Month: October 2013

Unofficial review of 2014 Toastmasters Speech Contest Rulebook changes

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest Rulebook for 2014 has several changes that may have a dramatic impact on speech contests starting January 1, 2014.

https://www.toastmasters.org/1171

Note – this review applies to the version of the document available on October 2, 2013 – that document may change or be revised at any time.

Note – This manual only applies to contests on after January 1, 2014

TI’s official guide to 2014 Rulebook changes:  https://www.toastmasters.org/2014rulebookchanges

Overview:

  • the manual contains terminology and wording changes, making a distinction between “voting judges” and “chief judge”
  • The manual removes the “unless practical” relief for minimum number of judges at Area+ (area or higher) contests
  • the non-eligible status of District officer candidates for next July 1 starting term  – now only applies to elected positions – this means – in Districts where Area Governors are appointed – members who announce their intention to be Area Governor for the next year can still compete until July 1

wording changes – only for clarification changes include:

  • Instead of saying “contest functionaries” are not eligible to compete , the manual lists the contest roles which cannot compete in a contest in which they serve:
    “Contest chairs, chief judges, voting judges, timers, counters, sergeants at arms and test speakers may not compete in the contest at which they are serving”
  •  Several places include the change from judges to “voting judges” to distinguish “chief judge” from judges who submit a ballot

Listed next are all sentences marked as “changed” in the 2014 “Speech Contest Rulebook”:
(Changes are highlighted by rotated black square in the left margin of the rulebook)

1. Under eligibility, for all contests

  • PAGE 4  (4. The following are ineligible to compete in any Toastmasters speech contest:)
    a. “A member serving as a chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge beyond the club level for a contest in which the member is still competing or intends to compete

THIS IS HUGE!! It means someone may judge at club level contests (not in the same club in which they compete) and remain eligible to compete in their area contest – even if they judge another club inside their same area!! That does mean you could judge someone and later compete against them – Hmmm, that sounds like a conflict of interest…

  • PAGE 5
    4.g. District officers or announced candidates for elected positions for the term beginning the upcoming July 1
    (added words “for elected positions” – this implies that area governor candidates can compete until July 1)
  • 5. Contest chairs, chief judges, voting judges, timers, counters, sergeants at arms and test speakers may not compete in the contest at which they are serving.
    changed from “Contest functionaries may not compete in the contest at which they are serving as a functionary”
  • B. To be a chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge at a Toastmasters speech contest, you must meet all eligibility requirements identified below.
    (added detail – changed “judge” to ” chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge” – also moved this from General Procedure to Eligibility)
  • (B) 4. Voting judges at all levels shall remain anonymous when practical
    (changed “judges” to “Voting Judges” and moved to Eligibility)

 

2. General Procedure (page 7)
(the wording changes below no longer include the words “where practical” for minimum representation or minimum number of judges – 
THIS implies contest cannot be held without the minimums of qualified judges – including 3 ballot counters!)

  • 2 . At area contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each club in the area, or a minimum of five voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers shall be appointed.
  • 3. At division contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each area in the division, or a mini-mum of seven voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters and two timers shall be appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
  • 4. At district contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each division in the district, or a mini-mum of seven voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters and two timers shall be appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
  • 5 . At the semifinals for the International Speech Contest, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each district, or a minimum of nine voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, a tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers are appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member
  • 6. At the World Championship of Public Speaking, there shall be one voting judge representing each region. In addition to these judges, a contest chair, chief judge, five qualifying judges, tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers are appointed. No chief judge, voting judge, qualifying judge, or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member

This no statement of what is to be done if these minimums or numbers of “shall be appointed” officials cannot be fond

General Procedure (page 8)

  • K.3. The chief judge personally collects the tiebreaking judge’s ballot, which must contain all contestants ranked in order by the tiebreaking judge.
    NOTE: the above line is marked as changed – but I cannot see any change from 2013 Rulebook
    The change is actually the addition of  a) below it:a) The top portion of the ballot is not provided to the chief judge and must be discreetly discarded by the tiebreaking judge after the contest.

Below is a wording change not indicated as a change in the 2014 version

  • 5 j.When the last contestant finishes speaking, the contest chair will ask for silence until the ballot counters have collected all ballots.
    changed from
    “K . There will be one minute of silence between contestant speeches, during which the judges will mark their ballots. All judges will judge all contestants, except the chief judge, who does not judge contestants”

7. Protests and Disqualifications (page 10)

  • A. Protests are limited to eligibility and originality and shall only be lodged by voting judges and contestants. Any protest shall be lodged with the chief judge and/or contest chair prior to the announcement of the winner and alternate(s).
  • B . Before a contestant can be disqualified on the basis of originality, the contestant must be given an opportunity to respond to the voting judges. A majority of the voting judges must concur in the decision to disqualify.
  • C. The contest chair can disqualify a contestant on the basis of eligibility.
  • D. All decisions of the voting judges and qualifying judges are final.

(changed “judges” to “Voting Judges and moved to Eligibility)

 

Other changes – in checklists and other “non-rules” parts of the rulebook

Contest Chair Checklist, page 13

  • Page Note: If there is an entry fee for the contest, that fee must be waived for contestants. Contestants cannot be charged a fee to compete.
  • 7. Select the chief judge. See the Eligibility section in this rulebook for eligiblity requirements for a chief judge.

 

Chief Judge’s Checklist

  • Judges’ Briefing Checklist (page 15 , 4th item  added)  Judge’s Certification of Eligibility and Code of Ethics (Item 1170)
  • (During the Contest) 3. Resolve any eligibility or originality protests that may arise.”
    changed from “3. Resolve any protests that may arise due to judge or contestant concerns over eligibility or originality.”

 

Contestant’s Checklist (page 15)
Before the Contest

  • 3. Inform the contest chair of any props you plan to use. (added)

If you notice things I missed or got wrong – please let me know!