MEMORANDUM TO: Conference VHSL Theatre Festival Directors
FROM: Lisa Giles, Assistant Director
DATE: September 2016
Listed below are materials comprising a VHSL Theatre Festival Kit you will need as festival director. If you are not the festival director for your conference, please forward this information to the appropriate individual.
Your Conference Council is responsible for selecting the time and place for your festival prior to the deadline (Nov. 5 (Group 1A-4A) and Feb. 4 (Group 5A-6A) for Conference Festivals), and for naming the festival director. The chairman is responsible for supplying this information to all member schools and to the executive director. Official Theatre Festival entry blanks are posted on the VHSL website (http://www.vhsl.org/activities/theater). Entries are to be sent to you in advance of the deadline date set by your Conference Council. Upon receipt of entries, please communicate directly with entering schools to supply festival information.
Your conference chairman will, upon request, supply you with a list of schools that have reported an interest in entering the festival.
Full authority to conduct the festival in accordance with league regulations and with conference policies has been delegated to you. To enable you to discharge this responsibility with the minimum of administrative effort, this kit is supplied. It contains the following:
1. Report form to confirm receipt of kit
2. Postal card for reporting 1st- and 2nd-place plays to the regional festival director
3. Sections 100 and 101 of the VHSL Handbook
4. Festival Director’s Report Form
5. Regional Theatre Festival Entry Form – to be given to the first- and second-place plays at your Conference Festival
6. Instructions and Suggestions
7. Suggested Guidelines for Theatre Judges
8. Information for Theatre Festival Judges -- to be copied and provided to your judges
9. Suggestions for Theatre Festival Critics -- to be copied and provided to your judges
10. Theatre Festival Organization Guidelines
11. VHSL Speech Scoring and Tie-breaking Procedures
12. List of approved critic judges
13. Judge’s Evaluation Form -- to be copied in sufficient quantity for each judge to critique each play
14. Critic Judge’s Ensemble Score Sheet
15. Critic Judge’s Individual Score Sheet
16. Handbook Rules on Sportsmanship
17. Sportsmanship Incident Report Form
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943
www.vhsl.org ▪ firstname.lastname@example.org
Please fax or email this form to the VHSL office
when you receive your kit. Thank you!
I have received my Conference VHSL Theatre Festival Director’s Kit.
Home Telephone Number:
Date of Festival:
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943 ▪ www.vhsl.org
Please mail this form to the
Regional Theatre Festival Director (not the VHSL!)
Below are the ________________________________________ Conference Theatre Festival winners:
First Place: ___________________________________________________________________
Second Place: ___________________________________________________________________
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943 ▪ www.vhsl.org VHSL Handbook
SECTION 100: INTRODUCTION. 100-1-1 Sponsored Activity-The League sponsors a competitive interscholastic program within groups leading to conference, regional and state recognition in one form of dramatic activity: Theatre Festival.
100-2-1 Purpose-The general purpose of this program is to stimulate interest and participation in dramatic art as a means of furthering the cultural and educational development of students in Virginia high schools. This purpose is best served when a large number of schools engage in the program on school and conference levels. The theatre festival program is intended to motivate the development of a broad school drama program in which many students participate as well as to provide a means of evaluating and improving standards of school dramatic performance.
100-3-1 School Participation-Virtually all schools include in their offering some form of dramatic activity, usually of the co-curricular type, such as class plays, club skits and the like. Few are able to provide opportunities for participation in dramatic art for all who might enjoy or profit from this experience. The theatre festival serves as a means of stimulating school interest in a type of vehicle which can be produced in a comparatively short time at little expense, so that a number of plays, rather than a few, may be included in the school's drama calendar. A bill of three short plays, produced by the players of the same school or of neighboring schools, has proved to be a popular means of increasing the number of participants in the drama program as well as an effective means of providing general school and community entertainment.
100-3-2 The principal should formulate plans for his/her school’s participation in the theatre festival early in the school year and he/she should select the teacher or sponsor who will be in charge of the program well in advance of the dates for the conference/regional festivals. As a general rule, four to six weeks are required for preparation and preliminary presentations before school and community audiences. The principal should also allow students and faculty who are participating in conference, regional and state festivals the time and opportunity to participate in the total festival as audience and observers or critiques.
100-4-1 Program-The League’s dramatic art program consists of a series of theatre festivals conducted on optional conference, required regional and state levels within groups. Each participating school selects a play, in accordance with the regulations and suggestions given in Sections 100 and 101, and enters it in the appropriate conference festival, if available, or in the appropriate regional festival. Schools receiving first and second place awards in conferences opting to hold a conference festival and all interested schools in conferences not opting to hold a conference festival are eligible for participation in the regional festivals; schools opting to be rated for possible advancement to the state festival and receiving first and second place awards in the regional festivals are eligible for participation in the state festival. A school may not change plays between rounds of competition. If a first-or-second-place school is unable to advance to the regional or state competition, the third-place school in the appropriate conference or regional festival may compete at the next level. No replacements beyond third-place schools shall be permitted.
100-4-2 Schools in conferences which do not hold a festival must make known their desire to participate. If possible, the League will arrange for a neighboring conference to invite the school.
100-5-1 Aids to Coaches and Sponsors-Whenever circumstances make it possible, the League sponsors clinics on dramatic and forensic activities in various sections of the state.
SECTION 101: THEATRE FESTIVALS. 101-1-1 Selection-Any script, including musical theatre, children's theatre and mime, may be selected and used in theatre festivals provided it meets the following qualifications:
(1) An entry may not exceed 35 minutes in playing time.
Timing begins with the first theatrical effect--a light, a sound or a movement… whatever device is used to create mood and/or convey meaning/story or character. Likewise, timing stops when all effects stop. A light or sound slowly fading will be timed until it stops, as will a character in continuous motion. Neither set nor strike is timed, and therefore must not be used to create mood and/or convey meaning/story or character. This includes choreographed movement in character, singing, timed/prolonged blackouts at top or end of show, etc. (2) An entry may not have been presented at a VHSL conference, regional or state festival by the same producing school during the last two years.
(3) The school must have secured the necessary permission to perform a published selection, including payment of royalty if any, from the author or publisher.
(4) The school submitting a play -- published or unpublished -- for theatre competition must fully credit the author(s). If unpublished, the following guidelines should apply:
(a) An original play must be conceived in full by the director and/or cast.
(b) An adaptation, in full or in part, must cite the written or oral source(s) of the story in the program. The dramatic/theatrical realization of adapted sources must be conceived by the director and/or cast; otherwise, images and moments seen from another production must have permission for creative use. Any part of the play taken from another original play, protected published work or work existing in manuscript form only must have permission from the source or author(s) and be acknowledged in the program.
(c) In entering original work, the director must sign off on these guidelines on the festival entry form. Appropriate sources/references must be given in the festival program. If the competing school is found to be in violation of these guidelines (i.e. theatrical plagiarism as opposed to copyright infringement for published works) the school would be disqualified from the festival.
(5) Proof of required permission to perform a published play or an unpublished adaptation from another source must be presented to the festival director prior to performance.
(6) If a school uses a cutting from a full-length script, it may not be a scene from a full length production the school has performed or will perform during the current school year.
101-1-2 The choice of the script is important. Schools should select material which is honest in its fundamental concept, which is suited to the emotional development of the cast and which is handled with taste and restraint. Content should be appropriate to the audience for which it is performed and in support of contemporary community standards. Any editing of published work must be honest to the original text. It is important that coaches review questionable content, language, use of fi rearms or other weapons or use of tobacco or other drug with the principal prior to performance. The principal's signature on the entry form will indicate approval of material to be performed. Competition directors will not disqualify a selection approved by the principal unless editing or performance decisions significantly alter the selection after approval has been given.
101-1-3 Each school participating in a conference, region or state festival must bring a copy of its script to the festival site. If a challenge of material, performance, royalty, publication, etc. is made, the tournament director deems the challenge is legitimate, and a script on hand can assist in the investigation of said challenge, a school representative must provide the script on the spot. If the script is not made available immediately, the school will be disqualified. All disputes will be settled at the conference, regional or state level where the challenge was made.
If school is producing a cutting from a full-length play, both the original full-length and the cutting must be brought to the festival site. 101-2-1 Rules and Regulations-In all theatre festivals both individual representatives and member schools are required to observe and comply with all League rules and regulations set forth in Sections 26 through 33 of this Handbook, with the exception of those that make specific reference to athletics, as well as with those rules and regulations which govern the theatre festival program as set forth in Sections 100 and 101.
All members of the cast and crew, as well as any person providing live music as part of the performance, must meet eligibility requirements. Violations of any of these rules render the offender liable to such disciplinary action as the appropriate district, regional or state committee may impose.
Adult directors’ participation at VHSL festivals must cease when timing begins and may resume after timing ends. Adult directors may take part in pre-performance production meetings, set and strike. Adult directors must not assist backstage or in the sound/light booth during the performance, as such tasks are considered work of crew. 101-2-2 Four critic judges shall be used at all League theatre festivals; however, if a festival director cannot secure four critic judges, or a secured judge cancels at the last minute, he/she may go ahead with the festival with three judges with the notification of all participating schools. Experience has shown that conference and regions that pay judges an honorarium and travel expenses frequently obtain the services of better qualified judges.
101-2-3 Each critic judge shall rank and score each production without consulting with the other judges. The tournament director or designee shall then compile the results, dropping the low rank/score combination for each production (rank/score is not dropped if fewer than four judges are used). The production with the lowest total of three ranks shall be declared the winner and the school with the second lowest total the runner-up. In the event of a tie in total rank, the decision will be given to the tied production with the highest total of the three scores. In the event there is still a tie, the dropped ranks will be added for the tied productions, and if there is still a tie, the dropped scores will be added. If there is still a tie, all judges will consult in making a decision.
101-2-4 Each judge shall also rate each production as superior, excellent or good, and the three highest ratings will be averaged to determine an overall rating for each play.
101-3-1 Conference Festivals-Failure of a school to compete in a conference festival, if held, shall disqualify the school from participation in the regional festival. Failure of a conference, opting to conduct a festival, to conduct said festival on or before the deadline date shall disqualify its schools from participation in the regional festival.
101-3-2 Each school is limited to one entry in the conference festival. Festival regulations and procedures are given in this section. The specific time, place and date for the festival is determined by the festival director, who is approved by the Conference Council. The names of the festival director and critic judges must be reported to the League Office at least two weeks in advance of the district festival. Approval or disapproval of the critic judges selected if not on the list of recommended critic judges sent to the conference festival director will be sent within 48 hours if the backgrounds of the persons selected are given. The director is responsible for the conduct of the festival in accordance with League regulations. He/she is supplied by the League Office with a festival kit, containing all necessary instructions, critic judges’ rating forms and supplies, well in advance of the deadline date for the festival.
101-4-1 Regional Festivals-Regional theatre festivals for all groups shall be held at sites chosen by the festival directors. A festival director for each region shall be chosen by the regional officers. The name of the festival director must be sent to the League office at least two weeks before the regional festival. The director is responsible for the conduct of the festival in accordance with League regulations. He/she is supplied by the League office with a festival kit similar to the conference festival director’s kit well in advance of the deadline for the festival.
101-4-2 Schools whose productions receive first and second place awards in conferences opting to hold a festival and up to two schools in conferences opting not to hold a festival are eligible to participate in regional festivals. However, a Region Council may, prior to the beginning of the season, approve more than two schools advancing from conferences which do not hold festivals. If a conference does not hold a festival and the region does not opt prior to the beginning of the season to permit more than two schools to advance, it is up to the conference to determine by some other system which schools will advance. A qualifying school may not change plays between rounds. (See 100-4-1.)
101-5-1 State Festival-A state theatre festival for all groups shall be held annually on dates specified on the VHSL Activities Calendar. Only those schools opting to be rated for possible advancement to the state competition and whose productions receive first and second place awards in the regional festival shall be eligible to perform those plays in the state festival. (See 100-4-1.) Regions shall not advance more than two schools to the state festival; therefore, they must resolve ties or disputes in accordance with policies in the VHSL Theatre Manual since only two schools may qualify from each region to state.
101-5-2 Each school participating in the state festival should carefully adapt its production for presentation on the festival stage. Because of the tight scheduling involved in the state festival, schools are reminded that there will be no time for rehearsal at the festival stage. Each producing group will set up immediately before it performs.
101-6-1 Festival Regulations and Procedures-Only entries submitted on the official entry form, properly certified by the school principal, and received by the deadline date for entry, shall be accepted.
101-6-2 A production shall be eligible for entry only if (1) it does not exceed 35 minutes in playing time and (2) it has not been presented at a VHSL conference, regional or state festival by the same producing school during the last two years.
101-6-3 The order of presentation shall be determined by the festival director.
101-6-4 Specifications of the festival stage will be sent to all entering schools. All productions shall, if possible, be presented before a curtain backdrop.
101-6-5 Elaborate stage sets shall not be used, and only such incidental scenery as is essential to the production shall be authorized. Such incidental scenery shall be provided by the participating school.
101-6-6 Participating schools shall provide their own costumes, make-up and all stage and hand properties. All items must be self-supporting. The festival director shall provide a trained stage crew to assist the group’s technical staff. 101-6-7 All expenses of travel, board, lodging and royalties shall be defrayed by participating schools or their participants. Note: The foregoing regulations and procedures shall govern conference, regional and state festivals.
101-7-1 Bases for Critic Judges’ Evaluations-The criteria for evaluation shall include, but not be limited to: execution of direction, acting and ensemble effect.
101-7-2 Execution of direction shall include: casting, blocking, interpretation of dramatic values and realization of the playwright’s intent.
101-7-3 Acting shall include: characterization, interpretation, focus, concentration, articulation and movement.
101-7-4 The focus of the critic judges’ evaluation shall be on the above criteria rather than on such incidental elements as costumes, sets, properties and lighting. An oral critique of each production shall be given after all schools have completed their performances.
101-8-1 Penalties-Any production that exceeds the maximum playing time of 35 minutes at any conference or regional festival shall not be eligible to receive a first or second place ranking. Any school that does not secure permission from the publisher to produce the competition play and pay relevant royalties will be disqualified from competition.
101-9-1 Awards-Each Conference and Regional Council shall adopt a program of awards for its theatre festival competition. The Virginia High School League shall present trophies to first and second place productions at the state festival, and medals shall be presented to individuals whose number shall not exceed four selected by the judges for their outstanding performances.
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943 ▪ www.vhsl.org Conference Theatre Festival Director’s Report Form INSTRUCTIONS: Send one copy to the Regional Director and one copy to the Virginia High School League office, 1642 State Farm Boulevard, Charlottesville, VA 22911, not later than 24 hours after the festival, and one copy to your Conference Chairman.
Number in Cast: Boys: Girls:
Number in Cast: Boys: Girls:
OTHER PLAYS PRESENTED
CRITIC JUDGES AND ADDRESSES:
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943 ▪ www.vhsl.org VHSL THEATRE FESTIVAL ENTRY FORM This form may be used at the conference and regional level as appropriate and for the state festival. Please indicate level of competition by marking one of the following:
Conference Region State
INSTRUCTIONS: Before completing this entry form, read Sections 100 and 101 of the VHSL Handbook and the information on the back of this form. PLEASE TYPE FORM. Send one copy to your Festival Director to be received by the deadline date for entry. Retain one copy for your files.
Date of Festival:
Place of Festival:
Title of Play:
Home Phone Number:
*Please indicate whether student or faculty director. **For unpublished or original work, see the reverse.
(List in order of appearance; attach a separate sheet for additional cast members) CharacterName (First name, last name)
NOTE: If there is anything about the content or staging of your production that would be difficult or inappropriate for some audiences, please provide an appropriate warning to be published in the festival program: I hereby submit the above entry in the Conference / Region / State (circle one) Theatre Festival and understand that my signature indicates approval of the script these students will perform. I certify to our acceptance of the general regulations governing this activity as set forth in the Handbook and to the individual eligibility of our representatives under current League regulations. An MEL is on file. I further certify that permission to perform, including payment of royalty, if any, and/or permission to cut or adapt, if applicable, has been secured from the author or publisher, and I have enclosed said permission herein.
Date: _________________________ Signed: ____________________________________________________________, Principal
GENERAL INFORMATION CONFERENCE FESTIVALS: Are held in all conferences no later than the announced deadline for Conference Festivals. (See Handbook Calendar and Wall Calendar.) The specific date, time, and place for each Conference Festival are determined by the appropriate Conference Council, which likewise designates the Festival Director. Each school is limited to one entry in its Conference Festival.
REGIONAL FESTIVALS: Are held in all regions not later than the announced deadline for Regional Festivals. Schools placing first or second place at Conference Festivals are eligible to participate in the Regional Festival (VHSL Activities Calendar.) The specific date, time, and place for each Regional Festival are determined by the appropriate Regional Council, which likewise designates the Festival Director.
STATE FESTIVALS: Held annually. Schools placing first or second place at Regional Festivals are eligible to present their plays at the State Festival.
FESTIVAL REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES: Consult the Virginia High School League Handbook, “Dramatic Activities,” for all regulations governing Conferene and Regional Theatre Festivals.
For unpublished or original work, the following guidelines apply: In entering original or adapted work, the director must sign off on these guidelines on the festival entry form. Appropriate sources/references for adapted productions must be given in the festival program. If the competing school is found to be in violation of these guidelines (i.e. theatrical plagiarism as opposed to copyright infringement for published works) the school would be disqualified from the festival.
A. An Original (Devised) play must be conceived in full by the director and/or cast. I verify that the script and staging are original and
not based in full or in part on any other published or unpublished work.
Date: _________________________ Signed: ______________________________________________________________, Director
B. An Adaptation, in full or in part, play must cite the written or oral source(s) of the story in the program. The dramatic/theatrical realization of adapted sources must be conceived by the director and/or cast; otherwise, images and moments seen from another production must have permission for creative use. Any part of the play taken from another original play or protected published work or work existing in manuscript form only must have permission from the source or author(s) and be acknowledged in the program. Required permission must be available on request at the conference, regional and state festival.
I verify that I have credited all sources for material, images and moments used as part of an adapted production, have secured permission for their use from the author or creator, and have enclosed said permission herein.
Date: _________________________ Signed: ______________________________________________________________, Director
The following source(s) should be credited in the festival program:
For use of copyrighted material: C. Limited use, or “fair use” of copyrighted music is permitted without a license when performances (1) are for educational purposes, (2) are not for financial gain, and (3) include only a portion of an entire composition (substantiality). VHSL limits that portion to 30 seconds per song to ensure that schools are within the “fair use” guideline and do not improperly extend the sbustantiality.
• Any school that chooses to use more than 30 seconds per song of copyrighted music must provide proof of license to the
festival director prior to registering for the festival.
• Schools that use more than 30 seconds per song of copyrighted music and do not show proof of license will be disqualified.
• Conference and/or regions are reminded that charging admission into their festivals negates the “fair use” allowance and would
require all participants using copyrighted music in their shows to obtain full licenses regardless of the length of the music used.
I verify that I am not using more than 30 seconds per song of copyrighted music. If I am using more than 30 seconds per song of
copyrighted music, I have enclosed proof of permission/license from the publisher of said music or evidence that said music is in the public domain.
Date: _________________________ Signed: ______________________________________________________________, Director
For use of cuttings: D. If a school uses a cutting from a full-length script, it may not be a scene from a full-length production the school has performed or will perform during the current school year. The play presented as it appears in published form and the author's intent will be respected in production. No changes or deletions in the text, lyrics, music, title or gender of the characters shall be made for the purpose of production unless permission is granted by author or author's representative. This includes changes or updating the time and place/setting of the play.
Any editing of published work must be honest to the original text. It is important that directors review questionable content, language, use of firearms or other weapons or use of tobacco or other drug with the principal prior to performance. The principal's signature on the entry form will indicate approval of material to be performed. Competition directors will not disqualify a selection approved by the principal unless editing or performance decisions significantly alter the selection after approval has been given.
Date: _________________________ Signed: ______________________________________________________________, Director
Props: E. Let us know if your show includes the following props:
Smoke Guns Strobe Light
SPORTSMANSHIP 27-11-10 Procedure-Unsportsmanlike action must be reported to the League. A copy of the report shall be transmitted to the principal of the school or schools involved. Each principal concerned shall report such information or answers to the report as he/she deems appropriate to the League or a member of the Sportsmanship Committee. In some situations the League will provide schools and officials with specially designed forms to facilitate the proper reporting of possible violations. Upon receipt of all reports the League shall refer copies of all documents advising of any suggestions made to the school or schools involved, and to the Chairman of the League who may in turn refer the matter to the Sportsmanship Committee to investigate and adjudicate what appears to be a violation of this rule. The League is specifically directed to pursue any items which on the surface have implications of being sportsmanship violations. A League staff member or Sportsmanship Committeeman may be assigned the responsibility of holding personal interviews with the principal parties involved. Actions such as seeking reports and holding interviews is not to be interpreted in any way as casting reflection upon a school adhering to League regulations, but as an effort to keep all parties properly informed. Penalties up to and including suspensions of member schools may be imposed by the Executive Committee and/or the Sportsmanship Committee. The Sportsmanship Committee shall review at a time and place set by the League Office such available evidence as it deems necessary to reach a conclusion. A copy of the Sportsmanship Committee’s action shall be filed with the chairman of the districts concerned.
27-11-11 Procedure: Academic Competition-Unsportsmanlike action must be reported to the League by any school or tournament official. The report should include any corroborating information or testimony available. A copy of the report complete with any supporting information shall be transmitted to the principal of the school or schools involved. Each principal concerned shall report such information or answers to the report as he/she deems appropriate to the League. Upon receipt of all reports and a review of any action taken, the League shall refer copies of all documents, including a staff recommendation as to whether the school's response is sufficient, to the school or schools involved and to the chairman of the League, who may in turn refer the matter to the Academic Sportsmanship Committee to investigate and adjudicate what appears to be a violation of this rule. The Academic Sportsmanship Committee shall review at a time and place set by the League office such available evidence as it deems necessary to reach a conclusion. The League is specifically directed to pursue any items which on the surface have implications of being sportsmanship violations. A League staff member or member of the Academic Sportsmanship Committee may be assigned the responsibility of holding personal interviews with the principal parties involved. Actions such as seeking reports and holding interviews are not to be interpreted in any way as casting reflection upon a school adhering to League regulations, but as an effort to keep all parties properly informed. Penalties up to and including suspensions of member schools may be imposed by the Executive Committee and/or the Academic Sportsmanship Committee. A copy of the Academic Sportsmanship Committee's action shall be filed with the chairman of the districts concerned.
27-11-12 Statement of Policy-Insofar as unsportsmanlike actions by players, students, school administrators, officials, coaches, faculty members and spectators are concerned, the identified items under the Sportsmanship Rule along with the following guides will be referred to a Sportsmanship Committee:
(1) The school whose coach behaves in a manner likely to have adverse influence on the attitudes of players or spectators may be provided with the choices of suspending its coach from representing that school in athletic or academic events for a specified period of time up to one year or to have discipline taken against the program or entire school by the League.
(2) Any student participant who in protest lays hands or attempts to lay hands on an official may be declared ineligible for all activities by the League or by his/her principal for up to one year. Any student participant who strikes an opponent, a coach or a spectator during or following an athletic or academic event may be declared ineligible by the League or his/her principal for a specified period of time up to one year depending on the seriousness of the act. The basis for this policy statement is that a member school shall not be represented by any student whose conduct reflects discredit upon his/her school.
(3) A school whose substitute team members or bench personnel enter the playing field/court during a verbal or physical altercation will be automatically subject to League discipline. Based on the severity of the incident, a program or school may be warned, placed on probation or suspended.
(4) In the case of spectators physically molesting an official, a coach or a participating player, the school may be given one of two options -- either to take legal action against the offenders or to accept discipline from the League.
(5) The school that does not lend complete cooperation in the host school’s efforts to promote the spirit of the Sportsmanship Rule may be disciplined by the League.
(6) A coach or school administrator may be considered as committing unsportsmanlike actions if he/she makes degrading remarks about officials during or after a contest either on the field of play, from the bench or through any public news media; argues with officials or goes through motions indicating his/her dislike for a decision; protests the decision and actions of officials pertaining to the game during and after the contest; or detains the official on the field of play following a game to request a ruling or explanation of some phase of the game. A request for a ruling must be done in private and in a courteous manner. The coach may also be considered as committing unsportsmanlike actions if he/she makes degrading or unprofessional remarks about another school’s personnel or about League representatives in the public news media. A coach’s ejection from any contest is a sportsmanship violation to be reported to the League by the school whose coach is ejected with copies of the report placed in the school’s and officials’ association files.
(7) Sportsmanship violations in academic activities would include but are not limited to discretionary forfeits, attempts to manipulate final ranks and/or the effects of tie breaking procedures by systematically awarding low points to students ranked high, tampering with ballots completed by assigned judges, falsifying an entry or records, seeking information on upcoming debate competition without full identification and disclosure of appropriate associations, seeking access to or sharing content of Scholastic Bowl competition questions used in the current season, failing to produce a manuscript in the required form by the tournament deadline, abusively confronting tournament personnel, permitting a student to compete with the same selection used in a previous year, permitting a student to use an oratory not written by the student, coaches judging their own students, failing to give timely notice of a discretionary decision not to advance to the next level of competition, refusing to follow established competition format or guidelines, or judges acting unprofessionally in violating tournament guidelines or giving preferential treatment to one competitor. Students or coaches found in violation may be disciplined appropriately by their schools; judges may be denied payment for services or banned from future judging assignments.
(8) A school which fails to take appropriate action against participants or personnel who possess or use alcoholic beverages, controlled substances or illegal drugs at the site of a Virginia High School League, Inc., sponsored activity is subject to the discipline of the League.
27-11-13 Penalties-The following represents some explanations of degrees of League discipline which may be referred to in interpreting the Sportsmanship Rule:
(1) Warning-A warning may be given by the Sportsmanship Committee or by the League to an individual sport, academic activity or school for a one-year period of time. Cumulative warnings over a period of time may result in suspension or probation for the sport, academic activity or the school. It is official notice that an inexcusable, unethical or unsportsmanlike action has occurred, is a matter of record and that such an occurrence must not be repeated.
(2) Probation-Probation is a more severe penalty, based on the nature of the incident, a second incident within the sport or academic activity within a two-year period or cumulative warnings over a period of time within the school. A school or program on probation may not enter any play-off toward a district, conference, regional or state championship nor may the school enter any sanctioned event.
(3) Suspension-A school suspended from the League may not meet in interscholastic competition of any kind with a member of the League or a school that is a member of another state associated with the National Federation of State High School Associations.
(4) Fine-A fine not to exceed $1,000 may be levied with or without any other penalty that is imposed on the school. Failure to report sportsmanship violations will result in a fine per occurence as stated in 30-5-1.
(5) Violations may result in forfeiture of any championships earned in addition to being placed on probation or suspension for one calendar year.
Virginia High School League ▪ 1642 State Farm Blvd. ▪ Charlottesville, VA 22911 ▪ Phone (434) 977-8475 ▪ Fax (434) 977-5943 ▪ www.vhsl.org
Virginia High School League
SCHOOL SPORTSMANSHIP INCIDENT REPORT FORM
This form must be filed with the VHSL Office within 5 working days of the incident. The incident must be reported to Tom Dolan by fax (434-977-5943), Phone (434-977-8475) or email (email@example.com) the first working day following the incident.
Listed below are some situations which must be reported. This is by no means an all inclusive list. It is the school’s responsibility to report all unsportsmanlike situations.
Any incident which involves team personnel leaving the bench area during a physical or verbal altercation. (Schools are responsible for disciplining those involved regardless of whether the officials ejected all involved)
Any incident which involves contest officials being accosted verbally or physically before, during or after a contest.
Any incident which involves spectators.
Any incident which leads to a disruption in the progress of the contest or which leads to a premature ending of a contest.
Any incident which involves the destruction or damage to school property or facilities.
Any incident which involves multiple participants regardless of ejections.
Any incident which escalates beyond what a normal ejection would involve.
Date of Incident:
Date of Report
Description of Incident:
Action taken by school:
INSTRUCTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS TO CONFERENCE AND
REGIONAL VHSL THEATRE FESTIVAL DIRECTORS The VHSL Theatre Festival director is responsible for the conduct of the festival in accordance with League regulations.
ADVANCE PREPARATION 1. Review the VHSL Handbook, especially Sections 100-101 on Dramatic Activities.
30-4-4 Specific Penalty for VHSL Event Not Being in Compliance with Policies-In situations where a member school hosts an event in which all VHSL guidelines are not enforced the following can apply:
The host and all participating member schools will receive a Warning.
The host school loses the ability to sanction that sport/activity tournament for three years.
The host will be subject to a fine of $50 for each VHSL member school participating in the event.
2. Arrange for the use of an auditorium with adequate facilities. The stage often used in the state festival provides a proscenium opening of 32 feet; depth of set, 16 feet; maximum height, 10 feet; and entrances up center, right and left stage. While stage specifications for Conference and regional festivals need not conform to these, they should not vary too greatly.
3. Plan for necessary dressing rooms, lighting, etc.
4. Secure the necessary officials well in advance.
A. In theatre, all judges must be approved, either by inclusion on the list of approved judges distributed each year by the VHSL office or by faxing Lisa Giles a request for approval, including name, address, phone number, email or other contact information and qualifications (resume) of the proposed judge. See pages at the end of this manual for the approved judges listing. Tournament director must not also serve as judge at the same festival.
Four judges are required, with the low rank/score combination for each play dropped prior to tabulations. If the director cannot secure four judges or a secured judge cancels at the last minute and the director is unable to secure a replacement, he/she may go ahead with the festival with three judges with the unanimous notification of all participating schools, or petition the VHSL office which is authorized to permit individual exceptions when a valid reason for doing so is presented.
It is important that there be diversity within the judging panel. Perhaps a mix of judges from professional or community theatre, college or university theatre and high school theatre not involved in or affected by the competition.
Preferably, the same judges should not evaluate the same competition each year to reduce the potential that they come into the competition with preconceived notions of the quality – good or bad – to be expected from specific schools, and so schools get a fresh perspective each year.
Judges should not see the same play at more than one level of competition (regions need to be sure that judges have not seen any of the conference competitions feeding into that region that year). Judges need to evaluate the current performance and not consider what they saw in an earlier performance.
Avoid judges who are married, who are working or social partners or who come from the same theatre or school, simply because there is a tendency for people who share their love for theatre on a regular and continuing basis to see shows in very similar ways. Avoid a conflict of interest and use judges who have no physical or emotional investment in any of the competing plays or schools.
Because qualified judges are more available in some parts of the state than in others, these guidelines for diversity in the judging panel have not been mandated state-wide, but a festival director should be able to provide some evidence that it is not possible to meet these goals.
When you make your initial contact with the critic judges, explain to them carefully all aspects of the festival. Tell them what honorarium the conference or region offers and whether they will be reimbursed for expenses. Recommended minimum compensation for theatre judges is $75 for four or fewer participating schools, $100 for five or six participating schools and $150 for more than six participating schools. Well in advance of the festival, provide the critic with a sample critic’s evaluation form and Sections 100 and 101: Theatre Festivals from the VHSL Handbook. It is also strongly recommended that you meet with the judges prior to the beginning of the festival to review judging criteria and procedures to be followed to assure all participants of fair competition according to VHSL rules. Conferences and regions may choose to have their critic judges give oral critiques at the end of the festival to all schools participating. Inform the critic judges that the written evaluation forms will be given to the schools and stress the importance of clear, specific supportive comments that can be used to improve the production. Share with judges, in advance of the festival, the enclosed Guidelines for Theatre Judges.
B. Select a small, efficient and courteous crew to assist with all set, light and prop changes during the festival.
C. Select such assistants (house staff, technicians, host committees and the like) as may be required to conduct the festival, and instruct them as to their duties.
5. Conference Director: Get a list of interested schools from your conference chairman, clarify with them the date, time and place for the competition and follow-up to see that all submit entry forms promptly. Check entries to see that no school enters an ineligible play and that all schools have paid required royalties and secured the publisher’s permission to perform the play. Check also for original work to ensure that the school has secured permission to use any adapted material or staging and that the school has given appropriate credit as required in Handbook section 101-1-1.
Regional Director: Each conference director will send you a copy of the Conference Director’s Theatre Festival Report. First- and second-place schools will send entry forms to you. Check entries to see that no school enters an ineligible play and that all schools have paid required royalties and secured the publisher’s permission to perform the play. Check also for original work to ensure that the school has secured permission to use any adapted material or staging and that the school has given appropriate credit as required in Handbook section 101-1-1.
6. Notify all participating schools that they must submit with their entry forms or in advance of taking the stage
necessary proof of permission to perform published scripts and adapted material.
7. All members of the cast and crew, as well as any person providing live music as part of the performance must meet
eligibility requirements. Adult directors’ participation at VHSL festivals must cease when timing begins and may
resume when timing ends; therefore, adult directors must not assist backstage or in the sound/light booth during the
performance. Adult directors may take part in pre-performance production meetings, set and strike. Ensure that
each participating school has submitted an MEL verifying the eligibility of every student appearing on stage
or as part of the technical crew. (Recorded music or accompaniment need not be created or performed by
8. Notify directors that if a play includes adult themes or content that may offend some viewers, notification is to be prepared by the director and included in the printed program. A play approved by the school principal may not be disqualified by a festival director or by a judge for inappropriate content.
9. Prepare a festival program. Using information contained on the entry forms, prepare a printed or photocopied program. Include the names of schools participating, the title, author, cast and publisher of each play, the time schedule, names of the critics and other officials. Unless special circumstances dictate otherwise, to ensure a fair assignment of program slots you should use either a rotation system approved by the conference/region or a random drawing open to all participants to determine the order of performance. The time schedule should be developed carefully; ten minutes should suffice for the interval between plays (five minutes for set, five minutes for strike).
10. Send an acknowledgment of entry, a program and instructions to each participating school. This information should be furnished as soon after the receipt of the entry form as possible. Give full details, and (if possible) supply a floor plan of the stage, showing dimensions.
11. Advertise the festival. Provide local newspapers with copy, and prepare and distribute posters and other advertising material. Conduct a publicity campaign; get a good audience for the festival.
12. Plan for an information and registration desk. In addition to the attendant at the information desk, a student host or hostess assigned to serve each cast will do much to ensure a hospitable reception and to promote friendly relationships throughout the festival.
13. Conference and Regional Directors who are considering charging admission to their festivals should first consider the cost of royalties to each participating school. Often the rate is higher for a play that is produced for profit versus an educational, competition performance. For-admission festivals also affect fair use of music. 14. ACCOMMODATIONS: The VHSL is committed to providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities at its academic tournaments. Any competing student requesting special accommodations must submit comprehensive, written information at least two weeks in advance of conference tournament to VHSL Assistant Director. This information must include (1) specific nature of disability as diagnosed by a qualified professional, (2) specific functional limitations of student and (3) accommodation requested as recommended by diagnosing professional. VHSL may provide the accommodation recommended, or such other accommodation as it deems reasonable to address the identified functional limitation. Any accommodations provided will be with the intent to provide an equal but not advantageous opportunity for student to compete and is not intended to alter the fundamental nature of the activity.
CONDUCT OF FESTIVAL 1. Provide the critic judges with a program, a score sheet and one evaluation form for each play in the festival. Ensure that they review the “Information for Theatre Festival Critic Judges” and “Suggestions for Theatre Festival Critics.” See that they are comfortably and advantageously seated in different parts of the theatre. They should not sit together. Provide flashlights if they need them. (A conference with your critics well in advance of the festival date plus meeting before the festival start will help to eliminate confusion. Emphasize the importance of independence in evaluating productions. Judges should not sit together or discuss the plays with each other prior to completing their evaluations and ranking/scoring. The competition director or other responsible person should join the judges during lunch and/or the evaluation period in order to verify that no discussion of the plays has taken place.)
2. Start the program promptly. Briefly welcome the audience and participants, introduce the critics, explain the
purpose of the festival and the general rules governing it, emphasize sportsmanship, explain how the plays will be
the auditorium during the progress of a play except in an emergency. Remind the audience to turn off all
electronics and explain that the first- and second- place plays will be eligible to participate in the Regional Theatre
Festival. Plays that finish first or second at the Regional Festival will advance to the State. Announce the date and
site of the Regional or State Festival.
3. After all plays have been given, each critic judge shall rank, score and rate productions without consulting with the other judges. The festival director shall then compile the cumulative results, using cumulative rank of the three highest evaluations as the basis for determining final results (lowest rank is best); cumulative scores are to be used only to break ties in cumulative rank (highest cumulative score is best among plays with same cumulative rank). Any ties which exist if cumulative ranks and scores are equal shall be broken in accordance with procedures established by the VHSL and each conference/region (see enclosed page describing VHSL procedures, and check with your conference/region chairman for those respective procedures). If there is a concern over the director manipulating the results to favor his/her own production, another coach should assist with tabulations and confirm the results. A play’s overall rating is the average of the judges’ three highest ratings. Ratings are used for information on the level of performance but are not used in determining the results.
THEATRE SCORING AND TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES
Principals and Coaches: Handbook references for Debate, Drama and Forensics events specify that no first-, second- or third-place ties shall exist in VHSL competition and we urge you to become familiar with these sections as well as other regulations governing your activity.
Special Note: Districts and regions are expected to establish additional tie-breaking methods to be employed if a tie still exists even after the procedures below are followed. Such additional methods could include, but are not limited to, (1) a judge’s ballot, (2) restage head-to-head competition and (3) coin flip or draw.
Independently and without conferring, judges shall rank each ensemble production 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., assigning Rank 1 to the best overall production, Rank 2 to the next best production, and so on, being careful to avoid any ties in ranking. They shall also assign each production a numerical score from 100-70. Fractions of points in either rank or score are not permitted. The relative numerical scores of the plays must be consistent with the relative ranking of the plays. The festival director will tabulate the results and prepare a cumulative score sheet. The first criterion for determining the order of finish is each production’s cumulative ranking based on the three best evaluations. The school with the lowest overall ranking is the first-place finisher, the next lowest ranking is second, etc. In the event of a tie in total ranking, the cumulative numerical scores based on the three best rank/score combinations of the tied productions will be compared, with the greatest score being the highest finisher and so on. The dropped ranks (first) and the dropped scores (second) would be reinserted as tiebreakers in the event there is a tie in rank and scores in the original tabulations. In the event there is still a tie, the judges shall confer to determine first and second places. Ratings are for information purposes and are not used in determining results. See Special Note above.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR Up to four individuals will be recognized and awarded medals for outstanding performances in a festival containing four schools, eight individuals for a festival containing eight schools. Judges, without consulting, should rank the top five individual acting performances from 5 to 1 in descending order (5 ranks 1st, 4 ranks 2nd, and so on). There must be no ties in ranking. If judges feel a sixth, seventh or eighth actor should be considered, he/she should list that person as an Honorable Mention. Honorable Mention acting will be recognized only if there are fewer than eight actors who receive top-five ranking points. The festival director will tabulate the results.
4. Invite the audience to remain for the oral critique session. Ask the judge(s) to critique each play. Point out that the other judges may add brief comments if they wish, but that the session should not become an argument among the critic judges.
5. Awards Assembly: After the oral critique is completed, announce the first- and second-place winners.
Conference Directors: Explain to the directors of first- and second-place plays that the Regional Festival entry form is found under theatre on the VHSL website (www.vhsl.org). Urge that it be prepared and submitted immediately in order to meet the established deadline. Make it clear that the announcement of eligible plays does not constitute an entry in the Regional Festival and that the official entry form must be submitted by the school. Send a copy of the Conference Director’s Report to the regional director.
Regional Directors: Give two copies of the State Entry Form to the directors of the first- and second-place plays
and explain that they must be submitted to the League office. Send the Regional Director’s Report to the League office.
6. Present the critics’ signed evaluation forms for each play to the respective schools.
7. Present a copy of the cumulative score sheet to each school.
NOTE: The last two duties (6, 7) are extremely important, because schools must have an opportunity to check the accuracy of results. All clerical and scoring errors must be corrected within 60 minutes of the announced results. A school that leaves the competition site before the review period is complete forfeits the right to appeal or correct results. Only one person from the school is required to stay for the review period, but that person must retain possession of any awards in the event that an error is found and awards have to be redistributed. Please make sure that all schools are aware of this policy when you announce the results.