not to do it.

In addition we're not going to host it until:
1) Registration problems are fixed
2) There's more money that comes to the club hosting it so we can provide food without it coming out of our club budget
3) Washington and Oregon get split up into their own regions. We're tired of our members and fellow homebrewers not being able to enter the competition because our region fills up so fast. If these people don't enter, then there's no motivation for them to show up to judge and we spend weeks and weeks begging for people to come judge.

Most of it's outlined on my Governing Committee Bio here:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/membership/aha-governing-committee/election/chris-hummert
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 01:39:15 PM by noghri_vir »

Offline james

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2013, 01:39:12 PM »
Start by making the competition open to AHA members only. Period.

Doesn't solve all the problems, but it's a start.

I'm trying to stay out of the conversation, but I'm not really sure this is an issue.   Maybe after the storm calms down the numbers can be crunched and this revealed.  I imagine there really aren't that many non-AHA members that are entering the competition.  There certainly aren't any that are entering more than 8 entries

Offline udubdawg

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2013, 01:43:51 PM »
3) Washington and Oregon get split up into their own regions. We're tired of our members and fellow homebrewers not being able to enter the competition because our region fills up so fast. If these people don't enter, then there's no motivation for them to show up to judge and we spend weeks and weeks begging for people to come judge.


you lost me here...they're not judging their own beer, so what motivation is there?