2010-2011 Minnesota State High School League
Speech Rules & Policies Manual


SPEECH

All Speech participants must meet all of the Eligibility Guidelines as stated in the MSHSL Official Handbook as identified below.

See Bylaw:
100 Bylaws  /  200 Bylaws
101:  Age
102:  Attendance
103:  Credit Requirements
104:  Enrollment
105:  Grade Level
106:  Graduates of Secondary Schools
108:  Scholastic Eligibility 
110:  Semesters Enrolled
111:  Transfer and Residence
205:  Chemical Eligibility
206:  General Eligibility Requirements
209:  Sexual/Racial/Religious Harassment

CONTENTS

I.   Speech General Rules
II.   MSHSL Speech Contest Administration
III.  Contest Events
IV. Awards
V.  MSHSL State Speech Tournament
VI. Speech Ranking and Scoring Procedure

I. SPEECH--GENERAL RULES

Community Standard Form:
    The Speech Community Standard Certification Form is due to the League office prior to the first sub-section/section competition.

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

REGION:

The term "region" shall refer only to the administrative region and all administrative functions of regions.

SECTION:

The term "section" shall refer to all geographic groupings of schools for competition

Speech section assignments may be viewed on the Home page of the MSHSL Web site - www.mshsl.org.   Click on "Competitive Section Assignments" link and select "Speech."

A. Limitation on Participation

No student may participate in more than one of the thirteen categories in any MSHSL speech contest. A contestant may participate in a one act play and/or debate as well as in speech activities.

B. Stage Properties

No stage properties, including a lectern (or desktop holding a script), shall be used in the delivery of any selection. Books and notes are not considered properties providing the script is not used as a prop.  If a student uses a script, she/he must hold the script and refer to it.

A student who is physically able must stand during the entire presentation except in Discussion. (See specific rules for each category.)

C. Selection and Scripts

The selection (or cutting) submitted for a contestant at the first level of competition must be used at all levels for which the contestant qualifies.

A student may not use the same selection (this means the same cutting as used in a previous year) in more than one school year for any festival/invitational, conference, or MSHSL competition. This does not preclude using the same author, or different parts of a novel, poem or play.

Coaches and contestants are responsible for ensuring that selections used meet all the qualifications of the event in which they are entered (i.e., prose is indeed prose; published works are indeed printed. For example, Biblical prose belongs in Serious Prose; Psalms belong in Serious Poetry.) Materials available only on the Internet are not considered "published" for MSHSL contests. In the cases of Serious Prose, Poetry, and Drama, the genre (literary classification) of a selection is determined by the classification identified by the publisher and/or the Library of Congress. Reconfiguration of a piece of literature (printing a prose work in lines to look like poetry, for example, or publishing a choral ode from a drama in verse as a stand-along poem) does not change its original genre.  In these cases, the genre of the the original work shall determine the category into which it should be entered for competition.  There are some situations in which a selection crosses genre lines and can be appropriately entered in more than one category.  Similarly, there are selections which may be appropriately entered ias serious or humorous depending on the cutting being used.  If there are questions regarding the appropriate event(s) into which a selection may be entered, a ruling should be obtained from the MSHSL Speech Consultant well in advance of the first level of competition.  A copy of that ruling or published/Library of Congress classification should be carried by the Coach to all competitions for verification .

Updated copies of scripts for Informative Speaking, Creative Expression, Original Oratory, Great Speeches (including title(s) of speech(es), author, date, site of presentation and verification of print publication) must be submitted, by coaches school at contest.  Submitted scripts must include citation of all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized materials.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

Plagiarism is a serious offense and cases of verified plagiarism must result in automatic disqualification.

At Subsection, Section, and State levels of competition, Coaches are required at school check-in to submit copies of students' scripts (including introductions and source citations) for Serious Interpretation of Drama, Prose, Poetry, Humorous Interpretation of Literature and Duo Interpretation.  Submitted scripts must include citation of original sources from which the selections were taken and ISBN or print publication verification.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

D. Penalty for Rules Violation

The committee in charge of the tournament, along with members of the Rules Interpretation Committee, must penalize any student for violation of any rules. If the best credible evidence presented in a timely manner to the Rules Committee demonstrates that a student has committed a violation, the committee must disqualify the student unless the violation is one of the six exceptions listed below.
The following violations must result in the competitorís rank being adjusted to last in the round.
Exceptions to the disqualification penalty:

  1. Violation of time limit or grace period.
  2. Violation of Extemporaneous Reading teaser rule. For example, if a reader chooses to use a teaser before the introduction and does not repeat it after the introduction, the penalty is to adjust the readerís rank to last in the round.
  3. Violation of Extemporaneous Reading cutting rule. For example, if a reader cuts a line or paragraph or rearranges the draw in any fashion, the penalty is to adjust the readerís rank to last in the round.
  4. Violation of Extemporaneous Speaking notes limit. For example, if a speaker exceeds the word/character limit, the penalty is to adjust the speakerís rank to last in the round.
  5. Violation of the following Storytelling rule: ďThe contestant must not add subplots that change the original plot or violate the storyís style, intent, and mood.Ē For example, if it is determined that a storyteller has added a sub-plot to the drawn story, the penalty is to adjust the storytellerís rank to last in the round.
  6. Violation of the script as a prompt rule. For example, a contestant who starts his/her speech without a manuscript and then proceeds to return to his/her desk to get the manuscript, the penalty is to adjust the contestantís rank to last in the round.

Rank Adjustment Clarifications: A contestant cannot be dropped lower than the lowest possible rank in the round. The drop in rank will be communicated to the tabulators by the Rules Committee. The tabulators will adjust the rankings for all contestants on each judgeís ballot for the round in which the violation occurred. If a contestant is found to have violated any rule and is tied with a contestant who has not violated a rule, the ruling on the tie must always fall against the violator. A rule violator cannot win a tie. If the violation occurs early in the tournament, it is not the Rule Interpretation Committeeís responsibility to warn a contestant who has violated a rule. The coach of the contestant must be notified of the rule violation before finalists are posted or, in the case of a violation during the final round, before contest results are announced. If there are more than one rank adjustment violations in the room, all violators must have their ranks adjusted. For example, if there are two violators in one room of six, then both violators will receive the rank of 6 and the lowest-ranked non-violator will receive a rank of 4.
In the event that a student is disqualified, the Tabulating Committee, upon being notified of the disqualification, will record (1) no ranking number in that round or subsequent rounds nor (2) total score of said contestant on the score sheet. "DQ" will be written in the appropriate box of competition on the score sheet. Any previous round scores earned by the contestant prior to the violation, shall remain on the score sheet. The Tabulating Committee will adjust the rankings for the other contestants on the specific judge ballot(s) as though the disqualified contestant had never competed. (See V. MSHSL STATE SPEECH TOURNAMENT, item I for example).

E. Order of Speaking

The order of speaking in each contest shall be determined by lot; the drawing to be done by the respective officials in charge of the contest or by a rotating schedule over a period of years. 

F. Prompting and Coaching

No contestant shall be prompted or coached in any manner during the preparation period for draw events or during the presentation itself. No contestant may consult his/her script during the presentation unless the script is being held and used throughout the entire presentation.  If a student uses a script, she/he must hold the script at middle plane and refer to it. In addition, students in draw events may not speak with or receive messages from anyone except the Draw Manager, Room Manager or Judge from the time the draw takes place until the conclusion of the presentation.

G. Time Cards

Time Cards must be used in all events except Discussion. In all draw events at MSHSL speech tournaments, minute-by-minute time cards, and 1/2 minute card will be used. In all other events (except Discussion), time cards will note the two minute, one minute, 1/2 minute, and stop.  In events with thirty-second grace periods (Creative Expression, Humorous Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation), a card that says "Grace" shall be used after the 1/2 minute card to indicate the thirty second grace time before the final "Stop" card.

H. Singing, Humming, Whistling

1In all interpretation categories (Serious Prose, Serious Poetry, Serious Drama, Duo Interpretation, Humorous, Storytelling, Extemporaneous Reading, and Creative Expression), up to two musical phrases (See "DEFINITION OF MUSICAL PHRASE" below) may be sung, whistled, or hummed, one time only, during the presentation, if those lines actually appear in the selection being presented and cited as published.

2.  In Creative Expression, the musical phrases may be from the student's own writing or from the actual published literature being quoted.

3.  In Informative Speaking, Great Speeches, Discussion, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Original Oratory, singing, whistling, and humming are NOT permitted.

*DEFINITION OF "MUSICAL PHRASE"

A musical phrase shall be defined as a musical unit of approximately four measures in length. A stopping place is experienced at the end of a phrase. . .either a pause or a final stop. 

Poetry also exhibits these traits. In this stanza from an American folk ballad, we find two temporary pauses and the final stop at the end. This stanza contains three phrases:

When the curtains of night
Are pinned back by the stars, (pause)
And the beautiful moon sweeps the sky, (pause)
I'll remember you, love, in my prayers. (final stop)

In the following musical example, the first phrase (four measures) is defined by the pause at the end of the phrase, while the second phrase is defined by a stop:

Bach, Herz und Mund und That und Leben   "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring," BWV 147

Musical Phrase Image

It would, therefore, be permissible to sing, whistle, or hum these two phrases if they appear in the original text of the literature being interpreted.

At the end of Act II in William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, Annie Sullivan sings a lullaby to a doll. The way the song appears in the play is as follows:

The first two lines are spoken:

Hush little baby, don't say a word—
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

In the original text, the rest of the song is sung:

If that mockingbird don't sing—
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring;

If that diamond ring turns to brass—
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass:

If that looking glass gets broke—
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat:

In this example, each stanza is one phrase long, so the student could sing only TWO of the stanzas.

ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSICAL PHRASES, TO BE USED SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE MSHSL SPEECH CONSULTANT WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE FIRST LEVEL OF COMPETITION SO THAT VERIFICATION CAN BE PROVIDED!

I. Rules Committee: Subsection and Section

The Rules Committee shall be selected by the Contest Manager in advance of the contest. The committee must include at least three participating coaches who are knowledgeable about the contest rules. Alternate committee members must also be named. If any of the committee members cannot serve because of a conflict of interest, the alternates must serve on the Rules Committee.

At all levels of competition, every reasonable effort shall be made to correct errors that jeopardize a student's advancement.

J. Protests

Protests, relative to (a) violation of rules or time limits, and (b) the validity of the selection for any speech contest, and (c) other potential violations of contest rules shall be the responsibility of the Subsection, Section or State Rules Committees. All questions regarding rules violations must be resolved by the Contest Rules Committee before results are announced. Protests raised after the announcement of results shall not affect the outcome of that contest, but may affect eligibility for the next level of competition.

K. Procedure for Dealing with Disputes

All disputes or protests involving the Speech contest shall be directed to a Contest Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will review each allegation and make a recommendation to the Contest Manager, who must disqualify a contestant for a confirmed violation of the rules. Such procedures must be completed prior to the announcement of final results for that contest.

The Rules Committee may consult with the Timekeeper, Contest Manager, Judge(s), or other personnel about the alleged violation.

A decision must be made and communicated to the Coach prior to the announcements of results for that contest.

L. Audience at Tournament Events

All events are open to the public; therefore, contestants may observe other speakers in any event.

M. Introductions

When an introduction is required (i.e., in Creative Expression, Humorous Interpretation, Serious Interpretation, etc.), the student is permitted latitude in introductory technique (for example, a "teaser" at the beginning may or may not be employed at the student's discretion) so long as other rules are not violated (for example, singing phrases from music not in the original text of the selection.)  For Extemporaneous Reading see special rules regarding the use of a teaser.

N. Use of Gestures

Gestures and/or bodily expression, if used, must be appropriate enhancements to, rather than distractions from, the text or selection.

II. MSHSL SECTION SPEECH CONTEST ADMINISTRATION

A. Powers of Region Committees (i.e., Region Management team for all section tournaments)

1.    The Region Committee shall determine the site and the date for each contest and designate the judges to be used.

2.    The Region Committee shall determine the number of contestants for each Subsection to enter the Section contest.
3.    The Region Committee shall certify the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place contestant in each event to represent that Region and advance to the State Contest.
4.    Section rules will apply if Region Committee has adopted a speech handbook otherwise MSHSL rules apply.  [Timing rules may not be altered.]
5.    General rules and policies may not be altered at subsection/section speech tournaments.

B. Board Policies

1. It will be a violation of League policy for a member school or a representative of a member school to establish, distribute or accept any awards not provided by the MSHSL for Section or State Tournaments.
2. All-star casts/performers will not be named in any MSHSL Tournaments.

C. Reports of Contests

1. Immediately after a Section Contest, the Manager must complete and submit the results electronically to the League Office.
2. Immediately after a Section Contest, the Manager must send a certified report to the Region Secretary.

III. CONTEST EVENTS

A. The League shall hold contests in the following events

1. Creative Expression 8. Informative Speaking
2. Discussion 9. Original Oratory
3. Duo Interpretation 10. Serious Drama Interpretation
4. Extemporaneous Reading 11. Serious Poetry Interpretation
5. Extemporaneous Speaking 12. Serious Prose Interpretation
6. Great Speeches 13. Storytelling
7. Humorous Interpretation

1. CREATIVE EXPRESSION

Creative Expression is the performance of material written by the contestant, so no more than 20% may be material from other sources. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be documented orally and in the written text.

Because the presentation has been created by the student, judges should consider evidence of creative imagination in both writing and performance.  The mood may be serious, humorous, or both. The objective is to encourage creativity through a variety of genre and performance styles.  The total performance should reflect a unity of style, tone and theme.

The contestant may use pantomime, storytelling, interpretive reading, impersonation, or any combination of these performance styles. Properties, costumes, instrumental music, and stage makeup are NOT allowed. (An exception would be the allowable one time only use of up to two phrases of music from the actual published literature being quoted, or the student's own writing.)

An introductory statement, included within the eight (8) minute time limit, must precede the presentation. This introduction may, at the student's discretion, include a "teaser."

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE TIME LIMIT IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES, INCLUDING THE INTRODUCTION. IF THE SPEAKER HAS BEEN WARNED THAT TIME HAS EXPIRED, THE SPEAKER MAY ONLY FINISH THE SENTENCE ALREADY BEGUN.  A THIRTY (30) SECOND GRACE PERIOD SHALL BE PROVIDED AT ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION.

2. DISCUSSION 

Problem-solving Discussion is an effort on the part of a small group to reach a solution to a problem through informal interchange of facts, inferences, and judgments. This method of discussion seeks consensus rather than majority rule. The focus of this event should be the encouragement of cooperation and critical thinking to arrive at the collective goal of better understanding and problem solving.

The topic(s) for Discussion shall be approved each year by the Board of Directors.

The Discussion group shall be composed of not more than eight contestants. Additional sections may be scheduled if the number of contestants exceeds eight. The Discussion activity shall be conducted according to the following procedure:

The basis for judging Discussion should place emphasis on the task and social dimensions of group interaction. These questions may serve as a guide:

1. Did the discussant's contributions add to the group effort?
2. Did the discussant possess sufficient information, and was the information of high quality?
3. Did the discussant's contributions reflect an understanding of major issues?
4. Did the discussant's behavior reflect a respect for the dignity and worth of other participants?
5. Did the discussant exhibit active listening skills?

Judges must be given and must use the criteria listed on the "Individual Critique Sheet for Discussion."

Judge(s) may write a group critique sheet to be duplicated by the Contest Manager for each member of the Discussion group.

THE DISCUSSION PERIOD SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE HOUR (60 MINUTES).  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

3. DUO INTERPRETATION

Duo interpretation features two students interpreting together one of more selections from a single published source or a single anthology of prose, poetry, and/or dramatic literature, serious and/or humorous, with literary merit and appropriate to the readers (Published means the source has an ISBN, a Library of Congress Number, or verification of original print publication).  The students' script may be limited to a single author or genre, but may include material from more than one genre and/or author, so long as the material comes from that single published source.)  Each student may portray one or more characters.  Costumes, props, make-up, special lights, scenery, stools, or chairs, music stands, or lecterns may not be used.  The use of scripts is optional.

An introduction must be presented at the beginning of the interpretation and this introduction, along with any transitional remarks necessary for the selection, may be delivered by either or both of the participants.  A "teaser" may be used, provided that it comes from one of the selections being used and is duly noted.

Duo interpretation is an oral interpretation event and shall be judged as such.  There shall be no body contact between speakers.  Facial expressions, movement and gestures may be used as appropriate to the piece.  Eye contact is permitted with audience members during narration.  Focal points may be employed during dialogue.  Interpreters may refer to each other and make eye contact with each other during the introduction and/or transitions.

A copy of the script must be file with the Contest Manager before each contest.  Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section and State levels.

Should one original member of a Duo be unable to compete, a substitute may be named to perform in his/her place.  The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME LIMIT IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES, INCLUDING A REQUIRED INTRODUCTION AND NECESSARY TRANSITIONS.  A THIRTY (30) SECOND GRACE PERIOD SHALL BE PROVIDED AT ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION.

4. EXTEMPORANEOUS READING

Participation in Extemporaneous Reading teach a student to introduce and read excerpts from prose or poetry for the purpose of appreciation or enjoyment. The student will declare, prior to each draw, his/her choice of genre. Specific sources for reading will be announced in the fall of each year. The League Office will identify specific poems and stories for contests. NO CUTTINGS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE BEFORE THE ACTUAL CONTESTS.

The order of speaking shall be determined by lot. Thirty (30) minutes before the contest begins, the first reader shall draw three cuttings. The reader shall immediately choose one of them, and return the other two which will then be placed with the other cuttings remaining to be drawn. The cuttings chosen shall be recorded by the event manager. Each of the succeeding readers shall, at intervals of six (6) minutes, in turn, follow the same procedure. In finals at ALL levels of competition, the student may not perform a cutting that she/he has performed in a preliminary round at that level of competition.  In the event that the student draws a previously performed cutting, she/he may draw a substitute cutting.

After the contestant has drawn a cutting, the student shall not confer, or have any communication, with a coach or others until the reading has been delivered.  Each reader shall present the cutting draw slip to the Room Manager or Judge(s) in the round.

While the inadvertent skipping or substitution of a single word or phrase in a Extemporaneous Reading may occasionally and understandably occur, students must be careful that entire sentences or more are not skipped during the presentation

For poetry, students must read selections in the order listed on the draw slip. For prose, students must start at the beginning of the prescribed cutting and read as much of the complete cutting as time permits.  Students are allowed to stop reading at any point within the last minute. If the time has expired, the student shall complete only the sentence already begun. Allowable cutting would include the elimination of "he said" and "she said" once a character has been established, or the omission of language objectionable to the contestant.

The student should be judged on the ability to introduce the excerpt with a few appropriate extemporaneous remarks, and to read the selection with effective vocal and bodily expression. The use of gestures is optional.

The student may use a "teaser" as a part of the introduction.  However, the "teaser" must be a part of the actual drawn section of the story or poem.  If the "teaser" appears within the cutting, it may not be eliminated within the reading presented. 

THE ENTIRE DELIVERY TIME, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED INTRODUCTION, SHALL NOT EXCEED SIX (6) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

5. EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING

The Extemporaneous Speech should be an original synthesis of current fact and opinion on a topic drawn by the contestant. Speakers may choose from either U.S. or International topics. The Judge(s) should consider the quality of information presented by the speaker, together with the speaker's use of that information to support the thesis.

The subjects for this event shall be taken from the following magazines and newspapers, with an attempt to balance social, economic, and political issues:

Time                                            St. Paul Pioneer Press

U.S. News & World Report           Minneapolis Star Tribune
Newsweek

The MSHSL will publish each fall subject areas chosen from these publications.

The MSHSL will provide questions in both U.S. and International areas for each level of MSHSL competition. Questions shall require persuasive rather than informative speeches.

The goal of this activity is the encouragement of extensive reading, understanding of many subjects, and the development of reasoned, supportable positions on issues.

The order of speaking shall be determined by lot. Thirty (30) minutes before the contest begins, the first speaker shall draw three questions. The speaker shall immediately choose one of them and return the other two, which shall then be put with the other questions remaining to be drawn. The questions chosen shall be recorded by the Event Manager. Each of the succeeding speakers shall, at intervals of seven (7) minutes, in turn, follow the same procedure. In the event that the student draws a previously performed question, she/he may draw a substitute question.

In finals at ALL levels of competition, a student may not repeat a question previously chosen at that level of competition.

During the thirty (30) minutes of preparation of the speech, students may consult published books, magazines, newspapers and journals and Internet articles downloaded from established news sources, provided: A. They are originals or photocopies of whole pages. B. Provided those originals or photocopies are uncut. C. There is no written material on that original or copy other than highlighting and citation information (such as publication title and date). D. Topical index may be present. No other material shall be allowed in the prep room other than stated above. Extemporaneous speeches, handbooks, briefs and outlines shall be barred from the prep room. Outlines and notes created in the prep room during preparation time at the tournament are allowed.   Students are not permitted the use of computers.  After the contestant has drawn a question, the student shall not confer, or have any communication, in any way with a coach or others until the speech has been delivered. A maximum of 50 words of notes shall be allowed each speaker. Any symbol should be considered a word. (Examples of symbols are: \ = therefore; > = greater than; < = less than; ^ = increase; = = equals; v = decrease.)

Each speaker shall present the question drawn to the Room Manager or Judge(s) of the round. Upon completion of the speech, each speaker shall immediately present any notes used to the Room Manager or Judge(s), who will present the same to the Contest Manager.

The Judge(s) shall not be permitted to ask questions of the speakers.

Unless otherwise determined by the Region Committee, the questions are to be furnished by the League Office for:

a. Subsection Contests
The questions, U.S. and International, will be furnished to the Contest Manager prior to said contest.

b. Section Contests
The questions, U.S. and International will be furnished to the Contest Manager prior to said contest.

The contestant in Extemporaneous Speaking is responsible for:
a. Strict adherence to the question drawn.

b. Well-chosen information relative to the question drawn.
c. Organization of the material.
d. Effective delivery.

THE SPEECH SHALL BE EXTEMPORANEOUS AND SHALL NOT EXCEED SEVEN (7) MINUTES IN LENGTH. SPEAKERS WARNED THAT TIME HAS EXPIRED MAY CONCLUDE WITH ONE FINAL SENTENCE.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

6. GREAT SPEECHES

Great Speeches is an event in which the contestant speaks about either

    •a single speech
    OR
    •an anthology of speeches (not to exceed three) related by common author, theme, or other element.

Each speech (public address) must have been delivered by the speaker before the speaker's intended original audience. For example, "Sermon on the Mount" is Biblical Prose; "Antony's Funeral Oration" is Shakespearean Drama. The contestant's analysis should convey the delight, edification, and challenge of contemporary or historical public address.

Information about each author/speaker, subject, original audience, and occasion must be included in an introduction. During the presentation, the contestant must also justify the selection for presentation to the contestant's immediate audience. The justification need not be an explicit statement, but may include such subjects as the historical or potential importance, language style, rhetorical technique and audience appeal. Comments about textual accuracy and ghostwriting style may be included where appropriate.  All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be documented both orally and in the written text.

A minimum of 25% of the presentation must be the contestant's own material. How portions of the original speech text are incorporated into the participant's presentation shall be at the discretion of the participant. Statements, analysis and exposition may be either interspersed throughout the presentation or contained in only one or a few portions of the presentation.

For purposes of documentation, the student is required to provide a citation indicating the source of the selected speech within the written and oral text of the studentís speech. The selected speech must have been published with an ISBN or ISSN or an online resource. Recorded speeches may be used only if they have also been published in print or online. An ISBN/ISSN or the citation of the online resource should be provided at sub-section, section, and state contests. (An ISSN covers periodical and serials.) If the speech is selected from an online source, student and coach are strongly encouraged to check the reliability of the online source.

Judging should be on the general effectiveness of the student's interaction with the audience to share the greatness of the speech. The Judge's primary attention should be on the participant's judgment in choosing and editing the material, sensitivity to author's ideas and purpose, and, especially, the speaker's analysis of historical potential, and/or rhetorical importance of the speech. The student may, but is not required to, use a rhetorical model.  Secondly, delivery emphasis should be on communication. Since this is not a prose interpretation event, posturing, impersonation, and imitation are to be avoided.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF THE PRESENTATION SHALL NOT EXCEED EIGHT (8) MINUTES. NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

7. HUMOROUS INTERPRETATION

Humorous Interpretation uses any published selection, either prose, poetry, or dramatic literature, with literary merit and appropriate to the reader.  Published means the source has an ISBN or verification of original print publication.  The selection shall not have been taken from record or tape. The cutting should amuse, give enjoyment, or create laughter. The use of gestures is optional.

The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED INTRODUCTION, IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  A THIRTY (30) SECOND GRACE PERIOD SHALL BE PROVIDED AT ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION.

8. INFORMATIVE SPEAKING

Informative Speaking is an event in which the student presents an original informative composition of which no more than 10% shall be direct quotation. Quality of thought, research, and composition, as well as delivery, should be considered by the Judges. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be documented both orally and in the written text.

The purpose of Informative Speaking is to present information which the audience may or may not possess and which the student believes important for the audience.

The use of visual aids is optional. Only two-dimensional aids such as charts, graphs and pictures may be used. These aids must be hand-held, free-standing or supported on tripods, easels or similar equipment. This equipment must be provided by the student. Electronic media and equipment may be used in the PREPARATION of visual aids for the speech. During the PRESENTATION of the speech, no electronic media, or three dimensional OBJECTS may be used as visual aids.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

On-the-spot audience surveys adapted to the speech as given, audience handouts, and active audience involvement are not permitted.   The rule does not allow for any type of audience participation.  The speech is to be a self-contained presentation—eight (8) minutes in length—presented and controlled by the student.

The judging criteria will be the following:
1. Appropriate choice of subject and information for the audience.
2. Clear organization.
3. Direct and communicative delivery manner.
4. Predominantly serious informative purpose (which may include the use of humor).
5. Avoidance of predominantly persuasive subjects and techniques. (Every Informative Speech contains some elements of persuasion.)

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION SHALL NOT EXCEED EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

9. ORIGINAL ORATORY

Original Oratory is an event in which the contestant presents his/her own PERSUASIVE composition of which no more than 10% shall be direct quotation. Because these orations have been written by the contestants, judges should consider the high quality of thought and composition, as well as, communicative delivery. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be documented orally and in the written text.

The orator should not be expected to solve any of the great problems of the day, but must offer some insight and guidance. The contestant should be expected to speak intelligently and with a degree of originality about the message chosen. The rule does not allow for any type of audience participation.

The composition should be especially adapted to oral presentation, and the orator should employ a variety of persuasive skills and strive for eloquence in style. No particular manner of delivery is required, nor is any particular manner of content organization.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION SHALL NOT EXCEED EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

10. SERIOUS DRAMA INTERPRETATION

Serious Drama Interpretation uses any published selection of dramatic literature (plays, radio plays, television plays, or screenplays) with literary merit and appropriate to the reader. Published means the source has an ISBN, or verification of original print publication.  The term "dramatic" here refers to the genre of the literature and does not include prose or poetry that is serious.  The mood of the cutting must be essentially serious. The use of gestures is optional.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED INTRODUCTION, IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

11. SERIOUS POETRY INTERPRETATION

Serious Poetry Interpretation uses any published poetry selection, including novels in verse with literary merit and appropriate to the reader.  Published means the source has an ISBN, or verification of original print publication. Serious dramatic literature written in verse, such as a tragedy by Shakespeare is considered "Serious Drama" rather than "Serous Poetry".  The mood of the cutting must be essentially serious. Selections for poetry may include one poem or several poems. The use of gestures is optional.

The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED INTRODUCTION, IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

12. SERIOUS PROSE INTERPRETATION

Serious Prose Interpretation uses any published selection of prose, fiction or non-fiction. "Novels in verse" are typically considered Serious Poetry.  Published means the source has an ISBN, or verification of original print publication. Any selection, with literary merit and appropriate to the reader, that is not poetry, a play or part of a play, or a delivered speech is considered prose. The mood of the cutting must be essentially serious. The use of gestures is optional.

The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.

A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.

The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.

THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED INTRODUCTION, IS EIGHT (8) MINUTES.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

13. STORYTELLING

Participation in storytelling should train students to recreate a familiar story extemporaneously. A selected list of fifteen (15) stories will be announced in the fall of each year. The order of presentation shall be determined by lot before the contest begins.  Thirty (30) minutes before the contest begins, the first storyteller shall draw three titles. The storyteller shall immediately choose one of them and return the other two, which will then be placed with the other stories remaining to be drawn. The title chosen shall be recorded by the Event Manager. Each of the succeeding performers shall, at intervals of six (6) minutes, in turn, follow the same procedure.

In all rounds, including finals, in ALL levels of competition, a student may NOT repeat a story previously performed in preliminary round at that level of competition.  In the event that the student draws a previously performed story, she/he may draw a substitute story.

After the contestant has drawn a title, the student shall not confer, or communicate  in any way with a coach or others until the presentation has been delivered. Each storyteller shall present the storytelling draw slip to the Room Manager or Judge(s) in the round.  No books, notes or properties shall be taken to the platform. Introductory comments (which may be preceded by a teaser) must precede the telling of the story.   The contestant must not add subplots that change the original plot or violate the story's style, intent, and mood.  Cutting of a lengthy story is allowable to meet time constraints. The use of a concluding statement that ties back to the introduction is allowed but not required.

Because this is not a recitation the contestant will be judged on the ability to recreate the story in his/her own words, with emphasis on a direct conversational style and spontaneous bodily action. The contestant must maintain the story's mood and format and must deliver the story extemporaneously.

TIME LIMIT, INCLUDING REQUIRED INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS, IS SIX (6) MINUTES. If the storyteller is warned that time has expired, the storyteller may conclude with one final statement.  NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.

As requested by the Speech Advisory Committee, there will be no Readers in Storytelling. The Tournament Committee asks that Judges have read the stories, if they have indicated a willingness to judge this event at any level of competition.

IV. AWARDS

Section:
Medals: To 1st - 6th place in each event
State:
Certificate of Participation: To each student participant
Medals: To 1st - 8th place in each event

V. MSHSL STATE SPEECH TOURNAMENT

A. Substitution

If a qualified contestant is unable to participate in the  State Tournament, no alternate contestants will be placed into the competition.

B. Coaching Aides

The following materials will be posted to the League website.

1. Discussion Outline 
2. Listing of Selected Stories and Poems for Storytelling and Extemporaneous Reading
3. Extemporaneous Speaking Topics

4. Rules updates and interpretations of general interest.

C. Information Relating to Contestants

No information shall be given to the Judge(s) to identify the contestant with the school she/he represents. The name of the student, title and author of the selection will be included in the program.  Class "A" schools will vote for Class "A" tournament judges and class "AA" schools will vote for Class "AA" judges.

D. Information Relating to State Speech Tournament Judges

1. As with other levels of MSHSL competition, only judges registered on the MSHSL website shall be eligible to judge at the State Speech Tournament. 
2. Judges for the State Speech Tournament must be registered on the League's website by October 15 of the school year in which they wish to be considered.
3. Judges must indicate their willingness to judge at the State Speech Tournament no later than November 1 of the school year in which they wish to be considered

4. Judges who meet items 1-3 will be listed on a survey to all registered speech schools.

5. Registered speech schools will have one (1) vote per school to recommend up to forty (40) judges the school believes should be considered to judge at the State Speech Tournament.

6. MSHSL staff and consultants will select the State Speech Tournament judges from among those who have indicated an interest in judging at the State Speech Tournament and have been recommended by registered speech schools.

 

Judges are expected to review contest event rules and judges for Storytelling and Extemporaneous Reading are expected to read the selections prior to the Tournament.

E.  Timekeeper/Room Manager

In the draw events of Extemporaneous Speaking, Extemporaneous Reading, and Storytelling, the timekeeper shall indicate by a show of a card each minute interval, including a card to indicate the final 30 seconds (1/2 minute) of the time allowed. In all other events, the timekeeper shall indicate the final two (2) minutes, one (1) minute and half-minute of the allowed time. The 30-second (1/2 minute) card will serve as a warning and should be clearly displayed by the timekeeper. 

In the categories of Creative Expression, Duo Interpretation, and Humorous Interpretation, the timekeeper shall indicate time by showing the two minute, the one minute and 30 second card. At the zero mark a grace card will be displayed instead of the stop card.  At the end of the 30 second grace period the stop card will then be displayed. The contestant shall only complete the sentence already begun.

In all divisions, the timekeeper will stand and remain standing when the time has expired. The contestant shall only complete the sentence already begun. In Storytelling and Extemporaneous Speaking, when a speaker is warned that time has expired, she/he may make a concluding statement (one sentence).

F. State Speech Speaking Assignments

The Speakers in each event shall be arranged so that there will be a balance of first, second and third place qualifiers in each competitive group.  Students will compete in four sections of 6 students each for the preliminary rounds.

A different section pairing rotation will be used for each event in the contest. In preliminary rounds, contestants from the same section will not be in the same competitive group. The speaking order shall be rotated for the second and third appearances so that no student would precede or follow the same student in the second or third rounds.

The speaking order for the final round shall be determined by computer generated random placement.

G. Critiquing at the State Tournament

Judges will provide written critiques for the three preliminary rounds, but not for the final round of competition.

H. Tabulators

Tabulators will be hired to record and tabulate the results of the tournament each day.

I. Rules Committee

A three-person Rules Interpretation Committee will serve at the State Speech Tournament to deal with questions regarding rules and regulations. Members will include the MSHSL Speech consultant and two knowledgeable individuals appointed by the MSHSL.  The Rules Committee shall be informed of their duties and be present on the designated day. If one or more cannot serve, the League shall appoint replacements. When a dispute is brought to the jury of appeals, the student's coach will be invited to listen to the dispute and provide a brief statement before a ruling is made.

In the event that a student is disqualified, the tabulating committee, upon being notified of the disqualification, will record (1) no ranking number in that round or subsequent rounds,  (2) total score of said contestant on the score sheet. "DQ" will be written in the appropriate box of competition on the score sheet. Any previous round scores earned by the contestant shall remain on the score sheet. The tabulating committee will adjust the rankings for the other contestants on the specific judge ballot(s) as though the disqualified contestant had never competed.

Example:
If Contestant C has been disqualified, the actual recorded scores on the score sheet would be those in the right column.

Judge Rank Adjusted Rank
Contestant A 5 4
Contestant B 6 5
Contestant C 3 DQ
Contestant D 4 3
Contestant E 7 6
Contestant F 8 7
Contestant G 1 1
Contestant H  2 2

VI. SPEECH RANKING AND SCORING PROCEDURE AT THE STATE TOURNAMENT

TABULATION PROCEDURES

The following codes may be used on event results sheet. These codes reflect tie-breaking procedures employed to select finalists or determine final placement.

Terms Defined:

1. Actual ranks - those ranks, 1-8.
2. Judges' preference - used to break ties in final round where actual ranks indicate preference of two (2) judges for one contestant over another in two (2) person "Rank Total" tie. Judges' preference is used to break tie between two (2) persons, but may follow the procedure of "solving" three (3) or more person tie when down to two (2) contestants.
3. Reciprocal Conversion Factor - is used to convert rank to a percentage when judge's preference still renders a tie or more contestants are tied. (1st = 1.00; 2nd = .50; 3rd = .33; etc.)

RECORDING AND VERIFYING RESULTS

1. Following each preliminary round, actual ranks 1-6 will be recorded and double-checked by the tabulation team.
2. If any preliminary round competition room contains fewer than 6 competitors, the lowest score any competitor in that event can receive that round is the lowest ranking in the smallest room. For example, if 3 rooms have 6 competitors and one has 5, no competitor will receive a score lower than 5 for that round.
3. The team will deliver the judges' ballots and the tabulation sheet for each event to the Tournament Manager.
4. The individual student critiques will be sorted into school envelopes using the school code number already on the critiques.

DETERMINING FINALISTS

1. The single Judge in each preliminary round shall rank all contestants she/he hears in each section.

2. To determine which contestants shall participate in the final round, the Tabulating Committee shall add the three (3) actual ranks of each contestant in the event. The eight students with the lowest total score (sum of ranks) will advance to the final round.

3. Results from head to head matchups will be used to break ties. If a tie still occurs, or head to head cannot be used, the tabulators will add the actual ranks of the fifteen speakers met in Rounds 1, 2 and 3 by each speaker in the tie. The speaker in the tie whose opponents have the lowest total of ranks will advance. If a tie still occurs, reciprocal fractions of actual ranks will be used.

4.  If a tie still occurs, the final round may be scheduled with fewer but not more than eight students. 

DETERMINING FINAL RANKING

1. The three (3) Judges in the final round (without conferring) will use the same criteria as was used in the preliminary rounds in ranking contestants (ranking all 1st through 8th—no two alike).

2. After the final round, the tabulating committee will determine the state champion, runner-up, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place winners in each of the thirteen divisions by totaling all three final round rankings for each contestant. The lowest total shall be 1st place, etc.

3. In the event of a two-way tie for a given place, the contestant preferred by two of the three judges in the final round shall be awarded that place. This tie-breaker shall be of first priority and shall always be used to break two-way ties.

4. Reciprocal fractions of final round actual ranks shall be used in three or more-way ties as follows:

Reciprocal Conversion Values:
1 equals 1.00; 2 equals .50; 3 equals .33; 4 equals .25; 5 equals .20; 6 equals .16; 7 equals .14; 8 equals .12. Rank the contestants according to the highest reciprocal fraction total. If any two contestants are still tied, use judges' preference of final round ranks to break the two-way tie that remains.

5. If a three-way tie remains after using reciprocal fractions, the total actual ranks of the three preliminary round judges will become the next tie-breaker.

6. If a three-way tie still remains, preliminary round head to head followed by preliminary round opponents ranks become the next tie-breakers.

7. If a three-way tie still remains the tabulators will use the reciprocal fractions of actual ranks of all three preliminary rounds.