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University of Texas at Austin
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Speech & Debate
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Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

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State Champions

Documentation Ruling: Electronic Devices

Using Kindle, NOOK, iPad, Smart Phones and other Electronic Retrieval Devices for Documentation Purposes

Question: May I show the contest director my documentation on my e-reader or tablet rather than printing the documentation?

Answer: No. This would not meet the constitutional requirements.

The UIL Constitution & Contest Rules, section 1006 (Poetry Interpretation) and section 1007 (Prose Interpretation) state acceptable documentation is "a photocopy or online printout…"

The Constitution also states that if the selection is from a literary collection, the contestant "shall supply the original source or a photocopy of the table of contents….."  

Additional references in the C&CR designate that documentation shall be in hard copy:

“If an online source is used for documentation, contestants shall print the page of the site from which the documentation was retrieved.”

 "Contestants shall print the page…."  

"Printouts shall include the URL…"

Therefore, the current contest rules do not allow computer tablets, Kindle, Nook, smart phones or other electronic retrieval devices as a means of showing documentation.

There is still no mandate in UIL that schools must purchase the original source so contestants are not required to carry stacks of books to the contest.

If you can access the documentation on an electronic retrieval device, take one more step and simply print out from a computer the hard copy of the documentation required in order to meet contest requirements.

Note: Coaches who serve on the state advisory committee have studied this issue. Among the problems raised by approving the use of electronic retrieval devices for documentation purposes is being able to definitively prove that a book is published in hard copy as required by contest rules, rather than simply being an "e-book". Another issue arises because districts and regional sites are now requiring documentation to be submitted for approval prior to the League-qualifying meet.