- School/college: only schools and colleges that have registered with Poetry By Heart and confirmed the results of their in-school competition by 15 March 2013 are eligible to send their competitors forward to the county rounds of the competition. Register via email@example.com.
- Year group: only students currently enrolled in a school/college in England in Years 10, 11, 12 or 13 are eligible for progression to county Poetry By Heart competitions.
- Progression: a student may not advance to the county round without competing in a lower-level competition at school or college.
- Anthology: all poems must be selected from the Poetry By Heart anthology available online at www.poetrybyheart.org.uk.
- School/college competition: students must perform 2 poems from the Poetry By Heart anthology – one published before 1914 AND one published in or after 1914.
- County contest: students must perform 2 poems from the Poetry By Heart anthology – one published before 1914 AND one published in or after 1914. These may be the same poems as performed in the school/college competition, or different.
- National finals: students must perform 3 poems from the Poetry By Heart anthology – one published before 1914 AND one published in or after 1914 AND one poem from either period that is 25 lines or fewer. These may be the same poems as performed in the county contest, or different.
- School/college: schools/colleges must hold a competition by 15 March 2013, of at least 3 students, to select their champion. If that champion is unable to attend the next level of competition, the runner-up should be sent.
- Judging criteria: students must be judged according to the Poetry By Heart judging criteria on pages 27-29 of the Coordinator’s handbook and also available on this website.
- Judging process: rankings must be based solely on judging sheets submitted by judges during the competition. Judges must not discuss performances during the competition or reconsider their scores after they are submitted.
- Scoring: scoring is cumulative. The scores from all rounds must be added together to determine the winner.
- Ties: in the event of a tie, the tied student with the highest overall performance score wins; if a tie remains, the tied student with the highest accuracy score wins. If a tie still remains, students must recite 1 poem again for a separate tie-break score.
- Props: students may not use props, music or costumes during their recitations.