European Poetry Slam Championship 2018/2019 – Rules & Guide

19th – 21st of March 2020 / Milano, Italy

Competition Rules

  1. The content of the performances/texts must be an original work created by the participant himself.
  2. Each poet needs to have five poems of his/her own – two for the semifinals and eventually three for the finals. There must be an english version of each poem which will be screened on stage for (better) understanding of the audience/jury.
    These five poems, along with their english versions, must be sent as word-documents (.doc or .docx / subject: english versions) to our e-mail
    Deadline: within 30 days from the reception of the e-mail which confirms that the country is selected, as per the following art. 3 of the Competition Guide. The EPSC will then provide an italian translation of the 5 poems, which will be screened on stage alongside the english one.
  3. Each poet gets 3 minutes + 10 seconds on stage to perform his/her poem. The poet is moreover allowed, if he/she wishes, to introduce his work for no longer than 30 seconds before the 3 minutes countdown starts. Of course the poet has also an allowed time to come on stage, adjust the microphone and get settled; as soon as the poet starts to speak or a connection is made with the audience, the countdown (30 seconds introduction or 3minutes text respectively) will start. If the poet goes over time, his/her overall score will be penalized: half a point for every 10 second will be subtracted from the final score. For example: if the performance is between 3:11 and 3:20, 0.50 point will be deducted from the score. After 4 minutes the MC is allowed to interrupt the performance and continue with the next participant.
  4. No props, costumes, instruments or background music are allowed. A medium such as a sheet of paper, a notebook or a mobile phone used by the contestant for reading out the poem does not count as a prop. Neither the clothes which the participant is wearing nor the medium from which the text is read from must play a central role in the performance.
  5. Singing during the performance is allowed. Beatboxing, Rapping and traditional singing ways of conveying poetry are allowed.
  6. It is forbidden to repeat texts which have already been performed at former European Poetry Slam Championships. Texts, which have been performed as a featured act and not in the competition within European Poetry Slam Championships are excluded from this rule.
  7. Any behaviour which is non-compliant and/or violating these rules may lead to disqualification. The decision therefore will be made by the main organizer of the European Poetry Slam Championships in Milano in conjunction with the MC hosting the event in which the issue would occur. 
  8. One of the poems of each participant may be included in a collection book. 

Competition Guide

  1. The 2018/2019 national champions of Poetry Slam National Scenes in the EU-Area can participate in the European Poetry Slam Championship (hereafter, for brevity, “EPSC”), which shall take place in Milano, in March 2020. A Poetry Slam National Scene may correspond to a specific country and/or include territories and participants from more than one country, as long as these territories/participants compete in the same championship.
  2. Each National Scene shall sign up for the competition: the mechanism is the following. On the date these Rules are posted online every National Scene shall receive an e-mail containing: a) the Rules and b) the time frame for the subscription to the EPSC. Said subscription shall be performed by e-mail to this address: The representative of the National Scene who can perform the subscription can be the National Champion as well. If you are a National Scene or a National Champion and you haven’t received the e-mail, please contact us at
  3. The 24 National Scenes that first subscribe to the EPSC shall be the participants. At the end of the subscription period, each selected Scene shall be informed by e-mail. In case there will be more than 24 National Scenes subscribing, the possibility of having 28 participants will be though considered.
  4. By subscribing to the EPSC it is understood and agreed that, should the number of National Scenes that decide to subscribe to the EPSC be odd or should a National Scene be unable to send its National Champion, it is possible that one or more of the semifinals have fewer participants than others. 
  5. If the national champion of a Selected Scene for whatever reason decides not to and/or is unable to participate, his/her place shall be offered to the poet who scored the second place in the National Championships. If the runner-up poet decides not to and/or is unable to participate as well, the third place shall be nominated – continuing down unto the 5th place. If the „first five national finalists” for whatever reason decide not to and/or are unable to participate, their country as a whole will not be represented in the EPSC. If no poet up to the 5th place can participate, the country shall no longer be represented in the tournament. 
  6. The 2020 EPSC shall consist of 4 semifinals and a final. The composition of each semifinal shall be decided by drawing lots. The drawing by lot shall take place at least two months before the championship and will be documented by film and shared on social media to assure its fairness. The aim of this drawing is only to decide which poets shall participate in which semifinal: the order in which the poets will compete against each other in their rounds will only be chosen by a second lot, which shall take place at least one hour before the (semi)final starts – as at a regular poetry slams. Each event shall be streamed online. 
  7. Before each round the MC explains the rules and a sacrifice-poet, whose performance does not compete within the championship, opens the contest.
  8. The Bout-Management chooses the jury in each audience and gives them a short briefing on which aspects to think of when giving points in order to make the competition as fair as possible, and in order to consider both text and delivery. In each semifinal are 5 members of the jury who will rate the performances right after, giving points between 1,0 (poor) – 10,0 (excellent). The highest and the lowest score will be cancelled while the others will be added up. At the end of each semifinal the score of both performed texts will be summed up to get the final score of the poet.
    For example: if a poet gets the points 6,7  / 7,8 / 8,3 / 8,9 / 9,5 from the jury, the lowest (6,7) and the highest (9,5) are cancelled so his/her score in the first round of the semifinal is 25. Supposed he/she gets 24,3 in the second round of the semifinal, his/her final score in the semifinal will be 49,3points.
    The points earned in the semifinals will not carry over to the finals.
  9. In each semifinal 6 poets are competing, performing two poems of their own. The best two (the ones with the highest score) are qualified for the final on the last day. Two semifinals shall take place on Day 1 (thursday the 19th of march, both in the evening), and two semifinals shall take place on Day 2 (the 20th, both in the evening). The final shall take place on Day 3 (the 21st) at 9 p.m. Out of the competition, a reading will be organised in which each poet who competed in the semifinals but didn’t qualify to the final is allowed to perform one text. A European Slam Scenes Meeting will be planned, alongside with a few further side events such as, possibly, open-mic for the visiting poets who don’t take part in the competition.
    In the final are all in all 8 poets competing against each other for two rounds, of which the best 3 poets (the ones with the highest score summing up the first two rounds’ scores of the final) are qualified for the jump-off in which they perform their fifth poem. The two scores of all three rounds will be added together to get the overall score. The poet with the highest score is the European Poetry Slam Champion.
  10. In case of a tie (poets receiving equal scores), the two cancelled numbers of the evaluation (the highest and the lowest) of all poems they performed in that slam (semifinal or final) will be added to the total score as well in order to get a clear evaluation. If the score is still equal afterwards, the concerned poets may, in case the tie happens during a semifinal, deliver one of the poems they are planning to perform in the final, or, in case the tie happens during the final, repeat one of their semifinal’s poems; they will get an additional new score so that the champion can be determined.