MABA Fall Update

Letter from the Board of Directors to our Valued Membership

2020 has been filled with so much uncertainty due to the Coronaviris Pandemic and sadly, the BBQ season in the Mid-Atlantic was not immune to the effects. The Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association has been very fortunate and grateful for the continued support of our members, even in the absence of contests. We truly cannot thank you enough for continuing to support the mission of our association. Because of your commitment we will be able to continue to grow the association and move forward with new initiatives without fear for our future!

We also want you to know, the MABA board has been actively watching and discussing what is happening throughout our region to make, what we feel, are the best decisions for our 2020 season and beyond. While some contests are taking place and others are still planned for later in the year, due to regulatory guidelines in the past or still in question for the future, not all of our Mid-Atlantic States will be able to host a contest this year. Taking that and many other factors into consideration, the Board has made the decision to indefinitely postpone the 2019 MABA Cup Finals and we will not be holding MABA State Cups during the 2020 Season. We will re-evaluate the resumption of State Cups and the MABA Cup Finals once more is known in 2021.

2020 MABA Super Season

We are unable to book a venue for our Annual Awards banquet with any kind of certainty, with the ever changing restrictions. We want all of our membership to be able to attend and with current and future restrictions unknown that just isn’t possible at this time. We, however, are VERY EXCITED to announce the creation of a 2020 + 2021 SUPER SEASON for the Rookie Team of the Year and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Team of the Year Points Chases. We will do this by combining all cooks for eligible teams from the 2020 and 2021 seasons. What this will look like:
1.RToY: will follow all current RToY Rules, but can compete in any number of MABA approved sanctioned competitions during the course of the Super Season.

2.ToY Tier 1: will follow all current Tier 1 Rules, but can compete in any number of MABA approved sanctioned competitions during the course of the Super Season

3.Toy Tier 2: will follow all current Tier 2 Rules, but can compete in 7 or less contests in each contest year (2020 and/or 2021) of the Super Season, but not to exceed 14 contests during the Super Season.

We understand, some are still out there traveling and competing week in and week out and some have yet to check on their tents and trailers. We believe this format provides a fair way for all of our MABA members to remain competitive in our area regardless of your 2020 season choices. We hope you will continue to stick with us through the difficult times so we can celebrate the awesome ones even more when they come our way.

To those out there competing, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing what you are up to this season. We would love to feature you, your team and your experiences in a MABA newsletter or social media post in the future. And to those, choosing to not compete we are here for you too. We would love to feature you, your team and your experiences cooking at home, for family and friends or doing whatever it is you may be doing during this pandemic to fuel the BBQ fire within! Please feel free to reach out via social media or email us at with article ideas, comments or questions.


Volunteer Today to Serve on a MABA Committee

Are you a MABA member in good standing? Do you want to help MABA grow and move forward on new initiatives and opportunities? Then we have a committee for you!

The standing committees we are looking to fill are Bylaws, Membership, Publications, Website, Finance, Strategic Planning and Nominations. If you have interest or talents in any of these areas, please make your interest known by emailing the Board of Directors at and indicate how you would like to help.

Do you have a flair for writing or are you a social media master? If you can’t commit to an ongoing volunteer position, we always welcome articles or social media posts from our members. Ron Calloway recently wrote a great contest recap for BBQ Wythe Us, included below. Thanks, Ron! We welcome social media submission ideas to

Bylaws: Responsible for review and revision of Bylaws to ensure they are current and benefit the Association.

Membership: Recruitment, retention and enhancement of member benefits.

Publications: Responsible for maintaining and engaging members through social media pages, email blasts and other printed material as needed.

Website: Responsible for the maintenance, content and update of MABA’s website including calendar of events and blog section.

Finance: Responsible for the preparation, implementation and monitoring of all fiscal year operating budgets for the Association.

Strategic Planning: Responsible for developing and updating a Strategic Plan to assist the Association in accomplishing its long range goals.

Nominations: Responsible for announcing open positions to the membership and establishing the deadline for nominations as well as preparing the slate of candidates for the next year’s Board of Directors election.

Email Us Your Interest at:


BBQ Wythe Us Double – Wytheville, VA
By Ron Calloway – Pitmaster of Zoni-Q

Event organizer Erin Bowman had no idea her first BBQ event would be earth shattering. In fact, the first earthquake in over 100 years in the area, centered near Sparta, NC and a mere 50 miles from Wytheville would not faze Ms. Bowman. Forty-five teams would gather in Wytheville, Virginia for the First Annual BBQ Wythe US Double competition. The event was held at the Apex Center near Wytheville and provided a scenic mountainside view of sunsets and sunrises for the teams gathered. To say that Erin and her team ran a great competition is an understatement, especially for a first-time event. Ms. Bowman was especially grateful for the help and assistance she received from KCBS’s Alan Rothrock and the KCBS judges as well as Ham Squad Pitmaster David Dick. “I was very fortunate to have Dave’s help with getting the event off the ground and his experience running Zom-B-Q at this venue was a huge help,” said Ms. Bowman.
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Beautiful setting at the APEX Center in Wytheville, VA. Photo courtesy of Lisa Dommes
Everyone knows how the BBQ competition schedule has changed almost daily this past year due to the COVID-19 virus. Everyone adhered to the new KCBS standard for participating in a barbeque competition by wearing masks, gloves and practicing social distancing. Suffice to say this will be the manner in which we participate in KCBS competitions for the foreseeable future. The mere fact that this may be the last competition in the Mid-Atlantic region this year brought teams from the entire Mid-Atlantic region. It seems the average distance for most teams was three hours, while first-time competitor Stanley Bryant from The People’s BBQ drove twelve hours from Downingtown, Pennsylvania to compete!

Stanley’s People’s BBQ wasn’t the only first-time competitor in the Backyard group as eleven-year-old Kenzie Fink from Rockwell, North Carolina would also cook in her first event as head pitmaster. In fact, Kenzie would take all of us Backyard competitors to the wood shed on day 1 of the event as she was named Grand Champion. How’s that for the first-time pit master? Kenzie was very appreciative of all the support she’s received, especially from Tiffany Patrick (#thisgirlknowsmeat) and Michael Fay (Aporkalypse Now BBQ). Tiffany sent Kenzie a BBQ Comp care package and Mike gave Kenzie a nice Aporkalypse Now BBQ T-shirt and some other supplies.

Day 1 had 16 Backyard teams and this was a stacked field. In addition to Steve Dotson (D’Qued Barbeque); Chris Lemon (Lem’s Meat Varnish), and Travis Murphy (Gold-N-Blue Barbecue) we had two solid teams from Delaware – Andrew Pearce (Manhattan Jack’s BBQ) and Aaron Cary (MRC Barbecue) travel the seven hours to compete. David Dick from Ham Squad nailed a perfect score in chicken on day 1– congratulations Piggy Smalls!

For the pros, day 1 also saw a perfect score for chicken going out to Smack that Butt BBQ – nice work guys! Donald Cook from Who Cares BBQ brought home the day 1 GC, highlighted by his first ever 700 total score! “We’ve been less than a half point away from 700 several times so it’s nice to check this one off the list,” commented Donald. Muttley Crew BBQ pulled down the RGC for day 1 with a very respectable score of 692.
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Sunrise on Day 2. Photo courtesy of Chris Schriver.
Day 2 started off with the 5.2 magnitude earthquake which many folks felt at the Apex Center. Fortunately, no one was injured and the only casualty was yours truly spilling a beer. It would not be the only beer spilled at the Zoni-Q site that day. There were 17 teams that competed in Sunday’s Pro Event and the rare back-to-back GC Double was awarded to Who Cares BBQ. Talk about consistency, Donald and his team of Mom (Sue) and Dad (Don, Sr.) proved that it pays to follow your timelines and adjust as needed. Obviously the earthquake didn’t affect Who Cares BBQ! The RGC for Pros on day 2 was Bald Hawg BBQ who edged out third place finisher Bad Azz Mule BBQ and fourth place finisher Chris Schriver of Brother-Uncle Barbeque.

On the Backyard side, we had 15 teams compete on day 2 and congrats go out to Grand Champion Jamie Trader from Sweet & Savory BBQ. His total score of 346 was closely followed by Travis Murphy from Gold-N-Blue Barbecue. Travis’s team rebounded nicely from day 1 where they finished in seventh place. Dennis Bowman from Bowman’s Butt & BBQ also battled back from day 1 anchored by his win in ribs with four perfect scores and 177 points. The BBQ Princess, Kenzie Lou finished in sixth place overall on day 2 but was able to snag first place chicken with a score of 176 and the two-day overall GC.
Two-day Backyard Grand Champion, Kenzie Fink of KenzielouQ. Photo courtesy of KenzielouQ.
Event organizer Erin Bowman said she’d like to come back to Wytheville for a similar event in 2021 and based on the comments and feedback from the competitors, the Second Annual BBQ Wythe US would be a rousing success. We’ll just all hope the earthquakes stay away.


The Board of Directors currently meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Once the Board meeting minutes are approved at the next meeting, they are posted to the Board Meeting Notes page on the website.