Dear publishers and game designers,

Thank you for your interest in the Indie Board Game Awards (further on IBGAW)! If you would like to enter your game to be considered for the award, please check the game’s eligibility criteria below. In addition, by submitting your game to the IBGAW you agree with data processing according to the “Datenschutzerklärung / Privacy” section. Furthermore you confirm that you are the copyright owner or have a license to submit the game to the IBGAW, as well as the right to share the cover art with the IBGAW. You confer a non-exclusive, perpetual license to the IBGAW to use the cover art, game name, and rule book for the purpose of the award and for use on the website.

You also acknowledge that, if your game is selected to advance to stage 3 of the award, you are required to send two physical copies of your game to the organizer (Herbertz Entertainment UG (haftungsbeschränkt)) for reviewing purposes and for the award show.

The IBGAW is not subject to legal recourse.

During the IBGAW 2020, the categories are “best game,” “best rulebook,” and “best cover.”

In addition, there is going to be an audience vote to determine the “best game (popular vote),” and “best cover (popular vote).”


The eligibility criteria for games are as follows:

  1. The game needs to have a Boardgamegeek (BGG) page
  2. The game needs to have a BGG “own” community stat equal to or less than 5k, since the goal is to highlight great, but not yet widely known games
  3. The game needs to be for sale (ideally in retail stores, but at conventions like Gencon, Origins, UKGE, or SPIEL would also be acceptable)
  4. The game needs to have a print run of at least 500 copies
  5. The game needs to either be in English or language independent
  6. The game needs to have an English PDF rulebook
  7. The game needs to have an age rating of at least 8+
  8. The game’s publication date must be from either one of the three years prior to the award show (e.g. games that were published in 2017, 2018, or 2019 are eligible for the IBGAW 2020)
  9. The game has not been entered in a previous IBGAW
  10. The game is entered via e-mail during the submission period (1st of February 2019 until 31st of January 2020)
  11. The game is at most the designer’s third game
  12. The publisher employs five or fewer people


Please submit your PDF rulebook and cover art image to



31.01.2019 – 31.01.2020: Stage 1 – Submission period. Rulebooks in PDF Format are submitted until either the deadline (31st of January 2020, 23:59 CET) or the entry cutoff (currently 50 entries) is reached. The number for the entry cutoff depends on the number of reviewers. Entries before the deadline, but after the entry cutoff are placed on a reserve list. Entries on the reserve list may advance to the next stage, if initial entries violate the eligibility criteria or if the entry cutoff is extended due to additional reviewers volunteering for the IBGAW judging.

01.02.2020 – 30.04.2020: Stage 2 – the rule books are distributed to the reviewers and are being reviewed. At most, each reviewer only receives ten (10) rulebooks to judge. Reviewers go through the rulebooks and identify the best game out of those entries. The selected entry advances to the next stage. It is also possible to dismiss all of the entries. If there are less than 5 reviewers, then the organizer (Herbertz Entertainment UG (haftungsbeschränkt)) reserves the right to act as a reviewer for up to fifty (50) entries and may pick up to five (5) entries to advance to the next stage.
In addition all of the rulebooks are rated, in order to provide a base value for the “best rulebook” award and the cover art is rated to provide a base value for the “best cover” award.

01.03.2020 – 31.07.2020: Stage 2.5 – in parallel to the reviewers, the community voting is opened up to select the “best game (popular vote),” and “best cover (popular vote).”

01.05.2020 – 31.07.2020: Stage 3 – during this stage two review copies are required from the successful entries of stage 2. One is sent to the reviewer to allow them to assess the game and possibly write / film a review. The other is sent to the organizer to enable assessment in case of a tie and to present the game during the award ceremony.

01.08.2020 – 31.08.2020: Stage 4 – the scores are tallied. If there is a tie, then the organizer carries out internal play sessions to break the tie.

01.10.2020 – 31.10.2020: The Indie Board Game Awards Ceremony is broadcast on the internet (preliminary plan to broadcast live on twitch one week prior to the SPIEL games fair and subsequently upload to youtube with a direct link on the website). Rankings are shown on the website. The winning entry receives a file of the award that may be placed onto future production runs.


The time line may change as required.

Anyone who cannot objectively rate games due to a conflict of interest has to inform the organizer and be assigned different games.

The organizer’s games are ineligible for the IBGAW.