PART I: PUNTIFICATORS
Prepared Pun Puntificators will open the evening with Original punning on a topic of their choosing - Please keep it to 2 minutes maximum. This is a non-judged portion of the evening.
PART II: PUNSLINGERS
Punslingers will battle fellow punsters in rounds of freestyle punning on a given category following a full audience warm-up. Last person standing gets an official handmade trophy, in addition to bragging rights (if you can call 'em that...). For the glory!
First round: Round Robin in one category with all pre-registered Punslingers. If there's room in the line-up the judge will call for on-the-spot slingers to join. This group will be reduced in number and split into two smaller groups.
Second Round(s): Two groups, each with their own category, will be further reduced in number.
Final Round: The final category is decided by the audience in a tip battle at the bar. The finalists battle it out until we have our winner!
Wait! What is a pun?!
The humorous use of a word or words in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications
- OR - the use of words that have the same or nearly the same sound but different meanings.
RULE ONE: Each contestant will have five beats to deliver a pun on the topic. If you haven’t started to deliver by that time you will be out. You then have 30 seconds to deliver. Extra-long set-ups are not usually necessary to get to the pun. Going over the time gets you a Yellow card (see below).
RULE TWO: Yellow card, Red card
Many a fine sport involves the use of yellow cards (a warning) and red cards (player sent off) includingfútbol, canoe polo, badminton, fencing, bandy, and now competitive punning.
First round - 1 Yellow card, then Red = you are out
Second round - 1 Yellow card, then Red = you are out
Final round - Sudden Death round, Red card = you are out
Unless time permits! Then we will keep 1 Yellow in the final.
*Your cards reset every round.
HOW TO GET CARDED
- You deliver something that's wordplay but not a pun (you'll then have 5 beats to immediately try again. Best have one ready in your back pocket, slingers!)
- You pun on a word already used that round (5 beats to try again)
- You go off topic (5 beats to try again)
- You go over the 30 second time limit
*A NOTE ON TOPICS/CATEGORIES: The judges reserve the right to further define or narrow the category during any round of play. If you push the boundaries of the category, be forewarned - push too far and you will make the judge add restrictions to the category. It’s okay to test the boundary - the first time will pass without a yellow card.
RULE THREE: The "Hillary" Rule
You must use the majority of the syllables in the word in the pun.
2 syllable word = use both
3 or more syllables = use the majority
It's HILLARYous when you use as many syllables as you can.
OFFICIAL SOMETIMES-ENFORCED (WHEN THE PUNNING IS JUST SO DAMN GOOD THAT THIS HAS TO BE HARDER OR ELSE WE WILL NEVER GO HOME) EXTRA-ADVANCED RULES:
- Made up names: Clearly you made up that proper noun in order to force the pun.
- The "Kenny Cloggins" Rule of Forced Rhymes: You can't get away with just substituting the first letter (or adding a letter to the beginning) of the word that you’re purporting to pun on (for example, the category is shoes and you say "My favorite musician is Kenny CLOGgins").
- The "Reese's" Rule: Watch the derivatives, acronyms and abbreviations. Examples - once "Reese's Pieces" has been used, "Reese's" is out. Once "HR" has been used, "Human Resources" is out. Once "happy" has been used, "happiness" is out.
*Disclaimer: Judging puns is a very silly idea.
The yellow card in action
Sometimes the judges need to ban certain types of words in order to keep a category constrained. The first time goes without a card. But here, a contestant made the same offense just after the judge had set up a ban-an'-a yellow card was issued.