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Ocelot 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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The 2021

Ocelot Invitational





 Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to the Ocelot Invitational on January 30th, a NIETOC bid tournament! 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 diverse judge pool!

-Asynchronous format to facilitate participation for ALL students 

-Live posting parties & awards on Saturday to celebrate students & create community building moments 

-5 Preliminary rounds 

-Multiple Team Awards 

-Multiple outrounds! 

-<20 entries = Finals Break

-20-39 entries = Semifinals Break 

-40+ entries = Quarterfinals Break

Equity Statement: 

The Strive Prep - SMART Academy 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. 

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, Duo (Split Screen), INF, OO, Asynchronous Mixed-Extemp, . 

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, January 28th

VIDEOS DUE Thursday at noon MST. 

Prelim ballots released Thursday afternoon. 

Saturday: (November 7)

9:30am: ALL prelim ballots DUE. 

10am: Virtual Posting Party for Quarterfinals! 

10am-1pm: Quarterfinals ballots released. Due at 1pm. 

1pm: Virtual Posting Party for Semifinals! 

1-3pm: Semifinal ballots released. Due at 3pm. 

3pm: Virtual Posting Party for Finals!

4-6pm: Final Ballots released, due at 6pm. 

6:30: Virtual Awards Ceremony! 


Teams will be asked to provide 1 judge for every 7 entries. 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. Our team has attended this national tournament in May for many years. If you have any questions about the tournament experience, we would be happy to answer them. 


The entry fee will be $6 per event. There will be a $30 fee for every missing judge. 

Please make checks payable to “STRIVE Prep - SMART” and send them to 3201 W. Arizona Ave, Denver, CO 80219ATTN: SMART/GRANT THOMAS


Equity Statement: 

We 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 2021 Ocelot Invite 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. We are committed to recruiting a diverse pool of judges. 

2. Diverse panels of judges for outrounds. 

3. An anti-bias virtual judge training is required for all judges before receiving ballots. 


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 Ocelot Invite this year. A set of questions will be released Saturday (Jan. 23) and students will have until Thursday 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/


Hosting this tournament is a tremendous source of pride for our scholars and faculty. 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.



Grant Thomas (He/Him)

Strive Prep - SMART Academy




Manager contact information

Grant Thomas
Email address: gthomas@striveprep.org
Phone number: 7206108166

Mailing address

3201 W Arizona Ave
Strive Prep SMART
Denver, CO 80219-3941

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