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WHAT IS IN THIS ISSUE OF SWIFT *Contest Information *State Contest Info *Spontaneous Speaking Topic Areas *IHSSA Hall of Fame Scholarship *LG All-State Info *Award Info *State IE Contest Info And so much more!


F EBRUARY 26, 2021


istrict Large Group started for some of our schools as early as the 16th of January with special permission. District contests were held between Jan. 16th and the 30th this year. We created so many different ways of making this happen; we had several use the virtual format, some the single school/in-person format singly, or the in-person format with another school or two. We even had some schools use both the in-person format for some groups and virtual for others who could not be there. This hybrid format has continued into some Individuals contests. In fact, I saw a group do their performance with most of the group in person and two of the actors on monitors next to the group performing in a live perfomance. Coaches have learned how to deal with Covid-19 quarantine using subs or waiting until students were out of quarantine. Some sites allow limited spectators and some sites only allow the performers and the judge(s). Recently, I judged several groups virtually from the State Office and even gave oral comments over the phone. Everyone has done their best to make it work for the students!


y day of the traditional District contest date started with text messages at 6 a.m. reading “What A Great Day For Speech In Iowa!!” Then, they also stated that it seems like contest because “I am loading a bus to go to District contest on the coldest day of the year!!” Yes, it was, and is contest time in Iowa again! I went to WDM Valley for the in-person contest they held singly and was in a judges meeting where all the judges were truly excited to be doing Speech again. At this school they held contest in the 3 largest rooms they could find on campus, masks and social distancing were required, and seating was available to just the parents who wanted to watch. I was able to view Musical Theatre, Readers Theatre, and TV Newcasting. All were truly a joy to watch because of the excitement on the faces of the students ... Yes! I could see that even with the masks on! Later that day I went to the in-person contest held at Ankeny Centennial. Here we went from room to room so each room had time to refresh for mitigating purposes. I enjoyed watching a Group Improv and a One Act Play there. They did a great job of keeping track of their numbers for those watching by giving out a certain number of wristbands, similar to athletics.


tate Contest started for some schools on January 30th and went all the way through February 15th. The flexiblity of doing the contest on different dates this year was so helpful in finding judges to work the contest and deal with COVID-19 issues. It was fun to see that many State sites had some in-person judges as well as a judge or two watching vitrually for the same live-on-site performance. Once again, schools finding a way to make this work so everyone could have an IHSSA experience this year - great job, everyone!


n the traditional State Large Group date I was up in very cold, snowy Northwest Iowa. I started my day at the Spencer contest hosted by Becky Koenig. What was interesting there was the group of judges - about 9 of them judged the morning at Spencer, then took the small trip north to judge students at the Okoboji contest in the afternoon. It was fun to speak with the AD and Superintendent of Spencer schools, both there to support the IHSSA students in what they were doing. Then, it was off to Sioux Central with the contest hosted by Alyssa Rusk and Angie Vanderhoff. They had several schools at their site but did it by pods where only one school was there at a time. Again, the Superintendent was there helping out and supporting Speech in his community. They were able to have a concession stand that followed CDC guidance. Next, I was on my way to Fort Dodge and the contest hosted by Lindey Krug. A wonderful observation here was how well everything was spaced apart and seating was socially distanced in each center. Once again, just a small pod of schools together, being safe at what we do.


ne thing that makes me so proud of you coaches is that we made this happen with our entire menu of events for Large Group this year. Many states have cancelled Theatre and Speech events, or have limited them to only one event, or happen only virtually, or allow no flexiblity on dates or options of performance. In fact, one state that I know of is only allowing 1 One Act Play, 1 Group Improv, and 1 Short Film, charging $75 per entry and allowing only virtual performances. WE allowed all 11 areas with several entries in each area AND half-price this year if you found your own judges.


ust one more reason why it is always a GREAT DAY FOR SPEECH IN IOWA!!


JUDGE EVALUATION FORMS Remember to take time to complete the Judge Evaluation Form for judges you had this year. That form is on-line and is very easy to fill in and submit, no paper or mail! By doing this task we can all work to improve the judging of the IHSSA students. Be sure to look for judges for the future. This fall there will be another series of Judge Certification Meetings. VIDEO RECORDING Let this serve as notice that if you wish to use a camera of any type in a performance center you must have permission from the State Office. This includes any type of recording device. This policy is in effect for every contest and festival of the IHSSA. Please pass this important information on to your parents and spectators. Remind parents and friends to be early at contest because centers may run ahead of time. HOSTING CONTEST We need all schools to think about hosting an IHSSA contest either next year or the year after. If it has been a while since you hosted or if you have never hosted it is your turn! Hosting a contest is a good experience and you help all the speech coaches in your area. You also help your school, town, and speech program by being one of the sites for the state contest series. Plus, you will even earn some money for your school and your speech program. Each year we have many schools that host for the first time and many that repeat. ALL-STATE BANNERS Please go to the link on the web site to purchase your 2021 All-State Banners. We still have some banners for the 2020 year if you need one. Link - - http://www.ihssa.org/allstatebanner.html or contact Deb@ihssa.org. ALL-STATE NOMINATIONS Please remember that just receiving straight I’s at State does NOT mean you are nominated for All-State. At the end of the day judges must nominate events they believe are worthy of All-State. Two judges must nominate you for the All-State honor. There are many groups/indviduals with straight I ratings that are not selected for All-State. We suggest you explain this to your students and parents. SOLO MUSICAL THEATRE Take time to read those changes ... the student does not give the intro anymore... the Room Chair does!! STORYTELLING Take time to read those changes ... the student does not have to give the title. The roomchair must give title and author now. JUDGING VIDEO’S

The Judge Certificaiton Committee has been very busy working on videos for you and judges. Listed below are videos for judging when wearing a mask and the general info video judges will all see before they are to judge contest. Please take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpYSjx-MPiU&feature=youtu.be (this is the road map video for contest this year) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VJmtFK6SQU&feature=youtu.be (this is the morning of contest video for judges) ROYALTIES

It is the duty and the responsibility of the director to secure appropriate production rights for all material presented in IHSSA contest series. If you have any questions on this, please refer to page 13 of the Constitution, number 1, 2, and 4, or call the State Office.


Coaches are advised that you can’t switch your entries at the contest site without approval of the IHSSA State Office or the local contest manager. An example of this would be School A has three Prose events at contest. Number 1 is at 10:00, Number 2 is at 11:30 and Number 3 is at 3:30. School A coach goes into the contest office and says that Prose Number 3 will now be at 10:00 and Number 1 will now be at 3:30. Unless School A’s coach has written permission from the State Office, he/she cannot switch times.

Rationale for this rule is that contest managers have a very difficult job putting a contest together and then reporting it correctly to the IHSSA State Office. When schools switch performing times among themselves, it causes the contest manager’s job to become even more difficult! We all understand emergency situations arise and the State Office can be reached every day from 8:00 through 4:30-5:00. On the Friday night before contest, you can reach Craig through the local contest manger, for they will have Craig’s phone number from 6:30 Friday night through the end of the contest day. Please realize how many problems switching times the day of the contest causes the contest manager, plus the problems it causes in the All-State tabulations

Contest Information-Be sure to Read!! Donation Request at Contest

1. At all contests (IE and LG) a suggested donation will be asked of all spectators to help out the local contest site with other expenses. That suggested donation is $3 per person. All student contestants, coaches, and drivers will not be asked to pay this donation. Be sure to inform your parents and other spectators that this $3 donation will be anticipated at the door of each contest site this year. This is a great way to help off-set the judges you are hiring this year . Many LG sites did this and had great success raising funds.

Inclement Weather

2. Weather decisions for contest this year will be made by the individual hosts for the smaller contests. Please know you never have to participate if the weather conditions are bad. Also this year, due to how we are doing contest because of Covid-19, you have many options and dates to have contest. If you are collaborating with another school for contest and there are weather concerns, the decision will be made by the local host site, not the state office. Please contact the local site for those decisions.

Policy on the use of ‘Look alike’ alcohol, vapor products or tobacco for IHSSA Contest

No real tobacco, vapor products or alcohol will ever be used in IHSSA contest entries. This includes live productions at contest as well as Short Film/TV Newscasting productions that are filmed offsite. Look alike alcohol, vapor products, or tobacco that are necessary for IHSSA productions at contest or in filmed events should be provided by the participating school and secured by the IHSSA Coach. All such “look alikes” will be facsimiles or non-functioning props. The IHSSA Coach is responsible for storing the prop “look alike” in a locked room or secure, concealed storage area. Students will check out these props when needed and will be supervised at all times. Real alcohol, vapor products or tobacco should never be used in an IHSSA production. Use of real products is a violation of State Law for the student(s) and the school. Students should not be asked to bring a ‘look alike’ alcohol, vapor product, or tobacco prop to school or an IHSSA Contest. All props (empty cans, bottles, fake tobacco products, vapor products) should be provided by the participating school and secured by the IHSSA Coach. The prop should be wrapped whenever it is moved from one area of the school/contest site to another. This moving should be done only by the teacher/coach. Students should never carry these props through the halls of a school/contest site. If the look alike prop is used in a rehearsal, at a filming, or at contest all administrators of participating schools should be notified of the use of that item. All contest managers should be alerted if a “look alike” tobacco, vapor product, or alcohol prop is being used in the IHSSA contest series. This includes virtual as well as in person contests.

State Entry

If your individuals advance after District contest you must go into the online registration and register the advancing individuals for State contest. NO cards are made this year for contest. All you have to do is register the individuals that advance and then send that via electronic registration. Be sure to let the state site know how you are doing contest for state and on what date. They will send you very important info. PLEASE REGISTER FOR STATE CONTEST NO LATER THAN MONDAY THE 8TH OF MARCH


incere thanks to these individuals and schools for their willingness to host a Large Group contest this year. They made sure materials were gathered and sent to all the local sites, gathered the ratings, and made sure they were official with the State Office. Some of the sites even hosted both virtual and in-person contests for other schools so everyone could perform in Large Group this year. In this very unusual year these individuals made it happen for over 20,000 students in the IHSSA.

Southwest: Teresa Lawler, Ankeny Centennial; Trisha Niceswanger & Brandon Baggett, Atlantic; Donal May, Clarke; and Stacy Hansen, WDM Valley. Northwest: Becky Koenig, Spencer; Nathan Irwin & Kindall Todd, SC East; and Erin Ohrlund & Sherri Permeswaran, LeMars Community.

Northeast: Angie Manternach, Cascade; Emileigh Eilderts & Wendy Buseman, Hampton-Dumont; Derek Friederich & Anne Friederich, Postville; Robin Kudej, West Hancock; and Molly Holkesvik, Decorah.

Southeast: Rebecca DeWitte and Kim Carlson, Monticello; Liesl Roorda, Montezuma; Spencer Sones, Ottumwa; Suzi Jones & Ashlee Whittington, Pella; and Melissa Feilmeier-Marzen, CR Kenndy.

All these sites managed many schools and different dates reporting to them, and answering many questions, especially how to deal with COVID-19 issues.

Without their help the IHSSA contest series would not be able to run as effectively as it does. THANKS from all of us!

If you are interested in hosting a contest in the future please contact the IHSSA State Office. At this time we already have many sites for the 2022 and 2023 contest seasons. Please call to host in the future.


The Large Group All-State Committee, consisting of Beth Bellinghouse, Jennifer Brinkmeyer, Allison Koontz, and Angie Manternach who put in many hours of hard work and effort to organize the All-State nominations for this year. This group worked very hard to gather the All-State nominations from each site and then tabulate them like we have done before. During this pandemic year this was a very difficult task and yet this committee took it on and did an oustanding job.

Medals and an All-State certificate for each school were sent out of the State Office on February 23rd by US Mail. If you do not receive your medals within the next month please let us know.

Please find the links on the front page of the web site for AllState apparel and the banners for this year.

157 schools earned Outstanding nominations at State Large Group contest this year. It is a tremendous testament to the fine work being done by the students and coaches in our state. We congratulate all those who participated in the Large Group contest season this year and were awarded Division I ratings as well as the All-State nominations.


Please remember that the royalty agreement you have for contest does NOT cover posting on any Social Media. If you have students or parents who are posting events or performances on YouTube or social media, be aware that you are not covered under the IHSSA royalty deals. It is strongly advised that these postings be avoided or taken down if already posted. Every year we have individual events posted without proper permission.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Apply for The IHSSA Hall of Fame Scholarship!

Each IHSSA member school is entitled to one applicant for four $1,000 scholarships offered by the Association’s Hall of Fame. The speech coach of a member school should give the application form to a student who best exemplifies a candidate; who, in his/her estimation would benefit from such a scholarship and meets the stated qualifications.

Qualifications 1.The applicant must be a senior in good standing. 2.The applicant should have participated in various speech/drama activities during high school. 3. One applicant per IHSSA school.

The application form is enclosed and must be in the IHSSA State Office no later than April 16th. No consideration will be given an application received after this date. You may e-mail this form to Deb@ihssa.org. The winner will be announced by the IHSSA Hall of Fame.

Application for

The IHSSA Hall of Fame Scholarship

Name of Applicant Mailing Address

City _____________________________________________

Zip ____________________

School ____________________________________________________________________

This application must be mailed to the IHSSA State Office and received no later than April 16th to be eligible. When application is received, Hall of Fame Scholarship materials will be sent to each applicant from the State Office.


These 10 areas will produce the questions for the 2021 Spontaneous Speaking category for both District and State contest. Please note these are not the questions, just areas for your students to do their research in.

1. National government issues and how they will affect the average person in America. 2. Homeland security issues. 3. The economy in America and the world. 4. Laws and rules that relate to students. 5. Current/Past national level sporting events. 6. Social unrest in America. 7. The President, Congress and the state of government in the United States. 8. The effects of media in our lives. 9. Business issues... local, state, national, international. 10. Educational issues that face our youth.

Possible questions could be: How has social media changed the way we react to experiences in our lives? Do sporting events in America control our lives? What can be done about gun violence in America?

Coaches and Students - Read the Rules!!!

Every year a student is given a DQ because the school did not carefully read the rules for the event. It is best to review the rules for each category as students begin their rehearsals. If not already done, please take a moment before you travel to contest to go over all the rules together - it will be worth the time and you will be glad you did. Plus, many eyes looking at the rules makes for correct application of the rules for your events. Also, be sure to read the rules and regulations in the front part of the Constitution. TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE RULES!!! There were several new rules initiated in the 2019 season that are current for the 2021 season.

Invoice for contest entry fees

Please remember to make a copy of your on-line entry form and give to the office that pays your fees. This form is the invoice for your contest entry fees. Nothing will be sent from this office for payment of contest fees. Please do your part and get that form to the office that handles your finances. Many times we have to contact schools requesting payment of the fee. Please submit your fees in a timely manner.

Be sure to note what your check is for on the memo area of the check to help us process your fees!!

A Letter to All IHSSA Coaches: Be sure to take a moment and nominate someone for the IHSSA Hall of Fame. Induction into the Iowa High School Speech Association Hall of Fame is the highest honor the Speech Association may confer on an individual. It is presented to a distinguished individual of state wide reputation and outstanding accomplishments. The contribution and service given by the inductee stem from dedication and commitment to the Iowa High School Speech programs beyond normally expected and superlative identification. By the model of their lifetime work they have exemplified most clearly and forcefully the ideas and purposes to which high school speech programs and competitions are dedicated. If you are aware of a speech coach, administrator, or judge who fulfills the above criteria, please send the IHSSA a letter for recomendation. Your nomination will be held in strict confidence and forwarded to the Hall of Fame Jury for their consideration.

Please include a paragraph or two in which you justify why you believe this individual is worthy of being inducted into the IHSSA Hall of Fame. Thank you - Hall of Fame Jury

IE All-State Nominations

On Wednesday evening, March 24th, the nominations will be posted on the IHSSA web site. Please go to IE /All-State nominations for that info. Do not bookmark the All-State page since we will change that page address on the 24th before we post. Plus, there could be other modifications made during the day of the 24th.


Please take note that all awards will be shipped directly to your school from the factory, therefore, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. It is important to know that the State Office will have no awards on hand for emergency requests. Please use the form from the ON-LINE AREA for ordering awards. You will need your password for this area. Read the order form carefully. Plan ahead for your award ceremonies. After April 30, you will not be able to use a purchase order for buying awards. You will still be able to purchase awards with a check after the 30th of April. Please remember that the IHSSA Logo is a trademark symbol and cannot be used unless you have permission from the IHSSA State Office.

New Age note taking for Individual Events

Coaches: note the change in the Constitution about note taking for Individual Events. Students can now use electronic devices (iPads, itouch, etc.) for their notes in some Individual Events. However, they need to remember NOT to exceed the fifty word limit. The judge may ask to see their notes on their electronic devices just as they would ask to see notecards.  YOU need to remind students not to delete their notes until their speech has been approved. This is an ethical issue as well as a performance issue. Obviously, if students are too dependent on their notes, they are not communicating effectively and will receive the appropriate rating. Also remember in Original Oratory a paper copy of the speech MUST be in the room to hand to the judge after the speech. You can use the electronic device but you have to have a paper copy too!

If you choose the virtual option that is hosted by the IHSSA State Office will you need to inform the State Office and you will be assigned a virtual site. They in turn will contact you about performance times, where to connect for materials, and how to perform in that venue.

Web site e-mail



craig@ihssa.org deb@ihssa.org

phone # 515-288-9741(main) Toll Free (new) 888-985-6547 Direct Craig 515-401-1834 Direct Deb 515-401-1833 Address IHSSA 5000 Westown Parkway Suite 150 West Des Moines, Ia. 50266 Office hours 8 - 4:30 M-F

Deb will take lunch from 12:00 -1:00 and Craig will take lunch from 1:00 - 2:00.

Be sure to have one of your students apply for the IHSSA Hall of Fame Scholarship. The scholarship form is in this issue of SWIFT. Deadline for this scholarship is April 16, 2021.



When site assignments came out in early December you were asked to send your e-mail to the local district contest manager. You were to put your e-mail on your entry form as well. The e-mail address for the contest manager will be posted on the assignment sheet on the web site. In that email you were to tell the contest manager how you are going to do contest this season. Please make sure you have sent them your e-mail address. This may be your home e-mail, school or business. They, in turn, will send you all info for your contest via the e-mail such as improv draws and other materials for running your contest. You also need to send the contest site the names of judges you are using for your contest. Materials for your local contest will be sent from the District and State Contest managers to you. You need to send your results from the contest to the District or State Contest manager and they will complete the division I report for the State Office. Please see the guidance for contest on the web site for more complete info on this.

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