The IBCA Board of Directors met on Feb 11, 2017.  This was another productive meeting and I would like to thank all BOD members for attending.  I will attempt to give a recap of this meeting and make a few announcements as well.

As promised, the BOD is working on a code of conduct for IBCA members; as well as, a code of conduct for the BOD members  who represent IBCA.  This is not complete; however, I am confident that it will be completed in the next few weeks.  When it is, we will post it on the website along with our rules, so that it will be available to everyone.

A few months back, the BOD decided to approve and move forward with an IBCA BBQ Hall of Fame.  At the meeting, we were able to finalize the criteria involved; as well as, select a trophy that recipients will be proud to receive when inducted.  Basically the way this will work is the members can nominate a candidate for the Hall of Fame.  Once all the nominees are in, the BOD will review them to make sure the qualifications are met, then select who will be inducted.  While there is not a cap at this time on how many can be inducted, everyone needs to know that not all nominees will be selected.  The criteria will be posted shortly and made available to all members to make nominations.

Our IBCA added money event will be held in San Angelo this year. The date is September 16, 2017, so mark you calendar.  Flyers will be out soon with all the details, but trust me, this will be one you do not want to miss.

Another issue that we are working on is to streamline the process of getting events on the calendar.  There was also a lot of discussion with the Region Directors on improving both the time flyers get on the site; as well as, the quality of the information on the flyers.  This is a work in progress, so please be patient.  Every day is an improvement and it will only get better.

There was also a discussion about a possible IBCA Invitational.  It would be an event that selects the top cooks from each Region to compete at one event to establish an overall best cook for that year.  While a final decision was not made whether or not to have this event, it was decided more research was needed.  So, with that in mind, in the next few weeks we will putting a questionnaire together, along with ideas on how to make this happen.  When completed, we will send an email to each member so that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion on this event.  So keep an eye out for the email so that you can participate in this process.

Something that I feel IBCA has needed for some time is a standardization of turn-in times.  While this sounds easy, the truth is, it can be complicated at times.  This is a work in progress and over the next year, we plan on getting as close to standardization as possible.  The turn-in times for all contests with 100 teams or less will be 12:00 Chicken, 1:30 Ribs and 3:00 Brisket.  If an event has Pork, then the turn-in time would be 3:00 Pork and 4:30 Brisket.  These standardized turn-in times will not apply to events with over 100 teams due to the amount of time it takes to judge entries.  Also, if you go to an event in three months and Chicken is 12:30, please refrain from giving the Head Judge grief about it.  Please remember that this is a goal and is not going to happen everywhere overnight.

There is rewording of a current rule that will be posted shortly.  It really does not change anything; however, it better defines a current rule.  Currently rule #4 has a sentence that says: With the exception of Junior or Kid’s Cook-offs, contestants must be 18 years of age to participate for cash prizes.  This will be changed to: Head Cooks must be 18 years or older to compete in an IBCA sanctioned event.

This brings up the final thing on my list to inform our members about.  Our annual meeting date will be changed for 2017 from August 6th to August 12th.  The meeting will take place at the YO Ranch Resort in Kerrville, Texas.  In the next few weeks, we will be getting more information out to our members about this change and what we hope to achieve.  Our plan is to change this from the same old meeting and raffles to a full fledged IBCA Event for our members.  We will be having the meeting on Saturday as before; but, in the evening, we will hold our first IBCA Awards Dinner.  We will use this time to recognize our Top 10 Overall Cooks; as well as’ our IBCA Hall of Fame inductees.  Additionally, we are working on a guest speaker to talk about something relevant to the BBQ industry.  We are also planning on having vendors set up as well to sell and/or show off their products.  While I do not have every detail at this time, we will make them available as we get closer.  I, along with the BOD, hope you clear your calendars and make plans to attend this year.  The YO Ranch Resort is a great family friendly, pet friendly, BBQ friendly environment. They have a pool/hot tub, restaurant, bar, and meeting space all on one property; as well as, a willingness to help us make this event enjoyable to all that attend.  The time has arrived to move forward and try something that will include everyone and we hope everyone feels the same way.

This event will require us to change how our current points year is run.  Currently cooks accumulate points from September 1st thru the end of the following August.  In order to be ready for the awards dinner and recognize the winners, we need to change these dates so that we have time to make awards and folks can plan to attend.  Effective now our points chase will end on June 30, 2017.  The new points year will start on July 1, 2017 and go thru June 30, 2018.  What this means is you will only have 10 months of points this year.  In the grand scheme of things, it should not affect things too badly.  If anyone feel like this is just not right, please remember this….we are changing to make things better and more exciting for our members.  I am asking for the cooks’ help and support in this endeavor.

Until next time, I wish everyone the best of luck and safe travels to wherever the road takes you.

Craig Sharry

IBCA President