2020 CHSSA Middle School State Champs
Dates: 5/1/2020 - 5/3/2020

Individual Event Rules

General Rules for Spontaneous Events     

       Preparation: As soon as a topic is chosen and through the time that the speech is given, the speaker will prepare a speech without consulting any person and without reference to notes prepared prior to the draw. The speaker may ask clarifying procedural questions of tournament officials.

       Time: Each contestant shall be given time signals for at least the final five minutes, one minute, half a minute, and last ten seconds of the contestant’s speech. If these minimal times signals are not provided, then the contestant may not be penalized for going over the time limit. If these minimal time signals have been provided and the contestant exceeds the time limit by more than 15 seconds, the student may not be ranked 1st.  If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period.

       Delivery: Notes are NOT allowed during the presentation of the speech.

       Costumes or physically held props (the use of something extraneous to the body) are prohibited. Violations of general and/or specific rules, except as noted, shall result in the contestant being ranked no higher than seventh (7th) place in the round(s) in which the violation occurs or being disqualified..                                    

Extemporaneous:

       Broadly newsworthy topics shall be drawn from publications dated January 1 through one week prior to the tournament. A minimum of ten topics will be written for each round of each extemporaneous speaking event. The topics for each round will be in a distinct topic area not to be used in any other round for the duration of the tournament.

       Drawing: Each contestant shall draw three topics for each round. Each shall be called to draw by speaking order and panel. The contestant must promptly choose one topic of the three drawn and return the other two topics. Each contestant shall draw topics thirty minutes prior to his/her scheduled speaking time.

       Preparation: Students may consult published or electronic sources, books, magazines, newspapers and journals or articles therefrom.(But no internet.)

       Use of computers: Extemporaneous Speaking contestant may use electronic retrieval devices to store and retrieve their subject files. Students can retrieve extemporaneous files to read, but cannot write speeches or organize their thoughts on the computers. Electronic retrieval devices are defined as laptop computers, netbooks, iPads, or other portable electronic retrieval equipment. Secondary devices such as flash drives or external hard drives are allowed as well. Cell phones or smartphones are prohibited. (Students may not share electronic devices with one another.) Extemporaneous Speaking contestants shall not access the Internet. All wireless capability must be disabled. 

       Contestants shall not speak more than seven minutes. There is no minimum time.

Impromptu:

       Topics: Topics will be selected from any source, including concrete nouns, quotations, general topics of current interest, single abstract nouns, famous people, famous historic events, and brief thought-provoking questions.

       Speakers are to be in the room throughout the entire round. (Unless double-entered.)

       Drawing: Each contestant shall draw three topics from a judge in the round and immediately select one.

       Preparation: No more than two minutes shall be allowed the speaker prior to the speech. Timing begins the moment the selection of the topic has been made. No sources may be consulted during the preparation time.                                                           

       Notes: The speaker may make notes during the two-minute preparation.

       Time: Contestants shall not speak more than five minutes. There is no minimum time.

Spontaneous Argumentation (SPAR):

       Topics: SPAR topics are worded in the form of resolutions and may be silly or serious (i.e. “Resolved: Shoes should be optional” or “Resolved: Foreign-born American citizens should be able to be elected president of the United States”).

       Procedure: The first speaker that the judge calls up is the Affirmative, the second is the Negative and goes against the first. This continues until every speaker has spoken. If there is an odd number of speakers, an earlier speaker may volunteer to SPAR the final speaker. The earlier speaker will only be evaluated on their first SPAR.

       The judge gives the “Aff” speaker the topic. That speaker has 1 minute to prepare. The Aff then gives a 1-minute speech in which he/she supports the topic and builds his/her position

       The opponent then has 1 minute to prepare. The “Neg” then gives a 1-minute speech, building the reasons to negate the resolution. The two speakers then square off against each other in a civilized manner for 3 minutes of open, unstructured argument.

       It ends with the Neg then giving a 1-minute rebuttal, in which he/she clashes against the ideas offered by the Aff and summarizes his/her position. The Aff has the last word, giving a 1-minute rebuttal in which he/she clashes against the ideas offered by the Neg and summarizes. Both speakers deliver their arguments to the judge only; they should not face each other.

       Preparation: No more than one minute shall be allowed the speaker prior to their first speech. Timing begins the moment the topic has been made chosen. No sources may be consulted during the preparation time.                                                  

       Notes: The speaker may make notes during the one-minute preparation.

       Time: Contestants shall not speak more than one minute per speech. There is no minimum time.

 

General Rules for Platform/Original Composition Events (Expository/Informative, Original Advocacy/Original Oratory, and Original Prose & Poetry:             

       Topics: All speeches entered must be the original work of the contestant (or contestants, with regards to Creative DUO).                                             

       Time: Speeches shall be no longer than ten minutes; there is no minimum time. If this time limit is exceeded by more than 30 seconds, the speaker cannot received first place in the round.

       Delivery: With the exception of Informative/Expository, no notes, visual or audio aids, or manuscripts shall be permitted during delivery. Speeches must be delivered from memory.

       The performance must begin and end from the center stage area. Contestants must remain in the staging area throughout the performance.

       Violations of general and/or specific rules, except as noted, shall result in the contestant being ranked no higher than seventh (7th) place in the round(s) in which the violation occurs, or being disqualified.

Informative/Expository:

       Topics: Any appropriate subject may be used, but the primary purpose of the speech shall be to describe, clarify, explain, and/or define an object, idea, concept, or process. Topics/subjects fabricated by the speaker may not be used. This is a speech to inform. Not a performance, and the emphasis should be placed on the oral presentation rather than on audio or visual aids used in support of the informative goal of the speech.

       Aids: The speech may be delivered from memory, notes, or manuscript. Visual and audio aids may be used during the presentation of the speech. No live animals or other persons may be used as visual aids or to help set up and/or present the speech.

       Time: The ten-minute time limit shall include time to set up and remove aids. Speakers are allowed to pre-set aids/easels along room perimeter prior to the beginning of the round. Time spent pre-setting aids is not timed. If the first speaker chooses to pre-set aids, that pre-set must also be along the room perimeter. Set-up for first speaker may NOT be in the central staging area. Time begins once the aids are set down in the central staging area. Time ends when the last aid or easel is removed from the central staging area. This includes the last speaker in the panel.

Original Oratory/Advocacy:

       Topics: Any appropriate subject may be used, but topics may include subjects concerning public policy issues of a tangible nature. The purpose of the Oratory/Advocacy is to persuade, motivation, and/or inspire.

Original Prose & Poetry:

       Any appropriate subject may be used, but the primary purpose of the event is to demonstrate the creativity of the contestant. The presentation may consist of prose or poetry or a combination. The tone may dramatic, humorous, or a combination. More than one written selection may be presented within the allotted time. The entire presentation may or may not be based on a thematic concept.

 

General Rules for all Interpretation of Literature Events (Dramatic and Humorous, DUO, Oratorical, Storytelling and POI/Thematic):

       No contestant may use the same literary work that s/he used in previous competitive years. Contestants are further prohibited from using the same literary works in other interpretation events in the same or subsequent years.

       Every contestant must use published materials. “Published” as used in these rules means materials that can be verified to have been published by individuals other than the contestant (or contestants, in the case of DUO).

       Each performer is deemed to have assured, through the act of performance, that the reproduction and use of the piece in a Middle School Speech and Debate Competition has not been done in violation of any applicable copyright laws, any laws relating to Digital Rights Management, including, but not limited to the Digital Rights Millennium Copyright Act, or any other law that might raise a question as to the legality of reproducing a work or reciting that work in competition.

       With the exception of Thematic Interpretation, contestants may not combine two or more pieces of literature. A piece of literature shall be defined as one piece of writing which was written with the intent to be published as one work. This will not include pieces such as “collected works” of an author or group of authors; collections of newspaper articles or cartoons published as one book, but will include pieces such as A Light in the Attic which was written with the intent of being published as one work.

       Costumes or props (the use of something extraneous to the body) are prohibited.

       With the exception of Thematic Interpretation, the interpretation must be delivered from memory; no notes, prompting, or scripts shall be permitted.

       Presentations shall be no longer than ten minutes; there is no minimum time. If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period. If this time limit is exceeded by more than 30 seconds, the speaker will be penalized by a lowering of one rank by tab room officials.

       Identification of the Selection: The title of the selection and name of the author must be given by the contestant when the selection is introduced. (For Oratorical Interpretation, see specific rules). Failure of a contestant to introduce the selection as prescribed shall result in being penalized not more than one rank by tab room officials.                              

       Violations of general and/or specific rules, except as noted, shall result in the contestant being ranked no higher than seventh (7th) place in the round(s) in which the violation occurs, or being disqualified.

Dramatic/Humorous Interpretation:

       Single or multiple character selections may be used.

DUO Interpretation:

       Duo partners may not make eye contact with one another during the interpretation. In the event of eye contact, the duo will be penalized by no more than one rank by tab room officials. Eye contact during the introduction is optional, but allowed.

       The partners may react to each other’s verbal and/or non-verbal expressions, but they may not touch each other. If physical contact is noted as a violation, the duo will be dropped one rank. If the physical contact is determined to be intentional, the duo will be given last place in the round. These penalties will be assessed by tournament officials. Physical contact between the partners during the introduction is optional.

       The material may be humorous or dramatic, or combine both tones depending on the selected work.

Declamation/Oratorical Interpretation:

       The selection must be from a published speech on the NSDA interp approval list which shall have been delivered as a public address by a real person; however, speeches given by high school or college students in competition shall not be permitted. Public address is defined as a formal spoken communication, a formal speech, a formal oral communication to an audience. Synonyms include “declamation,” “lecture,” “oration,” and “speech.”

       Identification of the Selection: The author, title (if given), occasion, place and date of the original delivery of the speech shall be given by the contestant when the selection is introduced. Failure of a contestant to introduce the selection as prescribed shall result in being penalized by the lowering of not more than one rank by tab room officials

Programmed Oral Interpretation/Thematic Interpretation:

       Delivery: Using a handheld manuscript, the contestant is to present a program of interpretation that combines original composition of no more than 150 added words with oral interpretation using a minimum of two literary selections illustrating an argument/thematic statement of his/her choice. Authors and titles do not count as added words in the 150-word limit. No contestant may use the same theme that s/he used in previous competitive years.

       The intact manuscript may be used by the contestant as a prop so long as it remains attached to the contestant’s person (holding it with their hand or placing it on their body). Other than the manuscript, no costumes or props are permitted. The contestant’s handheld manuscript must contain only text from the selections and original materials and shall contain nothing else, including, but not limited to, any materials that would be intended for use as a visual aid.

Storytelling:

       A single published, printed story, anecdote, tale, myth, or legend must be retold without notes or props (with the exception of a single chair). Any theme/topic area may be used. The tournament is under no obligation to provide or guarantee any particular chairs to the contestants.

       Time: The maximum time limit is 5 minutes with a 30-second “grace period.” If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period. Should a student go beyond the grace period, the student may not be ranked 1st. There is no other prescribed penalty for going over the grace period. The ranking is up to each individual judge’s discretion. Judges who choose to time are to use accurate (stopwatch function) timing devices. No minimum time is mandated.

       The student may not tell a story they have used previously.

       The delivery must be extempore, not read. No book or script may be used. The story may be delivered standing or seated.

       The retelling must be true to the original tale. The contestant may not add original material or materially change the content of the story.


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