Author Topic: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?  (Read 39026 times)

Offline weithman5

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2013, 03:20:44 PM »
i did my part by not entering my crud this year 8)

i remember most of these arguments a year ago and IIRC, there were some contestants that had over 23 entries, not counting mead and cider this means they probably entered in multiple sub categories, hoping their beers fit somewhere. 

i don't see why entries cant be limited to 5 per customer per day or similar. and i certainly think you get no more than one entry per main category would help.  ( i doubt many people actually do that though)
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Re: Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2013, 03:23:13 PM »
The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

I'm speechless about that kind of attitude.
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Offline thetooth

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2013, 03:45:42 PM »
I keep seeing the reference to 30,000 being the number of entries if we limited it to 1 entry per member... but I think that's the total AHA membership number.  I highly doubt that every AHA member will enter.

If limiting it to one entry per member as a start is actually on the table (which I doubt anyway), maybe you could test the waters by having an early 1-entry registration for each active AHA member and see how many you get.  If less than the total capacity, open it up after that for open registration.

Offline jstein3

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #78 on: February 27, 2013, 03:50:12 PM »
I think there's two different scenarios playing out here that need to be addressed separately, namely how many entries the competition can handle (regardless of how many individual entrants there are), and how many people can effectively get into the system to get an entry established.

There are many good reasons why the competition is limited and have been outlined and primarily seems to boil down to available resources, time and money to handle such an event.  You may want to consider allowing a small overage this year as I will comment in a moment.

Getting into the competition is a whole other situation.  Where I am concerned is that the entry system is flawed and whether someone had 1 or 15 entries, they may not have the same opportunity to enter this year.  From the current comments on the entry site pages "Unpaid entries in judge centers that have reached the capacity limit for paid entries will be reassigned to an alternate region" and " Rest assured that all currently registered entries will have an opportunity to be judged in the competition." So, are those folks that registered over the available amounts going to replace the available spots in other regions that were not full?  I was in the midst of entering my information, but not to the point of getting a beer entered when entries were shut down by the AHA.  So who gets to enter at that location now, someone who through no fault of his own was able to enter above and beyond the capacity of a location, or someone who was unable to complete registration not because a site was full, but because it was determined to suspend entries? I don't buy the argument in this situation to get online earlier and enter earlier in the day, otherwise you should make the entry period from 1-4pm regardless.  Oh, did I mention that the email with the link to the entry sites didn't hit my inbox until 5PM?  I didn't personally have info to register until hours into it, and my primary location was overbooked but felt fortunate to get into another one.  This registration was flawed from the beginning.

  Some posts have promoted or countered the concept of a lottery.  How is the current system so different from a lottery?   How many people hit F5 hoping to "get picked" so to speak to get into the server?  How about those folks who punched their ticket by being able to register above the available spots in their region now taking spots from other regions?  Luck of the draw for those who got in and registered above a regions availability, bad luck for those in available regions who now lose their spots in that lottery.

I surely don't know how to fix that, but will feel like I won my own personal Ninkasi if I manage to get an entry in this year.  Obviously, this will not be a year where anyone can win - those who were lucky enough to bypass entry limits have a edge over others who otherwise would have got an entry in.  In essence, some of us are already winning an unofficial lottery to get in, so would that be a terribly bad way to do this?  At least it would be an open lottery, and not closed to the luck few who got picked by the fortune of getting in at the right time.

If the judging sites can handle a few extra entries, a feasible solution to the overage would be to allow the regions fill naturally when the sites are reopened, then redistribute the entries that got in over a region's allotted amount.  That will make this years competition go over the 8250 mark, probably add what 50 or so beers to each judging site, but would solve the dilemma how to keep those in that over registered in say NY because of technicalities, but not punish those entering in say WI where there was still room because the AHA shut the site down early.


Offline noghri_vir

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Re: Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2013, 04:31:48 PM »
The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

I'm speechless about that kind of attitude.
me too

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I'm fairly certain it's all related due to frustration with the AHA in this area. I've seen these judges at other competitions in the area in which they are not entered.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2013, 04:47:39 PM »
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.
I believe you that you responded and turned it down, I did not have that info.  Sorry for misstating it.  However I find it interesting that you simultaneously insist OR gets its own judging center and refuse to host it.

I get that it is annoying that the NW site fills up so fast - that happens everywhere and annoys everyone.  Your demand for two judging centers, one in Seattle, and one in Portland, is not warranted based on the membership numbers in the two states, which is the crux of your argument.  Even if it was however, this is not how judging centers are assigned.  We need people willing to organize it and sufficient judges.  Since Seattle and Portland are so close and judges travel to judge at the NHC, two judging centers would steal judges from each other.  With the recent expansion of the judging pools in these places it may be worth another look, but it's not going to happen simply because you want it to.  And if there are judging centers available that will not steal judges from each other, why would we not use those?

The competition is a huge lift and we need participation from as many people as possible.  If you choose to opt out because you don't like the way it works, that is your call.  But if you want to actually help, you could work on getting more judges in your area, and getting those that are already judges to participate whether they are able to get a beer into the competition or not.
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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2013, 04:56:55 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.

If that's the best reason that you've got to not use sanctioned BJCP comps as qualifiers then the solution is an absolute no brainer.
You're going to have to spell it out for me then, because I apparently lack a brain.  If you are suggesting we go from an inclusive model to an exclusive model like the MCAB then I disagree that is the right direction.

Besides, anyone can get a BJCP competition sanctioned.  You could register and host your own, not advertise it, have no one enter except you, and then you win all of the medals at this "BJCP sanctioned competition".  Congratulations, now all of your beers are eligible to enter. ;)

In the end, using qualifying events amounts to adding an additional round which someone will have to manage.  Janis doesn't have time to ride herd on all of the BJCP competitions to figure out who can enter the NHC and who can't, which events count and which don't.
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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #82 on: February 27, 2013, 05:31:07 PM »
At $30-$50 per entry, wouldn't you think there would be a requirement for the judges to be National or above, therefore limiting the number of judges.  I know I wouldn't want to spend that money and have someone like me judge the beer.
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Offline noghri_vir

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #83 on: February 27, 2013, 05:44:13 PM »
I believe you that you responded and turned it down, I did not have that info.  Sorry for misstating it.  However I find it interesting that you simultaneously insist OR gets its own judging center and refuse to host it.

I get that it is annoying that the NW site fills up so fast - that happens everywhere and annoys everyone.  Your demand for two judging centers, one in Seattle, and one in Portland, is not warranted based on the membership numbers in the two states, which is the crux of your argument.  Even if it was however, this is not how judging centers are assigned.  We need people willing to organize it and sufficient judges.  Since Seattle and Portland are so close and judges travel to judge at the NHC, two judging centers would steal judges from each other.  With the recent expansion of the judging pools in these places it may be worth another look, but it's not going to happen simply because you want it to.  And if there are judging centers available that will not steal judges from each other, why would we not use those?

The competition is a huge lift and we need participation from as many people as possible.  If you choose to opt out because you don't like the way it works, that is your call.  But if you want to actually help, you could work on getting more judges in your area, and getting those that are already judges to participate whether they are able to get a beer into the competition or not.

I didn't simultaneously insist on both of those. If we had an additional judging center I would be willing to host it. Don't put words in my mouth here.

I also think your definition of "close" is a little lacking. Last time I look it was a 3.5-4  hour drive to head up to Seattle (from Portland, not counting Salem (5), Bend (7.5), Eugene (6), Medford (8) or other big regions in our state that have a big concentration of homebrewers). Add on having to pay $3.75 for gas and paying for two nights for a hotel it's not as close or as simple as you make it sound. There's a lot of judges from cities south of Portland that are willing to drive up that way, but not to Seattle. 

In the past Portland and Seattle used to split the entries. If we did this again we could easily get rid of the 750 entry limit and bump it up higher.

Also you seem to forget that 3 clubs down here in Oregon passed on hosting the NHC this year and it wasn't cause we couldn't handle it due to some "perceived" lack of judges that you seem to have. Also you make it look like I made the decision to turn the AHA down, when in fact it was a group call.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 05:48:46 PM by noghri_vir »

Offline duxx

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #84 on: February 27, 2013, 05:48:35 PM »
The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

I'm speechless about that kind of attitude.

@ Denny.  My thought exactly.  I really enjoy & respect input on all the forums where I see your posts.  I want to shake your hand at NHC.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 07:52:14 PM by duxx »
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Offline wxgod

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #85 on: February 27, 2013, 05:49:26 PM »
I like the brainstorming going on. I like the ideas. Pretty much anything should be considered, no matter how crazy. Whatever comes out after mulling it all through "should be" the best answer - at least for now/next competition.

* Not sure the idea of giving "entries" for attending certain events, judging, entering events is going to work. Many of us don't have an option to help out at any BJCP sanctioned events (location, time, work duties, etc), thus we eliminate a portion of the potential entries and AHA members right off the bat.
* Sort of like the idea of relating the NHC to medaling in BJCP sanctioned events, but as pointed out, this might not work either. Plus, it could be nightmare to database.

Ultimately, simpler is best. The more complexity we add to it, the greater the potential to fail some where along the way.

Maybe we need to answer this question first: what is more important - ability to participate or amount of entries? My opinion continues to land on "participation".

More diversity enriches the competition. It draws from a broader base of brewers. Different talent levels. Different backgrounds.

I disagree that the capping the amount of entries will result in the same problems as this year. Sure, its possible it could go as fast - but, there would be many more individuals who were able to register and enter their beers. Yes, capping alone does not address the current issues, but it is a step. So is early registration.

Anyway, good conversation, good sharing, hopefully some of this banter will help in the end...


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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #86 on: February 27, 2013, 06:01:13 PM »
Besides, anyone can get a BJCP competition sanctioned.  You could register and host your own, not advertise it, have no one enter except you, and then you win all of the medals at this "BJCP sanctioned competition".  Congratulations, now all of your beers are eligible to enter. ;)

I thought about that and it's actually part of why I like the idea. If someone, for whatever reason, really really wants to enter NHC and really really doesn't want to enter any other competition, they could game the system. For that matter, they could also just forge a scoresheet.

I don't think that it would entail any more work for Janis than she wanted it to. A few random spot checks would probably be a good idea, but the whole competition is already on the honor system. There's nothing stopping us from de-labeling or re-bottling commercial beers.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #87 on: February 27, 2013, 06:23:59 PM »
I believe you that you responded and turned it down, I did not have that info.  Sorry for misstating it.  However I find it interesting that you simultaneously insist OR gets its own judging center and refuse to host it.

I get that it is annoying that the NW site fills up so fast - that happens everywhere and annoys everyone.  Your demand for two judging centers, one in Seattle, and one in Portland, is not warranted based on the membership numbers in the two states, which is the crux of your argument.  Even if it was however, this is not how judging centers are assigned.  We need people willing to organize it and sufficient judges.  Since Seattle and Portland are so close and judges travel to judge at the NHC, two judging centers would steal judges from each other.  With the recent expansion of the judging pools in these places it may be worth another look, but it's not going to happen simply because you want it to.  And if there are judging centers available that will not steal judges from each other, why would we not use those?

The competition is a huge lift and we need participation from as many people as possible.  If you choose to opt out because you don't like the way it works, that is your call.  But if you want to actually help, you could work on getting more judges in your area, and getting those that are already judges to participate whether they are able to get a beer into the competition or not.

I didn't simultaneously insist on both of those. If we had an additional judging center I would be willing to host it. Don't put words in my mouth here.

I also think your definition of "close" is a little lacking. Last time I look it was a 3.5-4  hour drive to head up to Seattle (from Portland, not counting Salem (5), Bend (7.5), Eugene (6), Medford (8) or other big regions in our state that have a big concentration of homebrewers). Add on having to pay $3.75 for gas and paying for two nights for a hotel it's not as close or as simple as you make it sound. There's a lot of judges from cities south of Portland that are willing to drive up that way, but not to Seattle. 

In the past Portland and Seattle used to split the entries. If we did this again we could easily get rid of the 750 entry limit and bump it up higher.

Also you seem to forget that 3 clubs down here in Oregon passed on hosting the NHC this year and it wasn't cause we couldn't handle it due to some "perceived" lack of judges that you seem to have. Also you make it look like I made the decision to turn the AHA down, when in fact it was a group call.
It wasn't my intention to put words in your mouth, it appears that is what you are saying.  If there were more judging centers available maybe Portland would get one at the same time as Seattle.  But there's not.  As for close vs. not close, it takes me 3 hours to make the drive and I do it on a regular basis.  Yes, we miss judges from other cities that are further away, but we gain judges from WA cities that don't want to drive all of the way to Portland.  When I've seen the stats on judges that make the trip one way or the other it is 10-20% of the total judges for the competition.  That's a pretty good number.  And if you think 3.5-4 hours is too far, talk to judges in Texas.  Lots of people go a lot further to judge, and sites in both Seattle and Portland would be among the closest (if not the closest) in the country.

The plan to split entries and increase the limit works for Seattle/Portland, but it won't work for every region.  How will NW brewers feel if their beer competes against entries in a 1500 beer region, while other people compete against entries in a 750 beer region?  It all has to be even for at least the perception of fairness.

I haven't forgotten that the NHC was turned down by the clubs in OR and I have no idea what your process for making the decision was.  It doesn't matter if it was a group or individual.  In the past when the possibility of sites in both OR and WA has been raised the concern is always having enough judges, but as I said since the judging pools have increased it is worth another look.  If there were no other sites able to host then it's a viable option, if there are other sites available then I think it is silly to potentially harm both sites.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #88 on: February 27, 2013, 06:30:15 PM »
Maybe we need to answer this question first: what is more important - ability to participate or amount of entries? My opinion continues to land on "participation".
I think ultimately the problem is we don't know what the desired level of participation is, just that we're not able to accommodate it this year.  I've seen some good proposals for how to deal with it in the future, and the committee will be discussing those.  We'll probably send out a poll to the members after the conference to get a feel for which options are favored.

I thought about that and it's actually part of why I like the idea. If someone, for whatever reason, really really wants to enter NHC and really really doesn't want to enter any other competition, they could game the system. For that matter, they could also just forge a scoresheet.
This is why I don't favor it - it doesn't really help the problem, and it excludes people who don't want to enter other competitions.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« Reply #89 on: February 27, 2013, 06:40:19 PM »
We're witnessing some serious growing pains as AHA membership has grown by approximately 50% in the last three years (since 2010) to 32,000+ members, and the NHC interest level has followed suit. I think this kind of growth is great. The AHA is excited about this growth rate, while at the same time challenged to keep up with demands of our growing membership.

The system errors that occurred yesterday are unfortunate. They came unexpectedly and quickly without enough time to make the appropriate adjustments. The AHA is holding meetings to remedy/rectify the immediate situation and the GC will convene for continued discussions on this issue, as well as a stategy to successfully move forward.

I can certainly appreciate everyone's frustration, and will assure you that these issues/concerns will be addressed and acted upon as a number one priority for the AHA Governing Committee. I'm very confident that the AHA will act accordingly to make the necessary improvements going forward.
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