These are the rules for the Nation Song Contest's participants.
- The Nation Song Contest (NSC) is an online parallel to the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in a dedicated sub-forum on escforums.com.
- The purpose of the contest is to stimulate the output of original songs of high quality in the field of popular music, by encouraging competition among nations through the international comparison of their works.
- The contest takes place indefinitely over multiple sequential editions. Editions are named in numerical order.
- An edition of the Nation Song Contest takes place over three following events, each lasting a minimum of one week:
- A sign-up period where all eligible nations confirm their participation by sending an entry to the host. Nations are required to sign up during this time to participate or they will have to wait until the next edition.
- Two simultaneous Semi-Finals with the participating entries split between them, sans the prequalifying top six of the previous edition, with a maximum of 27 entries each.
- A final consisting of the top ten entries from the results of each semi-final, one wild card from each semi-final chosen by the rest jury and the top six placed nations of the previous edition’s final.
- Once an edition has ended and the final results have been revealed, the next edition commences immediately as soon as the host starts confirmation.
- The contest’s participants consist of nations. A nation in NSC is an imaginary country run by a member of the forums of escunited.com.
- A single nation may be run by multiple users, but any single user may only be part of one nation at a time. Nations are limited to one per computer/IP address, meaning additional family members, roommates or anyone else on a shared connection with an existing user may not participate separately.
- To participate, a nation is required to have at least a name and a flag. Any further details about the nation, including currency, capital city, demographic data etc., are optional but encouraged.
- Any nation name may only be used once and can not be taken by anyone else. This includes the names of historical nations no longer participating. Returning nations may reuse their old name if run by the same user.
- Only nations listed on the official roster may sign up for an edition of the contest. The roster has a maximum capacity of 60 nations and new nations may only join the roster when spots are available.
- If the roster is full, new entrants may sign up for the waiting list (see below).
- A nation is removed from the roster either by formal withdrawal by its user or failure to confirm participation for two consecutive editions. Exceptions to the two-edition rule are given for extended vacations or similar scenarios if the user informs any moderator of this prior to leaving.
- A past nation removed from the roster may return to the contest in the future but is subject to the same waiting list duties and limitations as new nations.
- Members of the waiting list are applicant nations on queue to join the roster. A waiting list nation does not count as an official nation and does not have the same privileges as nations already on the roster.
- Waiting list nations are promoted to the status of official nation when spots are available on the roster. First application in line is given first priority.
- A waiting list nation may not participate in the contest until they’ve been promoted to full status, but are able to vote by means of rest juries for semi-finals and waiting list juries for finals (both detailed in sections below).
- While rest jury voting is optional, voting in the final’s waiting list jury is compulsory for waiting list members. Failure to vote in a final leads to the application being taken down two positions on the list. Failure to vote in two consecutive finals leads to the application being removed from the list completely.
- 5. If a nation on the roster has missed confirming and is therefore subject of removal if they fail to confirm in the next edition, the waiting list nation on top of the list may send a reserve entry to that edition. If then the old nation fails to confirm and is removed, the waiting list nation is immediately promoted and makes its official debut in that edition. If the old nation confirms in time, the waiting list nation’s reserve entry will not be entered and the applicant will have to continue waiting until another spot becomes available. A waiting list nation that doesn’t send a reserve entry when given the opportunity may be overtaken by a waiting list member down the list that does send a reserve entry, with priority given after list position. If the old nation is removed and no reserve entry was sent, the top waiting list nation is promoted with the old nation’s withdrawal and may enter the contest starting the following edition.
- Each eligible nation is entitled to one entry per edition.
- Entries consist of a musical piece (song) presented by a video link from sites such as YouTube, Dailymotion or Vimeo. Videos may but do not have to be official promotional music videos.
- Songs may not have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest, Junior Eurovision Song Contest or any national song selection event of either contest. Covers, remixes or other alternate versions of such songs are not allowed.
- Songs may be of any style, length, language or time of release. Instrumental songs are allowed. No censorship rules are enforced for entries with vulgar, adult or otherwise off-color themes.
- To confirm an entry, entries are submitted to the host of an edition during the sign-up period by private message (PM) through the forum. The PM should contain the name of the confirming nation, the name of the entered song, the performing artist and a link to the video of the entry.
- The first nation to confirm an entry is the one entitled to it. Entries can not be otherwise reserved without actual confirmation. Entries may not be confirmed before the sign-up period begins.
- When a song has been entered, it may not be used again by any nation in any future edition of NSC. This also applies to originals, covers, remixes or other alternate versions of the same song, but does not apply to samples of the song used in otherwise different songs.
- An artist can only perform for one nation per edition, there can not be two different entries in the same edition with the same artist. The first to confirm an artist has the right to use it. This also applies to different incarnations, such as the same performer being entered both as solo artist and a band member.
- The same song performed by different artists may not be entered by two different nations in the same edition.
- All nations participating in an edition are required to vote in both their respective semi-final and the final.
- Votes are given by distributing points with the values of 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 to ten entries of the voter’s preference in a particular event. These values are the same for all events and jury panels. The values can not be altered and must be allotted to ten different nations, all of them participants of the topical event. A nation can not give points to its own entry. Point values may not be left undistributed.
- Any votes may not be revealed publicly prior to appearing in the final results show, either by the voter, host or a vote collector.
- Votes are submitted by private message to the host or, in the case of rest juries and waiting list juries, assigned vote collector. Votes must be submitted prior to the deadline as set by the host or appropriate penalties are given to the entrant. Invalid votes must be corrected in time or they will count as missing votes.
- All participants in a particular semi-final are required to vote in it. Failure to vote leads to an automatic last place for that nation in the semi-final’s end results.
- The six prequalified finalists are each assigned one semi-final to vote in, three prequalifiers per semi-final. The prequalified finalists are required to vote in their respective semi-final. Failure to vote leads to the finalist being immediately disqualified from the contest without appearing in the final. A disqualified prequalified finalist does not count as a confirmed participant of that edition and the song may be entered to a future edition, this does however not count towards the rule of roster removal after three consecutive non-participations.
- Only a semi-final’s participants and the three prequalified finalists assigned to it may vote in a semi-final’s standard panel. Participants and voters of the other semi-final, nations not participating and waiting list nations are directed to the semi-final’s rest jury panel.
- A rest jury panel acts as a separate score list for a semi-final with different voters from the standard panel, “the jury of the rest”. Each edition has two rest juries, one for each semi-final. They are open simultaneously with the semi-final voting event and are used to find a wild card of each semi-final to qualify to the final.
- A member other than the edition’s host may be assigned to collect all votes for a rest jury, commonly one of the jury’s eligible voters. In this case the collector must present the results of the jury voting in full to the host at the end of the semi-final voting period and keep all votes, scores and result positions confidential between him/herself and the host until the end of the edition. A separate collector is not a requirement, rest juries may be handled by the regular host.
- A rest jury for a particular semi-final is open only to participants of the opposite semi-final, prequalified finalists assigned to vote in the opposite semi-final, nations on the roster not participating in the edition and nations on the waiting list. Nations not participating and waiting list nations may vote in both rest juries of an edition.
- Rest jury voting is optional and no penalties are given for a nation not voting when eligible.
- Nations that do not vote in their own semi-final receive no penalty to their rest jury score, but are not eligible to qualify as the rest jury wild card and should be skipped in the decision.
- A participant of the opposite semi-final who votes in a rest jury is awarded an additional six points to their own score in the rest jury panel of their own semi-final.
- All participants of an edition, regardless of their semi-final result, are required to vote in the edition’s final. The only exception is prequalified finalists who were disqualified by not voting in their assigned semi-final. Semi-final participants who failed to vote in the semi-final are still required to vote in the final.
- A participant of the final who fails to vote is automatically given last place in the final's end result.
- A participant of the semi-finals that didn’t qualify to the final who fails to vote is disqualified from participating in the following edition. This kind of disqualification does not disallow voting in rest juries or waiting list juries.
- Only the edition’s participants may vote in the final as full entities. Disqualified prequalified finalists, nations not participating and waiting list nations are directed to the waiting list jury.
WAITING LIST JURY
- The waiting list jury acts as an additional entity with its own set of votes in the final results. The jury panel contains its own score list, with the entity awarding points in the final to the top ten entries in the panel’s results. The point values handed out by the waiting list jury are the same as for a regular voter. The jury is open simultaneously with the final voting event.
- Like with rest juries, collection of waiting list jury votes may be handled by someone other than the host, commonly a waiting list member. Likewise, the collector must deliver the results to the host at the end of the final voting period and keep all votes, scores and result positions confidential between him/herself and the host. A separate collector is not a requirement, waiting list juries may be handled by the regular host.
- A waiting list jury is open only for nations on the waiting list and nations on the roster not participating in the edition. Disqualified prequalified finalists may also vote as non-participants. Voting is compulsory for waiting list nations as per waiting list rules, but optional for non-participants.
- If a tie in the waiting list jury results for a point-giving position cannot be broken by regular means (as described in the results section below), the nation with the better position in the end result of the final, sans waiting list jury votes, should be given priority in the waiting list jury tie. If necessary, the potential winner of a tie-breaker in the final results should be checked to find which nation to award priority in the waiting list jury.
- At the end of voting, all valid votes received for a particular event or jury panel are counted by the host or collector. The points given to a nation’s entry are added together into its final score. A nation due for a penalty or bonus to its score receives it at this stage after all the received points are counted, the result of this then becomes the nation’s final score.
- All of the event’s participating nations are ranked after their final score. The highest amount of points gets first place in the results of the event and so on.
- The ten highest ranked nations in the results of a semi-final qualify to participate in the final. The highest ranked nation in the results of a rest jury that is not one of the semi-final’s regular qualifiers qualifies to participate in the final as a wild card. The six highest ranked nations in the results of a final are directly qualified to the final of the following edition. The highest ranked nation in the results of a final is declared the winner of that edition.
- If one or more prequalified finalists have been disqualified by not voting in the semi-finals, extra qualifying spots should be given to the same amount of semi-finalists. If the amount is even, the spots should be handed out equally between the two semi-finals and to the highest placed nations below the usual top ten (starting with 11th place). If the amount is uneven, the uneven spot should, after giving out equal spots to the two semi-finals if necessary, be given to the highest placed otherwise non-qualifying nation that received the highest average score in its semi-final (score divided by the amount of voters in the event). A qualification by this method overrides a potential rest jury qualification, and the wild card is in this case given to the next nation in the rest jury results outside of qualification through the standard semi-final panel.
- The individual results of all semi-final qualifiers are kept classified by the host until the end of the edition, including the wild cards. The semi-final results are presented after the semi-final event only with the identities of the 22 (or more) qualified nations. Scores of non-qualified nations may be publicly revealed after the semi-finals, but the full results, including the distribution of points, are not revealed until after the final.
- The final results are presented by showing how all voting nations have distributed their points until a winner is found.
- If two or more nations receive the same score and end up in a tied position in the results; if the position is essential for the outcome of the results, including the positions for winning, qualifying for the final or prequalifying for the final of the next edition, the tie has to be broken using the tie-breaker system as follows. Priority should be given after which nation’s entry received points from the higher amount of nations, with the one receiving points from the most nations given top priority. If there’s still a tie, meaning any of the nations involved in the tie received points from the same amount of nations, priority between the still-tied nations should be given after which nation’s entry received the most sets of points with the value of 12. If the tie still lingers, the procedure should be repeated by counting the amount of 10-point sets, if necessary continuing with sets of 8 and so on all the way down the available point values. If the tie still cannot be broken after counting the received sets of 1 point, priority should be given randomly at the host or collector’s discretion (with the exception of waiting list jury results, see section above). If a tie is for a position of no importance to the outcome, the tie does not have to be broken and the tied nations share their position in the results. Positions following the tie should be numbered as if the tie was broken rather than continuing from the next number.
- Each edition of the Nation Song Contest is handled by a host. The role of the host is to collect and present entries for all events of an edition, collect votes for the events and present the results. The host may use any graphics or other methods of presentation during the event, and may if they need accept assistance in the production from other users, as long as they comply with the rules of the contest.
- The opportunity to host is first given to the winner of the previous edition. If the winner declines, the opportunity is handed to the runner-up, continuing with third place and so on until someone accepts the role.
- It is up to the host to make sure all entries and votes are correct and valid. The host should reply to confirm all correctly received entries and votes and should inform the entrant when a received entry or vote is invalid or incorrect.
- The host decides the deadlines of each event and when to present the results. Each event of an edition is required to last a minimum of seven days and may not be cut any shorter.
- The host will randomly decide the running order in which entries are presented.
- At the end of an edition, the host must have revealed the full results of all events, including positions, scores and the individual distribution of points. This also applies to collectors of rest jury or waiting list jury votes.
- All hosts must follow the rules and should consult moderators if encountering uncertainties, but in extreme circumstances, the host has final say and the right to decide how to handle a given situation.
- As soon as an edition has finished and the next one has started, all results are final and any faults or mistakes can not be retroactively altered. Compensations may still be handed out after agreement.
- A member may be banned from the contest and removed from the roster at the moderators’ discretion if he/she fails to comply with the contest rules or community guidelines.
- These rules are not law. Exceptional circumstances may occur and every scenario is handled in a case-to-case basis.
- The rules of the Nation Song Contest are subject to change and are decided by consensus of the NSC community.
A clarification of certain terms as they are used in this document:
Contest – All editions of the Nation Song Contest, spanning from its beginning to the present day.
Distribution – Which values of points are given to which entries in a set of votes.
Edition – One volume of the contest, a complete set of sign-up, dual semi-final and final events.
Entry – The chosen representation of a nation in an edition, consisting of a song in a video link. In vote-receiving contexts, used interchangeably with “nation”.
Event – One part of an edition, either the sign-up period, one of the semi-finals or the final.
Nation – An entity representing a member eligible to participate in the contest. In vote-receiving contexts, used interchangeably with “entry”.
Panel – All the voters that are part in creating a set of results in an event. Used mainly to separate semi-final results from rest jury results.
Participant – A nation with an entry that can receive points in a particular event OR a nation with a confirmed entry in an edition.
Points – What nations hand out in votes, are combined to create a score.
Position – A nation’s ranking compared to the other participants based on the score of its entry.
Results – All the positions and scores of all nations in an event.
Score – The total combined number of points received by an entry.
Song – A musical piece, what constitutes an entry.
Votes – Sets of points as distributed by a nation in an event.
Voter – The nation behind certain votes OR a nation eligible to vote in an event or panel, not necessarily a participant.
The following rules are specific to their respective contests and do not apply to the main Nation Song Contest. This section is not a part of the "legal document" containing the NSC rules.
Nation Song Contest spinoffs
Waiting List Song Contest
Rules that are specific to the Waiting List Song Contest (WLSC). The contest derives its rules from NSC.
- Songs that have previously been entered in Nation Song Contest or its spinoffs can be entered in WLSC.
- Songs that have previously been entered in WLSC cannot be entered again.
- If the winner declines hosting anyone can apply to host the subsequent edition as long as waiting list members that regularly take part in WLSC agree.
- Deadline for confirmation and voting is a minimum of 5 days.
- Main roster nations of NSC can vote in WLSC as rest jury.
- Waiting list nations that aren't participating in WLSC can vote in the same rest jury as main roster nations.