If we are concerned about tradition, maybe we should only cook on the ground using hot shoveled coals. If NOAH could get propane, he would have used it. We allow pellet, sawdust,charcoal, gurus, damper regulators,water pans. Getting the smoke ring, wood smoke flavor is difficult to produce using gas. we should not tell the teams how to smoke meat. We as judges are told to judge the meat presented to us with our eyes, our noise and pallet. cooking procedures change as time goes on. if we allowed gas, we would still have stick burners. I have built verticals, off sets, reverse flows, stick burners, a mixture of pellets, water pans, gas with wood boxes, etc since 1966. I have four units that I use, sometimes during a Holiday season I will use to or more different types of smokers. At a festival comp in SC, I smoked six chickens and 18 racks of ribs.I used a gas rig and and a stick burner. No one could tell the difference. Maybe we would get more cookers involved.