Puget Sound District Tournament

2024 — WA/US

Puget Sound District Qualifier

for the 2024 National Tournament
Big Questions
Mount Vernon, WA
Fri 2/23 Fri 2/23 BQ
Overlake High School
Bellevue, WA
Sat 2/24 Sat 2/24 HSE SEN
Overlake High School
Bellevue, WA
Overlake High School
Bellevue, WA
Fri 3/1 Sat 3/2 LD CX PF

Puget Sound NSDA District

National Qualifying Tournaments

Big Questions… Friday, February 23, 2024 Online

Congress… Saturday, February 24, 2024 at Overlake HS

Debate and Speech Events… March 1-2, 2024 at Overlake HS


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, this year in the exciting metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa!

Last year, we had some great results that made me proud of our region:

Roosevelt’s Claire Hakimian made it to quarterfinals in the House!

Mount Vernon’s Taite Kirkpatrick was top 72 in Extemp Debate!

Newport’s Dylan De Leon was top 100 in Impromptu!

Mercer Island’s Kathy Shao was 53rd in LD!

Bellingham’s Policy team of Sissom & Hong were to 75!

Overlake’s Chen & Li and Redmond’s Talegheni & Mahesh in PF were top 68!

Seattle’s Carmen Spoonmore was 59th in Info!

Sammamish’ Alexa Hayes was 38th in Info!

Most of these students will be returning this year! I am looking forward to watching us improve as a community at this year’s event.

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. All judges need to be available for the duration of the tournament for each event. We will need everyone to make this work!

* If there is enough interest, we will be having a Big Questions Qualifying Tournament this season online! In order for this to happen, we need at least 10 students from 2 schools. We will have this event online on Friday, 2/23, beginning at 3:00pm. Entries for Big Questions do not count against students as one of their two main events. Every two entries requires a judge that must be available for all rounds. Rounds may continue online on Saturday, 2/24 if dictated by entries and time limitations.

* Our Congressional Qualifying Tournament will be on Saturday, 2/24. Unfortunately, the State Legislature in Olympia is unavailable this season. We hope to return to this tradition next season. Thankfully, Coach Robin and the Overlake team have offered their facilities for the event.

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!

* Our Qualifying Tournament for all other debate and speech events will be on Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, 2024, at Overlake High School in Redmond, WA. Debate rounds will begin on Friday and end on Saturday. Speech rounds will be on Saturday.

To make things easier, we will be selling Costco pizza during mealtimes. Closer to the tournament, we will send out an order form for this… or, you can add your pizza to your tabroom.com invoice! Please look for this while registering for the tournament.

* 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! 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.

* 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.

* 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 before 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.

*Information on how to apply for the Puget Sound NSDA Worlds teams will be coming in a separate email. Remember: our district may send two squads of 3-5 debaters to compete in this event.

* 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

Derek Hanson- Edmonds-Woodway HS, Snohomish HS, and Glacier Peak HSDr. Josh Jablon- Sammamish HS

Meykia Mittag- Mount Vernon HS

Robin Montieth- Overlake HS

Megan Troutman- Newport HS


Puget Sound NSDA Schedule


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.


Fees are used to cover the judge hospitality room, Puget Sound NSDA t-shirts for advancing debaters, and, mostly, hiring judges to provide a quality tournament.

School Fee… $100

LD & PF & BQ & Policy…. $40

Speech Events… $20

Congress… $10

Big Questions… $10


Please bring exceptionally qualified judges for this tournament. Ideally, judges will have experienced at least three tournaments prior to this event and completed the following trainings found on this page: NSDA Judge Training

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.

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… 1 judge for every 5 entries

Judges who fail to pick up ballots during preliminary rounds will be fined $100. Judges who fail to pick up ballots during elimination rounds will be fined $200. Coaches will be notified by phone and email when these fines are incurred.

General Information

* 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.