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WKU Senior Hilltopper Classic 2019

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General information

This is a High School tournament in Kentucky.

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Dear Colleagues:
December is fast approaching, and with it comes many exciting and familiar experiences. Homes and shops will start decorating with holiday colors, planning will start for the New Year, and the 2019 WKU Senior Hilltopper Classic will be held on December 7. The tournament will take place on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY, and a full bevy of forensics fun will be offered, including:

•    Public Forum Debate
•    Congressional Debate
•    All Kentucky High School Speech League senior IE events (Event descriptions and rules found below)

More information is contained within the rest of this invitation regarding entries, hotels, food and scheduling. However, if you have any questions, please contact Chris Chandler by phone at 270.745.6340, or directly 270.202.2771, or by email at christopher.chandler@wku.edu. We sincerely hope if you attended this tournament last year that you will keep us on your travel schedule, and if you did not attend last year please consider adding us to your schedule. See you “on the hill” in December for the Hilltopper Classic!!!

Western Kentucky University

We will be offering all of the Kentucky High School Speech League senior events, including Informative Speaking, Programmed Oral Interpretation, Public Forum Debate (no L-D Debate nor Policy Debate). Students must choose between Congress, Public Forum, or speech events (schedules run concurrently). Speech students may enter up to three events; however, the schedule will not be adjusted to accommodate students who cannot make it to all of their rounds on time. It is suggested that students in Broadcasting, Extemp, Improv Duo, and Impromptu be limited to two events. You may enter as many contestants as you wish in each category, but only the top three in each I.E. category will earn sweepstakes points. Descriptions of these events and rules regarding them can be found here.

We follow the KHSSL rule of using the NSDA monthly resolution.  The December resolution will be posted in November, when it is made available. We will update this page at that time. This information can be found at the following location: https://www.speechanddebate.org/topics/  Competitors in Public Forum must also follow the NSDA guidelines for evidence.

Every congressional rep should submit a bill or resolution to christopher.chandler@wku.edu no later than noon on Wednesday the 4th. If you do not submit a bill, we will assign you one that we supplied (you won't like those bills, and you won't be well prepared to sponsor). This allows us time to collect all of the bills and send them back to your head coach (as one long document) so that you can prepare for debate. When you arrive to compete we will give you complete copies of all of the bills for use in the round. Bring a pen.

We will host semifinals in events with roughly 55+ entries, which is usually just prose and impromptu. The top twelve in each event shall advance to the semi-final round where needed. These shall be chosen with the lowest cumulative score and tie breakers shall follow the procedure described in the KHSSL Handbook.

Awards will be presented to the top six in each I.E. category and the top eight in Public Forum Debate. Sweepstakes trophies will be presented to the top five schools in I.E.

This tournanent is again a qualifying tournament for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions this year. For additional information on the NIETOC and their qualification process, you can visit their website at www.nietoc.com.

This tournanent is again a qualifying tournament for the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions this year. For additional information on the UKTOC and their qualification process, you can visit their website at https://ci.uky.edu/UKDebate/2019-toc-invitation.


Kentucky Event Rules

The event rules for KHSSL are available at the following link: KHSSL Handbook  Note that the league tends to update the document each August.


We must receive your entry by 4:00 PM Central Time on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Entries after that deadline will likely be accepted, but if you manually drop a student after erroneously adding them, it is counted as a drop. That is our penalty for what is effectively late registration. We reserve the right to deny late registrations should it get out of hand. All entries must be made online, via speechwire.com. Registration will remain open until afternoon on Thursday for you to edit at will. Those competing on Congress should also have their bills/resolutions ready, as those are due (via email to christopher.chandler@wku.edu) by noon on Wednesday at the latest.




Once again, the WKU forensics team will be holding open team auditions prior to the Sr. Hilltopper Classic on Friday, December 6. A limited number of audition slots will be available, and they will be on a first come, first served basis. The first audition will begin at 12:00pm and the last audition will conclude at 5:00pm. Only seniors may audition at this time. All auditions must be scheduled by Monday, Dec. 2. All students auditioning must either mail ahead of time or bring with them a high school transcript and a list of forensics accomplishments. If you choose to mail these items ahead of time (preferred), send them to:

Ganer Newman
1906 College Heights Blvd. #51084
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1084

For more information, or to schedule an audition, please contact Ganer Newman at ganer.newman@wku.edu, or call 270-745-6340.  We look forward to seeing you on the hill in December!











All schools must be registered before 7:30 on Saturday morning as the first Extemp draw and the first debate round begins at that time. Registration is in the lobby of Garrett Conference Center. If you will be arriving on Friday night and would like to register early, please contact us, and we will set up a time to meet you on campus. The schedule is as follows:

DECEMBER 6 - Friday
Early Registration | 6:00pm-9:00 at Garrett Conference Center


7:30    Extemp Draw
7:45    Public Forum Round 1
8:00    Round 1 IEs and Congress
9:15     Public Forum Round 2
9:30    Extemp Draw
10:00    Round 2 IEs and Congress
10:45     Public Forum Round 3
11:30    Broadcasting and Extemp Draw
12:00    Round 3 IEs and Congress
12:15     Public Forum Round 4
2:15     Public Forum Out-round 1
2:30    Semi-finals where necessary, else finals will move here; Super Congress
3:45     Public Forum Out-round 2
4:15    Broadcasting and Extemp Draw for finals
4:45    All finals
5:15     Public Forum Out-round 3
6:30    Awards

Food: we will be sell pizza at $1 per slice in the lobby of Garrett Conference Center. Judges will be supplied food in our Judges’ Lounge at no charge.

Days before the tournament, the head coach will receive a parking map. At registration you will receive the same. You may park outside of Garrett in the metered parking lot while you register for the tournament, but we recommend that cars and vans park across the street from Cherry Hall. Busses need to park off of campus. The afore-mentioned parking map will specify.
More detailed parking maps are available on the Parking and Transportation website at http://parking1.wku.edu/dnn/default.aspx.

1.    Become familiar with the rules for all events.
2.    Make sure you code yourself against any student from another school you should not be judging.
3.    Make sure you let the tournament officials know the events you cannot judge.
4.    You will need a pen/pencil and a stopwatch (or phone app).
5.    Never switch judging assignments with anyone. This can cause problems when replacing judges in later rounds and for finals.
6.    Pick up all ballots at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the round.
7.    Do not allow any student not listed for your section to compete. Never switch students from your room to another. Let the tournament officials make all changes.
8.    Do not switch rooms for any reason. Instead, report any locked room or other room problem to the tournament officials and let them make the change.
9.    Do not ask students to identify themselves by schools.
10.    Remove any disruptive audience members from your room.
11.    Make sure all the information/comments on the student ballot is correct and can be easily read by tab room officials.
12.    Always write comments on the ballots during the performance. There is no time to write a critique at the end of the performance or round.
13.    As speakers perform, shuffle your ballots in order of how you intend to rank them. When the last speaker performs, you should have ballots in order and simply need to put ranks/rates for each student and transfer this information to the speedy ballot.
14.    Do not leave the assigned room early. Instead wait for students double entered and/or contact the ballot table to find out if a student may be an unreported drop. Leaving prior to the end of the round often creates problems if a student has not yet performed and has no idea where to find you.
15.    Make sure you sign your ballot and double check to make sure the information on the student ballots matches the information on the speedy ballot-if a speedy ballot is being used.
16.    Return your completed ballots to the ballot table and wait until they are checked. Putting the speedy on top and the ballots in order of rank will enable those checking the ballots to move quickly through your packet. Be sure and report any "unreported drops" or "no shows" to the person checking your ballots.
17.    If you are listed as "stand by" for any round, always wait close to the ballot table until all ballots have been assigned.

Extemp prep will take place in the Faculty House, the log cabin next door to Garrett Conference Center. The use of computer files is allowed; however, the use of internet for research during prep time is strictly prohibited. Western Kentucky University is not responsible for any damage or theft of personal/team property left unattended in the Extemp prep room or anywhere else on campus.

I.E. and Congress entries are $10.00 per entry ($20.00 for each Duo Acting and Improv Duo team) and $10.00 for each entry not covered by a judge. (one judge covers six I.E./Congress entries or fraction thereof). Public Forum entries are $20.00 each, and $15.00 for each uncovered entry (one judge covers two Public Forum entries or fraction thereof).  Please make this check payable to WKU Forensics. A $10.00 per I.E. entry and $20.00 per Public Forum entry drop fee will be charged for all drops after the December 3 deadline. A $50.00 drop fee will be charged if you drop a judge after the deadline. All entry fees, judging fees, and drop fees must be paid at or before the time of registration. Registration is held at the ballot table, in the lobby of Garrett Conference Center.

When registering you must list a judge as either in the Speech pool, the Public Forum pool, or the Congress pool. This keeps judges from being double-booked. A speech or Congress judge covers 6 slots, and a Public Forum judge 2. If you do not bring enough judges, there is a fee for each uncovered entry. In other words, please attempt to fulfill your commitment. If your school can supply judges beyond your commitment we will be happy to discuss possible reductions in entry fees.



Guestrooms available at the Holiday Inn University Plaza, a 7-story atrium style hotel (that means you can stand in the middle of the hotel and see all of your student's rooms!).

Contact Jessica Warren at 270-393-8623 or Jessica.warren@atriumhospitality.com and ask for the "WKU Speech and Debate Tournament Rate" for a special discounted rate that includes breakfast.

Call early to ensure guestroom and room type availability.

Holiday Inn, University Plaza
3.7 miles from campus
1021 Wilkinson Trace
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Alternate Hotels
Bowling Green has many hotels should Holiday Inn not work out for you.

Microtel Inn - 1-270-745-9922

1.    Take Exit 26 off of Interstate 65.
2.    Turn toward Bowling Green onto Cemetery Road.
3.    Continue straight for three miles. Cemetery Road becomes Fairview Avenue. Continue going straight across 31-W Bypass. You will pass a fire station on your left. After passing the fire station, go through one traffic light and a stop sign, then turn left at the second stop sign onto College Street (this is a one-way street).
4.    Stay on College Street through downtown Bowling Green and continue until you reach the top of the hill. College Street will dead-end at College Heights Boulevard at a statue of Henry Hardin Cherry.
5.    Turn right onto College Heights Boulevard and stay in the right-hand lane. Veer left up the hill as you pass Cherry Hall and Gordon Wilson Hall. Veer left again after you pass Van Meter Auditorium (driving between Van Meter and Potter Hall).
Tournament Registration
Having now read the invitation, you should be ready to register online above.



We hope to see you on The Hill!


We are again running the debate events (Public Forum and Congress) on Saturday, concurrent with IEs, as the entries for debate have recently been low. Students will need to decide, then, between Public Forum, Congress, or the IEs. This also means that, when you list your judges, you will need to decide in which of three pools they will judge (Public Forum, Congress, or speech). Entry deadline is noon, 3 December.

As always, the tournament is open to all people from 9th grade through 12th, from any state or commonwealth. We use Kentucky events (most of which are virtually identical to NSDA events) and you can find the rules for those events in the link far above for KHSSL Handbook.

Also, in keeping with recent tradition, we will have WKU Forensic Team members judging heavily in finals, in events that they have personally advanced into a national final round themselves.




1) Students in Extemp or Broadcast Announcing (round 3) MUST compete in those events BEFORE moving on to their other events. Else, prep time will make them late. Anyone entered in both Extemp and Broadcasting must prep Extemp first.

2) Students in duet events who are doubling or tripling should coordinate with their partners to agree whether to do the duet event first each round or last. Else, one student will try duet first and wait on their partner, who planned to do it later, making the first student late for their other events.

3) While entering: Please add a note for each student or judge who has special needs.

4) While entering: Please remember to edit and update judge details yourself, namely school or entry restrictions.

5) Deleting a name on your entry does NOT DROP the entry. It simply erases the name. You DRUP by selecting the drop-down called "drop."

6) On the morning of the tournament, please text message Chris Chandler (270-202-2771) if a student will drop an event. Do not explain why, nor give me any "maybes."


Chris Chandler

WKU Forensics

Manager contact information

Chris Chandler
Email address: christopher.chandler@wku.edu
Phone number: 270-745-6340

Mailing address

WKU Forensics
1906 College Heights Blvd. #51084
Bowling Green, KY 42101

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