Grand National Tournament Qualification Procedures
- School eligibility
- Presumption of school eligibility
- School withdrawal
- Student eligibility
- Student/team withdrawal
- Retroactive effective date of withdrawals and transfers
- Event eligibility
- Tournament eligibiity
- Earning points
- Accumulating points
- Breaking ties
- Minimum participation
- Grand National Tournament qualification
- Grand National Tournament single entry
- No independent entry.
- Written committment to attend the Grand National Tournament
- Grand National Tournament competitor/team replacement
- Publication of the Points Race
- Audit and protest
- Unfilled slots
- Rule interpretation by the Board of Directors
The Charlotte Speech and Debate Points Race ("the Points Race") is a season-long competition for forensics competitors of member schools of the NCFL speech and debate league ("the league") for the Diocese of Charlotte ("the diocese"), which covers the 46 western North Carolina counties1. Student competitors earn points based on their competition results in open/varsity level forensics events hosted at speech and debate tournaments within the geographic area of the diocese. At the end of the competition season, the top ranking students will qualify to attend the Grand National Tournament hosted by the NCFL. The number of qualifiers in each event depends on the number of schools that are members of the league.
All secondary public, private, and home schools located in the geographic area of the diocese who join the NCFL by January 102 ("the deadline").
All schools located within the diocese who compete at tournaments within the diocese are presumed to be league members, and their students will be included in the rankings, unless they fail to join the NCFL by the deadline.
All schools who fail to join the NCFL by the deadline will have all their students withdrawn from the ranking at the first update of the rankings after the deadline has passed.
A coach may voluntarily remove his/her school from the rankings at any time prior to that date by notifying the league moderator.
Once withdrawn, a school may not reenter the Points Race for the season.
All student competitors of member schools who compete in an eligible event at an eligible tournament will be included in the Points Race.
A coach may voluntarily remove one or more of his/her students/teams from the rankings at any time by notifying the league moderator.
Unless otherwise specified by their coach, a withdrawal of a team doesn't affect the status of the individual competitors or their participation on another team.
Students who do not intend to attend the Grand National Tournament, if they qualify, should withdraw and have their coaches report their withdrawal as soon as possible.
A coach may withdraw students by an opt-in method of notifying the league moderator which of his/her students would attend the Grand National Tournament should they qualify.
A student who transfers to a school outside of the diocese will be withdrawn.
Once withdrawn, a student/team may not reenter the Points Race for the season.
Prior to the publishing of the final rankings, the withdrawal of schools or individual students will be retroactively effective prior to the beginning of the season. All points will be recalculated of all prior tournament results, removing those withdrawn students from the calculations, which may change the points earned, and rankings, of the remaining students.
Withdrawal after the publishing of the final rankings will not result in a recalculation. For withdrawn students/teams who had qualified for the Grand National Tournament, their slots will be offered to the next ranking students/teams based on the final computed rankings which included their individual tournament ranks and points.
A student who transfers to an eligible school will have any eligible tournament ranks retroactively effective as of the beginning of the season. Competitors/teams who transfer from one eligible school to another eligible school retain his/her/their points.
The event must be similar to an NCFL event in name and have approximately the same rules (for example, Program Oral Interpretation shall qualify for OI), and be classified as the open or varsity division and have at least seven entries in the event at the particular tournament and have at least three4 rounds of competition (two sessions for Congress) requirement.
The event must be held at three tournaments in which the entry requirement is met in order for the league to offer qualifying slots for the event.
Students must enter the event representing their school. No points are earned for independent entry.
For Dramatic Performance, both open/varsity Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation are eligible.
The NCFL events are:
- Dramatic Performance
- Duo Interpretation of Literature
- Extemporaneous Speaking
- Oral Interpretation of Literature
- Oratorical Declamation (freshmen and sophomores only)
- Original Oratory
- Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- Public Forum Debate
- Policy Debate
- Student Congress
All formal open entry5 speech and debate tournaments for high school competitors held within the geographic area of the diocese that host eligible events and are attended by at least three schools6 from the diocese, excluding the Carolina West NSDA District Tournament and the Tarheel Forensic League State Championship Tournament.
Tournaments must be held sometime between the first weekend of September through the 2nd weekend of March7 ("the season") and publically announced to the North Carolina speech and debate community by October 1st.
Informal tournaments or scrimmages are not eligible.
Points are earned by each competitor/team based upon his/her/their rank at the end of preliminary8 rounds of each eligible event at each eligible tournament. Using the official results from each tournament, competitors/teams from non-eligible schools are removed from the results, leaving the competitors/teams of eligible schools ranked against each other in each event. Using these revised ranks, the top six ranking competitors/teams in each event will receive the following points:
In the event of ties, all competitors/teams tied will receive the higher points. For example, if there are two competitors tied for 3rd place, both will receive 5 points. The next placing competitor will be 5th and will receive 3 points.
All other eligible competitors/teams will receive one point in that event for their participation.
If a tournament offers double entry in both Dramatic Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation, the best rank between those two events at that tournament will be used for the points to assign to the Dramatic Performance ranking.
Points will be awarded separately to each eligible Congress chamber.
Points earned as a team may only be applied to that team.
Only freshmen and sophomores may earn points for Declamation. If a tournament allows upperclassmen to compete in Declamation, those competitors will be removed from the event calculations of ranks and points.
Points are additive and are accumulated throughout the competition season up to a maximum of a designated number of tournaments (MAXT). If a competitor/team competes at more than MAXT, the tournaments with his/her/their MAXT highest point totals in a particular event will be used in the Points Race calculation for the event.
For tournaments above MAXT for a particular competitor/team that are not included in his/her/their Point Race calculation, the competitor's/team's ranks will still be included in the calculations for those tournaments and, thus, still influence the points earned by competitors/teams ranking below him/her/them at those tournaments.
MAXT will be determined by the total number of open/varsity level tournaments held in the geographic region of the diocese each academic year for each event. The formula is:
- Where the total number of tournaments is seven or less, use one-half the total number of tournaments rounded up;
- Otherwise use one-half the total number of tournaments rounded down.
Because some tournaments might not offer all the qualifying events, it is possible that MAXT may differ per event. For example, Declamation and Policy Debate are expected to be offered at fewer tournaments and, therefore, will have a lower MAXT.
The value of MAXT will be based on completed eligible tournaments, not on the estimated eligible tournaments for the competition season. Therefore, the incremental published rankings will be based on a MAXT value that starts at the value of one after the first tournament, and increments upward only as tournaments are held and completed.
In the unlikely event that more than one tournament is hosted on the same date, for the purpose of the MAXT calculation the total tournaments for that date will be considered to be only one.
- The lowest point result of the MAXT tournaments for each tied competitor/team will be dropped from the accumulated points. If a tie still exists,
- The highest point result of the MAXT tournaments for each tied competitor/team will be dropped from the accumulated points. If a tie still exists,
- Weighting the original point results by the number of diocesan competitors/teams in the particular event at each tournament. If a tie still exists,
- Ignoring the MAXT restriction, the total number of eligible tournaments competed in the event by each tied competitor/team. If a tie still exists,
- School year: seniors over juniors over sophomores over freshmen9. If a tie still exists,
- A randomization methodology10.
Competitors/teams only need to compete in one eligible event at one eligible tournament to be included in the Points Race. However, there are three qualification benefits for competing at more tournaments:
- Because the points are additive, the more tournaments a competitor/team competes at in each event, the more points the competitor/team will accumulate in that event, up to the number of MAXT tournaments.
- For the better competitors/teams, competing in tournaments above the MAXT value has the advantage of potentially ensuring the lesser competitors/teams get fewer points at those tournaments which, if they placed higher without the better competitor/team present, could otherwise threaten the better competitor's/team's ranking in the Points Race.
- The total number of tournaments attended is one of the tie breaking procedures.
The final top ranking competitors/teams in each event will qualify to compete at the Grand National Tournament. The number of qualifiers depends on the number of schools that are league members.
|Number of Schools||Qualifiers in Each Event|
Preferably prior to the end of the season, but required within seven school days of the publishing of the final rankings, students who qualify in multiple events must declare which event they will compete in at the Grand National Tournament. This declaration must be sent to the league moderator by the student's coach. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the student being withdrawn.
The single entry requirement does not affect the ranks and points earned by the student in other events. The student's ranks will still be included in the calculations for those events and, thus, still influence the points earned by competitors/teams ranking below him/her at those tournaments.
All students who qualify for the Grand National Tournament must have a commitment form signed and returned to the league moderator within seven school days of the publishing of the final ranks. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the student being withdrawn.
Students must enter and compete at the Grand National Tournament representing their school.
If a qualifying competitor/team for the Grand National Tournament withdraws after the final rankings are published, the next ranking competitor/team will be offered the slot. The competitor/team will have three11 school days to return the commitment form, otherwise the opportunity will be offered to the next ranking competitor/team, and so on.
The rankings of the top eight competitors/teams in each event will be updated and published within seven school days after each tournament, with the exception of the last tournament of the year. For that last tournament, the final tallies will be computed at that tournament to be announced after the end of the tournament's awards ceremony. Invoices will be sent out to the schools within seven days of the publishing of the final ranks.
Coaches are welcome to audit the calculations at any time.
Coaches will have seven school days to protest the final ranking. The league will resolve that protest within seven school days.
If there are events with unfilled qualification slots at the end of the season, the Board of Directors of the league shall have discretion to choose competitors to fill those slots.
The Board of Directors of the league shall be the sole authority to provide the final interpretation of these rules and to address situations not identified herein. The league moderator shall break any tie votes of the Board of Directors.
1The 46 western North Carolina counties which comprise the Diocese of Charlotte are: Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
2December 10 is the NCFL deadline to avoid a late fee. January 10 is the final date a school must be registered by and have its dues paid.
3History: There was some previously difficulty in getting all the schools and competitors planning to compete at the Grand National Tournament to formally opt-in at the beginning of the season. Therefore, an opt-out approach became preferred despite increasing the work effort required on the part of the scorekeeper.
4Most tournaments have four rounds of competition. Three was chosen as the requirement because there was one historical case of a weather shortened tournament and for a single day tournament it may be difficult to have more than three rounds of Policy Debate.
5For eligibility, open entry tournaments do not have to accept independent (non-school affiliated) entries.
6NCFL rules specify that all home schools, no matter how many are members of the league, will be combined and only count as one school for computations.
7A multi-day tournament on a final February weekend which begins in February and ends in March is eligible.
8Preliminary round ranks were chosen to ease the work requirement for the scorekeeper.
9For the interim ranks published during the competition season, students who do not have their academic year recorded with NSDA nor have had it reported to the league moderator will be assumed to be in 9th for interim tie breaks. However, the moderator will verify the academic year for those students by the time of the first update of ranks in January. For team events, the highest academic year for a student on the team is used; then the second highest. For example, a team with senior and a freshman will have a higher rank than two juniors.
10During the season, the randomizer will recalculate with each calculation except for revisions after the final results are tabulated. For the final calculation, each competitor will be assigned a random value that will be used for tie breaks. That value won't change due to other students withdrawing, or for the correction of any data entry errors.
11There is very little time from the end of the season and the deadlines to have students registered, and travel and hotel arrangements made. Thus the reason for the very short turnaround time required for commitments.