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NSDA Flamingo District Tournament (form. South Florida)

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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NSDA Flamingo District Qualifier for Nationals to be held IN PERSON: 

  • Friday, February 24, 2023 - Congressional Debate (House and Senate) at Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, FL 33133

  • Saturday, February 25, 2023 - Speech and Debate at Christopher Columbus HS 3000 SW 87th Ave, Miami, FL 33165

Dear Coach,

It’s time to plan your entry for the 2023 Flamingo (formerly South Florida) NSDA District Qualifier Tournament for NSDA Nationals!  These events will be held in person using SpeechWire at the following locations:

Ransom Everglades, Friday, February 24 – Student Congress

Christopher Columbus, February 25 – Speech & Debate Tournament

I know this is a long document, and I apologize, but please read through this email to find out how to accept or reject the invitation, submit your entries online, and learn more about the tournament from the manager.

This tournament determines our district’s congress, speech, and debate event qualifiers to the NSDA National Championship to be held June 11-16, 2023 which will be held in person in Phoenix, AZ.  NSDA District Tournament entry procedures and event rules are different from CFL and FFL tournaments; please expect to meet all of the requirements established by NSDA. The NSDA staff will audit the entire tournament. Our failure to follow NSDA procedures could result in the invalidation of our results, so it is imperative you meet all deadlines and follow all NSDA rules. The District Committee must follow and enforce NSDA policies!

The Flamigo NSDA District will be following the rules as established in the 2022-2023 Unified High School Manual which can be found on the NSDA website, speechanddebate.org.


--Entries, Fees, Drops, Rules:  Tournament Director – Kate Hamm, 954-901-1276 (cell) 305-460-8221 (school)

--Day of Tournament Emergencies:  Kate Hamm or Gabriel de Tuya - 501-247-2249


Entry will take place on www.SpeechWire.com   You must have a SpeechWire account to register for the Flamingo NSDA District Tournament. 


Judges will have to complete ballots online using laptop computer, ipad, notebook, etc.

Completing electronic ballots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJXxeVS-KgM


Only schools that are members of the NSDA (paid – in full with no outstanding fees BY FEBRUARY 17) and their students who are members of the NSDA (must have a minimum of 25 NSDA points on record at least 7 days prior to the event, FEBRUARY 17) may participate at this tournament.  Eligibility requirements are discussed in more detail a little later in the invite.  Also, please remember that a school-approved adult must accompany students to the tournament and remain on site for the entire competition.  If the school-approved adult is NOT the Head Coach or Assistant Coach on record with the league, then a letter signed by the school principal and printed on school stationery MUST be submitted with the school’s entry.  The letter needs to specifically name the adult in charge.  The penalty for failing to submit this document is disqualification of all contestants from the school involved.


NUMBER OF ENTRIES PER SCHOOL: To confirm the maximum number of entries your school is allowed in Speech/Debate and Congress, log in to your NSDA account and select "District Info" on the left-side menu. Then, scroll down to the "Schools in the Flamingo district" heading. On the far right are the number of Debate/Speech Slots, Senate Slots, and House Slots, each school is allowed.

CONGRESS: Each active school is allowed a maximum of two Senate entries. However, the number of House entries a school is allowed varies, depending on the overall strength of a program.

CONGRESS - NUMBER OF QUALIFIERS & CHAMBERS: The NSDA Congress features two separate competitions: a Senate and a House.


If fewer than 8 schools attend, no Senate will be held; if 8 or more schools attend, then 2 students qualify. PLEASE CONSIDER ENTERING AT LEAST ONE ENTRY IN CONGRESS. A STUDENT MAY COMPETE IN CONGRESS ON FRIDAY NIGHT AND ENTER A DIFFERENT EVENT(S) ON SATURDAY.


A district must have a minimum of 16 competitors to seat a House of Representatives. Refer to the chart below to determine number of House chambers and advancement to the National House (note that the number of students is based on participation - speaking or presiding at least once):

•       16-29 entries = 2 qualifiers

•       30-58 entries = 4 qualifiers out of Supers (finals)

•       59-87 entries = 6 qualifiers out of Supers (finals)

•       88-116 entries = 7 qualifiers out of Supers (finals)

•       117-145 entries = 8 qualifiers out of Supers (finals)

•       146+ entries  = 9 qualifiers out of Supers (finals)

ENTERING "FILLERS" IN CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED, to allow our district to send as many legislators as possible to the NSDA national championship. In other words, PLEASE FILL ALL YOUR AVAILABLE HOUSE SLOTS.  Students who are acting as fillers in all events including Congress must attend the tournament and must speak at least one speech.

Schools are NOT required to enter students in the Senate. However, the Senate entry allowance of two (2) may NOT be transferred to the House. Remember that 8 schools must enter the Senate or everyone in the Flamingo NSDA District will lose their Senate entries.

Chamber Assignments:

Coaches will pre-designate Senate entries (maximum of two) during registration. The assignment of entries to prelim Houses will be determined by blind draw.

SPEECH/DEBATE: The number of Speech/Debate entries a school is allowed also varies, depending on the overall strength of a program. However, each school is capped at four entries per event.

Because SpeechWire is not designed to allow various overall caps, we are incorporating a waitlist for all entries, so the Flamingo district committee members can verify the students being entered have 25+ NSDA points and are paid members. On your NSDA roster, this is indicated by a blue checkmark in the "District Eligible" column.

We will also email a complete list of the entry caps per school after tournament registration is open, and will send updated numbers between then and the close of registration. Remember, membership fees for school and competitors must be paid by February 24. You may enter “Fillers” for Speech & Debate Events.  Please only enter students that can actually attend the qualifying tournament in person at Christopher Columbus. If a competitor does not show up on the day of competition, we may lose the ability to qualify students in that event.


•       4 entries = 2 qualifiers

•       30 entries = 3 qualifiers

•       50 entries and up = 4 qualifiers


There is a space on the entry form to place additional students on a reserve entry list. In the event that a student becomes ill or cannot attend, a substitute may be chosen from the reserve list. If the substitute is not listed, the coach must produce a letter from the principal certifying the eligibility of the substitute contestant. No substitutions may be made after the close of final registration on the day of the District Tournament.

Any school that has 2 entries in EVERY event (PD, LD, PFD, UX, IX, OO, HI, DI, DUO, INFO, POI) who actually compete by participating in at least one round earns 2 bonus entries above its member & degree allocation. The bonus slots can be used in any event, but the limit of 4 entry slots in each event still applies.


As mentioned earlier - Only NSDA members in good standing are allowed to participate in the district tournament. It is the affirmative duty of each coach to provide proof of NSDA membership for each student entered in the district contest. The district committee must disqualify any nonā€member student from competition.

a. Students must be members seven days or 168 hours prior to the official start time of the contest. All necessary points and fees must be submitted to the national office by this deadline, February 18. Please take time prior to this deadline to update all of your points on the NSDA website. If you are having difficulties with point entry, please reach out to any of the Flamingo NSDA District Committee members. They are more than happy to help.

b. A student may not have attended a secondary school more than nine semesters and must meet the age/eligibility requirements of his or her state activities association.  Each contestant who elects to participate in more than one NSDA event must complete the "Single Entry Letter of Intent Form." On this form, students must designate which event they will compete in at nationals if they qualify in multiple events. This step is necessary because students may only compete in one event at nationals. These decisions must be made in advance, and the choice must be affirmed by signature of the student, parent, coach, and principal.  All intent letters are due with entry forms; any double-entered student who does not have a completed intent form will be disqualified.


In any given year at the National Tournament, any student who places in the top 14 in any main event, has not completed more than six semesters of high school, and is still enrolled in high school (as a student in good standing) may enter the following year’s National Tournament in the same solo event or in the same team event with the same partner. The district will permit an auto-qualified student to participate in the district contest and to double enter as specified by the district’s uniform double-entry policies. No rule regarding double entry may be violated by auto-qualification. The entry must indicate acceptance of the auto-qualification through his or her Single Entry Letter of Intent prior to its district competition. The district chair should notify the national office of acceptance of the auto-qualification in reporting district results. A student who accepts auto-qualification may double-enter based on rules above but must sign the single letter of intent, which is binding, in favor of the event of their auto-qualification. If the entry signs the single letter of intent and rejects auto-qualification, the results of the district contest are binding. Please let Kate Hamm know if you are entering students who have Auto-qualified to the national tournament.


Students that participate in the Flamingo NSDA District Congress Tournament are still eligible to double enter in the District Speech/Debate Tournament. The Congress national qualifier is a separate tournament.


a. Students may only enter one debate event at the District Tournament [Big Questions Debate, Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, or Public Forum Debate].

b. Students may enter in one PARTNERED debate event [Policy Debate or Public Forum Debate] as partners and Duo Interpretation as the same partnership. A student may not enter a PARTNERED debate event and duo with different partners. 

c. If the student qualifies in a PARTNERED event (Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, or Duo Interpretation) and a SOLO event, the student must attend Nationals in the partnered event unless:

•       two students are entered in a team event as partners and both also qualify in an individual event, these students may choose to enter the individual event at the National Tournament if, pre-registered on the “Single Entry Letter of Intent” form prior to the ending of the District Tournament pre-registration; or

•       two students are entered in a team debate event as partners (and qualify to Nationals) and the same partnership also qualifies in duo, these students may choose to enter ONE of the team events (as partners) at the National Tournament, if pre-registered on the “Single Entry Letter of Intent” form prior to the ending of the District Tournament in which the students will potentially double qualify.

Each contestant who elects to participate in more than one event must complete the "Single Entry Letter of Intent Form." This includes students who compete at the Flamingo NSDA District Congress Tournament and are also competing in the Speech & Debate Tournament the next day.  On this form, students must designate which event they will compete in at nationals if they qualify in multiple events. This step is necessary because students may only compete in one event at nationals. These decisions must be made in advance, and the choice must be affirmed by signature of the student, parent, coach, and principal. All intent letters are due with entry forms; any double-entered student who does not have a completed intent form will be disqualified. STUDENTS INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF FLAMINGO NSDA'S WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE TEAMS MUST INCLUDE WSD ON THEIR LETTER OF INTENT, EVEN IF THEY ONLY REGISTER FOR A SINGLE EVENT THAT FRIDAY OR SATURDAY.


We need judges!  We cannot have a district tournament without judges.  Schools must cover judge obligations or hire a judge.  Hired judge fees are $100/judge.  The NSDA requires we use unaffiliated judges and parliamentarians in Congress. "Unaffiliated" means there are judges available with no one from their school in a specific chamber.

ANY ASSISTANCE THAT COACHES CAN OFFER IN PROVIDING "UNAFFILIATED" JUDGES WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED FOR BOTH CONGRESS (FRI) AND SPEECH & DEBATE (SAT). College-age judges are permitted at the discretion of the District Committee. Current high school students may not judge any portion of the district tournament series.

For student congress each chamber must have two scorers and a parliamentarian per session.

The Flamingo NSDA District Committee reserves the right to have coaches judge rounds and to use judges in pools other than those in which they are designated. If you have extra judges or know of community judges who would like to help us, please let us know! It is also possible judges will be "shared" between pools if need be.

Please consider your judging options carefully! If you have a judge whom you know cannot be objective ... LEAVE THAT PERSON AT HOME- This is a high-stakes tournament. For some schools and students, NSDA Nationals is the most important tournament of the year, and the NSDA District Tournament is thus the second most important tournament. As a community of dedicated coaches, we ought to have enough respect for one another and enough consideration for students from other schools to eliminate untrained or biased judges from our rosters. It reflects poorly on your school and your integrity when you place poorly qualified or prejudiced judges into the pool.

Information on judging NSDA events can be found here: https://www.speechanddebate.org/judge-training/


1.  Flat School Fee  – $50

2.  Student Entry Fee - $15/student

3.  Uncovered Judge Fee - $100/judge

Checks should be made payable to Ransom Everglades (mailed in advance or brought to the tournament) to:

Ransom Everglades Attn Kate Hamm

3575 Main Highway

Coconut Grove, FL 33133

If a school does not pay in advance they will not be permitted to participate in the tournament.  Please plan accordingly. 


FRIDAY EVENING 2/24/23 at Ransom Everglades School on Main Hwy

Student Congress - House and Senate (must have 8 schools)

SATURDAY 2/25/23 at Christopher Columbus HS

Policy Debate                         U.S. Extemp                     Dramatic Interp.         

Lincoln Douglas Debate         International Extemp         Humorous Interp.               

Public Forum Debate             Original Oratory                 Duo Interp.

Informative Speaking             Program Oral Interp.


FOR DEBATE EVENTS: - this may be subject to change – we are reviewing to make sure that this is what is best for our NSDA District – if it does change we will publish all changes well in advance. 

•       5-6 entries - round robin format (see the Unified Manual). If 7 or more entries - four prelim rounds going to single elimination.

•       1 judge for prelim rounds, 3 judges for elim rounds

•       Judges need to include points for prelim debate rounds since it's not a 2-down system. Decimal points are allowed. No scores below 27 unless by exception.

•       Rounds 1-2 are random preset; rounds 3+ are powered

•       We need to run elim debate rounds - either all entries with a winning record or only teams with zero or one losses. These go into a single-elimination bracket. Rounds are held until we have the two finalists (since those two entries are our national representatives).

Policy Debate:          Prep time is 8 minutes per team. The tournament will use the 2022-23 National Topic.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.

Lincoln Douglas:        Prep time is 4 minutes per debater. The tournament will use the NSDA January/February topic.

Resolved: Justice requires open borders for human migration.

Public Forum:           Prep time is 3 minutes per team. The tournament will use the NSDA February topic. Judges must conduct the coin toss. Contestants should stand for Crossfire but sit for Grand Crossfire.

Resolved: In the United States, right-to-work laws do more harm than good.

World Schools Debate:   -  Please complete this Google Form - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WMR7WZrHtxBcTvzGbpki2SRYX9UumvAzOWB48v78-4E/edit

Districts may send up to two (2) "World Schools Debate" teams to the National Tournament. Teams are comprised of three to five members from each district opting to participate. After the entire district tournament series (speech, debate, congress) is complete, any student who competed at districts would be eligible for participation on the World Schools District Team. Participating schools must provide one full-time judge for each team that competes at the National Tournament.

The Flamingo NSDA District WSD application process is as follows:

- Students must rank WSD on the NSDA Letter of Intent (the higher the better) and must compete at the Flamingo NSDA District qualifier (in any event)

- Your Flamingo NSDA District committee will review students who have prioritized WSD

- Your Flamingo NSDA District committee will discuss the applicants, including their past WSD experience (NSDA, FFL, PBCFL, independents, etc.)

A more detailed breakdown of these options, along with additional information, can be found in the USA World Schools Debate Invitation Manual.

Big Questions Debate Resolved: Resolved: Humans are primarily driven by self-interest.

Big Questions Debate is an event being promoted by the NSDA. There is a single topic for the year. It's a fairly short 1-on-1 debate. There are no per-school limits on the BQD qualifier. BQD also does not count against overall school entry limits in the district tournament.


•       Minimum three speech prelim rounds

•       1 judge for prelim rounds, 3 judges for elim rounds

•       Any event with 8+ entries must break to elims

•       Quarterfinals for 22+ entries in an event

•       Semifinals if 15-21 entries in an event

Each member school has an affirmative responsibility to review the rules that are published by NSDA in the 2022-23 Unified High School Manual. Specifically, all coaches should go to the NSDA website and review the most recent NSDA Unified High School Manual. Coaches should make the event-specific rules and judging guidelines available for their students and judges so everyone knows what to expect. Coaches have an affirmative duty to verify their students’ interpretation pieces, informative speeches, and oratories conform to NSDA publication guidelines. Coaches should also confirm that their debaters’ case citations conform to NSDA citation guidelines. All of this information is available in the publication mentioned above.

Extemporaneous Speaking:

The District Committee will make every effort to secure an independent and qualified individual to write the district tournament questions. Contestants may be disqualified for using illegal materials. There might be cross-examination in the final USX and IX rounds.



STUDENT CONGRESS:  will follow the NSDA Congress Manual.  We are required to have a minimum of six bills/resolutions in prelims for debate. There will be a separate legislative packet for the House final round. 

When a bill or resolution comes up for debate, any student from the school that submitted the legislation may give an authorship speech. If no one from the school that authored the legislation is present in the chamber, then debate will begin with a first affirmative speech.

A full-text docket of preliminary round legislation and House will be posted on SpeechWire by Friday, February 17, 2023. 


*** Each school entering Congressional Debate is encouraged, but not required, to submit one legislative item for the agenda. The full text of these bills - bearing ONLY the school name (not the name of an author) must be submitted as a Word attachment to Kate Hamm, khamm@ransomeverglades.org. Legislation is Due – Thursday – February 16, 2023 (4PM).



1. Electronic Devices: All applicable rules are part of the NSDA High School Unified Manual, which is available on the NSDA website. It is imperative that all coaches and competitors be familiar with this manual.

2. Forfeit Rule: Each round will be posted with a start time. Any contestant who fails to appear in the assigned contest room 15 minutes after the posted start time will forfeit that round, receiving either a loss (in debate events) or last place (in all other events). The district committee has the right to waive this penalty.

3. Wrong Room: Any contestant who speaks in the wrong room through no fault of the tournament staff shall receive a loss (in debate events) or last place (in all other events).

4. Tab Room: The tab room is open to all coaches of record. Members of and alternates to district committee will conduct tabulation in conjunction with highly qualified coaches from our community.

5. Questions, Protests: Judges and coaches who have questions should direct them to the ballot table in the judge room.  Ballot table personnel will refer all serious issues to the tab room.

Protests must be filed in writing, in a timely manner (defined as within one hour of the end of the round in which the alleged infraction occurred). All protests will be considered by members of the District Committee (Hamm, Lewis, Cecil, Moss, de Tuya) who are present, or alternates selected in advance by the committee (in the event committee members are not available to be at the tournament), who shall have full power to adjudicate any protest, dispute, or interpretation of the rules. In the event of a protest involving one of the committee member’s schools, that person shall be recused.

6. Grace Period: There is a 30 second grace period for interp and speech events. If the judge(s) in the round agree(s) that the student has gone beyond the grace period, that student may not be ranked 1st, but need not be ranked last based on time. Contestants should not waive time signals if they are offered.

7. Contestant Codes: All contestants will be assigned an alphanumeric code. School names will not be used or posted. Judges shall not ask contestants to identify their school affiliation.

8. Informative and Oratory: These scripts must be available at the district tournament. The script should identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work cited page in APA or MLA format, and both the competitor and coach must attest by signature that the piece is the original work of the contest. See the NSDA High School Unified Manual for complete speech and interp event script rules, including source verification.

9. Interp: All interpers must read the NSDA publication rules. Each interp entry must supply information about the piece on the entry form [title, author(s), ISBN/URL]. Under penalty of disqualification, contestants must perform the pieces listed. All interpers should bring a copy of their script and proof of publication to the tournament in case of protest; failure to do so risks disqualification. See the NSDA High School Unified Manual for complete speech and interp event script rules, including source verification.


Please contact Kate Hamm if you have any questions.


IMPORTANT! - How to submit entries for your team

This tournament is using SpeechWire Tournament Services to run online registration.  In order to confirm that you are attending and submit your entries online, you need to log in to your SpeechWire head coach account.  To do so, please do the following:

1. In your preferred web browser, go to http://www.SpeechWire.com and click on the 'Your account' tab at the very top of the screen.

2. Log in with your email address and account password. If you have forgotten your password, click the 'Forgot password?' button. If there is a new head coach this year, please email accounts@speechwire.com to get the email address on the head coach account changed.

3. Click the 'Tournament registration' icon and then click on NSDA Flamingo District Tournament to submit your entries.

If you have trouble registering, please email SpeechWire account support at accounts@speechwire.com for assistance.

This is an invitation to the NSDA Flamingo District Tournament, sent via SpeechWire Tournament Services - www.SpeechWire.com

Are you receiving email invitations that you don't want to receive? You can choose to completely opt out of receiving email invitations, or you can choose to receive email invitations only for tournaments being held in your state. Also, if you don't want to receive any more invitations from the host of a specific tournament, you can opt out of emails from any tournament host. To manage your email invitation preferences and do any of those things, log into your SpeechWire account at www.speechwire.com/login and click Edit account information, then use the options on that page to manage what email invitations you receive. You can also click 'Block tournament hosts' near the bottom of the page to block a host from sending you email invitations in the future.


Important tournament rooms

Tab Room - B11
Judges Lounge - B13
Extemp/Radio Prep - B14

Manager contact information

Kathleen Hamm
Email address: khamm@ransomeverglades.org
Phone number: 954-901-1276

Mailing address

3575 Main Highway
Ransom Everglades
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

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