Tournament Categories

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Please note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 Birding Classic has modified some rules. Please read rules, category descriptions, and registration forms closely.

Information for All Tournament Categories

The 2022 Birding Classic is back this Spring and will offer up your old tournament favorites while continuing to include some of the tournament modifications introduced in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Below is a listing of all 14 tournament categories available to birders during the 26th annual Birding Classic. With nine regional tournaments available in each category offering a Regional option - one for each Wildlife Trail region - that gives several options for ways a team can participate! There truly is something for everyone this year. (PDF version of All Tournament Category spreadsheet)

Tournament Category

Age group

Number of team members

Length of time spent birding

Regional *

Statewide **

Additional Information

Expanded Big Sit! Regional Tournaments all ages 1 or more up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight) X   - Teams select a 50-foot diameter circle from which to bird (NOTE: THIS IS A MODIFICATION TO ALLOW FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING).
- Team members can rotate in shifts or can be the same members all day.
- Birds identified and counted may be inside or outside of the 50' circle, but they MUST be seen/heard from a team member WITHIN the circle.
- Event t-shirts provided for up to 20 people on sponsored teams, but team can consist of more than 20 people (additional shirts may be purchased for $20 each).
Adult Statewide Weeklong Tournament - Intact Flock 19+ years
old
3-5 up to six consecutive full days (midnight to midnight each day) X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- Teams may bird from anywhere in the state.
Adult Regional Big Day Tournaments - Intact Flock 19+ years old 3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight) X    - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
 - Teams must bird within a single region of the state.
Adult Regional Big Day Tournaments - Dispersed Flock *** 19+ years old 3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight) X    - Dispersed Flock = Team members bird individually anywhere within their region.
 - All team members must be in the same region of the state.
 - Teams combine bird lists to submit ONE team checklist for the day to judges through eBird.
Adult Statewide Big Day Tournament - Dispersed Flock *** 19+ years
old
3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight)   X - Dispersed Flock = Team members bird individually anywhere within the state.
- Each team member may be in any region of the state.
 - Teams combine bird lists to submit ONE team checklist for the day to judges through eBird.
Roughwings Regional Tournaments - Intact Flock 13 years and
younger     
3-5 up to 8 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight); hours need not be consecutive X   - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- A mentor/driver does not identify or locate birds for the team but can help verify once ID'd by youth.
Roughwings Statewide Tournament - Dispersed Flock *** 13 years and
younger     
3-5 up to 8 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight); hours need not be consecutive  X - Dispersed Flock = Team members bird individually from anywhere in the state. This is a Statewide tournament category, not a Regional tournament.
- A mentor/driver does not identify or locate birds for the team but can help verify once ID'd by youth.
Gliders Regional Big Day Tournaments - Intact Flock *** 14-18
years old
3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight) X   - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- A mentor/driver does not identify or locate birds for the team but can help verify once ID'd by youth
Gliders Statewide Big Day Tournament - Dispersed Flock *** 14-18
years old
3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight)  X - Dispersed Flock = Team members bird individually from anywhere in the state. This is a Statewide tournament category, not a Regional tournament.
- A mentor/driver does not identify or locate birds for the team but can help verify once ID'd by youth.
Human-Powered Tournament - Intact Flock all ages 3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight)   X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- Team members may be in any region of the state.
- All birds identified must be seen/heard after the team has become fully human-powered (walking, bicycles, kayaks, canoes, etc.). No motorized vehicles/watercraft may be used to move between locations once tournament day is begun.
State Park Tournament - Intact Flock all ages 3-5 up to 24 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight)   X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- Teams select a TPWD state park and all birds identified must be seen/heard from within that park's official boundaries.
- Teams must make advance day-pass reservations and pay all park entry fees (or use their Texas State Parks Pass), including any overnight fees if starting the count before the park opens.
Sunrise to Noon Tournament - Intact Flock all ages 3-5 sunrise to 12:00noon   X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
 - Teams begin birding at dawn and can bird until 12:00noon.
Texas Two-Stop Tournament - Intact Flock all ages 3-5 up to 48 hours in a two-day period (midnight first day to 11:59pm the following day)   X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
- Teams select two birding sites that have distinct boundaries (examples: state/county/city park, NWR, WMA, nature center, TNC property) and may bird for up to 24 consecutive hours at each site, minus driving time between sites, in the 48-hour period. Final checklist is combined list total for both sites. No birds may be counted while driving between sites, only within boundaries of each of the two sites.
Outta-Sight Song Birder Tournament - Intact Flock all ages 3-5 up to 12 hours in a single day (midnight to midnight); hours do not need to be consecutive   X - Intact Flock = Team members bird and travel together.
 -This tournament is for birders who are blind or visually impaired. One sighted person per team allowed but not required. Sighted person must be blindfolded restricting bird identification to sound-based ID only. Driver/record keeper may not assist with bird location or identification.

* There are 9 different regions based on the Great Texas Wildlife Trail. Teams participating in a regional tournament must select their Great Texas Wildlife Trail region using the online Regional Tournament Map, indicate that region on their official team registration form, and stay within the boundaries of that region on their tournament day. Teams in regional tournaments compete against all other teams from the same region for each tournament category.

** Teams participating in a statewide tournament category are not confined to any one region of the state but instead compete against all other teams in that same category, regardless of area birded.

*** "Dispersed Flock" teams may put together a team of birders each located anywhere in Texas or in your selected region (depending on if you're entering a statewide or regional tournament). Teams must identify a single list collector for their team who will combine all team members' individual "patch" lists for the day into a single checklist on eBird. The list collector will then share this single cumulative list with the "GTBCStaff" eBird account as the team's official final checklist.

All Tournament Categories also available as a PDF.

General Guidelines for All Tournaments:greatblueheron

  • With the month-long format, participants may participate in more than one category and/or in the same category for multiple regions.
  • Official Registration Forms must be completed for every team entered (if entering more than one team or category, fill out forms for each team even if the team members will stay the same).
  • All applicable registration fees must be paid for each team to have official standing in the tournament.
  • Teams competing in a Regional Tournament must select which region they wish to compete in based on the Regional Tournament Map and mark that selection in the appropriate section of their Official Registration Form.
  • Teams include 3-5 members in all tournament categories except the Big Sit! tournament in which teams are formed by one or more people (as many as you would like to fit in a 50-foot circle through the course of a day!).
  • Mixed age teams will compete in the age category where 50 percent or more of the competitors fall (e.g., two 25 year-olds and one 17 year-old fall in the Adult category, but two 18 year-olds and one 21 year-old are Gliders). In the event that the team is 50/50, the team automatically falls in the older age group. Roughwings teams are excluded from this rule; all Roughwings team members must be ages 13 years old and under.