The Rules

Beginning Sept. 19, 2016, Spokane Poetry Slam will offer different competitive formats for our monthly slams.  BootSlam will continue to use the traditional 5-judges scoring format, while Spokane Poetry Slam will switch to a head-to-head tournament.

RULES FOR BOOTSLAM (1st Sundays at Boots Bakery and Lounge)

  1. Each poet must present his or her own original work.  No covers, no recitations of movie monologs, no dramatic readings of Aerosmith songs.  Quoting and appropriation are acceptable, but outright plagiarism will not be tolerated.
  2. Each poet has three minutes to perform one poem per round.
  3. Poets are not allowed to use costumes, props, or musical accompaniment in the performance of their poems.
  4. Five judges chosen at random will score each poem on a scale of zero point zero (0.0) to ten (10).  The high and low scores will be ignored, and the middle three scores will be added to give the poet his or her final score for that round.  The scores of each round will be added together for each poet, and the poet with the highest score at the end of the competition is the winner.
  5. Poets presenting world premiere poems in the first round will earn one extra point.  A world premiere poems is defined as a poem that has not been publicly presented or published.  This includes poems posted on the Internet, poems published in chapbooks, journals, or books, and poems presented onstage at other slams or open mics.  This does not include poems presented in workshops.  Poems presented in workshops will be allowed to earn the “world premiere poem extra point,” provided they have not been presented in any forum outside the workshop.
  6. There will be no less than two rounds per competition.  Depending on the number of poets and the size of the audience, the host may choose to have more than two rounds.

PENALTIES

  1. If a poet violates the time limit, he or she will have .5 points deducted from their final score for that round for every ten seconds over 3 minutes.  For example, if the poem is 3:15, the poet will have .5 taken off of his or her final score for the round.  If the poem is 3:40, the poet will have 2 points removed from the final score.  There is no penalty for a poem lasting less than three minutes.
  2. If the poet breaks the costume, prop, or music rule, and the violation is ruled to be incidental (not premeditated) the poet will be given a score that is two points lower than the lowest cumulative score of any poet in that round.
  3. If the poet performs something other than his or her own work, or breaks the costume, prop, or music rule in a premeditated fashion, the poet will be disqualified from the competition.

All other rules and penalties will be kept in accordance with Poetry Slam Inc. (the recognized national organizing body for slam poetry) guidelines.

RULES FOR SPOKANE POETRY SLAM (3rd Mondays at The Bartlett)

  1. Each poet must present his or her own original work.  No covers, no recitations of movie monologs, no dramatic readings of Aerosmith songs.  Quoting and appropriation are acceptable, but outright plagiarism will not be tolerated.
  2. Each poet has three minutes to perform one poem per round.
  3. Poets are not allowed to use costumes, props, or musical accompaniment in the performance of their poems.
  4. Each round will consist of two poets performing consecutively.  The host will then ask the audience to indicate which poem they prefer by the volume of their cheers.  If the winner is not easily determined using this method, the host will ask for the audience to indicate their preference by a show of hands.
  5. The tournament is limited to 8 participants.  The first round of the tournament is single-elimination (if you lose the bout, you’re out of the competition).  All subsequent rounds are double-elimination.  The winners in the semi-final round will compete for 1st and 2nd place.  The losers in the semi-final round will compete for 3rd and 4th place.
  6. The sign-up list will be limited to 12 particpants.  The poets will draw for entry into the tournament.  Poets who pick numbers 9-12 will perform as part of two ‘sacraficial’ bouts, but will not be a part of the competitive tournament.

PENALTIES

  1. If a poet violates the time limit, the time keeper will stop their performance.  The audience will judge the poem in comparison to the other poem in the bout based on the portion that has been performed.
  2. If the poet breaks the costume, prop, or music rule, they will forfeit the bout.
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