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Author Topic: Electronics Use During Slams  (Read 2374 times)

AngfromVA

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Electronics Use During Slams
« on: February 04, 2013, 04:56:44 PM »
Hello Smart People:

I had a question about the use of electronics (netbooks, computers, smart phones, dumb phones) being used during a slam-- mainly is it allowed?
I put together a list of rules for the (not certified) slam series I run in Manassas, VA; one of my rules is that use of electronics disqualifies the participant, but paper is allowed. I felt like I got that from somewhere. So when my teammates from Richmond and I were traveling to a W&YI this past weekend, we had a teammate write out her poem on paper in case she couldnít use her phone. (Another competitor used a phone so we knew it was okay, but she felt more comfortable using the paper anyway.)

Because Iíve been tragically wrong about another rule recently (sampling), and because of that whole Iím human and prone to error thing, I asked people I felt would be in the know about electronics use. I got two answers:  a) No they are not allowed because it's a prop, basically and because they have clocks on them it is a way to cheat.
b)(Yes they are allowed because) I think it is considered the same as a piece of paper unless you refer to it in the poem.
Also thereís a c) my own theory - accessibility: as there few, very few people who do not have access to a phone, one person cannot use what all donít have access to (I am more certain than ever this is the most incorrect of the three).

So what is the rule, on what level (regionals, nationals) is enforced, and where can I find it to point others to it?
This is my first time doing this. Please be gentle.

jesster

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 07:23:41 PM »
From page 40 of the PSi handbook:

Quote from: PSi Handbook - page 40
Prop: an object or article of clothing introduced into a performance with the
effect of enhancing, illustrating, underscoring, or otherwise augmenting the
words of the poem.

At the national level, there is nothing that would explicitly keep you from reading from a paper, scroll, tablet (stone or electronic), etc. as long as it does not have the effect of enhancing, illustrating, underscoring, or otherwise augmenting the words of the poem.

In addition, on page 35:

Quote from: PSi Handbook - page 35
Teams or individuals who inadvertently use a prop (for example, a
timely yet unwitting grab at a necklace) can be immediately penalized two
points if the MC of the bout deems the effect of the violation to have been
appreciable, but sufficiently lacking in specific intent.

So, intent is clearly the driving factor in enhancing the poem, but the emcee can use their discretion as well. It would still need to be clear that the object read of of has enhanced the poem in some way.

Locally, our slam does not consider anything that is read off of a prop, as long as it is not mentioned in the poem.

-Jesse

AngfromVA

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 07:28:42 PM »
Thank you Jesse.

AngfromVA

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 07:49:15 PM »
I guess my remaining curiousity deals with the clocks and stopwatches contained on most smart phones... doesn't that make most of them props?
Shouldn't it?

jesster

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 08:34:28 PM »
I guess my remaining curiousity deals with the clocks and stopwatches contained on most smart phones... doesn't that make most of them props?
Shouldn't it?


I refer to the above prop description

-Jesse

AmyD

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 06:17:02 PM »
To be clear, though, you can make up any rules you want for your local slam, AND you can make up any rules you want for your W&YI, as long as all teams agree. Nothing says you have to run a W&YI by PSi rules.

AngfromVA

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 10:49:43 PM »
Thanks Amy.
I was aware about local slams having different rules from slam to slam. I just wondered if there was a Nat'l stance.
I appreciate it.

simone

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 02:40:24 PM »
There is actually no rule against using a clock or timing device during your poem. I've heard from a few different sources that this is "cheating," but I'm not sure how that got started. It's nowhere to be found in the rules.
Simone Beaubien
SlamMaster, Boston Poetry Slam

Stefan Sencerz

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Re: Electronics Use During Slams
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 09:32:33 AM »
yeah, I do not see at all why it would be cheating.

In most team competitions, a poet has a "time spotter" giving hands signals informing the reader about the passsage of time progress. That is not cheating. Similarly, a clock attached to an electronic d is not cheating either.