Music Competition Rules
- In the case of all solo and team competitions in all grades,
the age of a competitor on 1st January of the year in which the
competition is held will determine the right of entry. For the
purposes of this Rule a competitor whose birthday occurs on
1st January shall be deemed to be under the age attained on that date.
- Competitions are open to all but those holding
a TMRF, TCRG, or ADCRG designation. A feis can only accept entries from pupils of
teachers registered with An Coimisiun, regardless of their domicile, and where applicable, registered with both the IDTANA and the
North American region in which they reside.
- A competitor may be disqualified for any of the following reasons:
Penalty for a) or c): Competitor will be disqualified
from the Feis at which the occurrence happened and
from all NAFC-registered Feiseanna for a period of one
year beginning at the date of the occurrence.
- Conduct unbecoming a lady or gentleman.
- Failure to report on time to compete.
(Penalty: disqualification from
- Falsification of age or other important facts
-- i.e., teaching, award winning,
competing under another competitor's name
or number, etc.
- Competitions may be closed if there are no
competitors at the assigned stage ready to compete
when the competition is scheduled or announced.
This does not pertain to situations where competitors
are involved in stage conflicts, and such conflicts will
be handled by the stage monitor
- Steel taps or "bubble" heels on dancing
shoes, display of awards, wearing of shorts or other
unconventional dress is prohibited. Authentic Gaelic
dress is desired. First Feis (if offered), Beginner
and Advanced Beginner, aka Beginner I and II, must
wear a class costume, or a skirt and blouse. All other
categories are excluded from this rule. Modest attire
is encouraged when a competitor is not dancing.
- Competitor's number must be worn and visible
to adjudicators when performing in all competitions,
except in Championships. Use of reflective plastic
number covers is discouraged.
- Awards will be determined in proportion to the
number of entries in each competition and to the
degree of proficiency shown.
- Complaints must be in writing stating names and
other factual information and signed by the
complainant. A $25 fee must be
enclosed and presented to the Feis Chairman within
one hour of the occurrence. The fee will be returned
if the complaint is upheld.
- The Feis Committee and any organization affiliated
with same will not be held responsible for personal
injury, property loss or damage. Destruction of Feis
property or rental property will be punishable by
- The Feis reserves the right to reject any entry
for cause, to cancel all or part of the Feis and to
limit competitor's performing time. The decision
of the Feis committee is final in all matters connected
with the Feis.
- All Feiseanna must have a process to allow parents to request that
their child or children’s name(s) not be listed on the posted competitor
list prior to the day of the Feis.
- Competitors must answer all questions as required
by the Feis Entry committee, including teacher's
name, and enclose the entry fee when mailing. Failure
to do so may result in a rejected entry. Entries must
be postmarked on or before the closing date or they
will be subject to a late fee as determined by the Feis.
The status of the dancer does not change unless there are five or more dancers in a competition.
- With the exception of First Feis, Beginner 1 and
Beginner 2 (or their equivalent), photography of any
kind which has the capability of capturing a dancer’s
image while in motion is strictly forbidden. A Feis may
elect to allow in motion photography for publicity purposes,
but the pictures are considered the sole property of the Feis
and solely for Feis use only; these are not be used for personal
gain through commercial use or sale, and under no circumstances
can they be published on any website or other areas, without the
express written permission of the persons involved. Additionally,
a professional photographer may be formally contracted by a Feis
to capture non-motion photographs, such as portrait photography,
awards ceremonies, etc. and/or in motion photography provided it
is taken at a vendor station or suitable location: (a) away from
the dancing stages and, (b) requested by a consenting parent, guardian,
or dancer (over the age of 18).
- No block, en Pointe, toe walking movements,
stationary or moving is allowed to be performed for
all ages up to and including the under 12 age group.
However, after September 1 of each year an exception
is made for those dancers who are 11 dancing in the
under 12-age group.
- No substance that can become airborne should be
used on any dance floor in an attempt to improve
GRADE LEVEL RULES
- Solo competitors in First Feis (if offered),
Beginner, Advanced Beginner,
Novice or Open (Prizewinner) competitions:
With the exception of First Feis and Beginner 1, a
dancer's level is determined in each dance (Reel,
Light Jig, Single Jig, Slip-Jig, Hornpipe, Treble
Jig and Traditional Set). Traditional Set Dances
are limited to those dances determined by An
Coimisiún Le Rince Gaelacha as traditional set dances.
- Must compete in their own age group.
- Must be prepared to perform two steps in
- Cannot change competitions on the day of the
- Combining male and female dancers in any age
category is left to the discretion of each region of
the IDTANA. Competitions may be combined with the next
higher age group if there are less than 5
competitors entered. Competitions can only be
combined up (or down) one age group.
- Boys and girls CANNOT be combined EXCEPT according
to the following:
The Mid-America syllabus is to contain all grade categories. A Feis Committee may combine two or three consecutive age
categories in the highest of the age categories within that grade when less than five (5) competitors are entered.
- All Boys competitions below
Preliminary Championships shall be initially entered
in single year age groups;
- If there are less than 5 entries in any
one age group, combination of the competitions
shall be done according to the following rules,
in order of preferential application:
- Into double age groups, all boy or all
- If a double age group does not create
five or more entries, the boys shall instead
be combined into the corresponding single
year girls’ age group; and
- Any competitions so combined shall be run
as a single competition.
- Each region may determine the system for moving dancers
from one grade to another, as they see appropriate for their
region. The syllabus is to contain all grade categories. A
Feis Committee may combine two consecutive age categories into
the higher of the two categories within that grade when less than
five (5) competitors are entered. (See Rule 14, above). Competitors
have the option to remain in the same category for the remainder
of the Feis year. A dancer, at the discretion of the teacher,
may move into the next Grade (not Open Championships) without
satisfying the requirements. However, once a dancer competes in the
higher level, they can never move back to a lower category.
[except as outlined in Rule 18, above).
- Grade Levels:
- Beginner 1 (Beginner) Grade: A beginner is a competitor who has not
yet taken a full year of Irish Dance lessons, thereby giving beginners
a full year with such status. A Beginner must move into the
Beginner 2/Advanced Beginner category the next year.
- Beginner 2 (Advanced Beginner) Grade: An advanced
beginner who wins 1st, 2nd or 3rd place will advance
to the Novice category in that particular dance.
Competition dances are reel, light jig, slip jig,
traditional treble jig and traditional hornpipe,
as a minimum requirement.
- Novice Grade: A novice who wins a
1st place will advance to the Open (Prizewinner) category in
that particular dance.
- Open Grade (Prizewinner): A competitor
who does not qualify as a beginner, advanced
beginner or as a novice.
- Adult Beginner: An adult beginner is a
competitor who never took Irish dancing lessons as
a juvenile and is over 18 years of age.
- First Feis (if offered), Beginner I, and Beginner 2
are required to dance at traditional speeds. Novice and
Open/Prizewinner dancers may choose between traditional
and Oireachtas speeds.
- All regions in North America will follow this common set of speeds for
all grade competitions at feiseanna in North America (IDTANA, 1/1/17).
Beg 1 ||
Beg 2 ||
|Traditional Sets ||Traditional Speed|
St. Patrick’s Day||
Job of the Journeywork||
Three Sea Captains||
Garden of Daisies||
Jockey to the Fair||
King of the Fairies||
- First Feis, Beginner 1 and Beginner 2 perform only basic steps to
coincide with the Grade Exam Syllabus.(IDTAMA, 1/1/17).
Dancers competing in the First Feis category are limited to
participating in the
First Feis Category only. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17).
- First place winners in the Open Championship category
cannot return to a Preliminary or Open (Prizewinner) competition.
Placing in a Regional or National Oireachtas does not change the
status of a competitor. A dancer who moves into open championship
must stay a minimum of 2 years. If after 2 years they have not
placed they are allowed to return to preliminary. An open
championship dancer who places is not allowed to return to preliminary
until 2 years after their last placement. The regional syllabus where
the Feis is being held may have different qualifications for entry.
- Entrants in any Championship event may not enter
in any other (Grade) events, but may enter in Figure
Dances. Entrants in Championships should specify, on
the entry form, their choice of soft shoe, hard shoe,
and set dance. Entrants cannot change competition or
category on the day of the competition.
- Dancers must qualify for open
championship via the method now in place
for prelimiary champonship (i.e., two
first place wins)
- Dancers must compete in the
preliminary championship competition in
order to qualify for open championship.
- The regional syllabus where the feis is being
held may have different qualifications for entry.
- Preliminary Championships are open to those
who, at any NAFC recognized Feis:
- Have won 1st place in both an
open/prizewinner light and heavy shoe
- Have never won 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Open
Championship. A dancer who wins two first
place awards will move on to Open Championship
at the next Feis they enter,
or as soon as the second win is achieved, in
any age category, in the following years. Only
in the case of back-to-back Feiseanna
(successive days), in which case the first win
in the first Feis will not change the dancer's
status for the second Feis. A dancer is
required to perform a light shoe dance (reel
or slip jig for ladies and reel only for men),
and a hard shoe dance. A Feis can opt to
offer either a) a set dance or b) a jig/hornpipe.
- The regional syllabus where the Feis is being
held may have different qualifications for entry.
A Mid-America region feis may choose to combine boys and girls in
Open Championship competition
s when there are less than 5
dancers registered in a particular age category. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17)
One of the following statements MUST be in the feis syllabus:
When there are less than five dancers registered in a particular
Open Championship age category, th
e boys and girls will NOT
When there are less than five dancers registered in a particular
Open Championship age category, the boys and girls WILL be
The boys’ open championship age categories will match the girls’
ip age categories. (IDTAMA, 1/1/17)
Any competitor in Preliminary or Open Championship must have a
minimum of 8 rotations or 10 minutes between their rounds. (IDTAMA,
FIGURE/CEILI TEAM RULES
Teachers or team captains are responsible that their teams are
complete and in position when the competition is announced.
There are no restrictions on figure age groups. (Effective
Figure age groups will be determined by the oldest
8 hand teams are allowed to repeat dancers at all Mid
feiseanna in accordance with the world and regional
The length of 2 hand and 3 hand dances in competition are to
be 48 bars of music plus an 8 bar introduction.
ADJUDICATORS & MUSICIANS
- Musicians and adjudicators cannot be approached
during a competition by anyone except the Feis
Committee. No one can approach them while a
competitor is performing.
- Musicians employed by the Feis Committee will be
solely under the direction and management of the Feis
Committee on Feis Day.
- In matters pertaining to adjudication, the
decision of the adjudicators is final.
- Adjudicators are to monitor the quality of music
at the stage(s) to which they are assigned.
- Championships and
Preliminary Championships require at least three
- Each Feis is required to list their adjudicators on their syllabus and/or
website at least three weeks before the close on entries, one -
third of which are to be from outside the region where the Feis is being held.
- Make up is prohibited on a dancer in the first
three grades (First Feis (if offered), Beginner 1 and
Beginner 2 or their equivalent) up to and
including the under 12 age group.
- Any competitor found to be using artificial
carriage aids and subsequently refuses to remove same,
will be subject to disqualification from that
particular competition. Medically prescribed aids
(proof of which may be required) will be exempt
from this rule.
- Competitors in girl's competitions at the
First Feis (if offered), Beginner 1 and
Beginner 2 Grade will wear only the competitor's
dancing School costume or a skirt and blouse.
- In order to compete in Mid-America feiseanna, dancers
from the youngest age group up to and including Under 9 in all
categories must follow our regional guidelines for U8 and U9 costume rules.
Under 8 and Under 9 COSTUME RULE IN EFFECT JANUARY 2015
- The dress may be one piece or two pieces
- No animal prints
- No low cut necklines
- No decorations including rhinestones or sequins of any kind
- No reflective fabric (this does not include satin)
- No embellishments.
- Base material and appliqué materials must be solid colors
- NO plaids, stripes, patterns, flowers or reflective materials, etc.
- Any embroidery and appliqué used on the dress must be of a traditional nature.
- Length must comply with An Coimisiún
- No Jewelry
- Plain Satin Bows in the hair are allowed but bows may not be attached to the dress or used for a cape.
- Plain colored satins that do not include sequins, glitter, or crystals are permitted
- Buckles are allowed on shoes that do not include rhinestones All current school costumes are Grandfathered into the rule regardless of threads
or materials. All rhinestones would need to be removed. (Jan 2012)
- All of the above applies to headpieces, socks and shoes.
- This rule applies for Boy and Girl Solo Championships and Traditional Set Competitions at the Mid-America Oireachtas
- The above Under 8 Rule was approved to include the Under 9 age group (Jan 2012)
- Only traditional music will be accepted.
- Music classifications are reels, jigs (double,
slip, and single), hornpipe, airs, marches, and
- Electronic or amplified instruments will not be
- A tin whistle must have a metal body, a plastic
tip, and only 6 holes.
- A beginner is anyone who started playing after
January 1, 2017.
- Beginners will play one piece from the above
- Advanced competitors will play two pieces of
- Entrants may compete in only one category for
- Miscellaneous instruments may include any other