Rules for the Regional Citizen Bee Competition


ELIGIBILITY

All students, grades 9-12 registered through a sponsor with regional coordinator.

COMPETITION CATEGORIES ON WEBSITE
Students prepare for all levels of competition by utilizing The Texas Citizen Bee Study Guide, www.citizenbee.org. This is the final authority for all written and oral questions at the regional and state competitions. This website contains content on the following topics:

  • The Constitution
  • Documents and Supreme Court Cases
  • People
  • Civic Values and Skills (ONLY TESTED IN THE WRITTEN PORTION OF THE CONTEST)
  • Current Events (SEE TOPICS AND RANGE OF DATES COVERED BELOW AND ONLY TESTED IN THE WRITTEN PORTION OF THE CONTEST)


CURRENT EVENTS

Texas Citizen Bee questions in the Current Events category will be based on a number of sources. There are no Study Guide entries for this category. For the Texas Citizen Bee Regional Competition Current Events portion of the Bee, study the following:

  • National and world headline news stories from September 1, 2019 through February 17, 2020
  • Major actions of Congress from September 1, 2019 to February 17, 2020
  • Newsworthy stories related to the President of the United States
  • The two U.S. Senators from Texas
  • Current Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Major U.S. Supreme Court cases from the 2018-2019 term of the Court and upcoming cases from the 2019-2020 term of the Court
  • Names of the heads of “the big four” Cabinet departments: State, Defense, Justice, and Treasury
  • Major stories concerning the “big four” Cabinet departments
  • Major leaders in both houses of the U.S. Congress for 2019 and 2020
  • National and Texas elections and politics for 2019 and 2020

The written test and questions for the oral rounds will be provided by the Law-Related Education Department. All participants compete on a 35 QUESTION multiple-choice test administered by the contest proctor. They have a total of twenty minutes to complete the exam. The proctor can admit late arrivals to the written exam, but must collect their papers at the same time as the other students. Students who arrive late may not make up missed time. Students will be allowed to see their multiple-choice test once the oral round is complete and under the supervision of a contest official. Students will not be allowed to take the test from the competition site.

Following the written test, all students then participate in THREE oral rounds. The three rounds are based on questions from the following categories in the Texas Citizen Bee Study Guide:  People, Documents and Supreme Court Cases, and the Constitution). The Civic Values and Skills and Current Events categories are not part of the oral rounds.   Students have 60 seconds to give a substantive answer. The time starts as soon as the question has been read. Contestants may request that the moderator re-read all or part of a question or spell a word, but this is part of the 60 seconds.   

Students must listen carefully to the oral questions. If the moderator asks for a student to give the name of a person, they must give the full name as it is cited in the Texas Citizen Bee Study Guide (website or the PDF copy) for the answer to be correct.   The citations in the guide sometimes include middle names, initials of middle names, or surnames for clarity. Examples include the following: if the answer is “John Quincy Adams,” “Adams” or “John Adams” would both be incorrect as it is John Quincy Adams in the guide; if the answer is “John F. Kennedy,” JFK or Kennedy would not be correct.  Students will not be asked the name of a Supreme Court case in the oral round but will be asked questions related to the content of the case. Students must speak loudly and clearly into the microphone. Judges CANNOT ask students to repeat or clarify an answer. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer.

During the oral rounds, if a student must leave the contest area for any reason, he or she must see the competition coordinator. There is to be NO TALKING OTHER THAN INTO THE MICROPHONE WHEN ANSWERING A QUESTION DURING THE ORAL ROUNDS.


Appeal Procedure for the Oral Round

For an appeal based on an oral question. Only a contestant may lodge an appeal, and only on an answer he or she has given. Appeals must be filed with the appeal judge after the judges’ decision on his/her answer. Contestants forfeit their right to appeal if they do not proceed directly to the designated appeal area from their seat or the stage, or if they communicate with anyone prior to filing the appeal. Contestants complete an appeal form and give it to the appeal judge. The appeal judge decides whether an oral appeal warrants review by the panel of voting judges. If the appeal is denied, the form is returned to the contestant with an explanation. If the appeal warrants review, it is presented to the panel of voting judges. The contestant remains in the appeal area until the judges reach a decision. During the oral rounds, the judges call a time-out to discuss an appeal. The judges decide the outcome of an appeal before the affected contestant’s next turn in the following round.

Appeals based on the written component are not allowed. As previously stated, students will be allowed to review their written test to ensure that it was graded correctly and to note the correct answers before the end of the competition.

NO REFERENCE MATERIAL OR ELECTRONIC RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS MAY BE USED DURING THE WRITTEN AND ORAL ROUNDS OF THE COMPETITION. 

Audio /Video Taping and Pictures. No audio or video taping or still pictures will be allowed during the regional or state competitions, with the exception of taping done and pictures taken by competition organizers.

Tiebreakers for the Competition

The judges and scorekeeper use the following procedures to resolve ties in award-winning places, or to determine who advances.

Step 1—Overall Written

The student with the higher score in the overall written component is declared the winner. If the tie remains, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2—Constitution Section

The student with the higher score in the Constitution section of the written component is declared the winner. If a tie remains, the judges proceed to Step 3.

Step 3—Documents and Supreme Court Cases Section

The student with the higher score in the Documents and Supreme Court cases section of the written component is declared the winner. If a tie remains, the judges proceed to Step 4.

Step 4—People Section

The student with the higher score in the People section of the written component is declared the winner. If a tie remains, the judges proceed to Step 5.

Step 5—Head to Head Competition

The students who are tied, return to the oral rounds in a head to head competition to break the tie.  Students will draw for a question from the Constitution section. If they are still tied after these questions, then students will draw for a question from the Documents and Supreme Court cases section. If a tie still exists they will be asked a question from the People category. They will continue to rotate through these three sections until the tie is broken.


Judges and Officials

Should follow the procedures given to them in specific role Instructions and are to refrain from adding editorial comments to the questions being asked.

 

Disqualification

If, at any point, a student is disruptive, exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct, or is coached from the audience, that student is immediately disqualified from the competition by the competition coordinator.

Challenges concerning the accuracy of any material in The Texas Citizen Bee Study Guide must be filed in writing with the State Bar of Texas, Law-Related Education Department by emailing Jan Miller at jmiller@texasbar.com by February 1st of the year of the competition.