Team Registration

Individual registration is $25 per student and includes:

  • An event T-shirt
  • Dinner
  • A workshop conducted by an experienced, professional poet.
  • Admission to the final competition, regardless of whether a team has advanced to that level.
  • Participants agree to have their performance video-taped and archived for use by OCSA.
  • Teams that advance to the finals will participate in a workshop with Project VOICE co-founder Phiil Kaye.

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

Please indicate the following when registering: t-shirt size choice; dietary restrictions.

See the form at the bottom of this page to register teams.

Competition Guidelines

Teams must register by March 15, 2019. Registration is limited to the first 20 teams. Team advisors—teachers or staff members—must be available for a pre-event information session shortly after registration ends.


  • Each team can consist of 1 – 7 performers.
  • Each school or age-appropriate group can field up to 2 teams.
  • Team members may compete in as many rounds as necessary.
  • Any number of members may recite during any portion of a round for a team delivery.
  • A member does not have to compete in the final to be considered an event participant.
  • Participants cannot be changed between Saturday and Sunday, but a missing member may still compete later. 
  • Each team must have an adult advisor. 


Teams will be responsible for four performance rounds. One performance round consists of two performed poems:

  1. A classic poem chosen from the OC RYSE Poem Bank.  
  2. A student-written response poem that integrates elements of the first. These elements may reflect the classic poem in any way the student chooses: structure, imagery, word choice, content, and situation to name a few.

Preliminary Competitions: Preliminary competitions will be held on Saturday April 14. The format, start time, and number of these competitions will be determined by the number of teams and announced after registration ends.

Final Event: The top six teams from Saturday's rounds will compete at the Center for the Arts - Webb Theatre on April 15, 2018.


Students will be judged on the following in their performance of the classic poem: accuracy, difficulty, physical presence (including articulation and movement), audience engagement, and overall artistic display.

Students will be judged on the following in their recitation of the response poem: poetic craft (elements such as imagery, word choice, and rhythm), dramatic presence, (including articulation and movement), time (no more than 3 minutes), audience engagement, & overall artistic display.

In the crafting of their response poems, students must adhere to the following guidelines. Teams that violate the guidelines may be disqualified without a refund at any time:

  • 3 minute maximum for response poem. Students will lose points for extra time needed for their response poems. Time is not a factor for judging of the classic poem.
  • No props. (The poet is the only prop.)
  • 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 grossly inappropriate should not be included in your response poems. Common sense should dictate what is appropriate; when this is unclear, the faculty advisor is responsible for providing guidance or contacting the event organizers. A blanket rule does not exist, but with instances of mature language and topics (such as abuse, addiction, poverty) poets are simply asked to write & perform with mindfulness.


  • First Place: $1,000
  • Second Place: $700
  • Third Place: $500
  • Fourth Place: Registration reimbursement
  • Faculty Advisor Award: $500 will be awarded to the faculty advisor of the winning team to implement poetry curriculum at her/his school.


*Please note: Classic Poems will be judged on the version provided in the OC RYSE poem bank. Translations especially may have multiple versions available. If you believe there is a typo or other mistake on a poem, please contact the event organizer, Josh Wood, right away.


Contact Josh Wood at or 714.560.0900 ext. 6985.