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Avoid Speech Overtime Penalties

Fourteen seconds of grace… but for whom?

Most speech competitors have refined their speeches and finish on time. However, some speeches still go slightly over time and earn a penalty.

Who is that 14-second grace period for? It’s for the judge, not the competitor! The grace period is not additional speaking time. Rather, it is for factors beyond your control. For example, the head judge may be so enamored with your speech, clapping and cheering, and fails to stop the timer when the speech is over. The grace period will accommodate that delay. If, however, you have already consumed part of that grace period by exceeding the maximum time limit, and then the judge fails to stop the timer, you have truly earned an overtime penalty because you went over time. Please do not ask the judges to alter or adjust your recorded speech time. They simply cannot and should not.

Remember, all events have a maximum time limit. Exceeding that time limit by 15 seconds or more results in a one rank penalty. 14 seconds over time = no penalty. 15 seconds or more = a penalty.

Your Stoa Speech Committee


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