Skip to main content
University of Texas at Austin
University Interscholastic League Logo
University Interscholastic League Logo

Subchapter D: 2nd-8th Grades (1458)

Back to Table of Contents

Subchapter D: 2nd-8th Grades (1458)

Section 1458: ORAL READING


(1) Summary. Reading a text out loud serves four purposes: to analyze the text as a literary critic; to grow and to develop as a performer; to communicate a message to an audience; and to perform an artistic creation. All of these apply to the Oral Reading competition, which should be an extension of the classroom literary and language arts activities in poetry, short stories and children’s fiction.

(2) Contest Format. Requirements for acceptable selections shall be as specified in official contest procedures. The maximum time for each presentation is six minutes. There is no minimum time limit. Students who exceed the allotted six minutes shall be penalized one rank. For example, if the judges rank a student second who has gone overtime, that student shall be assigned third place and the student who was ranked third will be given second place. Contestants may not use costumes or props in the contest. No speaker may be coached or prompted in any manner during the presentation. Audiences are permitted.


(1) Contestants. Students in officially prescribed grade levels below 9th grade who are eligible under Sections 1400 and 1405 may enter this contest at the district meet. Eligible ninth grade students may also enter oral reading. At the district meet, students in grades four through eight may enter no more than two speech events. Ninth grade students are limited by the requirements in Section 1000 (b).

(2) Divisions. Districts shall offer either a separate division for each participating grade level or combined grade level divisions as specified in official contest procedures.

(3) Individual Competition. Each participant school may enter as many as three contestants per division in the district meet.

(4) Team Competition. There is no team competition in this contest.


(1) Personnel. The contest director may be the coach of a participating student. A timekeeper should be provided for each section. Contest officials should select one judge or an odd-numbered panel of judges for each section. Judges shall not be coaches of participating students. So far as possible, judges should not know what school any contestant represents.

(2) Sections. A section shall consist of no more than eight contestants. If nine or more students enter a division of oral reading, they shall be divided into sections according to official contest procedures. Winners from the preliminary rounds will compete in a final round.

(3) Rankings, Ties and Points. Contestants shall be ranked as specified in official contest procedures. There can be no ties in this contest. Points are awarded as specified in Section 1408 (i).

(4) Verification Period. If a panel of judges is used, a verification period shall be provided, during which unofficial results should be posted. Coaches should be given no more than 15 minutes to verify that tabulation of rankings is correct. The decisions of the judges are not subject to question. Evaluation sheets may be viewed by contestants and coaches during the verification period and shall be returned to the contest director at the end of the verification period. For rounds with single judges, a 15-minute viewing period is recommended.

(5) Official Results. The contest director shall announce the official results. Official results, once announced, are final.

(6) Returning Materials. No confidential materials are used in this contest. Therefore, evaluation sheets may be returned to contestants at the conclusion of the contest.