ONTARIO GUILD OF TOWN CRIERS

COMPETITION RULES AND REGULATIONS

These Competition Rules and Regulations were assembled by a Committee of

Members of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers during the months of February and

March 1993, with revisions made in July 1993.

The Committee consisted of:

David McKee, Town Crier, City of Brantford

Tom Jones, Town Crier, Town of Richmond Hill

Ralph Wilding, Town Crier, Town of New Tecumseth

John Webster, Town Crier, Town of Markham (ex-officio)

 

ONTARIO GUILD OF TOWN CRIERS

COMPETITION RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

PREFACE: The Rules Committee was formed to propose a list of Rules and Regulations concerning Town Crier Competitions to the Membership of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers, and offer guidelines and suggestions to the Organisers of Town Crier competitions.

ARTICLE A: GENERAL

These are the Competition Rules and Regulations of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers, hereinafter called the Rules. The Rules are set out to provide a standard and framework to assist the Competitors, Judges, Scorers and Organisers of a Town Crier Competition.

ARTICLE B: ORDER OF CRIES

B-1 The order of Criers shall be determined by lot, by one of the two methods outlined in sections B-1(a) and B-1(b) below. « «

B-1(a) The names of the competing Criers are printed on separate sheets of paper and placed in a hat or other suitable container. A neutral party randomly draws the names from the hat or container. The order of selection determines the Criers' positions in the Competition.

e.g. initial name drawn, position one second name drawn, position two etc.

B-1(b) The names of the competing Criers are printed on separate pieces of paper and placed in a hat or other suitable container. Numbers corresponding to the number of Criers, are printed on separate pieces of paper, and placed in a second hat or suitable container. One name and one number are randomly drawn from each hat or container by one or two neutral parties, and matched. This procedure is repeated until all the names and all the numbers have been selected. The matched names and numbers determine the Criers' positions in the Competition.

e.g. Where the first name drawn is matched with the number six, then the Crier is the sixth Competitor.

« « Although either method is acceptable the Committee recommends method B-1(b) to select the Criers' order.

B-2(a) One Cry Competition:

Order of cries determined as in B-1(a) or B-1(b).

B-2(b) Two Cry Competition:

Order of cries determined as in B-1(a) or B-1(b).

B-2(b)I Where the number of Criers is even, the top half of the order shall be moved to the bottom half for the second Cry.

B-2(b)ii Where the number of Criers is odd, the order of Criers shall be divided as closely as possible to half, with the lesser number being in the first part and the greater number in the second part. The top part shall be moved to the bottom for the second Cry.

B-2(c) Three Cry Competition:

Order of cries determined as in B-1(a) or B-1(b).

B-2(c)i Where the number of Criers is divisible by three, the first third shall become the last third for the second cry, and shall become the middle third for the third cry, the order being maintained.

B-2(c)ii Where the number of Criers is not divisible by three, the order of Criers shall be divided as closely into thirds as possible, such that the least number are in the first part and the greatest number are in the last part. The first part shall become the last part for the second cry, and shall become the middle part for the third cry, the order being maintained.

B-3 In order to be counted in the final standings, a Crier must compete in all cries. All cries shall be counted.

B3(a) All Competitors must be prepared to cry when they are called.

B-3(a)i Should a Crier not proceed when called, that Crier shall be called again after ten seconds. Should there be no response after a further ten seconds, there shall be a third and final call. If there is no response within ten seconds after the third and final call, that Crier shall forfeit that cry. A penalty of two marks shall be deducted for each additional time the Crier is called. The deduction of these marks shall be the responsibility of the Senior Judge.

B-3(b) Unexpected Criers, may participate on an exhibition basis only. Such Criers are permitted to cry only at the first of each cry.

ARTICLE C: OFFICIATING

C-1 The Host Crier shall be the Final Arbitrator.

C-1(a) The Host Crier shall provide adequate time and instructions to the Judges and Scorers, to verify their knowledge of the Rules, Scoring and Judging Guidelines, as set out herein.

C-2 Judges and Scorers

C-2(a) There shall be no fewer than three Judges - the ideal number being five.

One Judge shall be designated as Senior Judge.

C-2(b) There shall be a minimum of two Scorers. One Scorer shall be designated as Senior Scorer. Each Scorer shall be equipped with a desk sized calculator with a tape printout, and shall calculate the scores on separate accounting sheets, independent of each other. Alternatively, a computer and two spread sheet files may be used. Final tabulations shall be compared for accuracy.

C-3 Judging

C-3(a) There shall be no communication between Judges, and between Judges and Scorers, unless that communication is initiated by the Scorers for the purposes of clarification, or in case of a tie score in the final mark.

C-3(b) The Scorers shall not discuss marks with, nor show marks to any other person, except the Host Crier, or as noted in C-3(a).

C-3(c) There shall be no tie award placements. If the score indicates a tie, the Judges shall make a decision. For purposes of clarity and to prevent misinterpretations, scoring adjustments shall be reflected in all documents. All ties shall be kept confidential. (ref. C-3(b) above)

C-3(d) No placings are official, even if announced, until verified and confirmed by the Senior Scorer, after which time they shall be published and forwarded to the Competitors.

C-3(e) During Competitions, Judges must sit apart and out of conversational voice range of each other.

C-3(f) Judges shall be advised in advance, of the subject or theme of each cry.

C4 Selection of Judges

C-4(a) A Judge shall be someone who would like to judge, and to learn the skills necessary to perform the task well. The ideal candidate would be an experienced, proficient, enthusiastic volunteer and someone who is an objective thinker and decision maker.

C-4(b) To better promote both the event and the Guild, one or two "Guest" Judges of Celebrity status could be included.

C-5 Scoring

C-5(a)i The Host Crier shall perform the same number of cries as are required of the Competitors. These cries shall be the, "BENCH-MARK", criteria against which all Competitors cries are judged.

C-5(a)ii Judges shall be instructed both verbally and by a statement on the Score Sheet to leave leeway above and below the Bench-mark scores for a fair assignation of the subsequent Criers' marks.

C-5(b)i Each Judge shall have one score sheet per Crier per cry. As each cry is completed and scored, a runner shall take the score sheet to the Senior Scorer.

C-5(b)ii The score sheet shall contain squares large enough that notations or corrections will not jeopardise the clarity and legibility. Additional space on the page for adjudication and comments could also be beneficial.

C-5(b)iii For purposes of comparison, Judges shall be supplied with a Reminder Sheet, onto which they should transcribe each Crier's marks before handing the score sheet to the Runner.

C-5(c) Scoring Points shall be assigned according to the following chart:

 

MARKS ASSIGNED TO JUDGING CRITERIA

CRITERION

MAXIMUM
MARKS

1.

ATTENTION GETTING DEVICE

10

2.

DEPORTMENT

15

3.

SUSTAINED VOLUME

20

4.

CALL CONTENT

30

5.

CLARITY

25

C-5(d)i A bell, or any other article left on stage by a Crier, shall be removed immediately upon completion of the cry. The erring Crier shall be penalised two marks for that cry. The deduction of these marks shall be the responsibility of the Senior Judge.

C-5(d)ii Two marks, to a maximum of ten, shall be deducted for each time the Crier's voices cracks. The deduction of these marks shall be the responsibility of the Senior Judge.

C-5(e) The total points of all cries shall be added and the Crier with the highest grand total shall be declared the winner.

C-6 Placing:

I For a Three Crier Competition

First Place only shall be awarded.

II For a Four Crier Competition

First and Second Places shall be awarded.

III For a Five Crier or More Competition

First, Second and Third Places shall be awarded.

C-7 Appeals shall be directed to the Senior Judge, who, in consultation with the other Judges, and if necessary the Host Crier, shall make a decision.

ARTICLE D: LENGTH OF CRY

D-1 The length of a cry shall be from one-hundred words to one-hundred and twenty-five words.

D-2 The number of words shall be counted from the first oral sound to the last oral sound.

D-3 For the purpose of these Rules and Regulations the year shall be counted as one word.

e.g. 1993

Nineteen Ninety Three

One Thousand Nine Hundred And Ninety Three etc.

Numbers shall be counted as one word thus $700,000 is two words as is seven hundred thousand dollars.

Roman numerals shall count as one word. Thus George Ill is two words, as is George the Third.

D-4 Hyphenated words shall count as one word.

D-5 An individual oral sound shall be considered as one word.

 

ARTICLE E: SUBMITTED CRY

E-1 All cries shall be submitted for auditing.

E-2 An additional Judge is required to audit a submitted cry.

E-3 The cry shall be submitted to the Audit Judge immediately prior to proceeding to the stage.

E4 One mark, to a maximum of ten, shall be deducted for each word that violates the set word limits.

E-5 One mark to a maximum of ten, shall be deducted for each word that deviates from the submitted script.

ARTICLE F: SUPPLIED CRY

F-1 Where a cry is supplied by the Host Crier, all Criers, who have not yet performed, must be sequestered out of hearing range of the performing Crier until after they have competed.

F-2 The Host Crier shall make it known if openings and closings are to be added to a supplied cry.

ARTICLE G: GENERAL RULES

G-1 Uniforms shall not be judged, as there can be no standard criteria for judging.

G-2 Loudest Cry may only be judged by the use of an electronic decibel level device.

G-3 Two raised surfaces (e.g. table, stool, etc.) shall be placed on the stage for the convenience of both left and right handed Criers who would prefer not to bend to place the attention getting device on the floor. The use of these surfaces are not mandatory.

G-4 Criers shall not wear badges, awards, medals, pins. etc. that could by mere display influence Judges. This is to apply, at all times during the Competition, until after the last Crier has completed the last cry.

G-5 Competing Criers must provide proof of current dues payment to The Ontario Guild of Town Criers.

G-6 During a competition, introductions of Town Criers must include only names and communities represented. Background information may not be introduced until after the Scorers have completed their final totals.

G-7 Assistants to the Crier (Escort, Page, Apprentice, bird, animal, etc.) are permitted, but shall not be allowed on stage.

ARTICLE H: JUDGING GUIDELINES

{ref. C-5(c) and C-5(d)}

H-1 Submitted Cry - refer to Article E.

H-2 Attention Getting Device:

The Attention Getting Device, whether a bell, drum, horn, gong or any other device, is the first notification that a Crier has a message. Marks should be assigned according to the following criteria:

1. Effectiveness to attract - How well has the interest of the gathering been aroused?

2. Suitability to the occasion - For instance a small dinner bell would be inappropriate in most out-door settings.

3. Originality of style or device - A bell handled in an unusual manner, or the use of an unusual device, should be considered carefully.

4. Appropriateness of device to Crier - Marks should be discounted if the device appears to be unwieldy or awkward for the Crier.

5. The ability to use the device - A bell not rung effectively, or a horn not blown well means lack of practice and should be reflected in the marks.

H-3 Deportment:

The judging of deportment begins when the Crier is introduced and ends when the Crier has left the stage. (Historically a Town Crier was the Official Representative of the Local Authorities and this should be reflected in the individual's deportment). The following criteria should be considered when marking:

1. Confidence - A Crier whose presence is positive and self-assured deserves more marks than one who appears shy or unsure.

2. Appearance - An ill-fitting uniform or ill-suited appearance should be reflected in the score.

3. Appropriate movement. A Crier dressed as a soldier should move in a Military Manner; a Crier dressed as a gentleman should move as a Gentleman. Whatever image is to be projected should be reflected in the Crier's movements.

4. Overall image - Even when using the above criteria, deportment is largely subjective and judgmental. The feeling that the Judge senses from the beginning to the end of the cry should weigh heavily.

H-3(a) Articles Left in Performing Area:

A bell, or any other article left on stage by a Crier, shall be removed immediately upon completion of the cry. The erring Crier shall be penalised two marks for that cry. The deduction of these marks shall be the responsibility of the Senior Judge.

H-4 Sustained Volume:

Although the three "Oyez's" may be louder than the body of the cry, it is important for a Crier to be heard throughout the cry. Consistency of volume must be maintained, except where fluctuations have been purposely used for emphasis or style.

H-5 Call Content:

The message is the most important part of the cry. The following criteria should be helpful:

1. Adherence to required subject - The Crier should not digress from the assigned theme of the cry.

2. Effective use of appropriate language - Unless otherwise justified by the content, the language should remain consistent and appropriate to the historical period depicted.

3. Continuity and flow - The cry should flow smoothly and logically.

4. Overall literary effectiveness - The Crier may be given marks for effectively using literary and oratorical devices to arouse the listener's interest in the message.

5. Comprehension - The meaning of a cry that is disjointed or is grammatically incorrect, may be lost. The point of the message must be understood and should be marked accordingly.

H-6 Clarity:

To be understood, the content must be heard clearly. The following criteria should be taken into account:

1. Enunciation - The slurring of words, or excessive voice affectations, may adversely distort the Crier's message, and

thereby make it difficult to understand.

2. Diction and Phrasing - Well placed pauses or breaths help the flow of the cry and, thus help to clarify its meaning.

3. Loss of Voice or Hoarseness. A Crier must sustain clarity through a complete cry. Signs of strain or over extension of the voice should be reflected in the marking.

H-6(a) Two marks, to a maximum of ten, shall be deducted for each time the Crier's voice cracks. The deduction of these marks shall be the responsibility of the Senior Judge.

ARTICLE I: SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The following points are not rules, but rather suggestions which, if followed, should facilitate the smooth running of a competition.

I-1 Escorts should be recognised, especially in major competitions for their contributions. Dress, deportment, participation and public relations could be criteria for judging. Another option is to present a gift to all participating escorts.

1-2 Organisers should attempt to eliminate stairs, or if stairs are necessary, to provide handrails. Ramps, low stages, graduated risers and curtained waiting areas are other possible solutions to the stair problem.

1-3 Organisers should attempt to eliminate obstacles above Criers' heads.

I-4 Water and cups should be available to Criers prior to each cry.

I-5 The Ontario Guild of Town Criers should compile a roster of Judges to be utilised by Organising Committees when preparing for Competitions. The qualifications of these Judges would be augmented by experience. A method of ranking by either skill or seniority should be adopted.

I-6 Once the order of Criers has been determined [ref. Article B, B-i], the list of names should be posted, or carried by a designated person for access by Criers.

I-7 The Host Crier should provide the names and titles of dignitaries who are anticipated to be present.

I-8 Patio tables with umbrellas are ideal for Judges and Scorers.

I-9 An Assistant is useful to the Host Crier for such items as retrieving articles left on stage, stage set-up, adequate water facilities, posting of lists, etc.

I-10 Where possible, sufficient time and distance should be given to the Crier, so that the Judge may better judge deportment.

APPENDIX A:

1. Judges' Score Sheet-To be used by Judge to record scores given to each competitor, transported to Scorers for recording.

2. Judges' Reminder Sheet - For use by Judge to keep track of marks given to each competitor.

3. Scorer's Tally Sheet - Scorer to keep track of competitors' marks and totals for each Cry.

4. Competition Standings Sheet - A list of marks assigned to each competitor according to rank, determining winner. It displays marks