Rules and Format for the Summer Season at Vancouver Poetry Slam 2019

Finals: September 16, 2019

Last Chance: September 2, 2019


Rounds & Time Limits

Round One: 10 poets perform a 2-minute poem


Round Two: The top 6 highest-scoring poets from Round One perform a 1-minute poem


Round Three: The top 3 highest-scoring poets from Round Two perform a 4-minute poem.


Each round will have a .10 grace period throughout the season. Finals will have a .20 grace period. 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 2019 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 2019. Placing in Alt Slams do not qualify. Regular season slams will typically be the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday with alternative slams being the 2nd and 4th Monday.




The top 9 poets with the most points (and the winner of the Last Chance Slam on Sept 2nd) at the end of the summer season will qualify to compete in the Vancouver Individual Poetry Slam on Monday September 16th, 2019.The winner of this Grand Slam will represent Vancouver at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) in Vancouver.


Rounds for Finals

First Round: 1 Minute poem (twenty second grace period) with 9 poets

Second Round: 2 Minute poem (twenty second grace period) with 7 poets

Third Round: 3 Minute poem (twenty second grace period) with 5 Poets

Fourth Round: 4 Minute poem (twenty second grace period) with 3 Poets


The scores will be cumulative


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.