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Updated Rules 2022

Updated Rules 2022

Each year, we go through our rules and update for items that no longer make sense, have ceased to be issues, or needed to be added based on our prior year experience at events. 

The general overview of this year’s changes is that we went back to remove deductions that we felt like were not important to safety or event operations, or otherwise extraneous.

Here are all of the rule updates made for 2022 and on. These are effective immediately.



  • As a competitor, you must be fair and truthful in your self-assessment of skills in determining your appropriate Level. While putting together a routine, if you are finding it hard to avoid using moves from the level above, take that as an opportunity to move up to the next level.

    We’ve updated the language here to give a more clear example of when one might need to level up. 

  • If you have a concern about another competitor, we ask that you notify PSO a minimum of 6 weeks before the competition, or directly after the schedule comes out, so that we can process the concern. All sandbagging discussions need to take place in advance of the event with our admin team and cannot be handled by onsite staff. This ensures all competitors have adequate time to prepare their routines for the appropriate Level.

    We are changing the process for sandbagging reporting to include only requests made to our Admin Team at rather than on the ground at events. We believe that this creates a more consistent evaluation and experience for competitors as all requests are reviewed by the same team. Our decisions can also be made with additional time and research that is not practical or possible at events. In practice, we have only applied the sandbagging rule when we’ve been emailed in advance anyways. To have 2 processes but only 1 of them ever being used leads us to believe that we only need to keep the one that has actually been effective.

Level 1 

  • You are now allowed to do a pirouette with more than one rotation without the pole

    This was an extra deduction that did not have grounds in safety or event operations. It was never applied to anyone and is now being removed.

Level 2 & 3 

Yes, allowed:

  • Marley
  • No handed jade
  • No handed genie
  • Cross ankle releases
  • Apprentice to butterfly transition

No, not allowed:

  • Forearm/football grip/inverted flag grip handsprings/ayeshas
  • Bird of paradise (upright and inverted)

We added some specifically allowed moves for Levels 2 and 3 that were deducted for in the past based on the 3 points rule, but are more basic moves and transitions.

We added some specifically disallowed moves for Levels 2 and 3 that were not deducted for based on the 3 points rule, but are more advanced than appropriate for these levels.

Registration & Fees 


We understand that COVID has created some interesting circumstances. To be fair to you but also be able to plan events effectively, the following guidelines apply. We will review and update our policies regularly as our world continues to evolve.

  • PSO follows venue rules and local laws as they evolve relating to capacities, mask wearing, COVID testing, and vaccines.

  • If PSO is forced to cancel an event due to government restrictions, you will be credited for your entry fee, photo/video, and tickets in the form of a gift card that you can use for future purchases with PSO.

  • Entry fees are not refundable should you opt not to compete based on COVID-related issues such as rising case numbers. We use entry fees to plan and pay for deposits, staffing, and event expenses related to the competitor headcount at the close of registration.

  • If you test positive for COVID and are unable to attend the event, we would provide you with 2 tickets to the whole event weekend that you can give away to others. Photo/video purchases can be credited back to you in the form of a gift card that you can use for future purchases with PSO. Please email us your positive test results from an accredited laboratory and we’ll help make the arrangements.

Our COVID policies that we have been operating under on a case-by-case basis are now being published so it’s clear to everyone how requests are handled.


Human Props 

Human props are allowed. Human props may touch you, but not the pole. If your human prop is setting other props for you onstage, they may not touch the poles. Judging will be based on your skills and abilities only, and not the skills and abilities of the human prop. 

We updated this rule to clarify that if a human prop is setting props up for a competitor, they are not allowed to touch the pole either. There was ambiguity here in the past.

Props that bear some body weight but not all are allowed. Ex. You can wrap a skirt around the pole and lean on it. You cannot use pole silks or fab pole devices. 

The original intention of this rule was to exclude devices like FabPole or PoleSilks, which are not able to be safely installed within the 30 second time rule, and change the apparatus too much for a pole competition. We also do not want competitors installing devices that would put lateral forces on the poles because that is not the stress that X-Poles have been tested and rated for. However, in this example there is no safety issue and it should be allowed: someone wraps their skirt around the pole and leans on it.


General & Safety 

Unintional brushing of the truss is no longer a deduction. 

This is not an actual safety concern so the deduction is removed.


For women: 1 or more breasts unintentionally become uncovered during a piece. If a full top is required for the event and there is an accidental nipple exposure, no deduction will be taken if she is wearing pasties underneath. 

We hate giving deductions for this type of accidental moment, but also need to comply with local laws. This was a good compromise. Please wear pasties! We are going to try to have them for sale at the Tickets & Check In desk if you forget to bring them.


We believe in inclusivity and that all people are welcome to have their moment with PSO. One can, however, lose their ability to be included in our organization by behaving poorly. If one behaves in a manner that shows a habit of disrespect, harassment, violence, or anything else that PSO believes creates an unsafe or unsupportive environment, we reserve the right to take actions up to banning them from the event. Please treat each other well. 

Our value of inclusion as it was previously defined (inclusive of all people, all of the time, for all time) needed to be modified based on poor behavior demonstrated by some community members both in person and online in the last year. We welcome all people, and inclusivity is a privilege that you enjoy with our organization from the start. However, an individual’s behavior over time can force us to exclude that person from an event based on their large negative effect on others.