All teams will be involved in two preliminary bouts at the Vancouver Public Library central branch. One bout on Friday, April 22nd and the other on Saturday April 23rd. Both of these bouts will occur outside of school hours.
• Each team will participate in two preliminary bouts, one in the evening of Friday, April 22nd and one in the afternoon of Saturday, April 23rd.
• There will be four rounds in each bout and four teams. The first three rounds will be solo poems the fourth round will be team pieces.
Thus each bout will look like this:
Round One: Solo Poems
Rounds Two: Solo Poems
Round Three: Solo Poems
Round Four: Team Piece Poems
• Each team can consist of as few as three poets and as many as six poets.
• The first, second, and third rounds of each team bout will be Solo Poem Rounds. Every poet of each team is expected to perform one solo poem during the course of the two preliminary bouts. In teams with 3 poets, everyone will perform in solo rounds twice. In teams with 6 poets, everyone will perform in solo rounds once. In teams of 3, 4 or 5 poets, some poets will perform once and some will perform twice. No poet may perform more than one (1) solo poem in a bout.
• The slam order for bouts will be determined by a random draw held before the commencement of each bout.
• Each bout will have a calibration poet to prepare the judges. The calibration poet (aka the sacrificial poet) will perform before the official competition begins and will receive scores from the judges as if they are a part of the competition.
• Each poet is encouraged to introduce themselves (name, school, poem title) before their poem. For example: “Hi, I’m Johnny. I’m from WordPlay Secondary in Vancouver. This poem is called Hullabaloo is Awesome.” The official time on their poem begins with the first thing they say after this. If they add any additional preamble beyond these basics (ie. (“…and I think cats are pretty cool”), their time will start.
• The fourth and final round of each team bout will be a Team Piece Round. During this round, two, three, four, five or all six members of each team can be involved in presenting a team piece together. The team piece can be written by one or multiple team members. It must be an original work of their creation.
• Each poem will receive a score out of 30. Bouts will be scored cumulatively through all four rounds. Thus, each team will receive a score out of 120. The highest score wins.
If you place first in both of your preliminary round bouts you earn a “2” (1+1). If you place first in your Friday bout and fourth in your Saturday bout you earn a “5” (1+4). Lower totals are better.
The top 4 teams with the lowest totals – and thus the highest ranking – will advance to Team Finals Night.
Ties will be broken by using the point differential system, which measures how close a team came to winning their bout. If two teams are tied with a “4” ranking, for instance (one team finished in second in both prelims, the other finished in first and third place in their bouts), then the tie would be broken by tabulating how far from victory they were.
Team A finished in second place in both bouts. They lost bout one by -.6 points and bout two by -1.1 points. Their total point differential is a -1.7.
Team B finished in first place in bout one, and third in bout 2. Their differential for bout one is ZERO, their differential for bout three is a -2.2 points. Their total point differential is a -2.2.
In this scenario Team A would advance. It rewards teams for winning bouts, but also keeps consistency between bouts by asking teams to compete against their own judges, and no others.
Rank order will be posted on this website after each prelim night.
Finals Night will be a four-round bout, the same as every other team bout in the tournament in the evening of Saturday, April 23rd. Teams are NOT allowed to repeat a team pieces that they may have performed in prelims on the Team Finals stage. The team with the highest score after four rounds becomes the Hullabaloo Champion, winning the fabled Billy Sharkspeare Trophy.
If there is a tie for first, another round of three-minute poems between the tied teams will determine the winner.
Underground Indies is the chance for individual slammers to show the breadth and depth of their poetic skills. After day one of prelims on Friday, April 22nd, we’ll take the poetry off the stage and put it into a different format. The audience will be arranged in a circle around the performance area. There will be no stage and no microphone. Instead 16 poets will compete in a head-to-head format to determine the best slammer at Hullabaloo.
Each school can nominate one poet to represent them at Underground Indies. This might be the winner of your school slam or your team captain. The selection process is up to the school or organization. If we have less than 16 reps, then we will have an open sign-up directly proceeding the competition to bring the number of slammers up to 16.
There are no judges, or rather, everyone is a judge. 16 poets are randomly drawn into 8 pairings. In each pairing, the two poets play rock/paper/scissors to determine who goes first. After both poets have performed, the winner is determined by audience applause.
To go all the way and complete the final match at Underground Indies, a poet will need four poems.
The time limit of 3 minutes and 10 seconds is still in effect. If a poet goes over time, the host will enter the circle and interrupt their poem.
Any poem performed in a slam in a previous Hullabaloo festival can not be presented again in competition.
No repeats of solo or team pieces.
You can use poems in Underground Indies that you’ve used in the team competition and vice versa. Underground Indies and the Team Bouts are considered separate competitions.
• Time penalties: once the poet exceeds three minutes and ten seconds, they lose 0.5 for every 10 seconds they are over. Here is how that breaks down:
3:10 and under no penalty
3:10.01 – 3:20 = -0.5 points
3:20.01 – 3:30 = -1.0 points
3:30.01 – 3:40 = -1.5 points
3:40.01 – 3:50 = -2.0 points
and so on [-0.5 points for every 10 seconds over 3:10]
• Team rotation in each bout. After a random draw, letters will be assigned to each team. The teams will perform in a rotating order through the five rounds in the bout, according to the following:
Round one (solo poems): team A, team B, team C, team D
Round two (solo poems): team B, team C, team D, team A
Round three (solo poems): team C, team D, team A, team B
Round four (team pieces): team D, team A, team B, team C
In the event that a bout consists of three teams, this order will be the same (minus Team D) for the solo poem rounds. Before the team piece round, a random draw will determine order.
• Sampling. Quoting other works and utilizing literary allusions are not plagiarism. Found poems are also possible. The important thing is that the construction of the poem was undertaken by the presenting poet, and that the arrangement and performance are original to them.
• After the brief introduction of poet’s name, poet’s school or organization, and poem’s title, the time will start on the next word the poet says. However, if the poet engages with the audience in a non-verbal way (ie. by winking, or waving, or performance art), then the time will start. The poet may take a pause after the introduction to prepare themselves to perform.
• If a judge gives a score outside the range or in increments of hundredths or greater, the score will be rounded down to the nearest tenth or, in the case of a negative score, rounded up to zero.
• Any disagreements, complaints or protests from a bout will be handled by a Rules Committee formed by the Host and Boutmaster at the bout in question along with Johnny MacRae and RC Weslowski.
• If after applying the Point Differential System (described above) there are still ties in the rankings after the preliminary bouts, then they will be broken according to the following system:
1. Who has the highest finish in either bout?
This means that if two teams are tied with a ranking of “4”, a team that gained that with a “1”+”3″ will be ranked higher than a team with a “2” + “2”.
2. If the teams are still tied after #1 then: Who has the highest total score?
Both prelim bouts would be added together and the team with the highest score out of 240 would be ranked higher. If they are still tied, the total score (including lowest and highest scores) will be considered.