Event Rules & Regulations


 General Notes

  • All events must have a minimum of 4 entrants for prizes to be awarded.
  • Open dancing - no holds barred.
  • All contestants in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place and Fiddle-Off will receive Awards Certificates.
  • All judges are selected based on their knowledge and experience. Past winners are encouraged to submit their names for future consideration as Judges.
  • For a complete listing of Hotels and Motels in the Clarksville area, contact the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce at (931) 647-2331 or visit online at www.cityofclarksville.com.
  • For specific questions concerning music or dancing competition as well as Judging, contact Boge Quinn at (931) 647-7261 or via email at webmaster@tnfiddlers.com.
  • Full-service concessions on premises.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the school building.
  • No drugs or alcohol on school grounds.

 General Rules

  1. Contestants will receive a computer generated number upon registration which will follow them through all competitions and will be the number used by the judges to score the contestant.
  2. No electric amplification or drums will be permitted in any category.
  3. Flatfoot Dancing is divided into three categories by age: Up to age 16, Ages 17-40, and Age 41 and over. No holds barred.
  4. Contestants in all music categories will perform two tunes in the eliminations. This may be changed to one tune due to time constraints at the discretion of contest officials.
  5. Three finalists will be selected in all double-elimination categories. In the event that four or fewer contestants have entered a category immediately prior to that category's elimination round, that category will be changed to a single-elimination category.
  6. Contestants performing in the individual performer categories may perform unaccompanied or with one or two accompanists.
  7. Fiddle contestants will be divided by age as follows: Beginner Fiddle - Up to age 16; Junior Fiddle - age 17 to 49; Senior Fiddle - age 50 and over.
  8. Contestants who win first place in any category for two consecutive years will become eligible to compete again in that category only after refraining from competition in that category for one year.
  9. Tunes performed during the eliminations may not be repeated in the finals.
  10. Medleys will not be allowed.

 Restrictions on Performances in Certain Categories

  1. Beginner Fiddle, Junior Fiddle and Senior Fiddle categories - Contestants will not be permitted to use the following tunes as their breakdown in either the eliminations or the finals: Orange Blossom Special, Black Mountain Rag, and Listen To The Mockingbird. All contestants will be required to play one waltz selection and one breakdown selection in both the eliminations and the finals. Winners of the finals in the three fiddle categories will play two tunes of choice during the Fiddle-Off.
  2. Blue Grass Banjo and Blue Grass Band categories - Performers are urged to avoid songs that have been "picked to death" (for example, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, John Henry, John Hardy). The use of "Scruggs tuners" will not be permitted. Blue Grass Bands must have at least three members and not more than six members. Bands are encouraged to perform at least one vocal number (this is not required, however).
  3. Blue Grass Band and Old-Time Band Categories - Musicians may not play or sing in more than one band within a category. Musicians who are members of a Blue Grass Band may also perform as members of an Old-Time Band, and musicians who are members of an Old-Time Band may also perform as members of a Blue Grass Band. Blue Grass Bands who are able to play authentic Old-Time music may also enter the Old-Time Band competition, and Old-Time Bands who are able to play authentic Blue Grass music may also enter the Blue Grass Band competition.
  4. Harmonica category - The use of chromatic and double-reed harmonicas will not be permitted.
  5. No monologues allowed on stage by contestants.
  6. No singing is permitted in individual instrument categories.

 Judging Criteria

  1. Rhythm and Timing ~ The judges will look for even, consistent rhythm. Rushing, dragging, or unevenness in performance will result in lost points in this category.
  2. Creativity ~ The judges will look for variations, improvisations and "good licks". Repetitious performance (i.e., using the same "licks" over and over in the same tune) will result in lost points.
  3. Authenticity and Taste ~ The judges will look for selection of authentic performance styles in each category. Indiscriminate use of variations that make the base tune unclear (for example, use of "hokum" bowing or "double shuffle" in the fiddle categories), and inappropriate modern licks will result in lost points.
  4. Expression ~ The judges will look for the feeling that the contestants put into their performance. Flat, mechanical, unfeeling performances will result in lost points, as will excessive "showmanship".
  5. Execution ~ The judges will look for tone quality, clarity, and general command of the instrument(s). Bad tone and muffled notes will result in lost points.

NOTE: Points earned in the eliminations will not carry over to the finals.


 Contestant Regulations

  1. No Entry Fees will be charged for entering events, and there is no limit to the number of events that you can enter.
  2. Contestants will be called from the stage when it is time for them to perform. If no response, placement will be last in that category. On second call - if no answer, contestant will be eliminated from that category.
  3. Registration for each category will be closed when competition in that category begins.

 For additonal information or if you have any questions, send us an email at this link: Judging Questions