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Twin Cities Forensics League #1

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a College tournament in Minnesota.

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Twin Cities Forensics League #1 Invitation

November 17, 2020 (Rescheduled from October)


Dear TCFL Colleague: 


Welcome back for another year of the Twin Cities Forensics League tournaments – this year, we’ll be online like everyone else! 


TCFL #1 will be conducted synchronously through Speechwire and Zoom. It’s recommended that your students get online accounts through Speechwire before the tournament starts. 


Rules: The Twin Cities Forensics League uses AFA rules for IE’s. For the purposes of virtual competition, they are modified from the normal AFA-NST speech descriptions as follows: 


1.     Students are only allowed one microphone and one speaker. 

2.     Duo partners will not be allowed to perform in the same room for filming. 

3.     Physically present audiences (aside from the camera operator) are not allowed.


Entries: A student may enter no more than two events. If a student is double-entered in Extemp and another event, the student may be asked to go to the other event first, and then go to Extemp Draw. 


Extemp Draw will be held in a separate Zoom room, which will be announced to the competitors. Topics will be sent via private Zoom chat to each competitor. 


Impromptu: Topics will be provided to the judges before the round. Judges should dismiss all competitors except the speaker who is speaking. Judges will then send the topics via a private Zoom chat to the competitor. 


Once the competitor has finished speaking, they may remain in the room. The next student should then be admitted from the waiting room. 


For limited preparation events, students are not allowed to communicate with coaches, competitors or other persons while preparing their event. We trust that students and coaches will honor those requests. 


There is no limit on the number of entries from any one school; however, the tournament reserves the right to move entries if absolutely necessary in order to facilitate the use of judges. 


Online Information:


Please make sure that your version of Zoom is at least version 5.3 – this is necessary in order for double entered competitors to switch breakout rooms without requiring a manager for each room. 


Judges: Schools must provide one judge for each six entries or fractions thereof. Judges must remain available for final round judging. Judges may be hired for $10 per uncovered entry slot. Conflicts with particular competitors/schools, or events for which the judge is not qualified, should be noted at the time of entry. 


We encourage all participants to keep the following in mind:  


1.     Students will be competing under a wide variety of circumstances. Some will be able to compete on campus. Some will have to compete from homes or apartments off campus. The quality of internet connections will vary tremendously. We encourage judges to not penalize competitors for any issues related to audio or video quality – judges should judge the content and nonverbal delivery. 

2.     As the competitive season begins, tournament judges and directors are navigating new means of competition. For many competitors and judges, this may be the first (or second or third) online competition. Norms are developing for online competition, but will be somewhat different than what has been done in the past. Your tournament staff, while very experienced in directing face-to-face competition, is less experienced in directing online competition. Probably the best way of thinking about this tournament (and tournaments in general) is to extend grace to all – competitors, judges, and staff – as we navigate this new environment together. 

3.     The tournament staff will be available between 3-3:30 to help with testing, debugging, last minute changes, etc. before competition starts.


Tiebreaking rules:

Prelim tiebreaking: Lowest ranks, speaker points, judges’ preference. 


Elim tiebreaking: Lowest ranks, judges’ preference, total speaker points, then number of 1st place ranks in finals, 2ndplace ranks in finals, 3rd place ranks in finals; then number of 1st place ranks in prelims, and then 2nd place ranks in prelims. 


Awards: TBA 




3:00    Announcements/Testing/Registration

3:30    Round 1 for all events. Extemp Draw for round 1. 

4:00    Extemp Round 1

4:45    Round 2 for all events. Extemp Draw for round 2. 

5:15    Extemp Round 2

6:00    Dinner Break

6:45    Finals (or ASAP) 

8:15/ASAP Awards

Entry Deadline: The initial entry deadline is Friday, November 13 at 12:30 p.m. Changes in entries must be entered by Tuesday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. Nuisance fees of $5 per drop or no show apply after this time. 


Judging fees will be based on the entry as it stands on Friday at 12:30. Even if you anticipate changes, you must enter by Friday and make changes later.  Events with insufficient entries on Friday are subject to cancellation.


Speechwire will remain open for entries and changes until Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. At that point, Speechwire will close for changes. Please email any changes after that time directly to Michael Dreher: mdreher@bethel.edu (please put TCFL entry change in the subject line). 


Accommodations: Please let us know if there are any accommodations that students and/or judges need.  


Dues: Dues are $100 for the first two planned TCFL tournaments. Dues allow for unlimited entry at each TCFL tournament, subject to providing sufficient judges with the entry. At this time, we are assuming that we will have two TCFL tournaments during the year. If there is interest in more tournaments, then we will assess a “second season” fee at pro-rated amounts. $50 for a tournament (or the usual $175 if we do decide on 4-6 tournaments) – that’s about as good as it gets! (We do have to still pay Speechwire and hired judges, after all.)


Look for an email from either David or Michael to talk about future TCFL’s. 


At this time, we don’t have an electronic payment option. Please send your entry fees to: 


Dr. David Lapakko
Dept. of Communication Studies

Augsburg University

2211 Riverside Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55454


We will do everything we can to make your new TCFL experience pleasant, user-friendly, memorable, educational, and even fun! 


David Lapakko, Executive Secretary, Twin Cities Forensics League

Email: lapakko@augsburg.edu

School phone: 612-330-1722

Cell phone: 612-516-7321


Michael Dreher, Tournament Director, Twin Cities Forensics League

Email: mdreher@bethel.edu

Cell phone: 612-850-3755

Manager contact information

Michael Dreher
Email address: mdreher@bethel.edu
Phone number: 612-850-3755

Mailing address

Twin Cities Forensics League c/o David Lapakko
Augsburg University
Minneapolis, MN 55454

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