Puget Sound District Tournament

2023 — WA/US

Puget Sound District Qualifier

for the 2023 National Tournament
Big Questions
Fri 2/24 Fri 2/24 BQ
Capitol Building, Olympia, WA
Sat 2/25 Sat 2/25 HSE SEN
Overlake High School
Overlake HS, Redmond, WA
Fri 3/3 Sat 3/4 LD CX PF
Overlake High School
Overlake HS, Redmond, WA

* Docket for Congress can be found on the right hand tool bar!

Puget Sound NSDA District

National Qualifying Tournaments

Big Questions… Friday, February 24, 2023

Congress… Saturday, February 25, 2023

Debate and Speech Events… March 3-4, 2023

As we approach the end of the main competitive season, it's time to turn our collective dreams toward Nationals! Every year, our teams from WA state show remarkable improvement at the prestigious NSDA National Championships. I expect to see the same amazing results this season in Phoenix, Arizona!

Now, for the general overview of our qualifying tournaments:

* These events are tight, fast-moving schedules! We can do this… but everyone needs to be in rounds as quickly as possible. Judges will need to submit results as quickly as they can (they will still have until the close of the tournament to leave commentary that helps our kids prepare for the State Championships next weekend!)

Also, all judges need to be available for the duration of the tournament. We will need everyone to make this work!

* We will be having a Big Questions Qualifying Tournament this season! In order for this to happen, we need at least 10 students from 4 schools. We will have this event online on Friday, 2/24, beginning at 3:00pm. Entries for Big Questions do not count against students as one of their two main events.

* Our Congressional Qualifying Tournament will be on Saturday, 2/25. We will be competing from the State Legislature in Olympia as is the Puget Sound NSDA tradition! The judging panel will be a mix of unaffiliated judges from the Western WA NSDA and congressional aides. Like Big Questions, this entry does not count against a student’s two event maximum.

For this event, I am hoping that everyone will encourage as many students to compete as your team is allowed to enter for the good of the community (you can find this number on your NSDA account page.) The more debaters we have entered, the more debaters we can send! The goal is to reach 8 students from 8 different schools in the Senate, and 30 students from 8 schools in the House. That would let us send a total of 6 debaters from the Puget Sound to Nationals!

* If possible, and I know this goes against the norm, please get your entries in as early as possible for all events. We know things can change until the last minute, but having estimated numbers early will help the Board plan for extra judging, schedule changes for the number of elimination rounds needed, and prepare for some extra activities to celebrate our return to an in-person tournament!

* Please encourage your students to send in legislation to be considered for use at Nationals! The deadline is this Sunday, February 5. Here is the link… https://www.speechanddebate.org/congress-submission/

* Our Qualifying Tournament for all other debate and speech events will be on Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, 2023, at Overlake High School in Redmond, WA. Thank you in advance to Coach Robin Monteith and her debaters for welcoming all of us to their school!

* Right now, at our district level, we get two entries to Nationals in each event. If we can get to 30 entries in any event, we can send 3 of our students to Nationals. Based on entry numbers at the last few tournaments, if we all bring as many entries as we can, we will hit this goal!

* Though we had no entries for policy debate last year, I have added it to this year’s schedule– but we may need to adapt a little for this event. If you are planning on sending students in policy debate, would you please let me know as soon as you can? Thank you for taking this into consideration.

* While we will use our district funds to provide extra judging for this event, we ask everyone to provide as many qualified, neutral judges as possible in order to provide the most efficient and equitable experience for all. Please remember: this is not the event for relatively new judges. It is our responsibility as coaches to bring our best. When we look at the judging pool, we should all be excited to have these judges for our kids.

* This year, we have decreased entry fees as much as we can to hopefully allow teams to bring as many entries as they can! Younger members benefit from the experience of their first ‘Nat Quals’ by learning what they need to do in future years to succeed in the competition.

* For our auditing procedure this year, we will be sending results and ballots to coaches after the final ballot for the round has been recorded. Coaches will be made aware of the results for each round through an email from tabroom.com. The information will be available for 30 minutes (15 minutes for Big Questions so that we can get through the event in one night.) If a coach has a concern about a result, they may notify the tournament staff by the end of the 30 minute window. This will allow enough time for tournament staff to find a solution before matching for the next round. We hope that this procedure will lead to a transparent and educational experience for all involved.

*Here is the link to recommend your students for this year’s Team Puget Sound Worlds School Debate squads! Remember: our district may send two squads of 3-5 debaters to compete in this event.


* Your Puget Sound NSDA Board is working to make this a memorable event as we resume Nat Quals in-person… please be looking for more information about these plans as the tournament approaches.

* Here is the link to the schedule. Please check back often as we modify for the best tournament possible: Puget Sound NSDA Schedule

I continue to be amazed by the talent and passion of our students-- and that's because of you. Well done, coach! Looking forward to working with Team Puget Sound this spring!!!


Kelley Kirkpatrick- Chair, Mount Vernon HS

Dr. Megan Troutman- Newport HS

Derek Hanson- Edmonds-Woodway HS, Snohomish HS, and

Glacier Peak HS

Steve Helman- Kamiak HS

Josh Jablon- Sammamish HS


2023 Puget Sound NSDA Tournament Schedules


To ensure that the tournament is as transparent as possible, we will be adopting the following auditing procedures based on recommended NSDA guidelines:

1. After the last ballot is recorded for each round, tournament staff will release results and ballots to coaches for auditing purposes.

2. Coaches will be notified that results are available by email from tabroom.com.

3. Any concerns should be reported to tournament staff within the 30 minutes window (15 minutes for Big Questions.) This will allow sufficient time to solve the issue while still matching the next round, allowing the tournament to stay on schedule.


In order to promote greater participation in the district tournament this year, we will be reducing entry fees compared with previous years. We will be using a portion of entry fees to hire outside judging.

LD & PF & BQ & Policy…. $30

Speech Events… $20

Congress… Free!

School Fee… $50

Hired Judge… $100/per day (if available)


Please bring exceptionally qualified judges for this tournament. Ideally, judges will have experienced at least three tournaments prior to this event. Though we appreciate new volunteers who are learning to judge, this is not the tournament for that practice. If you need help finding judges, please contact the board for assistance; we will do our best to help you find superb judges that are available to be hired.

It is recommended that judges take this training from the NSDA before the tournament begins.


All judges should expect to be available for all elimination rounds for the event they are judging. Elimination rounds require three judges per panel; we can only do this when everyone is available for these critical rounds.

If you are a school with more than 10 entries, please bring at least two unaffiliated judges to fulfill your judging requirements. This assures that the judges you provide can be used to keep the tournament as efficient and effective as possible.

LD & PF & Policy & BQ… 1 judge for every 2 entries

Speech Events… 1 judge for every 4 entries

Congress… Parliamentarians will be hired from

neutral schools; scorers will be Congressional Aides from Olympia.

General Information

* Important entry due dates:

Big Questions- Saturday, February 19

Congress- Saturday, February 19

Speech & Debate- Saturday, February 26

World's School Applications-Saturday, February 26

Award Nominations- Sunday, February 27

* For Speech and Debate, you may enter two events– either two speech events or one speech event and one debate event. You may not enter two debate events!

* Congress and Big Questions DO NOT count against a student for entries! Students may enter both of these events and still compete in Speech and Debate events.

* Students may only enter one form of Extemporaneous Speaking. They must choose between International and Domestic.

* Excluding Congress, each school may enter a maximum of 4 students in each event.

* Students may only enter one event with a partner. If they qualify in the event with a partner, that becomes their first choice event!

* At least seven days before the tournament, students must be a paid member of the NSDA with a minimum of 25 points

* Coaches and students are encouraged to nominate community members for the following awards and recognition. A nomination form will be sent out mid-month:

Coach of the Year

Assistant Coach of the Year

New Coach of the Year

Student of the Year

Administrator of the Year

Alumni of the Year

Volunteer of the Year

* Please pay by check for this tournament. Checks should be made out to:

Puget Sound NSDA District

℅ Derek Hanson

610 Front Street, Apt. 310

Mukilteo, WA 98275

* Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns as early as possible. Contact Chair Kelley Kirkpatrick at kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org.