Competitors must register by February 1, 2023. An adult adviser—teacher, staff member, parent, etc.—must be listed for contact information. Registration is $25 per participant.


  • There are eight rounds, each with its own Classic Poem. Those are accessible here 

  • Teams must compete in at least four, but up to all eight rounds

  • Solo performers can compete in 1-3 rounds

  • Individuals can register as a team, if they wish to perform in four or more rounds

  • The winner of each round will receive $100. The round winner can be from a team or solo competitor

  • Before each round, the Classic Poem will be recited by a non-competitor

  • Depending on the number of competitors, preliminary rounds will be conducted during the day. Five performers from each preliminary round will take part in the event Finals. The top Soloist and Team from each preliminary round will automatically advance. The remaining three places will be determined by team representation, and in consultation with coaches and performers


  • Each team can have up to seven performers

  • No student can be on more than one team

  • Team members may compete in as many rounds as they choose

  • Any number of members may recite during any portion of a round for a team delivery

  • A team member does not have to compete in the final to be considered part of the team

  • Participants cannot be changed once the competition begins

  • Each team must have an adult adviser

  • Teams must compete in a minimum of four, but up to all eight rounds

  • For the Team Award of $500, scores from their top four rounds will be counted

Solo Performers:

  • Individuals can compete in one to three Classic Poem categories 

  • Any solo performer wanting to compete in more than three will automatically be placed in the Team Category

  • Solo Performers will be eligible for each round’s top prize of $100

  • Each Solo Performer must have an adult adviser


Students will be judged on the following criteria in their performance of the Original Poem, not necessarily listed in order: 

  • Poetic craft (elements such as imagery, word choice, and rhythm)

  • Dramatic presence (including articulation and movement)

  • Time (3-minute maximum)

  • Audience engagement

  • Overall artistic display

  • Relevance to the Classic Poem 

The Original Poem can respond to the Classic in a number of ways:

  • Incorporating lines from the Classic or similar language choices

  • Showing parallel subject matter

  • Being similar in tone or structure

  • Displaying like elements or motifs

  • The connections are up to the creativity of the poets!

The following guidelines will be in place for the competition as well. 

  • Students will lose one point for every 15 seconds over the 3-minute maximum

  • No singing or non-verbal vocalizations

  • No props (The poet is the only prop)

  • If a student is unable to finish their performance for whatever reason, the student will not have a second chance to perform. Scores will be awarded accordingly

  • Poems must be memorized. Any student who reads will not receive a score

  • No overly vulgar or offensive language or content

    • OC RYSE occurs at a public school and is intended for a broad audience. Language choices that are considered inappropriate should not be included in your response poems, and inclusion may be grounds for disqualification. Common sense should dictate what is appropriate; when this is unclear, the adult advisor is responsible for providing guidance or contacting the event organizers. 

    • With instances of mature language and topics (such as abuse, addiction) poets are simply asked to write & perform with mindfulness and the maturity those subjects deserve.

Teams that violate the guidelines may be disqualified without a refund at any time.


Round Prizes: $100 each

Top Team: $500

*Top Soloist: $200

*Judge’s Pick: $200

*These are awarded at the discretion of the judges. The Top Soloist will be awarded only if that student did not win their round. The Judge’s Pick can go to a performance for one round to a performer/team that did not win their round.



Registration is $25 per competitor. 

A registering team/soloist must have a faculty advisor complete this information. If you or your team is interested in participating but having trouble putting together the registration fee, please contact Josh Wood about Team Sponsorship options at

To register for OC RYSE, please create a My School Bucks account and add Orange County School of the Arts as your district. If you already have an account with My School Bucks, please add Orange County School of the Arts as a second district to access the OC RYSE registration page.


Please contact Josh Wood at or 714.560.0900 ext. 6985.