Northern Lights District Tournament

2019 —

Northern Lights District Qualifier

for the 2020 National Tournament
Minnesota State Capitol
Wed 11/13 Wed 11/13 HOU SEN
St. Francis HS, MN
St. Francis, MN
Tue 12/17 Wed 12/18 LD PF
Little Falls HS
Fri 3/20 Sat 3/21

Speech Information

1. Tournament Site: Our tournament will be held at Little Falls HS on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. A schedule will be developed and shared with all members once registration closes. All preliminary rounds will be held on Friday, with semifinals and finals on Saturday. A huge thank you to Jody Rakow-Worcester and the staff at Little Falls HS for hosting!
2. Registration: Registration is now open on our Tabroom site. Please let me know if you run into any issues when registering. All entries are due by Friday, March 13th at 8pm. No new entries will be allowed after this date and all drops and substitutions must be emailed to me. Fees will also freeze at the deadline. 
While there are still several weeks remaining before registration closes, I would appreciate your entry of contestants as early as possible so that the committee can make more informed decisions regarding round schedules. 
 Other reminders:
  1. 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. Tabroom will not allow non-members to register.
  2. 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. 
  3. Use the invoice provided on Tabroom to request a check for entry fees. If this is your first District Tournament this season, please note that our W2 has been updated and can be found under "Tournament Pages and Forms" on the Northern Lights Tabroom site. Remember that all schools are assessed a $25 team fee in addition to entry fees ($8 per speaker). Chapter dues are also assessed at this tournament: 1-30 member strength of team = $55; 31-60 = $65; 61-90 = $75; 91+ = $85. No dues the first year for a new school. Dues will be manually added to your Tabroom invoice once registration closes. I will try to have this updated ASAP, but if you need to print your invoice with dues included before the deadline, please email me so I can make those updates.
3. Tournament format and qualifiers: The number of required preliminary rounds in each event is based on the number of entries per event. There will be three judges in each prelim round, three judges in semifinals, and seven judges in finals with the hi/lo scores dropped. More information can be found in the NSDA Tournament manual starting on page 81 (We will once again use the California Plan). Because we are now a Level 3 District, all events with at least 12 solo or 10 team entries will qualify THREE entries to the NSDA National Tournament, held in June in Albuquerque, NM. Events with 50+ entries will send FOUR qualifiers to Nationals. We are NOT piloting any new rules this year. We are also planning on pre-paneling semifinal and final round judges. More information will be shared once the hiring process is complete. 
4. 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). More information about double entering can be found on pages 66-67 of the manual.  
5. Judge Requirements: It is imperative that all schools meet their judge obligation for the tournament. Teams are asked to provide one qualified judge for every five entries, or fraction thereof. As discussed last September at CTAM, we strongly encourage teams to include their head coach(es) and experienced assistant coaches in the judging pool. If you are splitting time between two judges, please be sure to note that information when registering. The committee is also hiring judges based on your votes from earlier this season (Thank you, Kathy!).
6. Day of Registration: Please bring the following items to registration on Friday, March 20:
  1. A check or cash to cover entry fees and dues. Checks should be made payable to: Northern Lights Speech and Debate, Attn. Andrew Tichy, 2300 4th Ave. S. Moorhead, MN 56560. If you are mailing your check in advance, please provide a PO or receipt. 
  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 for outstanding NSDA fees should be made payable to: National Speech and Debate Association, 401 Railroad Place, West Des Moines, IA 50265.
  3. Other Required Items - not collected at registration but MUST be on hand and immediately produced in case of protest:
  • Copies of all Oratory and Informative Speaking scripts
  • Copies of scripts for all interpretation events in accordance with the rules found in the NSDA District Tournament Manual
Note that "green sheets" are no longer needed at registration. 
6. 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 13
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 13
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 on Thursday, June 18 in Albuquerque. 
More information can be found here. To nominate a deserving coach, please visit
7. Hotels: Finally, we strongly encourage all teams in need of lodging to reserve hotel rooms ASAP. There are a few options in and near Little Falls but that space is expected to fill quickly. Teams may also consider hotels in Brainerd and St. Cloud, both roughly 30 minutes from LFHS.