Welcome to the BABS Contest & Judging Team home page.

The British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) is a charitable organisation with music education as its goal. There are over 2200 members in 69 clubs and over 90 registered quartets across the UK. Every year a significant proportion of these clubs and quartets take part in contest culminating in the Annual Convention in the Spring. If you’re going to have a contest, you have to have judges!

The Contest & Judging Team is an important resource for BABS. The judges are recognised experts in the main aspects of barbershop, namely singing, music and performance. They undertake bi-annual training at specialist seminars to be able to organise and judge our choruses and quartets in competition.

This site provides current information about the Contest & Judging Team including a directory of members, contest results, rules and reference information for BABS members and other people with an interest in barbershop.

Following the formation of the British Association of Barbershop Singers in 1974, contests for choruses and quartets have been held since 1975. Throughout that time, the Contest & Judging Team, formerly know as the Guild of Judges, has provided judges to rank and evaluate contestants, as well as organising and managing contests.

Apart from its contest duties, it also provides skilled evaluators, who visit competing choruses after the annual convention to provide a debrief on their performances and to assist in providing new skills for the future.

The Team also provides many of the educators at the annual BABS Harmony College as well as coaches for quartets, trainers for Learn to Sing courses and probably a few other things too.

Within the Contest & Judging Team there are four categories – Music, Performance, Singing and Contest Administration.  Each category is headed by a Category Director, normally holding the position for three years.

The Team is run by a Chairman and small committee, elected each year by the membership.

Membership currently stands at 26 certified members together with a further 3 candidates in training.

All Team members are recertified every three years, based on their knowledge and scoring ability, ensuring standards are maintained.

Do you fancy joining the Contest & Judging Team? Click here to download the application form.

Performance assessment by the judges is governed by a definition for each category, which will be found under the Document Centre section of this web site. In addition, contests are run under a set of Contest Rules, which will also be found on the same page.

Contestants are strongly encouraged to be familiar with the rules and category descriptions before making their preparations for contest.

If you are uncertain whether your chosen songs or presentation package fit within the rules, you are advised to discuss them with the appropriate category director.