Policies and Guidelines


The IHSSA Constitution is the intellectual property of the IHSSA, published by the IOWA SCHOOL SPEECH ASSOCIATION, 5000 Westown Parkway, Suite 150, West Des Moines, IA 50266. 

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No part of the IHSSA Constitution may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the expressed written permission of IHSSA. The scanning, uploading and distribution of the IHSSA Constitutin via the internet or via any other means without prior permission of the IHSSA is not permissible.

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Name - Membership - Districts

Section 1. This Association will be known as the Iowa High School Speech Association and will consist of all Secondary Schools in the State which will have paid annual dues to the Executive Director according to the following schedule: if paid by November 15, dues will be $50.00; if paid after November 15, dues will be $65.00. Junior High (9th) Membership will remain at $25.00. No members will be accepted after December 1. (Revised 1993)

Section 2. The Iowa High School Speech Association will be divided into four districts by two lines following county boundaries as follows: The Northern boundary of Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Greene, Boone, Story, Marshall, Tama, Benton, Linn, Jones and Jackson will form the Southern boundary of the Northeast and Northwest districts. The Western boundary of Worth, Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hardin, Marshall, Jasper, Marion, Lucas, and Wayne counties will form the Western boundary of the Northeast and Southeast districts. (Revised 1966-67)


Object - Scope

Section 1. The object of the Association is to promote speech training in the secondary schools of Iowa, and to arrange annually for a series of State Contests to motivate any field of speech in which two or more schools desire to compete, and to do all the foregoing exclusively for charitable or educational purpose.

Section 2. To further this purpose, the By-Laws of the Association will specify rules, ballot forms, timers' cards, and other data necessary and convenient for the orderly conduct of contestants in the following fields of speech: 1. Public Address, 2. Acting, 3. Interpretive Reading - Poetry, 4. Interpretive Reading - Prose, 5. Literary Program, 6. Original Oratory, 7. Extemporaneous Speaking, 8. Radio News Announcing, 9. Expository Address, 10. Storytelling, 11. Improvisation, 12. Reviewing, 13. After Dinner Speaking, 14. One-Act Plays, 15. Readers Theatre, 16. Choral Reading, 17. Ensemble Acting, 18. Group Mime, 19. Solo Mime, 20. Television Newscasting, 21. Group Improvisation, 22. Debate, 23. Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 24. Student Congress. Such rules and forms must be adhered to in conducting contests in these respective fields until changed or amended as provided for in this Constitution and By-Laws. (Revised 1994)

Section 3. Proposals for new events must be presented to the Executive Committee and Advisory Council at the annual June meeting. Events approved by the Executive Committee must be demostrated at the IHSSA Coaches Convention in the Fall and the new event(s) will be considered as experimental in nature the first year with the events being tried in one or more districts. These event(s) would not qualify for consideration of All-State Nominations. Final approval or disapproval of the event will be determined by the Executive Committee in the following year June meeting. (Revised 6-97)

Section 4. No substantial part of the activities of the Association will be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and the Association will not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Section 5. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the Association shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an association exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by an association, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).


The Advisory Council

Section 1. The annual meeting of the Advisory Council and the Executive Committee of the Iowa High School Speech Association will be held prior to June 30 of each year following the State Speech Contest. Special meetings may be called at the direction of the President of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Advisory Council will be composed of the three executive officers from each of the four districts.

Section 3. The Executive Committee and the Advisory Council will consider reports of contests, proposed amendments, and contest procedure and will elect officers and act upon other matters that may properly come before them.

ARTICLE IV (Revised 1976)

State and District Executive Committees

Section 1. The State Executive Committee will consist of five members, each serving a four year term. A committee member, first elected or appointed after 1986, may be eligible for two re-election(s). This shall apply where initial appointment was to fill a vacancy as well as for an elected full term. Eligibility may not be re-acquired after end of the third term. The member-at-large will be elected in 1963 as a regularly qualified teacher of speech and who is engaged as a coach or teacher of speech activities. The members will be elected as follows: one from Northwest District, 1989, 1993, 1997; Southeast District, 1986, 1990, 1994; Northeast District, 1987, 1991, 1995; Southwest District, 1988, 1992, 1996; Member at Large, 1987, 1991, 1995. Subsequent elections will follow this order of rotation. The Executive Committee shall have as its President that member whose term of office is expiring at the close of the current year; A Vice President whose term will expire one year later and a Secretary-Treasurer whose term expires two years later. Terms of the office will begin November 1 following the election.

Section 2.

   Clause 1. Each district will be represented on the State Executive Committee by means of a district wide mail referendum through both nomination and final ballot procedures. Nominations for candidates for membership on the State Executive Committee will be made by mail on a form supplied from the office of the Executive Director. Each candidate receiving a total of three votes or more will have his/her name placed on the final ballot unless some one candidate receives a majority vote from all member schools on the nomination ballot, in which case the candidate will be declared elected. (Revised 1980)

   Clause 2. Nominations for the candidates for the member-at-large will be made by mail on a form supplied by the office of the Executive Director.

   Clause 3. The members of the Executive Committee elected from each district must be a Superintendent or a Principal. The member-at-large must be a qualified teacher of speech actively engaged in teaching or coaching speech. Nomination forms will be sent before September 15 of the year of the Executive Member's term expires, and the final ballot will be mailed by October 15 of that same year.

Section 3. The officers of the several District Associations will be President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. These officers will constitute the Executive Committee of their respective districts. They will serve three years. The one serving the first year will be the Secretary, the one serving the second year will be the Vice President, the one serving the third year being President. These officers must be speech, drama, debate or an active speech coach. The nomination of above officers must be made by a speech teacher or coach of an Iowa High School Speech Association member school. There will be one vote per membership. Candidates for secretary or any vacant office of a district will be nominated at the spring district meeting and ballots will be sent to all schools in the district. The new slate of officers will take office at the June Advisory Meeting. The Executive Committee will appoint a replacement for any vacant district office to serve until the following spring meeting at which time the district will conduct its regular nomination procedure. (Revised 1980)

Section 4. Should any vacancy occur on the State Executive Committee, the State Executive Committee will have power to fill such vacancy. (8-71)

Section 5. The State Executive Committee will appoint an executive director who will serve under terms and conditions established by the Executive Committee.


Duties of Executive Committees - Calendar

Location of District Contests

Section 1. In both the State and the District Associations, the duties of the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary-Treasurer will be such as usually pertain to these offices.

Section 2. The State Executive Committee will have general management of all contests and finances of the Association.

Section 3. The State and District Executive Committees will be responsible for application to the various contests in all speech fields under their respective jurisdiction rules and regulations as set forth in the By-Laws of the Constitution.

Section 4. The calendar for all contests shall be determined each year by the State Executive Committee acting in conjunction with the Unified Iowa High School Activities Federation. (No contest will be held before the week of January 15.)

Section 5. The District Secretary will locate all district contests held within the district except the State Contest. The place for holding the State Contest for any year will be determined the preceding year at the Annual Meeting of each District Association. The Superintendent of Schools or his delegated agent in the place of entertaining the State Contest will be the manager of the State Contest.

Section 6. The District Executive Committee will arrange for an Annual Meeting of the District, and be responsible for notifying member schools within the district of business matters to come before the Annual Meeting.


Duties of the State Executive Director

Section 1. Each year the State Executive Director will send to all secondary schools in the state a printed or mimeographed report including: (a) State series contest dates for the current year, (b) An enrollment card, (c) Any other information which he/she deems worthwhile for the success of the Association. 8-71

Section 2. During September each year or earlier, he/she will directly or through the district secretaries solicit the cooperation of member schools of the preceding year to increase the membership of the Association by contacting nearby non-member schools.

Section 3. The State Administrative Office will send to the constituency a designation of contest sites and member schools assigned thereto. (8-71)

Section 4. He/she will keep a record of the proceedings of the annual meeting of the Advisory Council.

Section 5. He/she will be the custodian of the funds of the Association, will pay all legitimate expenses incurred under the provisions of this Constitution out of the Association funds approved by the Executive Committee, and will turn over to his/her successor, when duly elected, all funds, books and records belonging to the Association.

Section 6. He/she will hire a reputable firm to make an audit of the finances of the State Association for each fiscal year.


Receipts - Expenses - Funds

Section 1. The revenues of the State Association will include the net receipts of the contests, all membership dues, and any other monies which may be allotted to the Association.

Section 2. The sum of $75.00 will be allowed for the District Secretaries for clerical help and other expenses.

Section 3. All other money in the hands of the State Executive Director will be retained on deposit as assets of the Association to be used as the Association will determine as the best method to further speech activities.

Section 4. Immediately following the district contests, the local manager of each will make a financial report of his/her contest to the State Director. (8-71) The net receipts of each of these contests will be retained by the school entertaining that contest.

Section 5. Immediately following the State Contest, the Manager of the State Contest will make a financial report to the State Executive Director. (8-71)

Section 6. No part of the net earnings of the Association will enure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, any private individual except that the Association will be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the objective set forth in Article II hereof.

Section 7. Upon the dissolution of the Association, the State Executive Committee will, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Association, dispose of all of the assets of the Association exclusively for the purposes of the Association in such manner, or to such organization or organization organized or operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as will at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the State Executive Committee will determine. Any of such assets not so disposed of by the Circuit Court of the county in which the principal office of the Association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.



Suitable awards may be given to winners in the State Contest. (8-77)



Amendments to the Constitution presented after the Annual Meeting, November 3, 1950, must be approved by the member schools by mail vote by a majority of votes cast. Such amendments may be proposed by a petition filed by 25 member school superintendents or their delegated authority; or by the State Executive Committee.



The State Executive Committee will have authority to decide all questions nor clearly provided for in this Constitution and these By-Laws.

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