Rules Regulations and Judging Procedures

Download 2018 Rules Regulations and Judging Procedures PDF

2018 Official Rules, Regulations and Judging Procedures   Revised 06.14.2018

The following rules, regulations and judging procedures will be used at all ACSA sanctioned events


General Competitive Steak Cook-Off Event Rules

  1. All events requesting ACSA sanction must apply at least 60-days in advance of the competition to allow ACSA time to review the application, assign Contest Representative and authorize the event as an officially sanctioned competition.
  2. ACSA is the sanctioning body for official American Competitive Steak Association cook-offs and will provide the format for the competition, a properly trained Contest Representative, rules and regulations for judging the event, competition toolkit to direct and guide promoter on the organization and promotion of their contest. ACSA is not responsible for prize payouts or liable for financial obligations incurred by the promoter to host the competition. ACSA is solely the sanctioning body for the competition.
  3. The Contest Representative is the official designee of ACSA at sanctioned competitions. Their decisions and interpretations of the rules are final subject to appeal to the ACSA board.
  4. The Contest Promoter is responsible for the organization and promotion of the even Promoter assumes all responsibility for paying guaranteed payouts. As ACSA does not have a financial stake in the outcome of the event, all revenue and liabilities from the competition belongs to the promoter.
  5. The Competitive Teams shall be comprised of at least one individual cook and as many others as they wish to have on their team. The head cook must be at least 18 years of age on the date of the competition. All prize money shall be awarded to the winning teams in the amount designated by the promoter prior to the start of the competition.
  6. Each Competitive team must have a fire extinguisher at cook site
  7. ACSA events are judged by a panel of judges and will be in a “blind judging” format. All judges will be required to participate in a judges meeting prior to the commencement of the competition to review the rules and order of the event. ACSA encourages judges to join the association and participate in a judging class prior to their first competition to better appreciate the event as well as understand the rules and how to judge the competition. However, being a member of ACSA or completion of a judging class is not a requirement of judging a sanctioned event.



Competition Cooking Rules

  1. Competitive Teams shall provide all needed equipment and supplies, except as arranged for in advance by the Promoter. Teams must follow all electric, fire and safety codes as required by the local jurisdiction of the event. A fire extinguisher must be near all cooking devices or the team will be disqualified from the event. Teams are responsible to ensure that their assigned cooking area is clean and orderly following the event. Failure to follow this rule may disqualify the team from future ACSA sanctioned events.
  2. At least one member of the cook team must be a member of ACSA prior to the start of the competition to be eligible for any added money at events. Should a non-member team win an ACSA event, they have the option of joining ACSA at the conclusion of the event to be invited to the ACSA Championship Cook-off. If the team choses to not join, no contestant from the sanctioned event will be offered a slot for the ACSA Championship Cook-Off.
  3. Points will be awarded for all competitive teams that successfully compete in each Steak contest, these points will accumulate through the year for the “team of the year” award.
  4. The Promoter shall provide two 1-1/4” boneless choice ribeye steaks to each team for the cook-off as well as any ancillary categories they so choose. Alternatively, the Promoter may require teams that wish to participate in an Ancillary Category to provide their own meat for that category. Any meat used in an ancillary category not provided by the Promoter must be inspected during the times established by the contest organizer. All competition meat shall start out raw. No pre-seasoned meat is allowed.
  5. Each Competitive team may only enter 1 entry into the Steak category.
  6. Cooks may cook on any fire or heat source.
  7. NO other rib-eye steaks are to be present at cook sites other than the ones provided to the teams by promoters. Failure to follow this rule will be lead to immediate disqualification of the team and possible banning of all future ACSA sanctioned events.
  8. Steaks may not be removed from the teams cooking area except to turn in the entry.
  9. Entries should consist of one steak cooked Medium (warm pink center). Teams may only submit one entry in the Steak category.
  10. Steaks may be lightly trimmed before, but not after cooking. Steaks may not be marked or branded in any way. (Grill marks are not considered marking)
  11. Steaks must be turned in whole and uncut on top of the provided foil disk. The provided foil disks must be placed in the box, silver side up and not folded in any way.
  12. Garnish for Categories: Steak category will always be NO GARNISH, ancillary categories are always OPEN GARNISH
    1. OPEN GARNISH – All ancillary categories are Open Garnish, Anything goes. Stuffing, wrapping, skewers, and decorations of any kind edible or not are allowed. Any size chunks or ingredients can be used. Cooks should remember the judges will be instructed to evaluate how well the cook has represented the contest category. Excessive garnish or additional ingredients, that covers or hides the appearance and/or taste of the defined category, may result in a lower score.
    2. NO GARNISH – Only edible portions of the category item may be in the box.
  13. Ancillary categories are optional and do not count towards the ACSA Championship points.
  14. Turn in times will be announced at cooks meeting and will not be changed once announced.
  15. Teams will be disqualified from the competition for the use of Ribeye steaks other than those provided by the event found in the team area. In addition the ACSA Representative will report the team to ACSA for possible disqualification of future sanctioned events. Teams that have foreign objects found in the turn in box, or if the turn-ins occur after the time window has expired, will only be disqualified for that round.
  16. Teams must turn in their entries in ACSA number container, provided by the contest Promoter. The number must be on top of the container at turn in. The container must not be marked in any way to ensure the fairness of the blind judging. Marked containers will be disqualified from the competition.
  17. Teams are subject to random inspections by any ACSA Representative.
  18. For kid categories, cooks must be ages 4-17 years old and may only be allowed to cook under the supervision of an adult 18 years of older.
  19. In case of a final results tie, the prize money will be split between the teams. Example a total tie between two teams for first place. The prize money from first and second place would be added up and divided between the cookers. The ACSA Representative will flip a coin to decide which team gets which the trophy and the bid at the ACSA Championship.
  20. There will be no refund of entry fees for any reason, except at the discretion of the contest Promoter.


Judging Procedures

  1. ACSA sanctioning allows for blind judging only. ACSA utilizes ACSA Certified Judges when possible.
  2. ACSA numbered container provided by the contest Promoter. The container may be renumbered by the Contest Representative or authorized personnel before being presented to the judged.
  3. Judging will be done by a team of 5 individuals at each judging table. Only judges, Contest Representative and authorized individuals shall be allowed in the judging area once the completion has commenced.
  4. Judging shall be on four components: Temperature, Presentation, Tenderness and Taste.
  5. The scoring system will be 1 to 5 as follows: 5 excellent, 4 very good, 3 average, 2 below average and 1 inedible.
  6. A score of 0 (zero) is a penalty or disqualification and required approval by the Contest Representative. Grounds for penalty/disqualification include prohibited garnish, a marked turn in container, foreign object in the container, incorrect entry type or amount (i.e. 2 ribeye’s in main category or less than five servings in an ancillary category)
  7. The Contest Representative will tally the scores from the judges at each table. The ACSA Contest Representative will use a proprietary weighting factor to determine the score for each team. Results will be tallied, if there is a tie in one of the categories, it will be broken as follows: The scores will be compared for the highest cumulative scores in Taste, Tenderness, Presentation and Temperature.  If still tied, then the prize money for the two slots they occupy (i.e. first and second place) will be combined and split evenly by the winning teams and a coin toss will be used to determine their placement for the trophies.
  8. No prize monies will be withheld for non participation in ancillary categories.


Additional Ancillary Cook-Off Rules

  1. May be cooked on any fire or heat source.
  2. Must be cooked / assembled on site. All meat or ancillary category items must be raw or uncooked at the start of cook time.
  3. You may decorate the inside of the turn in box however you chose. It is optional, not part of appearance score.
  4. Boxes may contain small disposable cups for sauce, dips or entry and toothpicks or skewers to hold food items together.
  5. Only 1 type of ancillary item per turn in box.
  6. Entries will be judged on Temperature, Presentation, Tenderness and Taste.
  7. The order of tie breakers for Ancillaries Taste, Tenderness, Presentation and Temperature.
  8. All entries should be fully assembled for judging.
  9. No desserts may be turned in for any appetizer categories.