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Back to the Nest Swing pt 2

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General information

This is a College tournament in Illinois.

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Dear Friends,

The Illinois State University Forensics Union and the Illinois State Forensics Alumni are pleased to invite you and your team to participate in the second annual Back to the Nest Swing on October 5-6, 2019.  Saturday, October 5th will be hosted by Illinois State University Forensics Alumni and Sunday October 6th will be hosted by the Illinois State Forensics Union.  Both halves will be hosted on the Illinois State campus in scenic Normal; proceeds from the Saturday tournament will be donated to a non-profit selected by our alumni committee.

Founded in 1857, the ISU Forensics Union is the oldest student organization at Illinois State University.  We have a long history of recruiting bright and capable members and honorary members – our roster boasts Abraham Lincoln (debate judge and honorary alumnus), UN Ambassadors, actors, journalists, doctors, lawyers and education professionals.  Our alumni continue to embody Illinois State’s motto, “Gladly we Learn and Teach,” and have requested this tournament as an opportunity to bring these Redbirds “Back to the Nest” to re-connect with the speech circuit.  Our hope is that we can provide you with valuable fall semester ballots and maybe connect you with ISU alumni in your area who can be an ongoing resource.  Moreover, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to give to worthy organizations and important causes.  We sincerely hope you will join us in this endeavor.

The “Back to the Nest Swing” offers you and your students quality Open and Novice competition in all AFA and NFA Individual Events.  In those events numbering 60 or more contestants, we will hold semi-final elimination rounds.  This invitation should provide all of the necessary tournament information, but please call or email if we can be of any further assistance.

As always, we look forward to welcoming you and your students to Central Illinois.  We take pride in running on-schedule tournaments that are friendly and fun, and the weekend will be well worth your time.  Hope to see you in October!


Hananiah Wiggins (Class of 2015) and Megan Koch (DoF, Class of 2003)


Entries:  Each student may enter a maximum of six events; no more than three per grouping.  There is no limit on the amount of entries a school may enter per event; however, for schools with larger entries we may have to artificially move competitors to utilize judges from that school.  The deadline for receiving entries for both halves of the swing is 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 1.  No adds will be accepted after this time.  Drops will be accepted after the deadline without penalty until 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 3.  Entries for both halves of the swing should be submitted to Speechwire.com.

IE Judges & Fees: Entry fees are $8.00 per entry slot (no additional charge for entering quadrathon).  A nuisance fee of $6.00 per slot will be added to the original entry fee for every drop after 12:00pm on Wednesday, October 2.  Drops at registration will incur a $15.00 nuisance fee per slot in addition to the original entry fee.  

Each school should furnish one judge for every six slots.  Hired judges are available at $10.00 per uncovered slot.  Judges dropped after the Wednesday, 12:00 p.m. deadline will result in a nuisance fee of $25.00 each plus the additional cost of hiring a judge.  ALL fees are assessed as of 12:00 p.m., Wednesday October 2.  Due to the difficulties of maintaining a pool of high-quality hired judges, we strongly encourage every school to bring at least one judge.  

Quadrathon:  Students entered in at least four events including at least one from two different genres (interpretation/public address/limited preparation) will be eligible for the quadrathon awards. If a student is entered in five or six events, his or her best four will count toward quadrathon. Novice finals will not count toward open quadrathon, but if entries warrant we will present Novice Individual Sweepstakes awards.

Novice Events:  A separate novice division will be created in each individual event where we have at least 6 novice entries. A novice is a student who is in their first year of collegiate competition OR has competed in three or fewer collegiate tournaments OR is a competitor for a community college or 2-year school.

Sectioning:   We will use Speechwire to take all entries, section rounds, assign judges and tabulate scores.

Awards:  The top six contestants in each event will advance to open finals and receive awards.  The top three quadrathon entries will receive awards based on final rounds. Sweepstakes trophies will be awarded to the top five schools, and an award will be presented for Limited Entry Sweepstakes (if entries warrant, the top three limited entry schools will receive awards).  We will also award trophies to the top three schools and top limited entry school in combined swing sweepstakes.  In open finals, winning first place earns 12 points…and sixth place earns two points.  Other open finalists, and all open semifinalists, will earn 1 point each. In novice final rounds, winning first place earns 6 points … and sixth place earns 1 point.  

Illinois State Competitors:  ISU students will pay fees and compete on Saturday and will not compete on Sunday.

Alumni Tournament:  The alumni half of the tournament will be staffed by ISU alumni and not current members of the coaching staff (beyond having someone on hand to unlock doors, etc.).  Saturday proceeds (after trophies, food, etc.) will go to a non-profit of the alumni tournament committee’s selection.

Accessing Campus Wifi: Guest internet access is available through the network ISU-Guest.  Please select the network “ISU-Guest”, open a browser, click “request an account” and enter the required information.  For a PDF handout, please visit: https://business.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/tech/manuals/isu-guest-login-infosheet.pdf

All-Gender Restrooms: Illinois State has designated All-Gender Restrooms in most of the buildings we will use for the tournament.  We will include an updated map of all designated restrooms with other tournament information when you arrive.

ICE Information (will be updated as information changes) – Illinois State University is committed to inclusiveness and welcomes students and coaches from all identities and social roles. In light of ongoing harassment and discrimination, and the current administration's most recent actions regarding immigration, our program stands in solidarity with, and will continue to offer a safe, educational space for, students who need it.  Illinois State has joined with 698 other Universities to show official support for DACA and to call for its continuation and expansion.  The State of Illinois signed the TRUST Act into law, which enacted the nation’s strongest state-level due process protections for immigrants who fear any interaction with local police could result in deportation. As of May 2018, The Town of Normal is now classified as a Welcoming City – in addition to following the Trust Act, town employees and police officers will not ask about citizenship or immigration status unless it’s part of a criminal investigation or by court order.  Bloomington, on the other hand, has not yet approved their Welcoming City ordinance, and the proposed language does not have the support of local advocates.  We recommend that guests stay in Normal for lodging and dining until a meaningful ordinance passes in Bloomington.  These protections are not perfect or complete, but the AILA does not show any ICE activity in Central Illinois.   We have also found http://www.icirr.org/ to be a useful resource.

Title IX and Clery Act Information – Members of the Illinois State coaching staff will complete mandatory Title IX training and our team members will complete mandatory Bystander Training prior to the start of the tournament.  In addition, we are working to have a training program for our guest alumni and judges prior to the start of the tournament.   For information on ISU’s policies and a link to our online reporting system, please visit:  titleix.illinoisstate.edu   To report an incident to campus police please call 309-438-8631 or visit police.illinoisstate.edu


General:   All programs and speeches must not have been used in competition prior to September 1, 2018.   A novice is a student who is in their first year of collegiate competition OR has competed in three or fewer collegiate tournaments. Competitors must be undergraduates working on their first degree.  

NFA event descriptions will be used for all events; both tournaments will use AFA-style speaker points and tie breaks (except majority of 1s in finals).  


Impromptu:  “Prompts will include ideas that can be comprehended and interpreted quickly such as quotations, both actual (from history or contemporary culture) and fictional (from movies, plays, novels etc.), single-frame cartoons, song lyrics, proverbs, rhetorical situations etc."


Extemp: Students will be permitted access to the Internet during preparation, but access to the Internet is not guaranteed.  ISU will do its best to obtain guest access for our competitors, but competitors relying on the Internet should be prepared to provide their own access.  Please select the network “ISU-Guest”, open a browser, click “request an account” and enter the required information. 




Extemporaneous Speaking

Informative Speaking

Persuasive Speaking

Impromptu Speaking

Duo Interpretation

Dramatic Interpretation

Prose Interpretation

Communication Analysis

Program Oral Interpretation

After Dinner Speaking


After Dinner Speaking



Hotels:  There are several terrific hotel options in the Normal area, including two that are in walking distance of the campus: 

  • Hyatt Place - 200 Broadway Ave, Normal, IL 61761  (309) 454-9288
  • Marriott - 201 Broadway Ave, Normal, IL 61761  (309) 862-9000

If you are looking for less expensive options, there are several that are a short drive away.  We strongly recommend talking to us before you book at some of the discount locations.  This weekend IS Family Weekend at Illinois State so please book your rooms early.

Parking:  Please park in the Visitors’ lot in the lower level of the South University Parking Deck near the College of Business Building, in the Visitor's lot at the Bone Student Center, or any open Red or Green parking lot.  Directions to campus and printable maps (city, campus and parking) are available at: www.ilstu.edu/mapMeters and “Reserved” (handicapped, business, medical and numbered) spaces are enforced 24/7.  You will be ticketed!  Saturday is NOT a football game day!  Hooray!

Tobacco use:  Illinois State is a smoke-free campus.  If you have students and coaches who smoke, please advise them to do so on city sidewalks, and not on campus property.  The full policy is available at: https://policy.illinoisstate.edu/health-safety/5-1-7.shtml   Moreover, Normal city ordinance restricts tobacco purchases to individuals who are 21 and older. Please keep that in mind if you need to pick up a pack while you are in town.


Dining Options at Illinois State:  There are several places around the ISU quad to stop in for a quick meal.  We will have a list of delivery options and recommendations available closer to Registration.

Northeast of the quad (Uptown Normal): Visit  http://www.uptownnormal.com/dining/  for the most current list of restaurants.  You can find gyros, burgers, vegetarian/vegan, Jimmy Johns, coffee, Indian and sit-down options.

Southwest of the quad:   Jimmy John’s, Potbelly, Noodles, Avanti’s, Chipotle, Meatheads, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonalds.






Manager contact information

Megan Koch
Email address: mkoch@ilstu.edu
Phone number:

Mailing address

Campus Box 4480
Normal, IL 61790

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