NJHA offers a diverse group of projects and activities covering all commodity areas of horticulture. Individuals and/or groups may select one or more contests and activities. The following rules are intended as a guide to ensure equal opportunity for all participants.

1. While adult leadership is encourages, work must have been done by the youth.

2. The work being reported must be the result of efforts conducted predominately in the 12 months prior to the convention. Relevant work from previous years may be reported if it is necessary as supporting information for the current year’s activities.

3. Eligibility is based on the individual’s age as of December 31st of the current activity year.

4. Reports must have been compiled by the youth.

5. Contests and reports with entry dates must be postmarked on or before that date. If unsure of the situation or if difficulties are expected, please contact the individual project chairperson.

6. Individuals receiving a Grand National Award can compete in the contest the following year providing they are entered in an older division of the contest or activity.

7. Youth participants may not change the project area they have entered after 10:00 p. m. on the first night of the convention. Likewise, state leaders, project chairpersons, and judges are also not allowed to make changes after 10:00 p. m. on the first night of the convention. Changes may be made between different divisions (age or subject matter) of a contest at the discretion of the project chairperson, contestant, and state leader. These changes may be made up to the time contests begin. All changes are subject to established quotas of contestants from a state.

8. After a deadline has passed, youth who have entered the wrong division of a contest or the wrong contest may make their presentation and will be evaluated by the judges. However, they will not be eligible for a National or Grand National award. It is up to the judges and project chairperson to determine the appropriateness of the presentation in relation to the category.

9. Judges, with the consent of the project chairperson, must disqualify any participant or team who:

a. Has not done a significant amount of the work being reported and/or;
b. The activity is entered in the wrong category and/or,
c. The individual or team has failed to follow contest rules.

10. Participants who are disqualified must receive a statement on their evaluation sheet (s) detailing the reason why they were disqualified. This statement must be signed by the judge(s) and project chairperson. These sheets will be returned in the state leader’s packet at the end of but not before the closing awards banquet.

11. Participants caught cheating will be disqualified and banned from future participation in that contest.

12. Schedules listing the times of contests, interviews, and locations will b posted by the project chairperson early on the morning of the contests. It is up to the contestant to check schedules for activities in which they plan to participate.

13. Contest participants are responsible to bringing everything they need for the activity.

14. Judges will not consult with each other on scores.

15. Only judges may ask questions of contest participants.

16. All demonstrations and speeches are open to any registered participant at a convention. Project report and officer interviews are closed to everyone but the youth participant and judges/committee.

17. Judges may ask for clarification on rules and regulations from the project leader, national program chairperson, or national vice program chairperson.

18. The decision of the judge(s) is final. Once results have been turned in to the awards chairperson, they will not be changed unless the change is valid and has the approval of the project chairperson, national program chairperson, and national vice program chairperson.


20. The number of awards given will be at the discretion of the national program chairperson, project chairperson, and judges. In the event that project of sufficient quality have not been presented, no award will be given.

21. Without exception, convention participants under the influence of, consuming or in possession of alcohol or any illegal substance will be sent home immediately at the expense of the parent(s).

22. All convention participants will conduct themselves as responsible young adults with respect to hotel property and the property of others.