ABA Rules

Australasian Barbecue Alliance Rules

2018 Barbeques Galore Australian Barbecue Championship Series.

Competition Rules, Conditions & Prizes.

  • Australian teams must compete in a minimum of 3 ABA Sanctioned Barbecue Competitions (in Australia or New Zealand) within the 2018 Calendar year to be eligible for the overall Australian Grand Champion Team prizes and to receive a National Ranking. More than 3 competitions can be entered.
  • The best three eligible hand-in scores from that Team’s best 3 competitions is tallied to reveal an overall Leaderboard score. Hand-ins that are not Championship Series Categories are not eligible for Championship Points, prizes or tally. (Refer ABA Rules – www.ausbbq.com.au/abarules )
  • National Ranking will only apply at the conclusion of the 2018 series with all leaderboard rankings throughout the year being a provisional ranking for tally purposes only. A team’s official National Ranking will be held for the duration of 2018.
  • In the event of a tie for a Top 10 placing, a count-back system will apply to break a tie in the following order.
  1. Team with most 1st Place Trophies from eligible categories from their 3 best 2018 events, wins.
  2. Team with the most 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place trophies from eligible categories from their best 3 2018 events, wins.
  3. Team with highest individual aggregate Round score from their best 3 2018 events, wins.
  4. Team with the highest individual category score from an eligible category from one of their best 3 2018 events, wins.
  5. If still tied, will remain a tie and prizemoney collated and distributed evenly.
  • Maximum of 4 Team Members only eligible per team to receive individual trophies/prizes.
  • Only Australian resident teams are eligible for Australian Grand Champion Team and Australian Ranking for 2018.

The Championship winners will receive:

  • Official Australian Grand Champion Team. Will be assigned Team # 1 and Ranked #1 in Australia. Eligibility for International competitions to represent Australia as Australia’s official Number 1 Team.
  • $5,000 Cash (Presented via an oversized novelty cheque.)
  • Team Trophy.
  • 2018 Grand Champions Custom T-shirt, several per team member.
  • Individual team member trophies. Maximum 4 total.
  • Perpetual Trophy Engraving (Trophy held at Barbeques Galore HQ)
  • Prominent perpetual accolade on ausbbq.com.aufrom 2018.


Additional Team Prizes

2nd Place – $1500 Cash + Team Trophy

3rd Place – $1250 Cash + Team Trophy

4th Place – $750 Cash + Team Trophy

5th Place – $500 Cash + Team Trophy

6th Place – Team Trophy

7th Place – Team Trophy

8th Place – Team Trophy

9th Place – Team Trophy

10th Place – Team Trophy

Cash will be awarded via Direct Deposit no later than 31 December 2018 provided the team has supplied their direct deposit details to the ABA upon request. Trophies hand delivered or posted to team wherever possible.


ABA Sanctioned Competition General Rules 2018

All entries must be presented in a 9×9 inch container which will be provided to the teams at the competition.

  • The lid on the box must close.
  • All proteins must be cooked from a raw state, on site and wholly within the cooking window period.
  • All entries must be presented within the hand in window of 5 minutes before to 5 minutes after the scheduled hand in time.
  • Approved garnishes are allowed inside the hand in box, which are strictly and wholly green-coloured parsley, lettuce or kale.
  • Only one entry per hand in category per team allowed.
  • There must be at least 6 clear portions (can be more) in each box totaling 50g or the equivalent of a small handful per portion.
  • Teams can hand in any combination of allowed cuts for that protein, provided there are at least 6 (can be more) portions in the box, the portions meet the minimum portion size/weight and the allowed cuts are fully adhered to.
  • No identifying marks are to be present on the hand in box such as deliberate indentations, writing or scratching.
  • No pooling sauce allowed in the box and all sauce to be contained wholly or predominantly on or mixed in with the protein.
  • No foreign objects allowed inside the box which includes but is not limited to toothpicks, sauce containers, foil, other food elements other than those contained within the crust/bark or the sauce and wholly or predominantly on or mixed with the protein.
  • Only approved units which are smokers/pits/barbecues/grills where the heat source comes only from wood or wood products including briquettes and pellets.
  • Proteins must not be brined, rubbed, marinated or cured before the opening of the cooking window.
  • Proteins may be pre-trimmed before the start of the cooking window.
  • Cooking units may be pre-heated or started before the cooking window but competition proteins cooking processes must not start prior to the cooking window opening.
  • There is no ABA governed limit to how many team members are allowed per team. However, some Event Promoters will only recognise the first four team members for awards, on-ground attendance or team entry fees and/or other benefits at their sole discretion.
  • Teams may not sell or distribute food to the General Public unless the appropriate Food License is obtained and only with the consent of the Event Promoter.
  • Teams may only compete in one competition at one time.
  • One team per cook site only.
  • The ABA Head Judge will be the sole arbitrator of any dispute and their decision on site at the competition will be final in all cases with no further correspondence entered into by the ABA.
  • Teams must adhere to all ABA/Event Promoter Rules and/or instruction at all time on site.


Boxed Entry Disqualification

  • Late to hand in. (Window is strictly 5 mins to 5 mins after hand in time.)
  • Wrong entry handed in (eg. Pork handed into Lamb category etc.)
  • An obvious identifying mark on the hand in box.
  • Using an unapproved method or cooking unit to cook the entry.
  • Handing in wrong cut of protein. (eg. Pork belly in pork category)

Boxed Entry Penalties

  • Sauce violations
  • Garnish violation
  • Foreign object found in box
  • Handing in less than minimum portion size/quantity 

NOTE: All infractions are determined by the ABA Head Judge on site at the event whose decision is final. See scorecard for guide on points deducted. 

Judging & Scoring

  • All entries are judged on Presentation, Texture & Taste.
  • Judges score each element out of 10 on their scorecards.
  • Scores are entered into the ABA data entry system and awarded weighting to the value of:

Presentation – Single Weighted (out of 10)

Texture – Double Weighted (out of 20)

Taste – Triple Weighted (out of 30)

Total points available per entry is 360 points.

  • Ties are broken by counting back which team has the highest Taste Score for that entry. If the Taste Scores are tied between the teams, then the highest Texture Score for that entry will prevail. If the Taste & Texture scores are tied, then the highest Presentation Score will prevail. Further tie breaks will be applied thereafter until a winner is decided. 
  • Judges may taste any or all portions in the box at their discretion.
  • Judges must not be team members of a competing team at that event.
  • Judges must not be spouses or partners of a competing team at that event.

Allowed Cuts & Methods

  • All cuts must be cooked on an ABA approved unit as per General Rules and can be served chopped, sliced, diced, ground or pulled in any combination of those.

Prohibited methods of cooking processes

  • Sous Vide, fully submerged poaching or par boiling
  • Deep or shallow frying in oil
  • Heat stamping with branding iron or similar

Prohibited cooking appliances

  • Gas or electric cookers (where the heat source comes from gas or electricity) for any process of cooking or holding the protein at temperature. These may be used for sauces, glazing or starting chimney only.

Allowed Holding units

  • Esky or unpowered Cambro style holding unit(s) or inside or on an approved cooking unit only.

Allowed Category Cuts

Grand Championship & Championship Series Eligible

  • Brisket – Whole, flat, half flat or point.
  • Chicken – Any cut.
  • Beef – Brisket, beef cheek, ribs or chuck.
  • Beef Ribs – Short, back or chuck ribs.
  • Lamb – Any cut.
  • Lamb – Refined – Shoulder, shank or spare ribs
  • Pork – Shoulder, neck or Boston butt.
  • Pork Ribs – Baby back, spare or St Louis cut. A bone must be present in every rib.

Event/Round Grand Championship, Non Championship Series Eligible

  • Seafood – Fish or shellfish only. Original shells only allowed. 
  • Brahman Hump – any part of the hump.

Non Grand Championship, Non Championship Series Eligible

  • Whole Hog – See separate ABA Whole Hog Rules. (Rules TBC)
  • Chefs Choice – Cannot be served raw, must be cooked on approved unit, 6 portions minimum, lid must close. All other ABA Rules apply. 
  • Mystery Ingredient/Promoter’s Challenge – Rules determined per event.

Mandatory Items team checklist

  • Sanitiser for general cleaning & hand washing
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • First Aid kit
  • Washable cutting boards
  • Esky, cooler or fridge for meat/ingredients storage
  • Paper towel or tea towels
  • Waste bin
  • Good working order Fire extinguisher
  • Digital probe or thermometer
  • Washable portable table or preparation station

Food Safety Guidelines

This is a General Guide only. Please consult with Event Promoter for specific ‘Rules’ applicable in the Town/City/State/Country per event as required.

  • Uncooked meats must be stored at or below 4 degrees Celsius at all times.
  • If using ice to keep meats cold, ice should be on top and fully covering the meat at all times.
  • All raw food should be wrapped, covered or placed in sealed washable containers whilst being transported and held at the event prior to cooking.
  • Vehicles and containers used for transportation of food should be kept clean and in good repair and food must be separated from other items such as cleaning materials, chemicals, animals and other non-food items.
  • Thermometers should be available and used to monitor food temperature at any/all times.
  • When handling and preparing foods, gloves should be worn or hands must be regularly washed to limit bacteria and other foreign objects entering the food/cooking process.
  • Safe holding temperatures for hot foods are above 70 degrees Celsius, noting that foods stored at between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius are far more susceptible to bacteria growth and harm to humans.
  • Note the nearest washing up area on site at a competition and regularly clean all used cooking equipment with the appropriate strength cleaning solution or sanitiser.
  • Smoking inside the cooking or preparation area should not occur.
  • Ensure appropriate measures are taken to keep preparation or cooking areas clean and clear of flies, insects or other pests.

NOTE: Poor food safety practices may result in the ABA Head Judge excluding the team from competing, excluding a particular meat or food from being handed in or warnings given as required and at the sole discretion of the ABA Head Judge, in consultation with the Event Promoter.

Code of Conduct

The ABA promotes good sportsmanship, a family friendly environment and a safe competition environment.

  • Teams in breach of Rules for deliberately cheating, showing poor sportsmanship, bullying or intimidating other teams on or off the competition grounds may face suspension or permanent bans, loss of Leaderboard Points as determined by the ABA on a case by case basis.

Teams & Judges Declaration

By participating in an ABA Sanctioned Event, each participant including team member and competition judge forever and irrevocably releases and holds harmless the event organisers or promoters, its parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, and their respective agents, advertising and promotion agencies, contest partners and prize suppliers, and all of their respective employees, officers, directors, shareholders, affiliates, and agents from and against all claims, damages, or liabilities arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from (a) entrant’s participation in the Contest, or Contest related activities or events, (b) entrant’s Submission, (c) entrant’s representations and agreements in these Official Rules, and (d) entrant’s award, receipt, or use of any prize awarded in the Contest. The event organisers or promoters and the ABA reserve the right, at their own sole discretion, to terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest at any time without providing compensation of any kind.

Copyright 2018 Australasian Barbecue Alliance

No part of this document may be reproduced in any full or part form without prior written consent of the Co-Founders or General Manager of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance.