NSDA November Springboard Tournament

2020 — Asynchronous/NSDA Campus, US

Competition Details

Competition Details

1. All speech events will be held asynchronously. All debate events will be held live on NSDA Campus (both divisions of PF, LD, CX, and WSD).

2. In speech events, the tournament will not feature any live performances or live judging. Students will record their performances, and their coaches will submit a link to their recording through the registration system. Judges will be assigned a series of preliminary rounds to judge within a window of time on Saturday. Students will not be present while judges are scoring the rounds, but coaches will have access to judge feedback after the competition is judged. Each student will receive ranks and feedback for four asynchronous rounds. Review the Recording Rules tab for more information.

3. In debate events, debaters will debate in four preset preliminary rounds on Saturday. Judges in debate are required to be available for all four rounds.

4. The purpose of this event is to provide an educational, low-pressure competition experience for high school and middle school students to receive feedback that springboards them into additional competition opportunities.

5. An event must have 14 entries in order for it to be held. No divisions will be collapsed, e.g. we will not combine a MS/Open division to meet minimum numbers.

6. World Schools teams may choose their code. Coaches will enter their chosen code using the convention School Name Color. For example, St. John's Red.


1. Public Forum will use the November/December topic, Resolved: The United States should adopt a declaratory nuclear policy of no first use.

2. Lincoln-Douglas will use the November/December topic, Resolved: The United States ought to provide a federal jobs guarantee.

3. Policy will use the 2020-2021 topic, Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing. There will be no Policy Debate case limits. 

4. There will be two prepared World Schools motions. Students will debate both sides of these two motions:

This House would ban non-recyclable plastic.

This House would require students in grades K-8 to participate in team sports.  

5. The Congressional Debate docket can be found in the yellow tabs on the right side of the page at novspringboard.tabroom.com.

6. Prepared Extemp competitors will prepare and record one speech on one of the following topics: 

Would North Korea benefit from denuclearization?

What steps should be taken to lower the price of prescription drugs in the United States?

Will the world succeed in preventing catastrophic climate change?

How can the federal government reduce racial disparities in American public schools?

Why hasn’t Nigeria successfully defeated Boko Haram?

Has the Supreme Court of the United States become too partisan?

Is NATO still an effective deterrent to Russian aggression?

Should social media companies do more to limit the spread of misinformation on their platforms?

What steps should international regulators take to limit investment in cryptocurrencies?

What can be done to increase the number of organ donors in Hispanic, African American, and Asian communities?


There will be no formal awards ceremony; all results will be made publicly available on Tabroom.com at the conclusion of the tournament. All coaches will be emailed a digital certificate template celebrating their students' participation. 

Event Details

1. Duo: Only split-screen Duo recordings will be accepted. Each partner must record their portion of the Duo from a different room (via a separate window) than their partner. Students may not record on two separate platforms and splice the videos together to be side by side, as that would constitute editing. Here's an example of a split-screen Duo recording.

2. Info: Visual aids in Informative Speaking are optional. No rule changes to accommodate electronic visual aids will be made.

3. Extemp: Students in Prepared Mixed Extemp will receive a list of 10 international and domestic questions to choose from by November 1. They will select a question and prepare a 7-minute speech answering that question. There will be no limit on preparation time, but judges will be instructed to judge the speeches as they would a typical Extemporaneous Speaking competition.

4. Pro Con Challenge rules: 

In the Pro Con Challenge, students will write a 3-5 minute affirmative case and a 3-5 minute negative case on the November/December topic for LD, November topic for PF, or the 2020-2021 Policy topic. Both cases must be on the same topic. They will read both of those speeches back to back within a recording limit of 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Students may take recorded “prep time” in between speeches to pull up files or take a short break, but the recording must stop at 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Judges will evaluate the structure, arguments, evidence, and speaking abilities of each competitor and rank them against each other. The event's goal is to demonstrate that students have the ability to see multiple perspectives on an overall issue. While students will write out the speeches, they should not be memorized. Eye contact and other aspects of nonverbal communication are important considerations. Students may speak from notes in any format - legal pads, notecards, or electronic tablets, for example, are all permissible. There are a number of choices that competitors are free to make with regard to the structure of their Pro Con speeches. For example, you may run a plan if you choose the CX topic, but it is not required. During your con case, you may refute your pro case, but it is not required. It is important to remember that these speeches will be judged against any of the given topic areas all in one round. Thus, coaches and students may wish to make their speeches friendly to a wide range of judges.

Coaches should write the topic chosen (PF, LD, or CX) in Tabroom.com's registration system where it asks for the speech's title. If there are enough entries in each event, we will split the Pro Con Challenge into three separate events: PF Pro Con Challenge, LD Pro Con Challenge, and CX Pro Con Challenge. If one of the events does not have enough submissions to stand alone, all three will be maintained as one overall Pro Con Challenge. Since this is a speaking event and judges are comparing strength of argumentation, it is not essential to the event that all speeches be on the same topic.

Events Offered:

Middle School Dramatic Interpretation

Middle School Humorous Interpretation

Middle School Duo Interpretation

Middle School Program Oral Interpretation

Middle School Original Oratory

Middle School Informative Speaking

Middle School Prepared Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking

Middle School Pro/Con Challenge

Middle School Lincoln-Douglas

Middle School Public Forum

Middle School Policy Debate

Middle School World Schools Debate

Open Dramatic Interpretation

Open Humorous Interpretation

Open Duo Interpretation

Open Program Oral Interpretation

Open Original Oratory

Open Informative Speaking

Open Prepared Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking

Open Pro/Con Challenge

Open Lincoln-Douglas

Open Policy Debate

Open Public Forum

Open World Schools Debate

Additional NSDA Springboard Tournaments:

For speech and debate competition opportunities, check out the other two free tournaments offered as part of the NSDA Springboard Series, presented by the Julia Burke Foundation! A live debate tournament will be held on October 24, and a live speech and debate tournament will be held on December 5. More information about the NSDA Online Springboard Series, visit www.speechanddebate.org/springboard-series