Frequently Asked Questions
Results of all elimination rounds prior to finals will be posted on the public-facing side of Tabroom.com. Find them by navigating to nationals.tabroom.com and selecting the Pairings tab.
Main speech event postings will be released at the following times on nationals.tabroom.com:
Top 60 Speech (Rounds 7/8) — Tuesday midday
Top 30 Speech (Rounds 9/10) — Tuesday evening
Speech Semifinalists (Rounds 11/12) — Wednesday midday
Speech Finalists — Wednesday evening
Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, and Public Forum teams who win at least 8 prelim ballots will advance to Rounds 7/8. Each advancing team will begin with a clear record and debate until they lose twice until two remain for a final round. Beginning with round 7, Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, and Public Forum judges will announce their decisions at the end of the debates.
Congress, World Schools, and Big Questions advancing entries will be announced on nationals.tabroom.com. World Schools and Big Questions competitors who win at least 4 preliminary rounds will advance to elimination rounds. Each advancing entry will begin with a clear record and debate until they lose once until two entries remain for a final round. In elimination rounds, judges will announce their decisions at the end of each debate.
All events will use online balloting. To access ballots, judges will log in to Tabroom.com and check Current Ballots & Panels for an assignment before each round! If judges don’t have an assignment but are obligated to judge that day, they will report to the judge pooling room at their competition site. Judges are required to leave written comments on their ballots so students can understand their results and improve. Ballots and the full tournament results packet will be available for students to review after the tournament on Monday, June 24.
If your school’s judges have met their obligations (reported to all assignments), the $200 judge bond will be refunded. During registration for the National Tournament, schools indicated on Tabroom.com if they would like their judge bond credited to their 2024-2025 NSDA account or returned in the form of a check. Please log in to Tabroom.com to review your selection. All bonds will be processed and returned after Nationals by July 31, 2024.
Round pairings/schematics (who’s competing against whom and where) will be available on Tabroom.com at nationals.tabroom.com. Competitors and judges should log into their Tabroom.com account to view their assignments; observers can find the public pairings by navigating to nationals.tabroom.com and selecting the Pairings tab.
- Pattern A: Extemp Commentary, Original Spoken Word Poetry, Prose, Expository
- Pattern B: Impromptu, Poetry, Storytelling
- OR Extemp Debate
It costs $30 for each supplemental event pre-registration, and entry fees are not refunded if your competitor does not re-register in that event. Choose your pre-registered events wisely! 1-2 pre-registered supplemental entries come with a requirement of 1 day of judging, 3-4 entries require 2 days, 5-6 entries require 3 days, and so on. Those days of judging may be assigned in supplemental speech, main event speech, and/or Extemp Debate. Supplemental event judging can be purchased for $120 per day.
- All students who advanced to an elimination round in a main event will receive an award.
- Finalists in speech and debate main events will be given their award on stage at the awards ceremony on Friday.
- Semifinalists in speech and debate main events will receive their award on stage after their event’s final round.
- The top 14 Congressional debaters in the House and the Senate and top POs will receive their award on stage at the awards ceremony on Friday.
- Students in speech and debate main events eliminated before the semifinal round will receive an award that can be picked up at Awards Checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- Congressional Debate quarterfinalists and semifinalists will receive an award that can be picked up at Awards checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- Top speakers in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas Debate will receive their award on stage after their event’s final round.
- The top 4 teams in World Schools and the top 14 speakers will receive their award on stage at the awards ceremony on Friday. Teams placing 5-8 will be awarded trophies on stage after the World Schools final round. Elimination round participants that are not in the top 8 will receive a plaque that can be picked up at Awards Checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- The top 4 competitors in Big Questions will receive their award on stage at the awards ceremony on Friday.
- Elimination round participants that are not in the top 4 will receive a plaque that can be picked up at Awards Checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- The top six competitors in each supplemental event will receive their award on stage at the awards ceremony on Friday.
- Students who place 7-12 in supplemental speech events and 7-14 in Extemp Debate will receive an award that can be picked up at Awards Checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- Students who have competed at the tournament all four years will receive an email in advance and be recognized as Four-Time Competitors.
- Four-Time Competitor awards must be picked up at Awards Checkout on Thursday or Friday at the Iowa Events Center.
- Four-Time Competitors will be recognized from the audience during the awards ceremony on Friday.
Meal and concession options will be available at school locations, and various food options will be available at the Convention Center. More information will be available in the coming months.
If my students are no longer competing Thursday or Friday, how should we spend our remaining time at the tournament?
There are a variety of options for students who are not competing on Thursday and Friday. Most teams choose to watch final rounds. Students who are no longer competing are invited to judge in person at the Middle School National Tournament that is held Wednesday-Friday at Waukee Northwest High School, as long as they are juniors or seniors with 250+ Honor Society Points. You’re also welcome to do some sightseeing in Des Moines. Please keep in mind that even if your students are no longer competing, your school’s judges still must fulfill their judging assignments.
Judges should bring a device with internet connectivity so they can access online ballots. Past attendees recommend bringing a reusable water bottle, power strips, and plenty of your favorite snacks. Students dress in competition attire; that means whatever they’re comfortable in! For students and adults we recommend comfortable shoes, layers, and even a personal portable fan for the summer heat.
For teams beginning competition on Monday, registration will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, at the Iowa Events Center. Stop by to pick up your materials and ask any questions! Late registration will run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for schools arriving in the evening. Additional events for coaches take place throughout the day. Among them are a reception for district leaders, a training for World Schools Debate judges, and Coaches’ Caucuses. We also encourage you to try to make it to our reception for new coaches! We will hold the event twice on Sunday, once at 10:00 a.m. and once at 3:00. Stop by either session for an overview of the tournament, connect with national office staff and other new coaches, and ask any burning questions about the week ahead.
A makeup registration will be held early in the morning on Monday, June 17. This is not recommended, especially for first time coach attendees, as competition begins and adding that extra stop in the morning may be a stressful way to begin the week.
Registration for teams competing in only in-person supplemental events will occur on Tuesday 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Grand Ballroom B.
Competition will be held at schools in Des Moines, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, and the Iowa Events Center. Review the Schedule & Venues information for details. Most students are dropped off at competition venues and picked up at the end of the day. Students will refer to pairings to check their rooms and tournament officials will be available to help with navigation.
In the lead-up to the tournament, contact the national office as you regularly would at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (920) 748-6206.
If you would like to request an ADA-related accommodation for one of your school’s participants, please complete the Accommodations Request Form. For questions regarding accessibility at the tournament, please contact Dr. Paul Porter at email@example.com.
During the tournament, your key sources of information are the Nationals website (www.speechanddebate.org/nationals) and the Nats24 Guidebook app. If you can’t find the answer there, you can follow signs to stop by the Tournament Office in person at any competition venue or email the NSDA Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org for remote assistance if you are unable to visit the Tournament Office. You can also stop anyone wearing a Tournament Official ribbon or Tournament Staff T-shirt to ask for help!