Welcome to Olympia Beauty 2019!

Rules & Regulations for The National Massage Championship

Judging criteria:

Every effort is made to ensure that qualified judges are provided. Judges meet prior to the competition so all are clear on what and how they are judging and their responsibilities. Judging sheets are made available to competitors after the awards ceremony and judges will make every effort to be available for any questions/critique afterwards, although this is not guaranteed.

The judging is open set, judges will walk around and evaluate performance, innovation, techniques and ergonomics.

Judges do not judge every aspect of the set.

Every effort is made to ensure judges are a mix of experts from around the world. It is your responsibility to read all the rules and obtain clarification on any you are not 100% certain of. If you compete and are judged with a deduction due to a rule that you did not interpret the way it was meant, it’s too late to change this at the competition. Judge’s decisions are final and all entries are judged on the exact same criteria. Have all your questions clarified before the competition to ensure a more satisfying experience.

General Competition Rules & Code of Conduct:

  • No refunds of competition fees are given. Competition entrance fees are non-transferable.
  • Competitions are open to students and professional therapists of all skill levels.
  • The National Massage Championship reserves the right to refuse entry to any competitor.
  • Competitors and models must be at least 16 years old.
  • Competitors must specify the competition division they are entering when the registration form is filled out.
  • Once a competitor has registered they cannot change divisions.
  • Competitors must enter the highest division they qualify for.
  • Due to the large attendance of participants, The National Massage Championship is not responsible for verifying that each competitor enters the correct division. This is done on the honour system.
  • If it’s found a competitor has registered in the wrong division, they will receive a 10-point deduction in their final score for each competition.
  • Each competition will have one overall winner – the exception to this will be in the Student category where there will be a UK 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
  • A 1-10-point judging system will be used; – 1 being the lowest – 10 being flawless. Except where some points are 1 to 5 with 1 being lowest and 5 being flawless.
  • Competitors must use and arrange for their own model for the event.
  • Competitors who do not understand English must supply their own translator. The translator must be present during the competition briefing and stay just outside the competition floor in a designated area during the competition in the event they are needed for communication with the competitor. This must occur only by communicating via a floor judge.
  • Rubbish bins are provided to all competitors.
  • No eating allowed – only non-alcoholic drinks on the competition arena.
  • All products must be clearly labelled – hand-written labels are acceptable. Non-labelled products will be confiscated during the competition.
  • Competitor numbers will be allocated on the competition arena via a coloured sticker.
  • All photos/video taken by The National Massage Championship personnel or contractors are the sole property of the organiser, to be used in whatever fashion deemed appropriate by the organiser without compensation to the competitors.
  • After registration, you will be sent a confirmation email. If you do not receive this please contact the organiser urgently as it means your registration has NOT been processed.
  • If any competitor is entering more than one competition in one day, we advise bringing one model per category.
  • All contestants must supply: towels (1x large to cover table and 1-2x towels to cover model) blanket (optional), sanitiser, couch roll (optional) and your products to compete.

The Competition Floor:

  • Only competitors and their models may enter the competition arena. Any other person entering the arena must obtain permission from the organiser or floor judges.
  • Competitors will be allowed to set up their tools and products during the competition briefing. All kit boxes and bags (other than personal handbags that should be placed under the chairs) will be moved to the back wall of the arena. They will not be left at the bed. Each competition will have a briefing, scheduled 20 minutes prior to the start of each event.
  • Competitors and models must be present for the briefing and remain at their tables until the conclusion of the competition.
  • Once the allotted time is up, competitors must immediately stop working (and stand with their model)
  • Any competitor found to still be working on their model after the close of the competition will be disqualified by a floor judge.
  • Massage therapists will be judged while performing treatment.

Finally to note…

  • Any competitor not abiding by these rules will take whatever point deduction is allowed in the rules. For those rules not specifying a point deduction, there will be one warning with no point deduction, there will be a 5-point deduction for a second warning and disqualification for the third infringement.
  • The Judges’ decisions are final. Judging score sheets are made available to competitors after the awards ceremony.
  • In the event of a draw the scores will be reviewed and a winner awarded by the judges.
  • Be kind to your model and make sure privacy is given when changing and model is covered at all times. and Make sure they take a bathroom break before the competition. Keep your model fed and well hydrated throughout the competition day.
  • The National Massage Championship organisers will provide all competitors with a massage bed. Participants must provide their own tools and products including disposable paper bed roll, towels. (pillow and blanket optional)
  • The National Massage Championship Organisers DO NOT provide models.
  • All competitors should arrive promptly at the stated registrations time according to the competition schedule.
  • Competitors and models will have to check-in and collect their badges to be allowed onto the competition area.
  • Competitors will be given 20 minutes to prepare.
  • Competitors are not allowed to start massage before start announcement, but muscles can be warmed up.
  • During the National Massage Championship the competitors must follow ALL the rules and regulations.
  • Competitors must wear appropriate professional uniform and hair should be tied back during the competition.
  • An announcement will be made at the end of the competition. All competitors must stop work immediately, lay their tools down, clean their workspace and leave the competition arena as soon as possible.
  • All competitors across all divisions MUST be insured and spot checks will be made.


Not all the criteria below is applicable to all categories (for example, use of oil in chair massage)
The outlined criteria below for is an aid to help you make a reasoned judgment in each category.
A maximum total of 100 points, broken into the following categories:

Setting the environment (maximum 10 points)

  • Equipment: enough towels & draping, oil, cushions
  • Arranging equipment in a ergonomic and accessible manner.
  • Check participant set’s the correct table/chair height
  • Area around table/Chair is clear and safe
  • Model is prepared for the treatment: taken off unsafe jewelry, undressed leaving underwear on.

Personal preparation (maximum 10 points)

  • Hygiene: clean hands, clean and professional outfit, short nails,
  • Physically prepared: hair tied, no jewelry
  • Prepared: focused and ready to start
  • Professionalism should be maintain throughout the treatment
  • Outfit: T-shirts, Polo’s, tunics etc that covers all torso and shoulders, easy to move trousers. The overall grooming must be clean and well presented.

Using covering drapes, towels & cushions/bolsters for support (maximum 10 points)

  • Using bolsters/cushions under ankle (prone), under knees (supine)
  • Using supports when needed (under neck, chest, abdomen) to increase models comfort and improve massage techniques effectiveness ……….
  • Placing of towels & drapes to provide warmth & cover for the model.
  • Moving towels & draping smoothly and confidently
  • Adjusting towels to expose only the necessary body part being worked on
  • Not exposing intimate body parts

The massage treatment (maximum 40 points)

  • Apply massage techniques in a skilled, effective and confident manner
  • Applying massage techniques with the appropriate speed to enhance its effectiveness
  • Combining massage techniques in smooth and flowing sequence depending on client ………..
  • Adapting the massage techniques to model’s needs by verbal and non verbal
  • Making contact and breaking contact in a smooth and measured way
  • Spending enough time on a particular body part before transitioning to another
  • Adapting pressure and strength of techniques to models verbal and none verbal
  • Not rushing any part of the treatment
  • Applying massage techniques considering human anatomy (massaging whole muscle, locating needed places to work, apply stretch holding correct joint, etc)
  • Staying present and attentive during treatment
  • Have a good quality of touch
  • Palpate and locating the right areas to work on
  • Innovation and originality of using and mixing massage techniques

Therapist body mechanics during treatment (maximum 20 points)

  • Use body in a way that enhances the effectiveness of the massage techniques used
  • Use the lower body, not only arms, shoulders and upper body
  • Bend knees to allow smooth movement and injury prevention
  • Participants position themselves around the model in the best way to perform the massage without extra effort
  • Candidate’s hands are usually relaxed and responding to models body contour
  • Avoid using posture and positions that are uncomfortable for participant or model.
  • Breathing in a relaxed, slow and regular way during treatment
  • Hands are aligned to movement direction
  • Do not overuse one body part (such as thumbs, wrist joint) giving the massage

Interaction with model during competition (maximum 10 points)

  • Give clear instructions to model before treatment: what clothing & jewelry to take off etc
  • Communicate when using bolsters/cushions and additional towels
  • Participant should ask for feedback from models at the appropriate time.
  • Communicate with model when moving model’s body parts
  • Lookout for signs, feedback, verbal and non-verbal, concerning pressure
    and speed of massage
  • Responds to verbal & non verbal feedback in an appropriate way
  • Amount of communication is appropriate (not too much/little)
  • Professional attitude towards models at all times

If you have any questions please post in the comments below or email Laura.tarling@olympiabeauty.co.uk.


  1. Anthony Harrison on 23/05/2018 at 5:18 pm

    Are Therapist from the United states allowed to compete in this competition?

    • Laura Bethell on 30/07/2018 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Anthony, I’m afraid this year we’re not catering to the international market, but hope to open it to international competitors in 2019. Watch this space…

  2. Kate on 24/05/2018 at 9:18 pm

    Hi there, how many entries per catagory are you expecting/are limited to? Mamy thanks

    • Laura Bethell on 30/07/2018 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Kate – We are limited to 25 competitors per category. Best wishes, Laura

  3. Danielle Brockwell on 08/08/2018 at 9:28 am

    Hi, can you tell me if you can incorporate stretching in the spa/wellness category

  4. Jo on 09/08/2018 at 11:45 pm

    How long is the massage time?

  5. Rominas Rivera Schwienefot on 13/08/2018 at 12:19 am

    Hi Laura !How do I know if I am qualified to compete in Massage Championship ?Thank you so much!

  6. Angeliki Lekka on 26/08/2018 at 11:46 am

    Hi!Are therapists from Greece allowed inthe competition?

    • Laura Bethell on 07/09/2018 at 10:01 am

      I’m afraid this is strictly for UK residents this year – we will be opening the International Category for 2019 on the 1st October 2018. Make sure you register then to reserve your place!

  7. Danielle Brockwell on 29/08/2018 at 6:55 pm

    Can you tell me if stretching is allowed in the spa category x

  8. Nikita on 07/09/2018 at 6:13 am

    Hi Laura,

    I am competing in the national massage competition on Monday the 1st of October but I have a question. My insurance is part of the company I work under but doesn’t have individual names. Do I still bring a copy of this to the competition along side proof I work there?

    • Laura Bethell on 07/09/2018 at 9:57 am

      Yes please bring a hard copy with you to the competition registration desk. If you’re still unsure please email The National Massage Championship Organisers Kate contact@citylux.co.uk or Carl info@massageworld.co.uk.

  9. Grace on 14/09/2018 at 1:01 am

    is there a facebook group link for the competitors that works. I was sent one but when I tried to register it still says pending after a few weeks.

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