Rules & Regulations – The National Massage Championship

Rules & Regulations for The National Massage Championship 2019

  • Every effort is made to ensure that qualified judges are provided. Judges meet before the competition to ensure all judges have a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities and the judging criteria.
  • Judging sheets can be made available to competitors upon request, all efforts will be made to get these to you in a timely manner.
  • The judging takes place in an open environment, judges will walk around and evaluate performance, professionalism, innovation, techniques, and ergonomics.
  • Every effort is made to ensure judges are experts in their assigned category.  We strive to have a mix of experts from around the world.
  • It is your responsibility to read all the rules and obtain clarification as needed.
  • During the competition, if you receive a deduction due to a misinterpretation of a listed rule, it will stand as a deduction.
  • Judge’s decisions are final and all entries are judged on the 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 qualified 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 at the time of registration.
  •  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.
  •  A 1-40-point judging system will be used; – 1 being the lowest – 40 being flawless. Exceptions include when the point system is between 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being flawless.
  •  Competitors must use and arrange for their own model for the event.
  •  If any competitor is entering more than one competition in one day, we advise bringing one model per category.
  •  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 is the sole property of the organiser, to be used in whatever fashion deemed appropriate by the organiser without compensation to the competitors.
  • Professional filming/photography of the National Massage Championship is not allowed, unless approved by organisers. Filming and picture taking of participants (and models) must be approved by the organisers, lead judge and participant/model.
  • After registration, you will be sent a confirmation email. If you do not receive this please check your email spam first, otherwise contact the organiser urgently as it means your registration has NOT been processed.

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 overall sheets are made available to competitors after the awards ceremony with score breakdown and judges feedback (if available) and will be emailed to you within 2x weeks after the competition.
  • 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 and couch covers. Participants must provide their own tools and products including (towels or sheets: 1x large to cover table and 1-2x towels to cover model) blanket (optional), sanitiser, couch roll (optional) and your products to compete.
  • 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. Judging will not start until Lead Judge gives start time.
  • Competitors must wear appropriate professional uniform attire and hair should be tied back during the competition.
  • An announcement will be made at the end of the competition. In order to prepare for the next round of the competitions, can you please stop work, lay tools down, clean workspace and leave the competition arena as soon as possible.
  • Please be mindful of your fellow competitors if you are using any product that has a strong odour or invasive sound, you might be asked to remove it.
  • All competitors across all divisions MUST be insured and spot checks will be made.


Total of 100 points, broken into the following categories:

Setting the environment (maximum 10 points)

  • Having the right equipment: enough towels & draping, oils, wax, balms and bolsters.
  • Arranging equipment to be freely accessible
  • Set the right table/chair height (if applicable)
  • Area around table is clear and safe
  • Prepare model for treatment:
  • No Jewellery to be worn
    Leave underwear on
  • Brief consultation regards Pathologies

Personal preparation (maximum 10 points)

  • Physically prepared for treatment. No colds or infectious diseases.
  • Therapist should display good personal hygiene, clean hands and short nails
  • Appearance: hair tied back, presentable appearance, no rings/bracelets
  • Clothing: T-shirts, Polo, tunic etc Therapists must cover all torso and shoulders (show sample), easy to move trousers, not too tight/loose

Using drapes, towels, cushion/bolsters for support (maximum 10 points)

  • Offering bolster/towel roll under ankle when model lying prone
  • Offering bolster/towel under knees, when model lying supine
  • Offering support when needed (under neck, chest, abdomen) to increase models comfort and improve massage technique applied.
  • Using support when obviously needed ( injury)
  • Communicating with model regards the placing of the supports

Use of draping:

Place drapes/towels on model so as to provide warmth & covering the body
Draping/towel techniques must be smooth and confidently administered
Moving towels to expose only the necessary body part worked on
Not exposing intimate body parts

The massage treatment (maximum 40 points)

  • Therapist must administer a competent and confident massage
  • Therapists will be expected to use some of the following techniques according to there category.
  • Effleurage, Petrissage, Ringing, Kneading, Compression, Friction, Transverse Friction, Cross fibre techniques, Trigger point work, Myofascial release techniques, Vibration, Percussion, Bending & Stretching, Acupressure.
  • Using massage techniques in an appropriate speed to enhance its effectiveness and combining the above techniques in smooth flowing sequence
  • Adapting the massage techniques to model’s needs by verbal and non verbal communication
  • Transition from techniques to technique must be smooth and considered.
  • Spending enough time on a particular part of the body before moving to another
  • Adapting pressure and strength of techniques to models verbal and non verbal feedback
  • Using a sufficient number of the above strokes, techniques and appropriately on the areas of the body chosen for treatment and adapting them
  • Applying massage techniques considering human anatomy ( muscle location, palpation, massaging whole muscle, apply stretches holding correct joint, etc)
  • Therapists must stay present and attentive during treatment
  • Innovation and originality of using and mixing massage technique

Body mechanics during treatment (maximum 20 points)

  • Therapist needs to use their body in a way that enhances the effectiveness of the massage techniques
  • Therapists may want to use the lower body, not only arm, shoulders and upper body
  • Bend knees to allow smooth movement
  • Therapists position themselves around the model in the best way to perform the massage without extra effort
  • Therapists hands are usually relaxed and responding to models body contour
  • Therapists hands are relaxed to palpate model’s body
  • Avoid using posture and positions that are uncomfortable
  • Breath in a relaxed, slow and regular way during treatment
  • Hands are aligned to movement direction
  • Using body weight to move
  • Do not overuse one body part (such as thumbs, wrist joint) giving the massage

Interaction with model during competition (maximum 10 points)

  • Look for signs or ask model if they need extra cover (for warmth) and how is their comfort
  • Communicate with model about Moving model’s body part
  • Look for feedback, verbal and non-verbal, concerning pressure and speed of massage
  • Therapist must respond to verbal & non verbal feedback in an appropriate way
  • Amount of communication is appropriate (not too much/little)
  • Sensitivity to model’s

If you have any questions please post in the comments below or email


  1. Yasmin on 15/03/2018 at 4:39 pm

    How long is the actual massage?
    Wil it be a full body massage?
    Do we have to know names of muscles?
    Will we have to describe massage movement’s?

    • Laura Bethell on 12/04/2018 at 12:48 pm

      Hi – I have passed your questions onto some of our judges and will reply asap. In the meantime the massage times are one hour long per competition.

  2. Sarah durrant on 10/08/2018 at 8:35 am

    Hi do we get to choose which areas of the body we treat or is it set for example arms legs back? Also do we need any permissions from companies for using their products, oils etc?
    Will the couches provided be electrical or manual and if manual will we gain assistance in altering the height etc? Do our models need to be present on day 2? Thank you

  3. Nadia Faucher on 20/09/2018 at 5:50 pm

    I have just qualified but was a student when entered and registered as such.
    What should I do?

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