Rules for 5-9 Crewmembers

Rules for 5-9 Crewmembers

Crews of 5-9 Crewmembers

Amended and effective as of January 1, 2017

The Official Rules and Regulations Manual of Hip Hop International contains the participant eligibility/entry requirements, standard procedures and the rules and regulations for competing in the Hip Hop Dance Championships presented by Hip Hop International (HHI) and its affiliates in the USA and Worldwide.

Hip Hop Dance Championships

Hip Hop International’s Hip Hop Dance Championships are competitive dance events that provide dancers with opportunities to showcase the artistry and technique of Hip Hop dance and street dance, nationally and internationally, with the chance for television and media exposure and prestigious national and world championship titles. Crews showcase their ultimate works of skill and performance in a choreographed routine. Creativity, showmanship and artistic freedom are always encouraged provided integrity, good taste and safety are not compromised.

Hip Hop Dance Defined

There is no one definition to describe hip hop dance. Hip hop dance is a fusion of street dance disciplines and cultural interpretations that capture the look, attitude, posture, music and elements of the urban environment to make it uniquely hip hop. Hip hop dance is continuously transforming and redefining itself with each new generation of dancers.

A Winning Hip Hop Dance Routine

The highest scoring hip hop dance routine according to Hip Hop International contains a variety of street dance styles, showmanship, original signature moves, engaging music and a demonstration of continuous and uninterrupted complete body (head to toe) hip hop dance choreography without overuse of gymnastic; cheer, acrobatics or overly dangerous moves.

Hip Hop International (HHI)

Hip Hop International founded in 2002 and based in Los Angeles, is the producer of multiple live and televised street dance competitions. Among them are MTV’s Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew, the USA Hip Hop Dance Championship, the World Hip Hop Dance Championship, the World Battles and Urban Moves Dance Workshops. Hip Hop International is recognized in more than 100 countries by its broadcasts on MTV and other international networks.

Hip Hop International is represented by official licensees throughout the world who respect the origins of hip hop and who conduct their events and competitions under the auspices of Hip Hop International and who qualify street dancers and dance crews to represent their country in Hip Hop International’s World Hip Hop Dance Championship and World Battles: Breaking, Popping, Locking and All Styles.

Contact Information

Mailing address: 8033 Sunset Boulevard, #920, Los Angeles, California 90046 Telephone: 323.850.3777 Fax: 323.850.7795
Email: Website: Facebook –

Twitter – YouTube – Instagram –

Entry Criteria
Eligibility and Policies
1. Crews and crewmembers must abide by the eligibility rules of HHI.
2. Participants entered into any HHI affiliated event and/or international/world events are responsible for providing accurate personal information and documentation certifying their national eligibility and dates of birth.

Number and Selection of Entrants/Crews

The event organizer determines the entry criteria for local, national and international competitions. All HHI events must be conducted using the Hip Hop International Rules and Regulations. Crews participating in the World Hip Hop Dance Championship advance either from (a) national qualification rounds within their country produced by Hip Hop International licensees, (b) selections by HHI international representatives and/or (c) by special invitation from HHI. A country in the World Hip Hop Dance Championship may enter up to three (3) crews in each age division.

Note: In the event one or all of the qualified national crews cannot, for whatever reason(s), attend the World Hip Hop Dance Championship then the crew(s) next in line, according to the national final scores, can be selected by the Director to represent their country.

Composition of a Crew and MegaCrew*

A crew consists of a minimum five (5) to a maximum of nine (9) members. The members of the crew may be made up of any combination of males and females within the defined age divisions.

A MegaCrew consists of a minimum fifteen (15) to a maximum of forty (40) members. The members of the MegaCrew may be made up of any combination of males and females and all ages.

* see Official HHI Rules and Regulations – MegaCrew

World Championship Participation Policy

Dancers and dance crews registered and accepted to compete in the HHI World Hip Hop Dance Championship and World Battles (the HHI events) may not participate, compete or perform in another hip hop/street dance competition/event conducted in the USA during the time period commencing 15 days prior to the start of the HHI events through 15 days following completion of the HHI events unless authorized by HHI.

Crew Age Divisions

Junior: Ages seven (7) to twelve (12)
Varsity: Ages thirteen (13) to seventeen (17)
Adult: Ages eighteen (18) and older
Example: A 12-year-old turning 13 within the competition year (by 12/31) may compete in the Junior or Varsity division. Likewise a 17-year-old turning 18 within the competition year (by 12/31) can compete as a Varsity or Adult.

MegaCrew Age Divisions

There are no age restrictions – all ages may participate within a MegaCrew.

Age Requirement

1. Each Participant’s proof of age must be validated by submitting to the event organizer, prior to a local or national competition, a government issued ID (a current driver’s license, birth certificate copy, and/or passport) indicating date of birth. For international/world competition a copy of a birth certificate and/or passport are required.
2. A crewmember whose age falls between two age divisions in the competition year (ending December 31) may compete in either division within that year.

3. Only up to two members in a crew may compete up into an older age division but no crewmember may compete in a younger age division.

Note: Failure to correctly provide proof of national eligibility, ages and dates of birth may result in disqualification,

suspensions, and/or other severe penalties deemed necessary by HHI.

In an instance where there are no qualifying crews able to attend the World Hip Hop Dance

Championship, the HHI licensee may nominate another crew pending HHI approval.


Participation Limit

A crewmember may not compete in more than one (1) crew per age division per competition.

Nationality Requirements

1. Each crewmember must be a citizen or resident of the country they represent.
2. Proof of citizenship must be validated prior to competition by the event organizer.
3. A crewmember declaring residency must reside within the country a minimum of six months and must be able to provide official documentation to support such a declaration.
4. A crewmember may not compete for more than two (2) countries within three (3) consecutive years.

Forms and Releases

1. Entrants must complete and sign all forms, including but not limited to registration, music, and insurance information. The forms must be returned prior to the registration deadline to the national HHI affiliate office with the appropriate registration fees or registration may be denied.
2. Release of Liability: Each crewmember must sign and submit a release of liability form prior to the competition, releasing HHI, the organizer, their agents, officers, staff and sponsors from liability for any accident or injury occurring to a crewmember prior to, during, or after a HHI event or competition.

3. Release of Likeness: All crews must sign a release of likeness form permitting HHI and the competition organizer, agents or sponsors to film, videotape, and/or record the crews performance(s) and event participation for use in all forms of television, motion pictures, home video, internet, social media, radio, press releases, media, public relations, and other promotion/media vehicles whether now known or hereafter devised.

Pre-Event – Entry Changes, Additions, Substitutions

For circumstances beyond the control of the crewmember(s), including situations effecting defending champions,

substitutions of the original members in the crew may be made. A maximum of 2 substitutions will be permitted for

crews consisting of 5 to 6 crewmembers and a maximum of 3 substitutions for crews comprised of 7 to 9 crewmembers.

A crew may also elect not to substitute its missing crewmember(s) as long as the crew does not go below five (5)

members. The event organizer and/or the competition Judiciary Director must be notified and approve of the changes. A

crew may increase in size by adding more crewmembers if done so prior to the registration deadline and provided the

crew does not exceed nine (9) crewmembers. The national HHI office/director must be notified of the change.

During Event – Entry Changes, Additions, Substitutions

Crewmember substitutions or additions once a competition event has begun are not permitted except for reasonable and

justifiable cause. A substitution/addition of a member(s) within the crew may not be made without prior notice given and

an approval received by the Judiciary Director, head judge and/or championship organizer. An additional registration fee

will be required for each substitution/addition permitted.

Crewmember Suspension/Disqualification

Falsification of personal information and/or of national eligibility documents by a crew, crewmember or representative

resulting in ineligibility or the substitution/addition of a crewmember(s) without approval is subject to disqualification,

suspension and/or other severe penalties deemed necessary by HHI.

Competition Performance Order

Preliminary round – randomly selected order
Semifinal round* – reverse order of preliminary round scores
Final round – reverse order of semifinal round scores
*A semifinal round is conducted upon the decision of the competition organizer.

Competition Order of Appearance

Junior Division
Varsity Division
Adult Division
MegaCrew Division
Note: The competition organizer(s) may change the order of appearance with notice to the crews.


Competition Floor for Crews of 5-9 crewmembers

The standard competition floor is 30’ x 30’ (9.1 meters x 9.1 meters). The competition organizer may adjust the size of the performance floor and must notify all participants in advance of the competition. Under no circumstance will the competition floor be less than 20’ deep x 30’ wide (6.1 meters x 9.1 meters).


Attire may include accessories such as hats, caps, gloves, scarves, jewelry, etc. Removing pieces of clothing during the performance is permitted provided it is not offensive or out of character. Discarded clothing should be placed outside the competition area and never thrown off the stage into the audience. Appropriate under garments must be worn by all crewmembers both male and female, at all times. Clothing too short and/or too tight will be scrutinized and may be deemed inappropriate especially for overexposure of certain areas of the body and/or age appropriateness. Body oils or other substances applied to the body or clothing that may affect the clean dry surface of the stage and the safety of fellow competitors are prohibited. Crews may wear dance/stomp boots, street shoes, sneakers or athletic sport shoes. All footwear must have clean, non-scuff soles. Tap shoes, jazz shoes, certain high-heeled shoes and bare feet are prohibited. *Note: see page 7 – Street Presence/Attire


Props that are not considered an integral part of a crew’s “attire” are prohibited (e.g. canes, chairs, lights, backpacks, musical instruments and others). Kneepads or other apparatus to aid in the safety and proper execution of a move is allowed but concealed, when possible, so as not to detract from the performance or the judges’ concentration on the performance. When in doubt contact Hip Hop International for clarification.

Medical Attention

1. It is the responsibility of the crew, coach or crew administrator to report a crewmember’s injury or illness to the event organizer(s).
2. If at any time prior to or during competition a crewmember is ill, injured, or his/her physical or emotional condition is at risk by participating, he/she may be declared ineligible to compete, or disqualified from competing further. The competition organizer(s), Judiciary Director and/or Head Judge reserves the right to withdraw any competitor who appears to have such serious disability or injury or needs medical attention.

3. The competition organizer(s) reserves the right to request the submittal of a physician’s written authorization for a crewmember to compete who is deemed medically or emotionally at risk by the competition organizer.

Technical Equipment/Sound and Lighting

1. The audio/visual equipment must provide professional standard sound and lighting quality for the crews and spectators. 2. The event should include an amplifier, mixing board, CD player and a minimum of four (4) sound speakers: two (2) on stage directed at the performers, and two (2) directed to the audience.
3. Speed control (pitch) of the musical equipment is not guaranteed.

Performance Music Requirements

1. The routine must be performed, in its entirety, to music selected, prepared and provided by the crews. The competition organizer(s) will not provide the crews’ music.
2. Music length for Junior Crews: The length of recorded music for a junior crew routine is one minute thirty seconds (1:30) with a five (5) second (plus or minus) grace period. Music length for Varsity and Adult Crews: The length of recorded music for varsity and adult crews is two minutes (2:00) with a five (5) second (plus or minus) grace period.

3. A crew is expected to include a segment of continuous music, uninterrupted by edits or sound effects, within their routine to obtain the highest possible score from the judges. The music for junior crews should include one segment of a minimum of twenty (20) seconds of continuous, uninterrupted music placed anywhere in the routine. The music for Varsity and Adult crews should include at least one segment of a minimum of thirty (30) seconds of continuous, uninterrupted music placed anywhere in the routine.
4. A crew’s competition music must be recorded on a CD or USB flash drive and be the only piece of music recorded on the device (unless specified differently by the event organizer).
5. The device must be in good condition. It is a crew’s responsibility to keep a back-up device available at all times for use.
6. The crew name and division must be identified on the device. The crew’s country must also be included for World Championship participants.
7. There is no maximum or minimum number of songs or recordings that may be used in the routine.

Note: the judging panel concludes that fewer songs may be preferable over multiple music selections/mixes allowing for greater crew focus on continuous dancing.
8. Sound effects and original compositions are permitted. Crews are highly cautioned and advised against the music becoming too complex with too many edits, sound effects or songs preventing them from exhibiting a clean and continuous dance performance.

9. The competition music must not contain inappropriate, lewd or offensive language.
10. Music edits or changes – A crew may edit or substitute its initial music when advancing from one round to another. The change/edit must be made and provided to the competition organizer within the allotted time permitted by the competition organizer. During the USA and the World Hip Hop Dance Championship the cut-off time for music (CD or USB) substitution or change is no less than three (3) hours prior to the start of the semifinal rounds and no less than ten hours prior to the start of the final round of competition. No changes or edits will be accepted beyond this time period. 11. Crews may be required to provide the following music information in writing to the competition organizer(s) prior to the event for each song used in the routine.
a. Title, b. Artist, c. Composer, d. Publisher, e. Recording Company
12. Due to varying copyright laws, the competition organizer(s) do not guarantee that a crew’s music will be used at live events, on television, film or theatrical broadcasts or other distribution mediums. The competition organizer(s) reserve the right to ask the crew to replace the music for one that is acceptable or the organizer may substitute a crew’s music for another piece of music of the organizer’s choice for such situations.

Practice Rounds/Tech Rehearsal

1. Unless circumstances exist that prevent a practice round, each crew will be given the opportunity to practice (block) their routine to their music on the competition performance area (stage) at least once prior to the start of the Competition. The crew is responsible for coming to the practice round on time or it may be forfeited.

Competition Rounds

1. A competition can have up to three rounds (Preliminary, Semifinal and Final) depending on the total number of entries and the time available. The decision shall be determined by the event organizer and conveyed to all participants with ample time prior to the start of the competition.
2. When a competition consists of only two rounds (preliminaries and final) the number of crews advancing in each division of competition is based on the total number of entries, total time allocated and the decision of the event organizer using the following scale:

1-10 Crews – up to 5 plus defending champion advance to the final
11 – 15 Crews – up to 7 plus defending champion advance to the final
16+ Crews – up to 50% of the total number of crews competing plus defending champion advance to the final

When a competition consists of three rounds – preliminary, semifinal and final, the number of crews advancing from the preliminary round to the semifinal round is up to 50% of the total number competing. The number of crews advancing from the semifinal to the final round is as follows: *

Junior Crew– up to 6 including defending champion
Varsity Crew– up to 7 including defending champion
Adult Crew– up to 8 including defending champion
MegaCrew – up to 8 including defending champion
* An announcement will be made prior to the start of the competition advising all crews of the number of crews to advance to the semifinal and/or final rounds. Note: The competition organizer (in the World Championship ONLY) may alter the number of advancing crews in any round based on just cause and sound judgement.

The World Hip Hop Dance Championship is conducted in three (3) rounds of competition – preliminary, semifinal and final.

Routine Changes

A crew may re-choreograph or change their original routine when advancing from one round of competition to another.


Competition Performance Order

1. Performance order for the Preliminary round is determined by a random computer drawing conducted by the event organizer.
2. The performance order for the Semifinals is determined by the outcome of the Preliminary rounds in reverse order.
3. The Final round of the competition will include the crews who qualified in the semifinals plus the defending champion(s)*, when applicable. The defending champion(s) will automatically advance to the Final round without having to compete in the Preliminary round. However, the defending champion(s) must perform their routine in the Semifinal round and receive a score. The defending champions placement order in the Final round is last to compete.

*The defending champion(s) may return to defend their title. The defending champion(s) is the winning “gold medal” crew from the previous year’s championship.

The Championship – General Rules and Criteria
The Routine’s Length
Junior Division: The routine’s length for junior crews is one minute thirty seconds (1:30). A grace period of five (5) seconds, plus or minus, is allowed resulting in a minimum of one minute twenty-five seconds (1:25) and a maximum of one minute thirty-five seconds (1:35).

Varsity and Adult Divisions: The routine’s length for varsity and adult crews is two (2) minutes. A grace period of five (5) seconds plus or minus is allowed resulting in a minimum of one minute fifty-five seconds (1:55) and a maximum of two minutes five seconds (2:05).

Timing begins with the first audible sound (includes cueing beep) and ends with the last audible sound. Routine length (music) that is less than (<) one minute fifty-five seconds (1:55) or is greater than (>) two minutes five seconds (2:05) for varsity and adult and is less than (<) one minute twenty-five seconds (1:25) or is greater than (>) one minute thirty-five seconds (1:35) for junior crews will result in a deduction.

Scoring the Routine

The Hip Hop Crew routine is evaluated according to the Performance and Skill criteria for the highest possible total score of 10 points.

Performance criteria and point value:

Performance = 50% or five points of the total score

The judges will reward routines for incorporating unique and original/creative moves, (hip hop dance styles), good usage of the stage, formations, showmanship, intensity and street appearance resulting in an entertaining routine that evokes emotional response.

Creativity (10%)

Choreographing and presenting your routine in a unique and one of a kind way with signature moves and combinations of moves that are yours alone. Original ways to go to the floor, getting up from the floor, transitions and music editing that sets you apart from the other routines. Be special, different and fresh with all aspects of your routine.

Staging, Spacing, Formations, and Level changes (10%)

The crew must demonstrate awareness of spacing between the members through a full range of unique, complicated and challenging formations, interactive partner moves and patterns. The full use of stage will also be considered. The routine should include three (3) levels of movement (low/mid/high) utilizing arm, hand, leg, foot, torso, and head movements with transitions that are creative and unpredictable.

Showmanship: Intensity, Confidence, Projection & Presence (10%)

The routine contains dynamic movements from beginning to end by the crew as a whole and as individuals containing minimal pauses and poses. During featured performances by one or more members of the crew, the remaining members must continue performing movements that add to the overall intensity of the routine. Projection of the crewmembers is consistently strong throughout the entire routine with an uninterrupted display of confidence measured by facial expression, eye contact and body movement. The crewmembers should perform with enthusiasm, passion and a “natural” ability to “sell it” on stage.


Street Presence/Attire (10%)

Street presence is the ability of the crewmembers to demonstrate an authentic and uninhibited representation of hip-hop dance. Street presence includes attitude, energy, posture and street style. Clothing and accessories worn should represent and reflect the real character and natural style of the urban street environment with a unique look that sets the crew apart. Crewmembers do not have to be dressed identical or similar. Individuality of dress is encouraged. Crews may wear stylized clothing representing their routine’s theme. Theatrical costumes and masks are not typical of the urban street (e.g., storybook characters, animals, Halloween costumes, etc.) and are not recommended. When in doubt contact Hip Hop International for clarification.

Entertainment Value/Audience Appeal (10%)

Crewmembers and their routine should connect with the audience and evoke emotional responses, i.e., excitement, joy, laughter, involvement and /or sense of drama relative to the style presented. The routine should leave a memorable and lasting impression.

Skill criteria and point value:

Skill = 50% or five points of the total score

The judges will evaluate the execution and difficulty of the style(s) performed; popping, locking, breaking, hip hop, house, etc. The judges will consider the quality of movement throughout the routine, including arm, leg and body placement, combinations of three levels-floor, standing and air, and synchronization of the crewmembers.

Musicality (10%)

Performance and choreography corresponding to timing and music usage and the crew’s ability to perform simultaneously to the music. Movements and patterns performed to the simulated sounds of the crewmembers in the absence of recorded music (e.g., foot stomping, hand clapping, vocals, etc.) will also be considered musicality and judged similarly. Musicality – Beat Technique/Syncopation – The movements within the routine must demonstrate musical structure and style, i.e., using rhythmic variations emphasizing upbeat, downbeat, tempo and accents in single, double, halftime and syncopated musical patterns.

Musicality – Moves Related to Music – Staying in time with the music, moving to the beat of the music, and using identifiable phrases to construct the routine’s choreography.

Synchronization/Timing (10%)

The movements of the crewmembers are performed in sync; the range of movement, speed, timing and execution of moves are performed by all members in unison. Peel off or in cannon movements are allowable.

Execution/Controlled Mobility and Stabilization (10%)

The crew must maintain control of the speed, direction, momentum and body placement throughout the routine.

Difficulty of Execution of Authentic Street Dance Styles (10%)

Difficulty is measured by the levels of ability demonstrated by all the crewmembers and the variety of styles performed. Consideration is given to the number of crewmembers who attempt and successfully complete complex choreography and who demonstrate through their variety of dance styles and their execution and understanding of the foundation and origin of hip hop/street dance.

Additional consideration and awarding of difficulty points is given to crews who perform more difficult moves with all or most of their members. Example: a crew of five who all attempt and clearly accomplish a breaking move will score higher than if one or two members attempt and complete the move. Further, if the same crew correctly performs locking, popping and breaking styles they will score higher in difficulty than a crew of 5 when they demonstrate only the breaking move correctly.

Variety of Street Dance Styles (10%)

Three (3) or more street dance styles must be “identifiably performed” in a routine for a crew to receive the maximum of 1 point or 10%

A crew “identifiably performing” two (2) street dance styles will receive a maximum of point five (.5) points.

A crew “identifiably performing” one (1) street dance styles will receive a maximum point two five (.25) points.


Crews should include in their performance a broad selection of street dance styles selected from the list provided without excessive use of the same move or patterns. A varied range of styles should be shown in the choreography of arm, leg, and body movements.

The following is a list of Street Dance Styles from early foundation to present from which crews are advised to choose from*:

Bboying/Bgirling (breaking)
V ogueing
House Dance
Party Dances or Club Dances (popular or trendy dances) Hip Hop Dance/Choreography

Traditional dance and folklore is welcome and considered part of a street dance routine.

List of Deductions
All crewmembers not on stage for the opening of the performance or for exiting during or re-entering the stage during the routine .1
Late Start – failure to appear on stage within 20 seconds of being announced .05
Grandstanding .05
Pre start – pre-performance display greater than ten (10) seconds .05
Fall trip or stumble/per occurrence – Major .1
Fall trip or stumble/per occurrence – Minor .05
False start/unsubstantiated .25
Unsubstantiated claim resulting in performance restart 1.0


Junior Division Routine length (not 1:25-1:35) .1
Varsity and Adult Division Routine length (not 1:55-2:05) .1 Contains inappropriate language .2


Lewd gestures, comments or movements .1
Excessive use of cheer, gymnastic or acrobatic moves or use of overly dangerous moves 1.0


Use of props .25
Clothing/shoes inappropriate .05
Attire not intact (untied laces /clothing articles) .05
Use of body oils, paints or other substances that affect the performance area .1 Clothing or props tossed into audience/per occurrence .05

Incidences of Extraordinary Circumstances

An extraordinary circumstance is an occurrence beyond the control of a crew that affects the crew’s ability to perform at the beginning or at any time in a routine. An extraordinary circumstance is not limited to the examples listed below and may be declared at the discretion of the Judiciary Director.
1. Incorrect music is played or cued.

2. Music problems due to equipment malfunction.
3. Disturbances caused by general equipment failures, i.e. lighting, stage, sound, etc.


4. The realization of or introduction of any foreign object or disturbance into the performance area, just before or during a performance, by an individual or means other than the crew(s).
5. Disruptions caused by venue failure or operating conditions.

Management of Extraordinary Circumstance

1. It is the responsibility of the crew to immediately stop the routine if an extraordinary circumstance occurs.*
2. The competition organizer, Judiciary Director and/or event committee will review the situation, and upon a confirming decision and correction of the problem, the crew will be reintroduced, return to the stage and restart their routine. If the crew’s claim is determined to be unfounded by the Judiciary Director, the crew will be allowed to restart the performance resulting in a 1.0 deduction taken.
3. Claim of an extraordinary circumstance presented by the crew after the routine has been completed will not be accepted or reviewed.

* In the Junior Division only the designated crew leader, can RED FLAG their crew to stop dancing if he/she feels an instance of extraordinary circumstance has occurred. If it is determined that it is the fault of the competition organizer then the crew will be permitted to perform the routine again without penalty. If it is determined to be the fault of the crew then the crew will be permitted to perform the routine again with a 1.0 deduction taken

Full Crew Start

All crewmembers must start together on stage and remain on stage for the entire duration of the routine. There is no entering or exiting the stage by crewmembers at any time. A deduction will be taken for failure to adhere to this.

Late Start

A crew who fails to appear on stage and strike a starting position within twenty (20) seconds after being called will be deemed a late start and receive a deduction.

Pre Start

A pre start occurs when prior to taking the start position; the crew demonstrates excessive introductions or displays for longer than ten (10) seconds after all crewmembers have entered the stage. A deduction will be given.

False Start

A false start is a movement made by one or more crewmembers prior to or directly after the opening signal/beep/start of music that causes the crew to request a restart.

No Show

A crew who fails to appear on the stage and initiate the starting position within sixty (60) seconds after being called will be declared a “no show” and disqualified.


Grandstanding is excessive post performance display or posing at the end of the routine. A deduction will be given.


1. Major Fall

a. A Crewmember(s) falls from a lift or support that is unrecoverable.
b. A Crewmember falls during the performance that is unrecoverable.
2. Minor Fall
a. A highly noticeable, accidental error during the performance that is recoverable.
b. A Crewmember stumbles, trips, or falls during the performance that is recoverable.

Judging and Scoring the Routine
Judges Panel
A panel of judges will consist of either six (6) or eight (8) persons. If extenuating circumstances exist the Head Judge/Judiciary Director and/or the event organizer may adjust the number of the judges.
1. All judges must meet the eligibility, training, judge skill level and certification requirements set forth by HHI. Judges are assigned to either the Performance or Skill position, and score in their assigned area only.


2. Local, Citywide, Regional and Open competitions; minimum number of judges required: a. Three (3) Skill judges
b. Three (3) Performance judges
c. One (1) Head Judge

3. National, International and World Class competitions; minimum number of judges required: a. Four (4) Skill judges
b. Four (4) Performance judges
c. One (1) head judge

d. One (1) Judiciary Director (World and Continental Championships)

Judges Seating at the Championship

The panel judges, Deduction Judge, Head Judge and Judiciary Director will be seated at a table placed parallel to the front of the competition stage, distanced to provide a clear and unobstructed view of each crew from “head to toe.” Adequate lighting must be provided. The Performance and Skill judges will be seated in alternating positions i.e., Performance, Skill, Performance, Skill, etc.

Duties of the Judges
1. Performance Judges
a. Evaluate and score the routine according to the Performance criteria for Hip Hop Dance Content, Creativity, Staging, Showmanship, Street Presence and Entertainment Value.

2. Skill Judges

a. Evaluate and score the routine according to Skill criteria for Hip-Hop Dance: Musicality, Synchronization, Execution, Difficulty and Variety of Street Dance Styles.

3. Deduction Judge

a. The Deduction Judge may or may not judge the crews routine. The Deduction Judge’s primary responsibility is to accurately assess the crew and the crew’s routine for any infringements of the list of deductions and immediately deduct points for such infringements.

4. Head Judge

a. The Head Judge may or may not score the crews’ routines. The Head Judge’s overall responsibilities are to facilitate and oversee the fair and accurate performance of all members of the judges’ panel and assess all discrepancies, penalties, deductions, and disqualifications. A judge may be removed and replaced from the panel by the Head Judge for due cause. The Head Judge may also assist in the judges’ training especially as it relates to the identification and demonstration of the ten (10) official street dance styles.
b. The Head Judge’s duties specific to the performance of a routine include:
i. Confirm the performance, number and proper execution of street dance styles
ii. Assess if prohibited moves are performed
iii. Assess for too much gymnastics, cheer, etc. or performance of dangerous moves
iv. Identify and evaluate minor and/or major “falls”
v. Evaluate stage entry and exit, late start, pre start, grand standing and routine interruption
vi. Assess if there are attire violations
vii. Assess music violations including inappropriate language and music length
viii. Assist in the screening and selection of judges

5. Elite Judge

An Elite judge is trained and certified to expertly function in any capacity on the judge panel. The Elite Judge’s primary responsibilities are:
i. To maintain adherence to HHI Rules and Regulations at National events year round
ii. To assist National Directors in the formulation, monitoring and leadership of Hip Hop International’s Judge panels around the world

iii. To conduct national workshops in their countries only, for anyone interested in learning about the HHI Rules and Regulations
iv. To protect the policies and procedures of HHI by ensuring transparency and fair-play at all times


6. Judiciary Director

The duties of the Judiciary Director include educating and training the judges on HHI’s Rules and Regulations and assisting the Head Judge/Deduction Judge in assessing the fair and accurate judging, scoring and results from the panel of judges. The Panel Director’s specific duties include:
i. Programming and administering the Elite Judges training and certification
ii. Managing the scheduled activities of the panel
iii. Coordinating the crew feedback sessions
iv. Programming, teaching and administering the judges’ training workshop
v. Facilitating the draw for the crew ‘s order of competition
vi. Posting the scores and results for public viewing.
vii. Screening and selection of judges
viii. Managing questions and queries
ix. Conduct post competition meeting with delegation representatives
x. Assess for too much gymnastics, cheer, etc. or performance of dangerous moves

Scoring and Ranking

1. The Preliminary and/or Semifinal score is not factored with the total score to arrive at the Final score. The Preliminary score is discarded prior to the Semifinal round and the Semifinal score is discarded prior to the Final round.
2. The Final ranking of crews is determined by their scores in the Final round only.
3. The judges’ scores will be displayed to the public following the Preliminary, Semifinal and Final rounds.

4. When deductions are given, the judges will inform the crew through a deduction card following the preliminary round of competition.
5. The final score determines the crew’s final, official ranking.

Calculating the Final Score

1. The highest possible score is ten (10).
2. In a panel of six (6) judges the Performance scores and the Skill scores will each be averaged and then totaled in the calculation of the final score. In a panel of eight (8) judges the highest and lowest Performance and Skill scores will be discarded and the remainder averaged and then totaled in the calculation of the final score.
3. Any point deductions given by the Head Judge are deducted from the total score, to equal the final score.
4. The final score shall be rounded to the nearest hundredth point.

Tie Scores

Tie scores will be broken by the following order: 1. The crew(s) with the highest Performance score 2. The crew(s) with the highest Skill score.
3. An analysis of the judges’ ordinal ranking.

Discrepancies in the Rules and/or Competition

1. Any problem or discrepancy during a competition will be brought to the attention of the competition organizer who will address it with the Head Judge, Judiciary Director and/or event committee, and the respective decision(s) made will be final.
2. Misinterpretation due to the translation or interpretation of the rules will be resolved according to the English version. In the event of any discrepancy, the English version of the most current rules will stand.


Protests are prohibited and will not be accepted regarding any score or result of a decision.

Awards Ceremony

The competition will conclude with a ceremony honoring the crews with the highest total scores. Medals, trophies, ribbons, and/or prizes will be awarded to at least the top three crews in each category of competition.


Composing the Routine
What to Consider in the Development of Your Routine
To develop a winning routine CAREFULLY choose street dance styles that best represent your crew’s strong points and the flavor of its personality. Crews are encouraged to be fresh, imaginative and innovative in their choreography and to follow their own style and identity.

Avoid following or being influenced by past World Champions’ routines. There is no distinct model for a winning routine. What is considered unique and special one year may be considered overused the next year. HHI judges seek performances that are different, new, original and showcase a variety of authentic urban street dance styles. Be yourself and express your crew’s diversity with passion, intensity and style.

A winning routine must include an ample amount of dance. Do not make the mistake, of using too many songs and incorporating too many sound effects as it often inhibits dance performance. Editing the music excessively or adding too many sound effects can prohibit phrasing, 8 counts and musicality. The songs in a routine are meant to leave a lasting impression or express a musical theme allowing for clean uninterrupted dance. Over usage of edits and sound effects often leads to a no music no dance outcome. Be cautious and preserve the musicality of your routine.

When performing the 20± seconds and 30± seconds of continuous and uninterrupted music segments of a routine, crews are encouraged to showcase choreography using continuous upper and lower body dance movement throughout the segment. This is a minimum – crews may extend this throughout the performance.

Frequently overlooked or forgotten by crews is finding “The Groove”. The groove is the dancer’s reaction to the beat and the undertone of the music. It helps a dancer to improvise and express their dancing more from the inside out. The groove exists in all types of music and dance and certainly within all styles of street dance. It’s what makes the dance “funky”. Find the groove in your music and express it in your crew’s routine. It’s another opportunity to showcase the dance and be rewarded by the judges.

Crews should be cautious to not overload the routine with an abundance of street dance styles. Concentrate on including fewer styles and execute them correctly rather than performing more with the possibility of poor execution. Remember that the maximum number of street dance styles that can earn Variety points in a routine is three.

Judges will assess the abilities of the crew through the weakest crewmember. Crews should be aware that having a younger member that isn’t clearly as strong as his/her crewmembers may lower the crew’s overall score.

The inclusion of a reasonable usage of traditional (cultural) dances and folklore to enhance individuality and further identify the crew is allowable and welcomed – examples: Salsa, Capoeira, Bollywood, etc..

Moves performed in a routine (that require preparation into the move e.g., back flip) will be considered tricks with no values awarded unless they are preceded, followed and integrated within the hip hop dance choreography. The inclusion of TRICKS (a practice established by the use of specialized skills representative of a particular field of activity which does not conform to hip hop dance e.g., gymnastics) may add to the overall production of a routine, but may not place it higher than another crew’s routine. No special points will be awarded for the inclusion “specifically “of tricks but using them to heighten the routine’s theme, personality and excitement is an allowable risk.

Originating and utilizing one of a kind “signature moves” to increase creativity and crowd appeal is encouraged. The inclusion of a SIGNATURE MOVE (a difficult, dexterous, or clever act designed to amuse intrigue and/or amaze, which involves the majority of the crewmembers at the same time) will enhance a routine and increase a score if executed well and is relevant to the overall interpretation of a routine. The creation and use of a signature move will help to identify a crew from the other crews. Crews are cautioned however to limit the number of signature moves in a routine since the set up time to perform them may take away from the time needed to perform a proper amount of hip hop dance choreography needed for a high scoring routine.

Crews are permitted to use more than one routine or variations of the same routine at an HHI championship event. Keeping the routine fresh when performed in front of the same panel of judges throughout preliminary, semifinal and final rounds is acceptable and encouraged.