Chesapeake District Tournament

2020 — US

Chesapeake District Qualifier

for the 2020 National Tournament
Speech, Debate, Congress
Loyola Blakefield
Towson, MD
Big Questions
Loyola Blakefield
Towson, MD
Sun 2/23 Sun 2/23 BQ

Chesapeake District Newsletter #3 (1/21)



Dear colleagues,

The countdown is on!  We are now officially one month away from the Chesapeake District Tournament, which will take place on Saturday February 22nd at Loyola Blakefield High School in Towson.  The District is the qualifying tournament for the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Albuquerque in June, the largest academic competition in the country!  We hope that you and your students are able to join us.  You are still welcome to participate even if you are not able to attend the NSDA National Tournament (if an entry qualifies and declines their spot, it will pass to the next entry in line.)

The tournament web site,, contains important information about the schedule and procedures for the day.   Please read it carefully, along with the information below!!

HOW TO REGISTER:  To register for the tournament, visit the Tabroom web site at  Once there, you can click “log in” on the top right of the screen.  Once you are logged in, you can click on the “Register” tab to register your students and judges.  [If you do not have a Tabroom account, you will first need to create one by clicking on “Sign Up” on the main page,  Once you have logged in to Tabroom, you can link your account to your school’s NSDA records by following the on-screen instructions.  Once your accounts are linked, you will be able to start entering students into the tournament.]  The computer will ONLY allow you to enter students that meet the eligibility requirements below, so look those over carefully.  The NSDA has created a handy step-by-step guide for Tabroom registration here:

ELIGIBILITY:  Note that in order to be eligible to participate in the District Tournament, schools must be paid and registered members of the NSDA for 2019-20.  If your school is not registered yet with NSDA, there is still time!  Visit and click on “Join” under the membership tab.    Individual students must also be members of the NSDA in order to be eligible to participate.  This means that a student must have at least 25 NSDA points (thus holding the Degree of Merit) and the $20 membership fee must be paid.  Students must also have an account on the NSDA web page,   If a student hasn’t created an account with the NSDA yet, they can go to that page and click on the “Register” link.  When a student registers with the NSDA, you will receive a notification in the points application that they would like to be added to your squad.  If you click on “approval requests” in the points application, you can officially add that student to your squad.

ENTERING POINTS:  Your students earn points for every round of competition they participate in.  Now is the time to dust off those old ballots and enter in your students’ results from this season (or, more easily these days, click “autopost” on the point entry screen)!  By getting your point totals up to date, you ensure that you can bring the most students possible to the District Tournament. The number of entries that your school can bring depends directly on the number of points and degrees that your students hold as of Saturday February 15th.   If your school has ZERO degrees then you will not be able to enter ANY students at the District Tournament!

Also, the more degrees that students from the District earn this season, the more qualifiers the District can send to nationals next season, so by keeping your points up to date, you are helping the District as well as your team.

 If you don’t have your students’ ballots from prior tournaments, most tournament software publishes tournament results online, so you can search,, or for the results of the tournaments you attended.  Failing that, contact the tournament director of that particular tournament for help.  Many of these sites send results automatically to NSDA, so all you have to do when you go to enter points is hit “autopost”. 

 For new coaches that need additional guidance with the points entry system, a tutorial is here:

AWARDS:   Several awards will be presented at the District Tournament, including Student of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Communicator of the Year, Alumni of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year, and New Coach of the Year.  To nominate individuals for these awards, click on the “District Awards” form on the tournament web site.  Nominations are due Sunday February 17th

DEBATE TOPICS:  We will be debating FEBRUARY topics!

CONGRESS BILLS:  The bill packet will be sent out on or close to Wednesday February 12th.  If not enough legislation is received, the District Committee will borrow legislation from other sources.  Send bills and resolutions to by Monday February 10th.

REGISTRATION FEES DUE AT THE TOURNAMENT:  All registration fees MUST be paid at registration the morning of February 22nd.  Any outstanding balance that your school has with NSDA also needs to be paid at this time.  Checks should be made payable to “Chesapeake NSDA District”.  The NSDA leaves no room for late payments … please plan ahead!  If your school does not have a check prepared in advance, you will need to write a personal check and get reimbursed by your school.  We can not include any unpaid schools on schematics or the NSDA will disqualify our results!

QUALIFIERS:  As long as there are sufficient entries, the top three students in each speech and debate event will earn a bid to attend the NSDA National Tournament in Dallas in June!  For congress, each chamber will qualify the top two legislators.     


  1. The District Big Questions debate tournament will be on Sunday 2/23 at Loyola Blakefield.  The top finisher will qualify for NSDA Nationals.  The invitation can be found by clicking on the “Big Questions Invitation” tab on the District website,  
  2. The State of Maryland Speech and Debate Association Championship will take place on Saturday 3/28 at Loyola Blakefield, and is open to all schools in DC, Maryland, and Delaware.  This year the SMDSDA tournament features auto-bids to TOC Extemp and NIETOC.  The invitation can be found here:  
  3. The Regan Great Communicator Debate Series Mid-Atlantic Qualifier will take place on Saturday 4/4 at Loyola Blakefield, with the top two finishers earning college scholarships and a trip to California for Reagan Debate Nationals in the summer.  The invitation can be found here:

We look forward to some great competition and hope to see you and your team there! 


Charles Donovan, on behalf of the district committee

Tom Durkin

Teresa Needer

Steve Sprouse

Peter Susko