Gary L. Sonntag Speed Contest Rules

Eligibility: Any writer of shorthand (pen or machine) who is a member in good standing of NCRA and ILCRA is eligible.

Tests: The testimony will be two-voice dictation with Q’s & A’s neither counted or read.  Five-minute tests will be dictated as follows:




Transcription Time


220 wpm

90 minutes

Legal Opinion

230 wpm

90 minutes


270 wpm

90 minutes



Number of transcriptions permitted: One of each take.

Financial Incentives Barred: Contestants must give to the ILCRA Board satisfactory assurance that they have not received, directly or indirectly, any remuneration or promise of remuneration of whatever character for entering or winning any part of this contest.

Entry Fee: $65.

Pre-registration: All contestants must submit their contest registration forms at least 15 days prior to the contest to ensure availability of adequate transcription facilities and familiarity with contest rules. 

Grading:  Contestants will not be permitted to be present during the grading process.  Transcripts will be marked for identification and corrected in such a manner that it will be impossible to know whose work is being examined until after the grading has been completed.  No transcript will be rated that has more than 5 percent errors.

Awards: The contestants who qualify on the three above tests with the highest average for the three shall be awarded first-, second-, and third-place medallions memorializing Gary L. Sonntag, as well as a certificate. Appropriate certificates will be awarded to any contestant who qualifies in any of the three speeds. Ninety-five percent (95%) accuracy is required to qualify in any of the three speeds. The contestant who qualifies in the three above tests with the highest average of those contestants and who resides in Illinois will be awarded the Sally J. Cochran Traveling Cup.

Transcribing: Contestants will have 90 minutes for each segment to transcribe.  A printer will be provided for contestants to use in transcribing. Otherwise, equipment for transcription is the responsibility of the individual contestant. Contestants are responsible for producing their own transcripts without assistance from another person. Those who type must type their own transcripts; those who use computer-aided transcription must perform their own translating, editing, printing, and proofreading functions.

In every sense, the contest transcripts must be the work product of the individual contestant. Any activities that call into question the integrity of a transcript may be reason for permanent disbarment from the Speed Contest.

Transcripts will be available for review at the convention site following announcement of the results.

Decisions: All decisions of the Speed Contest Committee and the ILCRA Board made under these rules, or such supplementary rules as may be found necessary at the time of the Contest, shall be final.

Continuing Education Credits:   .25 PDCs are allowed by NCRA for each section of the speed contest in which the contestant qualifies. Credit for any speed contest leg will be awarded only once per three-year term. Qualification is based on transcription at 95% accuracy. 

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What is an Error? (RPR)

What is an Error? (CRC)

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