General Rules

Contestants must register by Thursday, July 25th. This is to help the Registration Desk and people doing the score sheet for judging marks.
After Thursday there will be a charge of $20.00 to register.

  1. Contestants must be ready to perform when called. They alone are responsible for not missing their turn. 

  2. No Contestant having won first prize in any one class for three consecutive years will be eligible to compete in that or any lower class in the fourth year.

  3. Scheduling of all competitions and play-downs is dependant on the number of entries in each class. In the event of a play-down a 4th and 5th prize will be added to the appropriate class.

  4. Judges’ decisions are final, and they will not be required to explain standing.

  5. Contestants wishing to have their marks mailed, please ask at Registration Desk.

  6. Contestants must show proof of age upon request.

  7. Deadline for registration is one hour before class.

  8. In the event of a tie, the contestants involved will be asked to perform again to break the tie.

  9. In the event of an error by accompanist which throws the contestant off time, or any accident beyond the control of the contestant, he/she will be given a chance to repeat the routine.

  10. The Ontario Open Fiddle and Step Dance Contest reserves the right to videotape and offer for sale any portion or all of the contest or program.

  11. Dress and appearance will be considered. 

  12. Contestant will play in reverse order of registration. 

  13. Contestants in the Open Classes are excluded from eligibility in the 19+ class.

Fiddle Contest Rules

  1. Contestants in all classes except 9 and under are required to play a WALTZ, a JIG and a REEL (or breakdown) in that order or they will not be judged.

  2. If there are more than twelve contestants in the 12 and under or the 15 and under the Committee may ask that the contestants play a WALTZ, and EITHER a JIG or REEL for the preliminaries. Finalists will be required to play ALL THREE.

  3. Contestants in the 9 and under class are required to play only one of a WALTZ, a JIG or a REEL.

  4. Only one instrument may accompany, and it may NOT play the melody.

  5. A tuned piano is on stage and an appointed accompanist will be available for those without their own.

  6. Contestants may only compete in one class - their own age group, or the open. Exceptions: Duet Class & Gospel Fiddle.

  7. Points will be awarded on the basis of: Timing, Versatility and Level of Difficulty over a 4 minute period of judged performance. Tunes must be accepted Olde Tyme type.

  8. In the Open Class, if a contestant goes on to the playdowns, three different tunes must be played from those played in the preliminaries.

  9. DUET CLASS: Open to all contestants. Any combination of two fiddlers, no age limit. Must play in harmony, a Waltz, a Jig and Tune of choice in that order. Top Three will play again Saturday night. Scores from both performances will be combined to determine the final placing.

  10. Robert Rathwell Memorial Trophy, CANADIAN TUNE OF CHOICE CLASS: The final round set of tunes will consist of a Waltz, Jig, Reel and a Canadian composed tune of choice, played in that order, within a five minute and thirty second time limit. Playing over the time limit will result in a five mark penalty from the combined total of the judges' scores of the tune of choice. The name and composer of the Canadian composed tune of choice must be indicated on the contestant registration form for 18 and under class contestants. The Canadian tune of choice can be in any style. The Canadian tune of choice is marked separate from the Waltz, Jig and Reel, for the purpose of the separate Canadian tune of choice prize.

STep DAnce Contest Rules

  1. Contestants in the OPEN CLASS, and 18 and under must dance a CLOG, JIG and REEL in that order without stopping. If there are more than twelve contestants in the 18 and under the committee may ask that the contestants only perform a REEL. The finalists will be required to perform a CLOGJIG and REEL in that order.

  2. Contestants in the 9, 12, 15 and under 19-49 and 50+ must perform a REEL only.

  3. Contestants may employ their own accompaniment or use those provided by the Contest (fiddle and piano).

  4. Contestant may not give any signal to their accompanist during performance, signifying a request to change to a JIG or REEL. In that event, points will be deducted.

  5. Contestants may enter only one class. Exception: Group Classes, Duet.

  6. Points will be awarded on basis of: Step Quantity and Quality, as well as step timing and style over a three minute period of judged performance.

  7. Group Classes: To be in groups of 2 to 6, over a four minute period of judged performance, with an additional of execution. A person may dance in one Group or Group Class only. Top three in the Open Group Class will perform Saturday Night. Scores for both performances will be combined to determine final placement.

    Junior Groups will be judged in their entirety on Saturday Night. Average age of Junior Group must be twelve or under.