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The NCFL Grand National Tournament



NCFL Tournament
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LD Resolution for 2021 NCFL Nationals

Resolved: The U.S. presidency ought to be decided by a national popular vote instead of the electoral college.

Letter to Diocesan Directors

Dear Diocesan Director:

Normally we send you all your NCFL Nationals Registration materials this week. However, as you can imagine, the shift to a virtual tournament has required us to modify our schedules and procedures. We are working to have everything sent to you by Tuesday, March 23.

We can tell you that the tournament will take place from Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 30. We are using NSDA Campus, so all registered judges and competitors MUST have linked accounts on TABROOM.com. All events will be synchronous and we expect that all events will begin on Friday night, tentatively at 6pm EDT. There simply isn't enough time in 2 days to schedule all the rounds that need to run considering the different time zones. The first elimination rounds will be held Saturday evening with the remainder of the elimination rounds through the course of the day on Sunday.

Please keep the Friday night start in mind as you begin to fill your judge quotas. Single flighting in debate events requires an increase to a 1.5 to 1 judge ratio in all debate events (LD, PF, and Policy). The speech judge ratio remains at 1 for 2. Congress judge requirements change to 1 for every 3 entries. If your league requires more than 1 congress judge, then one of the judges registered must be a qualified parliamentarian.

As we move forward, here are some important dates:

  • Registration Dates
    • Registration Materials Distributed to Diocesan Directors - March 23
    • Diocesan Registration Due on tabroom.com - April 23
    • Fees and Signature Forms must be mailed to NCFL Treasurer & postmarked - April 23
    • Late Registration Deadline, or Last Day to add entries (with late fees) - April 30
    • Last day to change judge pools or assignments, without a fee - May 1
    • Last day to drop judges without replacement, regardless of student drops - May 14
    • Last day to change competitor and judge names - May 21
    Topic Submission/Release Approximate Dates
    • Lincoln Douglas topic released - March 31
    • Congress Legislation Due to congress@ncfl.org - April 2
    • Extemp Question Submissions Due to extemp@ncfl.org - April 15
    • Public Forum topic released - April 15
    • Congress Legislation released - April 25
    • Congress Chambers released - May 28
In addition to the above, we will be requiring release forms because everything is video based, though we will NOT be making recordings. We will get these to you as soon as we have them finalized.

Thank you for all you do and we look forward to 'seeing' you at the 2021 NCFL Grand Nationals.

Mike Colletti
for the NCFL Executive Council

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The NCFL 2021 Grand National Tournament - Fully Virtual

We were all hoping that by May we could meet in person for NCFL Nationals in Minneapolis. However, it is clear that safety and practicality, along with local and federal guidelines, make this impossible.

The NCFL is grateful for the efforts of our Minneapolis hosts, Jason Meyer and Travis Rother, and the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul & Winona CFL Team of coaches, volunteers, and students. We are also grateful to the City of Minneapolis, the Meet Minneapolis Team, and our Convention Center and Hotel Partners for their help in fighting against the odds to try to hold an in-person event. We look forward to working with them as they prepare for NCFL 2027 in Minneapolis.

Over the next month we will be reaching out to Diocesan Moderators with changes in procedures that will allow us to create a unique, enjoyable, and competitive online National Tournament experience.

Please check the NCFL website for a preview of some of the proposed changes. The site will be updated with additional information as it becomes available,

Mike Colletti will be contacting league directors with increases to quotas. Local leagues will have the ability to use those additional allocated slots as they see fit.

To be clear, NCFL 2021 will be held over Memorial Day Weekend, just in a different format. Hope to 'see' many of you then.

Please stay safe.

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NCFL 2021 Grand National Tournamant - February Update

With the NCFL qualifying tournament season upon us, we want to be clear that there will be an NCFL National Tournament in May, 2021. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that an in person tournament may not be viable in Minneapolis by May 2021. As such, we will most likely hold our 2021 NCFL National Tournament online using NSDA Campus and Tabroom.com. We have begun to consider changes to our usual rules and procedures that might be needed should the tournament move to an online environment. As some of these potential changes may affect your planning, we want to give you a "heads up" to enable schools and leagues to prepare accordingly.
  • Qualifiers:
    • Recognizing the fact that we cancelled our NCFL 2020 Tournament, if we move NCFL 2021 online, we will increase quotas to maximize opportunities for students. If the tournament is held online, then Local Leagues will have 1.5 times their usual quotas (rounding up for leagues that have an odd number of slots). Local Leagues can award those extra qualifications as they'd like. If a Local League wants to award some qualifiers to students who qualified last year, they must still meet the rules for 2021: all students must be in high school in spring of 2021; in DEC, all students must be in 9th or 10th grade in spring of 2021; pieces used in a previous academic year in any of the speech events must not be used this year; etc.
  • Judge Ratios:
    • To enable single flighting in LD & PF, and manageable chamber sizes in Congress, we would need to increase the judge ratios.
  • Schedule:
    • Rounds would start on Friday evening so that we can fit everything into the weekend, and still have Awards on Sunday evening.
  • Online Platform Requirements:
    • Students and judges will need Tabroom.com accounts and the ability to run the Chrome browser.
We are diligently negotiating with our hotel, Convention Center, and city partners in Minneapolis as we finalize arrangements for the 2021 NCFL National Tournament. We will communicate our decisions and arrangements as soon as they are finalized. In the meantime, we want to be clear that the NCFL National Tournament WILL take place on Memorial Day weekend in May, 2021.

Please stay safe and we hope to 'see' many of you in May.

Detailed league and tournament information can be found at NCFL.org.

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The NCFL sponsors the annual Grand National Tournament on Memorial Day weekend, offering six forensics events and four debate events.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities.

What are the deadlines?
Schools joining through a Local Diocesan League, must submit their Membership Forms and Dues to their Local League according to their Local Diocesan League deadlines. Local Diocesan Leagues must submit all membership forms and dues ($50 per school) by December 10. New and Existing Local Diocesan Leagues may submit late membership forms and dues ($55 per school) by January 10. New Leagues must submit membership information not later than January 10. Schools requesting Individual Membership must apply not later than January 10. Tournament Registration must be completed, and fees paid, by April 15

What is the tournament format?
Registration by league directors is on Friday afternoon. Directors arrange to distribute registration materials to coaches and judges from their local leagues on Friday night. Preliminary rounds are held on Saturday. Elimination round participants are announced on Saturday evening after Mass. Elimination rounds are held on Sunday and are followed by an awards ceremony, which will recognize the top contestants in each event. School and League awards are also distributed at the awards ceremony.

How can a student qualify to compete?
The student's school must be a member of an NCFL Local League. These leagues are geographically distributed across the United States. Each league develops its own qualification system for the national tournament. Some leagues use a point system while others hold a qualifying tournament. League quotas represent the maximum number of entries in each category that can advance to the Grand National Tournament from each local league.

NOTE: A school that is not a member of an NCFL league may enter as an independent school for one year only. As such, that school could send one entry to the Grand National Tournament. After that, the school would have to join an NCFL league in order to continue participating. Only schools that are not geographically near an existing local league can apply for individual membership. Application for this membership should be made to the President via email, not later than December 10 each year.

What are a participating coach's responsibilities?
The coach must become familiar with all rules and procedures of the NCFL. Certain categories may be unique to the NCFL, or be slightly different from those of one's state or region. NCFL coaches must also arrange to pay all fees and provide all required judges. A significant fine will be assessed to any school who fails to provide a judge after registering for the tournament.

2021 Grand National Tournament

In the Planning Stages

The following has been posted.
  • 2021 Tentative Tournament Schedule


Twitter Feed

Last Eight Posts
(See TWITTER for all Updates)

Congress, Extemp, and Debate

Extemp Topic Areas

  • US Legal & Constitutional Issues
  • US Foreign Policy
  • US Economic Policy
  • US Immigration
  • Medicine, Environment, Science, & Technology
  • Societal Values & Ethical Issues
  • International Conflict & Civil Unrest
  • Foreign Economics
  • Leaders of Developing Countries

LD Resolution

  • Resolved: The U.S. presidency ought to be decided by a national popular vote instead of the electoral college.

2021 Service


2021 NCFL Nationals Tournament Hotels

Hotel blocks for 2021 NCFL Nationals Will Open (Date TBD).

Please book all hotels through Conference Direct.



The hotel websites are linked as a courtesy.
*** Please, do not book rooms for the NCFL Tournament through the hotel websites. ***

Click on the address for a map.

Custom Tournament Booklet

The following documents can be viewed separately or combined into a single PDF.

To view a single PDF, click on the NAME of the document. To create a custom PDF, select the files you want and then hit the CREATE CUSTOM PDF button below. Alternatively, you can print all of the PDFs, by selecting PRINT ALL.

Total PDFs Selected:

The documents will be merged in the following order:

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Event schedule

Welcome to the 2021 Grand National Tournament.

This is a very early and extremely tentative tournament schedule. All Times are EDT. Eastern Time Zone!

Schedule at a Glance (TENTATIVE)

Tentative Schedule

All Events Have Rounds on Friday Night

All times are EDT!

2021 NCFL Nationals Tournament Sites and Locations

Things to Do and Places to Go