Tweaks to Format and Team Size

We’ve collected feedback at Hullabaloo 2012 through one-on-one conversations, a coaches / student captain meeting, and email surveys. After going through all this feedback, we’re making a number of changes. The main feedback from teachers and students is that everyone wants Hullabaloo to be a development festival, an event that focuses on giving students as many chances to improve as possible. In that spirit, here are the changes:

  • No repeats from previous festivals. This forces youth to keep writing new poems and to bring new work to the festival. The more that students poets are encouraged to create, the more they will develop their skills.
  • No repeats in any of the solo rounds. Same reasoning. The more poems that are required for the competition, the more it encourages students to write.
  • You can repeat a group piece on Team Finals Night that you performed earlier in competition. This is the only repeat allowed in the competition, mainly because group pieces are more difficult to rehearse and perfect and we’d like to see the very best ones on the Team Finals stage.
  • No Wild Card Team next year. Not again until the public demands it. We haven’t had enough interest to justify a Wild Card Team yet.
  • To make it all the way to Finals, each team will need (at least) 3 group pieces, a different group piece for its first and second preliminary bout and Semi-Finals.
  • These are relatively minor changes. Here is the big format change: teams may consist of as few as three student poets or as many six student poets. This change is being made to give schools more flexibility in creating their slam team. Some smaller schools have a very difficult team finding four students that are interested. Other larger schools can almost create two teams. This flexibility recognizes these differences and allows greater inclusiveness in the festival. It allows Hullabaloo to open its doors to more schools and create an open and accessible community of young poets.
  • Here are the implications of the change: Team Bouts consist of four rounds – 1st round: solo poem, 2nd round: solo poem, 3rd round: solo poem, 4th round: group piece.
  • If you have six poets on your team, you choose three to perform in solo rounds in the first prelim and the other three would perform in the solo rounds of your team’s second prelim. If you have three poets on your team, they will need to perform in the solo rounds of both prelims (with different poems of course). If you have four or five poets on your team, some of your poets will perform once in prelim solo rounds and some will perform twice. That might seem complicated, but it boils down to this: each poet on every team must perform at least once in a solo round of prelims. There are a total of six solo rounds in prelims and a maximum of six poets allowed on a team (see how that works!). In Semi-Finals and Finals, you can choose whichever poets from your team that you decide to compete in the three solo rounds. The important thing to remember is that there will be no solo poem repeats throughout the entire tournament (and that includes Indies Finals).
  •  The other implication of the change in team size is that competitors in Indies Finals will not be determined by scores in the team bouts. Instead, each team will select one poet to compete in Indies Finals. We highly encourage teams to hold a slam at their school to determine who their Indie rep will be; however, the process for making that decision is up to each slam club to decide.

Check out the Tourney Format page for all the details.
And hey! we’ve also added a brief history of Hullabaloo to our About page. It’s riveting stuff, well, it is to us.