Tournament Information!

All teams will be involved in two preliminary bouts at the Vancouver Public Library central branch. One bout on Friday,  and the other on Saturday. Both of these bouts will occur outside of school hours.

Additionally, each team may enter a representative into our Underground Indies competition on Thursday. If there are fewer than 16 poets pre registered in the competition, we will offer an open sign up at the event and perform a draw to determine which poets enter the competition.

Team Bout Format

1. Each team will participate in two preliminary bouts, one in the evening of Friday and one in the afternoon of Saturday.

2. There will be four rounds and four teams in each bout.  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 (A team piece must include a minimum of 2 poets up to a maximum of 6 poets)

3. Each team must consist of a minimum of three poets, but as many as six poets.

4. 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 single bout.

5. The fourth and final round of each team bout will be a Team Piece Round. During this round, each team must present a poem with no fewer than two performers.  The team piece can be written by one or multiple team members. It must be an original work of their own creation.  Note: a team piece can be one individual’s poem arranged for multiple voices.

6. The order for bouts will be determined by a random draw held before the commencement of each bout.

7. Each bout will have a calibration poet (aka. the sacrifice!) to prepare the judges. This poet will perform before the official competition begins and will receive scores from the judges as if they are a part of the competition.

8. 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.

9. 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.

But remember: the point is NOT the points – the point is the POETRY!

Getting to Team Finals

To determine which teams make finals, we look to each team’s combined ranks from preliminary bouts.  The top 4 teams with the lowest totals – and thus the highest ranking – will advance to Team Finals Night featuring Janice Jo Lee.

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.  If there are any bouts with only three teams, the lowest possible rank in any bout will be a “3.”

Ties in the standings 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.

For example:

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.

Team Finals 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 18th. Teams are NOT allowed to repeat team pieces or solo poems that they performed earlier in the festival on the 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 – unless those two teams agree to share the title.

Underground Indies

Underground Indies takes place on Thursday, following the Spoken Word Jamboree

Underground Indies is the chance for individual slammers to show the breadth and depth of their poetic skills. We’ll take the poetry off the microphone and put it in the round. The audience will be arranged in a circle around the performance area. There will be no stage and no microphone. 16 poets will compete in a four-round, 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.  If there are more poets signed up than spots available, we will perform a random draw to determine entry.

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 fourth round is an “Anarchy Round,” meaning poets may break the regular slam rules and perform a poem using props, costumes or musical accompaniment.  They can even perform a team piece!

The time limit is three (3) minutes exactly.  If a poet goes over time, the host will enter the circle and stop the poem.  Any poem performed in Underground Indies is allowed to be repeated during the rest of Hullabaloo.

No Repeat Rules

Any poem performed in a slam in a previous Hullabaloo festival can not be presented again in competition.

Poems performed during preliminary rounds may NOT be repeated in Team Finals. Any such poems performed at Finals will be disqualified from scoring and given an automatic  score of 0.

Poems used in Underground Indies are available for use during preliminaries and Finals. Underground Indies and the Team Bouts are considered separate competitions.

Explanation of Details & Hypotheticals for Rules Nerds

1. 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]

2. 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 bout, a random draw will determine the order of the team piece round.

3. 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.

4. 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. The time will also start if the poet engages with the audience in a non-verbal way (ie. by winking, or waving, or performance art). The poet may take a pause after the introduction to prepare themselves to perform.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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:

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”.

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.