2019-2020 BSF Scholarship Competition
An important, compelling, and educational event at prior conventions that has been missed is the BSF Scholarship Competition. In an effort to garner more interest in the contest throughout the State, we have made some changes to the structure of the competition.
First, to be eligible for the competition, the entrant must be at least 18 years of age, a BSF member in good standing, and to never have won first place in a previous BSF Scholarship Competition. BSF members considered to be “professionals” are not eligible.
Here’s where it gets interesting:
Each district will hold a competition and, whoever wins that contest, goes to the finals at the 2020 convention. To be eligible for the district competition, each club will send one member to districts, to be determined by a club level styling competition. (in the case that there isn’t enough interest to have a club level competition, it is advised that the club president, or president’s surrogate, and the district trustee, consider and recommend a club “champion” to go to the district level competition)
Some rules to make the playing field fair:
-All material must be of the same species and similar quality. The clubs will provide material at the club level contests. At the districts and final contests, BSF will provide material which will be available for sale to contestants or auctioned off at a later time (it is recommended for clubs to do the same). The material shall be distributed by lottery.
-The contest shall be three hours long. All tools, wire, and supplies are the responsibility of the contestant, including extension cords for power tools. There can be no help from audience members.
-Judging at the local level is to be done by the club president (or designee) and the district trustee. Judging at the district level will be done by established bonsai professionals with no interest in the outcome. The finals will take place at the 2020 BSF convention on Saturday afternoon 2-5pm. Judging will be done by a team of professional judges, including but not limited to, visiting headliners, BSF instructors, etc.
-The winners of the district competitions will act as “apprentices” to the various instructors and artists at the 2020 convention, assisting with wiring, defoliation, etc. during workshops or demonstrations. This time will count as volunteer time for the respective clubs each “apprentice” belongs to.
-The first-place prize money is a scholarship allocation of $1000 to be used in the study of bonsai or related arts. It can include instruction costs, travel costs, or registration costs to another bonsai conference. It cannot be used for material, supplies, or tool purchases unless that is in conjunction with a class or seminar. If there is a second place, the award is $500, with the same dispersion guidelines.
All monies allocations must be approved by the BSF president and the scholarship committee by a written submission letter from the winner(s).
-There must be at least five competitors at the finals for there to be a competition.
There must be at least six competitors for there to be a first and second place award.
-The first-place winner shall give two demonstrations at the 2021 BSF convention, with material provided by BSF. If a second place is awarded, that winner shall give one demonstration with material provided by BSF.
We ask for all club level competitions to take place between now and early to mid-November, so that we may begin the district finals as early as December 1st.