Author Topic: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!  (Read 2133 times)

Offline tmsnyder

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:47:54 AM »
Holy moly!  Just got the latest edition of Zymurgy, and talk about a proactive response to the NHC entry problems!  WOW.  That oughta fix it, and if it doesn't no one can say they didn't try.  It's a 180 degree swing from previous registration, a bunch of people spoke up and they listened!

6 entry max
AHA membership required
lottery period for entry
judges/stewards/organizers from previous year NHC guaranteed entries.

I hate to see the lottery in there, but I'm pretty sure that the other three items will make take away the need for the lottery in short order and may even raise the 6 entry max number over time.  Hopefully the lottery will be able to be lifted.

Thank you AHA for getting in front of this, I look forward to entering what seems to be a much more fair competition this year.




Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 916
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 08:57:03 AM »
I have mixed thoughts about the lottery but I like the idea that contributing to the system (both AHA membership requirement and guaranteed spots for judges/stewards/organizers) is a threshold for entry.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2311
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2013, 09:04:56 AM »
1) The AHA Membership requirement would have opened up less than 1% of the entries last year
2) Pre-reg is designed to both lessen the load on the servers and allow the AHA to gauge just how many entry slots are needed
3) I definitely like the service bit. I'm just worried that we'll get all of our 1st round locations flooded with stewards and not judges like the hope is.

I don't think you're going to see the lottery go away anytime soon.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4548
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 09:20:50 AM »
There have been a few adjustment made in the past - more first round sites, moved Canada site to the US, entry limits. Each has had made some happy, others not so much.

With the huge demand last year, and the large growth rate of the hobby, a bigger course correction was required. It is good that it will be more fair, if you want to compete sign up. My viewpoint - if I don't get an entry this year, always next year. I could not judge this year due to family commitments, but I plan on judging first round this year, and maybe second round.


Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1104
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 10:51:30 AM »

3) I definitely like the service bit. I'm just worried that we'll get all of our 1st round locations flooded with stewards and not judges like the hope is.


This is an idea that I liked. Clearly, we need an adequate number of the best judges we can muster at the first round competition sites and at the final round. Unfortunately, judges don't grow on trees. Stewards are also integral to these competitions, but their trainability and availability are almost infinitely greater. I have a hard time justifying reserving competition slots to stewards, though. In most cases, they can be staffed with local talent. Judges are often needed from far away to adequately staff a competition.

With 750 entries per 1st round site, that suggests that it would be great to have about 75 judges to conduct that competition in a day with moderate strain on the judges (2 judges per flight, about 10 beers per flight, 2 sessions in the day). Stewards would be half to a third of that number. Hmm? maybe that minor number of stewards is not really a big deal.

What is a big deal is making sure that we get highly qualified judges to the competitions. I would love to see every entry judged by at least one Master or National judge. This competition is not the place to have to include novices. In the interest of fairness and the fact that we should get the best judges possible at the tables, I'm hoping that there is a limited number of Competition Service entries that will be allotted to each of the competition sites. Having two high ranked judges and an apprentice or unranked judge helps build experience and a future judging pool, but should that junior judge get a competition entry slot? I agree with Drew that the Competition Committee needs to make sure that the system is not gamed unfairly. Get the best judges to the competition and reward them with this low-cost perk.  PS: I still say that these judges should also get an automatic pick to attend the conference if they want it.

By the way, reading the entry limit information, 6 entries is the max and that IS likely to be reduced if the preregistration indicates that the overall number of entries is high. I suppose that the true number could be well less than 6.  Do I read that correctly?
 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5697
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 10:58:03 AM »
It's complex that's for sure. I can see that the service entries could cause a lot of folks to offer help. but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. The Iron Man competitions work in a similar way and they are never short of help. As long as the number of service entries doesn't get so high that the ONLY way to get in is to get a spot judging or stewarding or otherwise helping out. Then you just have a different mad rush to get in on opportunities to volunteer.

That being said, I can see it providing some competition in the BJCP pool as well. If the best way to ensure you get at least one spot in NHC is to get picked to judge either the first or final rounds, your ranking and experience suddenly become much more important.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Online theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2077
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2013, 11:56:33 AM »
I wonder if everyone will be locked into a single region again.  If that happens, would it be possible that someone entered in the Seattle region is limited to 2 entries, where someone else entered in say the Atlanta/TN region may get 3-4.

This year will be interesting for sure.  But as Morticai said, I hope it just doesn't end up being a conference and competition for judges and stewards.  Eventually, it will be too much of a hassle to bother entering, which would be a shame, but maybe it will help reign it in a bit.
Sergeant - BNArmy Member
AHA Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club Member
https://www.facebook.com/SeacoastHomebrewClub
Stephen M.
------------------------------------------------

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5697
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2013, 12:08:35 PM »
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Online theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2077
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2013, 12:11:28 PM »
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
You are right there.  Has there been any mention if the price per entry was going up?
Sergeant - BNArmy Member
AHA Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club Member
https://www.facebook.com/SeacoastHomebrewClub
Stephen M.
------------------------------------------------

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5697
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2013, 12:26:29 PM »
I still think it's a way better idea than just raising the prices until people stop entering.
You are right there.  Has there been any mention if the price per entry was going up?

I don't remember seeing any. I'll have to look again when my magazine arrives. (still like the print edition)
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2902
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 12:41:43 PM »
I'm pretty happy. I'm sure it won't be perfect, but it can be modified again next year and I'm sure in a few years it can serve everyone who wants to participate well.

As for flooding the competitions with stewards - organizers can say no to help they don't need. I do for our competition (graciously). Too much help can be almost as bad as not enough. It will be a great day when organizers get to pick the most experienced help.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline klickitat jim

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2680
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 04:20:59 PM »
If you live in a rural area it's pretty difficult to become a judge. I've spent some time trying to find classes and exams in my area and it looks like it would be virtually impossible for me. If there's a real shortage it seems it would be less of a hassle.

I'd like to see podcast lessons for the knowledge portion, home study kits for the tasting exam, etc.

Offline tmsnyder

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2014, 11:00:30 AM »
Having potential stewards come out of the woodwork to help at a competition would be awesome.  Stewards are future judges ~80% of the time in my experience.  If they learn about the competition through these new entry rules, good!

There seems to be an idea in the previous posts that there's a fixed number of qualified judges, and that's what we're stuck with and there can be no other judges.  But that's not the case, there are a lot more judges in the pipeline right now thanks to the bjcp and especially its recent change in the exam.  Raising awareness of the importance of the judges to the NHC the way the AHA has now is going to bump up that flux of new judges even more.

To the poster interested in judging but having trouble finding a study class, you don't need it, you can study on your own, try the commercial examples, practice filling out score sheets, and find some local homebrew competitions and help judge.  Learn the info on the bjcp website back and forth.  Then judge, there's a check box for novice/apprentice non-bjcp judge.  The competition should seat you with their most experienced judges, both to help train you and to counterbalance your relative inexperience.   

Offline desertsoilguy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2014, 06:53:05 PM »
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis.  Now I am concerned that I won't get in as others are to.  Like many I have vacation and family activities planned around the event.   A friend and I plan also to meet up there but the lottery throws a lot of uncertainty into the mix.  Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.

Offline mabrungard

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1104
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 07:52:24 PM »
Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis. 

We can say that a lottery of sorts, was already in place. Those that were fast on the draw, won the lottery.

The activity crunch that this 'need for speed' created, really killed the AHA servers and put those who couldn't be on-line at the proper moment, out of luck.  I don't see a problem with a 'real' lottery. It seems much fairer and avoids the crunch.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook for occasional discussions on brewing water and Bru'n Water