The intent of the MABA RTOY Program is to offer a competitive format for ROOKIE Master Series Teams to compete and allows MABA to support the growth of the sport.  A Rookie Masters Series Team is defined as a Master Series cook team who

  • Is a current MABA member in good standing
  • Has cooked 4 or less Master Series contests as a head cook in the past
  • Has not competed for MABA’s RTOY in the past.  

Rookie Teams are governed by the same Team Requirements as veteran (TOY) Teams. Rookie Teams are eligible for both RTOY and MABA TOY points and awards using the MABA TOY Points System. Both TOY and RTOY will use the Top 5 MABA contests to determine total points. After your 5th contest, you will drop the lowest scoring contest from your point totals.

Exceptions for RTOY Teams

Rookie Teams may not invite any ‘Pro-Level’ Pitmaster to cook with their team.  A ‘Pro-Level’ Pitmaster for these purposes is defined as: cooks who are or were a Head Cook on any KCBS or MABA 4 meat sanctioned team currently or in the past. 

Rookie Teams may seek advice from any team or teams at a contest, but the cooking shall be done by members of the Rookie Team.

Exceptions to the Rookie Rules

Minor children may assist a team or teams, in any capacity, and maintain their rookie eligibility status without compromise until their 18th birthday.

‘Backyard’ events and any other BBQ contest specifically designated for amateurs would not violate RTOY eligibility requirements and are encouraged by the Mid Atlantic BBQ Association.

Judges working with teams to meet the requirements in becoming a master judge will not compromise the judge’s future rookie status.

Requirements to Register Your Team for Rookie Team of the Year Competition

An RTOY application must be electronically submitted via the TOY tab on the website.  This MUST be done prior to the end of the contest year for which you wish to be eligible for the RTOY race. MABA strongly encourages teams to apply for RTOY as soon as possible.  All applications must be vetted and and approved for eligibility before being included in the points chase.  This process can take up to 30 days.  

Point Rules to Determine RTOY

Point Rules will be the same as those outlined in the Tier 1 TOY Rules.

Tie Breaker Rules to Determine RTOY

Tie Breaker Rules will be the same as those outlined in the Tier 1 TOY Rules.

2023 Master Series Rookie TOY Points Chase Teams

Ham Squad – Pitmaster David Dick from Gloucester, VA

Lem’s Meat Varnish – Pitmaster Chris Lemon from South Charleston, WV

Mispillion Meat Works – Pitmaster Adam Shoemaker from Georgetown, DE

The Fat is Where It’s At – Pitmaster Nicholas Santoleri from Lancaster, PA

Rookie TOY Award Past Winners

~ 2022~

Off the Rack BBQ

Pitmaster Henry Jones

Stafford, VA

~ 2020+2021 Super Season ~

Bubba’s Barbecue

Pitmaster Chris Papatolis

Philadelphia, PA

~ 2019 ~

Brother-Uncle Barbeque

Pitmaster Chris Schriver

Greencastle, PA

~ 2018 ~


Pitmistress Tiffany Patrick

Frederick, MD

~ 2017 ~

Love-N-Smoke BBQ

Pitmaster Glenn Zobel

Ashland, VA

~ 2015 ~

Game On BBQ

Pitmaster Brian Nezzer

McKees Rocks, PA

~ 2014 ~

Muttley Crew BBQ

Pitmistress Shannon Turner

Apex, NC

~ 2013 ~

Old Virginia Smoke

Pitmaster Luke Darnell

Bristow, VA

~ 2012 ~

Checkered Flag 500

Pitmaster Mark Gibbs

Fawn Grove, PA

~ 2010 ~

Deguello BBQ

Pitmaster Kit Deguello

Warrenton, VA