A team is made up of 4 or 5 students, all of whom must currently be studying at the same university. Merger teams (teams made up for students from no more than 2 universities) are allowed where not enough students from a single university can make a team. No more than 2 post-graduate level students are allowed on a team. It is up to each university community how they select their team, however we strongly encourage you to host a slam to select the team to create as transparent and fair a selection process as possible. We ask that you encourage diversity within your team, promoting the opportunity to all groups within your university community, particularly those who may have had barriers to accessing such events in the past.
All team members and coaches will be given UniSlam passes, giving them free access to all talks, workshops and master-classes as well as all rounds. Teams may also bring non-competing poets or supporters, but they must purchase tickets for paid-access rounds (semi-finals and Grand finals).
Each UniSlam team is required to have 1 coach. This can be a member of the team or an external individual (e.g. a faculty member, another student, a professional artist). The coach does not have to be affiliated with the university, unless they are a performing team member in which case they must be a current student. The role of the coach is to help the team prepare themselves for the competition. It is up to each team to approach/select an appropriate coach, UniSlam is not responsible for assignment of coaches. Each coach will receive full access to the UniSlam summit; they will be able to participate in the development workshops and receive a free ticket to all of the rounds, including the Grand Finals.
Rounds & poems
Each team will perform in 2 preliminary rounds and will be required to perform 4 poems in each (8 separate poems). Teams progressing to semi-finals will be required to perform a further 4 poems, which were not performed during preliminaries (4 separate poems). Those making the Grand Finals will then perform 4 more poems, which may be new or may be repeats from preliminary rounds BUT NOT repeats from semi-finals (no repeats in consecutive rounds). Therefore each team must have prepared a minimum of 12 poems for the competition. Any repeated poem will automatically receive a ‘0’ score.
Group pieces (poems performed by 2 or more students) are encouraged. Each poem, group or individual, must have a named primary author. No two poems with the same primary author can be performed in one round.
Rounds are scored by a pre-selected judging panel and may also include audience judges. Poems are scored from 0.0 to 10.0 based on both the quality of the writing and quality of the performance. No props are allowed (e.g. instruments, costume etc). There is a 3 minute time limit on all poems with 10 second grace period, following which points will be deducted per second the poet runs over. Timer starts from the poet’s first interaction with the audience (this may not be their first word, for example if a poet makes facial or physical gestures towards the audience as a means of interaction, the timer will start).