WCE announces changes to 2018 World Barista Championship

World Coffee Events has released changes to the rules and regulations of the 2018 World Barista Championships (WBC).

Announced on 23 January, the WBC will see “minor updates” in 2018 that focus on improving the event experience for all participants.

This includes changing the seven-metre no-media circle to a 7×7-metre no-media square in order to better accommodate creative station layouts, allowing the placing of steps or platforms on the floor for baristas to fully access the espresso machine and presentation tables, ensuring the competitor is present for table set time, and permitting just one coach and one helper/interpreter backstage.

Other changes include:

  • Sensory judges will begin evaluating their drink as soon as it is served, unless otherwise instructed by the competitor.
  • As long as the instructions are reasonable, and are not in contradiction with other rules, the judges should follow all instructions given by the competitor.
  • Additional provided tables can be adjusted to rest on different sides, giving two heights settings – high (one metre) and low (0.75-metre) as requested by the competitor.
  • The competitor will be able to create their own layout within a 7×7-metre square. The competitors must be present during the table set time. Once their station has been set to the requested general configuration, as depicted in the rules, competitors may request additional adjustments to the table set during the table set time. All presentation tables must be at least 12 inches (.3 metres) from the edge of the square and the espresso machine table may not be moved.
  • A circular or square no-media area may be used.
  • The WCE-certified grinders are the Malkönig Peak and the EK43/EK43S.
  • The grinders have a fixed technical configuration including the hopper and cannot be opened or subjected to any functional modifications by the competitors.
  • National bodies are not required to use the same sponsored equipment as the WBC. If an equipment sponsor is acquired by national body, the national body may independently specify their equipment requirements.
  • The preparation practice room will be reserved for competitors, coaches, volunteers and any WBC officials. Judges, press/media, competitor’s family members and supporters may not be present in this area without consent form the WCE event organisers. WCE preparation/practice room access will be restricted to the competitor, one coach, and one helper/interpreter, unless otherwise communicated by the stage manager.
  • If a smart phone is used, it must have a 3.5 millimetres aux output (no adapters).
  • The competitor must be present for their table set time. After the head runner has set up the station, the competitor is responsible to re-adjust it, if needed, within the preparation time.
  • In the Team Bar event, only competitors who have attended their Team Bar shifts will be eligible for wild card semi finals slot. The highest scoring member of the winning team who is not already advancing to the Semi Final round will advance at the Wild Card competitor in the Semi Finals round.

The 2017 WBC received a number of significant format changes including modular station layouts, simultaneous preliminaries, and modified technical judging. When these changes debuted in November in Seoul, WCE says the response was overall, very positive.

“The event was a great opportunity to examine the implications and possibilities the changes create for competitors, judges, volunteers and staff,” WCE says in a press statement.

The 2018 WBC will take place at World of Coffee Amsterdam from 20 to 23 June. Champions from approximately 60 nations will gather to compete in front of fans at the WBC arena.

The full rules to be used in Amsterdam, as well as a summary of all 2018 changes is available at worldbaristachampionship.org/rules.

For any questions regarding the changes, contact WCE or the WBC Evolution Working Group at info@worldcoffeeevents.org.

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