Nationals Newsletter - May 19, 2020
Nationals Newsletter - May 19, 2020

Read the latest National Tournament info below, Coach!

Our High School Coach of the Year!

The 2020 NSDA High School Coach of the Year is Irene Gardea from Americas High School in Texas. As the winner of the West Texas award, Irene was selected by a panel of esteemed coaches from our pool of district winners as the national recipient for her outstanding leadership and dedication to her students. 
In the nomination letter, Irene's student Caitlyn said the following: "She is a reminder of persisting and learning to appreciate the journey. Ms. Gardea once told me, “Everything you will ever need, you already have.” It is because of her that I know I will forever be equipped for whatever life throws at me, and I am forever thankful for the guidance and support she offers."
You'll have a chance to hear from Irene directly as part of our Opening Ceremony for the 2020 online National Tournament at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14. Join us in congratulating Irene! 

Nationals FAQ: When Are My Judges Obligated? Can I Make Changes?

In early June, you will be able to see what judges were assigned to what day(s) on At that point, we will open up registration and you can swap your judges qualified in that event so that all the days assigned are covered and people are entered to judge on days they are available. (This swapping does not apply to World Schools Debate or Big Questions judges, who are obligated every day the tournament runs, Monday through Thursday.) You will also have the ability to add a new judge to cover the days you owe. A judge cannot fill only part of a day's obligation.
In the meantime, we recommend taking a look at the Nationals schedule to get an idea of what days your judges can cover. For example, if a judge is entered in the LD pool for three days, you know that those days will be three of: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday since those are the days LD runs.

Test the Nationals System: Team Signups

You can sign up for a team practice time where your students and judges in live events can get comfortable using video in our competition system! This is your time to practice entering a competition room, determining your ideal setup for video framing, testing sound and equipment, and communicating with a partner. We will follow up with access instructions and your school practice code to sign in once you've completed the form.
This signup is different than the speech recording window, which runs May 19 through May 25 for the Senior Open and May 26 and June 12 for Nationals. 
Senior Open Signup Sheet

Prepare Accounts 

Remember, accounts are required for all students and judges. If a judge account is ready for competition, the National Tournament will be listed under "Judging" when they log in. If a student account is ready for competition, the National Tournament will be listed under the "Future" tab when they log in. 
Nationals Signup Sheet

Don't Forget: Pre-order Your National Tournament T-Shirts

Don't forget to place your pre-order for National Tournament T-shirts by May 24 to ensure we have your size!

Duo Details and Split Screen Demo

Students qualified in Duo can opt to remain in Duo and record a split screen video of their performance to be judged or choose to drop the Duo entry and one or both may participate in a solo speech event of their choice. Coaches must report ALL Duo final selections by May 22, but recordings aren't due until June 10. Please do not make any entry changes on We will take care of those adjustments. Unlike other events, videos for Duo can be recorded on the platform of students’ choice and shared with us for upload to the system via this form. More info »
Watch a sample split screen Duo Interp performance in this video! Special thanks to Ethan Gambriel and Tyler Simpson, alums from Willard High School in Missouri, for providing this sample from their 2019 final round performance. 

Share Our Online Competition Tips

We want all students to maximize their skills and create the best performance they can! We've put together some general tips to set your team up for success including quick fixes for common issues, internet advice, equipment options, recording tips for speech events, guidance on framing and lighting, and more. 

Last Chance: Apply on Behalf of Students in Need of Support 

In light of the National Tournament moving online, the William Woods Tate, Jr., Fund will provide financial assistance so that students can have a more equitable experience. We have a limited pool of funding, so we ask that you only apply on behalf of students you know most need these funds by Friday, May 22The fund will provide accepted students competing in main events at the National Tournament with a $50 to $75 check payable by June 1 so that they can purchase technology, pay for internet access, or acquire other resources that will allow them a more equitable experience. 

Follow Along for Updates and Behind-the-Scenes Content!

We'll all miss the in-person connections at the National Tournament, but our social media pages will give you the chance to meet competitors from across the country and hear their stories!
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Get Your New Speech and Debate Accessory: Scrunchies!

NSDA scrunchies are now available on the NSDA Store! Get yours here or check out more speech and debate apparel

Connect with Colleges, Explore Camps, and Check Out Team Tools

Don't miss our 2020 Expos! Mark you calendar and plan to join us online for the Senior Open Virtual Expo on Friday, May 29 and the National Tournament Virtual Expo on Sunday, June 14.  Our Virtual Expos provide a safe and organized environment in which coaches, parents, and students can connect with exhibitors and take advantage of great deals. See you there!
Thank you to our sponsors!
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