Speech: SpeechWire Setup & Scheduling

NOTE: WISDAA uses a special, customized version of SpeechWire, and it does not work like invitationals outside our Speech Festival Series. Coaches — including yourself — do NOT register directly with a subdistrict festival in SpeechWire.  In fact, subdistrict festivals will not be listed in SpeechWire’s calendar, because they are private contests only for WISDAA member schools.  Each WISDAA school, across the state, must register for the contest entitled, “WISDAA Speech Initial/Subdistrict Registration.” This is required in order for all entries to meet the official Eligibility/Registration step required by school administrators. Our festival series has a number of additional features, including notation of accessibility requests for contestants and/or adjudicators, as well as the ability for coaches to request a different festival for specific entries on their squads.

We have developed a free, entirely asynchronous (at your own pace) course with video walk-throughs for festival managers/hosts. Upon completion, you can download a certificate acknowledging your professional development time.

1-2 weeks prior to your festival (based on the date you request data), the state office will load schools, their entries, and their adjudicators. Schools missing may not have registered yet. Prior to that point, you may still log in to set up your festival by following instructions in the “Settings” section below. You can monitor schools’ entry status by clicking the applicable one of the four buttons below (password shared in the email with other login information), so you can reach out to coaches you are expecting who have not entered contestants in categories and/or judges.

Settings #

MANAGER LOGIN: Click the button below or visit to access your festival and login. After logging in you will see the home page. The top and bottom of all pages have links/buttons to ‘Return to home page’

ROUNDS: Click Timeslots. Apply each round to all categories by clicking “Copy” under “Copy over.” Click ‘Add timeslot’ to save. Click ‘Save changes’ button whenever you modify settings.

ROOMS: On the home page, click Rooms, then use the ‘Add a room’ section to add the rooms you will use to the festival.  There is also a link to add a list of rooms, all at once. You will not be able to assign rooms to specific categories, until you know how many sections you will need. You also can designate special uses for rooms, such as your Tab room, your Extemp/Radio draw/prep room, student gathering area, etc.

FEES – Middle Level: Most WISDAA middle level festivals have expenses covered by the State Office, but some have assessed a modest fee to cover additional expenses. To do so, click “Fees,” then “Manage fee settings.” Be sure to update ‘Payable to’ at the bottom.

FEES – High School:  Each district/subdistrict sets its own fees (or no fees) to cover basic expenses. To set, click “Fees,” then “Manage fee settings.” Update ‘Payable to’ at the bottom.

Both Middle + High School: You also can click “Manage judge fees” to add fees, which is usually per missing judge, and usually 1 judge for every 5 entries. You can generate and/or email invoices from the main Fees page.

JUDGES: To add adjudicators recruited/hired by the manager/host, click Add a judge, and add them in the Hired or Neutral Judges “team.” Otherwise, judges brought by schools will be listed with schools (schools may bring neutral judges and they or you can mark them as such, so they can adjudicate students from that school), or added later.

DECLINE MATERIALS (Optional): Individual festival hosts may request the State Office not send evaluation sheets. However, we will still send ribbons to middle level festivals.

Registration Data #

UPDATE ENTRIES/JUDGES: Click Teams, then Entries next to a school. Click the ‘Add entry’ button near the proper category. After making changes, click ‘Update entries.’ To add adjudicators, type a number, click “Add judges,” then search (will find WISDAA certified adjudicators only). To see a summary of all entries, click ‘View entry spreadsheet’ near the top. If a school and/or entry from outside your region is attending your festival, and you do not see them listed, please contact the state office to have it added. See “Day of Festival” regarding advice to not drop contestants on the day of the festival.

WEBSITE INFORMATION PAGE (Optional): Festival hosts may have an information page on SpeechWire, which appears to schools once entries have been “pushed” by the State Office (coaches log into SpeechWire, click Tournament registration, and then “Info” next to your contest). To edit this page, click the button, “Edit website general information page” under “Communication” on the Teams page. Other buttons allow the host/manager to communicate with coaches from attending schools.

ENTRY CONFIRMATION: Click “Send entry confirmations” on the “Teams” page (“Communication” section below the list of schools) to send a copy of contestants and adjudicators to each school.

Accessibility Requests #

On the Teams page, above the table/list of schools, click the button, Accessibility requests report.  This will alert you to: (1) contest accommodations; (2) adjudicator evaluation modifications; (3) dietary restrictions; and (4) scheduling needs (e.g., leaving early). If a coach reaches out to you after their entries were pushed, you will need to add a record here. Select a school in the drop-down list above the table, and follow instructions to add entries.

Scheduling Settings #

Merging Categories #

MERGING SMALL CATEGORIES (Optional): You may merge categories with few entries.  Please do NOT drop entries then add into another category! Instead, use this special tool. Click Scheduling manager, then ‘Merge together small categories.’ Find a category you’d like to merge into another. Click “Merge this into another category.” On the next screen, select the target category you’re merging into. Finally, type a name and abbreviation for the merged category.

Mixing Merged Entries After Round 1

This is optional. To include a mixture of categories in each room/section after the first round, click Scheduling manager, then (toward the bottom), the link: Scheduling control panel settings. Under the “Speech settings” section, select the option you’d like to use:

If you are merging your categories, do you want to use the ‘kitchen table’ approach to scheduling your schematics, which mixes up categories and students (it can be configured to schedule categories together in round 1 but mix them in rounds 2 and 3, too)? 

Set Section Structure #

Designating number of sections/rooms for each category    –>

Click Scheduling manager, then click Set section structure. Use the plus and minus buttons on the grid to designate number of sections. The ‘Section sizes’ column updates automatically, showing how many entries will be placed in each section. Click ‘Update section structure’ to save.

Double Entries #

(High School) In the Scheduling manager screen, under “Other tools” is a link, “View double-entries.” This will allow you to check for double-entered contestants. At festivals where categories are merged, you can move a student’s double entries to the same room, to minimize movement during the festival. More guidance for how to move students between sections/rooms is available in WISDAA’s free course on managing speech contests (see button/link above).

Sectioning Process #

METHOD 1: ASSIGN ROOMS TO GROUPINGS/CATEGORIES (Default)  Click Rooms, then ‘Click here to assign rooms to competition groupings’.  Select grouping and round. Click each room you will use.  Once you have assigned all rooms, if you will use the same rooms for other rounds for that category, click ‘Copy rooms.’ Use the dropdown above to move on to another grouping.

Click Judges, then click ‘Assign judges to rooms for the whole festival’. Assign each judge to a room. Once you have saved, check the bottom to see if any judges’ names remain in the list of judges with no room assigned.  If not, you should be ready to go.

SECTIONING/GENERATING SCHEMATICS: From home, click Scheduling manager, then click Schedule competition groupings.  Click ‘Check all’, then click ‘Schedule now’.

AUTO-ASSIGN ADJUDICATORS: Click Scheduling manager, then click Auto-assign judges.  Click ‘Check all’, then click ‘Auto-assign judges’. If some sections are missing adjudicators, you will be prompted to try the festival judge fixer, which moves contestants and judges around to minimize conflicts. Run the judge fixer multiple times to achieve 100% coverage (if there are enough judges). There is also a direct link to the Festival judge fixer/assigner in the main Scheduling managerpage. If you’re still having trouble, return to Schedule competition groupings, and then go directly to Festival judge fixer/assigner instead of Auto-assign judges. Always check for judges who have conflicts beyond the school they represent.

Alternatively, you can manually change: Click Schematic viewer and view the schematic for the category. Click a section letter. Click ‘Add/change judges’ (or ‘Assign a judge to this section’ if there is not currently an adjudicator). You will see the adjudicator currently assigned. When replacing, those near the top of the list of adjudicators with “No issues” in green can be Assigned without conflict. Below the ‘No issues’ adjudicators you will see others. Be careful: assignedconflicted adjudicators may have conflicts with students (registered with the same school) or may already be in use at the timeslot of the round! 

AUTOMATE ADDING LATE ENTRIES: After you add entries for a school after you’ve sectioned schematics, a button, Place unscheduled entries will appear after you’ve saved the new entries. Click the button and follow the prompts. There is also a link on the Scheduling manager to do the same. Always check for judges who have conflicts beyond the school they represent. NOTE: If you later add entries to a category that you previously merged into another, you must re-merge for added entries to appear available to schedule.

PRINTING SCHEMATICS, BALLOTS, ETC.: Click Printing center on the home page.  Look at the first item on the page – Normal schematic.  Print all categories or select one. Other reports in the Printing center include “Speech ballots,” accessibility requests, and room signs.

CONTESTANT ITINERARIES: Itineraries for students may be printed and/or emailed.

Method 1: To print copies (or save PDF), click “Printing center”. Scroll down to the “Teams and entries” section, and follow prompts in the “Contestant itineraries” and click “Make itineraries”.

Method 2: To email itineraries to coaches, click “Teams”. On the next screen, below the list of schools, under the “Communication” section, click the button, “Email contestant itineraries.”

GENERATING LABELS FOR EVALUATION SHEETS: Labels for evaluation sheets are available in the Printing Center under “Teams and entries.”

Adjudicator Replacements #

To replace adjudicators already assigned: from the homepage, click Judges, then look up judges by name; search for the judge you are replacing and click their name (you also can access and edit judges from other places, such as with a school’s list of judges). Click on Replace this judge with another certified judge, and search for the substitute judge. Click on the name of the replacement judge, which will place them in the assignments given to the original judge. Please double-check any conflicts among schools/students with the new judge.

Pre-Festival: Set up E-Ballots #

Click the icon, Posting center > then click “Electronic tournament control panel.” Next, change the following settings:

  • Yes – do you want to use e-ballots?
  • In-person – what platform will you run your tournament on?
  • Yes – to each of — text/email alert subscriptions; open subscriptions now; do you want to let judges subscribe via text/email; will you post schematics online
  • Please do not change any of the other settings; WISDAA has custom implicit bias statements and point value settings.

Click the button, [Update settings] to save.

Click the icon, Judges > then click “View judge dashboard.” For any adjudicators who do not have a green “LINKED” message next to their email, click the button to link them. This will prompt an automated email from SpeechWire to create a SpeechWire judging account for them to use, sending them a password with which to log in.

Day of Festival: Entry Drops #

Day of Festival: Extemp/Radio Draw #

Please see the contest resources page for live/digital Extemp/Radio draw instructions (just below the rules for running draw).

Day of Festival: E-Ballots #

Click the icon, Posting center > then click “Release, post and blast rounds.”

Click the [Go!] buttons for each category (you may do this for each round at once); the buttons will turn green to confirm they have been released to adjudicators for access.

Tabulating/Reporting Results #

The State Office emails managers/hosts a special data entry login just for tabulating results during the festival.

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Updated on 02/20/2024
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