THIS TEAM / COOK RULE PAGE
IS PROUDLY SPONSORED BY:
1. COOKED ON SITE – All meats will be cooked on-site. The preparation and completion (excluding pretrimming)
of any and all meats in competition is within the confines of the cook-off site and during the
time limits designated by the promoter. Pre-trimming competition meat may be removed from the store
packaging and pre-trimmed unless there is a health department rule requiring that all meat must be in
store packaging when meat is inspected. If this is an issue, it must be made clear on the cook-off flyer so
that all cooks attending an event know about this ahead of time.
2. SANITATION – Cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary manner as is possible. Cooking
conditions are subject to inspection by the Promoter. Infractions identified by the judging committee shall
be immediately corrected or the cook will be subject to disqualification.
3. ENTRIES PER PIT – IBCA recognizes only one entry per head cook on a given pit. It will be the
responsibility of the Promoter to monitor entries. Notwithstanding, multiple entries in the same category
by the same cook or from the same pit, or multiple entries from the same piece of meat shall
not be allowed. The head cook of the team registered for the event must be at least 18 years old and present at the
event. If an emergency arises that requires the head cook to leave the event, the head judge must be
notified immediately. The remaining team members may complete the competition and the head cook
will receive the points. If the head cook is not in attendance at the event, the team members may not
cook under the head cook’s name. Points will be awarded to the member in attendance who is
determined to be the head cook, if a member of IBCA.
4. BBQ PITS – Any commercial or homemade, trailered or untrailered, pit or smoker normally used for
competitive barbeque. A BBQ Pit may include gas or electricity for starting the combustion of wood or
wood products but NOT to complete cooking. Pit should be of a permanent design that contains separate
individual cooking chambers and heat sources. (no sharing of heat sources)
Electrical accessories such as spits, augers or force drafts are permitted.
The use of heat lamps, proofing cabinets or any other electrical heating or holding device is prohibited.
5. OPEN FIRES – IBCA further recognizes that open fire, ground pits, are used in some areas. It is in the
interest of safety, a barrier shall be placed around said open fire pit. A fire extinguisher shall be readily
6. CATEGORIES – Promoters shall advise contestants in advance of applicable meat categories and/or
cuts of meats and/or types of cookers.
The following categories are recognized by the IBCA:
Pork Spare Ribs
Chicken – one half (1/2) fully jointed chicken with skin that includes a breast, wing with tip (visible not
tucked under), thigh, and drumstick. (No Cornish Game Hens)
7. DOUBLE NUMBER SYSTEM – IBCA requires that the secret, double number system be used. This
system assures a fair competition and is a fundamental tenet of the IBCA. IBCA requires that two tickets
bearing the same number be utilized, one firmly attached to the top of the judging tray in a manner which
hides the number and the other ticket easily removed by the Head Cook for retention after signing the
Head Cook’s name in front of an IBCA representative.
Winning numbers will not be revealed until time to announce each place in each category. At that time
the secret numbers, attached to the lid of the tray, will be removed and announced. Only lids with tickets
will be taken to the awards ceremony with final table numbers.
8. JUDGING TRAYS – IBCA recommends the use of a Styrofoam tray with hinged lid and without
dividers or the best readily available judging container, which is approximately 9 inches square on the
bottom half. (i.e. Dart 95HT1 or GenPak 200 or Gen Pak 270 for 2 chicken halves) A single sheet of
aluminum foil should be supplied for each tray (i.e. Reynolds 710 foil sheets 9”x10”). All judging
containers shall be clean and free of any markings. Marked containers may be disqualified at the Head
Judge’s discretion. Cooks are responsible for insuring that the containers they receive remain clean and
undamaged. Only the containers and foil provided by the head judge will be utilized for product turn in.
Head cook or other authorized representative must write the name of the head cook on the exposed
portion of the ticket affixed to the judging container.
9. JUDGING TRAY CONTENTS – IBCA requires that the Promoter and/or Head Judge advise all cooks
of the exact quantities and cuts of meat that will be placed in the judging trays. This will normally be
accomplished at the Cook’s meeting. The Head Judge or designated representative will inspect all trays
at the time of turn-in in order to assure compliance with the turn-in criteria. All garnishes and condiments
are prohibited, as they do not reflect the true quality of the cooked meat. Meats may be cooked with
sauces and/or other liquids, but once the cooking is complete, sauces and/or liquids may not be added
once put into tray. No puddling in the bottom of the tray. Excessive puddling to be determined at the
discretion of the head judge. Each tray will include one sheet of foil placed unfolded under the contents
of the tray.
All three meats Chicken, Pork Spare Ribs and Brisket are required to be turned in meat side up.
Each turn in tray will consist of the following at all events:
Brisket nine (9) full slices, recommended 1/4″ to 3/8” thick. Blocking brisket ends is allowed. The fat cap
may be trimmed or cut away before the slices are placed into the tray.
Pork Spare Ribs nine (9) individual cut ribs (bone in) (St. Louis Cut acceptable) Ribs must be placed in
the tray TOP side up lying parallel to the hinge.
Chicken two (2) seperate1/2 fully jointed chicken (to include breast, wing with tip (visible not tucked
under), thigh and drumstick. SKIN ON (No Cornish Game Hens)
Pork turn in box must consist of one of the following: shredded, chunks, pulled or sliced.
10. TURN-IN TIMES – Standard turn in times for IBCA recognized categories shall start at 12pm and
continue at 1.5 (1 ½) intervals in the order of chicken, pork spare ribs, pork butt and brisket up to 75
teams. For events 76 – 200 teams, the interval will be adjusted to 2-hour intervals beginning at 12pm.
For events over 200 teams, the interval will be adjusted to 2.5 (2 ½) hour intervals beginning at 12pm.
Jackpot categories will not be submitted during the IBCA recognized categories schedule and must occur
either before or after the IBCA recognized categories. Open/Jackpot categories will be limited to only 2
categories on the day of main event and as mans promoter wants on the day before.
Once this time is set and/or announced at the Head Cooks meeting no change will be made. A turn-in
window of ten (10) minutes before and after the set turn-in time will be recognized. Judging trays
received after that time will not be accepted for judging. Ten minutes and one second is considered after
the set turn-in time.
11. TERMS FOR DISQUALIFICATION – After the tray has been turned in, any tray found to be in
violation of the IBCA rules will be disqualified at the discretion of the Head Judge. Disqualified tray
numbers will be called out immediately following the category announcements.
12. JUDGES – Must be 18 years of age or older to judge. IBCA recommends that a minimum of five (5)
judges per table be utilized during all phases of judging except the final table using a minimum of seven
(7) and a maximum of nine (9) judges. Head cooks are prohibited to participate as judges. No smoking
in the judging area. Alcohol will not be permitted during the judging of any category, with the exception of
mixed drink jackpot categories. Tasting judges who are deemed unable to fully comply with the
requirements of judging by the head judge will be asked to leave the judging table and/or their score
sheet removed from the total tally for the table.
13. JUDGING QUANTITY – Judges will assign a score from 1 to 10 for each tray. A maximum of twenty
(20) trays or containers should be assigned to each judging table with the exception of the final table with
a maximum of 24 trays or containers. Judges should not be required to sample and judge in excess of
this number during any event. It is recommended that a predetermined number of top results from each
preliminary judging table be sent on to the subsequent levels of judging.
14. ANNOUNCING WINNERS – Winners for each category will be announced starting with the IBCA
recognized categories in order of chicken, pork spare ribs, pork butt (if included) and brisket. The ticket
numbers for the top 10 scores in each category will be announced and the winners recognized. The
promoter may recognize more than the top 10 but only the top 10 will receive points from IBCA. After the
announcement of the top 10 in each category, the final table tray numbers will be announced. After the
IBCA categories are called, the jackpot categories as well any other special awards offered by the
promoter (i.e. peoples choice, best pit, etc) will be announced. At the end of the individual awards, the
Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion of the event will be announced.
The announcement of the winners will be by the Head Cook’s name. Announcing the cook’s name shall
be done only after the ticket number has been verified. Calling the team name is optional but
recommended. When calling the overall top 10 the name and number of points will announced.
When claiming the award, the ticket matching the called number must be presented for verification.
Copies of the ticket number including but not limited to written list, photographs, etc will not be accepted.
If unable to produce the original matching ticket part the place called will be declared as Unclaimed.
Ticket holders of Unclaimed places in the IBCA categories have until the end of call the final table brisket
numbers to claim the place. If the original Matching ticket part is presented to the Head Judge after the
announcement of the final table brisket numbers, the place will remain listed as Unclaimed on the official
winners list and no points will be awarded.
15. PRIZES – IBCA states that a Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion be named at every
cook-off. In the event of a tie for Grand Champion, brisket will be the first tie breaker, followed by ribs,
chicken, and then pork.
16. Promoters – For the sake of contest fairness, IBCA prohibits promoters from cooking in their own
contest. Promoters are not allowed to act as the head judge for their event. This will allow the promoters
to address all needs of the event and the cooks while the head judge is able to oversee the judging area
without interruption from outside the judging area with the exception of issues that are a result of violation
of IBCA rules as requested by the promoter.