2021-2022 NPDA Virtual Tournament Policies

Dear Friends,

With current circumstances largely mirroring those we faced at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, the NPDA Executive Council would like to extend the policies implemented last year.

Covid-19 has affected all formats of speech and debate. For our activity in particular, it presents a few additional challenges:

Written preparation: Work written during prep, other than where an ADA accommodation has been made, somewhat defines our format. With the need for online/virtual debates, this presents an obvious problem. For virtual tournaments for the coming year, the EC considers material typed during preparation time to be written. This does not include cutting and pasting from a file. This obviously excludes simply reading from a prepped file that already resides on a drive. Obviously, handwritten preparation is still fine, but the EC is concerned about partners who may be debating from different locations being able to prep. ADA accommodations take precedence over anything in conflict here.

In-round messaging: For partners who are debating from different locations during virtual, communicating is also a challenge. The EC considers messaging between partners appropriate in this case. As in any other round, debaters should not communicate with anyone else who is not involved in the round.

Recording: The EC asks that recording be handled as it has been normally on our circuit. Permission from everyone should be given, including judges.

Sanctioning: The Executive Secretary will endeavor to err on the side of the tournament. We want debates to happen. Rule enforcement at invitationals will be up to individual tournament directors (as it would normally anyway).

Shared commitment to prep: The limited preparation aspect of our format is what makes it unique and continues to do so even as contemporary argument forms and performances have found their place in Parli. Virtual debating will challenge the format as it has not been challenged before. Only a shared commitment to honestly conducting prep will make the format workable in this situation. The EC asks everyone to commit to that.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments accordingly.

As the season progresses, the EC will make a determination about NPDA nationals and will let everyone know as early as possible about its form, whether that be virtual or in-


The EC asks you to please post your tournament information at the calendar link publicized by Brittany Hubble recently. Please click here to log in, view your tournaments, and click the new tournament button to submit your tournament for our calendar. Benjamin will grant your tournament probationary sanctioning, and send an email regarding tournament sanctioning procedures ASAP. Even though many of us still do not know what fall will look like at our respective institutions, getting on the calendar is important because it helps many of us request funding, update students, and start to form a plan for our teams.

Finally, please join us in welcoming and congratulating Benjamin Lange of Concordia University Irvine as the new NPDA Executive Secretary!


NPDA Executive Council:

Brittany Hubble, President

Ashley Nuckels-Cuevas, Vice President

Shannon LaBove, Treasurer

Benjamin Lange, Secretary

Sean Nowlan, Student Representative