Below are the rubrics used for both state and regional contests to score entries and identify winners. We hope these are helpful in guiding your students toward award-winning and solid journalism. While the checkmark criteria weigh into our judges decisions, they are not the entirety of the possible criteria for a well-written story, effective design and so on.
- Contest A: Copyediting
- Contest B: Sports Writing
- Contest C: Editorial Cartoon
- Contest D: Yearbook Copy
- Contest E: Feature Writing
- Contest F: News Writing
- Contest G: Cutline Writing
- Contest H: Editorial Writing
- Contest I: Yearbook Sports Writing
- Contest J: Academics Photography
- Contest K: Advertising
- Contest L: Headline Writing and Design
- Contest M: Infographics
- Contest N: News Page Design
- Contest O: Photo Illustration
- Contest P: Sports Photography
- Contest Q: Student Life Photography
- Contest R: Yearbook Layout
- Contest S: Yearbook Theme & Graphics
Inclement Weather Policy
The KSPA Board of Directors passed an inclement weather policy for regional contests, making it easier for schools to compete in regionals if their district forces them to stay home because of bad weather.
The full policy reinforces the organization’s desire to make on-site regional contests a hallmark of the organization, but it also recognizes that occasional bad weather — bad enough to shut down a school and/or district — shouldn’t limit student-journalists’ ability to compete at regional contests. It also addresses concerns raised by several schools that, in the past four years, have been unable to compete on-site because of blizzards, ice storms and other weather-related travel problems.
Under the policy, schools must make every attempt to attend the regional contest to which they are assigned. (Please see regional assignment document.) However, if a district official prohibits travel to a contest site because of snow and/or ice on the roads, the policy outlines a procedure by which students may compete at their school under strict guidelines. This policy covers only the on-site contests. If a school anticipates that bad weather may force it to bypass travel to its regional, the adviser is responsible for getting carry-in contest entries to the regional contest coordinator on the day of the contest. Please read the full policy for specific details.
Delayed Judging Necessary
Because contest coordinators at KU, KSU, PSU, WSU, ESU and FHSU can no longer guarantee that all schools will compete on the day of the contest, they will have to delay judging to accommodate any schools that can’t make it to their site. Often, the most difficult part of contest coordination is finding enough judges to meet all at once, in one space. Further, coordinators have to arrange for the space and judges weeks, if not months, in advance. Thus, all judging will be done within two weeks of the end of the contests (possibly earlier), and not on the day of the contest.
The Board’s action — deliberated at the Dec. 10, 2012, winter meeting at Wichita State University, then passed Tuesday via an electronic vote — had been an agenda item since August, when the Board first proposed it. Board members then discussed the policy with members at meetings during the KSPA Fall Conferences in Lawrence, Hays and Manhattan, and again with each other Saturday and through the weekend. Prior to this year, the board has discussed regional contest issues — weather-related and other — at every meeting for at least the past five years.