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SMSU Mustang Stampede

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General information

This is a College tournament in Minnesota.

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Hello Friends,


The Southwest Minnesota State University Forensics Team is pleased to invite you to the 2020 Mustang Stampede hosted asynchronously during the week of October on Sunday October 12-16, 2020. We are preparing an inclusive and accessible tournament as a part of the Southern Minnesota Swing with MSU, Mankato’s Larry Schnoor Invitational held synchronously on Saturday, October 17. We look forward to having another fun tournament this year!


TL:DR Details

  • The tournament will be fully asynchronous, including finals
  • Entries and video links are due to Speechwire by Tuesday, October 13 at 5 p.m. CST
  • SMSU will use an honor system that the recording submitted is unique to this tournament
  • Content warning listings are encouraged to give adequate warning to judges and competitors
  • No late adds are allowed
  • All 11 categories will be offered per released AFA guidelines
  • Yes, we will have LP offerings (see below for all details)
  • Cost: $5/slot, $15/uncovered slot, $50/no show judge
  • Payments accepted through Venmo, PayPal, or by check
  • Champions for each event will select a charity from a list provided by the SMSU team where a donation (based on the total proceeds of the tournament) will be made in their names
  • Accessibility continues to be a priority for the SMSU speech team


Information about competitive event offerings and fees are listed below. We hope you find it possible to attend the asynchronous portion of the Southern Minnesota Swing in October! If you have questions, feel free to email/call Julie Walker at julie.walker@smsu.edu or 706-844-2773. See you then!








Julie Walker                                                               Ben Walker

Southwest Minnesota State University                   Southwest Minnesota State University

Assistant Director of Forensics                                Director of Forensics

Tournament Director






Fully Asynchronous Tournament

SMSU recognizes the unique situation the 2020-2021 season presents. Synchronous tournaments present many incredible learning opportunities, but we see value in the option for asynchronous tournaments as well. Therefore, we will offer a fully asynchronous tournament experience for folks.


Typically, SMSU would host the second day of the Southern Minnesota Swing on Sunday. However, given we are hosting an asynchronous tournament, we wanted to provide students the opportunity to create and submit a video performance prior to the synchronous Saturday tournament. Ideally, the students can use the feedback from the asynchronous tournament from during the week to improve their performances during the live tournament on Saturday.


Tournament Week Schedule

Tuesday, October 13 @ 5 p.m.: Entries and videos due to Speechwire

Tuesday, October 13 @ evening: Fees will be assessed and distributed to teams

Wednesday, October 14 @ 8 a.m.: Judge dance cards go live on Speechwire

Friday, October 16 @ noon: All judging feedback/scores due

Friday, October 16 @ 2 p.m.: Live awards ceremony stream on SMSU team Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smsuforensics

Friday, October 16 @ asap after awards: Feedback released to coaches via email


Entries and Links Due to Speechwire by Tuesday, October 13 @ 5 p.m. CST

SMSU will host the Mustang Stampede using exclusively Speechwire this year. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. CST on October 13. The entry must include the video for the student competing in the event, including for LP competitors.


Judges will evaluate events from 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 14 through noon on Friday, October 16. Each event will be reviewed by three (3) judges (in accordance with AFA qualification bylaws).


Unique Video Submission

SMSU is committed to providing an excellent learning opportunity for each student performer. However, one benefit we feel forensic performance provides is the learning opportunities from multiple performances and growing from feedback. Therefore, we will ask that each submitted performance video recording has not been entered into a previous asynchronous tournament. We believe teams will act honorably and submit a fresh, unique performance video made exclusively for the SMSU tournament.


We ask that all video submission links be put forward through YouTube or Kaltura links. Set the video to “unlisted” for the duration of the tournament. Following judging, we want teams to have control over the visibility of the performances, so students may turn the videos to “private” after the awards ceremony on Friday.


Content Warnings

To continue work done regionally and nationally, we will continue providing a space to input content warnings for pieces. If a student’s performance includes sensitive topic areas they anticipate may be triggering for audience members or judges, we ask you to enter those topics into the content warning space on Speechwire at the time you submit your entries.


Late Adds and Drops

No slot adds will be allowed after the event registration closes. Considering the asynchronous format, we don’t anticipate any drops or changes for Individual events, as the complete video will be uploaded with the slot registration by Tuesday at 5:00 CST (including LP).


Judge drops could be extremely detrimental to the tournament functioning. Any dropped/no show judges will result in a $50 fee.


All 11 Categories Offered

All 11 categories will be offered for this tournament using the AFA guidelines for competition. Please see Appendix 1 for the current rules put forward by AFA officials.


LP Offerings

All LP prompts will be released at 8 a.m. on Monday, October 12. Anyone participating in LP categories must submit their completed videos by 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, October 13.


As is typical, extemp prompts will consist of questions. Students can choose any question from the provided options. From the moment of selection students will have 30 minutes to prepare and then must immediately perform and record their speech. Impromptu prompts will be quotations. Students can choose any quotation from the provided options. From the moment of selection, students will have 7 minutes to prepare, perform and record their presentation. (Prep time does not need to be filmed for either Extemp or Impromptu.)


We are using the honor system for LP at the Stampede. We are confident that our community will maintain the highest ethical standards in these difficult circumstances.


Note: While we hope these LP rules will be compliant with various national standards, it is not yet clear what those standards will be. Even if national standards are clarified after the release of this invitation, resulting in legs attained at our tournament not counting for nationals, we plan to maintain our rules for this year’s tournament. Please keep this possibility in mind.


We recognize LP students typically demonstrate their skills through submission of multiple unique performances each weekend. However, the act of recording and uploading 3 different videos for a single competition is an unfair burden.


Costs and Payment Options

$5 per entry slot

1 judge covers 6 slots

$15 per uncovered entry slot

$50 per dropped judge

Payments accepted through Venmo, PayPal, or by check

Venmo: @bfulworldlvr

PayPal: Benjamin.michael.walker@gmail.com


Check: SMSU Forensics Attn: Ben Walker

1501 State Street

Marshall, MN 56258




SMSU wants to best duplicate the community and connectivity we expect at face-to-face tournaments. To replicate this feeling, we will send a small memento to each participating team.


To protect competitor privacy rights, we will not post any student videos to SMSU-controlled media. However, we encourage teams to post team videos, especially event champions, to social media and team-controlled pages.


SMSU will livestream awards ceremony on the SMSU Speech Team Facebook page at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 16: https://www.facebook.com/smsuforensics


Sweeps awards are earned using the following point system:

Preliminary Sweeps Points

1st Place: 3 points

2nd Place: 2 points

3rd Place: 1 point


*non-advancing semi-finalists will receive 2 points

Finals Sweeps Points

1st Place: 10 points

2nd Place: 8 points

3rd Place: 6 points


4th Place: 4 points

5th Place: 3 points

6th Place: 2 points


Team awards will be provided for 1st through 5th places for Limited Team and Open Team sweeps.


Finalists will be acknowledged and celebrated at the live streamed awards ceremony. Event champions will be given the opportunity to select a charity from a list of pre-approved options created by the SMSU Team. A donation (based on the proceeds of the tournament) will be made in the champion’s honor.


Top novice distinctions will be presented during the awards ceremony.


Name Pronunciation

SMSU recognizes the power being called by your correctly pronounced name has in creating an inclusive, welcoming, respectful space. To aid judges and awards readers, please provide student name pronunciation through Speechwire. Depending upon Speechwire service availability, tournament staff will attempt to make name pronunciations available on cover ballots for judges.





Nationally, the forensic community (students, coaches, and judges) have called for safer tournaments where student and judge wellness is built into the tournament structures. We hope to provide a different type of tournament experience focused on redesigning spaces rather than accommodating individuals. As such, our tournament is designed to make spaces safer and more accessible for everyone.


Open Door Policy

SMSU is committed to providing safe performance spaces for all competitors and judges. We acknowledge the art of performance may be a healing process and/or an opportunity to speak on important, personal topics. As a performer, it is impossible to know all the ways in which content or a performance may unintentionally harm or trigger members of your audience. To better serve the wellness of the forensic community, we will be using an open door practice for this tournament.


Judges will be evaluating potentially triggering performances within their home spaces. This means we need to take even more steps to protect their well-being. We strongly urge teams to include content warnings, and if a judge feels concerned about the triggering nature of performances in the assigned round, tournament staff will adjust the judging requirements.


Host Information

SMSU Student Competitors

The SMSU forensic team intends to enter SMSU students in the tournament. The unusual nature of this year means we do not have established norms and customs surrounding asynchronous tournaments. If you have concerns about the ethics of our students competing in the tournament, we will happily talk through the concerns. We want to abide by ethical considerations, and we are grateful for your conversation!


SMSU students will not be entered to the individual or team sweepstakes.


Hired Judges

The hired judge pool will consist primarily of forensics alums and friends of the program.



Appendix 1

Dear AFA Members and Interested Forensics Parties,


It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as the recently elected Chair of the AFA-NST. My name is Dr, Nance Riffe. I am DoF of a little newish team at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (but I've been associated with AFA for, well, longer than I want to quantify).


My focus as AFA-NST Chair is the organization's commitment to inclusion, fair and equal representation, and accessibility. But the COVID-19 pandemic has granted me another priority charge - and that is continuing to preserve our activity and improve it during a global pandemic.


I had planned to send to you a complete summary of the work your AFA-NST representatives have pursued with extraordinary dedication over the course of this summer after all of our proposed changes had been finalized. But, based on the number of emails, FB messages, texts, and calls I've received in the past few days, I think that a pre-emptive summary is necessary. Detailed changes will go out from District Chairs and Student Reps.


For context, I charged your AFA-NST Council with three objectives over the course of the summer: 1. the creation of judge training and certification that could be used in concert with NFA, PKD, and PRP that focused on ethical judging behavior; 2. a plan to incorporate online competition into our AFA-NST qualification process; and 3. a plan for if we needed to move the NST online.


We examined each issue with these factors in mind: the protection of the health (physical and mental) of our students and coaches, dedication to accessibility, and continued commitment to improving inclusion and representation. These are SUMMARIES of the work we have completed.


I. Therefore, the first thing you need to know is that AFA-NST voted to hold the 2021 AFA-NST ONLINE. This was and wasn't an easy decision. It was easy in that most schools are reporting travel bans and budget freezes up and through Spring, It was easy in that we want to keep you healthy and safe. It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to the in-person tournament experience for 2021. We felt that the earlier we could make this decision, the better you could plan and prep for an online AFA-NST.(and the better we could make the tournament experience). The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has graciously volunteered to move their hosting bid to 2022 and the Council accepted that bid.


II. The second thing you need to know is that AFA-NST temporarily eased the qualification process for 2021. (A move from 3 legs to 2). We know that this season poses unique challenges and we wish to balance the qualification rigor of AFA-NST with an eye to potential challenges both predicted and potential. Look for the actual language this week from your District Chairs.


III. District Tournaments and the AFA-NST will be held in a virtual, synchronous format. Students may qualify for the NST with legs from a combination of synchronous and asynchronous virtual tournament competition. Again, our work here was to maximize accessibility for students who are working under a variety of circumstances.


IV. While we passed several proposed rules for the recording of events (like only allowing one mic and speaker), Duo is the only event with defined structural change. Because some students WILL be able to meet with partners but other schools will not allow that kind of interaction, we wanted to make the playing field level. Therefore, duo partners will not be allowed to perform in the same room for filming. We also eliminated physically present audiences for recording with the same concern for equity (some schools would allow it while others wouldn't).


V. We passed a rule stating that two-party consent is required for the recording of any submitted student performance in an effort to protect our students' safety and privacy.


Video Formatting Rules

We will be using AFA (NST) standards for videos:

  • Students are only allowed one mic and one speaker.
  • Duo partners will not be allowed to perform in the same room for filming.
  • Physically present audiences (aside from the camera operator) are not allowed.


Nance Riffe, Ph.D.

Director of Forensics, Lecturer

Department of Communication Studies

University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Preferred address: Dr. Riffe

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Manager contact information

Julie and Ben Walker
Email address: julie.walker@smsu.edu
Phone number: 706-844-2773

Mailing address

1501 State Street

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