1.) The International Youth Barbershop Chorus Festival is open to male choruses of 12 or more singers
2.) The average age of the chorus must be less than 25 years old, with no singers over the age of 30
3.) Membership in the Barbershop Harmony Society is not a requirement for any competitor or director. Choruses can represent a high school or university, as well as be a combination of high school, collegiate or other singers meeting the age requirement.
4.) Each chorus will be adjudicated on three songs. Two of the three songs must be contestable by Barbershop Harmony Society contest standards (refer to the Suggested Song List, or contact the Barbershop Harmony Society with questions). The third selection can be any song sung a cappella with any number of voice parts, may be in a foreign language, and vocal percussion is permitted. No instrumentation is allowed for any of the three song selections. Certified Barbershop Harmony Society judges will be adjudicating according to Society contest rules (with allowances for the third selection).
5.) Each chorus will receive a score in three categories (Singing, Music, and Presentation, according to Society Contest Rules), as well as student critique sheets from another participating chorus.
6.) Each chorus will choose whether they would like to receive a rating (superior, excellent, etc.), or if they would like to be given a rating and ranked against other choruses in their respective plateaus (age-groups).
7.) Awards for ratings will be given to all participating choruses. For choruses choosing to be ranked as well as rated, awards will be given to the group scoring highest in their respective plateaus (age-groups). Only groups singing for rank and rating are eligible to win Plateau awards. Audience-chosen awards can be awarded to any participating chorus.
8.) Each chorus will have the opportunity to listen to at least one other chorus, and (optionally) fill out a critique sheet to be submitted to the competing chorus.
9.) With each participating chorus, no more than two-thirds of the singers on-stage can be current or past Barbershop Harmony Society members, unless they joined after the previous Youth Chorus Festival.