Live Speech Events » After careful consideration and feedback from our community, we have made the decision to hold live (synchronous) speech competition in all main events at the 2021 National Tournament. Live synchronous competition for main events and fully asynchronous competition for supplemental speech events will provide students the opportunity for an experience most like attending our in-person National Tournament. In addition to the fully asynchronous supplemental speech events, all main event students will be encouraged to submit a recording of their performance that can be used as a backup in case of unresolvable technical difficulties.
Duo Interpretation » In order to promote safer competition for all, the 2021 National Tournament will feature two divisions of Duo Interpretation, one where students will perform together in the same room (with a backup recording in case of technical difficulties, as in other speech events), and one with a split screen format like the 2020 National Tournament. Duo competitors may compete in both divisions, but will have to choose a preferred division if breaking to semifinals. Teams cannot break to semifinals in both divisions.
In-Person Safety » Students who will compete in the same room (in Duo or in debate events) must submit a consent form from their administrators with approval and acknowledgement that students will follow their school’s safety guidelines.
New Supplemental Events » High school students will have the opportunity to enter in two new supplemental events at the 2021 National Tournament: Pro Con Challenge and Original Spoken Word Poetry! Read more about these new events in the manual and stay tuned for resources on getting started preparing on your team. All supplemental speech events will be recorded asynchronously, and students may enter in as many events as they wish. Extemp Debate will again be held live.
$100,000 in Support Grants » We know this year has created unprecedented challenges for students and coaches. This year, we’re offering $100,000 in William Woods Tate, Jr., Fund participation support grants to teams who need funds to purchase technology, pay for internet access, rent appropriate space to compete, or acquire other resources that will allow them a more equitable experience. Stay tuned for details.