Important Information

Information about the tournament

All tournament tabulation and pairings will occur via and as such, all students, coaches, and judges will need to have an updated account. Information on how to create an account can be found on the tfa website (


Events Offered

Synchronous- Domestic Extemp, Foreign Extemp, and Novice Extemp

Asynchronous- Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Prose, Novice Prose, Poetry, Novice Poetry, Program Oral Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Duet Acting, Informative Speaking, & Original Oratory

Debate- Policy Debate, Novice Policy Debate, LD Debate, novice LD Debate, PF Debate, Novice PF Debate, Congressional Debate

*students may only enter in one synchronous debate and one type of extemp. Students can enter in as many asynchronous events as their hearts desire!


Independent Entries

The TFA Constitution states on pg. 72 that “Texas Students participating at TFA Tournaments must be affiliated with and a representative of the schools they are attending.” This means that if you are a TEXAS STUDENT, you must participate under your school’s name and be affiliated with said team. This rule is NON-NEGOTIABLE.

1-    All competitors must have a school approved adult representative present at all times during the tournament. As noted in the tournament best practices document, this means they must be either actively judging, in a judge pooling room, or assisting the tournament.

2-    If a school employee is not attending with the student, a school official must email Christopher Esparza or Eddy Cavazos giving permission for the responsible adult to act on behalf of and make all relevant decisions for the student/school.

3-    All teams must register using their school name and their official school tabroom account so that TFA and NSDA points can be accurately attributed.




The entry deadline for the Harlingen Birdbowl Throwdown is January 29, 2021 at 5pm

The Drop/name change Deadline is January 29, 2021 at 5pm

All fees will lock on January 29th at 5pm

Judges will need to be registered for the tournament by January 29th at 5pm

All videos Links must be uploaded onto the tabroom account with the appropriate students and event by February 1, 2021 at 8pm CT

*A nuisance fee will be applied for any videos that are sent in after the deadline

Please review our fees page on the tabroom website to see charges for drops and penalties after these dates.


All IE’s will be held asynchronously this year using a video uploaded link from YouTube, Google drive, or any other online drive of your choice. The same video will be judged for prelims through finals. Please make sure of the following:


o   The video’s have a time limit shown that does not exceed the time of the event. The performer will be not be able to earn first if their video is overtime.

o   The video is saved as “private” or “unlisted”

o   The video has the title and author of the selection saved in the description box. I.E “The Last Flapper By: William Luce”

o   The video is titled by the last name of the performer and the event. I.e “ Jones- Dramatic Interpretation”

Google Drive:

o   The videos have a time limit shown that does not exceed the time of the event. The performer will be not be able to earn first if their video is overtime.

o   The video is visible to anyone with a link

o   The video is labeled as followed: competitor last name-Event Abbreviated- Title and Author of Selection. I.E “Jones-DI- The Last Flapper by William Luce”



Individual events: $20

Duo/Duet: $25

Congressional Debate: $20

Policy Debate: $40

Lincoln Douglas: $30

Public Forum: $35



IE: .5 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (12 entries/1judge)

PF: 2 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (3 entries/1judge)

LD: 2 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (3 entries/1judge)

CX: 3 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 6 rounds/ $25/ missing round (2 entries/1judge)

Congress: .25 rounds owed per entry. 1 judge can cover 4 rounds/ $25/ missing round (12 entries/ 1 judge)


Judging Fees will be assessed on January 27, 2021 at 5pm. Those schools missing judges will be charged at that time. All judges must have a account. All school provided judges are required to be available one round past the elimination of their most successful competitor in the event that they are covering.

In a world of virtual debate and online ballots, it is important that your judges’ tabroom information (email and phone number) are up to date and that they are frequently checking their phone/email to ensure they do not miss a ballot. It is the obligation of coaches to ensure this info is up to date and to check pairings and ensure that their judges are prepared to judge.


Debate Topics and Congress Information

The Topic for CX Debate is: Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the Unites States in one or more of the following: Forensic science, policing, sentencing. (Details of breaking)

The Topic for LD Debate is: Jan-Feb NSDA TOPIC: States Ought to ban Lethal Autonomous weapons.

The topic for PF Debate will be the Jan-Feb NSDA Topic.

Prep time for CX is 8 minutes. Prep time for LD is 4 minutes. Prep time for PF is 3 minutes.

We will use the NSDA pilot rules for PF

We will be using spring docket for congress.

Prelims: 1-7
Finals: 9-15

Prelims: 9-15
Finals: 1-7

*There is no set order within those items- students can debate the items in any order as long as those items correspond to the round.




Individual events, Congressional Debate, Duet Acting, Duo Interpretation

1st= 15 points

2nd= 10 points

3rd= 5 points

All non-placing finalists receive three points.


Debate Sweepstakes points will be calculated based off of prelim performance in debate events. Students will earn 5 points per prelim win and 1 points per prelim loss.


General Rules

We will break to semifinals in all individual events unless entry levels warrant a break straight to finals. If entry numbers in an event are low, we will move to 2 prelim rounds and breaks directly to finals.


An adult supervisor for each school must be immediately available to perform necessary tournament duties if called upon. Failure to do so many so may result in the tournament making necessary decisions such as: removing a competitor, walk-over an entry, or adjudicating a pretest. Frequent inability to make contact with a coach for tournament related matters may result in the school’s students being removed from the tournament.



Link for extemp rooms below!