Virtual Speech Contests

Background #

WISDAA, an affiliate of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), brings together students and educators for multi-institutional constructive assessment and recognition, where participants learn as much from listening to others as they do when expressing their ideas and gaining feedback. Immediate audience feedback and oral response by adjudicators (contest officials) provides a more authentic educational experience in the same shared physical space. Most of the virtual Speech contest opportunities WISDAA has offered have been asynchronous evaluation of pre-recorded videos, to maximize opportunities, since live evaluation over videoconference platforms requires more logistical coordination of schedules, devices, and bandwidth.

Valid Circumstances #

Requests for an entire team to participate virtually apply to the same kinds of circumstances facing any interscholastic team — athletic, band, solo/ensemble, etc. –such as: public health outbreaks, inclement weather, etc. Virtual/online schools would inherently participate in virtual speech, though starting with the 2023-24 school year, we are hoping to hold live qualifying festivals for these schools, where student engagement more closely approximates in-person contests.

For individual contestants, situations apply that are consistent with excused absence, or conflict with another school-sponsored interscholastic contest/activity.

How it Works #

WISDAA runs statewide qualifying middle level and high school Speech festivals for each level in which it offers contests. A school can move between virtual and in-person options as long as it selects these options when registering in SpeechWire (or contacts us to change once its entries are pushed/dispatched to a particular contest).

Middle Level #

Middle Level Speech Season 2021-22 Flowchart

High School #

High School Speech Season 2021-22 Flowchart