Competitors are required to be current members of OCB to compete in OCB events. Any participants not fullfilling the Membership requirement are subject to disqualification. All OCB events are open to participants from any state and any country. Competitors cannot have used any substance on the OCB banned list during the duration periods specified on the list.
All participants are required to pass polygraph screenings prior to competitions (polygraph test results from OCB and other natural federations' shows can be honored for OCB shows held within six weeks from the contest where testing took place. For federations other than OCB, the polygraph examiner who conducted the testing MUST send verification to OCB, OR the examiner's name and contact information MUST be supplied to OCB in order for results to be honored). In addition to polygraph testing, pro qualifying placement winners must pass a urine test.
Polygraph screenings are used since events are 7 years drug-free for most substances. Most anabolic steroids and other banned substances are no longer detectable in urine within a few weeks from last use, and growth hormone use cannot be detected with urine testing. Note: Approximately half who don’t pass the polygraph are bikini competitors. Certain banned substances can yield an unfair advantage in getting leaner and shapelier.
Categories offered include: Bikini, Men's Bodybuilding, Men's Classic Physique, Figure, Men's Physique, Women's Physique. Competitors can compete in only one category at a particular show.
Divisions offered at events are based on age and level of experience. Divisions offered at a particular event are at the event promoter’s discretion. The most common divisions typically offered are:
- Debut: First competition ever. Competitors cannot have ever competed in any category with any organization.
- Novice: Cannot have placed first in any class besides Teen, within any division, within any category, with any organization, with the exception of cases where first place was won in a class where the competitor was the only one in the class.
- Open: Open to everyone regardless of age and level of experience.
- Age: Age as of day of contest must fall within the stipulated age range (Ex: Age 50 & Over).
- Teen: Age 19 and under.
- Junior: Age 22 and under.
Formation of classes within divisions at a show is at a promoter's discretion. Promoters may elect to use specified height or weight ranges, or may form classes by dividing groups into as equal as possible parts by height or weight based on total number of entries in a division.
Each judge takes all criteria for a category into account and assigns one overall score for each contestant in the form of rank during the group comparison rounds. A highest and lowest rank for each competitor is dropped as a safeguard against human error and/or bias, whether intentional or on a subconscious level. The remaining judges' placements are summed, and the competitor with the lowest sum total receives 1st place in the class. Second lowest sum receives 2nd place, and so on. In cases of ties, competitors ranked higher by the majority of all judges are awarded the higher placements (see video example). In cases of three-way ties, the head judge's scores are referenced to determine tie-breaking placements. Individual presentations are not factored into scoring but do count toward consideration for Best Poser awards when offered.
OCB Pro Qualifiers
If an event is designated as a regular Pro Qualifier, the overall winners in the Open and Age 40+ divisions for all categories become eligible for OCB Pro contests. In cases where there are 30 or more participants in an Open division, the top two competitors in the division become eligible for OCB Pro contests.
If an event is designated as a Super Pro Qualifier, each class winner in the Open and Age 40+ divisions for all categories become eligible fo OCB Pro contests.
If an event is designated as a conditional pro qualifier (Pro Qualifier*), pro cards are awarded when divisions meet the required minimum turnouts. The minimums are:
Men’s Bodybuilding Open: 6
Men’s Bodybuilding Age 40+: 3
Men’s Physique Open: 6
Men’s Physique Age 40+: 3
Women’s Physique Open: 3
Women’s Physique Age 40+: 3
Figure Open: 6
Figure Age 40+: 3
Bikini Open: 6
Bikini Age 40+: 3
Regarding Men's Classic Physique, due to it just starting to be offered at OCB amateur shows in 2017, there aren't yet OCB Pro divisions offered for the category. However, once OCB Pro divisions begin being offered, all Men's Classic Physique Open overall winners from all OCB shows that were held prior to the beginning of the offering of the pro level will be considered eligible for OCB pro shows.
Competitors who win a pro-qualifying placement in a Masters Age 40+ division are eligible only for OCB Pro Masters Age 40+ divisions. Competitors over the age of 40 who win a pro-qualifying placement in an Open division are considered eligible for both OCB Open and OCB Masters Age 40+ pro divisions.
Competitors who qualify as OCB Pros for any category are considered eligible for all OCB Pro categories of their gender. Competitors may not compete in more than one category at any given OCB Pro show though.
*Note: Registering for OCB Pro Membership indicates desire to maintain pro eligibility. Competitors still have the option of continuing to compete as amateurs in OCB, if desired, until after participating in an OCB Pro show.