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  1. Teams must check-in with CPSL staff no less than 30 minutes prior to each bout.

  2. Teams will meet with the CPSL staff 15 minutes prior to each bout to draw for performance position. (A-C) Each bout will be composed of three teams rotated within four rounds:

    1. Round 1 – Team A, Team B, Team C

    2. Round 2 – Team B, Team C, Team A

    3. Round 3 – Team C, Team A, Team B

    4. Round 4 – Team A, Team B, Team C

  3. An open mic performance round will precede each competition. Poets from teams involved in the following competition are prohibited from performing during the open mic. However, students associated with the teams are encouraged to participate.

  4. The time limit for each poem is 3 minutes 30 seconds (3:30). Going over time results in a 0.5 deduction from score per 10 seconds starting at 3:30 (i.e. >3:30= -0.5; 3:40= -1; 3:50 = -1.5; etc).

  5. Poems must be original and of the performer’s own construction.

  6. Poets may not use any props, costumes, or musical instrument/recorded accompaniment.

  7. Every registered poet must perform at least two times throughout the regular season.

  8. Poets are only allowed to perform individually once per bout. There is no limit on the number of times a poet may perform in a group poem.

  9. At least one group poem must be performed by each team during each bout.  A group poem is any poem which involves two to four poets on/off stage, engaging or performing to the audience at the same time. Those in the group poem must have contributed in writing, vocal, and/or performance work.

  10. Three volunteer judges are to be provided by an assigned league team not involved in that particular competition. If, for any reason, a judge is unable to participate, then a CPSL staff member will take their place.

  11. Judges will score each poem on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0. The three scores will be added together to equal that poems’ final score. The final scores for each individual teams’ poems in a bout are added together for their cumulative final score. Teams will be ranked based upon their cumulative score at the end of each bout. Overall league rankings will be based on team bout rankings and bout scores.

  12. Finals will use five judges, dropping the high/low scores and adding the middle three scores for each poem.

  13. In the case of a tie during the regular season, both teams will receive the tied ranking. During Finals, if a tie occurs for 1st place, then those teams will present one additional poem which will be scored by the judges raising their hands for the poem they determine as the best of that round. The poem that receives at least three votes will win Finals.

  14. Poems are not allowed to be repeated during the regular season. Poems from the regular season may be repeated during Finals.

  15. Protests by any team should be presented to CPSL staff immediately following the bout in which the protested action occurred. The emcee and bout manager will then confer and decide based upon the rules and situation.

  16. Penalties for protested poems will range from loss of 0.5 to 2.0 points.

  17. Results from each bout will be posted on the league website and all official league social media.

  18. If a poet does not wish to be photographed/recorded, they will be required to wear a badge denoting their choice. Any poem involving a poet wearing this badge (individual or group) will not be recorded in any form by Charlotte Poetry Slam League. The audience will be asked to honor the poets’ wishes as well.

  19. Teams are encouraged to provide “Trigger Warnings” prior to poems involving harsh topics. Trigger warnings should be stated by the emcee or poets prior to the performance and will be exempt from that poems’ time limit.


Coach Requirements

  1. Coaches are required to hold at least one weekly meeting/workshop on school property.

  2. Coaches are required to attend all league coaches meetings. If a coach is unable to attend, then they may arrange for a proxy coach to attend.

  3. Coaches must ensure that team members are present at required functions.

  4. Coaches must ensure that all forms are filled out and submitted in a timely manner.

  5. Coaches are required to supply three adult volunteer judges for an assigned bout that does not involve their team.

  6. Coaches are required to make arrangements to host one bout per season.

  7. Coaches are required to sign the score sheet at the end of each competition. Coaches must also provide the name of each poet that performed in each round and the name of the poem.

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