2018 Contest Rules

IN ALL CATEGORIES: Judging is based on: intonation, timing and style. (Townsend, Messer and Vollrath are recommended styles.) All fiddles are played acoustically. No cross/double or shuffle bowing is accepted. Mutes must be removed or backed away from the bridge.

GRAND NORTH AMERICAN
OLD TIME FIDDLE CHAMPIONSHIP

2018 OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

  GENERAL
  1. Three competent judges will evaluate contestants’ fiddling based on intonation, timing and style. JUDGES' DECISIONS ARE FINAL.
  2. All fiddles are played acoustically.
  3. Plucking (picking the strings), cross/double, shuffle or hokum bowing is NOT accepted. Mutes must be removed or backed away from the bridge.
  4. In the event that a tie-breaker is needed in either the Preliminary or Final Rounds, the first ‘play-off’ tune will be a REEL, and if required, the second ‘play-off’ tune would be a JIG.
  5. Any player who wins the same class 2 years in a row must move up one class or drop out for one year.
  6. If you feel your ability is above your age class, you may enter a higher class. Senior and Golden Age fiddlers may NOT compete in the 15- to 18-year-old class.
  7. In the event that there are only enough competitors to fill a class, everyone will be required to play their tunes in the Preliminaries but they will not be marked on their first round. All competitors would then enter into the Finals and then compete under the regular Final rules.
  8. Any player under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be disqualified. This decision is made by the contest committee.
NOTE:   See below for additional rules for the Championship and Alberta Open classes.

  1. REGISTRATION
  1. With the exception of Alberta residents, contestants may enter a maximum of three classes: one Standard Core, one Twin Harmony, and the Traditional. Alberta residents may also enter the Alberta Open class.


    •               Standard Core Classes (choose one)                        Specialty Classes (any)
    Championship (any age) Golden (70 & over) Traditional
    Advanced Intermediate (19-54) Youth (15-18) Twin Fiddle Harmony
    Intermediate (19-54) Junior (10-14)
    Senior (55-69) Junior Junior (9 & under)

  2. Contestants of the Alberta Open class must have proof of Alberta residency,
    i.e. Alberta Health Care card.
  3. Contestants may NOT enter a class after it is CALLED to play.
  4. Tunes for the Preliminary and the Final Rounds must be listed on the registration form.

  2. ACCOMPANIMENT
  1. Contestants may have ONE accompanist – electronic stage keyboard OR other acoustic instrument. A keyboard and house accompanist are available.
  2. Accompanists must chord Old Time style. NO MELODY, NO INTRO.
  3. When registering, provide name, key and format (AA, BB …) of tune. The accompanist would appreciate chord charts.
  4. In the Traditional class, the fiddler drums with the feet. No other accompaniment is permitted.

  3. PLAYING TIME
  1. All contestants playing two (2) or three (3) tunes must finish their tunes in four (4) minutes.
  2. All contestants playing four (4) tunes must finish their tunes in five (5) minutes. This applies specifically to contestants in the Final Round of the Alberta Open and/or the Championship Class.
  3. A signal will indicate the END of the allotted playing times. Judging will stop immediately. Contest etiquette requires that contestants complete their tune within 15 seconds of that signal.

   4. CHOICE and ORDER OF TUNES
  1. All tunes, all classes, must be played in Old Time Style and Tempo.
  2. Junior/Junior class
    • Must play in order: a WALTZ followed by one OTHER tune
    • May play the same tunes for both the Preliminary and Final Rounds
    • May play from sheet music
  3. Twin Harmony classes
    • Must play in order: a WALTZ, followed by one OTHER tune.
    • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
  4. Traditional class
    • Must play a REEL (tempo 2/4-time, Traditional, M�tis or Quebecois)
    • The only accompaniment is the drumming of the player's feet
    • Style and tempo must be in unison without variation of tempo
    • The music and the drumming must start simultaneously
    • Must play a different tune for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie breaker.
  5. See below for rules specific to the Alberta Open and Championship classes.
  6. All other classes
    • Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
    • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
    • Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.

ADDITIONAL RULES FOR
ALBERTA OPEN AND CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES ONLY

CHAMPIONSHIP AND ALBERTA OPEN CLASSES - PRELIMINARY ROUND

  1. Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
  2. Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
  3. Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.
  4. Playing time: four (4) minutes.

CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS - FINAL ROUND

  1. Must play four (4) tunes
    • three (3) tunes in order: a WALTZ, a JIG, and a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
    • one (1) additional TUNE OF CHOICE - see RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES below.
  2. Playing time: five (5) minutes.
TUNE OF CHOICE - RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES
  1. Tune of choice may be in any style.
  2. Exceptions: The following are not allowed:
    • Classical jazz, blues and other non-traditional fiddle styles

    • Show tunes such as Black Mountain Rag, Orange Blossom Special and Mockingbird

   ALBERTA OPEN CLASS - FINAL ROUND
  1. Must play four (4) tunes
    • three (3) tunes, order of tunes is optional, each of a different DANCE RHYTHM (see DANCE RHYTHMS below).

    • one (1) additional TUNE OF CHOICE - see RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES above.
  2. Playing time: five (5) minutes.
DANCE RHYTHMS
  1. Waltz, Aire
  2. March (6/8), Jig
  3. Reel (2/4 or 4/4), Hornpipe, Strathspey, Polka, Clog, or Two-Step

Contestants in this category have been exposed to a broader range of musical styles, have matured in their art, and therefore; may wish to change the order of their tunes to enhance their presentation.

ALBERTA OPEN CLASS SPONSORSHIP
  1. Sponsorship funds for travel and accommodation are awarded to the winner if he/she wishes to compete at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddlers Competition in the following year.
  2. Sponsorship funds will go to the runner up in the event that that winner cannot attend the Canadian Grand Masters.
  3. Any contestant winning in two consecutive years will forfeit the second year’s sponsorship funding to the runner up.

Practice Rooms

Two Practice Rooms and two keyboard house accompanists will be available. While one accompanist is playing with the contestants, the other will be available in a Practice Room. The accompanists will play alternating classes so that fiddlers will have the opportunity to practice with the house accompanist who will be available on stage for that class. As in previous years you can still have your own accompanist rather than using one of the house accompanists.

Review the Suggestions for Contestants document before the contest.

2018 Registration Fees

Championship (any age) $ 35.00
Alberta Open (any age) $ 20.00
Advanced Intermediate (19-54) $ 20.00
Intermediate (19-54) $ 20.00
Senior (55-69) $ 15.00
Golden (70 & over) $ 15.00
Youth (15-18) * $ 15.00
Junior (10-14) * $ 15.00
Junior Junior (9 & under) (Free) $ 0.00
Traditional (any age) $ 15.00
Twin Harmony Junior (18 & under) ($10 per person) $ 10.00
Twin Harmony Intermediate (19-54) ($10 per person) $ 10.00
Twin Harmony Senior (55 & over) ($10 per person) $ 10.00

* Junior and Youth Contestants are free if entered in Junior Showcase on Friday afternoon.

Registrations will be accepted on site

Friday: 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8:30 am

1 free adult admission per family for
contestants 15 and under

Contest Rules

Ensure you review the 2018 Contest Rules and Contest Judging documents before the competition.

Online Store

Online Registration is available for Event Participant and/or Fiddle Contestant at SquareUp Store. Payment may be made by credit card.