Rules for the Rostrum Voice of Youth competition

  1. The Rostrum Voice of Youth competition is open to all full-time secondary school students who satisfy the age criteria.
  2. There are two age divisions:
    • Junior: students must be at least 11 and in years 7, 8 or 9 at 1st January
    • Senior: students under 18 and in years 10, 11 or 12 at 1st January
  3. In each age division there are two speaking segments:
    • A prepared speech of six minutes for juniors and eight minutes for seniors, from a selection of five topics. This segment carries a maximum of 100 marks.
    • A short notice speech of three minutes from a selection of three topics (preparation time 15 minutes). This segment carries a maximum of 70 marks.(Please note that a short notice speech is compulsory only for the State and National finals and the round immediately preceding the State final. In some zones a short notice speech may not be required in earlier rounds. Check local requirements.)
  4. A warning bell will be sounded at two minutes for the three minute speech, at five minutes for the six minute speech and at six minutes for the eight minute speech. (At State and National finals, a card showing 1st or 2nd bell will be held up also signalling that bells have been sounded)
  5. Timing begins when the contestant starts speaking and continues until the speech is finished or the contestant leaves the platform. No restart of the timer is permitted.
  6. A variation in a speaker’s timing in the prepared and short notice speeches is acceptable if it does not exceed 30 seconds either side of the time limit. Outside these limits, adjudicators may choose to deduct marks.
  7. Guidelines for adjudicators are those approved by the Australian Rostrum Council.
  8. At the State final and where possible at earlier levels of the competition, there will be at least three adjudicators.
  9. The ultimate placing of each competitor is based on the aggregate of the rankings awarded by the adjudicators for that competitor.
  10. The adjudicators’ decision is final.
  11. Competitors must use their own, original content. Reference to other texts or direct quotation is allowed, but any speech must be substantially the work of the speaker. If plagiarism is suspected, a competitor may be automatically disqualified from the competition.
  12. Entry fees (if required) are non-refundable by the state.
  13. Lecterns are not required. Microphones may be used at Zone Finals (check local requirements).
  14. The use of electronic devices (eg phones, ipads) is not permitted in any stage of the short notice competition.