2017 Scoring System
Over the years we have seen flair bartending grow to the extreme level it is at now. Competitions are becoming more and more difficult to judge between one person and another, which is why we have to stay up to date with the current trends in the bar trade and to encourage you as a competing bartender to have as much freedom on stage to do what YOU want to do.
With the inclusion of different styles of competitions coming out now, it is important that we structure the Grand Slam scoring system so that you as a bartender know what to expect from these types of competitions.
Grand Slam competitions are 100% Flair Bartending competitions, and so the new scoring system will focus on that, so you as a Bartender, are free to go on stage and show us what YOU think is the best way to flair.
You will still be required to make real drinks at some point during Grand Slam comps, but at the same time, we want to see YOUR best moves, YOUR style and YOUR ideas on flair bartending, not what everyone else is doing.
With all that in mind we are going back to the old school, but simplifying things to give you the freedom you need on stage. The categories are no longer split into FLAIR & ENTERTAINMENT. The four categories will be marked taking into account your WHOLE ROUTINE.
Please read the info about the categories carefully and let us know if you have any questions by emailing [email protected] for more details.
Originality – 60
This is what flair bartending is all about. Showcasing your original moves, ideas and shows whilst making amazing drinks. Flair is so diverse and is constantly changing every year, so we want to see what you have to offer.
Do you have your own moves, your own style and type of music. What about the way you move, and how you present yourself. Are you bringing something new to the stage or just copying what you have seen other bartenders doing?
Being original, is showing us your character, personality and imagination through your flair and skills. It’s not about doing everything that you have seen someone else doing.
Difficulty – 60
We’re sure many people will like to see this category come back into play. We do like to see “big” moves, and we like to see difficult moves as it helps progress the art of performance flair bartending. This doesn’t mean that being difficult means you are going to win the competition though.
Being difficult isn’t the only part about your routine that you should focus on, and picking up multiple objects doesn’t necessarily mean you are being more difficult.
Judges will be looking for your sequences, not just your moves. For example, a bottle and tin sequence can be a lot more difficult than a six tin bottle move.
Remember this is how difficult your whole routine is this so it also comes down to how difficult is the show you are performing. For example, flairing to the music with difficult moves is much harder than just performing a hand stall, or dancing to the music.
Relevance – 30
This a new category, and something that judges have been asking to put into the scoring system for a while. We see many moves and routines that are great, but have no link with the making of their drink, or no “relevance”. This means, is what you are doing on stage important to the making of the drink, or are you just throwing bottles around.
The opposite of relevance is irrelevant and a perfect example of being irrelevant is flairing with 4 bottles and then not using them in the making of your drink.
You must think about this category when you are deciding on your big and difficult moves. If you pick up multiple objects and then don’t use any of them towards the making of your drink then there is no relevance. If you are going to perform big moves, then think about how that move is important to the making of your drinks.
Essentially, this category should make you think more about your bartending technique and the objects you are using. Do you flair EVERYTHING you touch, or are you simply throwing bottles and tins around?
In the words of WFA Co Founder Andy Collinson
“If what you do on stage doesn’t go towards making a drink, then you might as well be throwing around banana’s”
Choreography – 60
Many years ago flair routines were made up on the spot. Bartenders used to freestyle all the time, and sometimes this worked, but many times it didn’t. We’ve reached an age of flair, where 95% of the bartenders are making a routine, to music.
The music is a large part of your routine, and something that should be unique to YOU. Flowing with that music and taking the crowd on a journey for 5 mins is what you need to think about. You have control over the audience for the time you are on stage, and a well choreographed routine will bring the best performance you can give.
In this category we will be looking at how balanced your routine is. The fumbles you make will bring your points down here, and the smoothness of your routine will effect your score.
Cocktail (total 50 points)
The chosen glassware and general visual appearance of a cocktail and garnish affect its appeal and points will be awarded accordingly.
The intensity and variety of flavours of the cocktail should be appealing and entice the drinker.
A perfectly balanced cocktail is divine. Is the drink too sour, too sweet or is it superbly balanced? How long is the aftertaste? Can you feel all the ingredients and how the different tastes play with each other?
- Drop -5 (2% of total score)
- Spill -2 (0.8% of total score)
- Misc -4 (1.6% of total score)
- Break -10 (4% of total score)
- Missing drink -50 (20% of total score)
- Sponsor -50 (20% of total score)
If you have questions about your scores, please email them to [email protected]
WFA COMPETITOR CODE OF CONDUCT
As a competitor in any WFA Grand Slam competition you are required to behave with respect and decorum throughout the entirety of the competition. Sponsors pay a lot of money to give us the opportunity to have these great events all over the world, so let’s treat them with respect so that they will want to repeat the competition the next year
During the competition you are required to dress accordingly to what is expected of you. In some cases you will have to wear the t-shirt provided by the sponsor on stage. In this case, make sure that it is clean and ironed and not all messy when on go on stage with it. If you require another t-shirt ask the organising staff to provide you with one
You should treat the stage like you would any bar. So no open toe shoes, like flip flops or sandals, but trainers or shoes is fine.
– You are NOT allowed to wear shorts on stage.
– Please make sure your trousers are clean and tidy and not covered in rips and tears.
– In some cases you may want to wear a costume. This is fine, but nothing vulgar.
– No nudity of any kind is allowed during your performance.
– If the organiser, judge or sponsors are not happy with the way you have presented yourself you will be asked to change or get disqualified from the competition.
Competitions can be stressful times and everyone wants to do their best, but remember everyone is in the same boat so remember to treat EVERYONE with respect. Including the staff.
The competition staffs are there to help you. If you are rude or arrogant towards them, you may face disqualification, or refusal to enter the next Grand Slam competition.
Any rudeness or disrespect towards other competitors can face disqualification. This can be at anytime throughout the competition, in the practice area, on stage or where ever.
Try and help out other competitors whenever you can.
The judges have a difficult decision and are always willing to answer your questions after a competition, but any rudeness or disrespect towards them could mean refusal to enter the next Grand Slam competition.
This is a big moment for everyone, whether it is announcing the finalists or the overall winners. Everyone is nervous and everyone wants to win. If you are not happy with your placement, DO NOT walk off stage in disappointment. Collect your prize and wait for the all clear to get off the stage once all announcements are finished. Failure to do so can result in disqualification or being banned from the next Grand Slam comp.
When it comes to announcements please wear either the competition t-shirt or your sponsor or representation’s attire. Each competition is different and you will be briefed by the organisers. We do not want to see you in your shirt ready for a night out.
It is also NOT allowed to be drunk when you are on stage collecting your prizes, and we do NOT want to see you with a drink in your hand on stage. Failure to follow these guidelines can mean you not receiving your prize and or being disqualified from the competition.
Bottles to be used
As we have mentioned before the sponsor pay a lot of money to put on these competitions so they want to see their bottles used at competitions as much as possible. Anyone thought to be blatantly disregarding the sponsors bottles will be disqualified from the comp or incur a major deduction
This will always be down to the organiser as to when they want your music. Please make sure it is clearly labelled and is only on ONE CD!
After the competition
Once the competition is over if you have any questions about your routine that you want to ask the judges we suggest that you email them rather than bothering them after a long day. If they are willing to speak to you about it after the competition, then that is up to them.
Any discrepancies’ in the scores should be put in writing to the World Flair Association, sent to [email protected] by the individual who is not happy.
The World Flair Association will try and solve any problems with scores or results in any way they can.
Any competitor not respecting the rules of the competition, the judges, fellow competitors or the sponsors can face disqualification from the competition or be banned from the next Grand Slam competition.