The Yuma Jaycees

present the:

41st Annual Worthen Memorial Fiddle Contest

January 13 — 15, 2017

Location: Yuma Jaycees Clubhouse; 2577 E. County 14th St; Yuma, AZ

Judges for 2017 are Paul Dickerson, Matt Rolland and Dan Everts

Small admission fee each day
Dry Camping by donations
Open Jamming

Download the poster!
Download an Entry Form with Rules

40th Annual Worthen Memorial Fiddle Contest

was January 8 — 10, 2016

And the 2016 Contest Winners were:

Grand Champion
1st – Henry The Fiddler
2nd – John Kennedy
3rd – Madison Dietrich

Junior Junior
1st – Ranelle Dietrich
2nd – Emma Sheahan
3rd – Brie Dietrich

1st – Madison Dietrich
2nd – Katelin Makowsky

1st – John Kennedy
2nd – Linda Everts
3rd – Kevin DeRusha

1st – Henry the Fiddler
2nd – Debbie Dickerson
3rd – Laura Barry

Senior Senior

1st – Fred Lohman
2nd – Les Tucker
3rd – Arline Peterson

Husband and Wife
1st – Linda and Dan Everts

Twin Fiddle

1st – Chris Keenan and Robin Unger
2nd – Henry the Fiddler and Dan Everts

Trick and Fancy
1st – Henry the Fiddler
2nd – Fred Lohman

1st – John Kennedy
2nd – Bruce Wurst
3rd – Frank Moore

Other Stringed Instruments
1st – John Kennedy
2nd – Anna Jarocki
3rd – Bob Denton

About Our Judges:

Paul, Matt and Dan are all accomplished, professional Old Time Fiddlers and musicians who have competed in and judged many old time fiddle contests. They have a number of prizes among them both in Arizona and beyond.

The Prizes:

Junior/Junior - $25/20/15 and Certificate

Junior $35/25/20 and Certificate

Young Adult; Adult; Senior; Senior/Senior; Husband & Wife; Twin Fiddle;Trick and Fancy; Accompanist - $70/45/30

Other Stringed Instruments - $50/$35/$25

Band Scramble – Certificates

Grand Champion $125 & Trophy / 60 & Trophy / 40 & Trophy

The Rules:



1. Entry fees and applications due before 9:30 am on Saturday, no late entries will be accepted

2. All contestants shall draw for initial order of appearance. Contestants who are not ready when their number is called will be disqualified. Your draw number will be the same for both rounds.

3. ALL contestants MUST attend the fiddler and judges meeting. Failure to do so could be grounds for disqualification. Any rule changes, clarifications and/or answers to questions will be provided at that time. Failure to attend will NOT be reason for not knowing about any such changes presented there. Anyone unable to attend this meeting must notify the committee in writing as to why they cannot attend. (Emergencies will be considered as they are presented.

4. All age divisions except Jr. Jr. and Other Stringed Instruments: Each contestant shall play two rounds consisting of a hoedown, waltz and tune of their choice (not a waltz or hoedown)

5. Junior/Junior division will play one round consisting of a hoedown, waltz and tune of their choice (not a waltz or hoedown) to determine the winner.

6. Accompanists will play one round of two (2) tunes, a fast and a slow in any order. There will be a four (4) minute time limit.

7. Other stringed instruments - (Viola, Cello, Banjo, Mando, Dulcimers, etc.) will play one round of two (2) tunes - a hoedown and a waltz.. There will be a (4) minute time limit. For the purposes of this division guitar is not considered to be an "other stringed instrument" and may be used for accompaniment only.

8. Husband & Wife division will play two rounds of two (2) tunes, a fast and a slow in any order. One person must be the fiddler and the other the accompanist. No other musicians may be on stage other than the husband and wife that are competing. There will be a four (4) minute time limit. Contestants must be married to each other in order to compete in this category.

9. Twin Fiddle – will play two rounds of two (2) tunes, a fast and a slow in any order. There will be a four (4) minute time limit.

10. Trick and/or Fancy fiddling are permitted in the Trick or Fancy division but not in the age or championship division. There will be one round and one tune played in that round with a four (4) minute time limit.

11. No tune may be played more than once by the same contestant during all divisions of the fiddle contest or band competition, if applicable. Repeating tunes may result in disqualification.

12. There is a five (5) minute time limit across all age divisions. 10 points will be deducted from the total score for each 30-second interval over, or portion thereof. (If the time limit is 5 minutes, a 10-point deduction is assessed at 5 minutes 1 second and another 10 points will be deducted at 5 minutes 31 seconds and so on at each subsequent 30-second interval thereafter.)

13. NO MEDLEYS may be played in any category.

14. Each contestant may have no more than two accompanists, no amplified or electrical instruments allowed. Accompanists must be of a type OTHER than the category (i.e. a fiddle cannot have another fiddle accompany them in a fiddle division)..

15. There will be three judges.  Decisions of the judges will be final.

16. Contestants will be judged on tone, timing, danceability and old time style.

17. CROSS TUNING WILL BE PERMITTED in all categories. The old fiddlers used this as a standard technique even in Arizona (listen to Kenner “K.C.” Kartchner – born in the late 1800’s) and as such is recognized as a normal old time fiddle technique.

18. Judges score sheets will be available upon completion of contest.

19. Scores will be posted after each round of play.  Grand Champion scores will not be posted.

20. Division tiebreakers will be played at the end of each division with one hoedown being played.

21. The Grand Champion division will held on Sunday after all other divisions have played. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of each age division are automatically entered into this category and there is no entry fee. Junior/Junior winners are welcome (and encouraged) to return on Sunday to play in this division.

22. Grand Champion division contestants will play two tunes – one fast and one slow – in any order with a four (4) minute limit. Numbers will be drawn right before the division play begins.

23. If a string breaks, the fiddler may continue or stop. If the tune is complete, it will be judged as played. If the fiddler stops, he/she will be allowed to begin with that tune and complete his/her program. The time limit will be appropriately adjusted to the start of that time.

24. Any performer winning first place in any category (except grand champion) three years in succession must lay out for one year before competing again in the category in which they won first place though they may compete in other categories for which they would otherwise be eligible.

25. Disputes will be submitted to the judges and contest committee at the time of the event and a decision rendered at that time. The decision of the judges and committee on the problem presented will be final.

26. Any person hired by the contest (i.e. judges and hired accompanists) may not compete in the contest.

27. Any questions on rules may be submitted before or during the Judges meeting and will be considered by the judges and/or committee as deemed appropriate by the committee. Answers and clarifications will be provided at the judges meeting on the Saturday of the event.

28. Recordings may be sold. AOTFA will handle sales. Details and check in at the event.

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Download an Entry Form with Rules

Hotel link for Yuma


The Arizona Independent Old Time Fiddlers Association

This site last updated and all images © November 4, 2016 by Dan Levenson Old Time Music