1. We are removing the state residency requirements for regionals. Anyone from anywhere can compete at Pro. International competitors will be allowed to compete in Pro, but only the U.S. citizens/residents are eligible to move on to Nationals. Reminder, only top 2 in each region move to Nationals for spring 2017.
2. Professionals, and those who placed 1, 2 and 3 in Level 4 in 2016, or anyone else who wants to enter, may compete in Level 5 in Dramatic, Entertainment, and Exotic. Because this group will initially be small, we will have a combined “Artistic Level 5” at most shows.
3. Masters and Grand Masters will always be separated out from Juniors and Seniors. However, Masters and Grand Masters may be combined with each other at PSO’s discretion.
4. Human props will be allowed. Human props may touch the competitor, but not the pole. Judging will be based on the skills and abilities of the competitor only, and not the skills and abilities of the human prop. Human props must have a spectator ticket to the section in order to participate as a prop.
5. Props Master is the new volunteer position that will be in charge of props, human and otherwise. The Props Master will have the ability to set and remove props, although the competitor will also have the ability to set and remove props on their own if they choose.
6. We will be moving to requiring USBs instead of CDs for back up music. The USB can be kept backstage by the competitor, but must be prepped to give to the Stage Monitor in case of technical issues. We are finally on the band wagon of technology!
7. For prizes, we will be moving to the following structure: each and every National finalist will receive either $250 or $500 at the Nationals awards ceremony. The National champions will each win an additional $500 or $1,000. The payment will be based on the number of competitors in each gender in the regional events. For example: 16 or more women in regionals will result in payments of $500 to all women finalists, and an additional $1,000 for the winner. 15 or less women in regionals will result in payments of $250 to all women finalists and an additional $500 for the winner.
We believe this prize structure will honor the hard work and dedication that every Professional finalist has done to prepare, as well as rewarding the winners.