Terms & Conditions

Request for Sanctioning Terms & Conditions

Amended – September 24th, 2018

The following steps must be done for FBA Contest Sanctioning! Request for Sanctioning Form – All Contests, new and repeat, MUST submit this form, signed and dated where indicated. The FBA Board of Directors will not approve sanctioning without a signed and dated copy of this form.

Also, first year contests MUST have a site inspection by an FBA representative.
Please make certain the physical contest location on the form is accurate.

  • Enclose the proper form with your deposit check and mail to the address on the form. The form is located here: Event Sanctioning Request


Section 1. Introduction and goals of the Florida BBQ Association

Section 2. Application for sanctioning

Section 3. Sanctioning requirements and responsibilities of the contest organizer

Section 4. Backyard Stand-alone contests

Section 5.  Responsibilities of the FBA to the sanctioned contest

Section 6.  Sanctioning fees/expenses

Section 7.  Required materials provided by the sanctioned contest organizer(s)

Section 8. FBA contest rules and regulations

Section 9. Judge’s Seminar

Section 10. FBA State Championships

SECTION 1 – INTRODUCTION AND GOALS The Florida BBQ Association (FBA) became a duly registered non-profit corporation in July 2000, with the sole purpose of promoting the art of slow cooking known as barbecue though education, promotion, and barbecue competitions.

The purpose of these competitions is to bring together barbecue enthusiasts with various levels of cooking experience and knowledge. Then by utilizing a uniform set of contest rules and regulations the finished product is judged by trained individuals who will determine winners in each meat category and ultimately a grand and reserve champion of the contest.

The contest organizer(s) by requesting FBA sanctioning and paying the sanctioning fee as specified herein agrees to be bound by these guidelines and all FBA rules and regulations.

For the purposes of this agreement, a cook team is defined as either a Professional division team or a Backyard team.

SECTION 2 – APPLICATION FOR SANCTIONING These regulations must be followed when making an application for FBA sanctioning.

  1. The contest organizer(s) must apply to the FBA Board of Directors a minimum of six (6) months prior to proposed date of contest. Board approval will be required for any application that does not meet the six month minimum.
  2. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee must be included with the application for professional contests. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee must be included with the application for backyard only contests.
  3. 3-year option (not available for backyard only contests): A $150.00 non-refundable application fee will guarantee three FBA sanctioned contests and their dates in three consecutive years. It also locks the total sanctioning fee for each year at the current price, subject only to an increase in the number of FBA Reps needed as per Section 6. Contest organizer(s) must select the exact dates on the application. For purposes of this option, the date of a contest is the date of the actual event – meat turn-in and FBA judging. Contest organizer(s) wishing to have their event on the “first weekend” of a particular month must define the actual dates.
  4. Contest organizer(s) who wish to re-sanction for the same dates in a following year should do so within sixty (60) days after their event. Contests on a 3-Year Option have sixty (60) days from the date of their third event.
  5. When making application for sanctioning, the contest organizer(s) agrees that all FBA rules, regulations and judging procedures will be followed.
  6. Upon approval, the contest organizer(s) agrees to follow all FBA sanctioning requirements, including payment of all fees/expenses and prize money as outlined in Section 3.
  7. The date of any FBA State Championship will not be used for any other contest in that state other than for the championship event.
  8. First year contests and renewing contests that are moving to a new location require either a site inspection from an FBA rep or photos of the contest site clearly showing all areas to be used by the contest.
  9. In the case of multiple requests for the same contest date a “Right of First Refusal” for previously sanctioned FBA contests shall apply. Prior years’ contests will have the opportunity to reserve dates and respond with (fifteen) 15 working days of the FBA receiving a request for contest sanctioning on dates that have been historically used. Courtesy calls shall be made for competing contest dates that fall within the Association’s 200 mile rule (see Section 5.6).
  10. First year contest Organizers are required to attend a FBA Sanctioned Contest no less than 90 days prior to their event. Organizers who have previously run a FBA sanctioned barbecue contest are exempt from this requirement.

SECTION 3 – SANCTIONING REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CONTEST ORGANIZER UPON SANCTIONING The following requirements and responsibilities must be adhered to by the contest organizer(s) in order to be sanctioned by the FBA once the contest receives sanctioning approval.

  1. All sanctioning fees must be received by the FBA at least 60 days prior to the contest date, if possible. There are times where a contest is sanctioned at short notice and, with Board approval, the 60 day rule can be waived.
  2. Contest organizer(s) must submit proof of liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000. This proof of insurance must come directly from the insurance carrier and shall name the FBA as an Additional Insured and must be received by the FBA no later than 30 days prior to the contest, if possible. There are times where a contest is sanctioned at short notice and, with Board approval, the 30 day rule can be waived. This requirement is automatically waived for events sponsored by governmental entities, i.e. Cities and Counties.
  3. Failure to make payment for the sanctioning fees or to provide proof of liability insurance will result in FBA sanctioning being rescinded and forfeiture of all fees paid by the contest organizer(s).
  4. Any checks awarded must be made payable to either the head cook of the team, cash, or with the payee left blank and must be negotiable at time of presentation.
  5. Contest organizer(s) agrees to pay any and all applicable federal, state, and local taxes, fees, licenses, regulations, and permits arising from execution of contest.
  6. Contest organizer(s) agrees that the official FBA logo will be used on any and all promotional and advertising material including but not limited to, contest application, posters, banners, T-shirts, hats, and flyers. The FBA will be announced as the official sanctioning body in any and all television, radio, Internet or print reports. All Team and Judges Application forms for FBA-sanctioned BBQ contests must be reviewed and approved by the FBA Lead Contest Representative prior to printing or mailing.
  7. All applications specified in paragraph 6 (above) shall contain the following text: “A quiet time is in effect from 11:00pm of the night prior to judging until 6:00am the following morning. Failure to observe this quiet time may subject the offender(s) to removal from the contest site.”
  8. Contest organizer(s) agrees to pay all sanctioning expenses, as well as specified expenses for official FBA representatives present at the contest (see Section 6).
  9. Contest organizer(s) must submit cook team application for approval by the FBA. The cook team application must state the prizes and payouts for the contest.
  10. Contest organizer(s) assumes responsibility of recruiting cook teams for the contest and agrees to provide the FBA with a list of all teams that includes name, address, phone, fax, e-mail and any other pertinent data for inclusion in the FBA database. And to make contact with all parties including the FBA in the event of a problem.
  11. Contest organizer(s) agrees to provide all specified materials designated by the FBA (see Section 7).
  12. Contest organizer(s) may not cook as part of a cook team nor judge at their contest.
  13. In the event of cancellation of the contest the contest organizer(s) shall immediately notify the FBA representatives by telephone or e-mail that the contest has been canceled. The contest organizer shall then make contact with all the cook teams and judges and notify them of the cancellation. All entry fees paid by the cook teams shall be reimbursed to the cook teams by the contest organizer within 15 days of the cancellation. The contest organizer shall submit a written document to the FBA indicating the reason for the cancellation and stating that all entry fees paid by the cook teams have been refunded in full. The organizer will forfeit all sanctioning fees paid to the FBA.
  14. Contest organizer(s) agrees to provide free of charge a space in a highly accessible area, either in the cook area or the near the judging area, where the FBA may sell FBA logo merchandise. The Contest organizer(s) further agrees that all profits of such sales are to the sole benefit of the FBA. Contest organizer(s) agrees to allow FBA sponsors to market their products free of charge and to provide such space as necessary for FBA sponsors to that end. FBA sponsors agree to avoid any conflict with those already secured by the Contest organizer(s).
  15. The FBA reserves the right to waive any requirement or responsibility.

SECTION 4 – BACKYARD STAND-ALONE CONTESTS The FBA wants to encourage new organizers to host events that do not require large monetary outlays, and to encourage new cook teams to compete, without having to compete at a level beyond their capabilities and Competitions, in an entry level capacity.  This is the future of professional competition.

  1. For professional competitions, any cook team may enter. There is no experience factor required, or considered.  For professional competitions, with a backyard division, teams cooking in the backyard division are usually teams that have not won on a professional level with regularity.
  2. For sanctioned backyard contests, the organizer may opt to have cook teams cook all of the meat categories, or choose any number of the listed categories for their contest. For example, an Organizer may opt to have only one category, Ribs, or any combination of the four approved categories (i.e. Chicken, Ribs, Pork, and Brisket).
  3. Prize money for a backyard contest may not exceed $2,500.00 and the event will be limited to a maximum of 24 teams.

SECTION 5 – RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FBA TO THE SANCTIONED CONTEST The following will be provided by the FBA to the contest organizer(s) after sanctioning approval.

  1. FBA will provide the appropriate number of Contest Representatives as outlined in Section 6.2.
  2. The FBA will provide Contest organizer(s) with official FBA rules and regulations.
  3. The FBA will provide the Contest organizer(s) with camera and print ready FBA logos for use as specified in Section 3.
  4. The FBA will provide the Contest organizer(s) with one email broadcast to the entire FBA membership (judges & teams) advertising the contest.
  5. The FBA will provide judging slips and all necessary computer hardware and software.
  6. The FBA agrees to sanction no contest within 200 miles of any other FBA sanctioned contest on the same dates.
  7. FBA will provide the recruitment and selection of FBA certified judges. At the request of the Contest organizer(s) the FBA will transfer the responsibility to recruit and select FBA certified judges to the Contest organizer(s).
  8. The FBA shall conduct meat inspections beginning no earlier than 8:00 am and no later than noon on the day prior to the contest until 30 minutes past the end of the Cook Team Meeting unless prior arrangements have been made with the FBA Lead Rep.

SECTION 6 – SANCTIONING FEES/EXPENSES As stipulated in Section 2, the Contest organizer(s) agrees to pay the following fees and expenses:

  1. Application fee (non-refundable, due with application): $75.00 for one year, $150.00 for the 3-year option. For backyard only contests the application fee is $50.00. There is no 3-year option for backyard only contests.
  2. In addition to the application fee, the organizer shall pay the FBA an amount, per sanctioned event, according to the following fee schedule. Hotel rooms shall be paid directly by the organizer. Mileage shall be at the current IRS rate. Each Rep shall also be paid a $25.00 per diem.
  3. To add a backyard division to a professional contest will require an additional Contest Rep at $150 plus expenses for up to 24 teams. For adding a backyard division with more than 24 teams to a professional contest additional Contest Reps will be required at $75-$150 per Rep plus expenses, dependent on the number of backyard teams over 24.


Pro Contest, No Backyard up to 48 Teams
Lead Rep$200.00
Rep (Friday & Saturday)$150.00
Rep (Saturday Only)$75.00
Administration Fee$125.00
Pro Contest, No Backyard up to 60 Teams
Lead Rep$200.00
Rep (Friday & Saturday)$150.00
2 Reps (Saturday Only)$150.00
Administration Fee$125.00
Pro Contest, No Backyard up to 72 Teams
Lead Rep$200.00
2 Reps (Friday & Saturday)$300.00
2 Reps (Saturday Only)$150.00
Administration Fee$125.00
Pro Contest, No Backyard in excess of 72 Teams
Lead Rep$200.00
2 Reps (Friday & Saturday)$300.00
2 Reps (Saturday Only)$150.00
Each Additional Rep per 15 Teams*$75.00
Administration Fee$125.00
Estimated Total$850.00
Backyard Only Contest (24 team max)
Lead Rep$200.00
Rep (Friday & Saturday)$150.00
Administration Fee$75.00


  1. In the event a scheduled Rep is incapacitated and a substitute rep is required, the FBA shall pay any difference in the mileage for the substitute Rep and an extra hotel night if it is needed.
  2. FBA sanctioning fees must be received by the FBA 60 days prior to date of the contest, if possible (see Section 3.1). The assigned representative(s) and the contest organizer will determine payment of representatives’ expenses. In the event of contest cancellation by the contest organizer(s), all previously paid expenses (such as airfare) shall be non-refundable; should sanctioning be canceled by the FBA previously paid expenses shall be refundable.
  3. Contest organizer is responsible for payment of the FBA Contest Representatives’ expenses at the end of the contest. If payment is not possible at that time it must be made within 10 days of the contest. Failure to remit timely payment may prevent further FBA sanctioning of the event.

SECTION 7 – REQUIRED MATERIALS PROVIDED BY THE CONTEST ORGANIZER(S) The following materials will be provided by the Contest organizer(s):

For the cook teams:

  1. “Clamshell” style Styrofoam containers – 9″ x 9″, one-compartment with a lid. Minimum of 1 per team per category as well as backup supply of at least 20 containers. The FBA recommends “Member’s Mark Hefty One-Compartment Hinged Lid Container”.

For the turn in area:

  1. Two large tables with two chairs at each table and four additional large tables set end to end away from those two.

For the judging area:

  1. Sufficient tables for the judges. 7 chairs per table. Table cloths on the table.
  2. Bottled water – two bottles per judge, replaced as needed.
  3. Napkins or paper towels – 1 package of at least 100 napkins or 2 rolls of paper towel per table, replaced as needed.
  4. Disposable plates – at least 24 per table.
  5. Four (4) sleeves of soda crackers per table. Or enough individually wrapped crackers for each table.
  6. Cooler(s) with ice and bottled water.
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Soap & running water for cleanup.
  9. Sharpened pencils without erasers (i.e. golf scoring pencils). Pencils must be sharpened before the contest and a pencil sharpener must be available. One dozen pencils per table.

For the FBA Rep:

  1. RV or dedicated office space for the scoring computer. This space MUST include a dedicated power supply for the computer and printer.
  2. Access to a copier.
  3. A site layout showing the locations of the cook teams.
  4. Updated team entry list showing the categories each team has entered.
  5. Updated team list showing team name, head cook, address and phone number.
  6. Provide a dedicated golf cart for use by the Reps for the duration of the event.

In addition to the above, the turn in area and judging areas must be protected from the weather and sun.

SECTION 8 – CONTEST RULES AND REGULATIONS The Florida Bar-B-Que Association Cook Team Rules and Regulations will govern this contest. Click here for the current rules that will be applied to this contest.

SECTION 9 – JUDGE’S SEMINAR The FBA will present a Judge’s Seminar to train and certify judges at any sanctioned FBA contest if requested by the Contest Organizer(s) along the following guidelines. All Judge’s Seminars require approval of the FBA Board of Directors.

Responsibilities of the Contest Organizer(s):

  1. Provide a facility, preferably an indoor conference room or similar, with enough tables and chairs for the judge trainees and all judging supplies. (Refer to Section 6 for details)

Responsibilities of the FBA:

  1. Provide for the trainer.
  2. Provide the judging scorecards.
  3. Reimburse the appropriate cook team(s) for the cost of the meat unless other arrangements have been made (such as the meat has been donated).
  4. Handle all registrations for the class.

SECTION 10 – FBA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS Annually, the FBA Board of Directors shall designate an FBA State Championship in each state where we sanction contests. In order to be considered as an FBA State Championship a contest must have been sanctioned for a minimum of 3 (three) consecutive years, accommodate a minimum of 40 (forty) teams, and have a favorable Rep review for each of those years. No contest can be an FBA State Championship in successive years unless it is the only contest in that state. Contests wishing to be considered for FBA State Championship must make their desires known in writing at a time announced by the Board.