Contest Manager Certification

Certification Details

Upcoming Contest Manager certification opportunities:

Contest Manager Training Session #2:

Dates/Location:                Friday, December 8, 2023

                                                8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


                                                Seminole Performing Arts Center

                                                2100 NW Ave D

                                                Seminole, TX




To be considered, all applicants must do the following:


  1. Go to and read the “TTAO Core Values” and also scroll down to read “TTAO’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”


  1. Go to and watch TTAO’s introductory video on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training.

Registration application HERE.

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  TTAO will accept applications until Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to apply early during the application period. Applicants will be notified by Thursday, November 30, 2023 if they have been selected.


NOTE: Please read eligibility requirements carefully. All participants are encouraged to secure hotel as needed, upon acceptance.


WORKING SCHEDULE:  Participants should plan to arrive on site by 8:00 a.m. and remain throughout the duration of the contest.


ELIGIBILITY REQUIRMENTS:  This training is for anyone seeking to become a TTAO Certified Contest Manager.


FEES:  There is no fee for the workshop; however, following the workshop, new Contest Managers will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to be added to the list of Contest Managers (unless you are already a member of the organization). New CMs must also complete an online bio to finalize their eligibility. Questions may be directed to Larry Carpenter at




Q:  Can I miss part of the workshop and still certify?

A:  No. You must attend all parts of the certification workshop to certify. No exceptions.


Q:  Who is eligible to certify?

A:  Anyone who is or will be a Contest Manager for a UIL One-Act Play contest.


Q:  How much does it cost?

A:  There is no fee for the workshop; however, following the workshop, new Contest Managers will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to be added to the list of Contest Managers (unless you are already a member of the organization).


Q:  I can’t attend this workshop—are there other opportunities?

A:  Yes, TTAO generally holds 2-3 certification workshops each year. Check and the Facebook pages for more information.


Here is the link to the registration application:


For questions please contact Larry Carpenter, Contest Manager Trainer, at


Pre-Contest Planning

Start gathering information – this should be done as soon as you can once you are hired as the CM.

  1. Keep a folder or a notebook for each contest so you can remember! Trust me, it gets confusing & you will need do it for each contest
    1. For example, keep a folder with “Date, Contest info on tab” (April 1, Area 1, 3A.) Some people use a 3-ring notebook for each contest. Or maybe all of them in one 3 ring binder. Whatever works for you!
  2. Know which school(s) are in charge of hosting the contest?
  3. The Director’s Planning Meeting (Note: this meeting can happen anytime- end of year or during summer, but you can’t draw for order until Aug 15 or after)
    1. Are you as Contest Manager expected to attend the District Planning Meeting?
    2. Will the directors create a list of preferred judges?
    3. What other contest details need to be discussed?
    4. What are the dates of rehearsals and performances
    5. How long for each rehearsal? (rules regarding during school day)
    6. Are performances “Back to back” or “on the hour” ?
    7. Draw for performance order and set rehearsal order (Rehearsal order based on performance order? on distance?)
  4. Gather a list of names of schools, directors, contact info (emails and cell phones)
  5. Personnel and Money:
    1. Set up the contest and invite judges by using the TTAO Connect Website
      1. Reminder that for district and zone panels, you initially secure only the acting awards judge. You need to wait until Nov. 2 to secure the other two.
    2. Who has the checkbook to pay judges, you, hotels, meals, crew?
      1. Suggested for judges: $75 per play
      2. CM fee: suggested $500 per day
      3. Other crew and personnel…volunteers? Fees?
    3. Who orders and pays for the awards needed?
      1. 8 all-star, 8 Hon mention, 2 Outstanding Performers, 3 advancing plaque or trophy, maybe 1 alternate plaque.
      2. Tech awards?
    4. Who delivers the awards to the contest?
    5. Fee for judges and fee for CM and fee for any other contest personnel such as Backstage Head (Tech director) and/or crew, timers.
    6. Cost of using facility? Host school deal with this? Janitors, rules about food, etc.
    7. Who responsible for creating and printing programs?
    8. Is there a cost for audience admission? Host school in charge of that or you?

The above information can be downloaded here

Director Deadlines Reminder Email

This template contains some things you might send out to the directors for the contest you are doing (this example assumes it is for a Zone Contest).

An example template can be downloaded here