Level 1 Local School Speech Contest

Judges' Rules

The following conditions must be met for the Modern Woodmen of America Level 1 Local School Speech Contest. Please review these rules before the contest.

1. The judges should rate the speeches on the current year's topic.

2. Judges will consciously avoid bias of any kind in judging contestants. They will not consider a contestant's affiliation with any group, nor will they consider any contestant's age, sex, race, national origin or beliefs. They will demonstrate the utmost objectivity.

3. The judges must use Modern Woodmen's Judges' Rating Sheets for the Level 1 Local School Speech Contest. The judges should review the rating sheets before the contest and judge only by the criteria on the rating sheet.

4. Point System for contest judging:

  • 40 Points for Material Organization.
    • (Theme and subject adherence, structure, content, logic, color)
  • 40 Points for Delivery and Presentation.
    • (Voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures, poise)
  • 20 Points for Overall Effectiveness.
    • (Impression, effect)
  • Total = 100 Points (highest rating possible)​
​5. Penalty Points:
a. The timer will inform the judges of any infractions before the final deliberations.
b. The length of the speech is to be three to five minutes and given live and in person. Penalty points will be deducted if the speech is over/under the time limit. Penalty points are as follows:
  • Under three minutes - 5 points.
  • Over five minutes, but less than six minutes - 5 points.
  • Six minutes and over - 10 points.
c. No costumes, visuals or props will be allowed in any levels of the contest. If used, 50 penalty points will be deducted. A student may not be disqualified for giving a speech over/under the time limit or for the use of props, costumes or visuals. Only penalty points may be applied.
d. Notes may be used at the Level 1 Local Contest unless otherwise determined by the contest organizer. If notes are not permitted, 20 penalty points will be deducted for using notes. A student holding notes is considered to be using notes.
6. The result of a judge's decision shall be kept confidential. Under no circumstances should the Judges' Rating Sheets be seen, made available, given, shared or discussed with anyone other than the contest organizer.
7. Judges should grade the Level 1 finalists so there is one first-place winner, one second-place winner and one third-place winner. Discussion of points by the judges is suggested in breaking any tie. 
8. The judges evaluate and designate winners. Their decision is final.