The #PoetryLeague Rule Book

All is fair in love and war. Now make no mistake, the Word N Sound #PoetryLeague is a peaceful platform, but a fiercely competitive one.

If you haven’t figured this out yet, allow us to burst your bubble quickly. There are rules and laws that govern everything in life. Yes, RULES! And we all have two options, follow the rules or break them. If we decide to break the rules we must be ready to accept and live with the consequences.

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As we head into Episode 5 of Season 5 of the Word N Sound #PoetryLeague it is almost easy to assume that everyone who enters and participates in the League is aware of the Rules and because they have decided to enter the League, they therefore agree to abide by them. But this isn’t always the case, so here’s a refresher just so we’re all on the same page.

  1. Only poets on the official sign-up sheet will be permitted to participate in the #PoetryLeague
    • There are only 10 open spots available on the sign-up sheet for the #PoetryLeague, so we suggest you get to the venue early as the list has been known to fill up in a record 10 minutes from becoming available.
    • There is only one official sign-up sheet and it only becomes available at 9 am on the morning of the league.
    • To participate in the league you must sign-up in person on the day of the league.
    • No unofficial lists will be considered.
    • the top 5 from the previous month’s league are automatically entered onto the line-up for the next month and do not have to sign-up on the day.
    • once you get there stay until the list goes up as no place holding is allowed.
    • a reserve list of 5 spots will be kept in the instance where someone decides to pull out of the league on the day or if any of the previous months top 5 are unable to make it for whatever reason.
    Penalty: Failure to adhere to this rule will result in you not performing on the day.
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  2. Bring a new poem each time you participate in the #PoetryLeague.
    • One of the main purposes of this platform is to encourage participants to write consistently. If you participate in every episode of a season of the #PoetryLeague, at the end of that season you will have eight new quality poems to add to your performance repertoire which have been tried and tested on the toughest poetry performance stage in the country.
    • No do overs are allowed. A reworked/revised version of a poem you have previously performed in the #poetryleague is not considered a new poem. So make sure that when you bring a poem to the #PoetryLeague you are absolutely certain that you and your poem are ready.
    If you wish to test your new poems, we suggest you do so at word n sounds open mic show #poetrycorner which takes place at Reisi’s Bites 76 4th Ave, in Melville every Wednesday evening from 8pm.
    Penalty: Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a disqualification. You will lose all points awarded on that day.
  3. You only have 5 [five] minutes on stage.
    • Your time on stage starts the minute you step on stage or start your performance, whichever comes first. This means if you start your poem before you step on stage, your time will have started.
    • Your time on stage applies to every element related to your performance. Meaning if you have a backing track, video, backing dancers, or support performers (i.e. anything you use to aid the presentation of your poem); your time on stage will include all of this.
    Penalty: Failure to adhere to this rule will result in point deduction: after 5 minutes 20 points will be deducted from your overall score. After 6 minutes 50 points will be deducted from your overall score.
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  4. As long as no one bleeds, anything goes.
    • As a platform for the manifestation of Article 16 of the South African Constitution, we encourage Freedom Of Speech and the responsible use of that right as entrenched in our Constitution.
  5. Check your ego at the door.
    • The #PoetryLeague is a competition. The stakes are high! The judges and audience are not forgiving. If you cannot handle honest criticism, then stay in your bedroom until you’re ready. Or come to the Word N Sound #PoetryCorner for a judgement free environment.
    Penalty: Failure to adhere to this rule may result in bruised egos.
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  6. All multimedia performance accompaniments must be submitted by 11am.
    • If you are performing with a backing track, video or photo slide show, this media must be submitted to the relevant Word N Sound official no later than 11 am on the day of performance.
    • All multimedia performance accompaniments must be indicated on the official sign-up sheet.
    Penalty: Failure to adhere to this rule will result in you performing without multimedia performance accompaniment.

As a participant in the Word N Sound #PoetryLeague we expect you to read, understand and adhere to these rules. If and when you decide to participate in the Word N Sound #PoetryLeague, we wish you all the best!

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