Bowl Show

As we continue to adapt to the current situation, we have decided to go completely virtual for the 2021 monthly bowl shows for our members. We hope to return to in-person meeting bowl shows in 2022. Because we are getting a late start, there will be no classes for January. Instead, we will have classes for July, a month we typically do not meet.

All submissions shall be sent to, photos (preferred) or videos are acceptable for entries.  If submitting videos, they shall be less than 20 seconds in length. Previous submissions to the 2020 Virtual Extravaganza will not be accepted. The submissions shall be sent during the groups designated window, anything outside those dates will be disqualified.

The Board has decided to increase the monthly prizes and change the grand prize for the virtual event in the hopes to gain some participation. The updated winnings can be found in the rules. You must be a member in good standing with the club to participate in the monthly bowl show.

It is preferred the monthly winning are sent to a Paypal account, however if the member does not have Paypal then checks can be sent out quarterly.

Until next time, Ron

Part of every OCA monthly meeting is the bowl show. At each respective meeting three classes of fish can be shown. These classes are outlined in the Schedule of Bowl Show Classes which can be view by clicking below.

Download Bowl Show schedule »

What follows is a Bowl Show Primer by our former Bowl Show Chairman Lew Carbone
When I first joined the OCA, one of the main attractions of attending meetings was the Bowl Show. It was a chance to look at actual live fish I’d read about and heard about but never got a chance to see. I can think of no club activity that better fulfills the OCA’s reason for existence.

Because some members decline to participate because they’re not sure how, I offer the following information, some of it contributed by Ron Georgeone, a fellow OCA member and one of the nation’s top cichlid showmen.

What Judges Look For

Size: The closer to full adult size for that species, the better. Keep in mind, however, that most of the fish that are brought in are young, and therefore undersize. Also, what might disqualify a fish from consideration in a big show will only be a factor to be considered in a monthly Bowl Show.

Color: Specimens should have the correct color for that species, as intense as possible. The stress of moving (and the small container) sometimes causes colors to fade, so serious showmen accustom their fish to that situation. In our Bowl Show, however, you will very seldom, if ever, be facing that kind of competition, so the other fish in the show are very likely to be in a similar condition.

Finnage: Fins should be full sized, with extensions when appropriate. There should be no nicks, tears or splits. An imperfection won’t disqualify an entry.

Deportment: The fish should look comfortable in the show tank, and should not be trying to hide in the corner. A fish that looks like he wants to take a piece out of the judge scores highest in this category. Serious showman train fish to deport well, but remember, they will probably not be your competition in our Bowl Show.

General Condition: Show fish should have no deformities, missing scales or other injuries. The eyes should be clear. Bellies that appear hollow or bloated lose points unless that is a characteristic of the species.

2021 OCA Virtual Monthly Bowl Show Competition Rules

The primary purpose of the bowl show is educational and practice for the annual Extravaganza. It enables members to see and examine different species of fish, it familiarizes members as to judging procedures. In addition to encouraging the showing and keeping of fish.

  1. The Bowl Show Chairman, or designated appointee for a specific month, will have access to photo and/or video submissions. By submitting an entry, you are giving the OCA permission to publish the photo or video. Any unusual requirements, exceptions or questions about these rules must be discussed with the chairperson. Send all questions and submissions to
  2. Only members in good standing may submit entries.
  3. Fish MUST be displayed in a container (tank) having a flat viewing side. Points will be deducted for not having a ruler in the photo or video. The ruler may be displayed in a second separate photo.
  4. The entry shall be sent to the email address ( and contain the member name, the scientific name (if applicable), and the class being entered.
  5. No more than 4 entries may be submitted by any one member during a monthly show. Members may only submit two entries of a single species per month, but the entry must be a separate fish.
  6. Entries must be owned by the person(s) submitting it for judging. In addition, at the time of photo and/or video, the entry must be from an aquarium maintained by the person(s) submitting the entry.
  7. The chairperson, from time to time, may ask for guest judges in helping to award points. However, the final decision to award any points is the responsibility of the chairperson.
  8. Each month different categories, typically Cichlids and Catfish, will be judged. Checkout the most current listing for monthly classes.
  9. Size restrictions refer to full-grown adult sizes as reported by Cichlid Room Companion or Planet Catfish.
  10. A fish can be entered in only one of the available classes/groups, each month.
  11. Diseased, malformed, mutilated, hybrid specimens, not being a member of OCA, not submitting entry during submission period, or other reasonable grounds may be cause for disqualification of an entry. If an entry is disqualified, then all points and cash prizes accumulated for that month’s show will be forfeit by the person(s) that submitted the entry.
  12. The decision of the chairperson is FINAL.
  13. Monthly Point awards and cash prizes: (OCA to potentially award $85, and 45 points to all placing entries, per month)


Points awarded

Cash Prize

Best of Show*



First place, each class



Second place, each class



Third place, each class



Non-placing entry



*Will only be awarded if there are two or more entries

  1. Yearly Point awards and prizes:
    1. Grand Prize for 2021 OCA Bowl Show Champion (overall point leader at the end of the year) will include a Trophy (or plaque), $100 Cash Prize, and bragging rights for a year. To qualify for the grand prize, you must have earned points in at least three separate monthly shows.
    2. Tie breakers will be (listed in order) the number of Best of Show finishes, 1st place finishes, 2nd place finishes, and number of entries submitted for judging.

Good luck, and remember that we want to see your fish!

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