Contests in District 91, UK South
In District 91, we host four contests during the year. The Program Quality Director is ultimately accountable for District Finals and works with the District Executive Committee to ensure quality contests are organised across Areas and Divisions.
Area and Division Directors are accountable for their own contests and are encouraged to appoint a Contest Chair to take on the responsibility of the contest.
The Club Vice President Education is accountable for the club contest and may seek to find a Contest Chair to take on the responsibility of the contest.
For the 2023/2024 Program Year, the District Council moved that all District (Area, Division and District level) contests will be hybrid.
Autumn Division Conferences are usually scheduled for late October/November. Clubs are encouraged to schedule contests in liaison with their Area Director, Division Director, and fellow Area clubs to ensure ample time is given (recommended two weeks) between each contest stage.
- Humorous Speaking Contest
- Table Topics™ Contest
In the Spring, Division Conferences are usually scheduled for late March/April. Division Directors should work backwards from the District Conference/Contests dates and plan to allow four or more weeks prior to the District finals to allow ample time. As above, Area Directors and clubs should work together to plan contests with two weeks lead time between club/area and area/division.
- International Speech Contest**
- Evaluation Contest
**This contest proceeds beyond the District level through to the World Championship of Public Speaking®
In District 91 Areas and Divisions may have two contestants per club or Area, in alignment with the below section of the Speech Contest Rulebook.
B. Eight (8) weeks prior to the Area contest, if an Area has four (4) assigned clubs or fewer in good standing, Districts have the option to allow two (2) contestants from each club to compete in the Area contest.
1. Should additional clubs charter prior to the Area contest, two (2) contestants from each club are permitted to compete.
2. In those Divisions with four (4) assigned Areas or fewer, Districts have the option to allow the two (2) highest-placed available contestants from each Area to compete.
3. In Districts with four (4) assigned Divisions or fewer, Districts have the option to allow the two (2) highest-placed available contestants from each Division to participate in the District contest.
4. The decision whether or not to allow two (2) contestants to advance from club
to Area, from Area to Division, and/or from Division to District must be made and communicated throughout the District prior to the commencement of the contest cycle, i.e., prior to any club contests being held.
a) Once the decision is made, it must be implemented consistently throughout
the District in all clubs, Areas, and Divisions affected.
b) If a District decides to allow two (2) contestants to advance from club to Area, its decisions regarding the number to advance from Area to Division and/or from Division to District need not be the same.
Clubs can choose to have in-person, online or hybrid contests. This is a decision that should be made by the members of the club.
The Area Director is accountable for Area Contests. In the absence of an Area Director, the Area Council can seek support from their Division Director or the Program Quality Director in organising the Area Contest.
The Division Director is accountable for the Division Contest. In the absence of a Division Director, the Division Council (Area Directors) can speak to the Program Quality Director in regards to support for the Division Contests/Conferences.
The Program Quality Director is accountable for the District Finals. They will appoint Contest Chairs and Chief Judges. Typically the District Finals form part of the program for the District Conference and therefore the Conference Chair/Director will be consulted and informed as necessary to ensure the logistics of the District finals are executed in keeping with the contest rules.
The Contest Chair is advised to use the Speech Contest Rulebook, which includes checklists in the back of it to prepare for the contest. Planning 6 or more weeks in advance will help make things run much smoother.
Remember, speech contests are an event and members are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to push your leadership and speaking skills. As Contest Chair, you can align this role with a Pathways project and push your leadership, organisation and presenting skills – the Contest Chair may choose to appoint a Contest Toastmaster who does the hosting on the day, so they can focus on logistics. Please refer to the Speech Contest Rulebook. For further questions contact your Area or Division Director, or the District Chief Judge. Ultimately, District Contests fall under the purview of the Districts Program Quality Director.
In District 91 a District Chief Judge is often recruited by the Program Quality Director to provide support to the membership in regards to understanding the rules and ensuring quality contests are executed within the district. We encourage you to reach out to the District Chief Judge via the Program Quality Team if you have questions regarding contests.
Prior to a contest, the Contest Chair should work in partnership with the Chief Judge to ensure a quality contest at any level. The Chief Judge can focus on ensuring all aspects of the rules are incorporated as well as appointing the voting judges, ballot counters, timers, and the tiebreaking judge.
The Chief Judge briefs judges and functionaries before the contest. This position is also responsible for collecting timers’ record sheets and ballots. Following the contest, the Chief Judge should submit the official results. At the club level, results should go to the Contest Chair or Area Director for the Area Contest. Area to Division and Division to District.