III. Judging and Scoring

Judging.

All efforts shall be made to select five judges who will be fair. Once chosen, the judges will: 1) be given a set of printed instructions on how to judge a poetry slam, 2) have a private, verbal crash course by the emcee or bout manager on the do's and don'ts of poetry slam judging (where they can ask questions), and 3) hear the standardized Official Emcee Spiel, which, among other things, will apprise the audience of their own responsibilities as well as remind the judges of theirs. Having heard, read, or otherwise experienced these three sets of instructions, a judge cannot be challenged over a score. Complaints, problems, and/or disagreements regarding the impartiality of the judges should be brought privately to the attention of the emcee or bout manager BEFORE the bout begins. Having heard and understood the complaint, the bout manager or emcee will then make a decision (also privately) that cannot be further challenged.

Scoring.

The judges will give each poem a score from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest or "perfect" score. They will be encouraged to use one decimal place in order to preclude the likelihood of a tie. Each poem will get five scores. The high and the low scores will be dropped and the remaining three scores will be added together. Team scores will be displayed or otherwise publicly available during the bout.

Breaking Ties.

If, at the conclusion of all rotations in a bout a tie exists for first place, each team tied for first place shall be required to send one more poem to the stage. It may be performed by any poet or poets on the teams who are tied. Teams in the tie breaker will draw for order. Judges will listen to all poems in the tie breaker rotation and at the conclusion of all poems, will assign a rank for each poem, starting with 1 for the best poem and increasing the rank by one for each additional poem in the rotation assigning each number exactly once (1 for the best, 2 for the second best, 3 for the third, etc.). The poem with the lowest total rank wins the tie breaker, and their team wins the bout.

If this results in another tie, judge preference will be used to determine the winner. Example: In a bout with a three way tie see the table below:

Poet Poet A Poet B Poet C Preference
1 2 3 Poet A
3 1 2 Poet B
2 1 3 Poet B
1 2 3 Poet A
2 3 1 Poet A
Total 9 9 12 Poet A Wins

Each poem performed in such a circumstance shall be subject to the “no repeat” rule. No ties for ranks lower than one shall be broken.

Normal time penalties apply but will be enforced in the following manner. Instead of a numeric half point penalty per ten seconds over time, one rank will be added for each ten seconds over time.

Poet Poet A Poet B Poet C Preference
1 2 3 Poet A
3 1 2 Poet B
2 1 3 Poet B
1 2 3 Poet A
2 3 1 Poet A
Time Penalties 1
Total 9 9 13 Poet A Wins

This process can possibly result in a second tie in a four-way tie in that case, randomly eliminate the rank of one judge.

Ties in the Team Finals are not required to be broken. If a tie for first occurs on Finals night, the Bout Manager will confer with the coach or previously agreed upon representative for each team confidentially. If either of the teams elects to break the tie, the above is the procedure that they will use.

The same policies and procedures apply in regard to the Individual Finals in regard to which only ties for first will be eligible to be broken.