A team’s strength is determined by the number of active student degrees plus the top three active coach degrees for the team.
Let’s say, for example, that you have five member students listed on your School Profile Page (remember that an active student must have at least 25 merit points to be considered a member – and at least 10 of those 25 points must come from competition). Two students have achieved at least 25 points (degree of merit), two students have achieved at last 75 points (degree of honor), and one student has achieved 150 points (degree of excellence). And let’s also say that the school has one active coach who has at least 25 points and has a degree of merit. The school’s strength would be 10 (one point each for the merit students, two points each for the honor students, and three points for the excellence student, plus one point for the coach).
Among other purposes, strength is used to determine the number of entries a school can enter in the district qualifying tournament. For a detailed chart, please see page 60 of the 2016-17 High School Unified Manual. Entry allotment is determined by the school’s strength 7 days prior to the start of the district qualifying tournament.
Keep in mind that only students who are active, members (at least 25 merit points), and registered / linked to their schools (indicated with a gold star next to the students’ names) are counted in the school’s strength calculation.
A school’s chapter strength also contributes to the strength calculation of the district as a whole which can impact the number of students the district can qualify to the National Tournament.
The National Speech & Debate Association recognizes schools that earn a strength of 100+ (100 club), 200+ (200 club), etc. Letters and certificates are sent to schools so that coaches and administrators can celebrate student merit point contributions to the entire team.
You may find your school’s strength on your School Profile Page just below the school name and contact information at the top of the page.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Chapter Strength.