NCASB Forensics Rules

Revised 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS

RULE 1          Name and Districts
RULE 2          Objectives, Categories and Changes
RULE 3          Coaches’ Meeting
RULE 4          Duties of Office and Calendar
RULE 5          Contest Guidelines and Entries
RULE 6          Judges Officials
RULE 7          Points and Ranking
RULE 8          Awards
RULE 9         Time and Penalty
RULE 10        Contestant Notification
RULE 11        Material Usage
RULE 12        Individual Event Guidelines

RULES AND GUIDELINES
Rules and guidelines of the North Central Association of  Schools for the Blind in Forensics.
RULE 1
NAMES – DISTRICTS
Section 1
ART I. This association shall be known as the North Central Association of Schools for the Blind (N.C.A.S.B.) Forensics Association.

ART 2. The N.C.A.S.B.  Forensics Association shall be divided into thirteen member schools consisting of:  Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

RULE 2
OBJECTIVE – CATEGORIES – CHANGES
Section 1
ART 1. The object of this Association is to promote speech training in the secondary schools of the visually impaired and to arrange annually for an interscholastic Forensic Festival.

ART 2. To further this purpose, guidelines of the Association shall specify rules and other data necessary and convenient for the orderly conduct of contests in the following fields of speech:  1) eight-minute speech, 2) four-minute speech, 3) serious interpretation, 4 ) humorous interpretation, 5) poetry reading, 6) Serious prose reading, 7) Humorous Prose Reading, 8)  duo, 9) great speeches, 10) impromptu, 11) open.

ART 3. Such rules and forms that are in this handbook must be adhered to in conducting contests in these respective fields until changed or amended as provided for in the Forensic rule book.

ART 4. Proposals for changes in the existing rules must be presented at the annual coaches’ meeting.

RULE 3
COACHES’ MEETING
Section 1
ART 1. The annual meeting of the Forensic Association of the N.C.A.S.B. shall be held after and in conjunction with the festival each year.  A scratch meeting shall be held prior to and in conjunction with the Festival.  This meeting will be scheduled by the host school.  Special meetings may be called at the direction of the Director of Forensics.

ART 2. The Forensic Association shall consider reports of contests, proposed amendments and contest procedure and shall elect officers and act upon other matters that may properly come before them.

ART 3. All coaches are responsible for the information exchanged at both the scratch meeting and general meeting held at the festival each year.

Recommendation: For the convenience of visiting coaches, a room may be set aside for meetings and refreshments.  The host coach will be available to answer questions or complaints regarding procedures, contest room assignments, housing, judges or timers in this “hospitality” room while the meet is in progress.

RULE 4
DUTIES OF OFFICE AND CALENDAR
Section 1
ART 1. In the N.C.A.S.B. Forensic Association, the duties of the Director and the Secretary shall be such as usually pertain to these offices.

ART 2. The N.C.A.S.B. governing authority shall have general management of all contests and finances of the Association.

ART 3. The calendar for all contests shall be determined each year by the governing authority of the N.C.A.S.B. acting in conjunction with the Forensic Association.

ART 4. The place for holding the interscholastic Forensic Festival for any year shall be determined the preceding year at the annual meeting of the N.C.A.S.B. governing authority.

RULE 5
CONTEST GUIDELINES AND ENTRIES
Section 1
ART 1. The total number of entries per participating school shall not exceed the total number of events offered in the contest. (For example, if there are eleven events a school may have no more than eleven total entries).  An “entry” is defined as one student entered in an event except where two students are required in a performance.  Note: For some events an “entry” may be composed of more than one student, i.e. in duo, an “entry” is composed of two students.

ART 2. Number of entries per event: A participating school may enter no more than two entrees in any one event, with the exception of duo, serious and humorous prose where a school may enter only one entry in these events. .  If two students are entered in one event, this shall be counted as two “entries” of the total allowed in Article 1.  Clarification: A team may have two entries in as many as five events.

ART 3. Number of events per student:  A student may enter no more than two events.  If a student enters two events, this shall be counted as two “entries” of the total allowed in Article 1.  A team may have no more than 2 students who double.   (Doubling means 1 student entering 2 different events) Students may not use the same material in more then one event.

ART 4. Eligibility requirements will follow N.C.A.S.B. guidelines found at www.ncasb.org in the forms section of the web site.  Violation of NCASB eligibility rules will result in disqualification from further competition.

ART 5. An alternate may participate in the place of an original participant only in the same category vacated by the original participant.  Alternates shall be listed on both the eligibility and entry forms.  Events shall be designated by the vacancies of regular team members.  Alternates shall comply with all rules of entries.  Regular team members are not eligible to be alternates.  A school may list as many as three alternates who may take any available vacancy.  Alternates may be inserted at the scratch meeting.

RULE 6
OFFICIALS
Section 1 Judges
ART 1. Each student shall be judged by three separate judges in three separate rounds (one judge per round).

ART 2. The judges shall be persons who are knowledgeable about forensics activities.

ART 3. The judges shall not be on the faculty of any of the participating schools.  Extenuating circumstances may require an exception to this rule.  Any exception will be ruled upon by the games committee.  The games committee will consist of the Director of Forensics, current host coach, and the previous host coach.

ART 4. The judges shall be made knowledgeable about the specific rules and guidelines of this particular speech contest.  Each judge shall be given a written copy of these rules and guidelines in advance of the contest and shall be instructed to judge according to these rules.

ART 5. The judges shall not confer with anyone to decide the rankings of a student.  Rather, each judge shall render a separate and individual opinion.

ART 6. Judges shall be asked not to make evaluative remarks to individual students during the rounds.

ART 7. The host school will arrange with the  N.C.A.S.B. to compensate the judges.

ART 8. Judges will give written critiques (commentaries on student’s performance), which will be given or mailed in packets, to coaches at the close of the festival.

ART 9. Any student who is rude or who argues with a judge may be reported to his/her coach for a reprimand.  If the situation is serious, the student may be barred from further competition, or from awards.

ART 10. The decision of the judge regarding the ranking of the contestant is final.

ART 11. Judges may not ask where the students are from.

SECTION 2   Timers
ART 1. The timers shall be made knowledgeable about the specific rules and guidelines of this particular speech contest.  Each timer shall be given a written copy of these rules and guidelines in advance of the contest and shall be instructed to time according to these rules.

ART 2. Time keepers will communicate the length of each speech to the judge.  The judge will record the time on the contestant’s critique sheet immediately following the individual speech

ART 3. Timers may not confer with or influence the judges in any way.

ART 4. Timers will use a desk bell.

ART 5. Timers may not ask where the students are from.

Recommendations:
1)   It is suggested that timers open the door of the presentation room between contestants and check off who has finished.  This will assist coaches and visitors.
2)   Community resources may yield experienced and knowledgeable judges.  As a courtesy, the host school should inform the participating schools who the judges are.

RULE 7
POINTS AND RANKINGS
Section 1
ART 1. The judges shall rank student performances in each event as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th with no ties in rounds.  Points are awarded to first, second, third and fourth places only.  Fifth and sixth places are needed in case of a disqualification and receive no points.

ART 2. Points shall be awarded toward each school’s total score as follows:
1st place – 7 points
2nd place – 5 points
3rd place – 3 points
4th place – 1 point

In the event that a round is split into two rooms due to numbers of contestants participating, points shall be awarded as follows.  The four contestants who rank in rounds one and two, rooms A and B, each receive one half of the total points (1st – 3.5 points, 2nd –   2.5 points, 3rd –   1.5 points and 4th –  0.5 point).  Penalty points assessed in rounds one and two, rooms A and B, are also one half of the usual deduction.
Any eight minute event or longer that has 12 or more participants shall be split into two groups. The top 8 contestants shall move to the final round earning full points.  If there is a tie in the eighth place, both contestants move to the final round.   Final round contestants who rank first through fourth places receive full points and penalties.  Those contestants who do not place in the first two rounds, room A or B, move to a consolation round where no points or penalties are received.

ART 3. The total number of points received by a student from the three judges minus penalty points, shall be added to determine the student’s final ranking.

ART 4. In case of a tie (for any place) all contestants will receive total points with no deletions of other places or points.  All 1st places will receive medals etc…  EX:  If there is a tie for first place, two first place medals will be awarded, as well as 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

ART 5. If a contestant does not place in a given round (4, 3, 2, 1) he cannot get penalty points for that round.  In any round in which a contestant places (4, 3, 2, 1) penalty points will be assessed for that round.

RULE 8
AWARDS
Section 1
ART 1. The traveling trophy shall be awarded to the school with the greatest point total.  The trophy may be kept by the school until the next contest.  This trophy will ultimately be retained by the school winning it the most times.

ART 2. Team trophies shall be awarded to the winning schools for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th places

ART 3. Individual medals will be awarded according to N.C.A.S.B. tradition for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners.

RULE 9
TIME AND PENALTY
Section 1
ART 1. Penalty points may not lower a participant’s score below 0 in any given round.

ART 2. For any 8 minute event, penalty points shall be given as follows:
Under 6:30 minutes – DQ
6:30 – 6:59 – 2 penalty points
7:00 – 7:29 – 1 penalty point
7:30 – 8:30 – NO penalty points
8:31 – 9:00 – 1 penalty point
9:01 – 9:30 – 2 penalty points
9:31 and over – DQ

ART 3. For any 4 minute event, penalty points shall be given as follows:
Under 2:30 – DQ
2:30 – 2:59 – 2 penalty points
3:00 – 3:29 – 1 penalty point
3:30 – 4:30 – NO penalty points
4:31 – 5:00 – 1 penalty point
5:01 – 5:30 – 2 penalty points
5:31 and over – DQ

ART 4. For any 6 minute event, penalty points shall be given as follows:
Under 4:30 – DQ
4:30 – 4:59 – 2 penalty point
5:00 – 5:29 – 1 penalty points
5:30 – 6:30 – NO penalty points
6:31 – 7:00 – 1 penalty point
7:01 – 7:30 – 2 penalty points
7:31 and over – DQ

ART 5. For any 8 to 10 minute event, penalty points shall be given as follows:
Under 6:30 minutes – DQ
6:30 – 6:59 – 2 penalty points
7:00 – 7:29 – 1 penalty point
7:30 – 10:30 – NO penalty points
10:31 – 11:00 – 1 penalty point
11:01 – 11:30 – 2 penalty points
11:31 and over – DQ

ART 6. The time keeper shall sound one bell at minimum time and two bells at regulation time.  Contestants shall be verbally stopped at one minute, thirty seconds past the ringing of the two bells.  The time keeper shall give a firm command to “STOP”.
EXAMPLE:  4 minute speech
1 bell at 3:30
2 bells at 4 minutes
1 penalty point at 4:31 minutes
2 penalty points at 5:01 minutes
At 5:31 minutes contestant should be stopped

ART 7. A bell shall be sounded at:
8 minute speeches:
1 bell at 7:30
2 bells at 8 minutes
4 minute speeches:
1 bell at 3:30
2 bells at 4 minutes
6 minute speeches:
1 bell at 5:30
2 bells at 6 minutes
8 – 10 minute speeches:
1 bell at 7:30
2 bells at 10 minutes
Open Category according to host school’s guidelines

ART 8. If a student does not present in a round, he is disqualified from that particular event
.
ART 9. If there is a mistake made in timing, the student will be permitted to start over without penalty.  However, time will not be stopped and restarted at the request of the contestant.

ART 10. In the event of a medical emergency (seizure, reaction to medication, etc.) the contestant will be given the opportunity to present again with no penalty, in the same round, at the discretion of the host coach and director of forensics.

RULE 10
CONTESTANT NOTIFICATION
Section 1
ART 1. Open category should be announced by host school three months before contest date.

RULE 11
MATERIAL USAGE
Section 1

ART 1. A student may not use the same material which he has used in any previous Interscholastic Forensic Festival.

ART 2. Students may not wear articles of clothing or jewelry pertaining to their school.  Likewise, name of school or state should not be intentionally included in cutting or conversation with officers or judges of the Festival.

ART 3. Original Material: Original material may be used if it is published.  School and local publications are recognized as “published”.  This rule excludes impromptu, 4 minute, and 8 minute (original oration).

ART 4. Each contestant shall exhibit the same materials in all three rounds; except in those categories where a topic is drawn.

ART 5. Material located on the Internet is considered published.

ART 6. Students may not use the same material in more then one event.

ART 7. The use of note takers with Braille display or screens, tablets or video magnifiers is permitted in all reading categories.

RULE 12
INDIVIDUAL EVENT GUIDELINES
Section 1
ART 1. Although some singing is permitted, within the context of the speech (a phrase or line from a song), the emphasis should be on speaking.

Section 2
ART 1. Four-Minute Speech: A speech in the four minute contest may be either INFORMATIVE or PERSUASIVE in purpose.  The speech is to be written by the student who presents it.

The four-minute speech may be presented from memory or extemporaneously.  Notes limited to one 5 x 8 card (1 side only) for print users or one half 8.5 x 11 sheet (1 side only) of braille paper for braille users may be used.

Any coach with entry requireing accommodations for notes (use of picture prompts on tablet for example) must send a proposal of the accommodations to all forensic coaches by March 1.  A response from forensic coaches must be received within 5 days.  The proposal will include space requirements and any device used by the student.

Properties or visual materials may not be used in presenting a four-minute speech.
This is a contest in speech rather than in essay writing.  Emphasis should be placed on speech phrase.

ART 2. Eight-Minute Speech: A speech in the eight minute contest may be either INFORMATIVE or PERSUASIVE in purpose.  The speech is to be written by the student who presents it.

Emphasis should be placed on preparation, appropriate use of notes or materials and delivery.  The speech may not be read in its entirety.  Notes limited to two 5 x 8 cards (1 side only) for print users or one single sided 8.5  x 11sheet (1 side only)  of Braille paper for Braille users may, be used.

Any coach with entry requiring accommodation for notes (use of picture prompts on tablet for example) must send a proposal of the accommodations to all forensic coaches by March 1.  A response from forensic coaches must be received within 5 dfays.  The proposal will include space requirements and any device used by the student.

ART 3. Impromptu Four-Minute Speech:  In the impromptu event the contestant does not know his speaking topic prior to the contest.  (No specific topic will be announced.)  At the time of the contest he will draw one topic from each of three separate boxes.  He will then go to a preparation room where he will have five minutes to select one of the three drawn topics and prepare himself to speak on that topic.  When his preparation time is completed, the topic he has chosen will be announced to the judges and to the audience by a contest official, and he will have a maximum of four minutes to address himself to the selected topic.
No reading or writing materials shall be allowed in the draw/ preparation room.  The speaker may request that the topic cards be read to them by the timer in the draw/preparation room.
When the first speaker is finished, the second speaker will be called and the same procedure followed.  Speakers will stay in the room after their speeches until the round is finished.  They may not leave the room after they have given their speech, unless they are doubling.
Drawing boxes shall contain topics from the following categories:
Box 1 One word philosophical topics (love, peace, etc.)
Box 2 Thought provoking proverbs (Grass is always greener on other side, etc.) or titles (“The Sounds of Silence”, etc.) or quotations (“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, etc.)
Box 3 – Miscellaneous (humorous, serious, ridiculous, you-name-it; anything goes here!)
Each topic card shall be written in both large print and braille.
Topics shall be submitted by participating coaches within 30 days of the contest.  Topics shall be put on uniform cards and shall be separated in the boxes by category.
The ability of the speaker to stick precisely to the topic he has drawn and to make that material into a logical speech is to be a major consideration in the judge’s ranking of the student.   The speaker will be judged for his/her ability to think on one’s feet.
The speaker will also be judged on the mechanics of speech–poise, use of voice, body action and the ability to hold the attention of the audience.
Drawing procedures for impromptu: Two separate watches needed, one for the speaker and one for the student preparing.  Two timekeepers would facilitate procedures.
Time Elapsed
:00  #1 draws and is guided to separate prep room
:05  #2 draw, then…  #1 begins speech-4 minute maximum speaking
time (judge has 1 minute to make notes)
:10  #3 draw, then… #2 begins speech This pattern continues until all contestants have drawn and delivered speech.
Quiet shall be maintained at all times allowing no speaking among contestants.

ART 4. Serious and Humorous Interpretation Eight-Minute Speech: (Two separate events with similar guidelines.) The presentation is to be a memorized selection.  The student is to give an introduction and any transitions which are needed.
Impersonations from television, records or tape recording are not permitted.  (i.e. Bill Cosby doing Bill Cosby material is not permitted, but Bill Cosby’s voice doing a president’s speech is permitted.)
The degree to which the performance leans toward acting depends on the nature of the material, but VOICE interpretation of the literature is of prime importance in this event.
Costumes and properties may not be used.
The material must fall readily into either the serious or the humorous category.  Material must not be taken from commercially prepared recorded material.
Material may be a cutting from a play, short story or novel of recognized literary quality which has been published in a book or magazine.
The art of interpretation is to be regarded as recreating the characters in the story presented and making them seem living and real to the audience.  They should be judged for their appropriateness as contest material and their suitability to the particular contestants using them.
This is a contest in oral interpretation, not solo acting.

ART 5. Serious and Humorous Prose Eight-Minute Reading (Two separate events with similar guidelines.): A presentation may be a selection or a cutting from prose literature.  The student will give his own introduction and any transitions which may be needed.
The material is to be read from the printed or brailled page with the optional use of a reading stand.  The use of a notetaker with a Braille display or screen is permitted.  The material is not to be memorized, it must be read.
The introduction and transitions are to be memorized, but may be delivered in an extemporaneous style.
Conclusions and/or summations are not permitted.
Each school may enter only one contestant in serious prose and one contestant in humorous prose.  Each would count as one entry.  (See example in Rule 5, Art. 5)

ART 6. Poetry Six-Minute Reading: A presentation may be a single poem, a cutting from a single poem, or several related poems or cuttings.  The student shall give his introduction which he has prepared as well as the transitions which may be needed to establish a relationship between the parts of his presentation.   The judge’s decision should be mainly influenced by the reading of the poetry itself.  The purpose of the explanation is to add continuity and unity to the poetry recital.   There should be a line of thought that runs throughout, i.e. three poems from the same author; two poems by different authors but expressing the same idea.  This line or thought should be the basis for selection of the poems.
The poetry must be read from printed or brailled-page Use of a notetaker with a Braille display or screen and/or a reading stand is permitted.  The selection is not to be memorized, it must be read.
The introduction and transitions are to be memorized, but may be delivered in extemporaneous style.
Conclusions and/or summations are not permitted.
The poetry selections must be of a recognized literary quality taken from a published book or magazine.  School and local publications, as well as the Internet, are recognized as “published”.

ART 7. Duo: The presentation may be humorous or serious and it is to be a memorized selection.  The students are to give an introduction and any transitions which may be needed.
A speech in this contest shall adhere to the time requirements of an eight to ten minute event.  Regulation time for Duo is 7:30 – 10:30.
The duo must have two participants, each interpreting the part of only one character.
Impersonations from television, records or tape recordings are not permitted.  (i.e. Bill Cosby doing Bill Cosby material is not permitted, but Bill Cosby’s voice doing a president’s speech is permitted.)   These cuttings should be taken from a single work, taken from a published book or magazine.
Although these students are allowed to touch, voice interpretation of the selection is of prime importance.  In this event acting should not be overdone.
Costumes may not be used.
One table and/or two chairs may be used.
Each school may enter only one duo which counts as one entry.

ART 8. Great Speeches; Contestant gives information about, and delivers all or portions of speeches (public address) delivered by one individual.  Quality material is expected.  The contestant must, in their introduction, transitions or conclusions, justify the selection of the speech for presentation.  The justification may include such subjects as the historical or potential importance, authors purpose of speech, language style, rhetorical technique and audience appeal.  The contestant must include information about the speaker, subject, original audience and occasion of the speech.  Comments about textural accuracy and ghost writing may be included where appropriate.
A speech in this contest shall adhere to the time requirements of an eight minute event.
The reader will select a single speech (public address) of historical or potential importance delivered by the same speaker.
An introduction is required as well as necessary transitions.  A conclusion may be used.  These are to be memorized or given extemporaneously without the use of notes.
The speech is to be read from a manuscript.  The use of a notetaker with a Braille display or screen is permitted.  The use of a reading stand is permitted but not required.
The Great Speech must have been published.  Recorded speeches may be used only if they have been published in print.
Costumes, props, music, or other audio-visual supports may not be used.

ART 9. Open Category Speech: The host school may choose one event not described above.  The event may be any generally accepted forensic event, or it may be a new and experimental event.  The host school will notify all participating schools with a complete and detailed description of the event with all guidelines and regulations pertaining to the event at least three months prior to the contest.  The host school must consider how the new event will fit into the guidelines for entries.  An allowance may need to be proposed for the expansion of total students, but the event shall be scored as one entry regardless of the number of students in the open event.
The following list suggests options for the open Category:
a.  Serious dramatic monologue (5 minutes)
b.  Humorous dramatic monologue (5 minutes)
c.  After dinner speaking
d.  Panel discussion
e.  Radio broadcasting
f.  Storytelling
g.  Demonstration speech
h.  Improvisation (single – 3 minutes)
Improvisation (duo – 5 minutes)
i.  Theatre reading