Northern Lights District Tournament

2021 — MN/US

Northern Lights District Qualifier

for the 2022 National Tournament
Robbinsdale Cooper HS
Robbinsdale, MN
Fri 11/19 Sat 11/20 HSE SEN
St. Francis HS, MN
St. Francis, MN
Tue 12/7 Wed 12/8 LD PF
Horizon Middle School
Moorhead, MN
Fri 3/18 Sat 3/19 DI DUO HI INF IX OO POI USX

Speech Qualifier Information

2022 Northern Lights NSDA Speech Qualifier

March 18-19, 2022: Horizon Middle School - Moorhead, MN


Greetings Speech Coaches,


On behalf of the Northern Lights District Committee, it is my pleasure to invite you and your team to the 2022 NSDA District Qualifier in Speech, held this year IN PERSON in Moorhead on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19. Please use the ‘register’ tab at to complete your registration. 


Important tournament information is listed below. Please let me know if you have any questions. 



1. Tournament Location/Dates: The 2022 Northern Lights Speech Qualifier will be held March 18-19 in Moorhead at Horizon Middle School East. Teams should park in the south lot and enter through Door 16. We'll use the cafetorium/commons area as a 'home base' for the weekend. This is also where elimination round breaks will be announced Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. 
2. Tournament rooms:
Cafetorium/commons - Team HQ, Elim. Breaks, Concessions
Media Center (2nd floor) - Draw Room
Home Ec/Theatre Arts Rooms - Judge's Lounge
Lab 261 - Tab Room 
Auditorium - Awards 
3. Check-in: Head coaches should check in with the tab room upon arrival. 
4. Schedule:
Friday, March 18
Check-in: 9:30-10:00 am
Judge Meeting: 10:00 am, Room 208
1A Draw: 10:00 am
Round 1A: 10:30 am
1B Draw: 11:30 am
Round 1B: 12:00 pm
2A Draw: 1:30 pm
Round 2A: 2:00 pm
2B Draw: 3:00 pm
Round 2B: 3:30 pm
3A Draw: 4:30 pm
Round 3A: 5:00 pm
3B Draw: 6:00 pm
Round 3B: 6:30 pm
Round 4A: 7:45 pm (if needed. For events with 40+ entries only)
Elim Round Announcement: ASAP
Saturday, March 19
Check-in: 10:00 am
Draw: 10:00 am
Semifinal: 10:30 am (all events, section A)
Draw: 11:30 am
Semifinal: 12:00 pm (all events, section B)
Final Round Announcement: 1:15 pm
Draw: 1:30 pm
Final A: 2:00 pm
Draw: 3:00 pm
Final B: 3:30 pm
Awards: 5:00 pm or ASAP, Auditorium 
*Event patterns will be released by Monday, March 14. All semifinalists should be on site and prepared to perform no later than 10am on Saturday. 
5. Extemp. Speaking Topic Areas:
International Extemp: 
  • IX: Africa
  • IX: Americas & Caribbean
  • IX: Asia
  • IX: Energy and Environment
  • IX: Europe
  • IX: International Organizations
  • IX: Southwest Asia & North Africa
US Extemp: 
  • US: Business & Industry
  • US: Covid & Healthcare
  • US: Education
  • US: Infrastructure
  • US: Politics & Elections
  • US: Social Issues
  • US: Supreme Court & Legal Issues
Students should prepare for all topic areas. The district committee will select topic areas at random prior to round 1 on Friday. 
6. Tabbing Rules: Two judges will be used in each prelim round. Each judge's score carries (no composite score) with the worst rank dropped after prelims. Three prelims will be held in all events; a fourth prelim will be added for events with 40+ entries.
Semifinals use three judges, finals use 7 with HI/LO dropped. Elim round ranks are doubled (Finals HI/LO dropped first before doubling). 
7. Advancing Entries: 
  • Events with 6-12 entries will break straight to finals. 
  • In events with 13-48 entries, the top 12 will advance to semifinals.
  • If an event has 49-56 entries, the top 14 will advance to semifinals. 
  • Any entry tied for a semifinal spot after prelims will advance (e.g. if seed 12 and 13 have the same rank, both advance to semifinals). 
  • From semifinals, the top 6 overall advance to finals (not necessarily an even number from each semi). We can and will advance up to 7 to finals if there is a tie. 
  • If a tie results in 8 or more entries advancing to finals, those students tied for the last spot do not advance (e.g. if 6th-8th are tied after semifinals, only the top 5 would go to finals). 
8. Judging Obligations: Schools are required to supply one judge per four entries or fraction thereof. If you are entering multiple judges to cover one slot (e.g. one on Friday and one on Saturday or one Friday morning and one Friday afternoon) PLEASE note that info when registering. 
9. Fees: $12 per speaker, $25 school fee. Chapter dues will also be assessed based on team strength: 
1-30 member strength of team = $65
31-60 = $75
61-90 = $85
91-120 = $95
121-150 = $105
151-180 = $115
181+ = $125 
No dues the first year for a new school. Remember to pay national dues prior to competing at a qualifier tournament.
10. Hired Judges: Elimination round judge panels will be created by the committee and shared with all teams prior to the tournament. Once hired judges are placed, we will round out panels with HCs and experienced assistant coaches as much as possible. Our goal is to have this set before the tournament so coaches and judges know their Saturday schedule. 
11. Qualifiers: Because we are a Level 3 District, events with 10+ entries will qualify three entries to Nationals; events with 50+ entries will advance four to Nationals. 
12. Single Entry Letter of Intent Forms: Coaches of double-entered students must select their event preference prior to the start of the tournament. To do this, click on the "NSDA Forms" tab after logging in to your Tabroom account. Since we are using Tabroom this year, you do not need to print these forms! Remember that students are only allowed to compete in two district series events (Congressional debate does not count toward the double entry policy). 
13. Scripts: The Northern Lights District Committee will not collect scripts at registration, but you must have them available during the tournament in case of protest. Manuscripts must meet the standards provided in the NSDA HS Unified Manual. 
13. District Award Nominations: The District Committee is seeking nominations for individuals in the following categories: Student of the Year and Coach of the Year. Nomination submissions are done electronically. Information about each award and submission deadlines are below:
  • Northern Lights NSDA Student of the Year - Due: Friday, March 11
This prestigious award is presented to a graduating senior in each district who best represents the tenets of the Association's Code of Honor: integrity, respect, humility, leadership, and service.  Nominees must also have strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community.  Each year, six students who win the district award are selected as finalists for the William Woods Tate, Jr. National Student of the Year Award.  To nominate a deserving senior, please visit Though we generally announce our student of the year award at our District Speech Tournament, this award is open to ANY NSDA senior student in the Northern Lights District, whether or not they are participating in speech.  
  • Northern Lights NDSA Coach of the Year - Due: Friday, March 11
The NSDA's James M. Copeland High School Coach of the Year award annually honors high school coaches who reflect outstanding leadership and commitment to speech and debate activities. To be eligible for nomination, a high school coach must:
1. Currently work as a high school speech/debate coach in an NSDA member school.
2. Have completed five consecutive years of experience as a high school speech/debate coach at an NSDA member school (experience need not be in the same school).
3. Plan to continue working as a high school speech/debate coach next year at an NSDA member school.
4. Agree to be nominated.
5. If selected as the winner, be able to participate in the NSDA Tournament and/or be present to accept the award at the National Tournament.
More information can be found here. To nominate a deserving coach, please visit


Andrew Tichy


Northern Lights District Chair