It might seem basic to seasoned competitors, but for those of you entering your first competition, entry forms can be confusing! Entry forms for regional competitions are all a little bit different because they’re made by different promoters, but they should all have the same basic elements. I’m going to walk you through the process using the entry form for our next district competition, the 2012 NPC North Star.
Step 1: Write legibly
Before we get into actually filling out the form, let me just start by saying that this is probably the most important step. If the person taking entry forms cannot read your information, you’re out of luck! Your name could easily be spelled wrong in any competition promotions such as the program, you might never receive your confirmation email with important information about athlete registration or any changes in the show and you might never receive your trophy plates because your address is illegible! Check to see if the entry form is set up for you to type your responses in Acrobat Reader, the North Star entry form is so there’s no excuses. If you know that you have poor handwriting, put a return address label over the address field or attach a business card with all of your information.
Step 2: Choosing your division and class(es)
Which division will you be competing in—Bodybuilding, Men’s Physique, Women’s Physique, Figure, Fitness or Bikini? If you don’t see your division as an option on the entry form, it may not be offered at that competition. For example, in 2012 the only Minnesota competition to offer Women’s Bodybuilding and Fitness was the 2012 NPC Minnesota state due to low numbers of competitors in each division.
Once you’ve found your division on the entry form, you need to check which classes you will be competing in—masters, open or both?
The masters and teen classes are divided by age. The men’s teen bodybuilding division is only open to males ages 16-19. The rest of the masters classes are broken down by age groups, such as 35+, 40+ and 50+. You must have reached the age of the division by the date of the show and will be required to show ID at athlete registration as proof, you may also enter multiple masters classes. For example, let’s say that I’m 43 years old and want to compete in both of the Men’s Bodybuilding Masters classes, this is what my entry from would look like:
The open classes are divided by weight for men and women’s bodybuilding, and by height for all other divisions. Anyone of any age can enter these classes. Some entry forms will have the weight/height class breakdowns right on the first page of the entry form. For the NPC North Star, look at the second page of the form called “Competitor Information,” find your division and look for the breakdowns there. For example, let’s say that I’m doing Bikini, I only want to compete in the open class and am 5’4 1/2″ this is what my entry form would look like:
For men and women’s physique, there may be no set breakdowns yet. In this case, they will be determined after athlete check-in to balance out the number of competitors in each class, so just write your height in the given space. Let’s say that I want to compete in both the open and masters classes for Women’s Physique, here’s what my entry form would look like:
Step 3: Filling out your information
As I mentioned before, your personal information is very important. The basic stuff such as your name, email address, phone number and physical address allow us to contact you, get your name into our paperwork and send you trophy plates after the competition. Usually, there will be other information to fill out here as well, such as your occupation, where you train, who your personal trainer is, etc. This is what most regional promoters use to introduce athletes on stage at the evening show. Please limit the amount of information you put there, with regional shows growing to more than 150 competitors, there’s only so much time to introduce each athlete. For example, if you have 2 personal trainers, someone who helped you with your routine and someone who helped you with your diet, please choose one or two that you would like to acknowledge.
Step 4: Your NPC card
Do NOT mail us your NPC card! Just put your card number (make sure it’s been renewed for the current year) in the appropriate space and the expiration date (hint: they expire at the end of the calendar year, so 12/31/12 for this year). If you don’t yet have a card, order one! It will save you time the day of athlete registration and you’ll get more bang for you buck. Just leave the space on your entry form empty. Regardless of whether or not you filled out your NPC number on the entry form, we will need to check your card at athlete registration, so make sure you bring it!
Step 5: Finish up
Right, so now you’ve got your form all filled out and ready to go. When writing the check or money order for your entry fee (please don’t mail cash!), make sure you check the entry fee per class. At the NPC North Star, the cost is $45 per class so if you were entering both the open and the masters classes, or two masters classes, the fee would be $90. If you’re sending it in after the entry deadline, for the NPC North Star your envelope must be postmarked by Sept. 1, make sure you check the late fee. At the NPC North Star, the price changes from $45 per class to $100 per class after the deadline.
You may want to send your entry form certified mail so that you have a means to track it, this is an especially good idea if you’re mailing it near the entry deadline. This way if the promoter has not received your entry form and the entry deadline has passed, you’ll have proof that you did drop it in the mail before the deadline and can avoid paying the late fee.