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Points Entry

Students and coaches working on computer at tournament

As students compete in speech and debate activities, an advisor or coach with permissions records their points. Advisors earn 100% of the points earned by their students. As students and coaches earn points, they also earn distinction by advancing through higher levels of the Honor Society.

Students directly benefit from recording merit points. It’s a great way to chronicle their participation and commemorate achievements. Beyond that, it serves as an excellent educational tool to track their progress and growth over time.

Getting Started with Points Entry 

Points can only be entered by an advisor or coach with designated permissions via your NSDA Account. To log in, visit and visit your school roster. To assign points to a student, they must first be added to your roster. Students can be added to rosters and given points before they are made members by paying the fee, and can earn up to 75 points before the advisor decides to purchase their membership. Instructions for adding a student or transferring them from another school (including a middle school) are available under the How do I add or transfer a student section of our FAQ

Time Saving Tips 

The most efficient way to enter student points is with the autoposting feature. If you connect your NSDA roster, points for tournaments hosted on the tabulation softwares or SpeechWire are available for autoposting within two weeks of the tournament date. Advisors can log in and confirm pending autoposted points rather than calculating them and entering them manually. Instructions for how to confirm pending autoposted points are available here

Read instructions for connecting your NSDA roster to or watch this video on linking accounts.

If you opt to enter points manually, you can still enter points for more than one student at a time.

  1. Entering points in partner events: Add a row and provide information for one student, then use the Clone a Row (icon: two overlapping boxes) function on the far right of that row to create a new entry for which you only need to change the student’s name to their partner’s.

Need a Visual?  Click here to watch our brief tutorial!
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  1. Entering all the points for one event at once: Add a row and provide the event and coach to whom the points will go, then click the Bulk Add button to select all the students who competed in that event for whom you want to apply points. Once you’ve added all the students, use the Clone to All (icon: the blue group) on the far right of the first student’s row to apply the event and coach information to all the entries. Then enter the appropriate points for each student, hit Finish, and you can do the same thing for another event.

Need a Visual?  Click here to watch our brief tutorial!
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  1. Entering service points for a group: Follow the same steps you would to enter several students in the same event, but also complete the service description and results to apply all the information to the students you’ve submitted in Bulk Add at once using the Clone to All function.

Need a Visual?  Click here to watch our brief tutorial!
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  1. Approving Student-Entered Points: Students can submit points for your approval through their NSDA Account. Submitted points will await approval or denial in your Pending queue the same way autopoints do. There are checks in the system to catch duplicate entries. This tool is especially useful for submitting service points! Students can submit points by clicking the Add option listed next to their point total on their account.

Points Entry Quick Tips

Detailed instructions for entering points begin on page 8 of the Unified Manual. These quick tips from the Manual are useful to have readily available. 


  • Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Policy Debate are recorded in the “Debate” category, and are worth 6 points per win and 3 points per loss or non-decision. Only one win/loss is recorded per round, so for a panel of judges, the prevailing decision is entered. 
  • Congressional Debate or other assembly speaking is recorded in the “Congress” category. Students earn 1-6 points per speech or per complete hour of presiding (so a panel of judge scores must be averaged). 
  • Non-Association debate events, such as Mock Trial, Parliamentary Debate, or Spontaneous Argument are recorded in the “Debate” category, and are worth 4 points per win and 2 points per loss or non-decision. 


  • Public speaking or interpretive events are recorded by their individual category name. Student ranks, or rank equivalents (conversion for point totals or alternate systems) are used. 
  • Only one rank or round placing may be entered for a panel of judges. For elimination rounds prior to a final round, an average of a panel’s ranks may be used. For the final round, tournament placement is the rank. 
  • Main Association events may earn 6 points per 1st rank, 5 points per 2nd rank, 4 points per 3rd rank, 3 points per 4th rank, and 2 points for ranks of 5 and below. Those events include Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Informative Speaking, and Humorous, Dramatic, Duo, and Program Oral Interpretation. 

Middle and high school students can earn points for using their skills in service of others.

  • Students can earn up to 20 service points per day and a maximum of 200 points per year. If an advisor or coach with designated permissions deems an activity as eligible for service points, they may enter them as they would points for competition.
  • Each approximate hour of activity should be treated as two points.
  • Points are entered in increments of one and fall under two categories, speaking (for an audience of 5+ adults) and non-speaking.

The Unified Manual also provides instructions for recording points for non-competitive/service speaking activities and Non-Association speech and debate events like Spoken-Word Poetry, the American Legion Oratorical Contest, Mock Trial, Parliamentary Debate, and more.  

For more information on points entry, including visual gifs of the process, visit our FAQ page.