Contest will take place during Montana 4-H Congress event and interview times will take place on Wednesday July 12, 2023. 


Through Gavel Games, Montana 4‐H members will present previously gained knowledge of parliamentary procedure by acting as officers and members for a model 4‐H business meeting.


Winners will be announced at the awards program during Congress. A trip to compete at the Western National Roundup in Denver, during the Denver Stock Show, will be awarded to the top team. Individuals who have already attended this event (as a gavel games participant) will not be eligible to attend again. Individuals from the top team will also receive a gavel games medal and will be recognized during the Awards Showcase.

****Montana 4‐H Congress Participants that are 13 years of age arepermitted to compete in the state contest at the discretion of the County. However, they may not be eligible for an award trip due to age requirements set by the national/regional event. They do not lose their eligibility and can compete in future years to again earn eligibility for a national award trip ****


Each county can nominate 1 team of four to six members to participate in the Montana State 4‐H Congress Gavel Games Competition. All members must be from the same county and/or under the same 4‐H Council. If a member or members of the team have attended Western National Roundup previously to compete in the parliamentary procedure contest, it disqualifies those members from attending WNR to compete in Gavel Games AGAIN if their team wins at MT State 4‐H Congress. If the winning team does not have four eligible members to advance to WNR, the trip will be awarded to the next placed, team of four (minimum) to six (maximum) eligible members. The Montana State 4‐H Center reserves the right to mix teams if needed to send a Montana Team to compete at WNR.


Each team will consist of four (minimum) to six (maximum) members.

  1. Four of the members will draw for the following offices; President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer after entering the room. If the team has five or six members they may choose the one or two members that will not draw for office and will serve as members of the delegation during the meeting.
  2. Teams will present a model meeting not to exceed 20 minutes. 20 points per minute exceeding 20 minutes will be deducted from the team’s final scores.
    1. Each team will provide its own minutes, treasurer’s report, letter of communication, resolution and committee.
    2. Teams must conduct their meetings according to the parliamentary problems provided to them and execute all motions and action required therein:
      1. Teams will be presented with the sheet with “Parliamentary Problems” in the preparation room (Example on page 4).
      2. Teams will have 20 minutes to prepare with fellow teammates.
      3. The order of business will consist of three to four problems requiring the demonstration of at least nine of the actions listed on the “Approved Parliamentary Procedures.”
    3. The meeting should follow this order:
      1. Call to order
      2. Opening ceremonies
      3. Pledge or motto
      4. Roll call
      5. Reading of minutes, corrections if needed, approval of minutes
        1. The secretary should read a short set of fictitious minutes
      6. Communications not requiring action – letter of appreciation, A.  One letter of communication is to be read.
      7. Report of Officers
        1. Treasurer’s report is the only officer’s report that is to be read
      8. Report of standing or special committees
        1. Only one standing or special committee report is to be read
      9. Unfinished business
      10. Motions postponed at the last meeting and motions laid on the table at the last meeting
        1. The president should ask for unfinished business
      11. New business as introduced
        1. Refer to the EXAMPLE of Parliamentary Procedure Problems
      12.  Program
        1. A program chairman should announce that there is no program due to the fact that this is a special parliamentary procedure
      13.  Announcements
        1. One announcement is to be made
      14. Adjournment
      15. Remain seated for questions
        1. There will be six questions asked by the judges (Every team will be asked the same questions) Each member will answer in this order; president, vice president, secretary, treasure, member #1, member #2 – four or five member teams will start the rotation again with the president.

Use of the Gavel

The gavel is the symbol of authority. It is used by the president to keep the meeting running smoothly and orderly. To use the gavel properly, the presiding officer should stand squarely and firmly on both feet. The president should grasp the handle of the gavel firmly and rap table or gavel block authoritatively with well‐ spaced raps. The gavel is used to:

  1. Call the meeting to order – two taps
  2. Maintain order – several taps
  3. Adjourn the meeting – one tap
  4. Signify that motions have either passed or failed – one tap
  5. Signals members to stand‐ three taps
  1. No one other than the participants will be allowed in the preparation room. A clean copy of the problem will be given to each team member in the preparation room; these copies may be taken into the contest room. No printed material other than the minutes, treasurer’s report, committee report, and the team copies of the problems, shall enter either the preparation or presentation room.
  1. There shall be three judges and a final score shall be a combined total of the judges. In the event of a tie for first place, teams will be asked to verbally answer a series of questions determined by the judges beforehand, and the team with the most correct answers to the questions will determine the winner.
  1. Members of teams who have completed the contest are not to talk to other teams about items of business or questions asked until the entire contest is completed. Points may be deducted for talking. Teams may not watch other teams competing prior to them in the contest. Those that observe the contest may not discuss any aspect of the contest with anyone until the contest has concluded.


*The following can be found on the State 4‐H Web site, State Congress, Contest Guidelines

  1. List of Approved Parliamentary Procedures for Montana 4‐H Congress
  2. Montana 4‐H Congress 4‐H Parliamentary Procedure Score Card
  3. EXAMPLE of Parliamentary Procedure Problems for Montana 4‐H Congress


  1. Parliamentary Procedure in Action, Kenneth Lee Russell
  2. The How of Parliamentary Procedure, Kenneth Lee Russell
  3. Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition, October 2000



Updated 4/2011

EXAMPLE of Parliamentary Procedure Problems for Montana State 4‐H Congress Problem I

  1. Take a motion from the table

Problem II                

Member presents a motion

  1. Member asks to withdraw their motion
  2. The main motion is amended
  3. The amendment is amended
  4. Division of the house is called
  5. A member offers to table the motion
  6. The amended motion is passed Problem III


      1. The President announces that they will be attending State 4‐H Conference and the Club will pay half their registration

  1. A member appeals the decision of the chair
  2. The chair is not sustained
  3. A motion pertaining to who will attend State 4‐H Conference and their registration fee is
  4. Member calls for division of the question
  5. Member moves for the 2nd portion of the question to be referred to the finance

*A sheet similar to this will be presented to each team when they enter the preparation room. Members should be prepared to demonstrate all problems on the “Approved List of Parliamentary Procedure Problems”. At least nine will be included in the contest.

They will also bring into the room

  • A copy of their minutes from one previous meeting
  • Treasures report
  • Letter of communication
  • A Resolution
  • A Committee Report

Teams will draw for office after entering the room; President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasure. If a team of five or six they may identify the one or two members that will serve as members before they draw.

Each team will have 20 minutes in the preparation room, time begins when they enter. Only team members are allowed in the room.


Gavel Games (Parliamentary Procedure) Contest

  1. Put a motion before the house
  2. Lay a motion on the table
  3. Amend a motion
  4. Call of a division of the house
  5. Take a motion from the table
  6. Withdraw a motion
  7. Call for a division of the question
  8. Refer a motion to a committee
  9. Rise to a point of order
  10. Appeal the decision of the chair
  11. Call for the previous question
  12. Rescind a motion
  13. Reconsider a motion
  14. Postpone a motion definitely
  15. Introduce a motion
  16. Reconsider and have entered on the minutes
  17. Postpone a motion indefinitely
  18. Object to the consideration of the question