Adding a lamb category isn't too much. It wasn't that much of a stretch at Port Macquarie. It was why I asked about lamb to begin with! I like the lamb category. We did well in it last time. If anything, having a fifth category would give more opportunity to teams to place in what is a large investment in time and money, ie. a 2 day competition. Travelling, setting up, consumables, meat, time off work.
Removing or merging one of the established categories would also be counter-intuitive to what the low and slow BBQ scene in Australia seems to be gravitating towards: Ribs, Pork shoulder, chicken, and beef (brisket, ribs, tri-tip, rib fillet). Looking over this and the other forum, those items are what people are cooking, talking about, posting photos, and requesting help in. If all instances of a particular protein being mentioned were tallied, I would hazard a guess and say that pork ribs, pork shoulder, chicken and pork would rank above lamb. At the same time, I'm in wholehearted agreement that lamb needs to be included. It's why I mentioned it!!
Wayne Lohman, the VP and board member of the KCBS, actually said in an email to me "I also believe that lamb should always be included as a competitive meat category in Australia" when we were discussing the current BBQ scene here in Australia.
Removing or merging one of the pork categories, or chicken, would also act as a disincentive to US competitions using events held here in Australia to recruit Australian teams to compete in the US if they so choose to. We're heading over to Tennessee in October to cook at The Jack, and it was the format of the Port Macquarie event, and the inclusion of the KCBS categories of pork, ribs, chicken, and beef, that helped with that selection.
The KCBS 2013 25th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue international and Canadian criteria rules even say:
To be invited to “The Jack”, International teams must have cooked, must have turned-in, and must have been judged in the categories of chicken, pork, and beef.
In a KCBS sanctioned competition, International teams must have cooked, must have turned-in, and must have been judged in the required four categories (chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef) to be considered the contest Grand Champion.
I'm not arguing for complete adherence to the US style of low and slow BBQ. Australian BBQ should have it's own identity, and I think that it does. I think that it includes lamb, whether it be lamb ribs, lamb shoulder, or any other cut. All I'm saying is there's merit in keeping the current 4 categories of ribs (pork), pork (shoulder/neck), beef, and chicken.