Rules of the CSDA Metropolitan Public Speaking Competition

Download a copy of these Public Speaking Competition rules

1. Name and Format

The name of the Competition shall be "The Catholic Schools' Metropolitan Public Speaking Competition".

The competition shall comprise three rounds: Round 1, Zone Finals and Finals.

The style of public speaking will be a prepared speech.

2. Entry

(a) The Competition shall be composed of the following Divisions: Senior (Years 11 and 12); Year 10; Year 9; Year 8; Year 7. The entrants in each division will be pupils in the year stipulated or a lower year.

(b) Schools may enter up to two students in each of Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, and up to four students in any combination from Years 11 and 12. The entry pattern does not have to be a consistent number..e.g. a school could enter one speaker in Year 7, two in Years 8 and 9, one in Year 10 and three in the Senior division.

(c) A school that does not enter the Public Speaking Competition by the required entry date deadline shall be deemed not to have entered the competition for that year.

(d) A school must submit the CSDA Compliance Form before the start of competition each year.

3. The Draw

(a) The competition will be run in geographical zones for Round 1 and the Zone Finals.

(b) All entrants from the same school shall compete in the same zone.

(c) Zones will be organised after entries have been received. Due consideration will be given to school location and a balance of entry numbers in each division. No entrant may change zones between Round 1 and the Zone Final.

4. Adjudication

(a) Schools will be required to supply adjudicators as requested by the CSDA.

(b) In Round 1, there will be one adjudicator per speaking room.

(c) In the Zone Finals and the Finals, there will be a panel of three adjudicators in each speaking room.


(d) The Principal of a school should be in a position to vouch for the integrity of all adjudicators the school provides. It is the responsibility of the Principal to have signed the compliance statement indicating that all adjudicators supplied by their school have completed the current 'Working with Children' form.

(e) Adjudicators must be familiar with the rules of the Competition and ensure that they are maintained.

(f) Before each section of the competition, the adjudicator must be supplied with the official CSDA Guidelines for Adjudication of Public Speaking. These are the sole and final standards to which adjudicators may refer when making a decision. Public Speaking Co-ordinators must not supply adjudication guidelines or score sheets from other competitions.

(g) Before the start of each section, the adjudicator must be supplied with a copy of the Adjudicator's Guidelines for Public Speaking and sufficient copies of the Adjudication Report to give one to each speaker that (s)he is adjudicating (if requested). This form must be used if an individual speaker requests a written report.

(h) The adjudicator's decision is final and will not be overturned except where there has been a clear breach of the rules of this Competition. Adjudicators give their time voluntarily and their skill and integrity are highly valued by the CSDA.

5. Topics

This concession is made allowing for the pressures of time that students may be under due to assessments, camps etc. Adjudicators will be briefed of this fact. Students will not be penalised because they have used the material previously.

6. Speaking Times

Warning bell

Final bell

Years 7 and 8

After 3 minutes

After 4 minutes

Year 9

After 4 minutes

After 5 minutes

Year 10

After 5 minutes

After 6 minutes

Year 11

After 6 minutes

After 8 minutes

Year 12

After 6 minutes

After 8 minutes

7. Supper

8. Audio-Visual/Cameras/Mobile Phones and other internet-capable devices

Please refer to the CSDA IT Guidelines which need to be read in conjunction with these Rules and to find out the responsibilities of all who take part in a CSDA event amd the consequences of a breach.
(a) The use of audio-visual devices and cameras during any Competition run by the CSDA is discouraged. Any decision to audio or video tape a speech must be made prior to the commencement of the evening's competition. The consent of all participants, the Public Speaking Co-ordinators (or their representative teachers), the adjudicator and the CSDA representative at the venue on the night must be given notice before taping may begin. If any person involved wishes to challenge the taping, the taping must not commence.

(b) Mobile phones and other internet-capable devices must be switched off during the entire period of competition for any given round.

9. Grievance Procedures

(a) Any complaint must be in writing and signed by both the Public Speaking Co-ordinator and the Principal of the school involved. Speakers, parents, teachers and adjudicators are able to lodge complaints in this way.

(b) Any complaint must be lodged with the Executive Officer of the CSDA within three working days of the speaking event in question.

(c) Common practice is that the school (if applicable) against which the complaint is lodged will be notified of the complaint. Action will only be taken if there has been a clear breach of the rules.

(d) Under no circumstances will a speaking event be re-held to resolve an issue.

No participant conforming to the rules of this Competition is to be disadvantaged by a participant who fails to do so.