September 17, 2019 - Weekly Coach Newsletter
September 17, 2019 - Weekly Coach Newsletter

Dear Coach,

Check out the latest resources from our community below! 

Read the Latest Issue of Rostrum Magazine

In the new issue of Rostrum, we share stories on the theme Your Voice, Our Mission. Don't miss member profiles, a Q&A with district leaders, a first look at the 2019 membership survey results, and a plethora of tips, tricks, and advice from us and coaches like you!

NEW: NSDA Stories

We're excited to announce our new blog, NSDA Stories, which will share stories from the speech and debate community. Head over to to check out the latest post from NSDA alum Gina Sanchez. Have an idea for a future post? Email Grace Rogers at
Coach Roster Cleanup » Advisors, please take a moment to clean up your roster! Anyone with a blue toggle under Active is considered a current coach. Please visit your School Roster and mark any coaches not currently working with your program as inactive. 

Public Forum Pilot Rule Changes

In 2019-2020, all district tournaments and the 2020 National Tournament will use the new pilot PF event rules that add one minute to each summary speech and one minute to each team’s preparation time. Read an explanation of the changes here.

2019-2020 Unified Manual and Pilot District Qualification Manual

You can now view this year's release of the High School Unified Manual. The manual contains event and tournament rules, procedures, and details on the ins and outs of membership. Be sure to check out new term limits for members of the Board of Directors on page 19 and changes to district qualification levels on page 63.
Your district leadership team will also have the option to use the pilot qualification rules in debate, speech, or Congress at your district tournament! Check out this year's Pilot District Qualification Manual here. Don't miss the new options to run a round robin or double elimination bracket for your debate qualifier or the ability to break more students in speech! Read an overview of the rationale behind the pilot methods here

Watch Final Round Videos

You and your students can pick up tips by watching the best in the nation perform in National Tournament final round videos from 2018 and earlier! Visit and select the Nationals filter block on the left. Recordings of the 2019 National Tournament final rounds are exclusively available to Resource Package subscribers! 

Recruiting Latinx Students

Join Dr. Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Latina/o Studies at the University of Iowa, for Imagining Latinidad for Speech and Debate.
In this webinar, Dr. Wanzer-Serrano discussed terminology and practical suggestions to aid in recruitment, retention, and post-secondary placement of Latina/o/x students. Watch the recording online for free! 

Tom Llamas on Speech and Debate

ABC News Anchor and Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas shares how speech and debate helped him get where he is today in this video! You can access our Hispanic Heritage Month poster series featuring Tom and other speech and debate alumni or use our template to create posters with members of your team! 

Event Spotlight: Congressional Debate

Congressional Debate is a simulation of the U.S. legislative process in the Senate and the House. In this event, students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate in advance and alternate delivering speeches for and against the topic in a group setting. Students are assessed on their research, argumentation, and delivery skills, as well as their knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure.
What's unique about Congressional Debate? The number of students participating in each round is larger—around 10-25 students compete in a Chamber in a given legislative session. An elected student serves as a presiding officer to ensure debate flows smoothly by selecting speakers to give speeches, selecting questioners, maintaining decorum in the chamber, and facilitating a fast and smooth debate for all.
Be sure to renew by October 1 to retain access to this newsletter, Rostrum magazine, and all other member benefits!
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