Reminders and Tips for the Chief Judge at the 2021 Contests
Important Reminders for Your Area and Division Speech Contests
From Linda Lee, DTM, PM2, District Chief Judge, District 96 Toastmasters 2020-2021
First, congratulations to all club contestants moving on to their respective Area Contests. Thank you to all for supporting your clubs in hosting their first online speech contests!
To ensure that your Area and Division online contests are held fairly and by "Toastmasters International Rules and Guidelines", please refer to these important reminders (I will try to be brief!). With online contests there are many new logistical processes we need to keep in mind and in practice.
Judges' and Tie-Breaking Judges' Eligibility:
For all Area and Division Speech Contests the eligibility for all voting judges and tie-breaking judges are as follows:
- Be a paid member for a minimum of six (6) months
- Have completed a minimum of six (6) speech projects in Competent Communication OR earned certificates of completion in Levels 1 and 2 of any path in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.
- Be physically present (online) at the contest for which you are serving.
All other contest officials and the Evaluation Contest Test Speaker must be paid members.
Official Judges and Tie-Breaking Judges Ballots:
Toastmasters International has made it clear that all voting judges and tie-breaking judges are REQUIRED to use the appropriate official ballot (which is supplied by TI) for every speech contest. Please see attached.
- All voting judges MUST list the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place contestants (when applicable). The ballot MUST also be signed (which can be signed digitally) and the name printed/typewritten on the bottom portion of the applicable speech contest ballot. If not, the ballot would be considered VOID.
- The tie-breaking judge's ballot MUST contain all contestants ranked in order. The ballot MUST also be signed (which can be signed digitally) and the name printed/typewritten on the bottom portion of the applicable speech contest ballot. If not, the ballot would be considered VOID.
Submitting Official Ballots and Timing Sheets:
- The bottom portion of the voting judge's ballot MUST be SUBMITTED to the Chief Judge and Ballot Counters. The voting judge could take an image of the completed ballot (with their cell phone camera) OR he/she could use the snipping tool and then take an image of the digitally completed ballot. All ballots are fillable forms.
- The Tie-Breaking Judge MUST SUBMIT the bottom portion of the ballot ONLY to the Chief Judge. The tie-breaking judge could take an image of the completed ballot (with their cell phone camera) OR he/she could use the snipping tool and then take an image of the digitally completed ballot. All ballots are fillable forms.
- Methods for submitting an image of the voting judge's ballots to the Chief Judge and Ballot Counters could be by EMAIL, by TEXT message, and/or by WhatsAPP. for example. Whichever method is used, ensure that all your voting judges and ballot counters know how to use these applications for the purpose of your contest.
- Methods for submitting an image of the tie-breaking judge's ballot to the Chief Judge could be by EMAIL, by TEXT message, and/or by WhatsAPP. for example. Whichever method is used, ensure that your tie-breaking judge knows how to use these applications for the purpose of your contest.
- Official Timers can submit their contest timing sheets by taking an image of the completed sheet first before sending it ONLY to the Chief Judge by TEXT or by EMAIL, for example. Or, the timer could upload the completed form as an attachment via EMAIL ONLY to the Chief Judge. This form is also fillable.
Deletion or Physical Destruction of Contest Documents:
- All images of used ballots, timing sheets, and counter tally sheets MUST be deleted from all electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, computers) by all contest officials AFTER the winners are announced.
- All paper copies of used ballots, timing sheets, and counter tally sheets MUST be shredded/destroyed by all contest officials AFTER the winners are announced.
Chief Judge's Briefing:
The following points (as a minimum) should always be communicated to respective contest officials at every briefing before your online contest...
- The chief judge instructs judges, tie-breaking judge, counters, and timers on the process for submitting the appropriate ballot for the contest, Speech Contest Time Record Sheet and Instruction for Timers (Item 1175) and Counter's Tally Sheet (Item 1176). Digital signatures are accepted.
- The chief judge instructs judges on the process for a protest.
- The chief judge instructs timers on the process for timing.
- The chief judge instructs ballot counters on the ballot counting process.
- The chief judge explains alternative method of communication in case of technology failures
Please refer to the attached TI document, "Online Speech Contest Exception" for all the details. If you haven't already done so, I highly suggest that you have access to this document for all your contests.
If technology fails during the contest...
- And the Chief Judge determines that the contest can longer continue (due to a lack of contestants and/or contest officials), the contest can be reconvened at a later date or time.
- And only one contestant is impacted, the Chief Judge should pause the contest until the technology issue is resolved. The contestant should resume their speech at the point at which the technology failed and will be allowed 30 seconds extra overtime before being disqualified.
I believe that is it! Thank you once again for your undivided attention. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and/or comments.