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STRIVE Prep Speech Showdown

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This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a High School tournament in Colorado.

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STRIVE Prep Speech Showdown

Dear Colleagues,


You are cordially invited to the 3rd Annual STRIVE Prep Speech Showdown November 7th, a NIETOC bid tournament! This tournament is a collaboration of the STRIVE Prep - RISE & the STRIVE Prep - SMART Academy forensics programs. This year’s tournament has been slightly modified to meet the challenges of this season. We believe those changes have created an exciting tournament experience that coaches and students will find rewarding and constructive. 

Tournament Highlights:

-A HIGHLY diverse judge pool from the STRIVE Prep programs

-Asynchronous format to facilitate participation for ALL students 

-Live events on Saturday to celebrate students & create community building moments 

-5 Preliminary rounds 

-*New* interp event: POI DUO!*

-Multiple Team Awards 

-Multiple outrounds! 

-<20 entries = Finals Break

-20-39 entries = Semifinals Break 

-40+ entries = Quarterfinals Break

Equity Statement: 

Both STRIVE Prep programs are passionately committed to fostering equity and inclusion within the speech & debate community. If there are barriers to participating in our tournament (like the entry fees, being new to the activity/lack of familiarity), please contact us. 

Both of our programs exist because of the support and generosity of other programs early in our existence. This activity will never grow to encompass the full range of schools and students if proactive steps are not taken. Please read our full equity and inclusion statement, along with our action steps, further into this invitation. 

Events: HI, DI, POI, Poetry, INF, OO, Extemp, Duo (Split Screen), & POI Duo, see rules below

(Because of the asynchronous format, students can enter as many events as they would like). 

We’ll also be recognizing the top “triathletes” of the tournament. The “Triathlon Award” recognizes the students who perform the best that day based on the number of times they appear in outrounds and their placement therein. To be eligible for the Triathlon Award a student must compete in a minimum of three events. 

Schedule: (All times are in Mountain Time) 

Thursday, October 29th

Coaches Meet & Greet at 6pm. 

Thursday-Saturday morning: (November 5-7)

Thursday at 3pm, all preliminary speech ballots will be released. They are due Saturday at noon MST. 

Saturday: (November 7)

12:30: Virtual Posting Party for Semifinals! 

12:45-3:30: Semifinal ballots released. Due at 3:30pm. 

3:45: Virtual Posting Party for Finals!

4-5:45: Final Ballots released, due at 5:45pm. 

6pm: Virtual Awards Ceremony! 


Teams will be asked to provide 1 judge for every 7 entries. Judges will be able to mark if they are available to judge prelim rounds (Wed-Fri.), outrounds on Saturday, or both. All rounds will be asynchronous, but there will be quicker turnaround times on Saturday to facilitate the number of outrounds we plan to run. Finally, all judges will be required to complete a short (<15 mins.) anti-bias judge training before judging any rounds. 

NIETOC: We are proud to be a bid tournament to the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC). Bids can be earned in the following events: HI, DI, Duo, POI, OO, INF, and Extemp. Both of our teams have attended this national tournament in May. If you have any questions about the tournament experience, we would be happy to answer them. 


The entry fee will be $8 per student, per event ($15 per Duo). There will be a $25 fee for every missing judge. 

Please make checks payable to “STRIVE Prep” and send them to 18250 E 51st Ave, Denver, CO 80249ATTN: RISE/ANNA STEED


Equity Statement: 

Both of the STRIVE Prep programs are committed to further developing equity, diversity, and inclusion in this activity. To that end, we have tried to remove some of the economic barriers that prevent teams from competing at tournaments. Below are recent steps we have taken to increase access and affordability.


1. The 2020 STRIVE Prep Speech Showdown will not be charging any drop fees. 

2. We have lowered our entry fees, making us one of the most affordable tournaments in the state and the country to offer 5 preliminary rounds plus multiple outrounds. 

3. Any school with a Free or Reduced Lunch rate of 60% or more is entitled to a discount on their entry fees. Please email us directly to receive the discount. 


In addition to working towards affordability, we want to create a competitive environment that welcomes all narratives and combats sexist, classist, and racist microaggressions that have resulted in varying student experiences in this activity. Below are recent steps we have taken to address inclusiveness: 


1. Both of the STRIVE Prep programs are committed to recruiting a diverse pool of judges. 

2. Diverse panels of judges for outrounds. 

3. An anti-bias judge virtual training required for all judges before ballots are released to them. 


We want to encourage coaches to be proactive in the event an inappropriate comment is made on the ballot that they believe was part of the judge’s decision. Being asynchronous helps facilitate rectifying this issue. Below are the steps we are committed to taking:


1. We will make ballots available to coaches regularly. We want to encourage coaches to review ballots and notify the tournament directors of any problematic ballots. 


2. If a problematic ballot is discovered in prelims, that round will be re-adjudicated. All students will receive their best rank from either judge. (Likely will result in two “1st” or  “2nd”; we are fine with that. 


3. If a problematic ballot is discovered in outrounds, an additional judge will adjudicate that round. If the judge’s rank would have resulted in that student advancing to the next round, they will be manually advanced. In outrounds, only the student whose ballot was challenged will have the potential to receive a different rank. 


Finally, we realize these steps that we have committed to are only part of a larger conversation on the issues of equity and diversity in our activity. Any suggested updates to our equity statement are welcomed to be shared at our Coaches’ Meet & Greet. Details will be sent out in a separate email. 


Notable Event-specific Rules (please see NSDA handbook for all other event rules): 


Colorado rules will be used for Poetry. Speakers will have 10 minutes, with a 30 second grace period. A black book is allowed but is not required

Asynchronous Extemp: 

Extemp will be asynchronous at the Showdown this year. A set of questions will be released Saturday (Oct. 31) and students will have until Wednesday morning to upload their video.

Split-Screen Duo: 

Duo will follow the same rules the NSDA used for the 2020 National Tournament. Including the requirement that students record from separate rooms. A video example of this socially distanced model can be found using the following link: https://www.speechanddebate.org/duo-interp-split-screen-demo-nats-2020/


We are excited to pioneer a new event at the 2020 Showdown, “POI Duo”. This innovative new event will look like split-screen duo, with a POI twist. Students will put together a script like they would in POI, but now that script will facilitate two actors. Black books are allowed, but not required. Duo teams can elect to not use a black book, use one book, or for both performers to use a black book. Any POI Duo would be capped at 5 pieces in their cutting. POI Duo can be filmed split-screen or together (upon registering for POI Duo, coach assumes responsibility that they have parent and school permission to be filming in-person).


Hosting this tournament is a tremendous source of pride for the scholars and faculty of STRIVE Prep - RISE & STRIVE Prep - SMART Academy. Your attendance and contributions to this tournament are truly appreciated. Again, if there are barriers to your participation at our tournament, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We can’t wait to host you and your team.



Anna K. Steed (She/Her) Grant Thomas (He/Him)


asteed@striveprep.org gthomas@striveprep.org


Manager contact information

Grant Thomas
Email address: gthomas@striveprep.org
Phone number: 720-610-8166

Mailing address

18250 E 51st Ave
Denver, CO 80249

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