General Contest Rules (This is not a certified contest.)
1. Registration must be completed/received by December 31, 2017, mail-in or online, to
receive two free admissions. Free admission covers contestants only. Tickets may not be
issued for family members or guitar players not registered for the contest. Money will
be refunded to anyone who paid entry fee and cannot attend, if they inform the
committee of withdrawal prior to the contest’s beginning. All refunds will be issued by
check. Discount rates can only be given to members of COTFA whose dues are current.
Those who have received discounted entry fees in the past will be asked to bring their
membership dues current. Please have proof of paid membership.
2. Individual fiddle contestants may compete in one fiddle division (their age division or
the Open division) and the Bob Wills Division. The Twin Fiddle division is open to any
pair (see #3).
3. Registration for the Twin Fiddle division will be on Sunday morning, January 8, 2017,
only. There will be a maximum of 5 pairs, on a first come, first servedbasis.
4. Contestants must confirm pre-registration by checking in at the registration desk. Non
pre-registrants must register at least 1 hour before the beginning of their division.
Contestants who register after the order of appearance is posted will playfirst.
5. All commercial recording, photo and video rights are reserved and shall become the
property of the Colorado Oldtime Fiddlers’ Association, the nonprofit and legal entity
for the Colorado Fiddle Championships. Signing of the contest registration form shall
6. Order of appearance for all rounds shall be randomly drawn by a committee
member and posted. Contestants must be ready to play when notified.
7. Pre-registration will be accepted for those entering the guitar accompanist division. CFC
staff guitarists will judge the guitar accompanist division. Accompanist contestants
must register at least 1 hour prior to the start of this division. Accompanist will select a
fiddle player to play with them during their round. They will play two contrasting tunes
in round 1 and round 2. They cannot repeat the same songs. The top three from the
first round will progress to day two for the second round and championship.
8. Fiddle contestants may play with or without accompanist. There are no restrictions on
the number of accompanists.
9. If a string breaks, the contestant will have the option to continue or stop at that point. If
the tune is completed it will be judged as played. If the contestant chooses to stop, due to
a broken string, he or she will be allowed to begin withthat tune and complete the round
10. Contestants at each appearance must play a hoedown, a waltz and a tune of choice, which
is designated as anything other than a waltz or a breakdown. Tunes may be played in any
order. No contestant shall play a tune more than once during the contest. In the first
round there is a five-minute playing time limit for all divisions, except for the
Open Championship division. All age divisions shall have a 5-minute time limit with a
10-point deduction for each 30 seconds over the time limit. THERE IS NO TIME
LIMIT IN ROUND 2 FOR ANY AGE DIVISION. There is no time limit for the
Open Championship division in any round.
11. Contact microphones and amplified instruments will not be permitted duringany
12. No trick fiddling allowed during contest appearances. No cross-tuning onstage.
13. Judging criteria on individual tunes will include but is not limited to: Difficulty,
Musical Expression, Rhythm and Timing and Tone & Intonation. Points will be
deducted for any violation of the above rules 9-13(inclusive).
14. Audience participation IS allowed and encouraged. Time consideration will be given
to contestants for excessive audience response.
15. No sheet music shall be displayed in the contesting area.
16. Any contestant winning three consecutive years in the Championship division must
either judge the following year’s contest or sit out the contest that year. Any contestant
winning three consecutive years in any age division (except Small Fry and Junior Junior)
will automatically move into the championship division.Small Fry and Junior Junior
contestants winning three consecutive years will automatically move up to the next age
17. No sheet music shall be displayed in the contesting area.
18. In the event of a tie, contestants will play off according to the stipulations of the judges.
Playoffs will only be for ties in the top five places.
19. All decisions of the judges and the contest committee will be final.
Alternative Division Rules & Definition
Bob Wills Division
1. Bob Wills Division contestants must play tunes associated with our heroes – Bob Wills and
his Texas Playboys! Judges ask contestants to play reasonably within the boundaries of
Western swing style (disco, hip-hop, Justin Bieber, etc. versions of Take Me Back to Tulsa
will probably not be scored very high!!) – however, contestants will have the freedom to play
it straight or swing like crazy! Since this is a judged fiddle division, we ask that contestants
keep the fiddle as the only lead instrument (singing and band performances will be allowed,
but only the fiddling will be judged).
2. Contestants will play 2 tunes on day one. The top five contestants from day one will
progress to day two for the championship round. On day two the top five will play 1 tune. A
6-minute or less time limit is recommended.
1. Two fiddle players per entry – any age
2. No pre-registration. Entries will be taken the day of the contest.
3. Contestants may play two tunes of their choice NOTE: Entries are limited to 5
pairs. Entry’s taken at registration table on a first come, first served basis.
4. Congruent performances will be most desirable. Twin style is defined by – two fiddlers’
playing in each other’s shadow, melody and harmony moves together. Orchestrated
performances do not fit the definition of “twin” fiddling.
5. Qualities – Technical difficulty Intonation with regard to relative pitch.Blending of tone
and feel, Interesting intervals
Novice Division – Jeff Hertz Memorial: Any Age
This must be the first time a contestant has played in any fiddle contest.
1. Contestant may play two tunes of any kind
2. No Time Limit
3. All other general rules apply except those noted in these alternative rules
Texas Style – Open Division
This division is meant to mimic the types of contests found in Texas. Anyone mayenter but
please realize this is a higher level competition.
1. Thecontest committee will choose playing order. There will be a total of 3 rounds.
2. There are no time limits but points will be deducted for repetitive playing. Contestants are
asked to present a performance demonstrating Texas Style. Please present your tunes in
the traditional manner and build within thecontext of the tune and the style.
3. In round 1 contestant will play a breakdown, waltz and tune of choice for the first round.
The number of contestants will determine how many will progress to round 2.
4. In round 2 contestants will play a breakdown, waltz and tune of choice. Contest
committee has the discretion to limit the number of tunes played.
5. In the third round the top 5 contestants will play to determine the top 5 places. In round 3
judges may decide to limit number of tunes to play and choose the type of tune(s): a
breakdown, waltz or tune of choice.
6. Contestants must be available for all callbacks and have 5 minutes to report to the contest
director once they are notified.