Central Minnesota District Tournament

2019 — US

Central Minnesota District Qualifier

for the 2020 National Tournament
Minnesota State Capitol
Minneapolis, MN
Wed 11/13 Wed 11/13 HOU SEN
Como Park High School
St. Paul, MN
Fri 12/13 Sat 12/14 CX
St. Paul Academy
St. Paul, MN
Sat 12/14 Sat 12/14 LD PF
Woodbury High School
Woodbury/Eagan, MN
Fri 3/13 Sat 3/14
East Ridge High School
Woodbury, MN
Sat 4/25 Sat 4/25

Speech 2020 Information

2020 Central MN NSDA Speech Tournament

March 13 – Woodbury High School
March 14 - Eagan High School



 All Central MN NSDA schools are invited to participate in the Central Minnesota NSDA District Speech Tournament on March 13-14, 2020 at Woodbury High School (Friday) and Eagan High School (Saturday).  Once again, we will hold the tournament in conjunction with Southern Minnesota NSDA.

The NSDA has many important procedures in registering for the tournament that can seem daunting, especially for schools participating for the first time.  Please make sure to thoroughly review the instructions on this website and in any email communications so that you are properly following each procedure.  If at any time you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please do not hesitate to contact Zach Prax at zachary.prax@district196.org.

Before The Tournament

1. Register at centralminnesota.tabroom.com by Friday, March 6st, at the latest.  No new entries will be allowed after this date.  Teams will be allowed to make changes to their entries (drops and substitutions) on the registration website until Wednesday, March 11th; after that, all changes must be emailed to zachary.prax@district196.org.  Please make sure to fully complete all portions of tournament registration, including submission of Original Oratory and Informative Speaking titles and all script information for interpretation events.  Though there are due dates, I would appreciate your entry of contestants as early as possible so that the committee can make more informed decisions regarding round schedules.

2. Make sure that all competing students are NSDA members at least seven days prior to the tournament.  This rule is absolute and exceptions cannot be made.  The website will not allow non-members to register.

3. Make sure that any NSDA members competing at the district tournament have completed the online student registration process.  Per NSDA rules, students will not count toward chapter strength or be enabled to compete unless this process is done.  You can tell if students have completed this process if there is a blue check mark next to their name in the points application.

4. Be sure that you have paid all outstanding membership fees for new members.  If you have not paid, you will need to pay these fees at tournament registration.

5. Use the invoice provided on tabroom.com to request a check for entry fees.  Local dues ($50) will need to be paid at registration in addition to entry fees if your school has not yet competed at a previous point in the 2019-2020 District Tournament Series.


To Bring To Registration:

1. A check to cover entry fees and local dues (if applicable).  There is a $10 fee for each entry.  There is also a $50 local dues fee if your school has not already paid it during LD/PF, Policy, or District Congress Tournaments.  THE CHECK FOR ALL ENTRY/JUDGE FEES AND LOCAL DUES SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO

Minnesota Debate Teachers Association
c/o Zach Prax
6200 140th Street W
Apple Valley, MN 55124


2. A separate check for any outstanding NSDA membership fees (if applicable).  You will be emailed any amount due to the NSDA office approximately one week prior to the tournament.  THE CHECK FO RALL OUTSTANDING NSDA FEES SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO:


National Speech and Debate Association
401 Railroad Place
West Des Moines, IA 50265

3. Completed Auto-Qualification Forms for students that are auto-qualified to the national tournament based on performance at the 2019 National Tournament.

4. (If applicable) All traveling speech championship trophies.

Other Required Items - not collected at registration, but MUST be on hand and immediately produced in case of protest:

1. Copies of all Original Oratory and Informative Speaking Scripts (see below for more information).

2. Copies of scripts for all interpretation events in accordance with the rules found in the NSDA District Tournament Manual.


 2020 Site Information:

Friday's competition will be held at Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury MN 55125.

Saturday's competition will be held at Eagan High School, 4185 Braddock Trail, Eagan, MN 55123.  It will run in conjunction with the Eagan Wildcat Speech Tournament.


Though tournament operations will be conducted solely by the Central Minnesota NSDA Committee, a viewing room will be made available on both days for coaches to audit results tabulation.  In addition, there will be a judges lounge available for students on both days.


Qualification to Nationals:

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Central Minnesota NSDA District obtained over 1400 new members and degrees. Because of the size and strength of our entire district, the National Speech and Debate Association has declared us a Level Three Bonus Qualifier. What this means is that we are guaranteed three entries to attend the NSDA National Tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico in each speech and debate event.

Again, please email zachary.prax@district196.org with any questions or if you need assistance registering for the tournament.






The rules found on this page are not exhaustive.  All students and coaches should consult the NSDA High School Chapter, Rules, and Tournament Operations Manual (found at www.speechanddebate.org) to ensure they are meeting NSDA requirements.  This page merely highlights important guidelines.  If you need clarification on any rule, please email zachary.prax@district196.org BEFORE the first day of competition!

Please Note: each school will be permitted to bring a maximum of four entries in each main speech event (as long as they do not go over the quota it is allowed by its chapter strength).  Remember, a student may enter no more than two speech and debate events (with the exception of Congress) at the NSDA District Tournament Series in a single year.

Tournament Format

The Central Minnesota NSDA Speech Tournament utilizes the California Plan to determine its national qualifiers.  This means that every entry is guaranteed a minimum of three preliminary rounds, and each entry will receive the same number of preliminary rounds as every other entry in the event.  The number of preliminary rounds is determined by the total number of entries in the field for each event.

In each event, the top 12 competitors will advance to the semifinal round after prelims; after that, the top 6 competitors will advance the final round.

Each preliminary round and the semifinal round will be judged by a panel of three judges; the final round will be judged by a panel of five judges.


Each entry is $10.00 (this includes Duo Interpretation - both students in the duo add up to a $10 fee). In addition, you will need to pay the $50 local dues fee if you have not paid this in either debate event or in Congress.

General Rules

1. Time limits for speeches are as follows: 

Extemporaneous Speaking: 7 Minutes
Everything Else: 10 Minutes

In addition, each event is given a 30 second "grace period".  If the panel of judges all agree that an entry went beyond the time allowed by grace period, that entry is not allowed to get the "1" in the round.

2. No scripts or notes are permitted in any event (with the exception of Program of Oral Interpretation, in which use of a manuscript is REQUIRED).  In everything else, all speeches must be memorized.

3. All coaches and contestants are responsible for reading and understanding all rules pertaining to their events.  All rules can be found in the District Tournament Manual available at speechanddebate.org

Script Requirements in Main Interpretation Events

A cutting in each main interpretation event must be a single work of literature: one short story or one play or one novel or one or more poems.  The original published source of any selection used in Dramatic, Humorous, or Duo must be immediately available at the tournament as well as a complete script of the cutting used.  A complete script of the cutting includes:

a. A photocopy of every page from which any line of the cutting is taken; pages are to be in the order in which they are performed.

b. All words used from the script should be highlighted (any words/lines not used should be left unmarked).

c. Any word changes (to eliminate profane language) and/or additions (for transition) must be indicated clearly in ink.

It is the affirmative duty of each coach and each student entered in NSDA Interpretation contests to determine absolutely that the cutting performed meets NSDA rules.

Script Requirements in Program of Oral Interpretation

A cutting in POI must include at least two seperate pieces of literature that represent at least two separate genres (prose, poetry, drama).  The use of a manuscript is required in the round.  The original published source of any selection used in POI must be immediately available at the tournament as well as a complete script of the cutting used.  A complete script of the cutting includes:

a. A photocopy of every page from which any line of the cutting is taken; pages are to be in the order in which they are performed.

b. All words used from the script should be highlighted (any words/lines not used should be left unmarked).

c. Any word changes (to eliminate profane language) and/or additions (for transition) must be indicated clearly in ink.

It is the affirmative duty of each coach and each student entered in NSDA Interpretation contests to determine absolutely that the cutting performed meets NSDA rules.

Script Requirements in Original Oratory and Informative Speaking

All entries in original oratory and informative speaking must have a script with them at the tournament in case of protest.  The script must identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work cited page in A.P.A. or M.L.A. format (which includes published pictorial material in informative speaking), and both the student and the coach must attest by signature that the speech is the original work of the student.  The Central Minnesota Committee will not collect scripts during registration, but you must have them available at all points during the tournament in case of protest.

 Informative Speaking: Visual Aids

PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING AS SOME RULES DIFFER FROM MSHSL GUIDELINES.  Audio/visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. During the presentation, no electronic equipment is permitted. The use of live animals or any additional people as visual aids is not allowed during the speech. Items of dress put on and removed during the course of the presentation are considered costumes and may not be part of the contestant’s presentation. Visual aids may not violate law (weapons, drugs, etc.) The host school is not responsible for providing any facilities, equipment, or assistance in a contestant’s use of visual aids. Expedient set up and take down of aids is expected. If a visual aid displays published pictorial material, the source must be included in the works cited page but does not need to be cited orally.


Each school is required to provide one judge per every five entries or fraction thereof.  All judges must be at least in their "third year out" of high school.

In order to facilitate the paneling of judges, all preliminary rounds are flighted with panels of three judges.  This means that Friday is going to be a very long day.  To make the tournament function, it is critical that each school completely fulfills their entire judge requirement.  To help alleviate the long day for judges, it may be advisable to find multiple people to share a single judge obligation.  For instance, two persons can share one judge slot by having Person A assigned to rounds 1A - 2B, and Person B assigned to rounds 3A - 4B.  If you choose to do this, please make sure to clearly notate within Joy of Tournaments the availability your judges have, as well as any schools they should not judge.

During the tournament, please do not allow your judges to hand off their ballots to other judges who may be free during the round.  If you need a substitution for a round, that substitution MUST be pre-approved by the Central Minnesota NSDA Committee.

Central and Southern Minnesota NFL will be sharing judges to ensure clean judge assignments.  Please instruct your judges to check BOTH Central and Southern MN postings each round for their assignment.  Very likely, they will be judging in both districts during the day as we work to maintain the cleanest panels possible.

In addition to judges provided by schools, we are hiring a number of judges to assist with the tournament on both Friday and Saturday.  Judges are typically in short supply, so any help you and your school can give in providing judges is greatly appreciated.

If you will have extra coaches who will be on hand during the tournament that would be available to judge, please email zachary.prax@district196.org.  We will pay them for their service!


A HUGE thank you to Suzanne and Dillon White, Ross Eichele, Chris McDonald, and the Woodbury and Eagan High School coaching staffs and administrations for their willingness to host this event.

A judges lounge will be provided both days of the tournament.  Student concessions will be available on both days of the tournament.  There will be a student meal plan offered to coaches at a later date.




Central MN NSDA Judge Conflict Guidelines

Judges Currently Affiliated with a School:  Any judge currently affiliated with a school should not judge students from that school.  A school affiliation includes coaches, teachers, administrators, and parents who have a child attending the school. 

Spouses and domestic partners:  Spouses and domestic partners of coaches shall be treated as affiliated with the school that their spouse/partner coaches at. 

Immediate Family Members of Coaches:  Immediate family members (parents, children, or siblings) of coaches should not judge the students that their immediate family member coaches. 

Former students:  Former students of a program who have not coached at another program shall be considered affiliated with the high school they attended.  This affiliation extends indefinitely because the assumption is that a loyalty to one’s own school exists.  Former students who have been employed as a coach by another program will be considered former affiliates. 

Former affiliates:  Any non-student affiliate—coach, teacher, administrator, parent, spouse/partner, etc. who has ended their affiliation with a particular school will not be assigned to judge that school for two full years after the affiliation has ended.  For example, if someone coaches at Happy High School through 2017 and then leaves to coach at another program, they would not judge Happy High School for 2018 and 2019 and would be eligible to judge Happy High School in 2020.  A student affiliate will not be assigned to judge that school for three full years after the affiliation has ended (this way, there is no overlap with past high school teammates). 

Summer Camps & Similar Affiliations:  Instructors who work with students in a general summer camp setting (or similar program) are not automatically considered conflicted.  However, if the instructor has a specific connection to the student or to the speech (e.g. helped student cut the piece or helped edit the oration), then a conflict does exist and the instructor is considered affiliated with that student (but may judge other students from the school).  In debate, a specific connection may be that an instructor had the student in his/her lab and worked closely for several weeks. 

Judge Discretion:  A judge should report any potential conflicts to the tab room prior to the start of the tournament.  A judge may remove him or herself from hearing a particular student or a particular school for reasons beyond those stated above.  However, a judge cannot override the conflict rules stated above to be placed as a judge.