Eligibility/Participation Rules

Eligibility/Participation Rules #

  1. Membership: The Association’s membership year begins July 1. Schools must pay dues and submit a membership form before participating in Association activities.
    1. Dues:
      1. High School: annual dues are $380; if paid before October 1, a $50 discount shall be applied.
      2. Middle Level: annual dues are $100; if paid before October 1, a $50 discount shall be applied.
    2. Online/virtual schools: fully online/virtual schools may enroll in Association membership and participate through Association virtual pathways. Those schools may participate at in-person Association contests at any level provided school personnel are present with students at each venue per §2, and the school communicates to the state office exactly which students will participate at which in-person contests and with which adults.
    3. Homeschools: A homeschool association or individual household may join as a school for the respective grade levels as per §3. If allowed by the student’s attendance-area public school or a nearby private school, the student may participate fully with that school; the advisor must simply be able to furnish proof of permission from a school administrator.
  2. Advisors: Schools participating in Association activities shall provide the name of an adult coach/director for each applicable activity—debate, speech, theatre, middle level—approved by the school administration as an employee or volunteer, who will supervise students at Association events, unless the school administration approves a substitute and communicates this to the State Office.
  3. Student Eligibility: Any bona fide pupil in good standing and in regular attendance in grades 6-12 of a member school shall be eligible to compete in events conducted by the Association. Students may participate only in those programs sponsored by the school in which they are primarily enrolled and who have primary responsibility for their curricular programs.
    1. In Speech, students in grades 10-12 must participate at the high school level; students in grades 6-8 must participate at the middle level. Students in grade 9 at a junior high school may participate in middle level Speech if their school does not participate in high school Speech; students may not concurrently participate in both the middle and high school levels. A school must pay dues per §1.1 for each level of Speech – middle and/or high school – in which it participates.
    2. In Theatre and film, a high school may allow younger students in a number up to 10% of total participating fully enrolled students to participate in performance facets of an entry. The advisor must simply be able to furnish proof of permission from a school administrator.
  4. Eligibility exceptions
    1. The Eligibility Review Committee will consider – but not guarantee – petitions under two sets of conditions:
      1. A student may attend a special program or class at another school and their schedule is such that participation in Association activities at the special school is thought to be more practical; or
      2. Schools from separate school districts may desire to combine their programs in Theatre, Debate and/or Speech due to circumstances preventing either school from having a program on its own.
    2. Required conditions and procedures when applying for exceptions:
      1. The petition must articulate a reason in accordance with the Association’s objective of promoting participation in Speech, Debate, Theatre, and Film activities.
      2. Both schools must be dues-paying Association members in good standing.
      3. The principals and district administrators (or for independent schools, heads of school) for each school must agree to the exception.
      4. For allowing individual students to participate with a different school as per §4.1.1, the student(s) must be enrolled in academic classes at both schools.
      5. For combining a program at two schools per §4.1.2, the president of the school board/board of trustees also must agree to the exception.
      6. Petitions must be received by the state office no later than six weeks prior to the first Association contest in which participation would happen; the committee must render a decision by four weeks prior to that contest.
      7. Petitions will be granted by the committee for one school year at a time.

Eligibility Exception Petition Application #

This policy is similar to how co-op teams work in athletics, but with consideration that WISDAA does not have the revenue stream of athletics to sufficiently support schools. For both schools involved in all petitions, obtain names and emails for the following:

  • Principals
  • Superintendent/head of school

For combining programs of non-related entities, additionally obtain names/emails of:

  • Board chairs/presidents