Member Login

Getting Started

Welcome! You have joined the ranks of coaches at more than 3,000 schools in the most highly regarded speech and debate Honor Society. We are so excited that you are helping shape how students prepare for college, career, and life. As a member, you have access to an amazing community of support along with resources that will help you explore what this activity has to offer. 

The guides and resources on this page are designed to introduce you to competitive speech and debate, team management, and all you can do with a membership. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us. We’re here to help you!

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Take the Intro to NSDA Coaching Course

Learn the ins and outs of coaching in our free Intro to NSDA Coaching course! This course is hosted on our learning management system, NSDA Learn, where you can enroll in courses and complete them at your leisure. Intro to NSDA Coaching covers many of the basics of NSDA membership including:
  • What are NSDA merit points and why are they important?
  • What can I do to start the season well?
  • How do I learn more about NSDA points, events, and rules?
  • What is Nationals and how do students qualify?
  • What are other forms of recognition through the NSDA?
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Our Purpose

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We connect, support, and inspire a diverse community committed to empowering students through speech and debate. Learn more about our mission and vision.

Our History

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Read a brief history of how we’ve supported speech and debate since 1925.

Who We Are

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Our experienced staff is available to help answer all your speech and debate questions or connect you with local support.

Membership Overview

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Read an explanation of school, coach, and student memberships.

Competition Events Guide

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Read overview of each event and pick up competitive tips.

About the Honor Society

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Learn about earning distinction in the NSDA Honor Society.

Points Entry

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An explanation of merit points, how to enter them, and why they matter.

Local, District, and National Tournaments

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Learn the ropes with overviews of what to expect at local competition, district tournaments, and Nationals. 

Member Resources

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Learn about resources you can access as an NSDA member and where to find them.

Recognition Opportunities

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Explore how coaches, students, and schools can earn recognition in our Honor Society.

Rules Overview

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Read an overview of the Unified Manual, which outlines the Association’s governing rules.  

New Coach FAQ

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Your first stop for all membership questions!

School Finances

School Finance

Learn to create and pay invoices, apply credits, and more.

African American/Black Coach Mentoring

African American/Black Coach Mentoring

Sign up to be matched with an experienced Black coach to help you learn the ins and outs.


Working on a laptop sitting on a table

As with any specialized activity, jargon and abbreviations pervade speech and debate activities. Download this guide to learn more.

How to Start a Team

Starting a Team - Group of students and their coach

Find the resources you need to advocate for a new program.

Team Recruitment Strategies

Kids gathered together

Recruitment is necessary to build a successful program. Get the guide to building your program.

Attending Your First Tournament

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Tournaments are the best method for getting new students hooked on speech and debate. 

How to Host a Tournament

Students talking at a tournament

Find the tools you need to host your first tournament.

Roles and Permissions

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Brief description of the three main roles on an NSDA speech and debate team and what each group can see on their account dashboards.

Resources for Coaching Speech

Coaching Speech

Find coaching and teaching resources for speech events, including public address and interpretation.

Resources for Coaching Debate

Coaching Debate

Find coaching and teaching resources for speech events, including public address and interpretation.

Self-Guided Student Learning

Self Guided Student Learning

Share the hub of tools for students to independently build their skills and expand their understanding of different competitive speech and debate events.

Lesson Plans

Start Here

Access grab-and-go lesson plans from experts to introduce speech and debate to new students in the classroom.

Final Round Videos

Final Round Videos

Here you’ll find a collection of final round videos from our National Tournament.

Helpful Links


To get started, sign up your school. If you already have an account, log in here.


Search helpful resources to learn about and teach the competition events.


Learn more about the NSDA rules including event descriptions and time limits.

Honor Society

Read up on the Honor Society, including student, coach, and school recognition.

Entering Points

Learn to recognize student progress by entering points. Already know the ropes? Log in to get started.

Judge Training

Find tips and resources for judges including training videos, sample ballots, and more.


Check out our fundraising guide for ideas to raise money for your team.

Professional Development

Explore professional development opportunities for coaches and educators.

Resource Spotlight

Learn what to expect competing in a variety of speech and debate events. Each one-page guide features unique student and alumni perspectives from across the country. Great tips for new coaches and students alike!