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Subchapter A: ACADEMICS (900-902)


Subchapter A:ACADEMICS (900-902)

(a) PURPOSE. The purposes of The University Interscholastic League Academic contests are to motivate students through comprehensive competitions, challenge students to think critically and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of essential knowledge and skills.


(1) Accounting
(2) Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition
(3) Calculator Applications
(4) Computer Applications
(5) Computer Science
(6) Congress
(7) Current Issues and Events
(8) Film
(9) Latino History Essay Competition
(10) Literary Criticism
(11) Mathematics
(12) Number Sense
(13) Ready Writing
(14) Science
(15) Social Studies
(16) Spelling and Vocabulary
(17) Cross-Examination Team Debate
(18) Lincoln-Douglas Debate
(19) Extemporaneous Informative Speaking
(20) Extemporaneous Persuasive Speaking
(21) Poetry Interpretation
(22) Prose Interpretation
(23) Editorial Writing
(24) Feature Writing
(25) Headline Writing
(26) News Writing
(27) One-Act Play
(28) Theatrical Design

(a) The Academic Contest ethics code shall carry the force of rule. Member school districts, member schools and/or covered school district personnel who violate any of the provisions of this code shall be subject to penalty.

(1) Participate in contests in the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship, observing all rules – both in letter and in spirit.

(2) Sponsor and advise individuals and teams without resorting to unethical tactics, trickery that attempts to skirt the rules, or any other unfair tactic that detracts from sound educational principles.

(3) Accept decisions of officials and judges without protest and extend protection and courtesy to officials.

(4) Regard opponents as guests or hosts while placing personal and/or team integrity above victory at any cost. Maintain grace and poise in victory or defeat. Conduct that berates, intimidates, or threatens competitors has no place in interscholastic activities.

(5) Provide information or evidence regarding eligibility of any contestant or school to local school administrators or to the appropriate judicial bodies upon request.

(6) Understand and appreciate the educational values of competition and abstain from modifying or soliciting another teacher to modify grades for eligibility purposes, knowing that such behavior defeats the character-building purposes of extracurricular competition.

(7) Abstain from any practice that makes a student feel pressured to participate in non-school activities.

(8) At all times, ensure that competition is relative to a more important overall educational effort, using competition as a tool in the preparation of students for citizenship and successful adulthood.

(9) Insure that UIL Academic district, regional and state meets receive precedence over non-qualifying contests or meets.

(10) School districts shall notify the academic district or regional meet director no later than the end of the second school day following academic district or regional competition if a student or a team knows that it will not compete at the next higher academic meet.

(b) SALARY/STIPEND. Any salary or stipend arrangement which makes it to the financial interest of a coach, director or sponsor to win a UIL Contest will be in violation of the Academics Ethics Code, and the member school district, member school and the school district personnel shall be subject to the range of penalties outlined in Sections 27 and 29.


General regulations apply to all academic contests beginning at the district meet or qualifying competition and progressing to the regional and/or state meets. Contest procedures and rules may be found in the official contest handbooks for each event.
The academic contests identified in Section 900 are open to students in grades 9-12 eligible under Subchapter M. See One-Act Play Handbook for exceptions.
In the case of an error on the answer key of an objectively scored contest, the contest director (or designee) should notify the UIL office of the nature of the error and/or contact the respective state contest director to seek clarification. Mistakes in the answer key should be corrected, and papers should be judged on correctness rather than on an incorrect answer given in the key.
Academic events shall have a verification period conducted according to the contest handbook for each event. A student and/or coach not present for the verification period forfeits the opportunity to verify results.
At the end of the verification period, results shall be announced as official. Official results, once announced, are final.
All academic contest results shall be submitted and certified as final in the UIL Academic Meet Online Entry System. Contestants whose scores are not submitted online shall not advance to the next higher meet.
Testing materials may be returned no sooner than the end of the contest on the last day of the respective week of competitions, following the verification period and announcement of official results, or a date announced by the UIL office.
(1) Individual Qualification. Winners in each conference or division qualify to the next highest meet as specified for the contests listed below. Consult the contest handbooks for Theatrical Design, Film, Congress, Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition and Latino History Essay Competitions regarding qualification. If an individual qualifier cannot compete at the next higher meet, the alternate shall be notified and allowed to compete.

(A) Two Cross-Examination Debate teams (qualify from district to state).
(B) Three Lincoln-Douglas Debate
(C) Three Extemporaneous Informative Speaking
(D) Three Extemporaneous Persuasive Speaking
(E) Three Poetry Interpretation
(F) Three Prose Interpretation
(G) Three Editorial Writing
(H) Three Feature Writing
(I) Three Headline Writing
(J) Three News Writing
(K) Three One-Act Plays (two plays qualify from region to state)
(L) Three Accounting
(M) One Accounting Team*
(N) Three Calculator Applications
(O) One Calculator Applications Team*
(P) Three Computer Applications
(Q) Three Computer Science
(R) One Computer Science Team*
(S) Three Current Issues and Events
(T) One Current Issues and Events Team*
(U) Three Literary Criticism
(V) One Literary Criticism Team*
(W) Three Mathematics
(X) One Mathematics Team*
(Y) Three Number Sense
(Z) One Number Sense Team*
(AA) Three Ready Writing
(BB) Science: three overall winners and the top scorer in each of the three subject areas
(CC) One Science Team*
(DD)Three Social Studies
(EE) One Social Studies Team*
(FF) Three Spelling and Vocabulary
(GG) One Spelling and Vocabulary Team*

*The highest-scoring second place team from each region may advance to the academic regional meet as a wild card. The highest-scoring second place team from each conference may advance to the Academic State Meet as a wild card.

(2) Ties. Ties shall be broken through sixth place for individuals in contest with tiebreaker procedures. Team ties shall be broken through second place in all events with a team component. Tiebreaking procedures may be found in the contest handbook for each event. After breaking ties, if there is a tie for first place, there is no second place. If there is a tie for second place, there is no third. If there is a tie for third place, there is no fourth place and both third place winners advance to the next higher meet.

(3) Team Competition. In events with an advancing team component, other than CX Debate, One-Act Play and Theatrical Design, the first place team and a wild card team in each event will advance to the next level of competition. Team members are eligible to compete for individual honors at each level, regardless whether they advanced as a member of the team or as an individual.

(A) Number Of Team Members. A school shall have a minimum of three contestants compete in order to participate in the team competition. All four members of the winning team will advance to the next higher level of competition. A first place or wild card academic team may advance only as many members as participated in the qualifying meet.

(B) Substituting Team Members. Only one substitution may be made for team members unable to compete at the next highest level of competition in all team events except One-Act Play. A substitute shall present the contest director a signed “substitute eligibility form” or a letter certifying eligibility, signed by a school official.

(C) Wild Card Team. Each region’s or conference’s highest-scoring second place team in team competition events may advance to the next higher meet. Failure to meet the deadline or to submit correct scores disqualifies the advancing teams as wild card representatives.

(D) Team Ties. If two or more teams tie for first or second place, or the wild card berth, the highest overall net or objective score of the fourth ranking member of the team will be used to break the tie. Should two or more contestants who are the fourth ranking member of the team have the same objective score, then a tie will be declared, and all involved in the tie shall advance. A team that does not contain a fourth member forfeits the right to participate in the tiebreaker. Refer to the contest handbook for each event for any exceptions. At the state meet, a tie or ties for the first place overall team shall not be broken.

A contestant who is disqualified for violation of a contest rule shall not advance in that contest as an individual or a member of the team to the next higher meet. A team shall not substitute a replacement for the disqualified contestant. A disqualified contestant does not earn points.
Coaches, contest directors and contestants are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of contest materials. Transfer of information relative to the tests shall be considered a violation of the Academic Ethics Code and subject to penalties as outlined in Sections 27 and 29. Contestants who remove their test entry from the contest area prior to judging will be automatically disqualified.
(1) Points Awarded. At the district, regional, and state meets, points shall be awarded to schools according to the schedule below. The academic championship shall be awarded at district and regional to the high school that accumulates the highest number of points in events at that meet. See Section 1408 for elementary/junior high point system. The state academic championship will be awarded based on points from all academic state contests.

(2) Division Of Points For Ties. The schools of contestants tied for first place in an academic contest shall add first and second place points and divide equally. The school of the contestant ranking next shall receive third place points. Points for ties for the remaining places shall be decided in the same manner, except that contestants tied for last place that receives points shall divide equally the points assigned to that place.

(3) Schedule Of Points. Points shall be awarded on the following basis:


                                                                           1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th


Cross-Ex Debate                                          20    16    12   10   8    6

Lincoln-Douglas Debate                                15    12    10    8    6    4

Informative Speaking                                   15    12    10    8    6    4

Persuasive Speaking                                    15    12    10    8    6    4

Poetry Interpretation                                    15    12   10    8    6    4

Prose Interpretation                                     15    12    10    8    6    4

Congress*                                                   15    12    10    8    6    4

Speech Team Points                                     10     5

Note: Speech Team Points. 10 points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the most overall points and five points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the second highest number of points in speech events. No Cross-Examination Debate points are awarded at regional meets. Congress points are awarded at the state meet only.


Editorial Writing                                        15    12    10    8    6    4

Feature Writing                                         15    12    10    8    6    4

Headline Writing                                       15    12    10    8    6    4

News Writing                                            15    12    10    8    6    4

Journalism Team Points                             10    5

Note: Journalism Team Points. 10 points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the most overall points and five points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the second highest number of points in the four journalism contests.


One Act Play
Ranked Plays from:

District                                                      20    20    20    15    0   0

Region                                                      20    20    15     0     0   0

State                                                        20    16    12    10    8   6

Individual Awards                                      10     8      6      0    0    0

Note: One-Act Play Points. The three unranked plays advancing from district (two from region) each receive 20 points. The alternate play receives 15 points. At State One-Act Play, points are awarded through sixth place. Points for individual acting awards are: each best actor and actress receives 10 points; each all-star cast receives eight points; and each honorable mention all-star cast receives six points. An individual acting award assigned to a chorus or other group of players counts as only one individual award and shall be allocated the appropriate points. One-Act Play points shall not be awarded for zone, bi-district or area contests.

Theatrical Design*

Individual                                                 15    12    10    8    6    4

Group                                                      20    16    12    10   8   6

Film*                                                       20    16    12    10   8   6

Theatre Team Points*                                10     5

Note: Theatre Team Points. 10 points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the most overall points and five points will be awarded to the school that finishes with the second highest number of points in the theatre contests only at the state level. Theatrical Design and Film points are awarded at the state meet only.


Accounting                                                 15    12     10     8    6    4

Team Accounting                                        10     5       0      0    0    0

Barbara Jordan Essay*                                10     8       6      4    2    1

Calculator Applications                                15    12     10     8    6    4

Team Calculator Applications                       10     5       0      0    0    0

Computer Applications                                15    12     10     8    6    4

Computer Science                                      15     12     10    8    6     4

Team Computer Science                              20    16     12    0    0     0

Current Issues & Events                              15     12    10    8    6     4

Team Current Issues & Events                     10      5       0    0    0     0

Latino History Essay*                                  10      8       6    4    2    1

Literary Criticism                                         15     12    10    8    6    4

Team Literary Criticism                                10      5       0    0    0    0

Mathematics                                               15     12     10    8    6    4

Team Mathematics                                      10      5       0    0    0    0

Number Sense                                            15     12     10    8    6    4

Team Number Sense                                   10      5       0    0    0    0

Ready Writing                                             15     12    10    8    6    4

     Overall                                                  15     12    10    8    6    4

     Team Science                                        10      5       0    0    0    0

     Top Scorer Biology                                   3      0       0    0    0    0

     Top Scorer Chemistry                               3      0       0    0    0    0

     Top Scorer Physics                                   3      0       0    0    0    0

Social Studies                                             15     12     10    8    6    4

Team Social Studies                                    10       5      0    0    0    0

Spelling & Vocabulary                                  15      12    10    8    6    4

Team Spelling & Vocabulary                         10       5      0    0    0    0

Note: * Indicates points awarded at the state meet only.

(4) Elementary/Middle/Junior High Points. Points won by an elementary, middle or junior high school shall not be counted toward the district sweepstakes in a high school meet and vice versa.


UIL member schools shall not sponsor students in a UIL contest or a contest similar to one offered by the UIL on Sunday. Exceptions:

(1) UIL area, regional and state competitions may be held on Sunday, due to unavoidable circumstances that cause hardship to participating schools, provided they are approved by all of the following:

(A) a UIL staff director;

(B) a majority of superintendents or their designees of the affected schools, and

(C) the meet director.

(2) School district personnel may instruct high school students and accompany them to school-sanctioned academic competitions held on Sunday that do not count on UIL standing under the provisions listed below.

(A) A student shall not represent a UIL member school in more than two such competitions on Sunday during the school year. Example: if a student competes in a tournament scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the tournament counts as one of the two allowable Sunday competitions regardless of whether the student competes on Sunday.

(B) The participation of the student, academic coach, sponsor or director shall have prior approval of the superintendent or designated administrator. Students are considered to be representing their school if they are wearing and/or using school equipment or being directed, accompanied, or transported by a school employee or persons on behalf of school personnel.

(C) Participation is limited to contests that are sponsored by colleges or universities.

(D) Students are not prohibited from participating in non-school-sponsored competitions and activities. Parents may take their children to meets provided the school does not pay entry fees or other related expenses and the coaches do not attend the competition. The fact that a tournament entry contains information as to which high school a student attends or information about the high school itself (address, coach, telephone, FAX, etc.) does not in and of itself constitute a violation.

(E) The following constitute sponsorship:

(i) The school pays entry fees for contestants or uses activity funds to pay for any or all student expenses.

(ii) Student uses school fundraiser dollars to pay for fees, transportation and/or housing expenses.

(iii) Student is accompanied by school personnel.

(iv) Student is accompanied, directed or transported by a person or persons on behalf of school personnel.

(v) Student wears or uses school equipment.

(F) School district personnel includes any person hired or appointed by the school or its employees who is involved in preparing or assisting the contestant for a contest that is part of the UIL academic program.

(G) This rule applies only to contests that are part of the UIL Academic Meet Plan. It is not a violation for school district personnel to assist a student in preparation for or participation in a contest that is not part of the UIL Academic Meet Plan.

(H) Students found to be in violation of the Sunday Participation Rule may be penalized for the current academic year in “germane” academic contests. For example, a student found in violation of the Sunday Participation Rule in Lincoln-Douglas Debate would be penalized in debate only (Lincoln-Douglas and Cross-Examination), not in all speech events, nor in any other UIL academic events.

(I) The District Executive Committee shall rule on protests and reports of violations concerning the Sunday Participation Rule. See Section 28 (a).

(See Section 383).