Rules & Regulations
WBC Evolution Working Group Releases 2017 Rules & Regulations, Introducing New Format Evolutions At The Seoul World Barista Championship, Brought To You By Ediya Coffee
Recognizing excellence in techniques and performance standards is a core value of global barista competition. Celebrating innovative coffee-making and service is also a core value in competition, especially as rounds progress. To better balance these values and create new opportunities for competition progression, in 2017, for the first time, competition format changes are being introduced for use exclusively at the World Barista Championship level, with National Championships continuing with the shared common format.
To open-up new service possibilities at the World Barista Championship, competitors will now be able to select from 9 new table configurations, with multiple height & seating options. To allow more espresso extraction control, competitors will be able to request the temperature their espresso machine is set to. The documents have been updated to be gender-neutral, to better support the diverse range of people that make up the coffee community. To accommodate huge growth in competitor numbers, multiple staggered competitors will now perform on stage in the preliminary round. In the semifinal and final rounds, evaluation will shift to sensory and service experience, with no separate technical scoresheet or judge, allowing a focus on the skill and creativity of the world’s top competitors.
Standards have tremendous educational value, and demonstrated excellence in technique is key to determining who should compete on the world stage. To affirm these values and ensure a level playing field and equal preparation opportunity for all competitors, National Barista Championships will be continue with standard layout and temperature, and technical judging in all rounds.
Please find more information about some of the major changes below, as well as the 2017 WBC Rules and a full side-by-side summary of changes.
All WBC layouts utilize a 7m diameter no media circle, a 1.8L x 0.9W x 0.9H (m) espresso machine table, and two interchangeable tables approximately 2.4L x 0.75 W x 1.0 H (m) for preparation and/or service. These tables can be put on either face, allowing competitors to select both 0.75m and 1.0m height preparation and service options. The competitor will also be able to choose table or bar height seating options for their judges. Judges may be placed at any table, and may also be asked to stand. Asymmetric layout options may also be mirrored left-right.
Each routine will be individually and simultaneously Livestreamed in full, with opportunities for post-routine interviews. To prevent undue live auditory interference, there will however be only a single carefully chosen soundtrack playing in the arena during preliminary round performances, with individual competitor soundtracks remaining as an option in the semi-final and final rounds.
Enabling the WBC to continue to grow sustainably requires hard questions about how to best preserve and balance the many things competitors have said they find important about the WBC experience—things like being able to give their full three-course service, having a video and stream of their routine for supporters, being able to compete at reasonable hours, having sufficient preparation & routine time, and having individual routine music. The WBC Evolution Group and WCE Staff understand that the simultaneous preliminary round presents substantial changes for competitors, and will continue to work on the best ways to maintain the integrity of the WBC experience, while encouraging competitors to embrace the opportunities that are being created for new approaches and new demonstrations of skill.
The scheduling, production, and equipment needs of national barista championships vary worldwide, and so a functional, shared national championship format is critical to guaranteeing that at the World Barista Championship, every competitor will be walking onto an equally new stage. To ensure there are no unfair preparation advantages for a competitor based on the timing or format of their National Championships, a shared layout, temperature, and technical judging approach will be used for National Championships, with a separate set of updated template National Body Rules & Regulations being distributed for ease of use. For details on the the table height range, flavor descriptor language and other small changes in the 2017 National Body Rules & Regulations Template, please read the 2017 National Body Competition Summary of Changes here.
WCE Technical Judges play a critical role in communicating standards of performance across the globe, functioning as a very valuable differentiator of competitor levels, especially at the nationals level. Technical Judging will remain for the 60+ competitors in the 2017 WBC preliminary round, and the World Coffee In Goods Spirits Championship and World Latte Art Championship will continue with technical judging in all rounds. Technical judging will continue to be supported through certification in the World Coffee Championships, as well as through the World Competitions Education Program (WCEP), and additional education initiatives.
There is every possibility that following the success of the 2017 changes, more changes will evolve and the national body competitions will continue to vary from the WBC. WCE and the Working Group are however very aware that the national body competitions are the road to the WBC and they have a huge scope. Analyzing the success, value, and production needs of the 2017 WBC format progressions will drive the consideration of how to continue evolutions in the 2018 WBC and 2018 National competitions.
All of these changes are part of a multi-year process of examination, consideration of feedback, and exploration of future potential, driven by the dedication of industry experts and competition veterans in the WBC Evolution Working Group. Evolution began in 2016 in Dublin with the move from a cappuccino to a milk beverage course, the specification of a common espresso machine and grinder set, and the introduction of the WBC Teams Competition, and based on positive feedback and a widely communicated desire for changes, the WBC Evolution Working Group is excited to bring these new format progressions to the World Barista Championship.
Come see all the excitement live yourself, 9 Nov – 12 Nov at Cafe Show Seoul, where the best coffee competitors in the world face-off at the 2017 World Barista Championship, brought to you by 2017 Title Sponsor Ediya Coffee.
2017 World Barista Championship Rules & Regulations Documents:
Interpreters Best Practice
All WBC interpreters must familiarize themselves with the following document prior to the WBC.
2016 Rules & Regulations
An updated 2017 Rules & Regulations template for National Championships is included in the release above, with minor changes to language and intent clarifications around flavor descriptors and table heights. The 2016 Rules & Regulations are being provided below as a reference to ease in the transition. Please see “Technical Judging & Shared National Championships Format” section above for full information.