Tourney Life

Before you come:

  • Practice, practice, practice, practice

  • Figure out what you’re going to wear. Double check the tourney’s dress code. Professional dress adds to the attitude of excellence you’ll notice at a tourney.

  • Arrange any lodging needs. If you want to take advantage of host housing, ask for that as soon as possible. Host housing is limited.

  • Pray. Pray that the tourney directors will get everything done, pray for everyone’s traveling safety, and pray for yourself and the rest of the competitors to use this opportunity to grow in becoming effective communicators who can be used by God.

When you arrive:

  • Please check in at the registration table.

  • At this tourney you’ll be given a schedule, your name tag (which you should always wear while competing), and a map of the church.

  • Check to see where and when announcements will be given. Be there promptly!

The competition:

  • At the end of announcements, the tourney director will tell you where you can find the“postings.”

For debate: Postings will tell which two teams are debating each other, who’s Aff and who’s Neg, and which room you’ll be in for that round. There will be a new set of postings up for every round.
For junior speech: Postings will list what event is in which room and which speakers are assigned to that room. Those speakers will be listed in order that they are supposed to speak. If a speaker has more than one speech event, he should go to the room where he is listed as one of the first speakers and then move to the remaining rooms to give his/her remaining speeches. For example, Bob is listed as speaker #2 in the Duo Interp room, #5 in the Illustrated Oratory room, and #7 in a Open Interp room. Bob should go to the Duo room first, then go to the IO room, and finally the OI room. Often there will be a time when the scheduled speaker has not arrived. It is fine for another speaker assigned to that room to give his speech in order to keep the round moving. If the scheduled speaker shows up before that speaker begins speaking, then the scheduled speaker should be allowed to go. However, it a later speaker has several speeches, it helps the tourney run on time if the multi-speech competitor goes earlier.

  • Check the tourney schedule and make sure you are aware of how many rounds are scheduled. In this tourney, there are three rounds of debate and two rounds of speech for ages 12 & up. There is one speech round for those ages 4-8 & two speech rounds for those who are 9-11. At this tourney each speaker will give every one of his speeches every round. (Frequently, tourneys will pattern their speech rounds, which means the various speech events are not all given every round.) All speakers and debaters are expected to compete in all rounds of the events for which they are registered.

At the end:

  • When all rounds are completed and the ballots have been tabbed, awards are given.
  • Make sure you stay for this part of the tourney- even if you don’t think you’ll get an award. One never knows the outcome! Competitors are often pleasantly surprised and will unexpectedly win an award. You will need to be in your tourney attire for this part of the day as well.
  • At the end of the awards, you will be given an envelope that contains your ballots.
  • Please don’t open your envelope and read your ballots until you are out of the building and in your car. This rule is strictly followed in the world of tourneys!

Miscellaneous tips:

  • Bring bottled water! You can also buy some in the gym.

  • When you’re through speaking in a round, don’t just hang out in the gym. Use that time to listen to other speeches. You’ll be amazed about how much you can learn by listening to others compete!

  • It is perfectly acceptable to go in and out of rooms during a debate or speech round as long as you do it in between speakers. Please do not enter a room or leave if some one is speaking.

  • Don’t visit with friends in the hallways. Talking should only be done in the gym. You’ll disturb the judges and competitors if you’re talking right outside their doors.

  • Don’t just visit with the friends from your town. One of the most exciting things about speech and debate tourneys is meeting homeschoolers from other states. Make new friends.

  • Be prompt. When the postings are up and it’s time for the next round, go directly to your room. Don’t stay and chat for a few minutes, run to the bathroom, etc.

  • Remember that the judges are your friends. These people are giving their time to help you become a better communicator! Please look at any negative comments as your “homework.” What they’ve told you is what you need to be working on. Be appreciative of the nice things they say as well.

  • Please be patient! Tourneys are notorious for running late. There are many parts to a tourney, and they have to all work together. Often they don’t. Use these delays to make new friends or to find ways to serve your tourney hosts.