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NFA National Championship Tournament

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General information

This is a College tournament in Michigan.

View manager contact information

Important info

  • Judges table - University Center;   Judges table Phone # - 309-386-4095
  • Impromptu Prompt Pick Up - Anspach Lobby
  • Extemp Draw Monday - Anspach 314 (Semis); UC 309 Lake St. Clair (Final)
  • Wellness Room - UC Mt Pleasant
  • Tab - Moore 118

February 2024

Dear NFA Members,

The NFA Tournament Committee is excited to invite you to the National Forensic Association’s 53rd Championship Tournament on April 18-22, 2024 on the campus of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The staff at Central Michigan and the city of Mt. Pleasant are hard at work to make the tournament a fun and rewarding educational experience. 

Congratulations on the many amazing achievements from the 2023 National Championship Tournament: Open Sweepstakes champion Western Kentucky University Lincoln-Douglas Sweepstakes champion University of Nebraska-Lincoln, President’s Division I champion George Mason University, President’s Division II champion University of Minnesota, and President’s Division III champion Rice University; Pentathlon champion Doniven Hill-Bush from Illinois State University, and Lincoln-Douglas Speaker Award champion Tyler Tobias from Central Michigan University.

In this invitation, you’ll find a lot of important information, but also please visit the tournament registration site: www.speechwire.com/nfa for related documents and files for download.  Also bookmark the tournament page on NFA website for reminders and site specific information: https://nationalforensicassociation.org/2024-national-championship-tournament/


David Bowers

Tournament Director

Megan Koch


Dawn Lowry

Vice President for Tournament Administration


Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, April 1

Wednesday, April 3

  • Nuisance fees begin

Thursday, April 4

  • For all approved research projects, official IRB approval form the researcher’s institution must be provided to the Chair of the Research Committee, Dr. Nikki Freeman (nfreeman@ucmo.edu)

Thursday, April 11

  • All judges must be certified to judge all the national tournament

Thursday, April 18

  • Registration will begin at 2:00 pm EST
  • Original physical copy of your Student Verification Form is due
  • General Business Meeting, Student Meeting

Tournament Policies and Practices
Open Door Policy

The NFA is committed to providing safe performance spaces for all competitors and judges. We acknowledge the art of performance may be a healing process and/or opportunity to speak on important topics. As a performer, it is impossible to know all the ways in which content or a performance may unintentionally harm or trigger members of our audience. The open door policy means competitors and other audience members may choose to leave or stay in a room when a performance negatively impacts their wellbeing. Competitors may discreetly leave the room (e.g., before, during, or after someone’s performance) even when not double-entered, without question or penalty. If competitors need to leave a round due to spiritual needs, they may also excuse themselves without question or penalty. Judges may also take steps to protect their well-being and will be asked to read the open door policy at the beginning of every round to reinforce the norm-change emphasizing mental and physical well-being over community norms.

Religious Accommodations

NFA is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for people of all faith backgrounds.  To that pursuit we are working with the host institution to provide support for students observing religious holidays during the Championship Tournament. More specific details will be released closer to the tournament. If you have any questions or specific requests, please direct them to the tournament director prior to the tournament so that we can do our best to accommodate you. 

Quiet Room and Resources

The NFA will provide a space for competitors to remove themselves from the tournament environment and practice self-care in the event of triggering content or situations.  Contact information for emergency counseling services will be available.

COVID Reminders

COVID numbers continue to be high, and we trust that everyone will act in the best interests of the NFA and CMU communities, especially our immunocompromised friends. NFA recommends ensuring that boosters are up to date, and masking in crowded areas. If someone is wearing a mask, they probably need it so reciprocal masking would be a wonderful act of inclusion. We will have masks available at the Wellness table for free. 


Accommodation Based on Disability

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Titles I and II of the ADA of 1990, and Sections 503 & 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the National Forensic Association and the NFA National Tournament will not discriminate against any competitor, judge, or student because of a physical or mental impairment. Every effort will be made to assure reasonable accommodation.

Impromptu Accommodations

NFA promotes accessibility for all students.  Any prompts in the Impromptu Schema can and will be modified for students with special needs. Please send any requests for specific accommodation via the Accommodations Request Form by April 1, 2024 at 6:00pm CST.   Questions about Impromptu and Impromptu Accommodations should be directed to the Chair of the Impromptu Committee and At-Large Council Member, Sade Barfield (sabarfield@gmail.com).

Accommodation Based on Harassment or Misconduct

The NFA is fully-committed to a safe and healthy educational, work, and competition environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. As such, NFA prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, race, disability, religion, and other lawfully protected categories. This prohibition includes sexual assault and misconduct, and stalking. If you have experienced an act of discrimination, harassment, or assault by a competitor, coach, or judge at an NFA qualifying/sanctioned tournament (virtual or face-to-face) based on any of these protected categories, you are encouraged to report the matter to the appropriate persons.

Although the NFA fully-supports the principles of non-discrimination based on sex (including gender, sexual orientation, and identity) set forth in Title IX, the NFA itself does not have any Title IX investigatory or adjudicatory functions. 

Therefore, to initiate the Title IX investigation process, you are encouraged to report any suspected Title IX violations to a trusted coach, the Title IX Coordinator on your home campus, and the Title IX Coordinator on the perpetrators campus so that investigative procedures can begin.  To report assaults that occur during the 2024 National Tournament, you may also contact the CMU Title IX Coordinator Mary Martinez at 989-774-3253.

Should you require accommodations for a violation during the tournament, please contact the VP for Professional Relations, Dr. Nikki Freeman (you can find her at the Wellness Table or email her at nfreeman@ucmo.edu).

Pre-Tournament Accommodation Notice

Please notify the Tournament Committee via the Accommodations Request Form by April 1 at 8:00 pm CST if you or a member of your program are requesting accommodation based on:

  • Disability,
  • Safety concerns, or
  • Concerns arising from prior unlawful discrimination, harassment, misconduct or assault.

If you request an accommodation, please identify the accommodation requested and an explanation so the Tournament Director can assess the request.

Accommodation requests specific to Impromptu Speaking should be directed to the Chair of the Impromptu Committee and At-Large Council Member, Sade Barfield (sabarfield@gmail.com).

Emergency and Non-emergency Assistance

  • Emergencies should immediately dial 9-1-1 or use an emergency blue-light kiosk to request assistance.
  • Title IX Violations that take place at Central Michigan University can be reported to Mary Martinez, Central Michigan University Title IX Coordinator and Executive Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity at 989-774-3253
  • Non-emergencies can contact University Police at 989-774-3081.
  • Lost and found queries should call 989-774-1835

NFA Code of Standards (NFA By-laws Section VIII)

Directors, coaches and students must ensure compliance with the association’s standards, rules and procedures. Any director, coach or student who violates these standards, rules or procedures is subject to the sanctions as indicated in the Code of Standards and as applied at the discretion of the National Council.

Those in doubt as to compliance with these standards, rules or procedures should correspond with the President or National Tournament Director in advance of the National Championship Tournament to ensure compliance. Those suspecting violations of standards, rules or procedures should report alleged violation(s) to a member of the National Tournament Committee as soon as practical and if at all possible, well in advance of the National Championship Tournament. 

Statement of Inclusion:  The NFA embraces human diversity as a core value. We express this value best in the inclusion and affirmation of the various identity groups to which our members and participants belong. This commitment to inclusiveness embraces identities and social roles that arise from but are not limited to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, or ability status. We affirm and uphold the right to basic human dignity and respect across these diverse forms of human expression.

Participation in NFA events is by invitation. As such, NFA is firmly committed to maintaining an environment that is free from acts that are inconsistent with the inclusiveness it seeks to foster. When actions deemed contrary to this core value are reported to the Tournament Director, the behavior will be investigated promptly, and appropriate remedial actions will be taken.

Registering for the Tournament

All entries must be submitted through SpeechWire at www.speechwire.com/nfa by April 1 at 6:00 pm CST.  No entries will be accepted after this date.

If you do not currently have a SpeechWire account, please create one as soon as possible - it facilitates results reporting and entry verification.

Please remember that your school name, as well as your students’ and judges’ names, will appear exactly as you enter them on ALL tournament materials.  Please also add students' name pronunciation in SpeechWire so that student names are pronounced accurately in rounds and in awards.

You will receive an entry confirmation after all entries have been processed.  If you do not receive a confirmation please email nationaltournamentcomittee@gmail.com

For a list of the rules and guidelines for each event, please visit the NFA website.

Qualifying for the Tournament

Rules for Qualification

In order to enter the National Championship Tournament, students must qualify each event by April 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm CST.  For procedures and requirements, see section III of the NFA By-laws.

Reporting Results

Per the NFA by-laws, all tournament results must be reported by the third Monday prior to the beginning of the National Championship Tournament.  This year, results must be reported by April 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm CST by following these guidelines:

If you used SpeechWire to host or attend a tournament:

Results will be automatically reported!

Please take a moment to update your team roster landmark students appropriately as active or inactive.  Additionally, work to enter student names the same way for every tournament.  Typos, extra space, abbreviations, or other variations will create multiple records for the same student and may complicate the verification process.  Also, please enter pronunciations for your students--this is an invaluable resource to ensure your students are represented appropriately!

If you did NOT use SpeechWire to host a tournament:

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a tournament report:


Student Verification

All schools must submit a Student Verification Form to demonstrate that each competitor is academically enrolled. This form can be found under the “Files for Download” on SpeechWire.

This form MUST be completed and affixed with an official school seal by your Registrar’s Office. This process may take some time based on your individual institution, so please prepare early and verify any student you may consider bringing to NFA.  If you are unable to obtain an embossed copy, your Registrar may send a digital version of the form to the tournament director directly.

In order to enter the tournament, a scanned copy of this form must be submitted by April 1 at 6:00pm CST to David Bowers, National Tournament Director, at nationaltournamentcomittee@gmail.com

In order for your students to compete at the tournament, this form MUST be submitted.

Novice Designation

Students who are eligible to participate in Novice final rounds at the National Tournament should be noted on the entry.   Per the National Forensic Association by-laws (II.C.) Novice is defined as “a student who is in their first year of forensic competition.  This includes high school and collegiate experience.”   Please confirm with your students that they did not participate in any Forensic activity prior to this tournament season.  

Tournament Fees

General Fee Information

All fees will be calculated on April 1, 2024 at 1:00 pm CST.

No adjustments will be made to base fees after April 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm CST, except to increase the fees if changes are made.  In other words, you are charged for your entry as it stands when entries are due, plus any applicable drop fees.

All checks must be made payable to “National Forensic Association: and brought in person to the tournament.  Returned checks will incur a $25 fee.  

Fees may be paid online at this link.   Please refer to your Speechwire invoice for your total amount due. 

Required School Fees

NFA Membership dues for 2023-2024 (for schools who did not attend NFA 2023): $75

NFA Membership dues for 2024-2025 - $75

Expenses for Host School - $20

Individual Events Fees

Entry Fees:   Each IE entry is $12.00, except for Duo, which is $24.00.  Each Pentathlon entry is $12.00

Judging Requirement and Coverage Fees:  Each full-time IE judge covers SIX (6) IE entries.

To be considered full-time, a judge must be available all days, all rounds, including all elimination rounds.  Otherwise, they will be considered part-time by the day, and coverage will be calculated accordingly.  A judge must be available for an entire day in order to provide coverage for that day.

In order to enter the tournament, any school with six or fewer IE entries must provide at least one full-time judge.

Any school with seven or more IE entries must cover at least 50% of their total IE entries with full-time judges.  Appeals must be made using the Judge Coverage Appeal form, and be submitted to the Tournament Director by April 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm CST.

Regardless of entry size, no school will be allowed to cover more than 160 IE entries.

All uncovered IE entries are $20.00 each.

Debate Fees

Entry Fees:  Each debate entry is $35.00

Judging Requirement and Coverage Fees:  Each full-time debate judge covers TWO (2) debate entries

To be considered full-time, a judge must be available all days, all rounds, including all elimination rounds through octafinals.  Otherwise, they will be considered part-time by the day, and coverage will be calculated accordingly.  A judge must be available for an entire day in order to provide coverage for that day.

In order to enter the tournament, any school with two or fewer LD entries must provide at least one full-time judge.

Any school with three or more LD entries must cover at least 50% of their total LD entry with full-time judges.  Appeals must be made using the Judge Coverage Appeal form, and be submitted to the Tournament Director by April 1, 2024 at 6:00 pm CST.

All uncovered LD entries will incur fees as follows:

Uncovered Debaters Fee

1-2 uncovered $150.00 each

3-5 uncovered $250.00 each

6-9 uncovered $350.00 each

10+ uncovered $500.00 each

Nuisance Fees

Entry drops:  These penalties will be added to your base fee starting April 3, 2024 at 1:00 pm CST.

Date Fee

April 3-5 $5 per slot 

April 6-8 $10 per slot

April 9-11 $15 per slot

April 12-14 $25 per slot

April 15-17 $30 per slot

Changes at registration $50 per slot

Judge drops: Any judge dropped (IE and/or LD) after April 16, 2024 will be assessed a penalty fee of $300 per judge.

Dropped judges after April 17, 2024  (will also be penalized $10 per assigned round in addition to the above fee--AND school fees will be adjusted to reflect one less judge worth of coverage.

No-Show/No-Communication: Competitors who do not attend assigned rounds at the tournament may be subject to a penalty of $75 per scheduled / assigned round.

Judges who do not pick up ballots for assigned rounds will be assessed a $25 fee payable immediately. This includes any and all ballots for rounds on days for which judges have been given credit for covering entries, including elimination rounds.

No student from any school will advance to elimination rounds until all of that school’s penalty fees, including no-show fees, are paid. Should a judge not pick up an elimination round ballot, no student from that school will advance to the next round until the fee has been paid.

No-show fees that remain unpaid at the end of the tournament must be resolved before a school will be allowed to enter another NFA Championship Tournament.

Event Rules and Information

Event descriptions, rules, Code of Standards, Code of Ethics and tournament procedures are all available in the NFA By-laws on our website.  All participants at the National Tournament agree to abide by the policies and procedures of the by-laws.

Individual Events Flights for the 2024 National Tournament 

Please note these are new flights for the 2024 National Tournament

  • Flight A - Duo, Rhetorical Criticism
  • Flight B - Prose, Informative, Impromptu
  • Flight C - Extemp, Poetry, After Dinner
  • Flight D - Drama, Persuasion, POI.

Impromptu Schema

PRELIM ROUND 1: Quotations. Judges should allow students 10 seconds to read the quotation but should start timing as soon as students begin writing. 


If facts do not conform to theory, they must be disposed of 

-Norman Maier (NOR-min May-er) 

A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant. 

-Wilson Mizner (WILL-sin MIZ-ner) 

PRELIM ROUND 2: Questions. Students will be given a question and asked to provide an opinion-based answer with structured reasoning and supporting evidence. Questions will not require specific cultural knowledge. 


If you had to hide a present from a nosy friend, where would you put it? 

What is the best song to sing along to?

PRELIM ROUND 3: Proverbs. 


The shrimp that falls asleep gets carried away by the current. -Chilean proverb 

A little too late, is much too late. -German proverb

OCTAFINALS: Potpourri – Competitors will be given either a quotation, question, or Proverb but will not know which until they prep. All sections will receive the same style of prompt. 

QUARTERFINALS: Single Word. In addition to the prompt the judge will receive a piece of paper with a definition of the word. Students can request the judge read the definition to them. It can only be read once and it does not count towards prep time. To avoid abuse of time exemption students must ask for the definition within 5 seconds after reading the word.



Pronunciation: \ ˈtäk-sik \ 

Definition: containing poisonous substances


Pronunciation: \ ˈshād \ 

Definition: comparative darkness or obscurity owing to interception of the rays of light

SEMIFINALS: Proverbs. 


One who is ignorant will remain unnoticed. -Roman Proverb

Fear the law not the judge. – Belarusian Proverb

FINALS: Quotation from a member of the National Forensics Association Hall of Fame. 


Celebrity confuses standing out with being outstanding. -Mark Hickman 

All art relies on our ability to embrace a lie. -Mark Hickman

Travel Logistics

We are working closely with the Mt. Pleasant Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide information to simplify your trip. This beautiful area features fantastic locally owned businesses who will make your visit special! You can find information and maps at their website: www.meetmtp.com

All travel and campus specific information will be posted to our website and updated as necessary. 

Tournament Hotels
We have booked blocks at the following hotels. Please book your rooms early – we are hearing there are other sports tournaments in Mt. Pleasant that weekend. 

Closest Airports

  • Capitol Region International Airport, Lansing – 72 miles (approx. 1 hour)
  • Bishop International Airport, Flint – 90 miles (approx. 1.5 hours)
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids – 95 miles (approx. 1.5 hours)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Detroit – 162 miles (approx. 2.5 hours)

Airport Transportation

Stargazer Transportation (989) 560-1953 can provide a shuttle from all the airports in Michigan – rates are reasonable. 


2024 National Tournament Schedule
Changes have been shared via Speechwire
all tournament times are EST



Contact Information

NFA Tournament Committee

Megan Koch (she/her)
Director of Forensics
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4480
Normal, IL 61790-4480

David Bowers (he/him)

Tournament Director

Director of Forensics

Missouri Valley College

500 East College

Marshall, MO 65340


Dawn Lowry (she/her)
Vice President of Tournament Administration
Director of Forensics
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030





Important tournament rooms

Extemp Draw (Sat/Sun) - EHS 118
Student Meeting / Extemp Draw (Friday) - UC 221 Rotunda
Visual Aid (VA) Check - UC 223 Mt Pleasant

Manager contact information

Megan Koch
Email address: nfatournamentcommittee@gmail.com
Phone number: 3092870652

Mailing address

Campus Box 4480

Normal, IL 61761

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