Memphis Barbecue Network

Host A Contest


MBN Judges Class

This can be held in conjunction with a contest or as a stand alone event.  This class helps train and prepare future judges on Memphis Style BBQ and MBN Standards of Judging.

MBN Standard Contest

This contests contains entries for Whole Hog, Pulled Pork, and Ribs.  Teams will have a preliminary blind round with onsite finals.  This contest is eligible for points for our Team of the Year program.

Patio Contest

This contest contains various meat entries (loin, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, beef, etc.).  Teams will have only one round of blind judging.  This contest may be held in conjunction with a Standard contest or as a stand alone contest.

Specialty Contest

This type of contest is designed for you.  If you can dream it, we can make it happen.

If you are ready to host a MBN Contest, please start by filling out the SANCTIONING AGREEMENT

With this application, I/we apply for a sanctioned contest by the Memphis Barbecue Network. Contest Organizer, Judges Chairperson, its officers, and directors agree to the following conditions in order to obtain sanctioning from the MBN.

  1. A completed “Request for Sanctioning” form should be received by Memphis Barbecue Network at least six (6) months (for new contests), four (4) months (for existing contests) prior to requested contest date. Consideration may be given to “Requests for Sanctioning” which are outside the above guidelines, but only on a case-by-case basis and with the full understanding by the contest of the possible negative consequences resulting from a shortened planning timeframe.
  2. Contests are considered “new” if the Memphis Barbecue Network has never sanctioned them, OR if they are requesting sanctioning after an interruption of a year or more. All reports must be received, and Rep expenses must be paid before re-sanctioning will be considered.
  3. The minimum sanctioning fee is $400.
  4. I/we have included the sanctioning fee of $400, plus an additional $200 for each additional sanctioned event, with the sanction request form. This fee covers administrative costs associated with processing and obtaining approval. Ancillary scoring assistance ($25 per contest) must be paid to the MBN rep at the contest.
  5. In addition to the sanctioning fee, ALL contests MUST include a line item on the team application that reads “MBN Administrative Fee” of $15. This amount will be collected by the contest from teams that enter and payable to MBN before awards are announced.
  6. Should the contest officials decide for any reason to voluntarily cancel the contest, they will be responsible for and expected to contact all teams entered and judges accepted for judging, as soon as possible, to let them know of the cancellation. The official must certify in writing that they have notified the teams and refunded entry fees and notified judges of the decision to cancel the contest. The sanctioning fee will be refunded minus a $75.00 administrative fee. However, should the contest request that sanctioning be cancelled for the year in which it was approved and sanctioning be approved for the following year, the fee will be applied toward sanctioning for the following year only.  After the one year grace period, the contest will be required to pay another sanctioning fee. If a contest must cancel due to circumstances beyond their control, a refund will be at the discretion of the Memphis Barbecue Network.
  7. I/we agree to follow and abide by MBN Rules & Regulations and Judging Procedures; including guaranteeing and paying prize monies as published/advertised. A standard contest must award a minimum of 4 (four) places plus a Grand Champion. These amounts cannot be reduced after sanctioning is granted and advertised. Proof of prize money (i.e., checks or cash) must be provided to the MBN rep before the MBN will release winners and scores to the Contest Organizer. Prize monies must be awarded by the end of the contest and contest results provided to teams no later than 10 (ten) days following the contest day.  Contests must “open” contest without restriction to entrants who follow all printed and published rules. The only exception is if the contest has a limited amount of space and they must close the contest when they are full. This must be indicated in the team application.
  8. I/we agree to provide trained and/or certified MBN judges as required based on the number of category entries (specified in the Organizer Manual). Additionally, the contest judging chairperson must verify that all certified judges have paid their MBN dues and all trained judges provide the date and location of their MBN training. The contest judging chairperson agrees to involve the MBN reps in the selection of the Finals judges prior to contacting them.
  9. I/we agree to follow the requirements in the Organizer Manual as to the Team Application (required verbiage) and providing a list of contestants and certified judges with names, addresses and phone numbers to the contest representatives. Additionally, the contest officials agree to allow MBN Contest Reps to take photos at the event and these become the property of the Memphis Barbecue Network and may be used for promotional purposes.  The MBN Must Approve the Contest Team Application prior to publication.  Approval is required yearly even if only the dates are changed. Approval must come from the Sanctioning Chair.
  10. Two contest reps will be provided for all contests with 40 or less total teams. For contests with more than 40 total teams, 4 (four) reps will be required based upon the Board’s review of the sanctioning request. For contest sanctioning 2 (two) events (MBN and special event), a total number of teams will be used to determine the number of reps.
  11. The contest must pay for or provide each MBN Representative (Rep) with travel expenses [air fare + ground transportation/car rental and/or round-trip mileage @ the current government mandated rate] plus a minimum of $75 per rep, per contest for expenses (Friday to Sunday trip). Any additional days will be charged @ $25 per day per rep. Additionally, the contest must provide suitable lodging for two MBN Representatives (two rooms) traveling to the contest in an official capacity. Larger contests and/ or contests sanctioning two events (standard and special) will require additional MBN reps and additional rooms may be required. The contest must make the hotel reservations and arrange to prepay or be billed directly for the rooms.
  12. I/we agree to pay the balance due of all MBN fees (Admin fees and Rep expenses) before the awards are distributed. Failure to pay these fees will result in no awards being announced.
  13. All current contests’ dates are protected for 60 days following the completion of the contest. After 60 days the date is open for other applicants.
  14. Thirty (30) days prior to the contest date, I/we agree to provide a Certificate of Insurance for a minimum of $1,000,000.00 with MBN named on the certificate of insurance.  This shall be sent to the Sanctioning Contact.
  15. I/we agree to provide needed materials and supplies (specified in the Organizer Manual) requested by MBN to run the contest. In addition, I/we agree to provide all support personnel required by the MBN Contest Rep including meat inspectors and volunteers to work in the Judging Area.
  16. All contests, both new and existing, must name a separate Judging Chairperson and this person’s name and contact information must be on the “Request for Sanctioning” form. The contest organizer and the judging chairperson will be the Rep’s main contacts for the contest. The judges’ and team databases will be sent to these persons.
  17. New contests or existing contests requesting new dates must be at least 150 miles (based on MAPQUEST) from existing contests on the same weekend. Under special circumstances, the Executive Board of Directors may waive this requirement.
  18. I/we agree to provide MBN, upon request, free of charge, a space accessible to the public in the cook area or near the judging area for MBN and its national sponsors/partners to advertise, promote and sell its non-competing products and services.
  19. I/we agree to use the official MBN logo on all contest materials, including but not limited to, the web site, applications, promotional items, advertisements banners, signage, t-shirts and all other contest materials after sanctioning has been approved.
  20. I/we agree to complete/gather and return to the MBN Sanctioning Contact the following documents within 30 days of the contest completion. Failure to send these documents will result in a delay of the sanctioning of your contest for next year.
    1. Post Contest Information Form
    2. Certificate of Distribution Form
  21. It is understood that this agreement does not create a partnership. The Contest Organizer may not bind or contract on behalf of MBN. MBN agrees to provide the Organizer with a proprietary set of contest rules, team/judge databases, materials, and the officials to conduct the judging portion of the contest. Proprietary information is for the use of the contest only and cannot be shared with others without written approval from MBN. The Organizer is responsible for all other issues concerning their event.
  22. MBN does not make any representation to Organizer, nor guarantee the profitability of any contest, by agreeing to provide sanctioning. Sanctioning does not guarantee the number of participants who will participate, and no such representation has been made to the Organizer.
  23. The minimum sanction fee of $400 must accompany this application before sanctioning request is presented to the Executive Board of Directors. If the application is not approved, the fee will be refunded. Otherwise, the sanctioning fee will be refunded less a $75 administrative fee. Sanction requests are reviewed at monthly by the Executive Board of Directors and approval is at the discretion of the Executive Board of Directors based on date availability, lead-time, strength of application and supporting materials, availability of Contest Representatives and other factors.
  24. Upon approval of sanctioning, the Organizer will receive a copy of the Organizer’s Manual which outlines the responsibilities of the Memphis Barbecue Network and of the Contest as well as tips and suggestions for producing a successful event and the approved sanctioning agreement form.
  25. It is further understood that any violation of the above conditions contained in this agreement will, at the sole option of MBN, cause this agreement to be null and void. In that event, MBN will withdraw sanctioning and will not provide services to the Organizer. The Organizer will forfeit all monies and fees previously paid to MBN.
  26. In consideration of the above covenants, the undersigned, officially representing the organization herein named, its officers and directors, agrees to hold Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN), its Executive Board of Directors, officers, volunteers and their assigns harmless from any and all claims, suits or proceedings of any nature which may be brought against them on account of any action, non- action on the part of the Organizer, its officers, employees or volunteers including any injuries to the person or property received during or related to the above described event. The undersigned agrees to abide by all requirements and responsibilities for MBN sanctioned events as stated in the sanctioning requirements. The undersigned agrees to execute the contest in accordance with MBN Rules & Regulations and pay all fees (sanction and advertising) as setforth.
  27. Settlement of any disputes will be governed under the laws of the State of Arkansas.
  28. If you have any questions concerning these rules and regulations for sanctioning, please contact Elise Jenkins, Sanctioning Coordinator,