District 53 is pleased to announce that the particular rules of the Contest season have been selected:
- Contests at the Area, Division, and District levels will be in-person.
- No hybrid or online contests will be held this year.
- Clubs are responsible for choosing their format for the contest, whether online, hybrid, or in-person.
- Contests beyond the club level will be held in-person. Both contestants and officials will be expected to be present at the contest’s physical location.
In Areas with Four or Fewer Clubs —
- Two contestants from each club contest may advance to the Area contest. These will be the winner and the first runner-up (or the second runner-up, or the third runner-up) in areas with four (4) or fewer clubs to advance to Area contests.
Similarly, in Divisions with Four or Fewer Areas —
- the top two finishers (or the first two available contestants who competed without disqualification) shall move on from from Area to Division (rule 3.B in the rulebook).
- In the event that the first place or second place finisher is unavailable to compete, the next available contestant (who was not disqualified on time) may advance to the Division contest..
As a reminder, clubs may send a contestant to the Area contests without holding a contest (and in Areas with four or fewer clubs, they may send two contestants to each contest). However, the rules specify that if the club decides to hold a speech contest, that contest must obey the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook for the current season.
This includes Pathways minimum requirements for some speech contests — please make sure your contestants meet all requirements before advancing them to the Area level, because if a disqualification based on eligibility is discovered at a later date, it is retroactive to all other contests in the same cycle.