National Tournament

2019 Nationals Overview

Dallas, Texas

The National Speech & Debate Tournament returns to Dallas, Texas, the week of June 16-21, 2019. The Middle School National Tournament will take place June 18-21, 2019. We look forward to hosting you during the largest academic competition in the world! Watch this website for more information.

Countdown to #Nats19

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Registration

Online tournament registration for high school and middle school opens February 2019.

Note: High school coaches are notified via email when the online registration website opens for their district once their district tournament series (debate, speech, and congress) is complete and results are audited by national office staff.

High School & Middle School Details

High School Details

The National Speech & Debate Tournament brings more than 4,500 students from more than 1,200 schools from across the country, U.S. territories, and select guest countries together for a week of rigorous competition to determine national champions. Registration will open for schools who have qualified entries in February 2019 at nationals.tabroom.com. Your district chair will alert you when registration has opened. Review more information in the High School Unified Manual.

Tentative Details – June 16-21, 2019

Schedule: Registration for the tournament will occur on Sunday, June 16, 2019. Preliminary rounds will occur on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with elimination rounds taking place on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Judges: A school must bring at least one judge per event as a condition of registering. View the manual for full requirements.

Lodging: Schools who stay in the hotel block will receive a $25 discount per student. Please check back on this page in early January 2019 for details, and plan to book rooms early.

Deadlines: The final deadline to receive all information and payment is May 1, 2019.

Cost: Entry fees are between $75-100 per student. Each school will pay a $200 judge bond that will be returned at the conclusion of the tournament if all judges fulfill their obligation.

Middle School Details

The Middle School National Speech & Debate Tournament is an open invitational that attracts more than 850 students from 160 schools from across the country, U.S. territories, and select guest countries. Various public speaking, literary performance, and debate events are offered, which are modeled after the high school National Tournament. Other less-competitive events allow additional fun opportunities for students to exercise their skills.

Students do not need to qualify for the Middle School National Tournament; all eligible entries are welcome, space permitting. As a reminder, only school-based members are allowed to enter the Middle School National Tournament. For any club or organization that does not currently have a school-based membership, the NSDA is eager to work with you to create school-based speech and debate teams. Please contact info@speechanddebate.org for more information. Registration will open in February 2019 at msnats.tabroom.com. Review more information in the Middle School Unified Manual.

Tentative Details – June 18-21, 2019

Schedule: Registration for the tournament will occur on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Competition will run all day on Wednesday and Thursday. Students who qualify for elimination rounds will compete on Thursday and Friday.

Judges: A school must bring at least one judge per event as a condition of registering. View the manual for full requirements.

Lodging: Schools who stay in the hotel block will receive a $25 discount per student. Please check back on this page in early January 2019 for details, and plan to book rooms early.

Deadlines: Entries are due April 24, 2019. Payment is due May 10, 2019.

Cost: Entry fees are between $45-50 per student. Each school will pay a $200 judge bond that will be returned at the conclusion of the tournament if all judges fulfill their obligation.

 

The Middle School National Speech & Debate Tournament is presented by Summit Debate.

Hotel Guide

The National Tournament hotel block will open January 15, 2019.

Check back soon for more information!

Fundraising

Is your team hoping to qualify for the National Tournament this year? With Edco, our fundraising partner, you can easily set up an online fundraising page for your team and receive support in the fundraising process. Edco empowers students and teachers to raise money from family, friends, and other members of their community. Be sure to visit Edco’s website or email hello@ed.co for more information.

Tournament Sponsors

Our generous sponsors make the National Speech & Debate Tournament possible! Thank you for showing your commitment to fostering excellence in young people through speech and debate activities.

2018 National Tournament Scholarships
Main Event National Champion Scholarships, presented by EF Hutton:
  • $2,500 – To each of the two national champions in Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate.
  • $2,500 – To each of the two national champions in Public Forum Debate.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Congressional Debate–House.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Congressional Debate–Senate.
  • $2,500 – To each of the three to five national champions in United States World Schools Debate ($10,000 max).
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Joe and Pam Wycoff Original Oratory.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in A. C. Eley International Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Carmendale Fernandes United States Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Informative Speaking.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Humorous Interpretation.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Lanny D. and B. J. Naegelin Dramatic Interpretation.
  • $2,500 – To each of the two national champions in Sandra Silvers Duo Interpretation.
  • $2,500 – To the national champion in Program Oral Interpretation.

Public Forum Debate Scholarships, presented by the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation:
  • $5,000 – To each of the two Public Forum championship debaters.
  • $4,500 – To each of the two Public Forum finalist debaters.
  • $2,500 – To each of the four Public Forum semifinalist debaters.
  • $1,500 – To each of the eight Public Forum Debate quarterfinalist debaters.
  • $1,000 – To each of the twelve Public Forum Debate octafinalist debaters.

Big Questions Debate Scholarships, presented by the John Templeton Foundation:
  • $10,000 – To the Big Questions national championship debater.
  • $5,000 – To the Big Questions second place finalist debater.
  • $2,500 – To the Big Questions third place finalist debater.
  • $2,500 – To the Big Questions fourth place finalist debater.

$2,000 Scholarship
  • $2,000 – To the national champion in Original Oratory, presented by the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation Auxiliary.

$1,000 Scholarships
  • $1,000 – To each national champion in Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate, presented by Trinity University.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, presented by Illinois College and Victor Jih.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion Senator, presented by the Stennis Center for Public Service.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion Representative, presented by the Stennis Center for Public Service.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Carmendale Fernandes United States Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in A. C. Eley International Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Informative Speaking, presented by HoneyBaked Ham.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Humorous Interpretation, presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Lanny D. and B. J. Naegelin Dramatic Interpretation, presented by Simpson College.
  • $1,000 – To each national champion in Sandra Silvers Duo Interpretation, presented by Colorado College.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in Program Oral Interpretation, presented by The Interp Store.
  • $1,000 – To the national champion in each supplemental speech event (Brother René Sterner Commentary, Expository, Poetry Reading, and Prose Reading), presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $1,000 – To the William Woods Tate, Jr., National Student of the Year, presented by friends and family of Minh A. Luong.
  • $1,000 – To the second place finalist in Joe and Pam Wycoff Original Oratory, presented by the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation Auxiliary.

$750 Scholarship
  • $750 – To the third place finalist in Joe and Pam Wycoff Original Oratory, presented by the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation Auxiliary.

$500 Scholarships
  • $500 – To the national champion in Extemporaneous Debate, presented by Colorado College.
  • $500 – To the national champion in each consolation event (Impromptu and Storytelling), presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $500 – To each second place finalist in Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate, presented by Trinity University.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, presented by Illinois College and Victor Jih.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Carmendale Fernandes United States Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in A. C. Eley International Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • $500 – To each of the top six “Making the Stage” finalists in Joe and Pam Wycoff Original Oratory, presented by Joe and Pam Wycoff.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Informative Speaking, presented by HoneyBaked Ham.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Humorous Interpretation, presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Lanny D. and B. J. Naegelin Dramatic Interpretation, presented by Simpson College.
  • $500 – To each second place finalist in Sandra Silvers Duo Interpretation, presented by Colorado College.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in Program Oral Interpretation, presented by The Interp Store.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in each supplemental speech event (Brother René Sterner Commentary, Expository, Poetry Reading, and Prose Reading), presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $500 – To the second place finalist in each consolation event (Impromptu and Storytelling), presented by Bob and Salli Stockton.

$400 Scholarships
  • $400 – To each of the five National Student of the Year finalists, presented by friends and family of Minh A. Luong.

$250 Scholarships
  • $250 – To each final round winner of Carmendale Fernandes United States Extemporaneous Speaking, A. C. Eley International Extemporaneous Speaking, Joe and Pam Wycoff Original Oratory, and Informative Speaking, presented by Donus and Lovila Roberts.
  • $250 – To each final round winner of Lanny D. and B. J. Naegelin Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Sandra Silvers Duo Interpretation, and Program Oral Interpretation, presented by the National Speech & Debate Association.
  • $250 – To each third place finalist in Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate, presented by Trinity University.
  • $250 – To the top speaker in Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate, in honor of Phyllis Flory Barton.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, presented by Illinois College and Victor Jih.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Carmendale Fernandes United States Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in A. C. Eley International Extemporaneous Speaking, presented by the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Informative Speaking, presented by HoneyBaked Ham.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Humorous Interpretation, presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Lanny D. and B. J. Naegelin Dramatic Interpretation, presented by Simpson College.
  • $250 – To each third place finalist in Sandra Silvers Duo Interpretation, presented by Colorado College.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in Program Oral Interpretation, presented The Interp Store.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in each supplemental speech event (Brother René Sterner Commentary, Expository, Poetry Reading, and Prose Reading), presented by Western Kentucky University.
  • $250 – To the third place finalist in each consolation event (Impromptu and Storytelling), presented by Bob and Salli Stockton.

$200 Scholarships
  • $200 – To each national champion in United States World Schools Debate, presented by McKinsey & Company.

$100 Scholarships
  • $100 – To each second place finalist in United States World Schools Debate, presented by McKinsey & Company.

JAMES M. COPELAND

TOM AND VICKI ROLLINS

A. C. ELEY FUND

CARMENDALE FERNANDES FUND

THE JEPS FOUNDATION

ADAM AND ASHLEY JOHNSON

HAROLD C. KELLER FUND

FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF MINH A. LUONG

MCCARTHEY FAMILY FOUNDATION

HARLAND B. MITCHELL FUND

LANNY D. AND B. J. NAEGELIN FUND

DONUS AND LOVILA ROBERTS

SANDRA SILVERS FUND

RICHARD B. SODIKOW FUND

BOB AND SALLI STOCKTON

WILLIAM WOODS TATE, JR., FUND

JOE AND PAM WYCOFF

Nationals History

The National Debate & Speech Tournament has been held across the country since 1931, and today is the largest academic competition in the world. Each year, more than 4,500 high school students compete in a week-long competition to determine the most prestigious title in high school academics: national champion.

Advertising

Every year, more than 7,000 students, coaches, teachers, parents, and supporters from across the country attend the National Tournament. The student competitors represent the best and brightest young people across the United States and the globe. You don’t want to miss this unique educational event to reach an outstanding group of young people and their supporters.

Please contact Emily Kriegel at emily.kriegel@speechanddebate.org or (920) 748-6206 with any specific questions you may have.

National Tournament Expo

The National Tournament Expo provides a safe and organized environment in which exhibitors and supporters may connect with coaches, parents, and students. The reservation deadline is May 31, 2019.

 

Expo Package Discounts

2019 Expo Package Discounts

 

Expo À La Carte Pricing

2019 Expo À La Carte Pricing

Expo Guidelines
Reservations

Exhibitors may request any available table range by marking their request on the Expo Registration Form. While the National Speech & Debate Association will attempt to accommodate requests, final placement will be at the discretion of national office staff.

The Sunday Expo will be held concurrent with high school registration. Set-up will begin at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday. Exhibitors who have not arrived by 8:30 a.m. may forfeit their table. Refunds will not be given for failure to attend. Exhibitors must remain open until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday to be invited back to the Expo the following year. Exhibitors may choose to reserve additional tables at the Sunday Expo, or during the competition week. Venues are tentative and subject to change.

A reservation is considered complete once an Expo Registration Form has been submitted to the national office and payment has been received by or before May 31, 2019. All payments are non-refundable.

Discounts

National Tournament Expo vendors who also exhibit at the Conference Expo (August 4-6, 2019) can receive 20% off their Conference Expo purchase. Please contact Emily Kriegel for details! Exhibitors may also attend NSDA National Conference sessions by registering here.

Equipment

Reserved exhibition space includes one six-foot or eight-foot table, depending on the location and availability of tables. Additional tables may be reserved for an additional fee. More elaborate set-ups may require an additional charge. Please bring power strips if needed to be sure you are able to access electricity. Electrical access is an additional $100 fee and includes one outlet during the Sunday Expo. Access to electricity is not guaranteed at the school sites Monday through Wednesday or the final round venue Thursday and Friday. The NSDA will not provide power strips, power cords, or any other electronic equipment. Internet access is included during the Sunday Expo. The NSDA cannot store any items for vendors prior to, during, or after the Expo.

Expectations

These guidelines will govern all vending at the 2019 National Speech & Debate Tournament. They replace all guidelines from previous National Tournaments. The NSDA retains the right to amend its guidelines as needed.

The only exhibitors allowed to vend at National Tournament sites will be those who have reserved exhibition space through the NSDA. Non-approved exhibitors will be removed from tournament premises. Please note that while exhibitors are usually allowed to vend at the tournament venue, local rules may prohibit vending in certain areas.

All fees must be paid prior to the start of the Expo. Exhibitors with unpaid fees will not be permitted to attend.

Noise/visual elements from booths must not affect the presentation of other exhibitors.

Exhibitors must not impede the operation of the National Tournament or exhibit where local rules do not permit selling of products.

Only the NSDA or its local hosts may sell T-shirts. No other vendor may sell T-shirts of any kind. Sale of other products sold by the local host committee is also prohibited, including lanyards, nylon drawstring bags, magnets, plastic drinking cups, buttons, and pens.

Exhibitors must remain open until 3:00 p.m. local time on Sunday to be invited back to the Expo the following year. The National Tournament Expo officially closes at 4:00 p.m. local time.

Exhibitors must take all materials, including trash, with them at the conclusion of their vending period. A maintenance fee may be assessed if an exhibitor’s area is left disorderly or damaged.

Vendors are expected to remain within the vending area and not disrupt any competitor or coach in the course of their preparation for or during the actual competitions.

The NSDA reserves the right to refuse reservations to any exhibitor.

NOTE: Submitting an Expo Registration Form indicates your knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of the National Tournament Expo Guidelines. If you do not agree to the guidelines, do not submit an Expo Registration Form.

Tournament Book

Our National Tournament Program Book is a great way to connect with all student competitors, coaches, teachers, parents, and chaperones at the tournament.

Everyone attending the National Tournament receives a free copy of the Tournament Book, and it is also published online. The Tournament Book is the go-to guide throughout the week. It includes schedules, event information, announcements, annual award listings, and more. You can be a part of the Tournament Book for a low price! The ad reservation deadline is April 15, 2019.

Tournament Book Pricing and Dimensions
Tournament Book Guidelines
Payment

You may select check or credit card payment using our online form. All ads must be paid in full by May 1, 2019.

Deadline

All ads must be reserved by April 15, 2019, and final artwork must be submitted by May 1, 2019. (If you need help designing your ad, we can do it for you! Please be sure to provide instructions in the advertising form by or before April 15 to give us plenty of lead time.)

Format

All ad files must be in high-resolution PDF format.

Proofread

Don’t forget to double-check your ad before submitting! Remember, “Lincoln-Douglas” should be hyphenated, but “LD” should not. “Student Congress” is now called “Congressional Debate.”

Note: If you’re a vendor and plan to reserve a table at the National Tournament Expo, you may purchase your Tournament Book ads using our Expo Registration Form. No need to fill out a separate form!

Future Host Sites

Join Us!

2019 | Dallas, Texas – June 16-21
2020 | Albuquerque, New Mexico – June 14-19
2023 | Phoenix, Arizona – Dates Coming Soon

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the 2018-2019 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students.

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