Middle Level Contests
Online Winter-Spring Season
WHSFA is working in concert with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as well as DPI, WIAA, NFHS, and similar organizations. All 2020-21 contests will be online. While this should not impact contestants in solo/individual categories, for group categories, coaches are encouraged to select versatile material for group categories, which allows for recording of videoconference performance or that may allow for physical distancing in-person with students wearing masks. By early November WHSFA will release more detailed guidance.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Upon joining the WHSFA, 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?
Where and when are contests?
How do I register for contests?
How do I host a festival?
Who makes copies of evaluation sheets for middle level festivals?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.