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UIL Academics Spring 2021 Contest Plan

Policy Changes

Temporary Rule Modifications for Spring 2021 Only:

  • All participants shall follow the UIL COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidelines and additional safety protocols required by the host site. 
  • Suspension of wild card team advancement from district to region and region to state.
  • For district and region competition, students in test-taking and writing events can participate in person from their home campuses, depending on the format chosen by the UIL District Executive or Region Planning Committee.
  • Rule modifications to:
    • allow teams to use more than one computer during the programming portion of the Computer Science contest;
    • allow CX participants not qualifying to the CX State Meet to enter Lincoln Douglas Debate;
    • allow speech events to be administered through a virtual platform;
    • allow 8th graders to participate in one-act play at the high school level in conferences A, 2A and 3A when the play would be withdrawn from competition due to lack of student interest or eligibility.
  • District academic meet directors shall certify results as soon as possible, but no later than one week following the meet. 

 

Test-Taking and Writing Events

General Minimum Standards

  • Regardless of format, all contests must be supervised by school personnel in person at a physical location. 
  • Students may not log in from home for contests that count on League standing.
  • Testing materials may not be uploaded and disseminated to students in an electronic format.

District Competition

  • District Executive Committees have three format options to choose from:
       1. Traditional format — all students participate in person at a central site or sites.
       2. Localized format — all students participate in person while being supervised in person by school personnel at their home campus or other designated physical location.
       3. Pod format — groups of two or more schools participate in person at different sites within the district. 
     
  • There is flexibility with events, such as conducting speech events virtually and writing events localized. 
     
  • Meets shall follow the official UIL calendar for testing dates. Districts selecting a localized or pod contest format shall follow a contest schedule so that all students in each contest from that district are participating at a similar time on the same day.
     
  • The district academic meet director shall notify the UIL State Office of the competition format selected no later than February 5, 2021, and request print or digital materials. (A form will be provided to meet directors for this purpose.)
     
  • To promote transparency, districts conducting localized format competitions are encouraged to share proctors, with school personnel assigned to assist with contest monitoring at campuses not their own.
     
  • Districts have flexibility to determine how to handle grading/judging and verification. Districts are encouraged to centralize grading. 
     
  • For each district, Journalism, Ready Writing, Computer Applications and essay sections of test-taking events shall each be evaluated and ranked by the same panel or individual. For example, all journalism entries shall be judged by the same panel or individual. All Ready Writing entries shall be judged by the same panel or individual. This does not mean the same panel has to judge journalism and Ready Writing. Judges do not have to be onsite. 
     
  • The district academic meet director is responsible for supervising the compiling of results and entry in the online system.


Region Competition

  • The Region Planning Committee consists of the district academic meet director or an administrator from each UIL district in the region. By majority vote (each UIL district has one vote), the committee shall determine the following:
       1. The competition format to be used. The contest format shall be consistent for all districts in the region.
       2. Host site or sites if the traditional format or pod option is selected.
       3. Selection of the Region Meet Director with approval of the UIL State Office.
       4. Organization of finances. This will vary depending on the competition format and level of involvement of the traditional meet host or director. UIL staff will provide guidance and assistance.
     
  • Competition format options are: 
       1. Traditional format — all students participate in person at a central site or sites.
       2. Localized format — the Region Planning Committee determines a site for in person administration of contests for qualifying contestants from each district. Options for this format would include one location for all qualifiers from each district, or students participating in person from their home campus or other designated physical location while being supervised in person by school personnel. 
       3. Pod format — groups of two or more districts participate in person at different sites within the region.
     
  • The contest format shall be consistent for all districts in the region. There is flexibility with events, such as conducting speech events virtually and writing events localized, as long as each event is conducted in a consistent format for all schools. 
     
  • Meets shall follow the official UIL calendar for testing dates. Regions selecting a localized or pod contest format shall follow a contest schedule so that all students in each contest from that region are participating at a similar time on the same day.
     
  • The Region Planning Committee shall notify the UIL State Office of the format selected no later than February 15, 2021, and request print or digital materials. (A form will be provided for this purpose.) 
     
  • To promote transparency, regions conducting localized format competitions are encouraged to share proctors, with school personnel assigned to assist with contest monitoring at campuses not their own.
     
  • Regions have flexibility in grading/judging and the verification process. Regions are encouraged to centralize grading.
     
  • For each region, Journalism, Ready Writing, Computer Applications and essay sections of test-taking events shall each be evaluated and ranked by the same panel or individual. For example, all journalism entries shall be judged by the same panel or individual.  All Ready Writing entries shall be judged by the same panel or individual. This does not mean the same panel has to judge journalism and Ready Writing. Judges do not have to be onsite.
     
  • The Region Meet Director is responsible for supervising the compiling of results and entry in the online system.

State Competition

  • State contests will be administered at hub locations identified by UIL staff. Hubs could include traditional region meet sites, college campuses or high schools. Ideally, these will be geographically convenient for schools. A state contest hub could host multiple conferences.
  • UIL staff will coordinate grading/judging and tabulation of results. Winners will be announced through an online awards ceremony.

Speech Events

  • Speech has additional considerations that differ significantly from the test-taking and writing events. Districts and regions have the option of conducting speech contests in person or using a virtual format.
     
  • Speech event and test-taking/writing event format options do not have to be the same. Speech may compete with a traditional in-person format while other events use a localized format, or vice versa, as determined by the District Executive or Region Planning Committees. 
     
  • Speech events using a virtual platform shall be held synchronously. No rounds may be recorded. Each district or region is responsible for determining the virtual platform to be used and covering associated costs. Districts and Regions have access to the SpeechWire tournament management system that is customized for UIL tabulation and utilizes electronic ballots for a reduced fee. 
     
  • Speech events will be conducted virtually at the State Meet via the SpeechWire tournament management system. 
     
  • Speech rounds will not be open to the public, whether in person or virtual at any meet. 
     
  • Speech Rule Waivers and Modifications are located on the Academics Update page.

One-Act Play

  • OAP Temporary Modifications and Waivers for rule changes and schedule options. These are based on conditions as we understand them at this time. UIL is continuing to review protocols and will release changes as they are available.

     
  • Allowance and procedures for using 8th graders in conference A have been extended to conferences 2A and 3A.
     
  • OAP bi-district certification deadline has been extended to April 3, 2021. Area meets have been eliminated.
     
  • Conflicts with region academic/speech meets and state academic meets may be inevitable. Performance schedules may be adjusted to accommodate conflicts to the extent possible. 

Future Updates