Personally, I don't believe in tai chi push hands competitions. I've been to many push hands competitions as an observer and all the times what I see is often the contest of brute force and wrestling. Real tai chi skills are totally non existence in these push hands competitions. In the last competition I went to, I witnessed 3 tai chi chuan veterans embarrassed by youngsters who have only practised tai chi chuan push hands for less than 1 or 2 years. These veterans have been doing tai chi for more than decades.
Most competitors are too eager to win in competition and right from the start they push and struggle with each other hoping to score points and win the competition. Many competitors rely on external techniques to win over their opponents. Hardly do I see any real tai chi skills of adhere, stick, follow, neutralize and fajin.
At one time I have the "privilege" to push hands with one 3 times national push hand champion. He admitted to win in push hand competition, tai chi skills are not enough. The aggressor usually has advantage. We started a friendly match and for a moment it was like pushing hand with a sumo wrestler. He put all his body weights in front and aggressively attempting to push me. I refused to let him land his weight and strength on me, maintaining light contact I can easily neutralized his aggression. many times he almost lunge himself to the ground because of putting too much weight in front.
In that short 5 minutes push hands, I managed to push him away neatly more than 10 times to zero. And he was grasping for air. I am not against push hands competition, but we need to be careful not to neglect tai chi principle of not opposing and let loose. It is better to loss correctly than to win incorrectly. Invest in loss and it will pay you handsomely later.