2016 Oklahoma State Picking & Fiddling Championships
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Rules

Note: the contest committee advises all contestants to be registered (including turning in your tune list) no later than 20 minutes prior to the start of the contest, which is when drawing for position takes place and registration closes.

Blank Fiddle Scoresheet   Blank Picking Scoresheet   Blank Timer Scoresheet

General Rules for All Contests

  1. Contestants need not reside in Oklahoma. All are eligible.
  2. Decisions of the judges and scoring table are final.
  3. In case of rules infractions for which penalties are not specified, or for situations not foreseen by these rules, the judges and scoring table will determine an appropriate penalty ranging from nothing up to disqualification.
  4. Only acoustic, unamplified stringed instruments may be played.
  5. Contestants may not use electronic pickups or contact microphones.
  6. Sign ups for each contest division will close 30 minutes prior to the published start time for that division.
  7. Drawing of numbers for contestant performance order will take place 15 minutes prior to published start time for that division.
  8. Once drawing occurs, division is closed.

String Band

  1. Judges are not sequestered.
  2. Singing is allowed.
  3. Contestants will play three songs of their choice.
  4. Any style of music is allowed.
  5. No one may appear in more than one string band.
  6. Contestants must use provided microphones.
  7. Total time allowed on stage is 15 minutes, including setup and breakdown. After that, the scoring table will apply a 10-point penalty for every 30 seconds over 15 minutes.
  8. There are no judging criteria. It's purely subjective. The judges will give the highest scores to the bands they like the best.

General Rules for Other Contests

  1. Judges are sequestered.
  2. Relatives of judges may not compete.
  3. Contestants draw for order of appearance prior to each round.
  4. Contestants must give their song list to the scoring table prior to drawing for position.
  5. Contestants may not trade playing positions.
  6. Contestants may not register to compete once the drawing for playing position has started.
  7. Contestants who are unready to play when called, at the judges' discretion, receive zero points for that round.
  8. Contestants are allowed only one instrument on stage.
  9. Contestants may not repeat a song.
  10. Contestants may not play a medley.
  11. Contestants may not speak (or cough or laugh) near the microphone. A contestant who does so will, at the judges' discretion, receive zero points for that round.
  12. The scoring table is responsible for enforcing time limits. There is no penalty for the first 10 seconds over the time limit. Thereafter, five points will be deducted for each 10 seconds over the time limit.
  13. Stopping in the middle of a song and then continuing will cause a three-point penalty, which will be enforced by the scoring table. Only one such penalty will be applied per song.
  14. However, in case of a broken string, slipped peg, fallen bridge or other instrument malfunctions, a contestant will have two minutes without penalty to recover and restart the song. After that, the three-point penalty will apply. Also, time taken in excess of two minutes will count in the total time limit for the round.
  15. In the event of a tie, a one-song playoff will take place.
  16. Protest notification forms will be available at the scoring table. Protests should be filed proactively -- as soon as a rule violation happens, not later when it appears that the scoring table or judges didn't notice the violation.
  17. Judges' score sheets will be put immediately into a binder that must remain at the scoring table for public view.

Fiddle

  • Pee Wee: 6 yrs and under.
  • Youth: 7 - 9 yrs.
  • Jr Jr: 10 - 12 yrs.
  • Junior: 13 - 16 yrs.
  1. Contestants must play in their age division, based on their age on contest day. However, any fiddler may elect to compete in the Championship (Open) division instead of (NOT in addition to) his age division.
  2. The Oklahoma State Champion (Open) division is a two-round contest. The seven highest-scoring contestants from Round One will compete in Round Two. The scores from Round One are added to those from Round Two to determine the finalists' finishing order.
  3. All other fiddle divisions are one-round contests.
  4. The highest-scoring senior (age 60 and older) in the Championship (Open) division becomes the Oklahoma State Senior Fiddle Champion.
  5. In each round a contestant must play, in this order, a hoedown (including breakdown, hornpipe, or reel), a waltz, and something else besides a hoedown or waltz: (blues, jig, rag, polka, Schottische, swing, etc.)
  6. Cross-tuning is not allowed.
  7. These songs are not allowed: Listen to the Mockingbird, Orange Blossom Special, and Black Mountain Rag.
  8. Judges may limit the number of songs in a round if necessary to maintain the schedule.
  9. Time limit for a round is six minutes for all divisions except Championship (Open), which has a limit of seven minutes.
  10. Each song has a potential score of 100 points: 50 for "rhythm, timing, tone, and intonation", and 50 for "authenticity, taste, expression, and execution". A perfect score from all three judges would result in 900 points for a contestant.
  11. Contestants may have up to three accompanists. The only acceptable backup instruments are acoustic guitar, acoustic tenor guitar, and acoustic bass.

Mandolin and Flatpick Guitar

  1. These are two-round contests. The five highest-scoring contestants from Round One will compete in Round Two. The scores from Round One are added to those from Round Two to determine the finalists' finishing order.
  2. A contestant must play two songs in each round.
  3. Time limit for a round is five minutes.
  4. Each song has a potential score of 100 points: 40 for "arrangement", 40 for "execution, tuning", 10 for "show value", and 10 for "overall expression". A perfect score from all three judges would result in 600 points for a contestant.
  5. Contestants may have one accompanist.
  6. A=440 tuning is required. For flatpick guitar, the low E (6th) string may be changed to any note desired, not limiting the tuning of the 6th string to "Drop D" or a low D note but to any desired pitch. No other string tuning or variance from the standard E (1), B (2), G (3), D (4), A (5) will be permitted.
  7. Standard capos are allowed. Capos like the Third Hand Capo, which allow alteration of individual strings, are not allowed.
  8. Contestants must play with a flat pick. No fingerpicking at all.

Fingerstyle Guitar

  1. This is a two-round contest. The five highest-scoring contestants from Round One will compete in Round Two. The scores from Round One are added to those from Round Two to determine the finalists' finishing order.
  2. A contestant must play two songs in each round.
  3. Time limit for a round is five minutes.
  4. Each song has a potential score of 100 points: 40 for "arrangement", 40 for "execution, tuning", 10 for "show value", and 10 for "overall expression". A perfect score from all three judges would result in 600 points for a contestant.
  5. Alternate tunings are allowed.
  6. Twelve-string guitars are allowed.
  7. Contestants may play any style of music, but not with a flat pick or slide. Thumb and finger picks are allowed.

Banjo

  1. This is a two-round contest. The five highest-scoring contestants from Round One will compete in Round Two. The scores from Round One are added to those from Round Two to determine the finalists' finishing order.
  2. A contestant must play two songs in each round.
  3. Time limit for a round is five minutes.
  4. Each song has a potential score of 100 points: 40 for "arrangement", 40 for "execution, tuning", 10 for "show value", and 10 for "overall expression". A perfect score from all three judges would result in 600 points for a contestant.
  5. These songs are not allowed: Foggy Mountain Breakdown, John Hardy, Earl's Breakdown, and John Henry.