IABS Contest Rules - amended June 2019
- Published by the IABS Executive Committee
- CONTEST ENTRY PROCEDURE
- CONTEST MATERIAL
- SCORING CATEGORIES
- TYPES OF CONTESTS
- OPERATION OF THE CONTEST
- With the exception of contestants entering the Open Youth Category, everybody on stage, including Musical Directors, shall be a registered member of IABS, in good standing or a member of the recognised barbershop association of their area/country on the designated closing date of Convention.
New members must be registered as members of IABS one calendar month prior to a Convention. Any exception to that rule must be cleared by the Convention Team.
- Professional quartets and choruses may not enter competitions. A quartet or chorus shall be considered professional when its members' principal means of income is from fulfilling quartet or chorus engagements. Right of appeal in the matter shall be to the IABS Executive whose decision shall be final.
- No person is permitted on the active stage, during a contest performance, who is not a member of the competing quartet or chorus.
- Any member of a quartet may sing in more than 1 quartet in the same Competition, provided the contestant is registered, for the said Competition, with IABS by 30th June in the year of the Convention in question.
- A registered IABS Quartet must retain 50% of their members in order to enter the contest under that registered name (i.e. no more than two of the named quartet can be new).
- Two or more IABS choruses may not combine to compete in the National contest.
- No chorus can have more than 25% of its membership competing with another chorus in the National Contest.
- A competing Chorus shall be composed of 12 or more members on stage with or without the Director. In the event of the illness of a member of a 12 size group, entry to competition would be at the discretion of the Convention Team.
2. CONTEST ENTRY PROCEDURES
- Completed entries for the contest and information regarding song titles must be submitted online at the time of entry and by the date specified.
- All contestants are required to observe the copyright laws in the acquisition, arranging, learning and performance of songs and arrangements.
- Each chorus competing in a chorus contest must submit a list of competitors to the Convention Team by the requested date. Any subsequent change to that list must be submitted in writing to the Convention Team.
- A contestant may apply to perform in the contest for ‘evaluation only’ by indicating this clearly to the Convention Team. No Scores shall appear on the scoresheet for evaluation-only contestants.
3. CONTEST MATERIAL
- Songs performed in IABS contests must be in good taste, be neither primarily patriotic nor primarily religious in intent and have a melody and implied harmony consistent with the barbershop style. Songs must be arranged in the barbershop style which is an unaccompanied vocal style of music. Songs must be sung without musical accompaniment including instrumental introduction, interlude or conclusion.
- In chorus contests, selected use of a soloist, duet, trio or quartet is acceptable providing it is brief and appropriate. Only four part harmony is acceptable at any time.
- Contestants must comply with copyright laws in the acquisition, arranging and learning of songs for contest performance.
4. SCORING CATEGORIES
- In accordance with BABS scoring categories, judging of contestant will be carried out in three categories. Each category may use up to a maximum of 100 point per song per judge. In IABS contests, two judges per category combine their results to a maximum of 200 marks for each of the three categories.
- MUSIC: The music judges evaluate the song and arrangement as performed, in terms of musical elements in the performance, melody, harmony range and tessitura, temp and rhythm and meter, construction and form and embellishments. The music judges score on how the musical elements of the performance establish a theme and how best the performance demonstrates an artistic sensitivity to that theme and how it is displayed in the barbershop style.
- SINGING: The Singing judges evaluates how the performer achieves artistic singing in the barbershop style, in precision of intonation, vocal skill and vocal expression, a high level of unity and consistency within the ensemble. Mastering these elements creates a fullness and expansion of sound and when combined with expressive vocal skills will convey a feeling of genuine emotion to support the message of the song.
- PERFORMANCE: The Performance judges concentrate on how believable the theme of the performance is demonstrated in terms of its musical and visual setting, including the vocal and visual aspects of the performance and how they fuse to create the image of the song. They also evaluate the appropriateness of the performance and the emotional impact it has on its audience.
- Contestants shall be judged in the three scoring categories: music, singing and performance.
- Contestants shall be ranked with the cumulative total scores of points awarded by the panel of judges.
- If two or more contestants are awarded the same total score, ties will only be broken for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The method used for breaking ties will be:
- (a) The highest total score awarded by the Singing Judges will be ranked as the “Tie break” and that contestant will be ranked above the other(s) in the tie.
- (b) If a tie still exists the highest total score awarded by the Performance Judges will be ranked as the “Tie break” and that contestant will be ranked above the other(s) in the tie.
- (c) In the event where a tie cannot be broken for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, joint medallist status will be awarded.
- (a) Non-singing dialogue is generally not a part of a contest performance. However, brief comments made with supporting visual communications may be permitted more clearly to establish mood/theme, to assist the transition of packed songs, or to add to the effect of closure of mood/theme.
- (b) Adjudication - Spoken words deemed to be excessive or detrimental to the performance shall be adjudicated in terms of the quality of the performance by the Performance Judges.
6: TYPES OF CONTESTS
- Contestants will be judged on two different songs in one appearance.
- All contestants shall hold full registrations for the convention at which the contest is held.
The National Quartet and Chorus contests shall be held in conjunction with the IABS Convention and shall be under the general supervision of the IABS Executive committee and their sub-committee, The Convention Team.
- 2.1 At the IABS Convention, quartets will be judged in a contest which will be known as the IABS Quartets Finals contest.
- 2.2 At such a contest, there may be two National subcategories, the National Male Quartets and the National Female Quartets (from within IABS).
- 2.3 At such a contest there may be a further category the International Quartets. National Gold Medal Quartets (having won the Gold Medal at a previous Convention) may compete in the IABS International Quartets Contest.
- 2.4 At the end of the Quartets Finals Contest the placing of the quartets shall be awarded by the scores obtained in the Contest. Contestants placed first, second and third in each subcategory will be awarded medals providing they achieve an average score of 55 per cent (55%).
- 3.1 At the IABS Convention, choruses will be judged in a contest which will be known as the IABS Chorus Finals contest.
- 3.2 At such a contest there may be two National subcategories, the National Male Chorus and the National Female Chorus (from within IABS).
- 3.3 At such a contest there may be a further category comprising International Choruses. IABS National Gold Medal choruses (having won the Gold Medal at a previous convention) may compete in the IABS International Chorus Contest.
- 3.4 At the end of the Chorus Finals Contest the placing of the choruses shall be awarded by the scores obtained in the contest. Contestants placed first, second and third in each subcategory will be awarded medals, provided they achieve an average score of 55 per cent.
4: OPEN MIXED QUARTETS
- 4.1 At the IABS Convention, Open Mixed quartets will be judged in a contest which will be known as the IABS Open Mixed Quartets Finals contest.
- 4.2 At the end of the Quartets Finals Contest the placing of the quartets shall be awarded by the scores obtained in the Contest. Contestants placed first, second and third in each subcategory will be awarded medals providing they achieve an average score of 55 per cent (55%).
- 4.3 In the event that there are less than three contestants entered for this competition, it is at the discretion of the Convention Team that they compete as part of the International Quartet Competition
5: OPEN MIXED CHORUSES
- 5.1 At the IABS Convention, Open Mixed choruses will be judged in a contest which will be known as the IABS Open Mixed Chorus Finals contest.
- 5.2 At the end of the Open Mixed Quartets Finals Contest the placing of the quartets shall be awarded by the scores obtained in the Contest. Contestants placed first, second and third in each subcategory will be awarded medals providing they achieve an average score of 55 per cent (55%).
- 5.3 In the event that there are less than three contestants entering this competition, it is at the discretion of the convention team that they compete as part of the International Chorus Competition.
6: OPEN YOUTH CONTEST
- 6.1 An open contest for youth quartets, ensembles and choruses shall be held in conjunction with the IABS National Convention Contest.
- 6.2 Entry qualification is open to young people by age, under 26 years of age on the day of the contest.
- 6.3 Age categories can range as follows: (on competition day): 12-16 years; 16-20 years; 21-25 years.
- 6.4 For this contest there is no stipulation regarding IABS membership or member of any other country’s barbershop association.
- 6.5 Contestants must be registered to compete in the Convention and must abide by the Rules and Regulations pertaining to an IABS Convention.
7: OPERATION OF THE CONTEST
- Once the contest begins, and until the contest results are determined, the Chairperson of Judges is completely in charge of the operation of the contest.
- Disturbances during Contests:
Should any event occur which, in the opinion of the Chairman of Judges, adversely affects the contestant, such contestant shall be offered the chance to sing again after the last contestant has finished and at least fifteen minutes after the disturbed contestant has left the stage. The contestant shall be given a reasonable period of time to make a decision. If the contestant accepts the offer, the scores from the first performance will be discarded and the contestant will be judged on the second performance.
Contestants may use props with prior notification to the Stage Manager. These props should be limited to those which can be easily carried on and off stage by one person. Contestants should leave the stage in the same good condition as they would wish to find it for their own performance and props should be chosen accordingly. Anything that can be quickly cleared by a stage hand is acceptable. Confetti and similar small material that requires extensive cleanup is banned from use in both chorus and quartet contests.