Nationals Newsletter - May 25, 2021
Nationals Newsletter - May 25, 2021

Check out what's new, Coach!

Reminder: Recordings Due June 1

Links to recordings for supplemental speech and main speech event backup videos must be added to by June 1. Students may record their performance using any video recording site or software available to them, upload their recording to a site that creates a link to the video (YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, etc.), and share the link with a coach to copy/paste into the student’s entry in their Nationals registration. 
You should double check that permissions on the video are appropriately set to allow anyone with the link to view it. After you paste the link in, click the blue and white Test Video Link button to confirm that the link works. Learn more »

Video performance link text box with link filled in, a green check mark shows that the video is in and the link works.
Tournament procedures
Check your registration status
Online competition tips
Test the competition site
Link students on Tabroom

Meet our 2021 National Student of the Year Finalists

We are pleased to announce the 2021 William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year finalists. These incredible seniors will interview with a distinguished panel, and the winner will be announced on Friday, June 18 as part of the livestreamed National Tournament Debate Awards Ceremony. Learn more about the National Student of the Year Award »
2021 National Student of the Year Finalists. Ari Arias. Nirmit Chandan. Mya Harris. Ben Lu. Akshat Parthiban. Cobin Szymanski. Joshua Timmons.

Required Judge Training

All judges in the National Tournament are required to complete two training courses before competition begins, the cultural competency course and the National Tournament judge procedures videosJudges must certify that they have completed these items by logging on to, clicking National Speech and Debate Tournament under the Judging header, and clicking Yes next to each requirement. 

Save the Date to Re-register for Extemp Debate

Extemp Debate will begin after preliminary rounds of debate have finished, and it will be held with live judging and live debates. Because Extemp Debate is paired one-on-one and moves quickly, coaches must re-register their students for competition in Extemp Debate mid-tourrnament to indicate their eligibility and continued interest. Re-registration will be open all day on Wednesday, June 16, and be conducted online through Any students who pre-registered and entered the tournament in only supplemental events or who do not move on to main event Thursday competition are eligible to re-register. View the Extemp Debate schedule »

Judge Eligibility

Remember, college-age judges must have must have graduated in 2019 or earlier to be eligible to judge. Ineligible judges’ schools will incur a $700 fine.
From June 3-5, you will be able to view your school's judging assignments by day and event. During this window, you will have a limited ability to swap your judges between the days your school has been assigned to accommodate their availability. You can also add new judges if none of the judges you enter now are available for the days your school has been assigned, though all hired judge requests were due by the May 15 deadline. We will notify you when the system is open for swaps!

Celebrating our Middle School Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2021 Middle School Coach of the Year Chris Wardner and 2021 Middle School Administrator of the Year Alfred F. Dugan III. These incredible advocates for speech and debate will be celebrated as part of the middle school portion of the National Tournament Opening Ceremony on Sunday, June 13. 
Congratulations! Middle School Coach of the Year Chris Wardner and Middle School Administrator of the Year Alfred F. Dugan III.

Practice Accessing Competition Spaces

Coaches, students, and judges with accounts linked to the tournament can increase their comfort level prior to Nationals by practicing locating competition spaces. To get started, visit, use the Rooms menu to find the Practice Rooms, and click to enter the Demo room. Then you'll be prompted to log in with your account info.
Unlike during the tournament week, when you click to join via app or join via browser in the room you'll be directed to a Zoom test site. Teams cannot yet access competition rooms, but they will function just like regular Zoom rooms. Each participant that enters the demo room will be taken to their own, separate Zoom test site. You will not be able to practice in the demo room with multiple people. To practice as a team in one Zoom room, go to and sign up for a free account! A few reminders: 
  • We highly recommend using Google Chrome as your browser to access the site. 
  • If your students are having trouble accessing the competition site, double check that their account is linked to their entry, that they don't have multiple accounts (many students do!), or have them reset their password.
  • Find troubleshooting tips in our online competition guide

Detailed Competition Schedules

Round start times are now available in the Nationals Procedures. Students and judges will join their rooms on 30 minutes before round start time to resolve any technical issues.

Save the Date: Registration on June 13 

An adult representative from each school participating in the National Tournament should plan to attend tournament registration on Sunday, June 13. Each state has an assigned registration time. If you can't make it during your assigned time, please join us for Late Registration from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. CT.

Apply for Financial Support on Behalf of Your Students

We've pledged to give $100,000 in financial assistance to teams and students to create a more equitable experience at the 2021 National Tournament. If your team needs to purchase technology, pay for internet access, rent appropriate competition space, or acquire other resources that will allow students to compete online, apply for the William Woods Tate, Jr., Memorial Fund.
We've put together a three question Competitor Resource Assessment you can use independently to evaluate potential challenges your students have and ways that the Tate fund may be able to support them. We awarded the first round of grants in early May, so please apply soon! We anticipate funding will go quickly.

PF Topic Area Feedback

The PF Wording Committee is beginning to research a variety of topic areas to develop resolutions for the 2021-2022 season. Your input is invaluable in enhancing this process! Currently, the committee is focusing on ten areas (in alphabetical order): Agriculture, Balkan Peninsula, Blockchain, China, Climate Change, Courts, Criminal Justice Reform, Elections, India, Latin America, Russia, State Recognition, Stock Market, and Trade. 
Thank you to our sponsors!
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