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The National Speech & Debate Association does not have a specific word count for transitional material. However, this does not mean that any original material is acceptable. Changes to the script may only be used for the purpose of transition or to eliminate profane language. The voice of a script may not be changed. For example, changing “She moved to California when she was 13” to “I moved to California when I was 13” is not permitted. Combining small fractions of sentences or singular words to create humorous or dramatic dialogue, scenes, moments, and/or plot lines not intended in the original literature is prohibited. For example, it is not permitted to take one word from page 13 (e.g. home), a phrase from page 211 (e.g. ran away from), and a name, (e.g. Tyler) from page 59 to create dialogue between characters or events that do not exist in the script. Example: adding “Tyler ran away from home.” when this did not occur and was not said in the script is not permitted.  

Transitions only may be used to clarify the logical sequence of ideas. They are not to be used for the purpose of embellishing the humorous or dramatic effect of the literature.

Any word changes (to eliminate profane language) and/or additions (for transition) must be indicated clearly in ink on the script. Failure to clearly indicate the addition of words will be subject to disqualification.

If you have any questions about a script, please email with the subject line “Interp Rules” for further clarification.