Tournaments

The Stoa Board is responsible for only one tournament each year:
All other Stoa tournaments are run by local leaders serving their communities.
During the 2014-2015 season there were over 90 local tournaments around the country.

The Stoa Board is constantly receiving feedback from members and is responsive to member input.
  • At the 2015 Stoa Academy, the Board listed implementation of many ideas submitted by membership. Another example is represented on this page.
  • Members asked for the Minimum Tournament Standards to be consolidated in one place to make it easier for tournament administrators to be assured they were doing all that was necessary to serve their local constituencies.
  • Previously the tournament minimums had to be cobbled together from several locations
    • The Stoa Registration website
    • The StoaUSA website
    • Speechranks. 
For 2015-2016 and beyond, Stoa is committed to making the process easier for local tournament administrators by listing the minimum tournament standards for local tournaments in one location.
  • The Minimum Tournament Standards are listed here, in one place, on the StoaUSA website.
    • See below on this page.
    • These standards are not new, being the same as in past years, they are now just easier to find.
      • There are two minimal exceptions that reflect changes that Speechranks has implemented.
        • Parliamentary debate now requires six rounds of competition to maintain consistency with all other forms of debate.
        • A debate event must have a minimum of 7 teams participate to ensure that no team must debate another team more than once during six preliminary rounds.
  • Stoa trusts local leaders to make the majority of decisions about their local tournaments in order to best serve the needs of their local communities.

Stoa trusts local tournament administrators to:
  • Choose a location.
    • What city or locality?
  • Pick the venue. 
    • Church, school (public or private), community college, university, etc.
  • Select which events to offer.
    • All speech and debate events, speech only, debate only, TP only, LDV only, platform only, interp only, etc.
  • Decide the length of the tournament, e.g. number of days.
    • One day, one and a half day, two day, three day, etc.
  • Set the tournament structure, e.g. number of prelim and outrounds.
    • Tailor the preliminary round and outround structure to fit local needs.
  • Determine the tournament schedule.
    • Choose when to start and finish your day and plan your social time.
  • Handle the money entirely at the local level.
    • Stoa does not interact with local funds.
    • Use your local funds to donate to a ministry, scholarship the students to NITOC, etc.
  • Plan extra activities and socials.
    • Have fun by offering engaging social activities.
  • Add additional events, novice events, junior events (these are not eligible for NITOC, but fun and helpful activities).
  • Administrate the tab files locally and transparently.
  • This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of ways in which local leaders exercise local control. 

Stoa Minimum Tournament Standards

Stoa will coordinate with local tournament administrators to ensure these minimum requirements are met for posting to the StoaUSA calendar and uploading results to Speechranks.
  • Date
    • October 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016.
  • Tournament Announcement
    • At least a month in advance (sooner is better).
    • Announced nationally by posting to Stoa USA calendar.
  • Participation
    • Age - Competitors shall be ages 12 to 18 on January 1, 2016.
    • Open to participants from across the country.
    • Must involve at least two clubs.
  • Speech Events
    • At least three rounds must be competed at the tournament.
      • All students do not need to compete this many rounds as some students may be eliminated during the course of the tournament.
      • (Students in the top 40th percentile will earn a Green Check Mark on Speechranks)
      • (Three students are required to one student to earn a Green Check Mark, five students are required for two students to earn a Green Check Mark, etc.)
    • Follow Stoa event rules.
      • Only exception - Script Submission requirement is under local control.
        • (Script submission is required at NITOC)
  • Debate Events
    • At least six rounds must be competed. (Minimum of four preliminary rounds).
      • All students do not need to compete this many rounds as some students may be eliminated during the course of the tournament.
      • No student/team should receive more than one bye recorded as a win.
      • Byes should be determined by the tabulation software.
        • (This means the tabulation software will assign byes to both the random and power-matched rounds.)
    • Follow Stoa event rules.
    • Use Stoa resolutions.
    • Minimum number of 7 debate teams participating
      • (teams = students in LDV debate and IP debate (IP debate is not a NITOC event.))
  • Tabulation
    • Stoa Transparent Tabulation Policy.
    • Inform tournament attendees in writing on the tournament registration site of any variation. from published Stoa tabulation recommendations before registration opens.
    • A representative from at least two clubs must staff tab room.
  • Judges
    • Must be physically present in the room.
    • A student may not compete and judge within the same competition season.
      • (Judges at NITOC shall be age 19 or older on January 1, 2016)
  • Tournament Director
    • Must be a Stoa Member.



The Stoa Board thanks members for their input into this process and trusts that consolidating this information into a single location will simplify the tournament administration process.