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Competition Rules

Guidelines for all Classes

Guidelines for Individual Classes:
Postal History
Postal Stationery
Social Philately



(Page 93 of the YPA Handbook)

1.   The first page should be an introductory page that shows the concept and its development within the exhibit. It should have a clear beginning; a clear theme and a logical ending. The plan is not a list of what is on each page. Include references on this page.

2.   The inclusion of non-philatelic items e.g. photographs, picture postcards, etc is not allowed. Maps and diagrams should be kept to a minimum.

3.   Too much description or duplication of the title on the remaining pages is not advised, nor is duplication of philatelic content.

4.   As the stamps are chosen to depict a theme it is preferable to use stamps in mint condition wherever possible.

5.   It is advisable to use as wide a range of relevant philatelic material as can be found to illustrate the theme, so the inclusion of postmarks, meter marks, postal history, postal stationery, booklets etc. will enhance the entry and reveal philatelic knowledge. Stamps from as many countries as possible should be used.

6.   Writing-up may be done by hand, typescript, computer or whatever method preferred but it is well to bear in mind that the theme should be told mainly by the material used, so too much writing could prove a disadvantage.

7.   Presentation is important so it is beneficial to exercise great care with the layout of each page and with the layout of the whole entry. It is always advisable before the final mounting of items takes place to carefully check the layout of each page and then view the complete entry. This will help to achieve a balanced entry, presented in an attractive manner and making the most of the philatelic material. Avoid overcrowding a page and alternatively, leaving large empty spaces. If a cover or card is used then mask the non-relevant parts.

8.   If using a typewriter or computer, it is better to use plain paper or the plain side of a sheet, as the quadrille lines of a sheet do not usually correspond with the typewriter or computer.

9.   Further guidance can be sought from the more experienced thematic collectors in your society and within the YPA. There are also a number of useful publications to guide those interested in thematic collecting and competition. These include two British Philatelic Trust publications, copies of which should be in your society library or with the secretary, “Introducing Thematic Collecting” by Alma Lee; and “Guidelines for Thematic Judges and Exhibitors” by Franceska Rapkin

10.   A more detailed handbook is “Handbook of Thematic Philately” by W E J van den Bold.


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