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Novice No More

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General information

This is a College tournament in Oklahoma.

View manager contact information


April 14 - 17, 2021

Virtual (Hybrid) – Hosted by Northeastern State University

& Liberty University




Your first year of college forensics started under quarantine and you had to learn to speak to a camera instead of a live audience. But you’ve persevered! Now, you understand Yaatly, can do a virtual one-clap, and typically begin any online conversation with, “Can you see and hear me OK?”


Next season, you’ll move up to Open and contend against varsity competitors. So, we want to give you one last chance to compete as a novice. Therefore, we would like to invite you to the first-ever Novice No More Tournament to be held virtually April 14-17, 2021. The tournament will offer IPDA debate synchronously (via Yaatly) on Saturday, April 17 and IE’s asynchronously to be judged between April 14-16.  IPDA debate will offer four preliminary rounds breaking to semifinals on Saturday afternoon/evening.


The tournament will also offer an experimental event of Impromptu Haiku Poetry (since April 17th is National Haiku Poetry day). This event is also open to coaches. See the invitation for event details.


This tournament is open to novice competitors from any college and university. For the purposes of this tournament, novice competitors are defined as students in their first year of collegiate competition who DID NOT break to finals at the AFA or NFA national tournaments.


The tournament directors reserve the right to limit the number of entries from a school, and/or balance rounds with students from the same school in order to accommodate judging obligations from schools with large entries. All IE events with eight or fewer entries will be auto-finaled.


Please submit entries on Speechwire.com.  The entry and drop deadline is 5 PM CST on April 13, 2021. Limited Prep prompts will be released that evening.


Tournament rules and schedule are on the following pages. 



Katie Thomas, MA & Denise Thomas, MA

Tournament Co-Directors

Directors of Forensics, Northeastern State University & Liberty University (respectively)

Tentative Schedule (all times listed are in Central Time)

Tuesday, April 13th  

5:00 p.m.                     Add & drop deadline via Speechwire

6:00 p.m.                     Limited prep prompts released

Wednesday, April 14th  

5:00 p.m.                     Video submission links due for all IE entries

7:00 p.m.                     Ballots released for all prelim IE rounds

Friday, April 16th  

12:00 p.m.                   Ballots due for all IE prelim rounds

1:00 p.m.                     Ballots released for IE final rounds  

Saturday, April 17th

8:30 a.m.                     Registration via Yaatly

9:00 a.m.                     IPDA Draw/Round 1

10:30 a.m.                   IPDA Draw/Round 2

12:30 p.m.                   IPDA Draw/Round 3

2:00 p.m.                     IPDA Draw/Round 4

2:00 p.m.                     Ballots due for IE final rounds

3:30 p.m.                     IPDA Semis

5:00 p.m.                     IPDA Finals

6:30 p.m.                     (asap after debate finals) Awards (via Zoom: https://nsuok.zoom.us/j/98064566713)



This tournament will recognize the top three speakers in any form of debate and those teams breaking to semifinals and beyond. IE’s will recognize the top six entries in each event. The top novice entries from each event will be recognized as Top Novice. Sweepstakes awards will be given to the top three schools overall. Individual sweepstakes awards will recognize the top three students that compete in at least four IE events and debate.


Rules for all events

*No speech or program used by the contestant in competition shall have been used prior to August 1st preceding the tournament.

*Speeches must be the original work of the student.

*AFA-NIET rules shall be followed for all individual events.

*Debate events shall follow the rules of the appropriate national association.  Debaters are expected to be in the virtual competition rooms at the end of prep time, and a late forfeiture rule will be enforced.

*In order to allow our novices to celebrate their fellow competitors, we will be sharing video links with students entered in the tournament. Please note that by entering this tournament you are consenting to your student’s video link being shared. Note: It will not be shared beyond the tournament.


Impromptu Haiku Poetry

Students will receive two prompts from which to choose and will have a total time of three minutes to compose and perform their haiku. Creativity and humor are encouraged. This event is for fun so students should not feel compelled to topple the patriarchy, undo systematic racism, or be a voice for the voiceless in 17 syllables. An original introduction may be included to provide context.


haiku is traditionally a Japanese poem consisting of three short lines that do not rhyme. The three lines should consist of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables, respectively.



Please make every effort to cover your judging requirements.  Please know that we will provide a limited amount of hired judges (if needed) for the tournament.  Many of these judges will have limited forensics experience but will have undergone a limited training to ensure quality judges.



AFA-NIET rules will be followed in the participation and tabbing of all individual events.


Tournament Fees

We will be setting up a credit card payment portal for this tournament. Instructions will be sent out with invoices. If you need to pay by check, please let us know.


IE Entries                                            @$10 (one judge covers 6 slots)

Judge/Uncovered IE Entries               @$20

IPDA Entries                                      @$25 (one judge covers 2 debaters)

Judge/Uncovered IPDA Entries         @$50



Fees will be assessed at 5 PM on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021.  The following nuisance fees will be applied to changes after that time.  Debate drops $50; IE drops $25; judge drops $100 each. 

Manager contact information

Katie Thomas
Email address: thoma162@nsuok.edu
Phone number: 5404474684

Mailing address

600 N Grand Ave
Tahlequah, OK 74464

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