The song must be written and sung in the national language (or one of the national languages) of the country being represented. However, they can also have a few lines in a different language. The same rule was in the adults’ contest from 1966 to 1972 and again from 1977 to 1998. Performers must be nationals of that country or have lived there for at least two years.
Originally the competition was open to children between the ages of 8 and 15, however in 2007 the age range was narrowed so that only children aged 10 to 15 on the day of the contest were allowed to enter. In 2016 the age range was changed again. From now on children aged 9 to 14 on the day of the contest are allowed to enter.
The song submitted into the contest cannot have previously been released commercially and must last between 2 minutes 45 seconds and 3 minutes (as of 2013 onwards). The rule stating that performers also must not have previously released music commercially was active from 2003 to 2006. This rule was dropped in 2007 thus allowing already experienced singers and bands in the competition. As a result, NRK chose to withdraw from the contest.
Since 2008, adults have been allowed to assist in the writing of entries. Previously, all writers had to be aged 10 to 15.