Rules and Format for the Summer Season at Van Slam

Rules and Format for the Summer Season at Van Slam

Round One: 12 poets perform a poem within a 2-minute time limit.
Round Two: The top 6 highest-scoring poets from Round One perform a poem within a 1-minute time limit.
Round Three: The top 3 highest-scoring poets from Round Two perform a poem within a 4-minute time limit.

To win a slam, you must be prepared to perform 3 poems, and if you’re within the time limits, your chances of winning are greatly improved. A time penalty of 0.5 points is applied to your score for each 10 seconds that you are over the time limit.

5 sets of randomly selected judges score each poem from 0 – 10, according to their own impressions. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, giving each poem a total score out of 30. Each round is a clean slate in the summer season. The winner is the poet with the highest score in the third and final round (ie. scores are NOT calculated cumulatively throughout the competition).

Poets will be awarded a set number of points per slam, determined by where they finished. They will amass these points cumulatively over the course of the 2013 summer season.

The point system for each night will look like this:

1st place – 16 points
2nd place – 9 points
3rd place – 4 points

This only applies to qualifying slams from May to September 2013. Placing in Youth Slams and Alt Slams does not give you points toward qualifying for the Indies Grand Slam.

Summer season updated standings and scores can be found at:

The top 9 poets with the most points (and the winner of the Last Chance Slam on Sept 7th) at the end of the summer season will qualify to compete in the Vancouver Individual Poetry Slam on Wednesday, September 9th.

The winner of this Grand Slam will represent Vancouver at the Individual World Poetry Slam and the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam in Vancouver. Their flight, accommodation, and registration for the event will be funded by the Vancouver Poetry Slam, in conjunction with Vancouver Poetry House.

The playoffs themselves will look like this

Cumulative score throughout the night.
First Round: 1 Minute poem (ten second grace period) with 10 poets
Second Round: 2 Minute poem (ten second grace period) with 8 poets
Third Round: 3 Minute poem (ten second grace period) with 6 Poets
Fourth Round: 4 Minute poem (ten second grace period) with 4 Poets

The Fine Print for Rules Enthusiasts

In the points system rankings, ties are broken first according to who had the higher finish, and second by points. So, for instance, if at the end of season Poet A had one second place finish, they would have 9 points, and if Poet B had two third place finishes and a fourth place finish, they would also have 9 points. Poet A would receive the higher ranking because Poet A finished higher in a slam than Poet B ever did. But if Poet A and B both had one second place finish, and both had 9 points, and they were tied for the final slot to go to playoffs, the tie would be broken by who had the higher score on their second place finish.