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Great Pumpkin Colorado NSDA Novice Tournament

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a High School tournament in Colorado.

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Great Pumpkin Colorado NSDA Online

Novice Tournament and Congress

October 31, 2020

You are cordially invited to participate in the 2020 Great Pumpkin Colorado NSDA District Novice Tournament and Student Congress on October 31, 2020.  The tournament will be held ONLINE by the Colorado NSDA District. 

Events:  We will host three (3) rounds of novice competition in Drama, Humor, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Oratory, Informative Speaking, National Extemporaneous Speaking, International Extemporaneous Speaking, Duo Interp, Cross-Examination Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Public Forum Debate. We will also host Congressional Debate at the novice level. Students may double-enter by entering one synchronous and one asynchronous event.

·      Synchronous Live Events: National Extemporaneous Speaking, International Extemporaneous Speaking, Cross-Examination Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Congressional Debate

·      Asynchronous Recorded Events: Drama, Humor, Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Oratory, Informative Speaking, Duo Interp (Split screen format)

o   For asynchronous recorded events, each competitor must record their performance. Recordings must be submitted by providing a URL link to the recording in Speechwire by Thursday, October 29 at 3pm.

Debate Resolutions:  We will use the 2020-21 NSDA CX topic (criminal justice reform), the September-October NSDA LD topic (compulsory voting), and the September-October NSDA PF topic (Medicare-For-All).

Congressional Debate:  The docket is set and posted at www.speechwire.com.

Entries:  Each school may enter a maximum of 5 entries in each event and 20 entries in Congress. Entries will be handled on a first-come, first served basis. Registration will occur via www.speechwire.com. Registration will close on Wednesday, October 28, but may close sooner based on entries received.

Student Judges:  Each school is expected to provide 1 student judge for each 5 events entries and 1 student judge for each 2 debate entries. Student judges will need speechwire accounts and to be entered by name in speechwire. Student judges should be entered by Wednesday, October 28.

Entry Fees:  Fees are $6.00 per student, based on pre-registration numbers as of Wednesday, October 28.  Please make checks payable to the Colorado NFL District. Please mail fees to Marti Benham, Cherry Creek HS, 9300 E. Union Avenue, Greenwood Village, CO, 80111.

Registration and Schedule:  Check-in will be held from 8:00- 8:15am. All schools must check-in by 8:15am. Rounds will begin promptly at 9:00am. Awards are scheduled for 2:30pm.

Mission, Vision, Inclusion, Harassment, and Discrimination:

At Colorado NSDA Speech and Debate Tournaments, we embrace and support the CHSAA Speech and Debate Inclusion Statement and the NSDA Harassment and Discrimination Policy. Please review the attached document.


·      Each school (administration, teachers, and/or coaches) is responsible for ensuring they have proper parental permission for students to participate in an online tournament and to use the designated competition platforms.

·      A responsible coach must be available ONLINE or VIA CELL at all times.

·      Competition is open to 9-12 grade students representing the school in which they are officially enrolled and doing so with the permission of their school administration and/or coaches.

·      We will use CHSAA rules in all events, except Congressional Debate. We will use NSDA rules in Congressional Debate.

·      In CX, no kritiks or counterplans are allowed.

·      In CX, we will employ the NFHS Novice case limits, meaning that all teams should limit themselves to these case areas:

o   Forensic Science: Limit use of facial recognition software

o   Policing: Abandon federal efforts to force local police to assist in immigration enforcement

o   Sentencing: Abolish mandatory minimum sentences

o   Sentencing: Drug decriminalization

·      In Original Oratory and Informative Speaking, scripts are optional.

ONLINE Rules or NEW Rules this Year:

·      Please review the attached virtual rules for additional information and rules regarding tech, the digital platform, recording, extemp draw, debate, and evidence sharing.

·      Duo Interp must be recorded in a split-screen format.

·      For asynchronous recorded events, each competitor must record their performance. Recordings must be submitted by providing a URL link to the recording in Speechwire by Thursday, October 29 at 3pm.

·      Only competitors and judges will be allowed in competition rooms; additional observers will not be allowed in rounds.

·      Teams will have a team room available in Campus/Speechwire for gathering between rounds.

·      All competitors and judges must have a speechwire account to log in.

o   Ben at Speechwire has provided video resources to explain the creation of student accounts, judging online, viewing ballots and competing online. Please check them out. https://www.speechwire.com/p-video-resources.php

Awards:  We will award numerous superior and excellent ribbons. Awards will be sent to the schools after the tournament. Awards are scheduled for 2:30pm.

Judges' Certification Clinic:  We will host a clinic for adults interested in learning how to judge during the varsity season. This will be from 10:00am-1:00pm.

Site:  The tournament will be held ONLINE by the Colorado NSDA District.

Questions and Concerns:  Please feel free to contact Marti Benham at Cherry Creek High School, 720-554-2216 (school), 303-921-9411 (cell), mbenham@cherrycreekschools.org


Mission, Vision, Inclusion, Harassment, and Discrimination

At Colorado NSDA Speech and Debate Tournaments, we embrace and support the CHSAA Speech and Debate Inclusion Statement and the NSDA Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

CHSAA Speech and Debate Inclusion Statement

The CHSAA Speech and Debate community believes inclusion is vital to our community. We are committed to providing a safe and equitable learning and competitive environment that fosters a mindset of empathy, respect, and belonging for all involved in Speech and Debate, including, but not limited to students, coaches, judges and community members. We honor differences including races and cultures, genders and sexual orientations, abilities and aspirations, identities and affiliations, socioeconomics and worldviews. Embracing our diversity prepares our community to thrive. Individuals found to have violated this policy will be subject to the full range of sanctions, up to and including removal from the tournament premises.

National Speech & Debate Association Harassment and Discrimination Policy

The National Speech & Debate Association is committed to providing its participants, judges, coaches, and staff the opportunity to pursue excellence in their endeavors. This opportunity can exist only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. The NSDA prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination. Accordingly, all forms of harassment and discrimination, whether written or oral, based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by any applicable federal, state, or local law are prohibited, whether committed by participants, judges, coaches, or observers. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to the full range of sanctions, up to and including removal from the tournament premises.


CCHS Tournament Virtual Rules

Adapted from CHSAA Virtual Rules https://docs.google.com/document/d/131SfREACHMvJ7VbJvImpyZchEIEyou02sVmQXCDbofQ/edit?usp=sharing

Many of these rules align directly with the CHSAA Virtual Rules, but there are some variations. Please review all rules.

Digital Platform: 

We will use Speechwire for registration and tabulation purposes. We will use NSDA campus in conjunction with Speechwire as the platform for live virtual tournament competition.

Technology Requirements for Synchronous Rounds (adapted from NSDA National Tournament rules):

·      Competitors and judges are required to have internet access and a device with a microphone and a webcam throughout the duration of the competition. This could include a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer with an integrated or external microphone and camera.

·      Competitors and judges should keep their cameras on during each round to create accountability, immediately notice any connectivity issues, and allow students to monitor judge reactions to their performances. The general expectation is for speakers and judges to have the video turned on to maximize visual and audio cues for listeners and viewers. However, should bandwidth or other technical issues occur, judges are encouraged to accommodate students to maximize participation of all involved.

·      Judges will be instructed not to allow video/sound equipment quality, physical location, or other elements not in control of individual students to affect their decisions.

·      Equity is a core value of the Colorado High School Activities Association. We understand that many students and judges do not have equal access to the internet and technology.

Handling Tech and Tech Failure in Round

·      Coaches, judges, and competitors will be given instructions for reaching tournament officials for assistance.

·      Students should arrive early to rounds to test audio and video equipment.

·       Coaches, judges, and competitors must compete in the virtual rooms provided by the tournament. If there is a problem with technology or the virtual room, follow the instructions given to reach tournament officials.  No one (coach, judge, student) is allowed to move a virtual round to a video platform other than the one provided by the tournament. Students should inform their coaches and/or the tab room if a judge suggests moving the round to a private platform. Violations of this policy may result in disqualification and/or removal from the tournament.

Rules for Events:

Asynchronous Events

  • Students competing in prepared events (Drama, Humor, Poetry, POI, Duo, OO, Info) will submit a recording by the established registration deadline. This recording will be used for adjudication throughout the tournament.

Duo Interpretation

  • Students competing in Duo Interpretation will be required to submit a split screen recording of the performance for adjudication.

Script Requirements:

  • Students in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking must be able to provide a script of their speech that meets CHSAA rules if challenged.
  • Students in Interpretation events (Drama, Humor, Poetry, POI, DUO) must be able to provide the following if challenged:
    • The ISBN or a work cited page of the source(s) used
    • A PDF that contains a photocopy or printed screenshot of every page of the original source from which any line of the cutting was taken.
      • Pages are to be placed in the order in which they are performed (e.g., if text from one page is used more than once within the cutting, that page should be copied again with those words highlighted and reinserted where it is used in the cutting). Students are not required to photocopy or print pages that are not used in their cutting. 
      • All words used from the script should be highlighted (any words/lines not used should be left unmarked). 
      • Any word changes (to eliminate profane language) and/or additions (for transition) must be indicated clearly in ink. Failure to clearly indicate the addition of words will be subject to disqualification. 
    • A PDF that contains the final cutting performed by the student

Rules for Recordings (adapted from NSDA National Tournament rules):

Backdrops and Recording Equipment

Competitors may not use green screens, virtual backdrops, on-screen text, or professional equipment enhancements such as professional lighting kits or professional grade camera recording and audio devices (including things like softboxes or using an auditorium’s lighting system) during their performance in any event. Submissions or recordings may not be edited using any software; all submissions must be non-stop footage of the entire performance done through the permitted submission platform. The camera being used must remain stationary throughout the entire performance, and no zooming or panning is permitted. Other individuals may be present while filming, but audience interaction (laughing, applause, etc.) must not be included in the performance. Competitors may determine how close or distant the camera is set up in order to maximize both verbal and nonverbal communication. If possible, it is recommended that students and judges remove items that may be distracting in the background. Backdrops of a solid color with no special markings may be used by competitors and judges. 

Rules for Extemporaneous Draw:

Students in Extemporaneous Speaking will participate in a live draw prior to each round of competition and will perform live (synchronously) for the judge.

Partner Debate Event Rules

In partner debate events, partners are permitted to either compete together in the same room or from two different locations. We recommend that all competitors follow local guidelines for social distancing at the time of the tournament.

Debate Evidence Exchange Rules (adapted from Public Forum Tournament of Champions) - For CX, LD and PF:

Due to the online format there will be some requirements to allow what has traditionally occurred in a face-to-face debate round to occur online.

1) Evidence exchange will ONLY occur in the email chain established at the beginning of the round. The judge should be included on the email chain.

2) Evidence is sent in the email chain when requested. 

3) Be specific about the evidence you are requesting and what you want

A) A cut card, then the team can send the cut card inside of an email or in attached

    word document

            B) A cut card and the PDF - send the cut card in the email body and attach the PDF

            C) If you paraphrase then you send an email with the paragraph you are paraphrasing 

    in the body of the email and the attached PDF

CHSAA evidence rules indicate you must point to the specific words you are paraphrasing -- "The new language forces teams to point to specific lines from the original source from which the paraphrased argument is pulled, in contrast to the old language that would allow a team to point to an entire book or article as their original source".

4) Sending website links -- This doesn't work. Paywalls stop students from accessing evidence. Links are not copied correctly or wrong. You should attach the PDF to the email or if the PDF is too big for an email then you should save it in a Google Drive and send a link to the article in a Google Drive.

5) Students are not required to use their personal email addresses. It might be a good idea to set up a team Gmail account - for example KentuckyBT@gmail.com that partners can share for the purposes of the tournament.

Rules for Congressional Debate

  • We will use Direct Questioning in Congressional Debate.
  • Size of chambers will be smaller than in-person Congress chambers
  • Recency will be randomly set prior to the first session and each subsequent session to ease the process of determining who should speak.

Rules Conflicts

In the event that the rules for virtual competition conflict with the rules for live in person competition, the rules for virtual competition shall be the ones that are followed.

Manager contact information

Martha Benham
Email address: mbenham@cherrycreekschools.org
Phone number: 303-921-9411

Mailing address

Cherry Creek High School
9300 E. Union Avenue
Greenwood Village, CO 80128

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