The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is for Professional teams only.

  • Qualifying Contests must be considered an open competition and not an invitational.
  • There is no entry fee for the competitors.
  • Invitations are sent only to the “Grand Champion” of qualifying contests; no “pass downs” are allowed.
  • Every U.S. team invited must earn its way to Lynchburg and into “The Jack.”
  • International teams are encouraged to compete but may not include members who are U.S. citizens unless
    their primary residence is in the country they represent.
  • In a sanctioned competition, teams must have cooked, turned-in, and been judged in the required
    four categories: chicken, ribs, pork, and beef to be considered the contest’s “Grand Champion”.
  • First-year contests that have a “state championship” proclamation must have a minimum of 15
    competing teams. Teams must have cooked, turned-in, and been judged in the required categories.
    After the first year, a contest will be considered an “established” contest.
  • Established contests that have a “state championship” proclamation must have a minimum of 25
    competing teams. Teams must have cooked, turned-in, and been judged in the required categories.
  • Sanctioned Contests with a minimum of 50 competing teams are qualifiers and do not require a “state
    championship” proclamation. Teams must have cooked, turned-in, and been judged in the required
    categories.
  • If a contest is the only contest in a state, it must have a “state championship” proclamation and a
    minimum of 15 competing teams. Teams must have cooked, turned-in, and been judged in the required
    categories.
  • The sanctioned body must sanction a minimum of ten (10) competitions in the qualifying period.
  • The sanctioned body must have printed rules, including disciplinary action for rule violations.
  • Teams must consist of the chief cook who won the contest/s that qualified his/her team for the
    competition and its members must regularly cook on that team.
  • Any U.S.-based team winning a competition in another country will have its name placed in the
    draw in the chief cook’s home state.

The Draw

There are also a number of other situations resulting in an automatic invitation, i.e. winning the previous year’s Jack, Memphis in May, the American Royal Open, the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show; winning 7 qualifying Grand Championships in a single “Jack Season”; or competing at the Jack nine times, the next year a single qualifying GC will gain an invitation.

After a team qualifies for the Draw, invitations to enter the Draw are usually sent out mid-August, and the teams that wish to participate must return the necessary paperwork prior to the deadline before Draw Day.

Once entered in the Draw, on Draw Day the team will have a numbered bung (barrel stopper) for each qualifying GC they’ve earned. The bungs representing the winners of the qualifying contests in a particular state are put together; the states are drawn in random order, and one bung is drawn for each state. Once a team’s bung is drawn, they are removed from any subsequent state draws.

Since the Jack would ideally like to have a participant from each state, the Home State Rep draw was created. Any state not represented by a GC after the state draws, will have qualifying GC teams based in that state entered into a draw for Home State Rep.

And finally, after all the draws are done, all the bungs not yet drawn are put together for one last draw, the Wild Card.

The Competition

Once there, teams compete in seven categories: Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice (Home Cookin’ from the Homeland for internationals) and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.