The NCFL Grand National Tournament
Moderator Letter from the NCFL
We are nearing T-minus 3 weeks and counting to the start of the 2021 NCFL Grand National Tournament. As we get closer to that event, we need to share some important information with you, and ask that you share the same with the coaches and students in your league.
Revised Master Schedule
- Based on feedback from leagues and coaches, we have decided to eliminate Round 0 on Friday evening. A revised schedule is included here, which you should share with all your coaches, judges, and competitors. All events will have their first competition round on Friday night. This means that some tech and connectivity issues may appear in Round 1. We ask you for your patience and cooperation as we work through any problems with speakers and judges. This may mean that the round runs late for some. We will try to get issues resolved as quickly as possible.
Emergency Backup Speech Procedures
- Speaking of tech and connectivity issues, a PDF of the Asynchronous Backup Option Rules is included here. Again, please share this document with your coaches. The rules are very specific, and must be followed, but providing a backup is an option. You will only need and use this backup in case of tech and/or connectivity issues. Please note that proms, graduations, and other scheduling conflicts are not considered tech emergencies.
Congress Procedures, Extemp Rules and Duo Rules
- Each of these events have specific changes for online procedures which coaches, judges, and students need to be aware. These are also included and should be shared with coaches, contestants and judges.
- This form must be shared with all of your judges and contestants. Because the 2021 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Speech & Debate Tournament will be held virtually, the NCFL is asking that each participant read and acknowledge (by electronically signing) the Grant of Permission to Use Name, Likeness, and Content. The link is included here: https://forms.gle/GXmH1BogwXT8HmTi6
- There are many leagues that need to fulfill their judge burden. Leagues have less than a week to get those missing judges loaded into Tabroom. Directors need to fill Policy Debate judges into the Double-Octo round pool, which was inadvertently left out of the original registration form. Also, make sure all of your judges have registered Tabroom accounts. The system is open for judge changes through midnight, May 14th. After that, all judge quotas are locked and any drops must be replaced.
- Students should also have registered Tabroom accounts, so make your coaches aware of this, and get them signed up as well.
- Finally, if you are aware of people with tech savvy Tabroom.com expertise in your local league, please pass those names and email addresses on to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We will reach out to some of them if we need to tap into that skillset.
Diocesan Directors' Meeting
- We end with a reminder of the Diocesan Directors' Meeting, which will be held online on Saturday, May 22nd, from 1 - 4pm EDT. Please put it on your calendar, and look for the Zoom link in the days leading up to the date.
If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to me or any of the Tourney staff, and we will try to solve your issue quickly.
PDF's referenced in this letter are available
PF Resolution for 2021 NCFL Nationals
Resolved: Presumed consent organ donation should be the law across the United States.
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 email@example.com - April 2
- Extemp Question Submissions Due to firstname.lastname@example.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.
for the NCFL Executive Council
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.