Contest Manager Certification

Certification Details

Upcoming Contest Manager certification opportunities:

Live Contest Manager Certification Training: Panola College, Carthage, TX – November 30, 2022
Live Contest Manager Certification Training: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX – March 30 & 31, 2023

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