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Indiana Forensic Association 2021 State Championship

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Indiana Forensic Association

2021 State Championship Tournament



January 10th, 2021


Dear Friends,


You and your teams are cordially invited to compete in the 39th Annual Indiana State Speech Tournament and the 10th Annual Indiana State Debate Tournament. This year, our tournament is virtual via yaatly.com with the Individual Events portion on Saturday, February 13th and the Debate portion occurring on Sunday, February 14th.


With novice divisions in every event, a limited number of entries, a no-travel live virtual experience, and an accessible community of helpful coaches from around the state, these contests are a great opportunity for students to experience speech and debate for the first time. The tournaments are open to all undergraduate students, regardless of whether your school has an organized forensics program. We invite you to enter any students interested in public speaking, debate, or acting. We’ll also waive entry fees for new or student-run programs upon request. Every school that attends will receive a sweepstakes trophy. Navigating the registration process and rules for these events can, at first, seem a bit daunting. If you’d like to learn more about how to participate in the speech and debate tournaments, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wideman (widemans@uindy.edu).


Our state has a long, distinguished history of intercollegiate forensic competition. Our first collegiate oratorical association was formed by six of our universities in 1874 (Asbury, Butler, Hanover, Indiana, Purdue, and Wabash). They held an annual oratory contest, and the winning student qualified to attend the Interstate Oratory Association competition, which began that same year. That contest continues to this day, and the top two speakers in the event Persuasive Speaking at our tournament will qualify to represent the state of Indiana at the Interstate Oratory tournament.


In addition to these speech and debate contests, we sponsor a scholarly paper competition for student work in communication or a related discipline. Please note: Submissions for the paper contest are due by February 1st. All other entries for the tournaments are due on Tuesday, February, 9th, at 5pm.


This invitation reviews the events offered, registration process, and schedule. A detailed description of each of the events and their rules is also provided. Please note, too, that the annual meeting of the Indiana Forensic Association will be held during the lunch hour at the tournament on Saturday. All coaches are invited to attend. We look forward to seeing you in February!



Ashley, Drew & Stephanie


Ashley Coker                 Tournament Director for Individual Events                            acoker@bsu.edu

Drew Stewart               Tournament Director for Debate                                 dstewart@marian.edu

Stephanie Wideman   IFA President                                                                        widemans@uindy.edu

Overview of the Individual Events

Group A Speech Events:

Extemporaneous Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Prose Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Informative Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Dramatic Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Rhetorical Criticism (Varsity and Novice)

Programmed Oral Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)



Group B Speech Events:

Impromptu Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Poetry Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Persuasive Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

After Dinner Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Duo Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Radio Speaking (2020/2021 IFA Experimental Event, Open division only)

Slide Karaoke (2021/2022 IFA Experimental Event, Open division only)


*Each student may enter up to three events per group (cannot be QE in either flight).

*(NEW FOR 2021) Each school may enter up to five students per event (across both divisions). For example, a team may enter up to five speakers in Informative Speaking—four varsity/one novice, two varsity/three novice, zero varsity/five novice, etc. For experimental events (Radio and Slide Karaoke), each school may enter up to three students. There is no novice division in these events (although novice competitors are more than welcome to enter!

*Purely for reasons of practicality, students will probably not want to enter BOTH Radio AND Slide Karaoke, as both require 30min prep. If you have someone with their heart set on doing both, please do not enter them in a 3rd event in flight B—two preps and three speeches is a no-go for sure!



IPDA Parliamentary Debate

IPDA Debate Structure:



5 minute

1st Affirmative Constructive

2 minute

Negative-led Cross Examination

6 minute

1st Negative Constructive

2 minute

Affirmative-led Cross Examination

3 minute

Affirmative Rebuttal

5 minute

Negative Rebuttal

3 minute

Affirmative Summary


The tournament will offer Novice and Open divisions where entries warrant. IPDA will abide by rules & guidelines within the IPDA Constitution. This division is open to individuals.  We will follow IPDA Constitution rules. Each school may enter up to four individual IPDA debaters in any division.

Format & Pairings: The tournament will offer 4 preliminary rounds of IPDA debate for Open and Novice with corresponding elimination rounds. Rounds 1 & 2 will be randomly matched. All subsequent prelim rounds will be high-low power matched.


Virtual Platforms: Ballots will be distributed through Speechwire, while the actual debating will be done on the platform, Yaatly. (See full explanation about Yaatly below). For example, when meeting initially to strike topics, competitors and judges will get to meet in a virtual room specifically for their round. The topics will be sent to the room (most likely directly to the judge) and competitors can begin striking resolutions. Once the 30 minute prep period is over, then competitors can sign back into their room to commence debating. The judge will watch the debate on Yaatly, but submit a ballot through Speechwire.


Outrounds & Awards: Brackets will not be broken going into outrounds, to protect competitors from the same school from being matched against each other. In this event, the team will be consulted to determine which competitor should advance. Speaker awards will be announced before the 1st outround is posted. Outround participants/team awards will be announced after the final round.


Tournament Schedule

Saturday, February 13, 2021

7:30—8:15am Registration

8:15am             Extemp Draw

8:45am             Round 1A

9:45am             Extemp Draw

10:15am           Round 2 A

11:15am           IFA Coaches Meeting (and Lunch Break)

12:00pm           Radio/SK Draw

12:30pm           Round 1B

1:30pm             Radio/SK Draw

2:00pm             Round 2B

3:00pm             Extemp Draw

3:30pm             Finals A

4:30pm             Radio/SK Draw

4:45pm             Finals B

6:30pm             Awards


Sunday, February 14, 2021

7:30—8:30am Registration

8:45am             Topic Release

9:00am             Debate Round 1

10:15am           Topic Release

10:30am           Debate Round 2

12:15pm           Topic Release

12:30pm           Debate Round 3

1:30pm             Topic Release

1:45pm             Debate Round 4

3:15pm             Topic Release

3:30pm             Debate Semi-Finals

4:30pm             Topic Release

4:45pm             Debate Finals

6:00pm             Awards


Key Reminders for Coaches


We will be using electronic ballots via speechwire for IEs. When entering judges, please include their email addresses in the space provided. Judges may want to use a laptop or tablet, but the ballot will also be accessible using one’s phone.



Yaatly is a secure tournament interface. It functions much like Zoom (etc)— except better, because it’s designed with tournaments in mind. Think of Yaatly as a virtual tournament building, complete with an auditorium for socialization and awards ceremonies, a lobby where postings lead competitors directly to their competition rooms, private team rooms where schools can strategize, warm up and socialize. Participants use their own laptops to compete and can do so from their personal or team space. Yaatly even allows you to chat directly with the tab room and our tournament staff at any time during the tournament. If you haven’t yet used yaatly, you will need to get your team (competitors and judges) set up in advance. Detailed setup information is available at app.yaatly.com



Please register for both debate and speech contests at www.speechwire.com.

1. Entries are due by 5pm on Tuesday, February 9th. The tournament is listed as the

“Indiana Forensic Association Championship.”

2. Once you have entered your students and judges, Speechwire will calculate your

entry fee. Please note that this is only a preliminary calculation.

4. If you have any questions about how to register, contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu; 765.729.3936)


Scholarship in Communication Paper Contest

Papers are due by February 1st. Please email submissions to Dr. Michael Baumann (mbaumann@marian.edu). Students are invited to submit an academic paper concerning any topic related to communication. The paper should reflect significant engagement with an academic discipline such as rhetorical studies, cultural studies, performance studies, or the social scientific study of human communicative behavior. Papers may emerge from work in class; they may not be previously published. Criteria for evaluation include the conception and justification of the project, facility with disciplinary literature, and articulation of a credible scholarly voice. Any student competing at one of the state tournaments is welcome to participate. The maximum length is 25 pages, double-spaced. Each team may enter a maximum of three students in the contest.


Lee Horn Award

A written nomination is required for the Lee Horn Award, due with the entry at 5 p.m. on

Tuesday, February 9th. Nominations should be sent to Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).  

Giving - reaching out to others – was one of Lee Horn’s strengths. The annual Lee Horn Award recognizes a student for helping others in this activity, maintaining a positive attitude, and modeling a personal commitment to improve their events. The tournament director will share the letters of nomination with coaches during the week of the tournament so that we can vote on the recipient at the state association coach’s meeting, held during lunch at the individual events tournament. Coaches who will not be present at the meeting (i.e. attending Sunday only) may submit their school’s vote to Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu) in advance. 



Please bring as many judges as you can. We welcome “lay” judges, that is, members of the community who can offer constructive criticism, but may not have experienced with speech and debate. We can provide training for new judges at the tournament. You are required to bring one judge for every six entries in the speech events and one judge for every two debate entries. If you cannot bring enough judges to cover your entry, you will be charged an extra fee for the uncovered entries. And if you know of extra, clean judges that we can hire? Please ask them to contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).


Entry Restrictions

Remember that each school may enter up to five students per speech event (three for the experimentals) and up to four teams in each division of debate. Each individual student can compete in up to three speech events in Group A and three speech events in Group B. According to our constitution, any alterations must be approved by a majority vote of the state association.

Registration Fees

Each entry in a speech event costs $7. A duo counts as one entry. If the entry is uncovered, add $10. IPDA Individual entries cost $25. Each school in attendance will also pay a registration fee of $25.


Drops from the tournament after the entry deadline will incur a fee. Each speech drop after noon on Wednesday costs $10 (in addition to the original entry fees described above); each speech judge drop costs $25 (in addition to any new uncovered fees that must be charged as a result). Dropping a debate team or judge after Wednesday at noon will result in a $50 fee. Name changes are free in debate.

Please make your checks payable to “Indiana Forensic Association.” By Thursday (February 11th), you will receive an email with an invoice for the total registration fee. If you need this information sooner, please contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).


Who is a Novice?

In the speech events, novice divisions are reserved for students who have not competed in intercollegiate forensics prior to the 2020-2021 season.


In Debate, a novice is any student competing in their first year of collegiate debate.



Awards will be presented to the top six competitors in all speech events, including the separate novice divisions. Awards will be presented to semi-finalists and finalists in each debate event as well as the top five speakers. Every school that participates in the State Speech Tournament or the State Debate Tournament will receive a team sweepstakes trophy.


Highlights of the Rules:

  1. Slide Karaoke and Radio Speaking descriptions/guidelines are listed below. All of the other events follow NFA rules.
  2. IPDA will follow IPDA rules.
  3. All material should be of each student’s own design and should not have been performed by that student in competition prior to the 2020-2021 academic year.
  4. For Individual Events, we will use NFA-style scoring, tie-breaking, and tabulation procedures. Team sweeps will be calculated based on final round points only (unless prelims are required to break a tie). Novice and varsity count equally. All events, including the IFA experimental events (Public Narrative and Radio Speaking) will count toward team sweepstakes. IPDA will follow IPDA rules. School sweepstakes in debate will be based on points scored in debate events as outlined in the IFA constitution.
  5. Virtual synchronous tournament standards are still developing naturally. As such, filming choices (framing, use of space, etc) will not be articulated as rules. We will, however, echo the suggestions for best practices proposed by AFA, including use of one camera only, one microphone only, limiting live audience members to a camera operator only, and socially distanced duo partners (ideally in two separate virtual spaces). All participants are reminded to avoid screen recording (with privacy concerns in mind) and to be flexible with technical difficulties outside the speaker’s control.
  6. Impromptu speaking will include a diversity of prompts by round as follows:

RD1-Quotations    RD2-Single words       FinalRD-Questions

  1. Extemp will feature questions about the State of Indiana in the final round.
  2. Slide Karaoke: This is a limited preparation event rooted in a bit of role playing. The premise is that a presenter “can’t make it” to deliver their presentation and has asked our contestant to fill-in, last-minute. While the details of the speaking scenario (the event, the audience, the “theme”/guiding topic, etc) may change from round-to-round, the presenter will always remember to attach their slides but “forget” to attach their speaker’s notes—in other words, the contestant will use the communication from the original presenter along with their slides to craft the presentation. The slides will be abstract enough that the interpretation of them (and therefore, the content of the presentation) will be up to the contestant. There will be no specific knowledge required and no expectation of outside research, but contestants may use the internet during their prep time. Students may not add or change slides, but they are permitted to change the order, and they are permitted to skip/delete one slide if they wish. Contestants should expect to speak from a seated position (zoom meeting style) and use screen sharing to display the slides from their device. The prompt will be the same across all sections and speakers, so contestants will not see speakers who speak before them and are expected to maintain confidentiality during prep time.

Time: 30 minute prep, 7 minute maximum speaking 

Provided prompt: powerpoint slides and a somewhat lengthy email explaining the scenario (example prompt available by email (acoker@bsu.edu)

  1. Radio Speaking: Contestants will be given a packet of source materials and will have 30 minutes to select and organize a five minute simulated radio broadcast. All material used in the broadcast will be provided by the tournament with the exception of any hypothetical station call letters, time and current weather conditions or forecast and no more than one commercial (maximum 30 seconds). Contestants should strive to present a broadcast that resembles a live radio news segment and refrain from humorous devices (like the traffic girl falling out of the traffic copter or Bigfoot rampaging through town, etc). Maximum time limit for the speech is five minutes. Students will be seated at a table during the performance and may use a stopwatch since time signals will not be given. Judges will not face the contestant during the speech.


Manager contact information

Ashley Coker
Email address: acoker@bsu.edu
Phone number: 317-940-9847

Mailing address

4600 Sunset Ave.
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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