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Florida Oceanfront NSDA District Speech & Debate Qualifier

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This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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Saturday, April 6, 2024: Speech & Debate

Suncoast High School, 1717 Avenue S, Riviera Beach, FL 33404

DIRECTIONS: I-95 exit to Blue Heron Blvd., go East. Turn right onto Avenue S, drive down to 17th street and turn right. The parking lot is on the right side.

Entry in the Florida Oceanfront NSDA District Speech & Debate is $25 per student. This will include lunch (information below).

Each school is responsible for ordering meals for all coaches, judges, parents, and observers. These meals are available at a rate of $8 for lunch on Saturday.

Fees are set as of 3pm Friday, March 29. This is in order to allow schools to get checks cut and sent by the start of the tournament.

Make fees payable to Florida Oceanfront NFL District. BRING YOUR CHECKS TO THE TOURNAMENT!

Please read EVERYTHING carefully!

Questions about entries or NSDA rules? Contact Paul Gaba, paul.gaba@palmbeachschools.org, 561-795-4911 or 561-352-0635

An Overview

All NSDA chapters in the Florida Oceanfront District are cordially invited to participate in this year’s Speech & Debate District Tournament Saturday, April 6, from 8am-5pm.

This tournament determines our district’s qualifiers to the NSDA National Championship Tournament, to be held the week of June 16-22 in DesMoines, IA.

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!


  • Minimum four prelim rounds (unless there are only four entries; in this case, running three rounds is acceptable)
  • 1 judge for prelim rounds, 3 judges for elim rounds
  • Judges must include points for prelim debate rounds. Half-points are allowed.
  • 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 are at the two finalists (since those two entries are our national representatives).


  • 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. 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.

It is imperative that all member schools update student memberships and NSDA points no later than 3pm Friday, March 29.

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 Florida Oceanfront 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.
You can track the number of entries allowed by logging into your NSDA account and select "District Info" on the left-side menu. The per-school Speech & Debate slots, House slots, and Senate slots information can be found as part of the "Schools in the Ocenafront District" list. 
NATIONAL QUALIFIER NUMBERS: The Florida Oceanfront National Speech & Debate Association District is at BONUS LEVEL 2. This means we are able to qualify 2 entries per event to nationals as long as we meet the NSDA's rule of 4 entries minimum per event. If we do not have at least 4 entries in an event, we won't be able to qualify any entries for that event.

The District Committee strongly encourages every member school to enter the maximum number of students possible so that we can maximize the number of qualifying slots in each event. The number of entries from a school shall be based upon the number of active members and degrees on record in the National Office for that chapter by 4pm (CST) seven (7) days before the tournament begins. Congress entries were independent of this formula. The District Committee shall not allow any excess entries. Current school strength can be found on the school profile page of the NSDA points website.

Double Entry: Students that participate in the Florida Oceanfront 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 [Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, or Big Questions Debate]. Students entered in a debate event may not enter any other event.

b. Students may enter in one PARTNERED debate event [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 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.
  • If a partnership officially vacates their National Tournament qualification or alternate slot in a partner event, individuals in that partnership are eligible to enter and qualify in an individual event on a different date.

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 Florida Oceanfront NSDA District Congress Tournament and are also competing at this tournament. 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 FLORIDA OCEANFRONT 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. SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS.

Student Eligibility and Requirements: 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. 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 Florida Oceanfront 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." This includes students who compete at the Florida Oceanfront NSDA District Speech & Debate Tournament and are also competing at this tournament. 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.

Entry Limits: To maximize your school’s entries and increase the district’s chances of qualifying more students to nationals, all schools MUST enter NSDA points for all tournaments attended. This information must be entered by 3pm Friday, March 29. Failure to keep your NSDA points up-to-date will cost your school entry slots and cost our district qualification slots.

Entry limits for the District Tournament are different for each school. Limits are determined by the number of members and degrees that an NSDA school has on record 7 days before the tournament.

For purposes of this calculation, each PAIRED entry counts as ONE entry. A student entered in two events counts as two entries. The entry limit for each event is four (4) slots. The District Committee strongly encourages all schools to use ALL of the entry slots that they can, including the use of double entry where necessary.

Auto Qualification: 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.

Events Offered

Debate: Big Questions Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate

Speech: International Extemporaneous, United States Extemporaneous, Original Oratory, Informative Speaking

Interpretation: Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Program of Oral Interpretation

General Tournament Regulations

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 (Gaba, Anyzeski, Hall, LoSardo, Lowe) 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 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.

Schedule: The schedule posted on Speechwire is TENTATIVE, as the number of rounds per event will be determined by the number of entries in those events. There could be (and likely will be) additional rounds added to the schedule, which will be updated the week of the tournament and on tournament day.


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. Districts must provide one full-time judge for each team that competes at the National Tournament.

The Florida Oceanfront NSDA District WSD application process is as follows:

(1) Students must compete at the Florida Oceanfront NSDA District qualifier (in any event), and must rank WSD on the NSDA Letter of Intent.

(2) Competitive history/experience in debate events (Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, World Schools Debate, Policy Debate, Mock Trial), Congressional Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking.

(3) Seniority (seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen)

(4) World Schools Debate preference on their NSDA Letter of Intent.

(5) Auditions, if necessary (details TBD)

- Attempts will be made to keep students from the same school together as part of a specific team.

Judges: The District Committee needs schools to bring their entire judge quota (and more if possible). Failure to satisfy the judge quota will result in forfeiture of the uncovered entry slots. Please let your judges know which of the pools they will be in, but also advise them they could be utilized in other events. Judges must be available for the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT; there is no “one round past elimination” rule at this tournament.  

We will have three competition pools for judges; however, judges may be asked to critique speakers in all debate and interpretation events: 

  • Pool 1: Debate (1 per 2 or fraction thereof of all debate entries)
  • Pool 2: Speech and Interpretation (1 per 3 or fraction thereof - this is a higher ratio than at PBCFL tournaments)

The District Committee will work hard to provide extra judges; please see and share the Google Docs link above to offer additional assistance! ANY ASSISTANCE THAT COACHES CAN OFFER IN PROVIDING ADDITIONAL JUDGES WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. 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.

The Florida Oceanfront 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/

LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE: The March-April topic will be used.

Prep time is 4 minutes per debater. 

PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE: The April topic will be used.

Prep time is 3 minutes per team. Judges must conduct the coin toss. Contestants should stand for Crossfire but sit for Grand Crossfire.

POLICY DEBATE: The 2023-24 topic will be used.

BIG QUESTIONS DEBATE: The 2023-24 topic will be used.

EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING: The District Committee reserves the right to use separate prep rooms for USX and IX; please plan accordingly. 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.

US Extemp
US Business, Economics, and Industry
US Education, Healthcare, and Social Issues
US Energy & Environment
US Foreign Policy & National Security
US Politics & Elections
US Supreme Court & Legal Issues

International Extemp
Americas & Caribbean
Asia & Pacific
Global Environmental & Humanitarian Issues
North Africa & Southwest Asia


Students - Pepperoni Pizza or Cheese Pizza

Adults - Buffet


NSDA High School Unified Manual

NSDA Single Entry Letter of Intent (required of any student who enters two or more NSDA national qualifier events, including Congressional Debate). Please bring them to the tournament!

Florida Oceanfront NSDA District "Student of the Year" Nomination Form - Nominate a deserving senior! Said senior does not need to be registered to compete!

Florida Oceanfront Coach of the Year Nomination Form - Nominate a deserving coach!

We look forward to working with you!
Your Florida Oceanfront NSDA District Committee:
Paul L. Gaba, Angela Anyzeski, Daryl Hall, Richard LoSardo, and Traci Lowe

Important tournament rooms

Extemp Prep - 118

Manager contact information

Paul Gaba
Email address: paul.gaba@palmbeachschools.org
Phone number: 561-352-0635

Mailing address

Florida Oceanfront NFL District, c/o Paul Gaba
21636 Juego Circle #22-E
Boca Raton, FL 33433

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