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Mustang Stampede

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General information

This is a College tournament in Minnesota.

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Hello Friends,

The Southwest Minnesota State University Forensics Team is pleased to invite you to the 2019 Mustang Stampede hosted on Sunday October 20, 2019 on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. We are preparing an inclusive and accessible tournament as a part of the Southern Minnesota Swing with MSU, Mankato’s Larry Schnoor Invitational on Saturday. We look forward to having another fun tournament this year!


Nationally, the forensic community (students, coaches, and judges) have called for safer tournaments where student  and judge wellness is built into the tournament structures. We hope to provide a different type of tournament experience focused on redesigning spaces rather than accommodating individuals. As such, you will notice several features of our tournament designed to make spaces safer and more accessible for everyone.

Calm Room

The SMSU Forensics team recognizes tournaments can be difficult places for victims of traumatic experiences or for individuals with sensitivities to sensory experiences. If you need to escape the tournament, feel free to use the Calm Room. The room will have soft music, soft lights, and comfort items to provide a break from the usual chaos.

Open Door Policy

SMSU 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 an opportunity to speak on important, personal 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 your audience. To better serve the wellness of the forensic community, we will be using an open door practice this weekend.

An “open door practice” means competitors and other audience members may choose to leave a round when a performance threatens their mental wellbeing, or due to physical (e.g., uncontrollable coughing, vomiting) or spiritual (e.g., Salah prayer times) needs. Competitors may discretely leave the room (before, during, or after someone’s performance) even when not double-entered, without question or penalty. Anyone in the room may also disengage from a performance (e.g., actively dissociate, put their head down on a desk, cover their ears). Judges will be asked to read the open door policy aloud at the beginning of every round to reinforce the norm-change emphasizing mental and physical well-being over community norms.

Judges may also take steps to protect their well-being by requesting reassignment prior to rounds where they worry about the content warnings listed or taking a time between speeches to re-center before proceeding with the round.

Judge Strikes and Judge Accommodations

If a student has conflicts with judges for non-competitive reasons, please inform the tournament staff as to prevent conflicts within the tournament. Some non-competitive conflicts may include:

  • The student and judge are family members/close friends
  • The student was harassed/assaulted by the judge
  • The student feels uncomfortable being judged by a former teammate  
  • The student feels uncomfortable being judged by a former coach

We respect the privacy of these decisions, so no explanation for the conflict is required.

If tournament staff is informed a judge has participated in improper behavior, the judge will be removed from the judging pool before interacting with students. Coaches or students may contact tournament staff directly at julie.walker@smsu.edu or 706-844-2773.

Tournament staff will provide a full list of judges and schools attending the week of the tournament. The list of judges and schools will be available as a link on Speechwire and will be posted to the team Facebook page. (We ask the attending schools to provide the intended hired judges list to the host school as soon as possible to provide ample time for judge strikes.)

Gender Equity

SMSU is committed to providing a place where all competitors’, judges’, and observers’ gender identities are observed and respected. Pronoun indicators will be available at registration and in the student and judge lounges.

Tournament staff also commits to providing maps and signage to gender-neutral and single-stall restrooms to provide safe bathroom spaces. Maps are included at the end of this invite, will be available online at Speechwire.com, provided at registration, and in the student and judge lounges.

Name Pronunciation

SMSU recognizes the power being called by your correctly pronounced name has in creating an inclusive, welcoming, respectful space. To aid judges and awards readers, please provide student name pronunciation through Speechwire. Depending upon Speechwire service availability, tournament staff will attempt to make name pronunciations available on cover ballots for judges.

Content Warnings

SMSU requests performers consider the nature of their topic; when possible, please list a content warning in the “Event Title” content box on Speechwire when registering for the tournament and list a content warning on the board when signing in to the round. At registration, each team will be asked if they entered content warnings for their students’ pieces. Content warnings will appear on schemats online and posted at the tournament.

Wellness Table

Tournaments require intense concentration and a variety of items competitors and judges may not use on a frequent basis. Tournament staff will provide a Wellness Table with resources such as extra black books, tape, glue, breath mints, snacks, band-aids, stain removers, bobby pins, needle-and-thread, buttons, shoe goo, and other such items.

Body Type Accessibility

SMSU recognizes not all bodies comfortably move through tournament spaces. Tournament staff worked hard to select rooms with desks where all body types may comfortably compete, observe, and judge. Rooms were prioritized so freestanding chairs were used for rounds before desk-chair combinations or similar options. When rooms do not include large seating options, the tournament staff pledges to provide chairs where everyone can feel included during the competition round.

Tournament staff also pledges to arrange rooms to create ample space for competitors and judges who use wheelchairs to move throughout competition rounds without needless obstacles.

Information Available Upon Request

Upon request, the tournament staff will have the following information:

  • Procedures for Title IX violations
  • Regional ICE activity
  • Campus emergency procedures
  • Local support service phone numbers


Information about competitive event offerings and fees are listed below. We hope you find it possible to attend the Sunday portion of the Southern Minnesota Swing in October! If you have questions, feel free to email/call Julie Walker at julie.walker@smsu.edu or 706-844-2773. See you then!



       Julie Walker                                                               David Brennan

      Southwest Minnesota State University                  Southwest Minnesota State University

      Acting Director of Forensics                                     Assistant Director of Forensics

      Tournament Director


Competitive Event Offerings

The 2019 Mustang Stampede will offer two preliminary rounds in one open division of all 11 AFA-NIET events, plus Improvised Duo.  Semi-finals will be held if more than 50 students are entered in an event. Events will be offered in 2 conflict patterns. Students may enter no more than 3 events per pattern. Students who triple enter in a pattern are responsible for getting to all events during the scheduled time period.


Schedule Sunday October 21

8:00     Registration

8:30     Draw

8:45     1A (Ext, Pers, Duo, POI, CA, Pro)

10:00   1B (ADS, Imp, Info, Poe, DI, ID)

11:30    2B (ADS, Imp, Info, Poe, DI, ID)

12:30    Lunch

1:15      Draw

1:30      2A (Ext, Pers, Duo, POI, CA, Pro)

3:00     Finals B (ADS, Imp, Info, Poe, DI, ID)

4:15     Draw (finals)

4:15      Finals A (Ext, Pers, Duo, POI, CA, Pro)

6:00     Awards


Pattern A: Communication Analysis, Duo, Extemporaneous Speaking, Persuasion, Program Oral Interpretation, Prose

Pattern B: After Dinner Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Impromptu, Improvised Duo, Informative, Poetry

Special Event: Improvised Duo

Students will draw three scenarios and choose one to perform. Students have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and performing. Timing commences with the draw of the last scenario. The performance should adhere to the prompt and showcase quality storytelling, character creation, and performer interaction. No props are allowed. Creativity is encouraged. Limited notes are permitted.



$6 per entry slot

1 judge covers 6 slots

$10 per uncovered entry slot

$10 per drop or add after Wednesday, October 16 at noon

$50 per dropped judge

*Entries are due via Speechwire 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15.

*All judges are expected to be available for final rounds.

*All judges are considered “clean” for final rounds.

*We will have a limited amount of judges available for hire ($50 cash), so please contact Julie Walker if you are interested in paying these hired judges to help cover your entry.


Host Information

SMSU Student Competitors

As hosts, the SMSU forensic team may enter first-semester SMSU students on Sunday.


Hired Judges

The hired judge pool will consist primarily of forensics alums and the MSU, Mankato Communication Studies Graduate Teaching Assistants. The graduate assistants attend a judge training session where they receive information about event descriptions, rules, and methods for writing effective ballots.


Tournament Observers

Instructors at MSU, Mankato often choose to offer extra credit for observing competition rounds. The faculty and graduate students received instructions to discuss proper audience etiquette with their students prior to the tournament.



The following link will bring you to a list of hotels in the Mankato area (http://www.mnsu.edu/admissions/visit/hotels.html).  Please contact the hotels for reservations.


Competition Awards

Finalists in each event will receive unconventional awards; champions will earn Pony Sticks! All competitors may also earn individual sweeps awards for 1st through 5th place.

Sweeps awards are earned using the following point system:

Preliminary Sweeps Points

1st Place: 3 points

2nd Place: 2 points

3rd Place: 1 point


*non-advancing semi-finalists will receive 2 points

Finals Sweeps Points

1st Place: 10 points

2nd Place: 8 points

3rd Place: 6 points


4th Place: 4 points

5th Place: 3 points

6th Place: 2 points

Team awards will be provided for 1st through 5th places for Limited Team and Open Team sweeps.

Fun Awards

Based on votes by students, coaches, and judges, the SMSU team will distribute additional awards, including Best Dressed, Congeniality Companion, and Supreme Audience Member. Tickets purchased for voting benefit the charity announced at the tournament.

Tournament staff will present the Mark Fokken Award to the judge with the most educational ballot(s). Tournament staff will present the Stampede Award to the team who demonstrate overwhelming forensic spirit. Students or coaches can nominate their teams for the Stampede award by sharing photos on social media channels Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the #2019Stampede and/or tagging @smsuforensics or @smsu_forensics.


Manager contact information

Julie Walker
Email address: julie.walker@smsu.edu
Phone number: 706-844-2730

Mailing address

None provided

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