Harlingen BirdBowl NIETOC Swing


Harlingen High 



Double TFA and Double NIETOC Qualifier



Harlingen High School Office Phone: (956) 427-3600 ext:1145

Harlingen South High School Office Phone: (956) 427-3800 ext.1646

1701 Dixeland Rd, Harlingen, TX, 78550




The Harlingen Forensics Speech Teams would love for you to join us at our 2nd annual SWING, 


held on September 2ND & 3RD, 2022.  this tournament will be held in person at Harlingen high school south and Tabroom.com

This tournament will be held in person

We are excited about the schedule of events, level of competition and quality judging we will have.

We look forward to seeing you!

Tournament Hosts

Harlingen High

Mr. Christopher Esparza

(956) 245-7193

Ms. Bender


Harlingen South

Mr. John Reynolds

(956) 454-8533

Mr. Eddy Cavazos


Information about the tournament

All tournament tabulation and pairings will occur via tabroom.com and as such, all students, coaches, and judges will need to have an updated tabroom.com account. Information on how to create an account can be found on the tfa website (txfa.org). 

How to make an account:



Events Offered

Section A: Domestic Extemp, Foreign Extemp, Novice Extemp, Humorous Interpretation,  Duet Acting, Informative Speaking, Poetry, Novice Poetry

Section B: Program Oral Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Original Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation, Prose, & Novice Prose

Debate: LD Debate, Congressional Debate

*students may only enter one debate and one type of extemp. Students can enter 3 events in interp at their own risk.

Independent Entries

The TFA Constitution states on pg. 72 that “Texas Students participating at TFA Tournaments must be affiliated with and a representative of the schools they are attending.” This means that if you are a TEXAS STUDENT, you must participate under your school’s name and be affiliated with said team. This rule is NON-NEGOTIABLE. 

  1. All competitors must have a school approved adult representative present at all times during the tournament. As noted in the tournament best practices document, this means they must be either actively judging, in a judge pooling room, or assisting the tournament.

  2. If a school employee is not attending with the student, a school official must email Christopher Esparza or Eddy Cavazos giving permission for the responsible adult to act on behalf of and make all relevant decisions for the student/school.

  3. All teams must register using their school name and their official school tabroom account so that TFA and NSDA points can be accurately attributed.



The entry deadline for the Harlingen Birdbowl Throwdown is August 26, 2022 at 5 pm

The Drop/name change Deadline is August 30, 2022 at 5pm

  • Adds will cost 25

  • Drop fees will cost 35 

All fees will lock on  August 30, 2022 at 5 pm

Judges will need to be registered for the tournament by August 26, 2022 at 5 pm

*A nuisance fee will be applied for any videos that are sent in after the deadline

Please review our fees page on the tabroom website to see charges for drops and penalties after these dates.



Individual events: $20

Duo/Duet: $25

Congressional Debate: $20

Lincoln Douglas: $30

Hospitality Fee: $50 per school



IE: .5 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (12 entries/1judge)

LD: 2 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (3 entries/1judge)

Congress: .25 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 4 rounds/ $25/ missing round (12 entries/ 1 judge)


Judging Fees will be assessed on August 26, 2022 at 5 pm. Those schools missing judges will be charged at that time. All judges must have a tabroom.com account. All school provided judges are required to be available one round past the elimination of their most successful competitor in the event that they are covering. 

In a world of virtual debate and online ballots, it is important that your judges’ tabroom information (email and phone number) are up to date and that they are frequently checking their phone/email to ensure they do not miss a ballot. It is the obligation of coaches to ensure this info is up to date and to check pairings and ensure that their judges are prepared to judge.


Debate Topics and Congress Information

The Topic for LD Debate is: 

Jan-Feb NSDA TOPIC: States Ought to ban Lethal Autonomous weapons.

We will be using fall docket for congress.



Individual events, Congressional Debate, Duet Acting, Duo Interpretation

1st= 15 points

2nd= 10 points

3rd= 5 points

All non-placing finalists receive three points.


Debate Sweepstakes points will be calculated based off of prelim performance in debate events. Students will earn 5 points per prelim win and 1 points per prelim loss.


General Rules

We will break to semifinals in all individual events unless entry levels warrant a break straight to finals. If entry numbers in an event are low, we will move to 2 prelim rounds and breaks directly to finals. 


An adult supervisor for each school must be immediately available to perform necessary tournament duties if called upon. Failure to do so many so may result in the tournament making necessary decisions such as: removing a competitor, walk-over an entry, or adjudicating a pretest. Frequent inability to make contact with a coach for tournament related matters may result in the school’s students being removed from the tournament.


Coach of Excellence Award

We are pleased to announce that this year, we will continue our tradition fo the

“Lee Ann Ince Coach of Excellence Award”


“Background on “The Lee Ann Ince Coach of Excellence Award”

Lee Ann Ince started the Speech Team at Harlingen High School South in 1992 where she also taught theatre arts, served as UIL Academic Coordinator, and directed the One-Act Play. In 1995 she coached the school’s first UIL state champion. The very next year, the HHSS Speech Team earned 40 TFA State qualifications which earned them the distinction as most qualifications in the state of Texas. Under her direction, HHSS was awarded the Lanny P. Naeglin award twice for the most accumulated qualifications in the state of Texas. In her 28 years as a speech coach, she produced twenty state champions, six national finalist, and one national champion in 2017. Her teams have won the NSDA Gulf Coast leading Chapter award numerous times at the NSDA National Finals District Tournament. Mrs. Ince is a five-diamond coach with the National Speech and Debate Association and in 2013 was inducted into the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame. Now, Mrs. Ince serves as the Fine Arts Coordinator for HCISD where she oversees the Theatre, Dance, Speech, and Visual Art programs.

It’s because of her tireless efforts to provide the best opportunities for her directors and students that HCISD has been able to grow in all aspects of the arts. Her former speech students are now the head directors at both Harlingen South and Harlingen High School as well as other schools across the state of Texas. Lee Ann Ince provided the opportunity for all middle schools to offer speech teams on every campus in our district. She was also a large contributor to the creation of the Lee H. Means Fine Arts Academy and The HCISD Performing Arts Conservatory. It’s because of everything this woman has done, that we continue to provide such amazing opportunities for our students.



Students or fellow colleagues are allowed to nominate one coach from their school to receive this award. Coaches may not nominate themselves. A letter of recommendation must be sent in explaining the recipient’s qualifications for this prestigious award. Explain the impact the recipient has made on the students, the school and the community to deserve this award and how he/she has made a difference in the speech and debate community. The letter must be between 1-2 pages.



The winner of the Coach of Excellence Award will receive a beautiful custom glass trophy to display for all to see!


Past Winner

2019 Benson Achtsam

2020 Tasha Jones




Please send in all nominations by August 29, 2022 at 8pm to Coachesparza01@gmail.com. Once we receive the email, Mr. Esparza will respond so you know your entry has been submitted.

We look forward to reading all about the amazing speech coaches we have in our community and the impact they have made!