SpeakfortheArts Alumni HS Online Debate Tournament

2020 — Online, US

Our Mission

During these tough times, it is critically important for us to not only unite the debate community, but also reach our to those who don't have ready access to expressive avenues. For this reason, entry fee funds will benefit Empower Expression.

Empower Expression is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free, personalized mentoring in the Arts. Empower Expression is dedicated to improving communication skills and confidence among young students. We believe that cultivation in the Arts is integral to a student's development and future success.

By signing up to #SpeakfortheArts, you will raise money to help students access free mentoring in the Arts and contribute to the distribution of expressive supplies, such as music instruments or film equipment. 

visit https://www.empowerexpression.org/about-1 for more registration resources


Online Platform

All rounds will be held on classrooms.cloud (the platform used by online TOC and NSDA Nationals) in partnership with United 4 Social Change.


Tournament Format

We will have separate divisions for high school debaters and alumni debaters; however, we reserve the right to combine the two divisions within a category if one does not have a sufficient number of entries for competition.

Saturday, June 6: Prelims

5 rounds for PF and LD

3 sessions for Congress 

Sunday, June 7: Break rounds

All PF and LD competitors with a winning record will advance 

Depending on the number of entries, the top __ competitors in each Congress chamber will advance

Numbers permitting, we would like to have the winners of the Alumni divisions face off with the winners of the High School divisions

*Subject to change



LD and PF: We will be using the 2020 NSDA Nationals topics (June topic)

LD- Resolved: The intergenerational accumulation of wealth is antithetical to democracy

PF- Resolved: On balance, charter schools are beneficial to the quality of education in the United States.

Congress: You will be able to submit your own legislation to s4tacongress@empowerexpression.org using the "Congress Legislation Template" document until May 20th. If submitted legislation is insufficient to create a docket, the docket will be supplemented with legislation written by the tournament staff or from the NSDA 2020 Nationals docket. 



**Judges entered in the High School division must have graduated from high school in or before the year 2019. Judges entered in the Alumni division may be either a high school student judge or non-student judge. 

**Although the judge entry deadline is May 30th at 5:00 pm EST, please enter your judges ASAP to ensure a smooth running tournament. If you do not have your judge(s) entered at this time, and our judge numbers are insufficient, your entry or entries will be dropped from the tournament. Otherwise, you will have to pay a judge fee to compete.

1. Submit a paradigm on Tabroom (PF/LD/Congress).

2. Review the schedule and report any time constraints in your judge notes

3. Indicate whether you are a high school student or have graduated by 2019 in your judge notes

4. Remember- we are using standby judges during the tournament, so you could be assigned a round or  standby. You are not relieved of your judging obligation until a staff member releases you. You are off of standby once a tab staff member clears you.

5. Judge Eligibility Rules

   a. If you are currently in high school or belong to the class of 2020, you are eligible to be a student judge if  you have at least two years of high school experience debating in the category you plan on judging

   b. All those who have graduated from high school by 2019 are permitted to judge in both the high school and alumni divisions. Although not required, it is strongly recommended that they have prior debate experience: judging/competing/administrating. 




General inquiries and concerns: speakforthearts@empowerexpression.org

Public Forum Debate: s4tapublicforum@empowerexpression.org 

Congressional Debate: s4tacongress@empowerexpression.org

Lincoln Douglas Debate: s4talincolndouglas@empowerexpression.org