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Contest Rules Update for LA2020


The official Barbershop Harmony Society Contest Rules will be updated prior to September 27th, 2019 in order to control the total number of quartets that will be invited to compete in the BHS International Quartet Contest held next July in Los Angeles.

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Under the old rules, Articles II & V provided for the highest scoring quartet from each of the 17 districts plus all BHS quartets that achieve a 76% or higher score to automatically qualify for the BHS International Quartet Contest. In addition, the minimum number of BHS quartets to be invited was set at 50. Affiliate quartets that qualify automatically or are invited by the BHS executive director are added and increase the total number of invited quartets well beyond 50. This has worked in the past since we’ve been scheduling three quartet quarterfinal sessions at our most recent International conventions.

However, due to venue availability issues next year in Los Angeles, it was decided that we need to reduce the number of quartet quarterfinal sessions from three to two. Therefore, a maximum target number to be invited (comprising both BHS and affiliate quartets) should not exceed 50 quartets.


  1. Article II.1.c will be updated to reduce the minimum number of BHS quartets to be invited from 50 to 40. However, it will also now require a total number of invited quartets to be at least 50. Thus, the rule extends additional BHS quartet wildcard invitations if the total number of quartets (after including affiliate quartets) is less than 50.
  2. Article V.D.3 will be updated to reflect the increase of the automatic qualifying target score from 76 to 78.


For this upcoming International preliminary quartet contest cycle, quartets will automatically qualify if they achieve a 78% or higher score, or if they are the highest scoring quartet in their District’s International preliminary contest. Additional quartets (scoring less than 78%) will also be invited in May 2020 to reach the minimum target of 40 BHS quartets and 50 total quartets if needed.

- David Mills
Society Contest & Judging Committee Chairman