Competition Rules

  1. CYSA is a national competition, open to all Canadian residents between the ages of 11 and 24 years as of the date of competition. There will be both a Junior competition and a Senior competition. The age limits are as follows:

Junior: Ages 11 to 15 (as of the date of competition)
Senior: Ages 16 to 24 (as of the date of competition)

  1. Applications can be completed online through the website at or by writing to:

Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Inc.
Box 25015, Stone Road Mall, Postal Outlet
370 Stone Road West, Unit 17
Guelph, Ontario N1G 2X0

Applications must be date stamped upon arrival and must be received by September 30, 2017.  Applications must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee. Cheques are payable to “Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture Inc.” Faxes are accepted, but a cheque, cash, or credit card payment via PayPal must be received for your application to be confirmed.

There will be no refunds for cancellation after Saturday, October 7, 2017.  Contestants are also not allowed to ‘transfer’ registrations between competitors if they, for some reason, cannot participate in the competition but have already registered for the competition.  All applications will be confirmed by e-mail and/or telephone and posted on the website after the registration deadline of September 30.

  1. Any previous first place winners of the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition are not eligible to participate in subsequent CYSA competitions. (Junior winner can compete in Senior Competition.)
  1. On the day of competition, proof of age will be required (birth certificate or passport) upon registration. Contestants will agree to be photographed, taped and/or quoted for promotional purposes throughout the current year and succeeding years.
  1. Each province has a reserve allotment of three (3) participants for each competition. When a provincial allotment has been filled, all additional entries will be placed on a master waiting list in the order received. In the event that a province does not fill their allotment, the Board will fill the competition from the master waiting list based on the order received.
  1. Contestants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. CYSA Inc. will only provide accommodation reimbursement to participants if they actually speak on the day of the competition, and if they use the host hotel on either the Friday evening or the Saturday. A total of two nights (only the Friday and/or Saturday) are possible for reimbursement of accommodation costs. Any other accommodation requests for reimbursement are not eligible. To ensure reimbursement to participants for hotel costs, all expenses must be received within 30 days of the competition date by the CYSA Registrar/Treasurer. When submitting claim to Registrar/Treasurer, official receipts need to be included for reimbursement. No claims received past that date will be reimbursed. There is a maximum rate to which the CYSA organization will reimburse competitors as a discounted rate is negotiated between the CYSA organization and the official host hotel.

Official Host Hotel:
Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, Toronto Airport
3279 Caroga Drive
Mississauga, ON
(905) 671-4730

  1. All speakers (Juniors and Seniors) will speak on Saturday November 4, 2017. Both Juniors and Senior competitions will commence at 9:00 a.m.
  1. Speeches may be delivered in either of Canada’s official languages, English and French.
  1. Each contestant will give a timed 5 to 7 minute prepared speech  on  a  current  issue pertaining to  Canada’s  Agriculture  and  Food  Industry,  as well  as  introduce  and  thank  another speaker.
  1. Contestants cannot use the emcee podium, but must use the microphone/music stand provided at the front of the auditorium when speaking in the competition for both junior and senior competitions. Failure to do so will disqualify the participant. Participants can choose to use the microphone provided in the middle of the room or choose to speak freely without the microphone.
  1. Contestants may also choose to use flip charts, or appropriate posters to illustrate their speech. Slides, films, videos or overhead projectors, however, will not be allowed.
  1. Contestants will be scored on the basis of 150 points in total. The prepared speech will be scored on the basis of 60 points for the presentation and 60 points for the content to equate to 120 points. 30 additional points will be for the introduction/thank you of another contestant (15 for the introductory speech and 15 for the thank you for a total of 30 points). All contestants will receive a copy of the judging scorecard prior to the competition.
  1. There will be strict enforcement of the 5-7 minute time frame. Contestants should be aware that a penalty will apply for being over/under established time frame. Time deductions are as follows:
Over 7 minutes/under 5 minutes  Point Deduction 
1 to 10 seconds 2 points
11 to 20 seconds 5 points
More than 20 seconds 15 points
  1. Judges will select 6 speakers from the preliminary rounds to compete in the finals. If numbers do not justify a preliminary round for the age group (in the opinion of the Board), it will be eliminated and competitors will compete only once.
  1. The decisions of the judges will be final in all instances. Copies of the official judging scorecards will be destroyed immediately following the competition. Please refer to the website for additional information.
  1. Cash prizes are generously provided as follows:
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th-6th
Senior $1000 $500 $350 $150
Junior $500 $300 $150 $50
  1. It is expected that competitors will conduct themselves professionally and appropriately at all times when representing the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture competition and its sponsors. As with all youth activities, 100% participation is expected from each participant.
  1. In the event that the rules may be reproduced by a third party for promotion or other uses, it is to be noted that the rules as defined in the CYSA Inc. Board records for the current year in question will prevail in all and any instance.
  1. In the event that any matter or concern should arise at any time during the competition, the President and the Board Chair will review the matter and their decision will be final in all instances.

Evaluation Criteria

Competitors will be evaluated according to the following score sheets:

Senior Score sheet

Junior Score sheet