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Indiana Forensic Association 2020 State Championship

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General information

This is a College tournament in Indiana.

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January 9th, 2020


Dear Friends,


You and your teams are cordially invited to compete in the 38th Annual Indiana State Speech Tournament and the 9th Annual Indiana State Debate Tournament. This year, Butler University will host both tournaments with the I.E. portion of the tournament occurring on Saturday, February 15th and the Debate portion occurring on Sunday, February 16th.


With novice categories in many events, a limited number of entries, and a community of helpful coaches from around the state, these contests are a great opportunity for students to experience speech and debate for the first time. The tournaments are open to all undergraduate students, regardless of whether your school has an organized forensics program. We invite you to enter any students interested in public speaking, debate, or acting. We’ll also waive entry fees for new or student-run programs upon request. Every school that attends will receive a sweepstakes trophy. Navigating the registration process and rules for these events can, at first, seem a bit daunting. If you’d like to learn more about how to participate in the speech and debate tournaments, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wideman (widemans@uindy.edu).


Our state has a long, distinguished history of intercollegiate forensic competition. Our first collegiate oratorical association was formed by six of our universities in 1874 (Asbury, Butler, Hanover, Indiana, Purdue, and Wabash). They held an annual oratory contest, and the winning student qualified to attend the Interstate Oratory Association competition, which began that same year. That contest continues to this day, and the top two speakers in the event Persuasive Speaking at our tournament will qualify to represent the state of Indiana at the Interstate Oratory tournament.


In addition to these speech and debate contests, we sponsor a scholarly paper competition for student work in communication or a related discipline. Please note: Submissions for the paper contest are due by January 25th. All other entries for the tournaments are due on Tuesday, February, 11th, at 5pm.


This invitation reviews the events offered, registration process, and schedule. A detailed description of each of the events and their rules is also provided. Please note, too, that the annual meeting of the Indiana Forensic Association will be held during the lunch hour at the tournament on Saturday. All coaches are invited to attend. We look forward to seeing you in February!



Ashley, Mike & Stephanie


Ashley Coker               Tournament Director for Individual Events                acoker@bsu.edu

Michael Bauer            Tournament Director for Debate                               mbauer2@bsu.edu

Stephanie Wideman   IFA President                                                               widemans@uindy.edu

Overview of the Events

Group A Speech Events:

Extemporaneous Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Prose Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Informative Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Dramatic Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Rhetorical Criticism

Programmed Oral Interpretation

Public Narrative (2019/2020 IFA Experimental Event)


Group B Speech Events:

Impromptu Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

Poetry Interpretation (Varsity and Novice)

Persuasive Speaking (Varsity and Novice)

After Dinner Speaking

Duo Interpretation

Radio Speaking (2020/2021 IFA Experimental Event)


*Each student may enter up to three events per group. Each school may enter up to three students per event (per division, where applicable).


Debate Events

Parliamentary Debate NPDA (Varsity and Novice)

Teams of two students compete in this limited preparation format for debate. Teams receive the resolution 15 minutes before each round. Most topics concern current affairs. Students entered in parliamentary debate may not enter other debate events on this day. Each school may enter up to four varsity teams and up to four novice teams.


IPDA Parliamentary Debate (Open Division)

This division is open to individuals.  We will follow IPDA Constitution rules. Each school may enter up to four individual teams.

IPDA Times:

1A: 5 minutes

Neg CX: 2 minutes

1N: 6 minutes

Aff CX: 2 minutes

2A: 3 minutes

2N: 5 minutes

3A: 3 minutes





Saturday, February 15, 2020

7:30—8:15am Registration

8:15am            Extemp Draw

8:45am            Round 1A

9:45am            Extemp Draw

10:15am          Round 2 A

11:15am          IFA Coaches Meeting (and Lunch Break)

12:00pm          Radio Draw

12:30pm          Round 1B

1:30pm            Radio Draw

2:00pm            Round 2B

3:00pm            Extemp Draw

3:30pm            Finals A

4:30pm            Radio Draw

4:45pm            Finals B

6:30pm            Awards


Sunday, February 16, 2020

7:30—8:30am Registration

8:45am            Parli Topic Release

9:00am            Debate Round 1 (NPDA & IPDA)

10:15am          Parli Topic Release

10:30am          Debate Round 2 (NPDA & IPDA)

12:15pm          Parli Topic Release

12:30pm          Debate Round 3 (NPDA & IPDA)

1:30pm            Parli Topic Release

1:45pm            Debate Round 4 (NPDA & IPDA)

3:15pm            Parli Topic Release

3:30pm            Debate Semi-Finals (NPDA & IPDA)

4:30pm            Parli Topic Release

4:45pm            Debate Finals (NPDA & IPDA)

6:00pm            Awards


Key Reminders for Coaches


We will be using electronic ballots via speechwire for IEs. When entering judges, please include their email addresses in the space provided. Judges may want to bring a laptop or tablet with them, but the ballot will also be accessible using one’s phone. Paper ballots will be available upon request.



Please register for both debate and speech contests at www.speechwire.com.

1. Entries are due by 5pm on Tuesday, February 11th. The tournament is listed as the

“Indiana Forensic Association Championship.”

2. Lunch will be provided for coaches that attend the coach’s meeting.

3. Once you have entered your students and judges, Speechwire will calculate your

entry fee. Please note that this is only a preliminary calculation.

4. If you have any questions about how to register, contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu; 765.729.3936)


Scholarship in Communication Paper Contest

Papers are due by January 25th. Please email submissions to Dr. Michael Baumann (mbaumann@marian.edu). Students are invited to submit an academic paper concerning any topic related to communication. The paper should reflect significant engagement with an academic discipline such as rhetorical studies, cultural studies, performance studies, or the social scientific study of human communicative behavior. Papers may emerge from work in class; they may not be previously published. Criteria for evaluation include the conception and justification of the project, facility with disciplinary literature, and articulation of a credible scholarly voice. Any student competing at one of the state tournaments is welcome to participate. The maximum length is 25 pages, double-spaced. Each team may enter a maximum of three students in the contest.


Lee Horn Award

A written nomination is required for the Lee Horn Award, due with the entry at 5 p.m. on

Tuesday, February 11th. Nominations should be sent to Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).  

Giving - reaching out to others – was one of Lee Horn’s strengths. The annual Lee Horn Award recognizes a student for helping others in this activity, maintaining a positive attitude, and modeling a personal commitment to improve their events. The tournament director will share the letters of nomination with coaches during the week of the tournament so that we can vote on the recipient at the state association coach’s meeting, held during lunch at the individual events tournament. Coaches who will not be present at the meeting (i.e. attending Sunday only) may submit their school’s vote to Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu) in advance. 



Please bring as many judges as you can. We welcome “lay” judges, that is, members of the community who can offer constructive criticism, but may not have experienced with speech and debate. We can provide training for new judges at the tournament. You are required to bring one judge for every six entries in the speech events and one judge for every two debate entries. If you cannot bring enough judges to cover your entry, you will be charged an extra fee for the uncovered entries. And if you know of extra, clean judges that we can hire? Please ask them to contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).


Entry Restrictions

Remember that each school may enter up to three students per speech event (per division, where applicable) and up to four teams in each division of debate. Each individual student can compete in up to three speech events in Group A and three speech events in Group B. According to our constitution, any alterations must be approved by a majority vote of the state association.

Registration Fees

Each entry in a speech event costs $7. A duo counts as one entry. If the entry is uncovered, add $10. Each team entered in parli debate costs $50. If the team is uncovered, add $50. IPDA Individual entries cost $25. Each school in attendance will also pay a registration fee of $25.


Drops from the tournament after the entry deadline will incur a fee. Each speech drop after noon on Wednesday costs $10 (in addition to the original entry fees described above); each speech judge drop costs $25 (in addition to any new uncovered fees that must be charged as a result). Dropping a debate team or judge after Wednesday at noon will result in a $50 fee. Name changes are free in debate.

Please make your checks payable to “Indiana Forensic Association.” By Thursday (February 13th), you will receive an email with an invoice for the total registration fee. If you need this information sooner, please contact Ashley Coker (acoker@bsu.edu).


Who is a Novice?

In the speech events, novice divisions are reserved for students who have not competed in intercollegiate forensics prior to the 2019-2020 season.


In Parliamentary Debate, a novice is any student competing in their first year of collegiate debate.



Awards will be presented to the top six competitors in all speech events, including the separate novice divisions as indicated. Awards will be presented to semi-finalists and finalists in each debate event as well as the top five speakers. Every school that participates in the State Speech Tournament or the State Debate Tournament will receive a team sweepstakes trophy.


Highlights of the Rules:

  1. Public Narrative and Radio Speaking rules are listed below. All of the other events follow NFA rules.
  2. IPDA will follow IPDA rules. Parliamentary Debate will follow NPDA rules.
  3. All material should be of each student’s own design and should not have been performed by that student in competition prior to the 2019-2020 academic year.
  4. For Individual Events, we will use NFA-style scoring, tie-breaking, and tabulation procedures. Team sweeps will be calculated based on final round points only (unless prelims are required to break a tie). Novice and varsity count equally. All events, including the IFA experimental events (Public Narrative and Radio Speaking) will count toward team sweepstakes. School sweepstakes in debate will be based on points scored in both debate events as outlined in the IFA constitution.
  5. Impromptu speaking will include a diversity of prompts by round as follows:

RD1-Quotations    RD2-Single words        FinalRD-Objects

  1. Extemp will feature questions about the State of Indiana in the final round.
  2. Public Narrative: Speaking time: 10 minutes maximum—delivered from manuscript. Public Narrative is a narrative speech designed to inspire audience belief or action through the sharing of a student’s personal experience. Public Narratives are marked by clear development of the speaker’s personal story, enhancement of identification between the audience and issue or set of issues, emphasis of urgency, and vocal and nonverbal delivery choices that reflect the speech’s purpose. (For guidance on developing a Public Narrative, see Marshall Ganz’ work.) Rather than using a 3-point structure with previews and other overt organizational devices, narrative speeches use story to serve as the primary organizational element.
  3. Radio Speaking: Contestants will be given a packet of source materials and will have 30 minutes to select and organize a five minute simulated radio broadcast. All material used in the broadcast will be provided by the tournament with the exception of any hypothetical station call letters, time and current weather conditions or forecast and no more than one commercial (maximum 30 seconds). Contestants should strive to present a broadcast that resembles a live radio news segment and refrain from humorous devices (like the traffic girl falling out of the traffic copter or Bigfoot rampaging through town, etc). Maximum time limit for the speech is five minutes. Students will be seated at a table during the performance and may use a stopwatch since time signals will not be given. Judges will not face the contestant during the speech.


Manager contact information

Ashley Coker
Email address: acoker@bsu.edu
Phone number: 317-940-9847

Mailing address

4600 Sunset Ave.
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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