Official Rules

  1. The contest will be held in preliminary round(s) by state societies and/or chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution to select one winner from each participating state. In districts where no state society sponsors an entrant, a district entry is permitted. Each participating state society or district should provide information regarding the contest to senior high school, parochial, private and home-schooled speech and/or history teachers and principals or counselors as early as possible.
  2. The contest is open to all students of the sophomore, junior and senior classes in the public, parochial, private and home schools within the jurisdiction of the sponsoring state society or district.
  3. The oration must be original of not less than five minutes or more than six minutes. The subject shall deal with an event, personality, or document pertaining to the Revolutionary War and show a relationship to America today. The oration must be essentially the same as the submitted manuscript. Notes and props (including military uniforms) may not be used in the presentation.
  4. The state society or district establishes the date and deadlines for its contest allowing adequate time to submit its winner as an entrant in the national competition. Before the chapter winner competes in the state contest, a copy of the oration, a photograph and biographical sketch of the entrant, and the completed necessary forms will be sent by the Chapter Chairman to the State Chairman.
  5. At Congress the NSSAR will furnish awards and give recognition to all orators who participate in the national preliminary and final contests.
  6. Expenses involving lodging, meals, and transportation to, at, and from the NSSAR Congress may be borne by the sponsoring state society or district. Chaperon for the entrant may be provided by the state society or district.
  7. During the presentation of orations at chapter, state-district, or national contest, no applause is permitted until all orators have finished speaking
  8. During the contest, no private videotaping or flash picture taking will be allowed.
  9. By action of the 1985 Congress, all judges in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest must be members of the SAR. The judges will select the winners by the following criteria: A. Composition; B. Delivery; C. Significance; D. History; E. General Excellence and F. Time allocated for delivery.
  10. The contestants must agree that the interpretation of rules and the decisions of the NSSAR and its judges shall govern without reservation.
  11. The first place winner at the national level of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest may not compete in its future competitions.
  12. The first place National winner is expected to attend the youth awards luncheon the day after the final competition.