Rules & Regulations

Updated Rules & Regulations have been released for the 2021 Athens World Coffee Championships; the World Barista Championship, World Brewers Cup, World Cup Tasters Championship, and Cezve/Ibrik Championship. You can find the rules linked below, which are primarily focused on COVID-19-related precautions, which have been introduced to facilitate better logistics for competitors, coaches, judges, and volunteers at the event, hosted at the Specialty Coffee Association World of Coffee Show from June 23-26, 2021.

Across the four competitions, a number of changes have been introduced to facilitate safer judge evaluation of drinks, while ensuring that local social distancing guidelines are maintained. Additionally, existing rules that apply to Competition Bodies (CB) have been centralized and clarified in a new section, covering variations to the competition format, and the appeals process at CB level.

As a result of the COVID-related changes to Head Judge tasting at the World Barista Championship, the Rules & Regulation committee have clarified a number of existing rules on sensory judge evaluation to encapsulate the current scoring process more accurately.

We understand that these rules updates are being launched in an uncertain time for competitors around the world — we have made no changes that impact the total scoring or weighting for any championship in order to minimize the impact for competitors while providing increased precautions at the WCC event in Athens.

The Rules & Regulations for each of the World Coffee Championships is overseen by individual committees of ex-competitors, judges, staff, and other experts from across the globe who volunteer their time to help make sure all of the competitions continue to grow and evolve, and the Rules & Regulations along with them. These committees oversee yearly review and update processes, and this fall the committees were dissolved and are now being re-formed to bring in new members via a public solicitation process.

Due to the rapidly approaching date for the 2019 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup in Boston, April 10-14th, the Rules and Regulations used for both of these competitions will be the same as the 2018 rules, with some very minor typo and spelling fixes.

The membership of the individual competition committees are being confirmed at the moment, but the over-arching Competition Strategic Committee has already been hard at work over the last few months developing a strategic plan to guide all of the competitions into the future. The Competition Strategic Committee is a volunteer leadership team designed to address competition needs and questions at the highest levels, interfacing with the SCA Board of Directors and other internal and external groups. You can find the membership of the Competition Strategic Committee here.

The World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup committees will be focused on producing new rules for 2020, giving enough time to explore deeper changes. The full 2019 Rules & Regulations for both competitions are available below, and if you would like to get involved in Rules & Regulations work, you can express you interest by filling out this form.

The World Barista Championship (WBC) received a number of format evolutions in 2017, including modular station layouts, simultaneous preliminaries, and modified technical judging. When these changes debuted in November in Seoul, the response was overall very positive, and the event was a great opportunity to examine the implications and possibilities the changes create for competitors, judges, volunteers and staff.

The 2018 WBC will be in Amsterdam in June, leading to a somewhat abbreviated National Body competition season. In consideration of this timing and in order to give competitors time to more fully explore the new opportunities presented by these evolutions, the 2018 WBC Rules & Regulations are receiving only minor updates that focus on improving the event experience for all participants.

Changes in the rules this year include production-related items, like changing the 7m no-media circle to a 7m x 7m no-media square in order to better accommodate creative station layouts; as well as changes to clarify policies, such as more explicitly allowing the placing of steps or platforms on the floor when necessary for a barista’s access to the tables.

The 2018 World Barista Championship will take place at World of Coffee Amsterdam, 20-23 of June. Champions from approximately 60 nations will gather to compete in front of fans at the WBC arena and watching the stream online at worldbaristachampionship.org.

2018 Rules Documents