When you arrive at the room with your ballots, please take attendance. If the tournament allows double entry, some students may have signed in on the board and left to compete in their other event; they will return prior to the end of your round. If you have a student whose code number does not appear on your ballot, please send him/her to the Tab room for the correct room assignment. Students may be penalized for speaking in an incorrect room.
Remind everyone to turn off cell phones. If you will be using your phone to time, please remember to silence it by putting it into airplane mode.
Determine the speaking order. Some students may be double-entered and will need to speak at the beginning of the round so that they can leave for their other event. Others may arrive late, after having spoken in their other event, and will need to be inserted into the speaking order. You may use the speaking order listed on the ballot label, making accommodations for double-entered students, or you may ask the students to draw for speaking order.
It is your responsibility to time the students and record the time on the ballots. You should indicate the exact elapsed time on the ballots and note any time violations. The tab staff will assess appropriate penalties; you should score the round without consideration of the time violation.
If requested by the student, you should give students hand signals for time. Students in Extemporaneous Speaking depend upon your time signals. You should inform students of your timing system. In Extemp, the following intervals are usually signaled:
Time Remaining: 5 4 3 2 1 ½ Stop
Filling Out the Ballots
Your master ballot or ballot label will list the code numbers of the students you will judge. Judge only the students listed.
Students will write the name of their pieces on the board. Copy the information onto the ballots.
Time each performance and write it under “Time Elapsed”. If there is a time violation, remember to alert the staff when you turn in your ballots.
The ballots are the only feedback that the student will receive from you. Please be constructive and supportive. Include both positive comments and suggestions for improvement. Students will be very interested in which parts of their performance need work. It is essential that you write comments while students are speaking; the students expect this. Time constraints do not allow for writing all comments after students have finished speaking.
After you hear all contestants in a round, rank them 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. without ties.
Quality points must also be assigned. The range is 80-100 and should correlate to the ranks (i.e. highest quality points for the 1st rank). 100 points should only be awarded to an extraordinary performance.
If you question the suitability of a student’s material or feel there may have been a rule violation, do not mark the student down. Base your rank on the performance given, and report your concern to the ballot table after the round.
Please hand in your ballots as quickly as you can after the round; holding onto the ballots delays the tournament. If you need more time to write comments, check in at the ballot table first.
These events require the use of a manuscript. The author’s words as published in the literature may not be altered for this presentation with the exception that cutting is permitted. The student may use vocal skills, facial expressions, and/or hand gestures to develop a narrator and character/s. Speakers may not take lines belonging to one character and apply them to a different character in the performance. The presentation should include an introduction that cites the name of the piece and the author. No costumes or props may be used in the presentation.
Children’s Literature Reading: The student should present material designed to be read to children so that it may be understood and appreciated by a young child or children. (Note: This does not mean the literature must fall under nursery level only). The selection must be from a single published fictional or non-fictional story, play, a single long poem or a program of poetry. Material from more than one source is not allowed with the exception of programs of poetry. The cutting should provide a cohesive scene or storyline (containing a definite beginning, middle & end). Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Play Reading: The student should present a scene or scenes from a published play. The material may be either serious or humorous in nature. The selection must be from a single published play. Material from more than one source is not allowed. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Poetry Reading: The student will present material chosen from published poetry. Students may present either a single long poem or several shorter poems connected either by theme or by author. The poetry need not have a rhyming pattern. Free verse poetry is acceptable in this event. Verse dramas, including the plays of William Shakespeare, are not classified as poetry. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Prose Reading: The student will present material chosen from a single published short story, novel, or essay, fictive or non-fictive. The material may be either serious or humorous in nature. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Novice Reading: This event is limited to first-year forensic competitors ONLY. The student will present material either from prose, poetry, or drama. Children’s literature is acceptable in this category. The selection must be from a single published play, a fictional or non-fictional work, or a poem or program of poetry. Material from more than one source is not allowed, with the exception of programs of poetry. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
PLATFORM EVENTS: These are memorized events. No scripts, costumes, or props may be used in the presentation.
Declamation: The student delivers a speech written by some other person. The speech must have been presented as a public address and found in print, on video, DVD or on an audio recording. Speeches that have been used only for forensic competition are not acceptable, even if they can be found in print. The presentation should include an introduction that provides the title of the speech and the author, and should include relevant information about the theme and date of the oration or its historical significance. Dialects of the original speaker need not be mimicked. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Original Oratory: The student presents original thought and commentary on a topic of his/her choice. Generally, but not always, the speech is of a persuasive nature. A maximum of 150 directly quoted words is allowed in the oration. Students will be judged on their delivery skills and ability to discuss the topic effectively and intelligently. Students must use their own work. Students in Original Oratory are responsible for the accuracy of citations of evidence. Students must cite facts and analysis from source material accurately and in keeping with the author’s intent. Judges may request to see original copies of sources cited, and bring discrepancies to the attention of the tournament director. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
LIMITED PREPARATION EVENTS
Extemporaneous Speaking: The students will draw three topics of current interest from the material prepared by the tournament director. Usually topics are based on articles taken from recent issues of publications from major media outlets. The student must pick one of the three topics to prepare for a presentation. The students will have a 30-minute preparation period during which personal information files of books, magazines, and/or newspapers may be used to put together the presentation. This preparation period is the responsibility of the prep room, not the judge. After the presentation period, the student should deliver a speech to be evaluated for content and delivery. A single note-card with no more than 50 written words is permitted. If a note-card is to be used, the judge must review it prior to the presentation. Any note-card violation should be brought to the attention of the prep room coordinator prior to the speech; or, the student may choose to proceed without the use of the note-card. The topic slip must be presented to the judge in the round. No visual aids are allowed. Time: 7 minute maximum (30 second grace); no minimum
In the final round of Extemporaneous Speaking, a 3-minute cross-examination period will follow each speech. Each speaker will be cross-examined by the speaker who spoke before him/her in the round, with the first speaker being cross-examined by the student scheduled to speak last in the round. As a student speaks, the student who will ask him/her questions will watch. Immediately following the speech, the questioner will engage the speaker in cross-examination for a three-minute period. The purpose of cross-examination is to expand upon important points in a speaker’s speech and test their full knowledge of the subject. Cross-examination periods should be cordial and concentrate solely on the topic of the speech. Speakers should not talk over each other, nor should they monopolize the time; they must permit one another time to answer or ask questions. Judges should consider each speaker’s answers and the questions they ask in their final ranking of the round. Neither student may refer to notes during the cross-examination period.
Novice Extemporaneous Speaking: The rules for this event are the same as those for Extemporaneous Speaking except that this event is limited to first-year extemporaneous speaking competitors ONLY. This event does not have a cross-examination period in the final round. Time: 7 minute maximum (30 second grace); no minimum
Impromptu Speaking: On the speaker’s turn, he/she will select three topics from an envelope (or other such container), choosing one of them to perform. After the choice is made, the judge begins to time the event. The contestant has a total of 6 minutes to prepare and deliver his/her presentation. The time may be divided up as the contestant chooses. (Ex: 2 minutes prep, 4 minutes speaking). No outside materials, notes, props or costumes shall be used during presentation. A student has the option of using up to one 3”x5” index card of notes created during the preparation period. Students may use one blank 3”x5” card during each round. Impromptu topics may include proverbs, words, events, quotations or famous people. Time: No minimum time, but the contestant must cover the subject adequately, 6 minute maximum (30 second grace)
Group Discussion: Group Discussion is an event in which students discuss and argue a topic set at the beginning of the round. The topics will present an issue, designed to introduce a variety of conflicting opinions. Students will be given the generic nature of the issue in the tournament invitation, with a specific focus to be discussed at the start of the round. Students should research the topic in advance and may bring notes and outside resources into the competition. After the topic is revealed, students will be given 5 minutes to formulate their argument, draw for speaking order, and then each shall be given 2 minutes to deliver an opening statement. Then an open discussion period of up to 15 minutes shall follow in which the issue is discussed and criteria for a resolution or recommendation are established, followed by another period of open discussion of up to 15 minutes to present and discuss possible solutions that meet those criteria. The students will then have 1 minute to prepare their final arguments and 2 minutes to present their final argument in the reverse order of their opening.
Electronic device use in Group Discussion will be allowed with the following stipulations: Computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive information from any source (coaches or assistants included) inside or outside of the room in which competition occurs. Internet access, use of email, instant messaging, or other means of receiving information from sources inside or outside of the competition room are prohibited. Host schools are not required to provide power for electronic devices.
Radio Broadcasting: Radio Broadcasting is a public address event in which a student presents a classic, “top-of-the-hour” news broadcast in the voice of a single professional broadcaster. In this event, each student will receive a packet of news-copy or a newspaper. The student will report to a prep room where s/he will have 30 minutes to select and organize the material into a 5-minute radio news broadcast. Judges will listen to (not watch) the presentation. Throughout the broadcast, the timekeeper or judge will keep the student informed of time. Students may use minimal introductory remarks and transitional material. Advertising, including sponsorship taglines, is not allowed even if it is included in the copy provided by the tournament staff. Time: 5 minute maximum (5 second grace over or under-time)
INTERPRETATION EVENTS: These are memorized events with the exception of Multiple Reading in which a manuscript is used. The presentation should include an introduction that cites the name of the piece and the author and should develop the narrative and/or character(s) via vocal and physical techniques.
Dramatic Performance: This is a memorized event in which the student presents a selection of literature. The presentation should include an introduction that cites the name of the piece and the author, and should develop the narrative and/or character(s) via vocal and physical techniques. Neither monologues nor works with multiple characters are inherently better. The selection must be from a single published play, a fictional or non- fictional work, or a poem. Material from more than one author is not allowed. The author’s words as published in the literature may not be altered for this presentation with the exception that cutting is permitted. Speakers may not take lines belonging to one character and apply them to a different character in the performance. No scripts, costumes, or props may be used in the presentation. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Duo Interpretation: Duo is a unique event, challenging two performers to render a dynamic moment utilizing appropriate vocal expression, gesture, and interaction between partners. As a unit, the two performers will vocally and physically respond to each other’s verbal and non-verbal cues while maintaining an offstage focus. Thus, the scene requiring disciplined interplay between partners and the environment created in the minds of the audience. The students may only touch and make eye contact during their own written introduction. If lines from the selection are used in the introduction, the contestants must adhere to the rules of the event. Speakers may not take lines belonging to one character and apply them to a different character in the performance. The material may be humorous or dramatic, or may combine both tones, depending on the work selected. Performers may play more than one character if they choose, but it is not required. No scripts, costumes, or props may be used in the presentation. Time: 10 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum
Multiple Reading: A group of 3-8 students will present a scene or scenes from published material (play(s), work(s) of prose, and/or work(s) of poetry). The material may be either serious or humorous in nature. The students may use vocal skills, facial expressions, and/or hand gestures to develop a narrator and character/s; however, the focus of the performers should be off-stage. The students may only touch and make eye contact during their own written introduction. If lines from the selection are used in the introduction, the contestants must adhere to the rules of the event. The presentation should include an introduction that cites the name(s) of the piece(s) and the author(s). The cutting should provide a cohesive scene or storyline (containing a definite beginning, middle and end). The material must be found in printed literature. Theatrical props and costumes are prohibited, with the exception of reader’s stands, chairs, tables or stools. If binders or furniture are used as props, those objects may not make physical contact with one another or other students. Students are prohibited from placing chairs on top of tables. Teams must provide any/all of their own furniture. Time: 12 minute maximum, including introduction (30 second grace); no minimum