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NIETOC Protest Policy

PROTESTS. The members of the NIETOC Executive Council  shall have full power to adjudicate any protest, dispute, or interpretation of the rules.

The NIETOC will provide a form in the tab room on which protests may be filed. The following procedures will be followed:

A: Paperwork

1. Name of coach filing protest (a coach on record with the tournament must file the protest) school, city, state.
2. Code of person/team, or name of judge being protested.
3. Round being protested.
4. Section/room and speaker number of person/team being protested.
5. Specific rule or procedure or action being protested.
6. Signature of protesting coach.

B. Process

After the infraction has been observed/discovered, the protest must be filed within 30 minutes following the round in question. In the event of a protest, the coach of the person/team or affiliated judge protested must provide an official response in writing to the ombudsman within 30 minutes of receiving the details of the protest. If the protest involves the legitimacy of the script being used in the competition, the coach of the student/team must provide the original source within 30 minutes of recieving the details of the protest from the ombudsman. 

C. Adjudication

Information regarding the protest shall be gathered by the tournament ombudsman, who shall rule or request a ruling by the NIETOC Rules Committee. If so desired, the ruling of the NIETOC Rules Committee may be appealed to the NIETOC Executive Committee. The decision of the NIETOC Executive Committee will be final.

D. Disqualification

In case of a disqualification of a contestant in the NIETOC tournament, the ranks of other contestants will be adjusted for the round being protested only; any prior rounds will remain unchanged.

EVENT RULES

Main Events

A. TOPIC — All speeches entered must be the original work of the contestant. Any appropriate subject may be used, but the orator must be truthful. Any non-factual reference, including a personal one, must be so identified. All speeches must have been prepared during the current competitive year. Speeches that have been used in tournaments or service club contests in previous years shall be disqualified; this rule applies to a new speech by a speaker based on the same subject used in a previous year or to any subject used for any original speech by the same contestant during the same or previous years.

B. TIME — Speeches shall be no longer than ten minutes; there is no minimum time. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. Judges should use discretion if the speaker is forced to exceed this time limit due to audience reaction.

C. QUOTATIONS — No more than 150 words of the speech may be direct quotations from another speech or writing. Extensive paraphrasing from other sources is prohibited.

D. MANUSCRIPT — A double-spaced, typewritten copy of the speech with all quotations underlined must be submitted upon registration. The manuscript must follow the MLA or APA style guidelines for internal citations and must include a “works-cited” page.

E. AIDS — No notes, visual or audio aids, or manuscripts shall be permitted in the contest rounds. Speeches must be delivered from memory.

F. TIME — Oratories shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

G. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

A. SELECTION — Selections used in Dramatic or Humorous Interpretation shall be cuttings from a single source from a published printed novel, short story, play, poem or screenplay. One-character selections, or monologues, may be used. No contestant may use the same literary work that s/he used in previous competitive years. No contestant may enter the same selection in two qualifying events. The material may be humorous or dramatic, or combine both tones depending on the selected work. Contestants may not combine two or more pieces of literature. A piece of literature shall be defined as one piece of writing which was written with the intent to be published as one work.

B. PUBLICATION — All contestants must use published materials. “Published” as used in these rules means materials for which the coach is able to provide proof of publication using either of the following methods: — Originating in print form (book, photocopy of the book, or a manuscript) — Originating in digital form (a printed copy of an online transcript) Unpublished material used for introductions and transitions of interpretations shall be the original work of either or both of the contestants. Transitions and other added material must not change the author’s intent.

C. MANUSCRIPT – An original or photocopy of the original selection must be submitted at registration. Script check is the last step in the registration process. Schools that do not complete the registration process are not eligible to compete in the tournament. The portion(s) of the author’s work being used in the interpretation must be highlighted. All introductory and transitional phrases shall be clearly indicated as such on the manuscript. Transitions and other added material must not exceed 150 words and must not change the author’s intent. Contestants must adhere to the material as submitted when performing during rounds.

D. TIME — Interpretations shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance including introductory and transitional materials. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

E. PERFORMANCE — The interpretation must be delivered from memory; no notes, prompting or scripts shall be permitted. No costumes or props shall be permitted.

F. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

Duet Acting is now eligible under both the BID and AT-LARGE systems. If a bid school tournament offers Duet, bids will be awarded at the appropriate level. We will also continue to allow teams to apply for acceptance via the at-large system.

We realize that duet acting is not offered at a large number of tournaments across the country. Therefore, in an effort to help generate interest and encourage growth of the event, we are offering the following incentive: If you have a single-entered NIETOC qualifier, that student may enter duet acting with a partner of their choice, as an at-large entry at the NIETOC. Each school is eligible for two of these at-large duet entries.

A. SELECTION — Selections used in Duet Acting shall be cuttings from a single source from a published printed novel, short story, play, poem or screenplay. No contestant may use the same literary work that s/he used in previous competitive years. No contestant may enter the same selection in two qualifying events. The material may be humorous or dramatic, or combine both tones depending on the selected work. Contestants may not combine two or more pieces of literature. A piece of literature shall be defined as one piece of writing which was written with the intent to be published as one work. Each of the two performers may play one or more characters so long as performance responsibility in the cutting remains as balanced as possible. Introductory and/or transitional material may be presented by either or both contestants.

B. PUBLICATION — All contestants must use published materials. “Published” as used in these rules means materials for which the coach is able to provide proof of publication using either of the following methods: — Originating in print form (book, photocopy of the book, or a manuscript) — Originating in digital form (a printed copy of an online transcript) Unpublished material used for introductions and transitions of interpretations shall be the original work of either or both of the contestants. Transitions and other added material must not change the author’s intent.

C. MANUSCRIPT – An original or photocopy of the original selection must be submitted at registration. Script check is the last step in the registration process. Schools that do not complete the registration process are not eligible to compete in the tournament. The portion(s) of the author’s work being used in the interpretation must be highlighted. All introductory and transitional phrases shall be clearly indicated as such on the manuscript. Transitions and other added material must not exceed 150 words and must not change the author’s intent. Contestants must adhere to the material as submitted when performing during rounds.

D. TIME — Interpretations shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance including introductory and transitional materials. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

E. PERFORMANCE — The interpretation must be delivered from memory; no notes, prompting or scripts shall be permitted. No costumes or props shall be permitted. During the performance, on-stage focus (meaning contestants MAY look directly at each other) may and/or should be employed by both contestants. Contestants are encouraged to touch and make eye contact during any part of the performance. Two chairs will be allowed for use as props or to facilitate blocking and to create levels, atmosphere and environment. Two standard classroom chairs will be provided. If the performers deem it necessary, they may provide their own chairs.

F. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

A. SELECTION — Selections used in Dramatic or Humorous Interpretation shall be cuttings from a single source from a published printed novel, short story, play, poem or screenplay. One-character selections, or monologues, may be used. No contestant may use the same literary work that s/he used in previous competitive years. No contestant may enter the same selection in two qualifying events. The material may be humorous or dramatic, or combine both tones depending on the selected work. Contestants may not combine two or more pieces of literature. A piece of literature shall be defined as one piece of writing which was written with the intent to be published as one work.

B. PUBLICATION — All contestants must use published materials. “Published” as used in these rules means materials for which the coach is able to provide proof of publication using either of the following methods: — Originating in print form (book, photocopy of the book, or a manuscript) — Originating in digital form (a printed copy of an online transcript) Unpublished material used for introductions and transitions of interpretations shall be the original work of either or both of the contestants. Transitions and other added material must not change the author’s intent.

C. MANUSCRIPT – An original or photocopy of the original selection must be submitted at registration. Script check is the last step in the registration process. Schools that do not complete the registration process are not eligible to compete in the tournament. The portion(s) of the author’s work being used in the interpretation must be highlighted. All introductory and transitional phrases shall be clearly indicated as such on the manuscript. Transitions and other added material must not exceed 150 words and must not change the author’s intent. Contestants must adhere to the material as submitted when performing during rounds.

D. TIME — Interpretations shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance including introductory and transitional materials. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

E. PERFORMANCE — The interpretation must be delivered from memory; no notes, prompting or scripts shall be permitted. No costumes or props shall be permitted.

F. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

Duo Interpretation

A. ELECTION — Selections used in Duo Interpretation shall be cuttings from a single source from a published printed novel, short story, play, poem or screenplay. No contestant may use the same literary work that s/he used in previous competitive years. No contestant may enter the same selection in two qualifying events. The material may be humorous or dramatic, or combine both tones depending on the selected work. Contestants may not combine two or more pieces of literature. A piece of literature shall be defined as one piece of writing which was written with the intent to be published as one work. Each of the two performers may play one or more characters so long as performance responsibility in the cutting remains as balanced as possible. Introductory and/or transitional material may be presented by either or both contestants.

B. PUBLICATION — All contestants must use published materials. “Published” as used in these rules means materials for which the coach is able to provide proof of publication using either of the following methods: — Originating in print form (book, photocopy of the book, or a manuscript) — Originating in digital form (a printed copy of an online transcript) Unpublished material used for introductions and transitions of interpretations shall be the original work of either or both of the contestants. Transitions and other added material must not change the author’s intent.

C. MANUSCRIPT – An original or photocopy of the original selection must be submitted at registration. Script check is the last step in the registration process. Schools that do not complete the registration process are not eligible to compete in the tournament. The portion(s) of the author’s work being used in the interpretation must be highlighted. All introductory and transitional phrases shall be clearly indicated as such on the manuscript. Transitions and other added material must not exceed 150 words and must not change the author’s intent. Contestants must adhere to the material as submitted when performing during rounds.

D. TIME — Interpretations shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance including introductory and transitional materials. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

E. PERFORMANCE — The interpretation must be delivered from memory; no notes, prompting or scripts shall be permitted. No costumes or props shall be permitted. During the performance, off-stage focus (meaning contestants may not look directly at each other) must be employed by both contestants; during presentation of narration, or transitional material, eye contact should be made with the audience. The contestants may react to each other’s verbal and/or non-verbal expressions, but are discouraged from touching one another. Contestants may touch and make eye contact during introductory material.

F. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

Main Event Pairing & Tabulation Rules – Revised April 2016
TIEBREAKING PROCEDURES — MAIN EVENTS

PRELIMS
In the four preliminary rounds there will be two judges, whose ranks will not be combined. Individual ranks of 6 or 7 will be modified to a 5. In events with less than 125 contestants, the top 30 students will advance to a quarterfinal round. In events with 125 or more contestants, the top 60 will advance to an octofinal round. Advancing to an elimination round is based on the following:

1. Lowest preliminary cumulative rank total, using all eight modified ranks
2. Highest preliminary cumulative reciprocal total, using all eight modified reciprocals
3. Lowest preliminary rank total using all eight ranks, reverting to original/unmodified ranks
4. Head-to-head in prelims (two-way ties only) using unmodified ranks
5. Greatest number of 1s, then greatest number of 2s, all the way down to the worst rank using unmodified ranks
6. Drop the worst unmodified rank (leaving seven unmodified ranks)
7. Drop the best unmodified rank (leaving seven unmodified ranks)

OCTOFINALS
The octofinal round will be power balanced with three judges in each section. All individual ranks earned in the Octafinal round will remain unmodified. The thirty students with the lowest overall cumulative rankings (from the octofinal and prelim rounds) will advance to the quarterfinal round based on the following:

1. Lowest cumulative rank total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos)
2. Highest cumulative reciprocal total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos)
3. Lowest rank total in the octofinal round only
4. Highest reciprocal total in the octofinal round only
5. Lowest Panel Rank in Octofinals. Panel Rank will be computed in the following way:
A. Students in the section will be ordered according to their octofinal rank total
B. In case of a tie, judges’ preference will be employed*
C. If judges’ preference is unable to break the tie, use octofinal round reciprocals to break the panel rank tie.
6. Judges’ preference* in octofinal round only (if tied contestants are in the same octofinal panel)
7. Greatest number of 1s, then greatest number of 2s, all the way down to the worst rank in all rounds (modified prelims + octofinals)
8. Preliminary rank total using modified ranks

QUARTERFINALS
The quarterfinal round will be power balanced with three judges in each section. All individual ranks earned in the Quaterfinal round will remain unmodified. The twelve students with the lowest overall cumulative rankings (from the octofinal, quarterfinal and prelim rounds) will advance to the semifinal round based on the following:

1. Lowest cumulative rank total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos + quarters)
2. Highest cumulative reciprocal total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos + quarters)
3. Lowest rank total in the quarterfinal round only
4. Highest reciprocal total in the quarterfinal round only
5. Lowest Panel Rank in Quarterfinals. Panel Rank will be computed in the following way:
A. Students in the section will be ordered according to their quarterfinal rank total
B. In case of a tie, judges’ preference will be employed*
C. If judges’ preference is unable to break the tie, use quarterfinal round reciprocals to break the panel rank tie.
6. Judges’ preference* in quarterfinal round only (if tied contestants are in the same quarterfinal panel)
7. Greatest number of 1s, then greatest number of 2s, all the way down to the worst rank in all rounds (modified prelims + quarterfinals)
8. Preliminary rank total using modified ranks

SEMIFINALS
The semifinal rounds will be power balanced with five judges in each section. All individual ranks earned in the Semifinal round will remain unmodified. The six students with the best cumulative rankings (from the semifinal, quarterfinal, octofinal and preliminary rounds) will advance to the final round based on the following:

1. Lowest cumulative rank total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos + quarters + semis)
2. Highest cumulative reciprocal total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos + quarters + semis)
3. Lowest rank total in the semifinal round only
4. Highest reciprocal total in the semifinal round only
5. Lowest Panel Rank in Semifinals. Panel Rank will be computed in the following way:
A. Students in the section will be ordered according to their semifinal rank total
B. In case of a tie, judges’ preference will be employed*
C. If judges’ preference is unable to break the tie, use semifinal round reciprocals to break the panel rank tie.
6. Judges’ preference* in semifinal round only (if tied contestants are in the same semifinal panel)
7. Greatest number of 1s, then greatest number of 2s, all the way down to the worst rank in all rounds (modified prelims + octofinals + quarterfinals + semifinals)

FINALS
The final round will have seven judges. The six finalists will speak in a random order. All individual ranks earned in the Final round will remain unmodified. Tournament placing will be determined on the following:

1. Lowest cumulative rank total in all rounds (modified prelims + octofinals + quarters + semis + finals)
2. Highest cumulative reciprocal total in all rounds (modified prelims + octos + quarters + semis + finals)
3. Lowest rank total in the final round only
4. Highest reciprocal total in the final round only
5. Judges’ preference* in final round only
6. Greatest number of 1s, then greatest number of 2s, all the way down to the worst rank in all rounds (modified prelims + octofinals + quarers + semis + finals)
* – Judges’ preference: If a student received the top rank among the tied students from a majority of the judges in the section containing the tie, that student will come out of the tie in first via judges’ preference. If a three-or-more-way tie is broken in this fashion, a tie may still remain – if so, judges’ preference will then be used on it, as well.

 VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification

A. SELECTION — With a spotlight on argumentation through literature, Program Oral Interpretation focuses on a student’s ability to combine multiple genres of literature centered around a single theme. Selections used in Program Oral Interpretation shall be cuttings from a minimum of two genres of literature (prose, poetry, drama) constructed to create a theme or argument. The material may be humorous, dramatic or combine both tones, and be taken from the following:
*Drama which includes plays, screenplays or monologues
*Poetry which includes literature written in verse and free-verse.
*Prose which includes fiction or nonfiction, and may be taken from but not limited to, novels and short stories; journal, magazine or newspaper articles; research from governmental and educational documents; as well as essays, speeches and blogs.
While a contestant may not include cuttings from a literary work used in previous competitive years, the contestant may use different cuttings from the same literary work. No contestant may enter the same selection in two qualifying events.

B. PUBLICATION — All contestants must use published materials. “Published” as defined by these rules mean materials for which the coach is able to provide proof of publication using either of the following methods: — Originating in print form (book, photocopy of the book, or a manuscript) — Originating in digital form (a printed copy of an online transcript) Unpublished material used for introductions and transitions shall be the original work of the contestant. Transitions and other added material must not change the author’s intent.

C. MANUSCRIPT – An original or photocopy of the original selections must be submitted at registration, along with a work-cited page in APA or MLA format. Script check is the last step in the registration process. Schools that do not complete the registration process are not eligible to compete in the tournament. The portion(s) of the author’s work being used in the interpretation must be highlighted. All introductory and transitional phrases shall be clearly indicated as such on the manuscript. Transitions and other added material must not exceed 150 words and must not change the author’s intent. Contestants must adhere to the material as submitted when performing during rounds.

D. TIME — Interpretations shall be no more than ten (10) minutes in performance including introductory and transitional materials. There is no minimum time limit. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. For each final round, a tournament official, or designee shall serve as the official timer, and will have the discretion of waiving time violations for contestants exceeding the time limit due to audience reactions. This may be extended to the semi-final round at the discretion of the tournament director or designee.

E. PERFORMANCE — The interpretation must be delivered via manuscript. The student is allowed to use the manuscript as a prop to enhance blocking as long as they maintain control of the manuscript at all times. No costumes or props other than the manuscript shall be permitted. The introduction shall be memorized. All titles and authors used in the performance must be cited in the introduction. Transition material may be memorized.

F. QUALIFICATION – Recognizing that not all states and regions offer POI as a competitive event, the NIETOC allows the follow exceptions for qualifying POI entries to the NIETOC:

1–POI contestants may qualify under both the BID and AT-LARGE systems. If a bid school tournament offers POI or TI (Thematic Interp), bids will be awarded at the appropriate level. We will also allow students to apply for acceptance via the at-large system.

2–If an attending school is from a state that does not offer POI at the state level OR from a state in which NO bid tournaments offer POI, that school may apply for a BONUS entry in POI at NIETOC. Each school, provided they have qualified students in at least one event, is eligible for one bonus POI entry.

G, VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification.

A. TOPIC — An informative speech is an original memorized speech designed to explain, define, describe, or illustrate an object, idea, concept or process. The general purpose of the speech is for the audience to gain understanding and/or knowledge of a topic that the student believes important for the audience. Informative speaking avoids predominantly persuasive subjects and techniques. All speeches must have been prepared during the current competitive year.

B. TIME — Speeches shall be no longer than ten minutes; there is no minimum time. Speakers exceeding this time limit by more than 30 seconds shall not be ranked first. Judges should use discretion if the speaker is forced to exceed this time limit due to audience reaction. Expedient set up and take-down (less than two minutes each) is expected.

C. QUOTATIONS— No more than 150 words of the speech may be direct quotations from another speech or writing. Extensive paraphrasing from other sources is prohibited.

D. MANUSCRIPT- The script must identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work-cited page in APA or MLA format, and both the speaker and the coach must attest by signature that the speech is the original work of the contestant. If a visual aid displays published pictorial material, the source must be included on the work-cited page, but does not need to be cited orally.

E. VISUAL AIDS- The use of visual aids is optional. It is important to note that a visual aid is an integral part of the speech content and not an unnecessary gimmick. Visual aids may be two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional, but may not violate local, state or federal laws and/or school policies. The use of animals or any additional people as visual aids is not allowed during the speech. The host school is not responsible for providing any facilities, equipment, or assistance in a contestant’s use of visual aids. Electronic equipment such as projectors, cell phones, radios, iPads, computers are allowed, but all equipment and any risks associated with using these devices is the speaker’s responsibility. Contestants may not distribute items to the judges or audience before, during, or after the round.

F. VIOLATION – A violation of any of the rules stated above may result in disqualification.