MASONRY MADNESS® 2022: Masonry’s Biggest Events of the Year

Words:

Words and Photos: MASONRY Magazine

The biggest adrenaline-packed event of World of Concrete takes place on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, in the Silver Lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. MASONRY MADNESS® is a collection of the most exciting masonry competitions in the world, and they all happen on one day at one central location. 

Event after event, attendees see the best bricklayers, block layers, mason apprentices, and tenders go head-to-head in four unique and challenging masonry contests to prove who is the best in the world. You don’t want to miss seeing these skilled craftsmen compete for the largest value of cash and prize awarded for any construction industry event held in the world!

MCAA MASONRY SKILLS CHALLENGE
8:00 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver Lot 

The MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge is a competition of masonry apprentices in first, second, and third-year skill levels. The contest is a showcase for skills training in the masonry industry, challenging winning apprentices from regional competitions held throughout the country to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. The exciting competition spotlights our industry’s finest young masons and focuses attention on careers in the masonry industry. 

Contestants are divided by experience level, "First Years" who are just entering the trade through "Third Years" who are just about to enter the workforce as journeymen. Each level is given a project to build appropriate to their experience. 

The catch? The projects are a complete surprise! 

Contestants must build their project without ever having seen the drawings. They haven't been able to practice, and they can't consult their instructor, employer, or anyone else during the competition. They have three hours to complete their projects with the given materials. Awards are presented to the top three apprentices in each skill level. 

Spec Mix Toughest Tender
10:00 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver Lot 

Teamwork is the key to success when it comes to the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500®, however, before the masons can lay those bricks as fast as they possibly can their tenders have to set up his or her respective station. This is where the SPEC MIX Toughest Tender® comes into play. Tenders are more than helpers, they are coaches, advisors, and scouts, teamwork and coordination between the mason’s tender and the competing mason for set-up strategy are critical for success. These tenders keep the brick and mortar coming to their masons.

By the end of the competition, each mason tender has typically moved by hand 2,000 pounds of block, 3,000 pounds of brick, and shoveled 3,000 pounds of mortar. From the beginning, organizers wanted to acknowledge the important contribution mason tenders make to the masonry team. The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® competition is preliminary to the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship Competition. The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER is a challenge in which the competitors demonstrate the jobsite skills of organization, safety, and hustle.

The world's top mason tenders compete for the fastest time setting up their SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® workstation. Watch as they haul tons of brick, block, equipment, and materials to beat their peers and take home $2,500 cash and prizes.

Care for quality is also an important consideration. Tenders often use brick tongs for the placement of brick stacks. Since chipped bricks are not allowed in the wall, tenders must take care of the brick placement and inspection.

Tenders have another role in ensuring the bricklaying competition is safe. Before the start of the competition, the tender must restore all materials originally in the stall to their original position as accurately as possible, except for the material used in the construction of the starter courses. Once the work area is set up, and the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER competition is complete, there is no deviation to the configuration of the work area until the start of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500.

MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block
10:20 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver Lot 

The Mason Contractors Association of America hosts the Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition. It is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament to both the speed and skill of our industry's workforce. Only journeymen masons who have the skill, confidence, and courage to compete with the industry's best are invited to compete. This contest proves how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product.

The competition pits journeyman masons and their favorite tender against one another in a show of speed and craftsmanship. Each contestant's goal is to complete as much of a 30-foot-long wall as possible, using 8"x8"x16" CMU and the provided mortar in a 20-minute heat. Contestants must have a high degree of workmanship using normal masonry practices and hand tools.

The contest promotes quality training and pride in workmanship among journeymen and contractors and promotes the craftsmanship, speed, and versatility of masonry systems and the masonry workforce. This contest also rewards and highlights the country's best mason journeymen for their hard work and dedication to the trade.

SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® 
11:00 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver Lot 

Who is the best bricklayer in the nation? The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® competition at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas will answer the question.

Teams of one mason and one mason tender build a 26-foot 8-in., double wythe brick wall. The most bricks laid in one hour and counted under the quality rules wins the event.

Judged by over 20 highly qualified industry experts, the award places are based on the highest brick counts meeting the quality standards and competition rules. The judges will check each mason's wall for workmanship and production to determine who will make it to the winner's circle, where over $100,000 in cash and prizes will be given away.

The champion is awarded the title "World's Best Bricklayer" and handed the keys to drive home in the grand prize, a new Ford F-250 4x4 SuperDuty Truck. For those who won’t be able to make it out to the competitions this year, SPEC MIX will be streaming this event live on January 19, 2022, at www.specmixbricklayer500.com

Be sure to check back in the next issue to see the competitor’s list and more information on this action-packed day! 

Masonry Safety Inspections

The look of confusion and utter loss on people’s faces when I tell them that I’m a safety inspector for a masonry company is often hilarious.

About: Safety
Dave Jollay Announced as Third Inductee for MCAA 2024 Hall of Fame

Following in the footsteps of his father, O.L. Jollay, the founder of Jollay Masonry, Inc., Dave Jollay has carved out a remarkable career in the masonry industry.

What AI Can Do For the Masonry Industry

If your pension fund doesn’t hold NVIDIA stock, your fund manager has some questions to answer. This week, NVIDIA became the most valuable company in the world, with a market cap exceeding $3.4 trillion. They have been at the forefront of AI mania that ha

About: Featured
Brick: A Resilient Product That Will Make You Proud

Originating as the very dirt beneath our feet, brick has proven to be a sustainable, enduring solution that has been trusted for hundreds of years. While modern consumerism tends to focus on providing fast, cheap merchandise that is not intended to last,