WKU Hilltopper Classic

2023 — Bowling Green, KY/US

Dear Colleagues:

December is fast approaching, and with it comes the excitement of the holidays. It also means the 2023 WKU Senior Hilltopper Classic is coming, with a few changes. This year we will be hosting an in person tournament, held on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023. We will offer:

• All Kentucky High School Speech League senior IE events (Event descriptions and rules found below)

Please read this entire invitation thoroughly. There are many changes from last year. However, if you have any questions, please contact Ben Robin by email at benjamin.robin@wku.edu or Chad Meadows at chadwickmeadows@gmail.com We sincerely hope if you attended previously that you will return, and if you did not, please consider adding us to your schedule. See you “on The Hill” in December for the Hilltopper Classic!!!


We will be offering all Kentucky High School Speech League senior individual events. Students may enter up to three events; however, it is suggested that students in Broadcasting, Extemp, Improv Duo, and Impromptu be limited to two events. You may enter as many contestants as you wish in each category, but only the top three in each I.E. category will earn sweepstakes points.

As always, the tournament is open to all people from 9th grade through 12th, from any state or commonwealth. We use Kentucky events (most of which are virtually identical to NSDA events) and you can find the rules for those events below:


The event rules for KHSSL are available at the following link: KHSSL Handbook Note that the league tends to update the document each August.

Sample Ballots/ Rules: https://www.khssl.org/judging


We will host semifinals in events with roughly 55+ entries. The top twelve in each event shall advance to the semi-final round where needed. These shall be chosen with the lowest cumulative score and tie breakers shall follow the procedure described in the KHSSL Handbook.


Awards will be presented to the top six in each I.E. category. Sweepstakes trophies will be presented to the top five schools in I.E.

Sweepstakes will be calculated using KHSSL Rules. with the following formula:

a) Schools accumulate sweepstakes points based upon the success of their entries. Each entry having a composite rank of 3, 4, or 5 is worth five points while a composite rank of 6, 7, or 8 is worth three points and a composite rank of 9, 10, or 11 is worth one point. Finalists receive points as follows: ten points for first place, seven points for second place, five points for third place, three points for fourth place, two points for fifth place and one point for sixth place.

b) Break ties in Sweepstakes placement in the following order, by the greatest number of Finalists, then Semi-finalists, then Ranks of one in the preliminary rounds.

We will not award points for semis as not every event will have a semi.


This tournament is again a qualifying tournament for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions this year. For additional information on the NIETOC and their qualification process, you can visit their website at www.nietoc.com.


All varsity-level Speech tournaments are eligible to receive bids in events offered by the Tournament of Champions, so long as they meet the following criteria and submit their UKTOC bid report via Tabroom no later than March 1, 2024:

Champion (1 Bid) - Minimum 8 Entries / 3 Schools / 3 Prelims AND Finals

Top 3 (Up to 3 Bids) - Minimum 16 Entries / 4 Schools / 3 Prelims AND Finals

Finals (Up to 6 Bids) - Minimum 30 Entries / 5 Schools / 3 Prelims AND Semifinals + Finals

Semifinals (Up to 12 Bids) - Minimum 60 Entries / 10 Schools / 4 Prelims AND Quarterfinals Onward

Quarterfinals (Up to 24 Bids) - Minimum of 120 Entries / 10 Schools / 4 Prelims AND Octofinals Onward

*taken from: https://uktoc.org/bid-tournaments/#Speech


We are using tabroom.com for this year’s tournament. Please add your entries and judges there.

Link - http://wkuhilltopper.tabroom.com/

We must receive your entry (students and judges) by 4:00 PM Central Time on Tuesday, November 28th 2023. Drop fees will begin on Wednesday, November 29th at 4:00 PM. Entries after that deadline may be accepted, but if you manually drop a student after erroneously adding them, it is counted as a drop. That is our penalty for what is effectively late registration. We reserve the right to deny late registrations should it get out of hand. All entries must be made online, via tabroom.com.


Once again, the WKU forensics team will be holding open team auditions prior to the Sr. Hilltopper Classic on Friday, December 1st. A limited number of audition slots will be available, and they will be on a first come, first serve basis. The first audition will begin at 12:00pm CST and the last audition will conclude at 4:30pm. Only seniors may audition at this time. All auditions must be scheduled by Monday, Nov. 27th. All students auditioning must either mail ahead of time or bring with them a high school transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted) and a list of forensics accomplishments. If you choose to email these items ahead of time (preferred), send them to: ganer.newman@wku.edu

If students cannot make these in person auditions, they can choose to submit a video of a performance instead. Please provide the link to ganer.newman@wku.edu by Friday December 2nd.

For more information, or to schedule an audition, please contact Ganer Newman by email or 270-745-6340. We look forward to seeing you on The Hill in December!


We will be using exclusively electronic ballots. All judges will need to create a tabroom account and have access to a laptop. This link provides an overview of how to use them!

Wifi - You will be able to connect to WKU-Guest



DECEMBER 1 - Friday

Early Registration | 5:00pm-7:30 at Forensics Office (450 College Heights Blvd)

It’s the house across the street from the Planetarium next to the Credit Union. It sits at the corner of College Heights Blvd and State Street.


Speech Schedule (All CST)

Registration : 6:30am -7:15am

EXT Prep 7:30am

IE Round 1 - 8-9:30am

EXT Prep 9:30am

IE Round 2 - 10-11:30am

LUNCH - 11:30 - 12:30

Ext Prep 12:30pm

IE Round 3 - 1-2:30pm

Ext Prep 3pm

IE Finals 3:30-5pm

Awards TBA


Students: Food will be available for students to purchase in the Downing Student Union a short walk from the tournament buildings. Restaurants include a Subway, Fresh Foods (a buffet style restaurant with vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options), a starbucks, Papa Johns along with a few others. NOTE: We will not be selling pizza slices as we have done in the past.

WKU Dining options:


Coaches: Coaches are encouraged to get lunch in the same locations mentioned for Students. We will have a Coaches lounge, but it will be more snack oriented without full meals.


We recommend cars and vans park across the street from Cherry Hall in the “College Hill Lot” or the “Hub Lot.” On the weekends you can generally park anywhere. Just make sure to read all signs carefully!

Buses need to park off campus.

The following is a link to a map of all lots. You will want to stick to the right side of the map.



1) Students in Extemp or Broadcast Announcing (round 3) MUST compete in those events BEFORE moving on to their other events. Else, prep time will make them late. Anyone entered in both Extemp and Broadcasting must prep Extemp first.

2) Students in duet events who are doubling or tripling should coordinate with their partners to agree whether to do the duet event first each round or last. Else, one student will try duet first and wait on their partner, who planned to do it later, making the first student late for their other events.

3) While entering: Please add a note for each student or judge who has special needs.

4) While entering: Please remember to edit and update judge details yourself, namely school or entry restrictions.

5) Deleting a name on your entry does NOT DROP the entry. It simply erases the name. You DROP by selecting the drop-down called "drop."

6) On the morning of the tournament, please contact Ben Robin by email at benjamin.robin@wku.edu or Chad Meadows at chadwickmeadows@gmail.com if a student will drop an event.


1. Become familiar with the rules for all events.


2. Make sure you code yourself against any student from another school you should not be judging.

3. You will need a laptop and a tabroom.com account.

4. Never switch judging assignments with anyone. This can cause problems when replacing judges in later rounds and for finals.

5. Please try to get to your judging rooms at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the round.

6. Do not allow any student not listed for your section to compete. Never switch students from your room to another. Let the tournament officials make all changes.

7. Do not switch rooms for any reason. Instead, report any locked room or other room problem to the tournament officials and let them make the change.

8. Do not ask students to identify themselves by schools.

9. Do not leave the assigned room early. Instead wait for students double entered and/or contact the ballot table to find out if a student may be an unreported drop. Leaving prior to the end of the round often creates problems if a student has not yet performed and has no idea where to find you.

10. Make sure to save your ballots at the end of your round to officially submit your ranks.

11. Note: While judges MAY award students with a rank of 1 with 100 speaker points, this is NOT REQUIRED at this tournament. For example, judges may award a 1/95 if they wish.


Extemp prep location is TBD. Western Kentucky University is not responsible for any damage or theft of personal/team property left unattended in the Extemp prep room or anywhere else on campus.

In terms of Internet Use, here are the guidelines from the KHSSL Handbook.

4. Preparation will take place and be monitored in the prep room and outside assistance is not permitted. Laptops are allowed in the Extemp. preparation room. Students will need to supply their own power source. SEE ITEM 4 IN DEBATE EVENT EVIDENCE (pages 65-66) for rules that also apply to Extemp sourcing and Internet use during rounds and preparation time.

Item 4

Contestants may use electronic devices (including laptop computers, tablets, and/or cell phones) to access the internet during debate rounds with the following conditions: 1. Computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive information for competitive advantage from non-competitors (coaches, assistant coaches, other students) inside or outside of the room in which the competition occurs. Information that would be restricted would include but not be limited to coach/nonparticipating competitor generated arguments, advice on arguments to run, questions to ask during cross examination, and other information not generated by the participating competitors. 2. Internet access may be used to retrieve files, exchange evidence and/or arguments, research arguments, and partner to partner communication. These electronic device guidelines do not limit communication between debate partners during the debate round.


I.E. Entries are $10.00 per entry ($20.00 for each Duo Acting and Improv Duo team) and $15.00 for each entry not covered by a judge. (one judge covers six I.E. entries or fraction thereof). Please make this check payable to WKU Forensics. A $10.00 per I.E. entry drop fee will be charged for all drops after the November 29th deadline. A $50.00 drop fee will be charged if you drop a judge after the deadline. All entry fees, judging fees, and drop fees must be paid at or before the time of registration.


A speech judge covers 6 slots. If you do not bring enough judges, there is a fee for each uncovered entry. In other words, please attempt to fulfill your commitment.


1. Take Exit 26 off of Interstate 65.

2. Turn toward Bowling Green onto Cemetery Road.

3. Continue straight for three miles. Cemetery Road becomes Fairview Avenue. Continue going straight across 31-W Bypass. You will pass a fire station on your left. After passing the fire station, go through one traffic light and a stop sign, then turn left at the second stop sign onto College Street (this is a one-way street).

4. Stay on College Street through downtown Bowling Green and continue until you reach the top of the hill. College Street will dead-end at College Heights Boulevard at a statue of Henry Hardin Cherry.

Having now read the invitation, you should be ready to register online above.


We hope to see you on The Hill!