SECTION I. AIM OF THE ORGANIZATION
The aim of the Bellarmine Speech
League is to provide an intellectual and cultural forum to train
children in the art of verbal communication.
SECTION II. OFFICERS
AND BOARD MEMBERS
Bellarmine Executive Board Officers: President, Vice-President,
Treasurer, and Secretary shall be elected from the participating
school’s representatives serving on the Advisory Board.
Anyone interested in serving on the Advisory Board can
submit his/her name, address and telephone number to any Board
member. Prospective Board Members should have previous judging
or coaching experience with Bellarmine Speech League.
officer may have a two-year term in any office. The Board can
vote to extend their term for one more year.
the October Business Meeting, the new officers will be presented.
of Bellarmine Executive Board Officers:
all speech meet reports and judge’s sign-in sheets. Track judge
participation for Final Meet scheduling and certification information.
Follow up on reports as necessary with phone calls and/or e-mails.
trophies for the Final Meet
and update correspondence sent to schools
the October Business Meeting
all Board meetings
Board roster and schedule
new board members
Final Meet Schedule
school hosting schedule
host school for Final Meet and send contract
all box supplies and inventory
January Board Dinner Meeting
St. Monica to set up October Business Meeting and purchase soda
video supply for business meeting
bank account and checkbook. Make deposits, pay bills.
yearly financial statement on October 1.
items for Final Meet: drinks, snacks, and pens.
school roster and receive all annual dues from participating
gift cards for retiring Board members.
and e-mail meeting minutes to Board members
meeting reminders to Board members
3. Update and revise documents for use on website as needed
Send correspondence to individual Board members as needed
By and label candy bars for Final Meet teacher thank
Bring maps of Archdiocese to scheduling meeting
Archdiocesan Director of Fine Arts about Final Meet.
SECTION II. PARTICIPATION,
A school wishing to participate in the Bellarmine League
must supply a judge with a current Judge’s Card. The school
must also pay the designated registration fee, be an Archdiocesan
elementary school (or be voted as a “participating school” by
the Board), and adhere to all League rules and regulations as
outlined in this Handbook.
Students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Schools may enter more than one team. The teams will,
however, be expected to function as separate entities, which
includes paying dues and providing judges for each team. Teams
will attend meets at separate locations.
Participants must be enrolled in a member school.
Duet Acting: 3 teams (6 people) – Letters: A-B, C-D,
Humorous: 3 people - Letters: G,
Serious 3 people - Letters:
J, K, L
Costumes or any clothing that resembles a character are
One chair may be used in Humorous and Serious categories.
Students may not stand on the chair. A 1-point
deduction should be made in the Visual section for standing
on the chair.
Two chairs and one table may be used in Duet Acting.
Students may not stand on the chairs. Students
may not stand, sit, or lie on the table. A 1-point
deduction should be made in the Visual section for standing,
sitting, or lying on the table.
Props are not allowed. Anything you were
not born with, such as glasses, clothing, shoes,
and pockets are considered a prop. The classroom walls cannot
be used as a prop. Anything you were born with, such as eyes,
ears, hair, and toes may be used as a prop.
Each participating school, as a requirement
of membership in the League, must host a Meet or assist another
school in hosting a meet on a rotating basis. Schools are expected
to host one meet every three years. Schools with two teams
are expected to host two meets in a three year period. In lieu
of hosting a meet, schools may host a Judge’s Training Session.
F. Child Abuse Prevention Program:
it is the responsibility of each school to make sure that their
Judges and Coaches are in compliance with the Archdiocese’s
guidelines on child abuse prevention including all volunteers
1. Participate in a Protecting God’s
Children training program
2. Read and Sign the Code of Ethical
3. Complete a background check.
SECTION III. MEMBERSHIP
Attendance is mandatory at the October Business Meeting.
Without a valid excuse for a school’s absence, that school will
not be allowed to attend the November meet.
If any school will not be able to participate in an upcoming
meet, they must notify one of the Board members in charge of
their meet at least two weeks before the
meet date. Any school that does not give a two week notice
will not be allowed to participate in the League’s next meet,
including the Final Meet.
If a school will not be able to provide a judge for a
scheduled meet, the coach must notify one of the Board members
in charge of the meet at least two weeks before
the meet date. The school will be able to attend the meet without
a judge only if given approval by a Board member in charge
of their meet.
Any changes in annual dues will be recommended by the
Board at the October Business meeting. A dues increase must
be approved by a majority vote of the League membership.
SECTION IV. MEETS
An adult from a member school who knows and is known
by the children MUST accompany the team and be responsible
for the children. This adult must stay with the children until
the end of the meet until they are all picked up. If a child
is left unattended at a meet, the principal of that school will
be notified. If it occurs a second time, the school will not
be allowed to participate in the next meet, even if it is the
Doors to all Meets open at 9:30am. The Judge’s meeting
and General Assembly begins at 10:00am. Round I will begin
at approximately 10:30am. Round II will begin approximately
30 minutes after the final bell of Round I. No participant,
judge, or timekeeper may leave the premises between rounds.
The Bellarmine League will not be responsible for lost
or stolen property at any meet.
Each participant, judge, and timekeeper will bring a
sack lunch to be eaten in a designated area. The host school
will provide a drink for each participant and judge.
Three regular meets and one Final Meet are held each
SECTION V. TIME
ALLOTMENT, TIMEKEEPER, JUDGES, BALLOTS
All speeches shall be a MINIMUM of three (3) minutes
and a MAXIMUM of seven (7) minutes.
It is the duty of the timekeeper to inform the judge
after the speaker is finished when a speech has run UNDER or
Overtime speeches will be allowed to finish. A deduction
of one (1) point is mandatory for an under time or overtime
Time is determined to start with the first word or action
of a participant’s speech. Time ends with the final word, gesture,
pose, or “Thank You.” Time does NOT include the writing of
names, numbers, or letters on the board.
Each host school shall provide one well-trained timekeeper
for each room used for speeches at the meet.
Inform the judge when a speech has run under the minimum
of 3 minutes or over the maximum of 7 minutes.
Record the time of each speech on the Time Sheet.
Take completed ballots to the office in a sealed envelope
along with the Time Sheet.
After the ballots are cut apart in the office, the Timekeeper
will return the top portion of the ballots to the judge for
Arrange the room in proper order after each round of
Each school shall provide an eligible judge for each
meet. If a school sends 2 judges to the meet to split the judging,
both judges must attend the morning Judge’s Meeting.
roll of participants.
evaluate and comment upon speeches
entire ballot to office after judging the last speaker.
entry of any unauthorized person after the round bell has rung.
Do not permit anyone to leave the room during the round.
order in the room during the entire round.
not discuss scores with participants.
Do not offer coaching suggestions to participants.
Stopwatches: each judge must bring a stopwatch
with them to the meet to be used by the Timekeeper.
Designation of under time and overtime speeches will
be noted on both the top and bottom portions of the ballot.
Top section of the ballot:
comments are made in the appropriate VISIBLE, AUDIBLE, and
PSYCHOLOGICAL sections on the top portion of the ballot.
ballots are sent with the Timekeeper to the office. The top
portion of the Ballot is returned to the judge for distribution
to the participants.
part of the ballot will be available for distribution at or
after the Final Meet. These are for office use only.
Bottom section of the ballot: This section will be used
for scoring. Each section, VISIBLE, AUDIBLE, and PSYCHOLOGICAL
is scored in a range from 1 to 5 points. The total of the sections
will be added for that round’s subtotal score.
A 1 point deduction is made if the speech is
over or under time ______
The bottom portions of the ballot are handed
out to each school in a sealed envelope at the end of the meet.
Envelopes may not be opened on the host meet premises.
SECTION VI. RIBBONS
Ribbons are awarded according to the total
number of points earned:
Gold – 30 points; Blue – 27-29
points; Red – 22-26 points; White – 15-21 points;
Green 4-14 points
SECTION VII. WORKSHOPS
Judge’s Workshops are held every fall prior to the first
meet. Attendance at a workshop is MANDATORY for all
new judges in the Bellarmine League. Qualified judges must
renew their certification every three years. ID cards, with
an expiration date, are distributed to all qualified judges
at the end of the Workshop. Judges arriving at a workshop more
than fifteen (15) minutes late will NOT receive a Judge’s
Judge/Coach Workshops are offered every fall. Attending
the Coaching section of the Workshop is strongly recommended.
Coaches and judges may consult Board members at the meets
if they have any coaching or judging questions.
Each team will be assigned a number at the beginning
of the year to insure impartial judging. The team will be identified
throughout the year by number only. The school number may change
annually due to the change in the number of participating schools.
Each participant will be identified by name, school number,
and category letter.
No original or unpublished compositions are permitted.
Any published sources, such as play excerpts, literature
anthologies, recordings, scripts, magazine articles, book excerpts,
newspapers, and dramatic publication companies (such as Edna
Means, Wetmore Declamation Bureau, the Consortium, and Play
Inc) may be utilized for acceptable speeches.
If there is a question of appropriateness of material,
then the determination of its use should be made by a consensus
of the principal, pastor, and speech coordinator at the school.
Speeches should not include words or material that is inappropriate
for a Catholic school environment. The Board should be notified
if suspected violations occur. The Board will then address
X. FINAL MEET
The Final Meet of the year is held in the late spring.
At this meet, each school is allowed a team of only four contestants,
one in Humorous, one in Serious, and one Duet Acting team.
A letter with detailed information is sent to each participating
school prior to the Final Meet.
In order to be a judge at the Final Meet, the judge MUST
have judged at least ONE (1) round during the current speech
Judges at the Final Meet are expected to stay all day
and judge both the morning and afternoon rounds. If judges
must split the rounds, both must be present at the morning Judges’
A contestant is judged by two (2) judges in each round
of the Final Meet. These judges do not consult with
each other in scoring.
Judging criteria at the Final Meet is the same as the
Scoring is the same as a regular meet with the addition
of a Ranking System. The Ranking System is used to break ties
in scoring. The Ranking System will be covered in detail at
the Judge’s Meeting.
contestants who receive a score of 15 are eligible to be ranked.
judges MUST rank any contestant who receives a score
of 15, up to a maximum of three (3) contestants as follows:
– 5 extra points
– 3 extra points
– 1 extra point
The top twenty percent (20%) of all participants in each
category will receive a trophy. Non-trophy winners with a total
score of 60 points or more will receive a gold “Final Meet”
ribbon. All ribbons for the Final Meet will specify “Final Meet.”
Each participant and judge must bring his/her own lunch,
and the League will provide drinks and dessert. No one is permitted
to leave the premises for lunch.
Only the participants, judges, and timekeeper will be
allowed in the room during rounds at the Final Meet.