When their feathers stop falling, in October, we have already marked out young male canaries by their singing. Firstly we put them separately in wooden cages, especially made for competitions. We put these cages in a special cupboard with shelves for 5-6 days.
There aren't partitions between the cages so the canaries are getting used to each other. 35 days before the competition, we hang some kind of curtain on the cupboard to reduce light. The curtain is drawn 2-3 times per day for 15'.
The lighting of the room has to be artificial. This is also a competiton's condition as the birds have to get used to such an environment and not sing loudly and sharply. During the competition we can have them either in fours or singles. We can have as far as 3 singles. At frequent intervals we put the cages in a special room as for the birds to sing in front of humans. The canaries are put in 1.5 meter far from any human presence in order to get used to it during their singing.
The duration of the competition is 30'. In the room of the competition there are only the judge and the contestant canaries. Each cage had a certain number which is given by a delivery commitee. So the judge is not aware of their origin.
In some cases some birds do not sing correctly or they do not sing at all. As a result the sequence of four is not marked highly enough. However, we don't have to be disappointed as such occasions are frequent and completely normal. Canaries, as you understand, sing whenever they desire and they cannot be programmed like machines.
It is possible for some canaries which didn't sing well or didn't sing at all in one competition to be excelled in another.