Virtual Rules Summary for Coaches, Judges, and Competitors:

This document is not a full summary of the rules, but a guide to major rules that have been created or retained for the Virtual State Speech Tournament. For the definitive manual regarding the updated rules, please consult the Virtual Rules on the IHSFA Website. These are also available in Appendix D of the Tournament Manual.

Event Guidelines:

1. Broadcasting will not permit the use of electronically generated sounds.

2. Discussion IS allowing microphones to remain ON during rounds. Discussion competitors may consult the internet during rounds.

3. Duos (as well as OP Duos) must perform from separate cameras. Masks are NOT required. Consult the IHSFA website for a tutorial video.

4. Impromptu must remain on screen during prep time. This will ensure that competitors are NOT using the internet.

5. Extemporaneous competitors may use the internet during their prep time.

6. No special video effects are permitted. Backgrounds should maintain a professional tone.

7. Observers are NOT permitted in the virtual rooms. Physical observers are permitted, but must not be visible, audible, or offering any aid during performances.

Maintained Rules to Keep in Mind

*While these are not in the Virtual Rules, they are retained from the Tournament Manual

1. Recording of performances is not permitted by any means.

2. A student may not use material from the same source in more than one year or in more than one event.

3. Even though Informative students are using internet enabled devices in order to perform virtually, the use of any other electronic devices is still prohibited.

4. If at any time you are uncertain about the rules for this season, please consult Tab Staff before implementing them or using them to inform scoring.

January 2021 Update Summary:

  1. Judge Descriptions:

    1. The Tournament Manual now provides explicit definitions of A, B, and C judges. These can be found in I.C.14 of the Tournament Manual.


  1. Public Forum Debate Prep Time

    1. Prep time has been extended from 2 minutes to 3 minutes. This change has been applied in III.C.7


  1. Programmed Oral Interpretation (POI)

    1. Language has been added to clarify introduction of selections. This is more aligned with what NSDA is doing with regard to news articles. So, instead of giving the title and name of the reporter for an article, the student would say an article from NY Times. This update was added as X.F.5.a & X.F.5.b


  1. Virtual Rules

    1. Virtual Debate Rules are now listed in Appendix D

    2. Virtual Speech Rules are now listed in Appendix D