The Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) Is an event some were worried may not occur this year due to COVID. Thankfully it is and many students, teachers, and coaches alike are excited for this event to continue on.

The IHSSA consists of member high schools from four districts in Iowa, United States, and offers three categories of competition: debate, large group, and individual events.

This weekend, January 23rd will be hosting the large group speech, where 487 member schools and 40,000 students will compete.

Districts is just the first step for a group to make it to All State.


At the end of each of the three contests. To get to the all-state speech tournament, one must first proceed from the district and state tournaments. At district for speech, there is one judge (except for One Act Play, which has 3 judges) who issues ratings and every team or individual who receives a "I" goes on. At State (there are four "state" tournaments) there are three judges, and two out of three must not only give a "I" rating, but also give a recommendation.

Some events include, 'One act', 'Improv', 'Readers Theater', 'Musical theater', and many more. My personal favorite is one I've helped coach before, 'Radio Broadcasting'. While it is very different from actual radio this event is a great first step for kids interested in radio. All events truly help take a step to goals of creating in the future.

As a student I did countless speech events. Some I loved, and some I hated, but as an adult I can see how much it helped me grow as a person. If you have a child or loved one in speech this year wish them luck. More information can be found here. 

If you are in an event this year, stay safe and break a leg! -JT

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