Competitions General Rules



1.    All competitions are club competitions, except where otherwise stated. All competitors must be affiliated members of Macra na Feirme at all stages of any competition.

2.     It is the duty of county/regional executives to ensure all competitors and their clubs are affiliated. This information is available to a designated officer in each county/region through the Macra database (MIAMI).

3.     If requested, a competitor must produce a current Macra na Feirme membership card.

4.     A competitor may only compete for the branch to which s/he is affiliated (except in Senior Debating, Impromptu Debating, Capers and Drama where rainbow teams are allowed).

5.     Any team found to have a competitor under the age of 17 or over the specified age for that competition will be automatically disqualified. The Macra na Feirme National Competitions Sub-Committee reserves the right to ask for a birth certificate from any competitor before a competition and failure to produce same by a specified date will result in automatic disqualification.

6.     A competitor or substitute can only represent one team within a particular competition in any one year.


7.     Only two substitutes per team are allowed over all stages of the competition, except where stated.

8.     The name, branch and membership number of substitutes must be submitted to the Presiding Officer at the time that all team members must report for the competition.

9.     Any substitute must fulfill the same conditions and rules as all other competitors in that competition. However, a substitute need only be affiliated prior to the date of the previous round of the competition or, in the case of the first round of a competition, on the national closing date.

10.   When eligibility for team members to compete in the following year is being considered, a substitute who competes in any round of a competition but does not compete in the national final will be eligible to compete the following year, provided s/he adheres to all of the other rules governing that competition.


11.   To transfer from one branch to another, a member must have their membership details transferred by National Office and the written approval of the county/regional executive to which the old branch is affiliated.

12.   For the purpose of competitions, transfer of members from one branch to another is allowed only once during the Macra affiliation year.

13.   Students at third-level colleges can compete in the county rounds of a particular competition for their home club and their college club provided they are not in the same county. A student cannot represent two clubs in the national round of a competition.


14.   Entry must be completed through the MIAMI database accompanied by the proper entry fee and must be received in National Office on or before the specified closing date for the competition.

15.   Each county will designate one officer at the start of the year to be responsible for entries and liaising with National Office re: same.

16.   Entries no longer require membership numbers.

17.   Entries will be invalid if they do not include the team/participant contact details.

18.   Faxes will not be accepted as a valid form of entry.

19.   Late entries for competitions are accepted up to five working days after the official closing date for the competition. Late entries must be accompanied by a €60 late entry fee.

20.   Any county that submits a late entry, within the allowed late entry time, will forfeit the right to the standard notice in all competitions.



21.   Where the rainbow team rule applies, a county/region can only enter one team per competition.

22.   Where there is a club entry, a county/region cannot enter a rainbow team.


23    At sign in prior to a competition, each competitor must sign in personally.

24    Five per cent of a team or competitor’s total marks will be deducted from each score sheet if any team member or competitor fails to sign in to the Presiding Officer at the venue on or before the appointed time.

25.   All members of a team must sign in for sign in to be complete and valid.

26    A team or competitor being more than a half an hour late for sign in will be disqualified.

27.   Once a county has submitted an entry to National Office for a competition, any subsequent withdrawal from that competition will result in a fine to the county. These fines can amount  up to €150, depending on the amount of notice given and the competition in question.

28.   If a team progresses to the next round of a competition and that round takes place on the same night, then any late arrival penalties will only be applied to the score sheet of the initial round taking place that night.

29.   Counties with outstanding competition debts will be ineligible to enter national competitions where debts are 30 days end-of-month overdue.

30.   Monthly statements will be issued to counties from National Office.


31.   In competitions where there is more than one national round, at least two of the judges must not reside in or be a Macra member of any of the participating counties.

32.   In all matters relating to adjudication, the decision of the judge(s) is final.

33.   After each competition, the score sheets will be checked by the Presiding Officer and any errors will be brought to the attention of the judge(s) for correction. In the event of a tie as a result of penalties incurred, the original decision of the judge(s) will stand.

34.   The Presiding Officer will decide the result in accordance with the rules and announce it.

35.   The judges’ score sheet will not be available to competitors immediately after the competition. They will be available from National Office on request.

36.   The judge(s), Presiding Officer and scorekeepers will be appointed by the National Competitions Sub-Committee or National Office. The Presiding Officer will be a member of the National Competitions Sub-Committee where practicable.

37    The National Competitions Committee reserves the right to rectify a result, where an error or omission has been detected.


38.   Competitors should maintain standards of safety when participating in competitions so that there is no danger to themselves or the general public. Competitors, who persist in unsafe practices, after a warning has been given by the Presiding Officer, will be liable for disqualification at the discretion of the Presiding Officer.


39.   Information Communication Technology (ICT) devices are not permitted to be used while competing in competitions, with the exception of Capers and Drama where ICT devices can be used as a prop only. If a competitor is found using an ICT device while a competition is in progress then the team/individual will be disqualified.


40.   It is the responsibility of the Presiding Officer to sign in teams, be timekeeper, act as Master of Ceremonies, check score sheets, deduct penalties where necessary, and announce a result. The Presiding Officer may appoint assistants to carry out some of these duties. In the event of a competitor feeling ill or a power failure or other major problems occurring when a competition is in progress, the Presiding Officer, at his/her discretion, may adjourn the competition.


41.   Any objection arising out of a national round of a competition must be lodged in writing, with a fee of €60, with the committee responsible for organising the competition, within three working days of the competition taking place or of the results being announced.

42.   Each objecting branch will be offered the opportunity to present their case orally. The objecting branch may be represented by: one county/regional officer and two branch members – officers or team members. Only these people may attend and they will be given a maximum of 10 minutes, including questions, to present their case further to their written objection.

43.   All parties involved in an objection will have the opportunity to speak on their own behalf, thus ensuring that all sides of the argument are heard, resulting in a fair and just decision being made.

44.   The €60 will be refunded if the objection is upheld.

45.   In the case of national competitions, all appeals will be heard by the National Executive.


46.   In counties where regional committees exist, the term ‘county’ may be interpreted as ‘region’, at the discretion of the county executive, in the rules of the competition.


47.   If the National Competitions Sub-Committee finds a deliberate breach of the General Rules there will be a fine of €60 in addition to any other penalties.


48.   The National Council of Macra na Feirme reserves the right to alter, cancel, interpret or amend the rules, marking systems, times, formats and lists of subjects for any competition at any time without prior notice and their decision is final.


Aggregate scoring is used to determine the result of a competition where there are multiple score sheets and/or multiple judges. It is the fairest way to find a result in these cases as judges marking can vary. 

This is an explanation and example of how aggregate score usually works. In Macra na Feirme competitions aggregate scoring is used in six different events:

Public Speaking

Impromptu Public Speaking


Impromptu debating



Aggregate scoring works by taking the sum of each team’s placing from each judge and the team with the lowest total will be deemed the winners.


Double check the judges’ totals and apply any appropriate penalties. Work out the final total for each team. 


Apply the placings as per the following rules. The team with the highest total will get a 1, the next highest will get a 2 etc. If two teams have the same total, they will both be given the same placing. If this happens, the next placing is skipped and you continue on from the next placing. 


When you have applied the placings, you must now total the placings of each of the teams. 


The team with the lowest total are deemed the winners. If there is a tie at this point, apply the competition specific rules to determine your winner. See Fig 4.

As both teams have a 12, Canberra are deemed to be 4th as they have the next highest placing, i.e. a 4.

In the Farm Skills competitions, the placings in each skill are totalled to get an overall result.