·      You must inform your local District/State Contest Manager you are doing a virtual contest at your local school. You must also notify them of what other schools will be a part of this contest. An unlimited number of other schools may participate in the virtual contest format.

·      Schools can elect to participate in synchronous and asynchronous virtual competitions. 

·      Synchronous - Virtual competition occurs at the same time as in a live event where teams log in to perform at a specified time. 

·      Asynchronous - Virtual competition occurs where performances are pre-recorded and submitted at a specified time. 

·      Performances that are recorded or live streamed should take place in a large space such as a gym or theatre space. The indoor space being used must first be cleared with the proper administration. Cleaning procedures must be followed per CDC guidance. Occupancy in each center should be limited to ½ hour.  Consider switching from one larger room to another after each ½ hour of time in a performance space to allow for effective cleaning procedures.

·      Coaches are encouraged to select versatile material that allows for recording of a videoconference performance and/or material that allows for physical distancing in-person.  Coaches should consult publishers regarding copyright permissions for online streaming for purposes of adjudication in case the contest must instead go completely virtual.

·      We ask that you use a private invite and room for the virtual contest. Online platforms may include but are not limited to:   Zoom, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, NSDA Campus, Yaatly, Jitsi, 8x8, Big Marker, DropBox, and/or Google Drive. Hybrids of both synchronous and asynchronous competitions may also occur.  Only the performer (s), coach (s) and the judge (s) are allowed in the virtual performance room at the time of the performance. NO SOCIAL GATHERING WITH THE VIRTUAL CONTEST IS ALLOWED.

·      A recording can NEVER BE MADE of the virtual performance. YOU MUST TURN OFF THE RECORDING OPTION per agreements with the companies that are allowing this to happen. Never invite participants via social media. Set up a schedule for the virtual contest and then e-mail that schedule to the participants. Send the schedule via a secure format that your school approves.

·      Performance can also be done by the students being in separate rooms and the video being presented live to the judge virtually using the virtual format of many performers on the screen for the performance.

·      Facemasks or face coverings are encouraged for ALL students, coaches, judges, and spectators. Per Governor mandate of Nov. 10th they are required.

·      The event may be recorded and then presented to the judge in a virtual format using the local virtual portal.

·      If a performance is recorded, said performance or event must be recorded in one setting. Editing of materials in events that do not have that as a part of their event is not permitted.  Exceptions to this are: Radio Broadcasting, Short Film, and Television Newscasting. 

·      A one-camera format must be used for live or recorded virtual events usage. Video should not be edited, cut, or altered in any way.  Multiple videos and camera angles cannot be edited together.  No sound editing can occur.   Entries must be one unedited recording from start to finish. No special effects can be added.

·      You may NOT use more than one camera for the virtual performance unless you are doing one of the events that allows several cameras for performance. Multiple cameras and video editing are only allowed in Short Film and Television Newscasting. No post-production editing is allowed in events that do not specify it.

·      Signs should be posted prominently indicating no one should attend or participate in contest if they currently have symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.

·      Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above or other signs of illness shall not be allowed to participate.  Temperatures should be checked before coming to the event.

·      Anyone with symptoms of illness will not be allowed to perform.

·      A clear plan should be in place if someone is or becomes sick.  Students (through consultation with their parents/guardians) should be referred to their health care provider. Public health officials should be notified.

·      Coaches should be knowledgeable of their students with pre-existing health conditions and work with school health officials to take additional precautions as needed.

·      Coaches are encouraged to include messages about behaviors that help reduce the spread of COVID-19 when communicating with students and parents/guardians.

·      A list of all participating individuals should be kept for contest so that if an issue arises contact tracing can be facilitated through the IDPH.

·      Confidentiality in the reports of any staff or student COVID-19 illness should be maintained. Contact your local administration and public health agency directly to report COVID-19 exposure.

·      Contests may be streamed given the appropriate licenses have been obtained.  Schools may use their preferred streaming service.  It is the responsibility of each individual school to secure all appropriate copyrights and pay all royalties necessary for streaming and performing.  The IHSSA is not responsible for copyright or royalties of competing schools. 




·      Each coach must register and enter their events and students on the IHSSA website.

·      The local sites will find and pay the certified IHSSA judge for their local virtual contest.  Entry fee for the contest will be reduced to ½ of the total if you are hiring the judge.  If you are not hiring the judge and participate at the contest site, you will pay the full entry fee.

·      Each virtual local contest will hire their own judge (s). All judges must be certified through IHSSA certified training. Each site will send in their judge (s) listing to the District/State Contest Manager. Clear communication about the contest format and the protocols should be sent to judges in advance of the contest. Only 1 judge for District contest including 1-Act play and 3 judges need to be used for state.

·      A judges meeting video will be available for the local site to show their judge(s). This will be posted on the IHSSA web site.

·      Ballots and comment sheets should be prepared ahead of time for each judge and that packet will be given to the judge before the entire contest begins.  This packet should be sanitized before it is given to the judge.  No comment sheet will ever be handed from the performer to the coach and then to the judge.  Those procedures should all be done in advance.

·      If the judge (s) adjudicate virtually (remotely from home) the host may conduct a virtual meeting to review the contest protocols.  Materials will be sent to the judge (s) electronically by the host school.

·      Judges will access the videos from the platform indicated by the host school.

·      All drawing events materials will be sent to the District and the State Contest Managers. In turn, your local contest site will request those draws and they will be sent to you for your local site presentation.

·      Unless otherwise indicated, judges will adjudicate as typically done at a contest.

·      Timing of the event will not include any time it takes to set up or to show the event. If tech issues arise, this will not count towards timing.  Timing is only the actual performance of the event.

·      District and State results for events should be reported to the original Contest Manager and contest site you are assigned to by the State IHSSA Office.

·      All-State nomination ballots (from State Contest) should be in that same packet of materials given to the judge before the contest day begins.  The judge should send the All-State nominations to the IHSSA State Office after that contest event.



·      DO determine technology needs.  Use electronic devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, cell phone, etc.) to establish a baseline.  Secure a strong internet connection. 

·      DO test the technology. Test the technology more than once. Problems can arise because of mistakes such as forgetting to plug in the computer the night before. Test everything. If there is an issue that occurs right before competition, it is best to have it resolved early. If you have backup technology, you may also want to test that. If a computer dies, but you know how to use another device, a student may be able to keep going.

·      Don’t use consumer-grade software or subscription plans. Use what your school has selected for their distance learning.

·      Don’t share links to a make-up contest via social media. Invite the attendees via email or via a secure format your local school has approved for communication with your students.