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SMART Academy Invitational

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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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SMART Academy Invitational 

Dear colleagues, 


You are cordially invited to the fifth annual SMART Academy Invitational, hosted virtually by Strive Prep – SMART Academy on December 5th, 2020. All events will receive 4 prelim rounds, breaking to semifinals if numbers warrant. Details below. 


Equity Statement: 

The Strive Prep - SMART Academy Speech & Debate program is 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. 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. 


Asynchronous Events: 

HI, DI, POI, POE, Duo, OO, INF, Asynchronous Mixed-Extemp 


LIVE/Synchronous Events:

CX, LD, PF, Synchronous Mixed-Extemp 



Students can enter as many asynchronous events as they want. Extempers can enter both Asynchronous Extemp and Synchronous Extemp. Students can only enter one LIVE/Synchronous event on Saturday. 



-1 judge for every 2 debate entries. 

-1 judge for every 7 asynchronous speech entries. 

-The same judge can be signed up as both an asynchronous speech judge and debate judge. 

-We are single-flighting debate events, so debate judges will be crucial. 



-$5 per kid, per event. 

-We will not be paying judges to keep entry fees low. 



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: 

One of the two versions of Extemp will be Asynchronous. Please look for an update closer to the tournament date to understand how draw will work for Asynchronous Extemp. 


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/


Equity Statement: 

The Strive Prep - SMART Academy program is 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:

--The 2020 SMART Academy Invitational will not be charging any drop fees. 

--We have lowered our entry fees, making us one of the most affordable tournaments in the state and the country to offer 4 preliminary rounds plus multiple outrounds. 

--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: 

--The SMART Academy Speech & Debate team is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of judges. 

--Diverse panels of judges for outrounds. 

--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. Having asynchronous events helps facilitate rectifying this issue. Below are the steps we are committed to taking:

--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. 

--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). 

--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. 



Hosting this tournament is a tremendous source of pride for our community. Your attendance and contributions to this tournament are truly appreciated. 

Grant Thomas (He/Him)

Strive Prep - SMART Academy 



Manager contact information

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

Mailing address

3201 W. Arizona Ave.
Denver, CO 80219

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