About BOTY

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Pasted Graphic-1, © Braun BOTY
© Braun BOTY

The Battle of the Year (BOTY) is the biggest b-boying competition in the world, often referred to as the ‘world cup of breakdancing’.

As a b-boy, it does not get much bigger than competing at the Battle of the Year finals. Just to get there, crews must first compete in regional BOTY preliminaries around the world. Then, in front of a packed audience, they perform a six-minute choreographed routine which is judged on synchronicity, stage presence, theme, music, as well as b-boying moves.

The best crews then go through to the final battles, an electrifying unscripted play-off that sees the rival b-boys battling each other, face-to-face, individually and as a crew, for the ultimate prize.

But BOTY is much more than a contest. It's a week-long festival of hip-hop culture, featuring 1 vs 1 and We B*Girlz battles, gigs, workshops and more to ensure the event stays true to its b-boy roots — spreading hip-hop culture to a larger public audience.
 
The competition has grown dramatically since the first event took place in Germany in 1990. After having the event in Montpellier/France for 3 years in front of a 13,000 people audience we came back to Braunschweig/Germany in 2013. In 2014 we are going to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the support of NEW YORKER and the City of Braunschweig.

History

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BOTY history, © BOTY Headoffice, © BOTY Headoffice
© BOTY Headoffice

The big breakdance hype in Germany was gone in the end of the 1980s. Only a few b-boys still trained without the public eye and started to build up a national network. In 1989 the hip hop community Jay Force Posse organized a festival, where 400 people attended - also Battle Squad with Swift and Swipe (aka Storm) and Sonny T from Hamburg. Driven by the success of the festival the Jay Force Posse decided to organize a pure b-boy competition the following year. This time they wanted to unite b-boys across the borders and invited crews from Switzerland, England and the GDR. On June 9, 1990 the first Battle of the Year took place in Hannover. At that time the event was called "International Breakdance Cup", one year later "The Battle" and in 1992 the name "Battle of the Year" was coined. The first BOTY in 1990 was a big success. Over 500 spectators visited the event. The most important crews were TDB, Five City Rockers, Fresh Force Crew, Breakdance Collection Leipzig, Crazy Force Crew and Second to None. The competition simply consisted of one show without battles. In 1990 a union of the crews TDB from Berlin and Second to None from Bournemouth won the competition. Already one year later the audience of the BOTY increased to a number of 2000 people and crews like Enemy Squad from Hungary and the famous Battle Squad from Italy and Germany attended. After the breakup of the Jay Force Posse the hanoverian crew Burning Moves around Thomas Hergenröther continued the organization of the BOTY with changing places. The event took place in Celle and Hannover until 1997, where the BOTY came to Offenbach near Frankfurt. In the meantime Akim Walta with his company MZEE joined the organization team and the BOTY became a steady annual institution. At this point some typical BOTY characteristics were set with Trix and Spax as hosts for the event and Mode 2 responsible for the graphic design.

Hip Hop became more and more popular in the mid of the 1990s and the BOTY felt the effects - in 1997 nearly 4000 people attended the BOTY and with Style Elements a crew from the US won the competition for the first time. But with the growing popularity the dark side of hip hop manifested. In 1996 the BOTY was disturbed by so-called "Hip-Hop-Hooligans" with their destructible manner. They bombed the city with graffitis, robbed gas stations and stole the event cash box. Furthermore, internal tensions led to a breakup in 1999 of MZEE and Thomas Hergenröther, but Thomas went on determined by his vision of the BOTY. In 2000 the EXPO in Hannover became co-operation partner of the event. On October 14, 2000 the biggest event in history of BOTY took place in Hannover with over 10,000 spectators. Crews from all over the world participated, but the winner of this evening were Flying Steps from Berlin.
In 2001 Thomas Hergenröther met with Storm and Mode 2 in Paris to discuss the future of the BOTY, knowing that they can't keep the quantity of people. The plan was to return to the roots of the event with a   familial atmosphere, but simultaneously take responsibility as an established event with showing new perspectives to young b-boys. From now on the BOTY logo was decorated by the subtitle "A change of direction" and the event found at the Volkswagen Halle in Brunswick a new home. By now BOTY had preliminaries all over the world - the event increased from a small underground party to an international format with a continuous quantity of spectators. BOTY also grew with regards to content. With workshops, exhibitions, warm-up parties, b-girl battles or one on one battles the BOTY became a full week major event. From there on also BACKSPIN with Frank Petering and Bodo Falk was a new partner of BOTY for several years.

After 20 years of Battle of the Year in Germany the organisation team decided to move the Battle of the Year to Montpellier-France from 2010-2012. For the German organization team the decision to leave Germany was not easy to make. The German b-boy scene and the constant audience is really important to the team, but after 20 years it is time for the Battle of the Year to move forward and to start something new. This is also an opportunity to open up the BOTY to another audience and give more people the chance to be part of the event. The choice of France for the new location of the BOTY International 2010 and the decision to work with our French partner came naturally when the decision to make evolve the BOTY International location for 2010. The French b-boy and Hip Hop scene has always been one of the most active and innovative in the world. Our BOTY France partners - Attitude, City of  Montpellier and  Languedoc-Roussillon Region also brought in their ten years of experience in organization of BOTY France, a convenient and adapted location (Montpellier's Arena offered more than 13,000 seats) and a support that allowed the event to evolve and propose an even more complete program. In 2014 we are very glad to celebrate our 25th anniversary in Braunschweig/Germany with the support of NEW YORKER and the City of Braunschweig.

Philosophy

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BOTY philosophy, © BOTY Headoffice, © BOTY Headoffice
© BOTY Headoffice

Every year we try to feature the best and most innovative B-Boy crews from all over the world. One of our goals is to make this event as international as possible. The Battle Of The Year is a platform for B-Boys and Hip Hop culture in general and an opportunity for all participants to express themselves in a peaceful and non-racist environment.

The BOTY is up to this day a non-profit event which is a merit of the honorary workers and sponsors that make this competition happen with their help. Since 1996 we try to integrate young and motivated people willing to take part in the planning and implementation process of the BOTY.

One example is the SWAT-posse from Berlin which is a constant component of the organization team. Through their aspiration to work nationally they also got to know the WOSTOK MOB from Thüringen. And there are many others who are down since day one and did a lot to make all this happen.

The BOTY doesn't only support talented B-Boys but also gives the youth a chance to be creative and show their talents in other subjects like administration and organization. Due to this we still try to guarantee best conditions for the dancers and the event as a whole including relatively low prices.

Though it is getting difficult to find adequate locations for this event that is growing every year, we won't exclude nobody that wants to take part. But the number of participating crews as well as the future of the BOTY depends on our budget and sponsor contributions.

Institutions and companies need to realize that this event reflects youth culture and contributes to social understanding worldwide like few others do...

Basic Rules

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For the year 2006 the following basic rules are fixed for all national german and international "Battle Of The Year" events.

The reason for fixing the rules is to make the worldwide BOTY series more equal and fair to all participating B*Boy crews. It is an absolute task for our worldwide BOTY licence partners to take those rules very serious!

The rules give a strict guideline and support for all local organizers,
help to develop the art of b-boying, dancing and performing in general,
make the BOTY events more interesting to the participating crowd.

The rules also will avoid discussions with participating B*Boy crews complaining about fairness or other topics if the local organizer sticks to them seriously.

The rules were fixed by the demand of some of our national and international BOTY partners and of course by the demand of the international b-boying scene.

Rules:

  1. after the showround there will be two semi final battles (place 2 vs. 3 and place 1 vs. 4 of the showround ranking). After that there will be one final battle between the two winners of the semi finals. Suggested time for the semi final battle is ten minutes each, suggested time for the final battle is 15 minutes
  2. crew ranking number one after the showround automatically wins the price for the best showcase
  3. the maximum length of the show is six minutes which will be very strictly adhered to in 2006
  4. we prefer to have a maximum number of crewmembers of 8 persons per crew. The local BOTY organizers only have to pay the trip (flight, train, bus, car) for eight persons of the winning crew. Extra members of the crew have to pay their trip to the BOTY World Finals on their own expanses, they also have to pay their local accommodation in Braunschweig/ Germany on their own expanses
  5. only real crews are allowed to participate in the competition. Real crews means dancing, practising and performing together beside the BOTY
  6. the individual dancers are only allowed to join one national or international elimination
  7. involved members of the local BOTY organizations are not allowed to participate in the competition as a dancer
  8. the jury should consist of 3 to 5 members, selected very carefully in close agreement with the BOTY Headoffice/ Germany. At least one member of the jury should be one of our BOTY judging team

Judging System

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BOTY judging system, © BOTY Headoffice, © BOTY Headoffice
© BOTY Headoffice

Why a Judging System?

For most of the worldwide B-Boy and B-Girl Community the Battle of the Year is a unique and very important event. That’s why every decision made on this event has a big influence to the whole scene. The judges have a big responsibility. That’s why we were looking for equal rules of judging for every Battle of the Year event, to make the system of judging more transparent and understandable for everybody.

The following explanations will give you as an organizer, a judge or a dancer a guideline how to decide or participate at Battle of the Year events.

First of all a jury member has to be in a position to evaluate a lot of different criteria. Of course not every jury member knows everything, but we claim to be open minded and willing to learn new things without forgetting the foundations. Open your eyes for developments and innovations in B-Boying.

The Battle of the Year has always been a B–Boying/Girling championship. B–Boying/Girling includes Toprock & Downrock with the sub-elements Uprock, Footwork, Legwork, Powermoves and Freezes. Other danceforms like Locking, Popping, House-Dance or even traditional elements from e.g. Capoeira or Salsa can be hosted in your show, and will have an influence on the judging if they are integrated into the whole performance in a self contained and sense full way. This means we don’t exclude Popping, Locking etc. but nobody is forced to integrate them into their performance.

On What Criteria the Judges Have to Vote

There are different criteria which will be voted on by the judges.
For each criterion each judge has to give points from 1 to 10.
As more points the judges are giving to a crew as better the crew will stand in the ranking list. As usual the best four crews in the rankings will go for the final battles. During the battle there will be supplementary specific battle criteria to vote for the judges.

Show Criteria

  • Synchronicity
    "The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous"
    How synchronised is the crew performing the show (if there are synchronised parts in it).
  • Stagepresence
    "The state or fact of being present; current existence or occurrence"
    Is the crew performing in a way that doesn’t let you look at something else. Does the crew impress thru what they’re performing.
  • Theme & Music
    "A subject of artistic representation. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre"
    Like description of dictionary.
  • Choreography
    "Something, such as a series of planned situations, likened to dance arrangements"
    Does the whole show make sense.
    Is there a concept which guides thru the show.

B-Boying Criteria

  • Toprock
  • Footwork/Legwork
  • Freeze
  • Powermove

No explanation necessary.

Battle Criteria

  • Response
    How does the crew/dancer react on what the opposite has given.
  • Routines
    What kind of “Battle”- routines does the crew/dancer bring on stage.
  • Strategy
    How the crew/dancer is planning and perform during the battle.
  • Attitude
    What kind of mentality the crew/dancer brings to the battle situation.
    Is there any disrespecting acting which has nothing to do with the battle itself. It’s not about who is going nearer to the battle opponent or who is insulting the most, but it’s about who is better in B-Boying/ Girling.
  • Voluntary Touching
    No touching permitted!

What Are The Judges Looking At To Decide How To Vote

Point of view concerning "knowledge":

  • Vocabulary
    "A supply of expressive means; a repertoire of communication"
    How many different movements is the crew/dancer able to do.
  • Innovation
    "The act of introducing something new"
    What makes the crew something special, different to the others.
  • Foundation
    "The act of founding, especially the establishment of an institution with provisions for future maintenance. The basis on which a thing stands is founded or supported"
    How many of the basic movements, that have been evolved in the beginning of this dance, is the crew/dancer able to do.
  • Concept
    "A general idea derived or inferred from specific instances or occurrences. Something formed in the mind; a thought or notion"
    Do the things which the crew/dancer is doing work together, does it makes sense. Is there a clear idea or a message in what the crew/dancer is showing.

Point of view concerning "execution":

  • Control
    "Authority or ability to manage or direct"
    How clean and perfect is the crew/dancer able to do the movements.
    It’s not about hitting the floor and destroying the body.
  • Expression
    "The act of expressing, conveying, or representing in words, art, music or movement; a manifestation"
    How does the crew/dancer show his/its feelings. Does the crew/dancer communicate with the crowd thru the movements and the interpretation of the music.
  • Aesthetics
    "A guiding principle in matters of artistic beauty and taste; artistic sensibility"
    How good looks what the crew/dancer is doing. Does it fit to the b-boy formula.
  • Rhythm
    "Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions"
    Does the crew/dancer move to the rhythm.
  • Difficulty
    "The condition or quality of being difficult"
    How difficult is what the crew/dancer is doing.

Change of direction

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Here are some basics behind the idea:

  • Hip Hop is a participating artform
  • the attending crowd should be integrated in an interactive and participating way into the BOTY events (eg. through b-boy circles, discussions, added club events, etc)
  • for the future the participating b-boy crews and the attending crowd should be focussed more on the interactive component of the event than the competitive part
  • B-Boying is considered to be a dance and not an "extreme sport"
  • the BOTY wants to take more responsibility for the skills & future of the b-boys/girls, showing them more/new opportunities, e.g. professional performances in the fields of theater and contemporary dance

After having decided that the "Battle of the Year" will continue it also has been decided that something has to be changed in general as it already was predicted in the year 2000.

The new "Battle of the Year" format get´s a subline which will appear as a baseline to the existing logo. The subline is: "A Change Of Direction"

The public clearly shall understand that the BOTY from now on will be taken into domains that haven´t dealt with it before. The importance of evolution beyond the confines of the competition will be underlined, reaching out of hip hop community towards the cultural and professional world of dance in general.

The BOTY wishes to give all participants and winners a real chance for a future in dance, which has been impossible until today, due to the fact that the BOTY is not recognised officially by dance companies and institutions outside of hip hop community. They will not make the effort to come to us, so we have to "de-ghettoise" ourselves and reach out to make them understand how far our culture has come, and its importance to the youth worldwide as a real means of expressions, communication, and of fun and entertainment.

In the years 2001 and 2002 the BOTY included major conferences on many aspects of dancing within or without our hip hop culture, which means of course having to make parallels with the other disciplines of hip hop.

In the year 2002 there also was a conference at the german national finals and our aim for the future is to expand the conferences on our international eliminations. More than 600 people attended and participated in our conferences. Internationally known speakers like Storm, Mode 2, Break-DJ-Leacy, Wicket, Crazy, Toni L and many more were integrated.

In the year 2003 again there were different activities including warm up parties, after show parties, room for discussions and international exchange and of course the BOTY 2003 "a change of direction ..." conference. One of the main topics was the introduction of the new judging system, background and reasons for it.


The public and the readers shall feel free to give personal input about changing or adding new/other topics and thoughts by making use of the "a change of direction" - forum on this website.

Dirk Corell, Thomas Hergenröther, Mode 2, Niels "Storm" Robitzky

Past events

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Hall of fame

Battle Of The Year 2012
Best Show: Vagabonds
Battle 1: Pockemon (France) vs De Klan (Italy)
Battle 2: Morning of Owl (Korea) vs Formosa (Taiwan)
Battle 3: Pockemon (France) vs Vagabonds (France)
Battle 4: Morning of Owl (Korea) vs Floorriorz (Japan
Final Battle: Floorriorz (Japan) vs Vagabonds (France)
Winner: Vagabonds (France)

Battle Of The Year 2011
Best Show: Vagabonds (France)
Final Battle:
1. Vagabonds (France)
2. Battle Born (USA)
Semi Finals:
Vagabonds (France) vs TPEC (Taiwan)
Battle Born (USA) vs Nine Stages B-boyz

Battle Of The Year 2010
Best Show: Mortal Combat (Japan)
Final Battle:
1. Jinjo Crew (Korea)
2. Mortal Combat (Japan)
Semi Finals:
Jinjo Crew (Korea) vs Gamblerz (Korea)
La Smale (France) vs Mortal Combat (Japan)

Battle Of The Year 2009

Best Show: All Area (Japan)
Final Battle:
1. Gamblerz (Korea)
2. Top 9 (Russia)
Semi-Finals:
Gamblerz (Korea) vs. Phase T (France)
All Area (Japan) vs. Top9 (Russia)

Battle Of The Year 2008
Best Show: Top 9 (Russia)
Final Battle:
1. Top 9 (Russia)
2. T.I.P. (Korea)
Semi Finals:
Top 9 (Russia) vs. Smokemon (France)
T.I.P. (Korea) vs. Formosa (Taiwan)


Battle Of The Year 2007
Best Show: Turn Phrase Crew (Japan)
Final Battle:
1. Extreme Crew (Korea)
2. Turn Phrase Crew (Japan)
Semi Finals:
Extreme Crew (Korea) vs. Legiteam Obstruktion (France)
Turn Phrase Crew (Japan) vs. Funk Fellaz (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 2006
Best Show: Vagabonds (France)
Final Battle:
1. Vagabonds (France)
2. Last for one (Korea)
Semi Finals:
Vagabonds (France) vs. Drifterz (Korea)
Last for one (Korea) vs. B-Town Allstars (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 2005
Best Show: Ichigeki (Japan)
Battles:
1. Last For One (Korea)
2. Ichigeki (Japan)
3. Gambler (Korea)
4. Phase T (France)


Battle Of The Year 2004

Best Show: Break The Funk (Italy)
Battles:
1. Gambler (Korea)
2. Fantastik Armada (France)
3. Stuttguard (Germany)
4. Break The Funk (Italy)


Battle Of The Year 2003
Best Show: Fire Works (Japan)
Battles:
1. Pockémon (France)
2. Expression (Korea)
3. Gambler (Korea)
4. Fire Works (Japan)


Battle Of The Year 2002
Best Show: Vagabond Crew (France)
Battles:
1. Expression (Korea)
2. Vagabond Crew (France)
3. Deep Trip (Switzerland)
4. Top 9 (Russia)


Battle Of The Year 2001
Best Show: Visual Shock (Korea)
Battles:
1. Wanted (France)
2. Team Ohh (Japan)
3. HaviKoro (USA)
4. Visual Shock (Korea)


Battle Of The Year 2000
Best Show: Waseda Breakers (Japan)
Battles:
1. Flying Steps (Germany)
2. Waseda Breakers (Japan)
3. Scrambling Feet (Switzerland)
4. South African Allstars (South Africa)
(no award for best individual anymore)


Battle Of The Year 1999
Best Show: Spartanic Rockers (Switzerland/Japan)
Best Individual: Vietnam (Rock Force, USA)
Battles:
1. Suicidal Lifestyle (Hungary)
2. Rock Force (USA)
3. Bag Of Trix (Canada)
4. The Family (France)


Battle Of The Year 1998
Best Show: Spartanic Japan
Best Individual: K-Mel (Phase 2, USA)
Battles:
1. Rock Force (USA)
2. The Family (France)
3. Phase 2 (USA)
4. Suicidal Lifestyle (Hungary)


Battle Of The Year 1997
Best Show: South Side Rockers (Germany)
Best Individual: Crumbs (Style Elements, USA)
Battles:
1. Style Elements (USA)
2. South Side Rockers (Germany)
3. Black Noise (South Africa)
4. Suicidal Lifestyle (Hungary)


Battle Of The Year 1996
Battles:
1. Toys In Effect (Switzerland)
2. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
3. Wedding B-Boys & Flying Steps (Germany)
4. Passo Sul Tempo (Italy)


Battle Of The Year 1995
Battles:
1. The Family (France/Italy)
2. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
3. Out Of Control (Denmark)
4. Flying Steps (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 1994
Battles:
1. Vlinke Vuesse (Germany)
2. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
3. Always Rockin Tuff (UK)
4. Crazy Force Crew (Switzerland)


Battle Of The Year 1993
Battles:
1. Always Rockin Tuff (UK)
2. Fresh Force (Germany)
3. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
3. TDB (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 1992
Battles:
1. Battle Squad (Germany)
2. Second 2 None (UK)
3. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
4. TDB (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 1991
(aka "The Battle")
Battles:
1. Battle Squad (Germany)
2. TDB (Germany)
3. Enemy Squad (Hungary)
4. Fresh Force (Germany)


Battle Of The Year 1990
(aka "International Breakdance Cup")
Shows:
1. TDB (Germany/UK)
2. Crazy Force Crew (Switzerland)
3. City Rockers (Germany)
(only shows, no battles yet)