Contest Rules

Contest Rules and Procedures for the
FISM™ Oceania Championships of Magic

a) FISM™ Oceania Championships of Magic (OCM) are organized under the auspices and supervision of the FISM™ and are open to

• any magician who has reached FISM™ Level (see Article 7d) and who is a member of a Society affiliated to the FISM™, after having received the written authorization of the President of the FISM™ Society of which he or she is a member;

• any magician who has reached FISM™ Level and who is not a member of a FISM™ Member Society, after having received the written authorization of the Presidents of The Australian Institute of Magic.

b) The President of the FISM™ Member Society who has given this authorization is responsible for the quality of the act of the performer. Only candidates having attained FISM™ Level should receive such authorization. The name of the President will be mentioned when the candidate is announced. Presidents, who have sponsored more than one act performing under FISM™ level, can – to the judgment of the Presidium – lose their sponsoring right for the next Oceania Championship of Magic.

c) The number of contestants is limited to 24 applicants, being around 10 for the Stage and around 14 for the Close-up competition

d) Excluded from participation in a given FISM™ OCM are artists who are booked by the organizing committee to perform or lecture at that Championship.

e) A contestant who has been awarded a First Prize in a previous FISM™ OCM is not allowed to compete again with essentially the same act.

f) A contestant must be a paid entrant of the FISM™ OCM. The organizing committee must have received the duly signed registration form for the contest, including the appropriate authorization(s), the contest fee, at least four weeks before the opening of the Championships.

g) All contestants, as a right of competition agree to abide by and be bound by these Contest Rules and Procedures for the FISM™ Oceania Championships of Magic.


a) To determine all prizes and any other awards (see Article 6), two judging panels are composed, one for the performances on stage and one for the performances under close-up conditions. The judging panels consist of five to seven judges. One of the judges of each panel is the chairman. A non-judging president presides over the two panels.

b) All judges, including the Jury President, are chosen by the FISM™ OCM Organising Committee. These choices should be based on the qualifications of the candidates in both the Art of Magic and that of judging magic performances. There should be a diversity of age and cultural background and all judges should be able to communicate in English. The FISM™ OCM Organising Committee should also acknowledge continuity in FISM™ juries.

c) The president of the jury, although watching as many contest performances as possible, does not judge the acts as the other judges do. He chairs the jury meetings and attends any panel meetings. He or she concludes and summarizes the final decisions and is, together with the panel chairmen, responsible for the observance of the FISM™ contest rules. In case of a tie, the jury President will arbitrate, and that decision will be final.

d) Judges will get free refreshments and meals during their judging time.

e) The President of the jury will send a full report of the contest results, with appropriate remarks and observations, to the International President of the FISM™ within three months of the closing of the Championships.


a) The contest performances are open in the following categories:

Stage Magic Performances:

• Manipulation: A magic stage act wholly or largely based on sleight of hand.
• General Magic: A magic stage act which is, in most cases, a mix of several of the other categories. The props used are usually smaller than the ones used in a Stage Illusion act. Some performances using modern high-tech or video technology can also be categorized under this denomination.
• Stage Illusions: A magic stage act in which huge props are used (even when these are not visible to the audience). Often several people and/or animals are involved.
• Comedy Magic: A magic stage act of which the main purpose is to make people laugh. It can be based on any one of the aforementioned categories, provided the emphasis is laid on the magic nature of the performance.
• Mental Magic: Branch of magic comprising demonstrations of apparent extraordinary or supernatural mental powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, super memory, lightning calculation and simulations of mediumistic phenomena.

Close-up Magic Performances:

Acts intended to be performed for small groups of people in close proximity. The contestant can be seated or standing behind a table, mostly with some members of the audience also seated at this table, but the act can also be presented standing up without any use of a table. The items used are generally small and most effects directly involve the spectators or participants.

Three categories are distinguished:

• Card Magic: the act is exclusively based on effects using playing cards.
• Micro Magic: although playing cards are not to be excluded, the act is of a more general nature.
• Parlour Magic: An act, midway between close-up and stage magic, meant to be performed for a group of people in a moderately sized room.
b) If the Judges are of the shared opinion that it would be in the best interests of a contestant to change his or her category, they are entitled to make such a change.


a) A contestant is responsible for his own performance.
He undertakes to FISM™ that he has secured the necessary rights to perform this full and complete contest performance, (also known as his ‘act’).

b) The contestant’s undertaking includes the right to perform the act in question and encompasses the contestant securing all ancillary rights and licences whether music or otherwise from all legally required third parties, if applicable.

c) The contestant will specifically undertake to FISM™ that he is entitled to exploit and grant solely licence of his act and that his act does not infringe the rights of any third party.

Comment to 4a, 4b and 4c: No one else but the contestant is responsible for his performance at the WCM. He needs to have fulfilled all (legal) requirements.
It should be noted that these paragraphs do not refer to the right to compete at a OCM, but just emphasize the responsibilities of the performer when competing.

d) In the event that the contestant is in breach of any of the aforementioned undertakings, he has to accept all the consequences and liabilities. If the contestant is in breach of the regulations concerning the Music Rights of his act, if necessary the Organizing Committee has, after having communicated with the contestant, the exclusive right to either obtain the necessary performance and/or music rights at the expense of the contestant or to substitute the music in question.

Comment: If a contestant (despite his responsibilities/obligations, as mentioned in the preceding paragraphs) has not taken his responsibilities seriously, he has to accept the consequences and liabilities.
If it concerns the Music Rights of his act, if necessary, the contest-organizers will help the contestant to solve the issue as explained in the rule.

e) A contestant must present a complete act (not a single trick) of at least five minutes and not more than ten minutes.

f) A contestant can only present one act in one category in Stage magic and one act in one category in Close-up magic.

g) A contestant who presents an act that is obviously a copy of the act, or a significant or typical part of it, of another performer will be disqualified.

h) Performances, mainly depending on a pre-arrangement between the contestant and a volunteer or assistant in the know, are not considered magic performances. The contest, being a contest on the performance of magic, the Jury can decide to disqualify the contestant.
In case of doubt the competitor will be asked to explain the method used and, if necessary, to repeat the effect in front of the judging panel.

Comment: The inclusion of a ‘non-stooge paragraph’ was suggested by the Jury of FISM™ WCM2006 in Stockholm who noticed that in the absence of a ‘non-stooge’ paragraph in the CR&P means that we continue to accept that we are not able to disqualify a performer who obviously makes use of a stooge. The Presidium agrees with the FISM™ WCM2006 jury that it is better to accept the fact that we cannot detect ALL cases of using a stooge, than to have to accept not being able to disqualify a contestant who obviously does make of a stooge in a way that is not acceptable for a magical performance.
A contest rule should not be considered a means to detect and cover all the ways of making use of a stooge, but more and primarily as a clear signal that the obvious use of a stooge is not allowed and that if a violation is detected it can lead to disqualification..
It should be emphasized that it is a magic contest in the first place that is being judged and that performers who obviously violate the widely accepted rule within the magic fraternity that the use of stooges is not a contribution to the Art of Magic, can be disqualified. As there can be circumstances however that will not justify a disqualification, we leave the decision to disqualify a performer to the judges.
i) A contestant must be ready to perform his act at least ten minutes before the scheduled time.
The jury may disqualify a contestant who is not ready by this ten-minute notice.

j) An act begins when the contestant enters the stage or when the music of the act starts, whichever comes first.

k) At the front of the stage will be two electric lamps, one yellow and one red. After nine minutes of a performance, the yellow lamp will be switched on. After the tenth minute, the red lamp will be switched on, showing the contestant that he or she is over time and therefore disqualified.
A contestant will also be disqualified in case of a flashing red lamp

If, after the  first three minutes of an act, a Judge is of the opinion that the performance is below the FISM level, he can press his button.

In cases of maltreatment of persons or animals by a performer, a jury member shall press his button immediately, without any time restraints.

l) When introducing a contestant, the Master of Ceremonies of the competition will refrain from any comment on the performer or the act, restricting the announcement to the name of the contestant, the country and society and the name(s) of the President(s) authorizing this participation in the contest.


Comment: Unlike Article 4, which deals with the personal responsibility of a contestant/performer, the paragraphs in this Article 5 reflect the rights of competition. That is to say that in order to have the right to perform at a FISM™ OCM, a contestant has to agree with these rules.
Of course a contestant has the right to disagree with one or more of these rules, in which case his free will not to participate in a FISM™ OCM can only be respected.

a) By no later then four (4) weeks prior to the commencement of the competition, the contestant will provide the Organizing Committee with a list of all music titles to be used in his act; including the title’s name, composer, adapter, recording artist, the time of the soundtrack and the name of the label.

Comment: all contestants have to obey to this rule as it is a legally required necessity. The Organising Committee needs this information to be able to clear the performance rights during the contest in the theatre.

a) Prizes

In each category, three prizes can be awarded by the jury: a first prize, a second prize and a third prize.

b) Special Contest Awards

• The jury is entitled to award a special contest award for ‘Most Original Act’ to the act (in any category) that can justify such a decision.

d) Other awards

No other prize, award, distinction or gift can be given without the approval of the Organising Committee. This includes any prize or award given on behalf of a private company.
Only FISM™ contestants having received a prize or a (special) contest award are eligible for an additional prize or award beyond those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs of this Article.


a) The jury will judge all the contestants’ performances during the contest in order to determine who’s eligible for the prizes and awards as mentioned in Article 6a and 6b, when appropriate.
b) A member of the jury shall give a fair judgment on the performance of every contestant, without prejudice, with an equal level of critical standards in regard to the following six aspects:

• Technical Skill / Handling.
• Showmanship / Presentation
• Entertainment value
• Artistic Impression / Routining
• Originality
• Magic Atmosphere

c) Using the official judging form in conformity with Annex A, each judge will give a total score of up to 100 points to each contestant.
After each contest performance, the part of the judging form below the dotted line will be collected by a member of the special staff as mentioned in Article 9a.
Adding the scores of all Judges and dividing the total by the number of judges, the final score will then be calculated. The maximum final score for a contestant will thus be 100 points.

d) A contestant with a final score lower than 50 points is considered below the FISM™ level and will be disqualified.

e) At the conclusion of the first phase, having seen the performances of all the contestants, the individual Judges may reconsider their judgments and, with the approval of the President of the jury, will be given the opportunity to change some of their scores. These changes will be given to the special staff members who will recalculate the final scores.

f) After all necessary calculations are complete, the list of final scores will be handed to the President of the jury, who will assemble all the judges in a meeting to determine who qualifies for prizes.

h) The prizes will be awarded to the highest scores in each category. To be awarded a first prize, a contestant must have a final score of at least 80 points. The final score must be at least 70 points for a second prize and at least 60 points for a third prize.

i) If no contestant has the required points for a given prize in a given category, that prize will not be awarded.

j) The list of prizes and other awards as mentioned in Article 6a to 6c will be kept secret until the official proclamation and presentation of the trophies to the winners. The declaration of the awards will be made in reverse order, beginning with the special contest awards, then the lowest prize and ending with the first prize.


a) Only a first-prize winner is entitled to use the title of ”Oceania Champion” along with the prize category prize, plus the year of its acquisition (e.g., “Oceania Champion Stage Magic 2010” or “Oceania Champion Close Up Magic 2010”).

a) The organizing committee, in coordination with the Presidium, will appoint official timekeepers for the contests. A special staff, headed by the Jury Staff Officer, will assure a smooth-running judging process. Among other responsibilities, the jury staff shall collect the forms, do the necessary calculations, and take care of the well-being of the Judges.
The jury staff will keep all the scores strictly secret, revealing them to no one except for the jury President, who will share it with the chairmen of the judging panels. These scores will not be shared with the other judges before the list of final scores is provided (see Article 7g).

b) The organizing committee will provide the official trophies, the necessary judging forms, clipboards as well as the diplomas for the contestants.

c) Trophies for the prizes have to be designed according to FISM™ specifications.

d) The Jury Staff Officer will send the contest rules and procedures to the Judges no less than four weeks before the start of the Championships.

e) At the beginning of the convention, prior to the start of the contest, the judging panels (as mentioned in Article 2a) will be briefed by a member of the Presidium or by the President of the Jury on the main issues of these FISM™ contest rules and procedures.


a) A contestant and FISM™ will indemnify each other in case of an intellectual property infringement claim by a third party. FISM™’s maximum aggregate liability shall not exceed the total amount paid by FISM™ to the contestant for the matter at the origin of the indemnity, and excludes any indirect damage, even if foreseeable.

b) These rules do not constitute a partnership or agency between a contestant and FISM™.

c) Any dispute arising from these rules, provided that no out of court agreement has been reached within thirty (30) days from its occurrence, will be governed by the laws of Switzerland, with the exclusive place of jurisdiction deemed to be Lausanne.

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