The form employed by the Timers in a Speech Contest, whereby the time for each contestant is recorded.
The form has two parts, the top is the Record Sheet, the bottom the Instructions.
The “Time Record Sheet” consists of, for each contestant, the name, and the speech length, given in minutes and seconds.
The “Instructions for Timers” synopsize of those portions of the Speech Contest Rules that govern the Timers, namely that:
- Two Timers are appointed. (This is the case for speech contests at all levels.)
- The Chief Judge briefs the Timers in the Pre-Contest Briefing.
- The Timers number among those entitled to interrupt the announcement of contest winners if they believe it is being done incorrectly.
- The job of the Timers is to display the correct warning signal to the speaker (to whom it should be clearly visible, but not obvious to the audience) at the proper times (depending on the particular speech contest involved).
- The rules specify that the red timing signal is to remain displayed until the speech is ended and that no audible device is to be used to signal the end of the grace period.
- The Timers are also to record the speech time for each contestant, noting whether the speech duration exceeded the grace period.
- Five timing marks are utilized by the Timers. Their value depends on which type of speech contest is at hand and are specified as follows:
|International||Humorous||Tall Tales||Evaluation||Table Topics|
- A speech shorter than the Short time or longer than the Long time is disqualified. The Timer is to mark (“circle”) such a speech on the timing record.
- The green warning signal is shown at the Green time, the Amber signal replacing it at the Amber time, and the Red replacing it in turn at the Red time, with the latter signal remaining displayed until the end of the speech.
- A speech is considered to have begun at the first communication (whether verbal or non-verbal) the speaker addresses to the audience. The rules explicitly say that this would include such things as a sound effect, a staged act by another person.
- The rules provide for signals used in case of a visually impaired contestant, q.v.
- Furthermore, in event of a technical failure of the signal, an extra 30 seconds is allowed to the speaker before the end of the grace period.
- The interval between the Short and the Green is, in effect, the starting grace period; that between the Red and Long is the ending grace period. With the exception of the Table Topics contest, there is a 30-second grace period at the start and end of a speech.
- The Amber signal is displayed halfway between the Green and Red signals.
- In the case of the Table Topics contest, there is no grace period at the start of the speech: the Short and Green marks coincide.
- Although the speech contest rules do not put this construction on things, the Table Topics speech is effectively a 1- to 2-minute speech. (The rules call it a 2-minute speech, but this does not at all explain the time specified for the Green signal.)
- It would seem more logical to call the Table Topics speech a 1:30–2:00 minute speech with a 30-second grace at the beginning and the end. In this construction, the Short, Red, and Long marks would remain as they currently stand, but the Green mark would be at 1:30, and the Amber at 1:45.