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CHSAA 5A State Tournament

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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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Hello Colorado 5A Coaches:

We are excited to invite you and your team to the 2024 CHSAA 5A State Speech and Debate Tournament on March 1st-2nd at Fort Collins High School.  Registration is now open on Speechwire, with a deadline of midnight, Feb. 22nd, for completing your registration online.


Location and Arrival: 

Fort Collins High School, 3400 Lambkin Way, Fort Collins, CO 80525.  

We are finalizing arrival times and plans for Friday and will provide more details later this week. If you already need to order a bus, please plan on arriving at Fort Collins HS no later than 3:30 pm on Friday, March 1. On Saturday, schools should arrive at 7:30 AM. A finalized schedule will be sent to coaches in advance of the tournament.


Please read this full email carefully.  The following information can be found in pages 23-27 of the CHSAA Speech & Debate Tournament Handbook, but for your convenience, here are some more reminders as you work on getting registered. 


Deadlines (as per CHSAA rules):



  • ALL payments are due to CHSAA no later than March 16, 2024. Send to Colorado High School Activities Association, 14855 E. 2nd Avenue, Aurora, CO 80011.

  • All late payments will be billed a $25.00 late fee.

  • Each individual entry is a $20 entry fee, and each team entry is a $40 entry fee (Duo Interpretation, Public Forum Debate, Cross-Examination Debate). 

  • DO NOT submit payments prior to the State Tournament. Print your invoice after the Monday after the state event which will reflect any changes, late fees, drop fees, judge fees, etc.

  • Your payment, including any drop fees, MUST be paid promptly to CHSAA. CHSAA can accept credit card payments--contact Nikki Jimenez to pay by credit card.


Registration guidelines: 

  • Register early to avoid problems and to avoid being assessed late fees. 

  • Register your competitors in SpeechWire including name and piece information.

  • Remember that you may enter up to four entries in each event. 

  • No double entry is allowed. 

  • Be sure to select "YES" in the itty-bitty drop down at the very bottom under the bolded CONFIRMATION section and then click "Submit Information."


Coaching Responsibilities:

Each school must have its own coach who will be available throughout the meet. If the coach is not the CHSAA registered coach, the on-site coach must have the signature of the principal authorizing their official capacity as the coach. The coach must check in at the registration desk on both days of the tournament.  At that time, registrations will be re-checked and the presence of all qualified participants will be verified.


Each school is required to provide at least one coach to assist in the operation of the tournament (tab worker, judge, extemp prep, etc.). Additional coaches who serve as judges can choose to receive pay for rounds judged.  Coaches who sign up to fulfill their school’s judge requirements must be available to judge and must check in at judges’ table both days.  Coaches must attend the mandatory coaches meeting that will be held before the opening round of competition at the State Tournament. Coaches must be available to judge/work as long as their students are still in competition.  


Judge Requirements:

  • Schools are responsible for providing 1 certified judge for every 5 event and/or Congressional Debate entries (or portion thereof) and 1 certified judge for every 2 debate entries (or portion thereof) for the CHSAA State 5A Tournament. 

  • Judges must be entered no later than the registration deadline. 

  • Judges must be available from the beginning of the tournament until one round beyond the last round in which competitors from their school compete 

    1. ‚ÄčIf necessary, a judging commitment may be shared by one or more people; however, this will only count as one judge toward the number of judges required.

    2. Example: A speech judge is required to be available for Friday and Saturday rounds. Person A is only available for Friday rounds. Person B is available to judge Saturday rounds. Person A/B counts as one judge toward the judging requirement.

    3. Exception: For a multi-day tournament, judges for any school whose competitors are eliminated following the first day of competition or who does not have competitors entered for the second day of competition will not be expected to return for the second day. If this changes the judge availability marked during registration, the judge must communicate with the change in availability with the judges’ table. Failure to update judge availability may result in missed ballot fees.

  • Each school must have judges to cover at least 75% of its judging requirement.

  • Uncovered judge slots may be bought out for $50 each.

  • For schools traveling more than 60 miles or more to the State Tournament, a tournament worker will cover ONE judge slot.

  • Once the registration deadline has passed, the tournament director (or their designee) shall determine how many uncovered judge slots are available and an all call will go out to coaches to seek additional judges to fill the uncovered slots.

    1. Each additional judge allows the school to subtract $25 from their tournament entry fee.

    2. A school can use additional judges to bring their payment to $0; however, additional judges beyond this will not earn a credit (i.e. no money shall be paid to schools for providing additional judges)

  • Judges will be paid by CHSAA at the current rate of judge pay ($15/round, $40 bonus for judging 3+ CX and/or waved debate rounds). Scorers and Parliamentarians will be paid for three rounds judging for each session of Congressional Debate that they judge. In addition, the CHSAA structure for reimbursing for mileage and hotels shall be utilized.

    1. Mileage and hotel reimbursement will be paid to the party who incurred the expense.

  • Judges may not decline an assigned ballot for an event that they are registered to judge.

  • Schools will be charged a missed ballot fee of $50 per ballot for ballots missed by judges from their school.

  • At the conclusion of the tournament, coaches will be informed of missed ballot fees that will be assessed. Coaches will have 3 days to dispute fees via a Google Form. Disputed fees will be reviewed by a committee made up of the tournament director(s), judges’ table chair, Speech Activities Committee Chair and the CHSAA Associate Commissioner who oversees speech and debate.


Judge Certification Process:

  • Anyone interested in judging at any State Tournament must judge at one or more invitational meets during this school year and complete the annual certification test with the following exceptions:

  • Coaches/Assistant Coaches:  The judge certification test is encouraged but not required for coaches and assistant coaches; however, all coaches and assistant coaches must complete the CHSAA Coach Certification Process. 

  • Former competitors/Experienced judges:  The  requirement to judge at one or more invitational meets during the school year can be waived for experienced judges and former competitors; however, the judge certification test must be completed. Please reach out to Nicole Jimenez (njimenez@chsaa.org) to request a waiver.

  • Click here to access the  Judge Certification Test.



  • Entries: You may register up to four students to compete in the Colorado Student Congress. 

  • Presiding Officer: Students interested in serving as the Presiding Officer must indicate this at the time of registration. Students may indicate interest in serving as presiding officers for preliminary sessions only or for preliminary sessions and advancement rounds. Students must run for presiding officer during preliminary sessions in order to be eligible to serve as presiding officer in advancement rounds. 

  • Legislation must be properly formatted. Submit legislation by this Friday, Feb. 9,  using this Google form: 

  • Docket: The docket will be found under "Files to download" on SpeechWire once it has been set from the submitted legislation (February 23rd).


Extemp Topic Areas:
The order of topic areas will be drawn and posted prior to round 1 on Friday, March 1, 2024.

  • International Extemp

    • Africa

    • The Americas

    • Asia

    • Europe

    • Middle East

    • International Organizations

    • Global Issues  

  • US Extemp

    • U.S. Foreign Policy

    • Legal and Constitutional Issues

    • Energy and Environment

    • Health Care and Education

    • U.S. Economy

    • U.S. Politics

    • Social Issues


As was piloted last year, we request that all coaches submit one question per topic area using the online submission form.  Guidelines and tips for writing questions are included on the form. The form will be accessible from February 13-27, with questions reviewed on Feb. 28th in preparation for the tournament on Friday.


OO/INFO Manuscripts:

  • The cover sheet and a typed manuscript must be submitted into SpeechWire for each oratory and informative speaking entry by the registration deadline. 

  • Each student’s oration/speech that is submitted with the pre-registration must be the oration/speech used in competition. Personal references must be truthful. 

  • Orations/speeches are limited to no more than 150 quoted words. All quotes must be underlined and the number of quoted words indicated at the bottom of each page. the total number of quoted words must be indicated on the cover sheet. Extensive paraphrasing of another source is prohibited. 

  • No student may enter the State tournament with an oration and/or informative speech used in a prior state regional qualifying or state tournament. 


General Reminders for Interp, Info, and OO

  • Double-check that you've completed the required information under the "Piece Registration" title! Enter the titles and authors for all interp events. . 

    • For POI and Poetry, please provide a clear topic for the program and include titles and authors for the selections used--this helps us more clearly understand pieces to prevent duplicate or extremely similar pieces from being scheduled together in rounds.

    • Do not put titles in quotation marks--SpeechWire doesn't like them and will not save the information.

    • Have the original source material on-site at the State Tournament. Remember that competitors are required to ensure that the original source can be produced/ accessed for Drama, Humor, Poetry, Program Oral Interp and Duo.

  • Upload manuscripts with cover pages  for OO and/or Info entries. 

    • Please provide a clear topic if the title of the speech does not clearly address the topic--this helps us more clearly understand pieces to prevent duplicate or extremely similar pieces from being scheduled together in rounds.
      Example: Two Roads (topic: climate change)

  • Per the CHSAA Handbook, on page 22: If cutting titles are not submitted online (including author and title) a $25.00 late fee will be assessed. 


Debate Resolutions:

CX Debate 2023-2024 Topic:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate March/April 2024 Topic:

Resolved: The primary objective of the United States criminal justice system ought to be rehabilitation.

Public Forum Debate March 2024 Topic:

Resolved: In the United States, collegiate student-athletes should be classified as employees of their educational institution.


Please be sure to review the rules and  information on the following links. 


As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns! We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2024 CHSAA State Speech & Debate Tournament!


Paul De Maret, Director  | pdemaret@psdschools.org

Maryrose Kohan, Co-Director | maryrose_kohan@dpsk12.net 

Rashaan Davis, CHSAA Assistant Commissioner | rdavis@chsaa.org   

Nicole Jimenez, Executive Assistant to Rashaan Davis | njimenez@chsaa.org 


Important tournament rooms

Extemp Prep - L100

Manager contact information

Paul De Maret
Email address: pdemaret@psdschools.org
Phone number: 970-980-5507

Mailing address

Colorado High School Activities Association
14855 E. 2nd Avenue
Aurora , CO 80011

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