KSU Wildcat BBQ Contest at Spring Game

KSU Wildcat BBQ Contest: Spring Game & Fan Fest April 19 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium - CatTown Family Area

The Catbacker Clubs from across the State of Kansas are holding a Barbeque Contest. The event will be held the weekend of the Kansas State Wildcats Spring Game and Fan Fest on April 19. By proclamation of the Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, the Grand Champion of the Wildcat BBQ Contest will be designated as an official State Champion of Kansas, which will allow the Grand Champion to enter the American Royal Barbeque Contest.

Two Competition Divisions Available:

Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned

  Download BBQ Contest Entry Form (PDF)

Open Division Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned (See KCBS Rules) $150
  Additional Space $50
  Electrical Access (Limited) $25
Tailgater Division Open to anyone interested in the babyback ribs competition $30
Open Division Grand Champion: $2000 and award
By proclamation of the Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, the Grand Chmpion of the Wildcat BBQ Contest will be designated as an official State Champion of Kansas, which will allow the Grand Champion to enter the American Royal Barbeque Contest.

Reserve Champion: $1000 and award
Reserve Award: $500 and award

Individual Meat Awards plus: 1st: $150  /  2nd: $100  /  3rd: $75  /  4th: $50  /  5th: $25  /  6th through 10th: $20
Tailgater Division 1st: $75  /  2nd: $50  /  3rd: $30  /  4th: $25  /  5th: $20
KSU Athletic Dept
Lon Floyd, Asst AD
Contest Director
Gary Davidson

There will be two competition divisions from which to enter.
Open Division Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned (See KCBS Rules)
Tailgater Open to anyone interested in the babyback ribs competition

Open Division Competition will focus on the following areas;
    Chicken (includes Cornish Hens and Kosher Chicken)
    Pork (Shoulder, Butts, Picnic)
    Beef Brisket

Tailgater Competitions will focus on the following areas;
    Ribs (Babyback)

The entry fee into the contest will be;
$150 for Open Team Competition
$50 for Additional Space
$25 for Electricity Access (Limited)
$30 for Tailgater Team Competition

Cash and awards will be presented for the top place finishers in each category at each division. A Grand Champion Award will be presented to the overall winner in Open Division. There will also be a Reserve Champion and a Reserve Award in the Open Division.

Food Judging will begin at Event Organizers decision; Judges Meeting will be two hours before judging starts.


Open Division (Friday)
Arrive, Register & Set-up.................9:00 A.M. 5:00 P.M.           
Cook’s Meeting.................................6:00 P.M. 6:30 P.M.

Tailgater Division (Saturday)
Arrive, Register & Set-up...................7:00 A.M. 10:00 A.M.
Cook’s Meeting................................10:00 A.M. 10:30 A.M.

Saturday Judging will be done on a meat-by-meat basis in the following order:

Open Division
Chicken.............................................12:00 PM
Ribs...................................................12:30 PM
Pork (shoulder/butt/picnic....................1:00 PM
Brisket (beef).......................................1:30 PM

Tailgater Division
Babyback Ribs....................................2:00 PM

All meat to be cooked must be unseasoned/uncooked when presented to meat inspectors. Inspectors will be on-site as teams arrive. No whole animal entries will be allowed. Only manufacturer water injected meat products are allowed.

All cooking, seasoning and preparing of food will be done within the confines of their assigned space. NO foods may be pre-cooked before contest. All entries must be prepared and cooked by registered teams.

Judging will start precisely at time established. No late entries will be allowed after set time. Event organizers will select Judges.

Tailgater Contestants are only eligible to compete within the Babyback Ribs contest. To enter into more than one meat contest, the contestant must move to Open Division. Open Division must follow KCBS rules.

Contestants must prepare to pound of your entry and place in proper containers. Appearance is one of the judging criteria. There must be 6 separate and defined portions of meats for each judge to taste. Containers will be provided to contestants by event organizers.

Meat being submitted for Judging may not be accompanied or stuffed with another product (i.e. bacon).

All entries must fit within the container. Containers must be completely closed. Nothing may be added to the outside of the container. Garnish (per KCBS Rules) is limited to lettuce within the container only. Entries must not be identified or branded as to content on the outside of container. The Contestant number must be visible on the top of container when submitted for judging. The containers will not be returned.

If entry is covered with sauce, it will be judged that way.

After cooking, all meat must be held at 140 degrees or above until presented for judging.


The BBQ Contest will occur the weekend of the Spring Football Game. The event will be set up in the area identified as Cat Town at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The adjoining parking lot will be available for public use.

All contest teams will pre-register for the event. Each team will be assigned an area to allow room for preparing the entry. For their entry fee, Open Division teams will be given a space equal to approximately 400 square feet or four (4) parking stalls (approx 20ft X 20ft).  (OPTION; For an additional $50 entry fee, the entry team will be given additional space up to 200 sq feet or Two (2) extra parking stalls (20ft X 10ft) for their assigned area. But only if space is available) All assigned areas will be identifiable by ground markers or parking area lines.

Contestants must avoid taking advantage of other contestant assigned space. Use of additional space than assigned is grounds for disqualification from competition.

Any team using an RV, Fifth-wheel or camper on site must have prior approval by Contest Organizers.

The Tailgater teams will be give a space equal to 200 sq feet or two (2) parking stalls. Tailgater teams will not be allowed to obtain additional space.

Only Open Division contest teams will be given access to the competition site to set up their cooking area from 9:00am to 5:00pm the Friday prior to the Spring Game. All remaining divisions may set up from 7:00am to 10:00am the Saturday of the game. All entered teams will be given thirty (30) minutes to unload their vehicle and remove it from the contest area. Vehicles will not be allowed in competition area, except for these times. The no vehicle policy is to avoid vehicle traffic moving in the competition area during spectator time. Contestants wishing to have large items delivered to their space should do so on Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. All setup must be finished by 5:00pm on Friday and 10:00am on Saturday.

Any vehicle parked in a designated site must be left at the site for the duration of the contest. They cannot be removed until the contest is over. Contestants will be allowed to park personal vehicles in the west parking lot of the stadium over night. At this time of year, use of a vehicle or camper unit will be allowed within the cooking area. Weather can be an issue and such units will allow cover from the elements. Event officials have the right to disapprove of any vehicle left on site during competition.

Those arriving on Thursday, may temporarily park their equipment in the Bill Snyder Family Stadium parking lot until Friday. Color-coded parking passes for the event may be issued to identify VIP’s, event contestants, event volunteers, vendors, and KSU staff.

Public access to competition area will be allowed from 3:00pm to 11:00pm on the Friday before the Spring Game, and after 9:00am on Saturday.  Admission to the competition area will be free.

Cook’s meeting for Open Division will be at 6:00pm, Friday and 10:00am on Saturday for Tailgater Divisions, at Contest Headquarters at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Each entry will establish a Chief Cook and that person will be held responsible for the entire entrant team. The Chief Cook must be 21 years of age. The Meat Inspectors upon team arrival will inspect all meat intended to be prepared for competition.

All categories will be judged and trophies awarded for overall first, second and third place in Open Division. There will be a Grand Champion in the Open Division that will qualify for the American Royal Barbeque in Kansas City. Ribbons may be awarded for top place winners. Award presentations will be made prior to the Spring Football Game


OPEN Div                                   
Grand Champion $2000 and award
Reserve Champion $1000 and award
Reserve Award $500 and award

Individual Meat Category
First Place $150 and award
Second Place  $100 and award
Third Place  $75 and award
Fourth Place $50 and award
Fifth Place $25 and award
Sixth through Tenth $20 and award

First Place  $75 and award
Second Place $50 and award
Third Place $30 and award
Fourth Place $25 and award
Fifth Place $20 and award

Corporate Sponsors may be used to fund the prize money and/or trophies.

There will be minimum of five (5) Judges for Tailgate category. Some Judges can cover multiple categories. Judges will be made up of area celebrities and university officials. Corporate sponsors may have the ability to provide a judge for the contest.

All equipment, gills, tables, chairs, and other items used in the food preparation must be transported to the site by a personal vehicle, such as a passenger car, pick-up or RV. No commercial vehicles, cargo carrying vehicles, or commercial trailers are allowed to transport food and/or equipment of any kind, without prior permission from event organizers.

The Contest Organizers will provide local contact information for various supply sources for all competitors. Arrangements for special pre-ordered meat will not be available through Contest Organizers. Teams must safeguard that they have the correct meat available for competition.

Entrants will provide their own cooking device and it will be used exclusively by the entrant. All cooking, preparing, and serving equipment, props, or other items for each entrant must fit within their assigned area.

Ice sales will be made available to contestants. Contestants may bring ice purchased from local retail distributors. However, contestant teams may not resell any ice.

There will be no general solicitation of any service or product allowed without approval of event organizers. Contestants are not allowed to sell any food or beverage of any kind.  Violations can result in disqualification from the contest and may result in removal.

Everyone within the confines of the cooking, judging, or serving area must wear a shirt and shoes at all times. No use of tobacco products, or smoking by the people handling the food will be allowed. Chief Cooks should make reasonable efforts to keep their cook area clean. Each team will be reasonable for sanitizing their utensils and work surfaces and must provide all needed equipment and supplies. Local health codes will be followed.

Limited electric outlets will be made available. Access to utilities will be assigned based on competition levels and organizer discretion. You may not give or sell electricity to any other participant in the event, without organizers approval. Portable generators are allowed. Fire codes will be strictly enforced.

The Chief Cook will sign a release form stating they have read the rules of the contest and will abide by them. Failure to do so can result in disqualification.

Each team may be given wristbands during the registration period. Contestants are required to wear these wristbands for the duration of the contest. These bands will allow unlimited entry/exit from the event.  These bands help identify contestants and event officials may vacate anyone not wearing a band for identification.

The event coordinators or their designee shall have sole authority for interpreting the rules and determining any violations thereof.

Fires may be made of wood, pellets, or charcoal, within a contained area. Gas grills are not permitted. Propane may be used as a fire starter only.  No open pits, dug holes, or ground fires allowed. All fires must be contained within a fire approved grill or device. Fire codes will be strictly enforced.

It is the responsibility of all contestants to keep their area clean and free of debris. All fires must be put out following the contest. Ash and grease barrels will be located on site for disposal. All equipment must be removed from site following the contest. All grounds must be policed for debris and disposed of. Any items left will be thrown away.

There will be no refund of entry fees for any reason except at the election of the event organizers.

Fan Display may consist of flags, decorations, use and set-up of assigned area, use of interior and exterior of vehicle, comfort of members, distinguishing features of the team, and attire.


Corporate sponsors have the right to promote and underwrite the event. Corporate sponsors have exclusive right to distribute their product and display signage. Therefore, teams competing in the event and/or other companies may distribute or sell products such as sauces or rubs upon approval from the event organizers. No one may sell or display signage for products or companies that directly or indirectly competes with the corporate sponsors of the event. Event coordinators and KSU management have the right to reject and remove any signage or displays not deemed permissible or appropriate for the event.

Contest organizers will do their best to ensure grounds are manned by security the entire time event is occurring. Contact can be made with Manhattan Fire Department, Riley County Police, KSU Police and Manhattan EMT through 911 services. Kansas State University, City of Manhattan, State of Kansas, Sponsors and Event Organizers will not be liable for theft or damage of any personal property.

All visitors entering the competition area will be admitted free. The visitors my enter competition area on Friday between 3:00pm and 11:00pm and on Saturday from 9:00am until game time. From Saturday at 12:00am to Saturday at 7:00am, will be considered quiet time and noise should be kept to a minimum.

Excessive noise, disruptions, excessive use of alcoholic beverages, use of controlled substances, offensive language, obscene behavior, or inappropriate displays from a visitor, contestant or others within the event grounds will not be tolerated. Event staff and law enforcement agencies have authority to take appropriate action to ensure that university, city and state laws and contest rules are complied with and that a pleasant atmosphere and positive image of the event is maintained.  Actions may include warnings, removal, disqualification, and arrest by law enforcement.

Alcoholic beverages are allowed only in accordance with university, city and state laws.

The contest allows Seeing Eye dogs and other service dogs for people with disabilities. No other pets of any kind are allowed within the event grounds.

First Aid will not be provided except at the election of event organizers.

The governing rules established by the Kansas City Barbeque Society will be followed. KSU and event organizers have the right to enforce any rules/regulations need at anytime to provide a fair and safe event.


Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Arrive, set-up, register, Open Division
Friday 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm Cook’s Meeting Open Division
Friday 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm Cooking & Fan Access
Saturday 7:00 am to 10:00 am Arrive, set-up, register, Tailgate Divisions
Saturday 10:00 am to 10:30 am Cook’s Meeting Tailgate Divisions
Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Competition & Fan Access
Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Food & Beer Garden Access
Saturday 10:00 pm Judges Meeting
Saturday 12:00 pm Chicken entries judging
Saturday 12:30 pm Rib entries judging
Saturday 1:00 pm Pork Butts entries judging
Saturday 1:30 pm Beef Brisket entries judging
Saturday 2:00 pm Tailgate entries judging
Saturday 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Pre-game activities and/or clean-up
Saturday 6:00 pm Spring Football Game
Saturday (TBD) Contest Winners Announced