Basic Rules and Regulations for an Official International TeaDuelling Match
Registration for a Match is compulsory.
A Match Ticket must be given to all registered Competitors.
Please take names, contact details for all Competitors, and forward these to the Foundress for filing.
Competitors MUST show their official ticket as they arrive for the competition as proof of entry, and again upon being seated in the rounds.
No ticket means no admission. No exceptions.
If a Competitor fails to be available and seated at the correct time then they will be deemed to have conceded the match and thus be eliminated from the competition. If there is more than one “no show” then the remaining Competitors will be re-seated and matches will continue, if there is one remaining Competitor then, only in the initial round, they will be declared the winner of that match and progress automatically to the next round. If this occurs within a subsequent round then one of the runners up from the previous round will be chosen by the Judge from the particular table and the match will continue as normal. If this occurs in the final then the remaining contestant will automatically be declared winner by default.
All china will be fine china, matching if possible, to ensure fairness.
The table will have upon it a fine china cup and saucer with teaspoon plus tea plate for each Competitor, a plate of Rich Tea Biscuits [minimum of 12 biscuits], a filled sugar bowl with spoon, a filled [semi-skimmed dairy, to avoid problems, please ensure that suitable non-dairy alternatives are available – TeaMaiden/s‘ responsiblity] milk jug and/or lemon.
For the semi-final and final rounds there will be a pair [one for each Competitor] of French Fancies placed upon a separate plate upon the table, between the contestants. As usual, the teapot will be brought to the table, tea poured then and removed before the start of the round.
The TeaMaiden/s is/are responsible for the overall layout, setup and maintenance of the tables, the provision of supplies to the Competitors and good appearance of the room in general.
Tea may be poured by either the/a TeaMaiden or the TimeKeeper.
The TimeKeeper will announce the imminent start of the round to allow Competitors time to complete their tea preparations.
Each round takes 3 minutes, barring the semi-final which takes 4 minutes due to the introduction of the compulsory 2 biscuits and French Fancy element. The final will take the traditional 3 minutes including the 2 biscuits and French Fancy element.
The TimeKeeper will announce the start with the words, “Ladies and gentlemen, Take Tea!”,
the one minute mark [two minute mark also in the semi-final],
30 second mark
and count down the final 5 seconds.
The round ends with the words, “Cups down, ladies and gentlemen”.
Competitors will complete their tea preparation prior to the start. Any subsequent dealing with tea will be deemed an unnecessary break of etiquette and marked accordingly.
Marking System explained
[as far as it can be!]
Each Competitor STARTS with a total of 20 points
Each biscuit consumed ADDS another 40 points
A clean cup ADDS another 50 points
Good posture ADDS 80 points
NO sticking out of the little finger at any time ADDS 50 points over all
Polite conversation and good manners ADD 100 points EACH
Sticking with the topic ADDS 50 points
Bluffing well ADDS 50 points, EACH time!
Particularly intelligent, clever, witty or amusing remarks or attitudes ADD 150 points EACH
Dunking biscuits is permissible; dropping one’s biscuit into one’s tea is an immediate disqualification.
Actual correct knowledge being dropped into the conversation ADDS 30 points
The same fact alluded to/used subsequently ADDS 10 points per mention for the next mention. Subsequent mentions DETRACTS 40 points EACH [Nobody likes a show-off!]
Not partaking of any Rich Tea biscuits DETRACTS 50 points UNLESS prior notice of allergy or similar has been given. [Prior notice must be given sufficiently ahead of time to enable suitable replacements for the Rich Tea biscuits. As biscuits are provided then not partaking of them, Rich Tea or otherwise, the 50 points deduction stands.]
Points to be deducted for LACK of above positive points, e.g. a dirty cup = MINUS 150 points, intemperate language = MINUS 200 points, a monotonous or disinterested conversation = MINUS 200 points per conversational turn.
Deductions are given at the same rate as additions, plus one hundred.
Upon the three minutes being finished, the Judge will total the points and adjourn to the Judges Huddle. The overall results will then be discussed briefly and then the Judges will return to the table and discretely inform the Competitors of their status. Tickets will be marked and the Competitors will then retire from the arena, leaving the next round to be set up.
In the unlikely event of a tie, the Judge at that table, SUBSEQUENT to the Judges Huddle, will return to the table in question, take a Rich Tea biscuit and break it before the Competitors. The win goes to the side with the larger portion.