Middle Level Contests

The calendar of upcoming dates is updated as the State Office receives requests (see Reserve a Date button to the right). Closed meets (due to space limitations) may not be listed.
Upcoming Middle Level Dates
  • L1 Pittsville
    January 20, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
    Pittsville Elementary School, 5459 Elementary Ave, Pittsville, WI 54466, USA

  • L1 Baldwin-Woodville
    January 23, 2020
    Baldwin-Woodville High School, 1000 13th Ave, Baldwin, WI 54002, USA

  • L1 Gillett
    January 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 7:15 pm
    Gillett Elementary School, 208 W Main St, Gillett, WI 54124, USA

  • L1, Tomahawk
    January 27, 2020 @ 4:15 pm - 7:30 pm
    Tomahawk High School, 1048 E King Rd, Tomahawk, WI 54487, USA

  • L2 Woodville
    January 28, 2020
    Viking Middle School, 500 Southside Dr, Woodville, WI 54028, USA

  • L1 Oshkosh
    February 1, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
    South Park Middle School, 1551 Delaware St, Oshkosh, WI 54902, USA

  • ML Invit, Eau Claire
    February 1, 2020
    South Middle School, 2115 Mitscher Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701, USA

  • L1, Green Bay
    February 3, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Bay View Middle School, 1217 Cardinal Ln, Green Bay, WI 54313, USA

  • L1 Hayward
    February 3, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Hayward Middle School, 10408 N Greenwood Ln, Hayward, WI 54843, USA

  • L1, Holmen
    February 3, 2020
    Holmen Middle School, 502 N Main St, Holmen, WI 54636, USA

  • L1 Beaver Dam
    February 4, 2020 @ 3:45 pm - 7:00 pm
    Beaver Dam Middle School, 108 4th St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916, USA

  • L1, Durand
    February 6, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Assumption Catholic School, 901 W Prospect St, Durand, WI 54736, USA

  • L1, Eau Claire
    February 6, 2020
    Northstar Middle School, 2711 Abbe Hill Dr, Eau Claire, WI 54703, USA

  • L1 Little Chute
    February 8, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Little Chute Middle School, 325 Meulemans St, Little Chute, WI 54140, USA

  • L1 ends
    February 8, 2020

  • L2 Opens
    February 10, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • L1 Hayward Snow Date
    February 10, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Hayward Middle School, 10408 N Greenwood Ln, Hayward, WI 54843, USA

  • L2, Balsam Lake
    February 10, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Unity Elementary & Middle School, 1908 WI-46, Balsam Lake, WI 54810, USA

  • ML Invit, Fall Creek
    February 11, 2020
    Fall Creek Middle School, 336 E Hoover Ave, Fall Creek, WI 54742, USA

  • L2, West De Pere
    February 17, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    West De Pere Middle School, 1177 S 9th St, De Pere, WI 54115, USA

  • L2, Whitehall
    February 17, 2020
    Whitehall, WI 54773, USA

  • L2, Wabeno
    February 20, 2020
    Wabeno High School, 4325 Branch St, Wabeno, WI 54566, USA

  • L2 Beaver Dam
    February 25, 2020 @ 3:45 pm - 7:00 pm
    Beaver Dam Middle School, 108 4th St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916, USA

  • L2, Durand
    February 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Assumption Catholic School, 901 W Prospect St, Durand, WI 54736, USA

  • L2 Eau Claire
    February 27, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    DeLong Middle School, 2000 Vine St, Eau Claire, WI 54703, USA

  • L2, Oshkosh
    February 29, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
    South Park Middle School, 1551 Delaware St, Oshkosh, WI 54902, USA

  • L2 Little Chute
    February 29, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Little Chute Middle School, 325 Meulemans St, Little Chute, WI 54140, USA

Any given student participating in WHSFA middle level contests may participate in one Level 1 contest and one Level 2 contest, plus any number of invitational contests.

For festivals using SpeechWire, click here for links to online registration.

Middle Level FAQs

Are song lyrics poetry? If not, what literary genre?

Song lyrics are poetry, unless the song comes from a stage or film musical (e.g., Hamilton, or The Greatest Showman) — then they’re considered drama (dramatic literature). The exception would be a song that existed prior to its incorporation in a musical (e.g., “Dancing Queen” in Mamma Mia! or “Rhythm of the Night” in Moulin Rouge).

Can plays in verse be used in Poetry? Group Interpretive Reading?

Plays written in dramatic verse (such as Shakespeare’s or Sophocles’) are dramatic literature, and as such, must be performed in categories where drama/plays are allowed. They are not considered poems, per se, even though they are written in meter/verse. Therefore, they should not be performed in high school Group Interpretive Reading, but may be used in Middle Level Readers Theatre, since that category allows for dramatic literature.

Where and when are contests?

Visit the Speech Contests, Theatre Contests, Debate Contests, or Middle Level contests pages for a list by date, including locations. Please note: each local area sets its own schedules, so the State Office posts these on our website only when we have been notified.

How do I register for contests?
Visit the Speech Contests, Theatre Contests, or Debate Contests pages for a button/link that will take you to the online registration platform for registering. Each of those pages also will contain tutorial information on how to register. Most Middle Level contests handle registration directly through email, although some have moved to using SpeechWire; contact the host for more information (host contact information is available when clicking a particular contest in the Middle Level upcoming dates calendar.
How do Middle Level contests work?

In education circles, middle level is a universal term encompassing middle schools, junior high schools, intermediate schools/K-8 schools with grades 6-8 as the focal point for participation in forensic Speech contests. WHSFA has two progressive levels of contests we offer for middle level students:

  1. Level 1: The official festival a student participates in. S/he must earn at least two grades/scores of “A” to move on to Level 2 (receiving a commemorative certificate for that achievement. Otherwise, s/he earns a participation certificate.
  2. Level 2: The second and final official contest a student participates in. S/he must earn at least two grades/scores of “A” to receive a blue ribbon; otherwise, s/he earns a red ribbon.

Any given student can only participate in one official Level 1 and one official Level 2 contest per school year. Schools also may participate in invitational, or “practice” contests, which are run independently of the WHSFA, but often use the WHSFA’s contest categories, rules, and evaluation sheets. Those do not count as official, however, and there is no limit to how many a school may participate in. Schools are not required to attend a specific contest in their geographic region, and some contests are limited in how many schools/entries they can accept, because their facilities may not accommodate everyone interested in attending. In those cases, we recommend other schools step forward to host contests as well.

What is the middle level entry limit?

There are no per-category, nor overall entry limits for Middle Level Speech, although certain festivals may have limitations on capacity in their school buildings. We do encourage schools to distribute their entries across different categories to maximize the educational experiences students receive.

How do I host a festival?

Please review the PDF handbook for your particular activity, which has a number of resources and suggestions. We also compiled a Speech Festival Manager Info page, with instructions on using the SpeechWire contest management website/software.

How do I suggest a change to rules?

Each summer, advisory committees for each activity meet to review the previous contest season and propose changes to the Board of Control. Contact us with concerns and/or suggestions, and we will forward these to the respective committee(s).

Who makes copies of evaluation sheets for middle level festivals?

The state office provides these for official Level 1 and 2 festivals; however, festival managers may request a stipend in lieu of these copies, when completing the festival materials request form (see the Middle Level Contests page for more information).

Can homeschool or online school students participate?

Homeschool students may either participate with an area public or private school,** or as part of a homeschool association that joins the WHSFA.

**WHSFA supports the local school district policy for interscholastic athletics/academic contests. For example, if a home-schooled student is allowed to join the basketball team, a home-schooled student may participate in Theatre, Speech, and Debate activities.

Here is the official policy from the WHSFA’s Constitution/Bylaws:

SECTION III: Membership

Wisconsin homeschooled/online/virtual school students:

  1. Conditions: Students must be members of a homeschool association or enrolled full time in an online school. They cannot participate individually, unless as part of their attendance-area school district, if the school district allows participation.
  2. Procedures:
    1. Homeschooling associations may apply for membership by registering and paying the yearly dues. Online/virtual schools headquartered in Wisconsin may apply under the same conditions.
    2. As members, their students are eligible to participate in all WHSFA events in the District/Section where the homeschool association is located. Students living in Wisconsin who are enrolled in online/virtual schools that are members of WHSFA may participate in the subdistrict and district festivals in which the online/virtual school is located.

Festival Hosts/Managers

WHSFA provides SpeechWire — online registration, scheduling, and tabulation software — free for official festivals.