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Contest Advancement Policy

National History Day in South Dakota Contest Advancement Policy 

This policy is current as of August 17, 2018 

The National History Day in South Dakota Contest Advancement Policy ensures that uniform advancement measures are in place that promote clarity and fairness across all levels of South Dakota National History Day contests. All participating NHD in SD entities are REQUIRED to follow this polity.  

School Level Contests 

  • Teachers may use school-level contests to determine which projects will compete a regional contest or as a non-eliminating practice competition. 

  • No more than 100 of your total number of students may attend the regional level contest. 

If your school has over 100 students submitting projects for competition, please consider holding a school-level contest to decide who shall compete at the regional contest level.  

NHD in SD can provide advice for managing a school contest. 

Regional Level Contests 

  • Any 6th-12th grade student must compete at their designated regional contest in order to be eligible for state-level competition.  

  • All contest locations will follow the same judging and advancement policy.  

  • Our policy is to advance the top three placing projects in each category and division.  

  • However, the decision as to which projects advance and which do not is still at the discretion of the judges. They may determine that not all placing projects may advance.  

  • Ribbon award color distinction is as follows: 

  • Blue Ribbon – 1st Place 

  • Red Ribbon – 2nd Place 

  • Green Ribbon – 3rd Place 

  • Note about contest attendance: We realize that conflicts may prevent a student from attending the regional contest. For group projects, at least one member of the group must be present to represent the project. 

State Level Contests 

  • 1st and 2nd place projects in the junior and senior divisions will advance to nationals (For example: The top two junior division individual exhibits or the top two senior division group documentaries).  

  • An honorable mention will be awarded to the 3rd place project in each category/division and that project will serve as an alternate in the event a 1st or 2nd place project cannot attend the national contest.  

  • However, the decision as to which projects advance and which do not is still at the discretion of the judges and they may determine that not all placing projects may advance. For example, if there is only one project in the category and they get a bronze. They do not automatically advance to the national competition. 

  • State Medals color distinction are as follows: 

  • Gold Medal – 1st Place 

  • Silver Medal – 2nd Place 

  • Bronze Medal – 3rd Place 

  • Note about contest attendance: We realize that conflicts may prevent a student from attending the state contest. For group projects, at least one member of the group must be present to represent the project. No alternate members may be added to the group at this level of the contest.  

  • For example: For group performances, if not all of the members are able to attend the state contest, the script must be re-written to accommodate the missing group members. Substitutes are not allowed. 

Final Round 

  • Some project categories may require an additional round of judging due to the number of projects in that category. This varies year to year. Not all categories will have a second or final round.  

  • If a category has second round, the top two projects from each first round judging group will advance to the final round. 

  • All documentary participants should bring a copy of their project to leave with judges in the event they advance to the final round.  

National Level Contests 

  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category in the junior and senior divisions are awarded. 

  • There are also numerous special prizes available. These typically have a monetary value. 

Final Round 

  • There are between 10-12 judging groups per category/division at the national level. One project from each judging group will advance to the final round.  

  • Documentary and performance finalists must return for the final round to show their projects, but they will not interview again.

  • Exhibit, website and paper finalists are not announced to the public during the national contest.  

Questions regarding the National History Day in South Dakota Contest Advancement Policy can be directed to the National History Day in South Dakota Committee at gwen.mccausland@sdstate.edu