AMERICAN FORENSIC ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL INDIVIDUAL EVENTS TOURNAMENT
(last revised April 2015)
The intent of the By-laws is to help further define the
operational concerns of the AFA-NIET and clarify matters not explicit in the
AFA-NIET Charter. Provisions included in the By-laws shall not undermine
requirements and standards provided for in the Charter.
II. Ethical Concerns
The standard of ethics for schools
and individual participants involved in the AFA NIET shall be consistent with
those provided for in the American Forensic Association's Code of Ethics and
those provided for in the AFA-NIET Charter and its By-laws as well as AFA-NIET
NIET Competitors are expected to adhere to the "AFA Code of Forensics
Program and Forensics Tournament Standards for Colleges and Universities"
concerning preparation and performance of competitive events. Specific
standards include the following:
In individual events which involve
original student speech compositions (oratory/persuasion,
informative/expository, after-dinner/epideictic, rhetorical criticism,
impromptu, extemporaneous, or other similar speaking contests) the speaker
shall not commit plagiarism.
Plagiarism is defined as claiming
another's written or spoken words as one's own, or claiming as one's own a
significant portion of the creative work of another.
A speech in individual events
competition is considered plagiarized when the student presenting it was not
the principal person responsible for researching, drafting, organizing,
composing, refining, and generally constructing the speech in question.
In interpretation events (prose,
poetry, dramatic duo, program oral interpretation, etc.) the speaker(s)'
cutting shall be "in agreement with" the original text. Competitors
are expected to indicate if modifications have been made in the original text.
Competitors are expected to bring to tournaments a copy of the original
inclusive text along with the student's script.
Forensics competitors are expected
to do their own research.
Persons other than competitor
(undergraduate students, graduate students, or instructors/coaches) are not to
be charged with the responsibility of doing a forensics competitor's research.
This provision shall not be
construed to prevent coaches or assistants from engaging in limited research
(1) Teach research techniques
(2) Provide examples of high quality research
(3) Identify areas of research for students
(4) Provide the coach with the working knowledge necessary
to function as an effective critic with respect to the debate or speech topics
being investigated by his or her students.
All forensics participants are
expected to compete honestly and fairly. Students are not to intentionally
perform badly in individual events rounds for the purpose of allowing other
competitors to benefit as a result. Directors of Forensics, judges, and coaches
are not to encourage dishonesty in competition by asking students to purposely
do poorly in rounds of forensics competition.
Copyrighted Material - Statement of
American Forensic Association endorses the concept of the "face-to-face
teaching exemption" for performance of copyrighted materials as specified
in The Copyright Law of the United States (Public Law 94-553-1976). Section 110
of the Act states that it is not a copyright infringement for instructors or
pupils "in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit
educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction"
to perform any genre of copyrighted material. Subsection 4 of Section 110 also
permits performance of non-dramatic literary works if there is either no
admission charge or proceeds, after deducting reasonable production costs, are
used exclusively for educational purposes.
Forensic Association supports the notion that competitive forensics (e.g.,
speech/individual events/debate) tournaments/festivals are an extension of the
educational classroom and qualify as nonprofit educational activities. Thus,
forensics event categories such as oral interpretation of literature, readers'
theater, oratorical speaking, and debate, performed in the context of a
forensic tournament/festival, are exempt from copyright infringements. As the
Law also states, instructors and pupils need not be present in the actual
classroom, but be in the same general vicinity for the exemption to be in
tournaments hosted by the American Forensic Association (AFA) or acknowledged
as AFA-sanctioned tournaments/festivals in the annual AFA Calendar are
considered exempt from copyright infringement if they meet the aforementioned
AFA-NIET Ethical Use of Literature
Contestants may not rewrite a prose,
a poem, or a dramatic text so the work differs from the original text.
Contestants may not add or reassign
scenes or lines to the performed cutting. Although an occasional line might be
added, especially if a character has been deleted, this practice should be
Contestants may not rewrite the
ending of a work.
Contestants may not rewrite lines to
change the gender or person of a character.
Contestants may not perform a text
in a genre for which it has not been written.
Protests should be filed according
to AFA-NIET Charter and By-laws Section X.
Individual judges should not make
ethical judgments when ranking/rating contestants. If an ethical question
arises, the judge should contact the Tournament Director to explain his/her
concern. The Tournament Director will then call the matter of the ethical
concern to the attention of the NIET Chair for disposition of the matter by the
To assist the NIET Committee in
accurately assessing ethical disputes, the AFA-NIET recommends that coaches
keep a file of student speeches and interpretation programs used at NIET for
one year after the NIET in which it is performed.
Harassment of Coaches and Students
The AFA-NIET deplores the harassment
of coaches or students by others after a student has already qualified an
at-large event and continues to compete with that event in tournaments.
Individual member schools of the
AFA-NIET should determine when and under what circumstances individual
competitors should compete, without verbal or nonverbal intimidation from
The AFA-NIET upholds the right of
the individual coach and student competitor to continue to compete in qualified
events as often as they see fit, prior to the National Tournament.
Alcohol and Tobacco Policy: While at
the host school, participants in the AFA-NIET are expected to respect the rules
and regulations of the host institution pertaining to alcohol consumption and
III. School and Student Eligibility
To participate in AFA-NIET
sanctioned activities a school must:
Be an accredited (or pursuing accreditation)
two or four-year college or university.
Be in good financial standing with
the financial requirements established by the AFA-NIET Committee and the Board
Submit a $30 subscription fee to the
District Chair by the December 1st deadline. Fees increase to $50 after
December 1. All fees must be paid no later than registration for the District
Pay appropriate registration fees
for the District Tournament and NIET entries.
Schools that have not paid all fees
encumbered from previous participation in the AFA-NIET shall not be permitted
to participate at the District Qualifier or the NIET until such past due
accounts are paid.
To participate in AFA-NIET
sanctioned activities a student must be a full or part-time undergraduate
student enrolled for a minimum of six hours. The minimum of six hours of
required academic work must be taken at the institution the student is
representing at the NIET. A student must be pursuing a program of study or an
associate or baccalaureate degree at the institution they represent at the
A part-time student at an
institution may not represent that institution at the NIET if they are also
pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree at another institution.
A student who has completed the requirements
for an associate degree at an institution is no longer eligible to compete for
that institution. A person is considered as possessing an associate degree upon
his/her completion of requirements toward that degree and having been approved
for graduation by his/her respective school.
An appeal for a waiver of these
provisions may be made using the same procedures as outlined in the By-laws
(IIIE) for students who have received bachelor degrees.
In determining the time of
graduation, a student is considered as possessing a baccalaureate degree upon
his/her completion of requirements toward that degree and having been approved
for graduation by his/her respective school.
Students must maintain a 2.0
cumulative GPA based on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for NIET competition.
Under unusual circumstances,
involving valid educational or professional justifications, students who have
received bachelor degrees may participate if:
The student has never competed in
forensics as an undergraduate.
The coach who desires to let the
student compete informs the chair of the NIET Committee of this decision and
the reasons for it, and he/she agrees that the student has valid educational or
professional reasons for participating. If there is a question concerning the student's
reasons, the chair will consult with the student's District Chair and Regional
Representative. The decision will be decided by a consensus of the three
Such students may participate for a
maximum of two time blocks.
The above eligibility rules shall
not restrict additional eligibility requirements established by the NIET
Committee or by individual Tournament Directors.
Mid-year graduates may not compete
at District Qualifiers. A student may not pursue at-large qualification status
after the final day of the term in which he/she has met the requirements for
graduation and has been approved for graduation by the student's respective
A student having qualified at-large
in an event shall not be eligible to compete in that event at the District
No person shall be allowed to
participate in more than four AFA-NIETs as a contestant.
In addition, contestants are limited
to four national tournament years. A national tournament year is one in which a
student competes in a national tournament of Pi Kappa Delta, Delta Sigma
Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, Interstate Oratorical Contest, Phi Rho Pi, AFA-NIET, NFA,
National Novice Tournaments, or any other national competition added to this
list by the AFA-NIET Committee.
This rule is meant to exclude
contestants who participate in individual events for more than four years at
the national level from competing in the AFA-NIET.
No student who has competed in eight
or more six-month periods (July 1-December 25, or December 26-June 30) in three
or more tournaments per period of time will be eligible to compete in the
If a participant qualifies for the
AFA-NIET while eligible under the preceding requirements and then graduates
during the academic year, he/she will be permitted to compete in the NIET for
that year. (Midyear graduates may not compete at District Tournaments.)
An undergraduate who judges in the
open division of a forensics tournament (a division which qualifies for AFA-
NIET at-large legs), permanently forfeits his/her eligibility to compete at the
AFA-NIET District or National Tournaments.
Protests of eligibility must be made
in writing and presented to the District Chairperson. Decisions concerning the
protest shall be made by a vote of the District Committee. Unresolved cases
shall be referred to the National Committee.
IV. Event Description and Guidelines
The AFA-NIET will offer competition
in the following events and conflict patterns.
Impromptu Speaking: An
impromptu speech, substantive in nature, with topic selections varied by round
and by section. Topics will be derived from quotations. Speakers will have a
total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the
acceptance of the topics sheet. Limited notes are permitted.
Informative Speaking: An
original, factual speech by the student on a realist subject to fulfill the
general aim to inform the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to
supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited
in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is
Prose Interpretation: An
original or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn
from more than one source. A primary focus of this event is on the development
of the narrative/story. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of
manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Dramatic Duo: A
cutting from one or more texts of literary merit, humorous or serious,
involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals.
The material may be drawn from any genre of literature. This is not an acting
event; thus, no costumes, props, lighting, etc., are to be used. Presentation
is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other.
Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current event,
choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work
of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes
are permitted. Student will speak in listed order. Postings of topics will be
Speaking final round will feature an open cross-examination period of 3
minutes. Each speaker will be questioned by the previous speaker, with
the last speaker questioning the first speaker. Contestants who will
cross-examine the speaker are required to watch the speech and are permitted to
take notes during the speech. We ask that all finalists report to draw
first so that speaker order can be assigned to accommodate multiple entries and
the questioning period. It is at the judges’ discretion to include or not
to include the cross-examination period in their ranking of the round.
Persuasive Speaking: An
original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the
beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience. Audio-visual aids may or
may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources
should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are
permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Program Oral Interpretation: A program of thematically-linked selections of literary
merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation
(prose/poetry/drama). A primary focus of this event should be on the
development of the theme through the use of narrative/story, language, and/or
characterization. A substantial portion of the total time must be devoted to
each of the genres used in the program. Different genre means the material must
appear in separate pieces of literature ( e.g., A poem included in a short
story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a poetry
genre.) Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript is required.
Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
After Dinner Speaking: An
original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech
composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills,
and good taste. The speech should not resemble a night club act, an
impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to
supplement and reinforced the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum
time limit is 10 minutes.
An original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or
evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem,
poster, film, campaign, etc., through the use of rhetorical principles.
Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the
message. Manuscripts are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Drama Interpretation: A
cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary
merit. A primary focus of this event is on the development of characterization.
This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required.
Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Poetry Interpretation: A
selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from
more than one source. A primary focus of this event should be on the
development of language. Play cuttings and prose works are prohibited. Use of
manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including
Duet Poetry will not be accepted as
a qualifying event for Poetry.
Duet Acting will not be accepted as
a qualifying event for Dramatic Duo Interpretation.
Program-on-a-Theme will be accepted
as a qualifying event if the program was entirely of one genre (all prose, all
poetry, or all drama).
At the AFA-NIET a student may be
entered in two Dramatic Duos if both have qualified. The student, however, may
not enter another event in that conflict block. Two duos will count as two
A contestant may not use the same
cutting/content or any portion of that cutting/content in more than one
prepared event at any given tournament.
All materials used in competition
shall not have been used by the student in any competition prior to September 1
of the current academic year.
All rounds of Impromptu and
Extemporaneous Speaking will be timed by the judge or the chair of the judge
panel, and time signals will be given to contestants unless otherwise
In Extemporaneous Speaking the
following rules shall apply:
Different topic areas will be used
for each round.
The use of electronic information
retrieval systems during any part of preparation time, is strictly prohibited.
The Tournament Director will consider requests for exemptions because of
Attendance in the Extemporaneous
Speaking Preparation Room is restricted to monitors appointed by the Tournament
Director and contestants in the event.
Because Extemporaneous Speaking is
an Individual event, contestants are expected to prepare speeches on their own
without consultation with others.
The AFA-NIET Committee recommends
that minor time infractions should not be a major criteria in judge rankings or
Judges may use their own discretion
in determining whether or not audience reaction was influential in the time
Coaches and students should consider
audience reaction in preparing the event.
Coaches and/or students must have
available at the district and NIET, copies of all interpretive and original
events used at the tournament.
For interpretive events a copy of
the complete original work must be brought to district and the NIET.
For all prepared public address, a
copy of the complete script shall be brought to district and the NIET,
including a bibliography of all cited sources.
Description of Experimental Events:
The NIET National Committee "may" at its November meeting, select an
"experimental" event to be included among the events offered at the
NIET of the subsequent academic year.
The event shall be scheduled in the
tournament pattern so as to best balance events, best balance number of
competitors, and/or best facilitate operation of the event.
The event shall be announced at the
NIET of the year prior to its inclusion, at a seminar scheduled during that
a. The seminar shall be scheduled at a time when maximum
attendance might be expected.
b. The seminar shall feature a faculty presentation
regarding the nature and purpose of the event, two or three sample
presentations, and one or two judge critiques of the presentations.
Rules regarding procedures for
at-large qualification shall apply to this event during the academic years of
the NIET at which it will be included.
a. No "nuance" events shall be substitutable for
at- large qualification for a regular NIET event by competing in the
b. A competitor cannot gain at-large qualification for a
regular NIET event by competing in the "experimental" event.
V. At-Large Qualification Process
One may advance to the National
Tournament by superior performance in three tournaments during the regular
tournament season within the following provisions:
1. Each of the tournaments must have had the equivalent of at
least nine schools competing in individual events.
a. Schools qualify for competition if they
are an accredited (or pursuing
accreditation) two or four-year college or
Bonus: One school travelling more than 400 miles for a tournament may
be counted as two toward the total number of schools, but only one school may
qualify for this bonus per tournament. Tournament directors must identify
school will count as two schools and present proof of that school travelling
more than 400 miles when they provide results from their tournament to
2. When a tournament has eight schools competing at the
start of the tournament, the Tournament Director may apply for a waiver of the
"nine schools" requirement if (1) at least nine schools had
officially entered the tournament and (2) the "ninth school" failed
to give 24 hours notice of their withdrawal before the start of competition.
a. The Tournament Director or the representative of an attending
school is responsible for petitioning the NIET Chair within two weeks of
completion of the tournament. The petition must include.
(1) A letter from the Tournament Director explaining the
circumstances relevant to the petition and formally asking for waiver
(2) A letter from the "ninth school" stating the
reason(s) for withdrawal from the tournament.
(3) The registration materials for the ninth school
including unaltered schematics and student code sheets (where applicable).
(4) The Chair of the NIET has the right to request any
b. The NIET Chair in consultation with the Tournament
Director's District Chair and the Regional Representative will rule on the
appeal within two weeks of receiving the material.
c. The following conditions will apply to waivers:
(1) A team is allowed to use only one tournament in which a
waiver has been approved for student legs. In other words, students from a team
cannot use legs received from two separate tournaments for which waivers have
(2) Only one waiver will be approved to dismiss any one
particular school. In other words, if a team withdraws from two or more
tournaments within a competition year, only one petition using that school will
3. The three tournament placements used for qualification
may not exceed a cumulative total of eight (8), based on the following formula:
# of entries in the event
# of legs earned
Places that earn legs
2nd, 3rd, 4th
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
4. When determining the number of students entered in an
event, for purposes of computing the numbers of students who qualify, the
number must be based on the total number of participants competing in ALL
preliminary rounds of competition in the given event.
a. If a student does not actually compete in a round, but
the Tournament Director determines this was due to circumstances beyond the
student's control and therefore averages the score, that student shall be
deemed to have competed in all preliminary rounds.
b. When students from a host school participate in a
tournament in order for their numbers to count for at-large qualification
totals, they must be eligible for open final placing and must advance if they
earn the right to do so.
c. In a tournament where more than one division occurs, only
the non-restrictive varsity division, open to any undergraduate participant,
will count as a qualifier under the at-large qualification system.
d. Students competing in a collapsed division must be
eligible for and advance if they earn the right to do so, to the open division
final before the numbers in a collapsed division may be counted for the
5. When determining
at-large qualifiers, the AFA-NIET will accept tournament results as submitted
by the host without adjustment in ranks due to NIET ineligible students
competing in the invitational.
6. No more than one student may be designated for the first
through sixth AFA legs in any qualifying event at an individual tournament. If
a tournament chooses to split their entries in an event into multiple groups
and hold multiple finals, the District Chair will be responsible for
determining which one individual is assigned each of the qualifying legs.
7. For purposes of determining qualification legs, the
District Chair will use the AFA-NIET criteria for assigning final position for
competitors at those tournaments which fail to distinguish the top six
individuals in each event.
8. If a student has met two of the three at-large
qualification steps and was excluded from an elimination round at a tournament
because of a tournament tabulation error, the coach of that student may
petition the National Committee to have the tournament in question count as a
third qualifier. Each case will be judged on its own set of circumstances. In
such cases, the Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee along with the District Chair
and the Regional Representative shall reach a consensus on the case and either
approve or disapprove the appeal.
a. Appeals should be made only after two at-large
"legs" have been earned. When a student is not advanced to
elimination rounds due to a tabulation error, the competitor's coach/program
must notify the District Chair of the appeal no later than March 1st or the
District Tournament, whichever is later. The competitor's coach/program is
responsible for providing both written evidence of the error and a letter of
admission of the tab error from the tournament director to the NIET Chair and
the District Chair. The NIET Chair in consultation with the contestant's
District Chair and the Regional Representative will rule on the appeal within
two weeks of receiving the material.
b. When an error is made in final round rankings the steps
listed above under 8a. must be followed. A successful appeal will allow the
appellant to use the corrected rank. The student who received the higher rank
incorrectly will be allowed to retain his/her originally established rank for purposes
of at-large qualification.
B. All tournaments used for at-large
qualification must meet the standards described in the
C. A nuance event may earn at-large
qualification legs only if the corresponding AFA-NIET
is not offered at the tournament in question. (Corresponding event is explained
with generically identical descriptions and/or titles.)
no instance can a student accrue more than one qualifying leg in a particular
event at a
particular tournament. Additionally swing tournaments
consisting of more than two sets of event placings do not qualify for at-large legs for the
E. If the District Qualifying Tournament has at least nine
schools participating and fulfills
entry requirements specified above, then it can be used as a qualifier
the at-large system. The student would qualify under the at-large system, thus
the District to advance another contestant to the National Tournament.
of an alternate advancement will be made only after the District Chair
confirms at-large results.
F. Qualification legs for an individual
student cannot be earned at more than one
tournament in the same day.
Qualification legs must be earned at a tournament that
in a face to face encounter (no virtual tournaments).
G. Students may not earn
qualification legs at tournaments that do not offer a minimum of
three rounds (e.g. two prelims/plus a
final round) of competition. The exception to this
will be single section events (e.g. 6 entries in Communication Analysis has one
section, one round with 3 judges to determine top places).
H. Tournaments must be announced in good faith 10 days prior to
the date of the
A school will have met this good faith effort if it has communicated to the
District Chair of the District in which the tournament will be held, has
tournament on the IE-L 10 days prior to the tournament, or if it has
sent out a mailer to
schools in the region 10 days in advance.
Leagues or Associations
Leagues or associations that host
multiple restricted institutional tournaments (a closed league) may designate
only one of those as an at-large qualifier. The designated tournament must meet
all other AFA-NIET requirements. Tournaments restricted exclusively to novice
competition, junior varsity competition, and/or junior or community college
competition may not be used for at-large qualification.
If a District Chair verifies a
tournament as having an open status (any tournament that does not restrict
entry from any school that wishes to enter the tournament, then that tournament
will be considered valid for earning at-large legs even if it is later learned
that the tournament was restricted. The tournament will, however, be placed on
the restricted list for future years.
which exclude any schools from participating based on the size of the forensic
program, size of the school, number of coaches, number of tournaments attended,
amount of budget, or quality/strength of competitors DO NOT qualify as at-large
qualifying tournaments. Exception: Entry may be denied for cause: School has
outstanding entry fees which have not been paid [bad check, for instance.] This
denial of entry for cause must be communicated in writing to the Director of
Forensics of the team wishing to enter the tournament.
lies with the individual school to verify the open status of any tournament
being used for AFA qualifying legs. Some tournament invitations may contain
this information; however, if it does not, the NIET recommends that the open
status of a tournament be verified with the District Chair from the tournament's
5. State tournaments must have at least 7
schools to count as a qualifying tournament.
When a tournament has 6 schools
competing at the start of the tournament, the Tournament Director may apply for
a waiver of the "seven-schools" requirement if (1) at least 7 schools
had officially entered the tournament and (2) the "seventh school"
failed to give 24 hours notice of their withdrawal before the start of
a. The Tournament Director or the representative of an
attending school is responsible for petitioning the NIET Chair within two weeks
of completion of the tournament. The petition must include:
1. A letter from the Tournament Director
explaining the circumstances relevant to the petition and formally asking for
2. A letter from the "seventh
school" stating the reason(s) for withdrawal from the tournament.
3. The registration materials for the
seventh school including unaltered schematics and student code sheets (where
4. The Chair of the NIET has the right to
request any additional material.
b. The NIET Chair in consultation with the Tournament
Director's District Chair and the Regional Representative will rule on the
appeal within two weeks of receiving the material.
c. The following conditions will apply to waivers:
1. A team is allowed to use only one
tournament in which a waiver has been approved for student legs. In other
words, students from a team cannot use legs received from two separate
tournaments for which waivers have been granted.
2. Only one waiver will be approved to
dismiss any one particular school. In other words, if a team withdraws from two
or more tournaments within a competition year, only one petition using that
school will be approved
J. The editor of the AFA calendar is encouraged to work
proactively to verify the open status of all tournaments listed in the AFA
calendar, and tournaments which are known to be restricted will be listed in
the fall calendar. It is recognized, however, that this list may not be
exhaustive and that the status of tournaments needs to be reviewed yearly.
K. Two tournaments hosted by the same school on the same
Weekend, for the purpose of gaining additional legs for nationals, is
discouraged by the NIET Committee. In addition, the schools will physically
host a tournament at a designated site (no virtual tournaments).
L. Tournament Directors are requested to submit a copy of
their respective tournament results sheets to the District Chairs of
M. Tournament Directors are requested to submit tournament
tabulation and results sheets to each participating school. Verification of
at-large qualification from tournaments that do not provide tabulation and
results sheets cannot be guaranteed.
N. District Chairs shall publish a list of tournament
results they have received at the time of their respective qualifying District
Tournament. At-large entries using qualifying legs earned at tournaments not on
the District Chair's list must submit results of proof of the number of schools
in attendance, the number of entries, the final placement of entrants, and
other pertinent at-large qualifying information.
O. At-large qualifications legs cannot be earned after the
first full weekend of March except for the District Tournaments.
Exceptions for this rule include legs earned at the PKD and DSR-TKA National
Tournaments; however, qualification legs may not be earned at recognized
national tournaments that are held after the third weekend in March.
P. The AFA-NIET At-Large Qualification Form for the student
must be postmarked by the date on the At-Large Qualification Form and be sent
to the respective District Chairperson.
Q. A student may be confirmed as having qualified at-large
in an event only after an official at-large form has been completed and
verified by the District Chair. No confirmations can take place without this
R. All standards for at-large qualification must be
determined and regulated by the NIET Committee. Any changes or exceptions must
be approved by the NIET Committee.
VI. District Qualification
A. District Alignment shall be as
California, Nevada, Hawaii
Oregon, Washington, Idaho,
Montana, Alaska California State University Humboldt
Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri,
North Dakota, South Dakota,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio,
Truman State (MO)
Georgia, Tennessee, Florida,
Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky
Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey,
Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Ohio University,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Staten Island, N.Y., Connecticut,
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, University of Akron (OH)
* The option for District 8 to
re-establish itself is available when the number of schools in the District
Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New
Mexico, Arizona, El Paso, Texas, and Eastern Montana College
B. In order to hold a District Qualifying Tournament, a
minimum of five schools must participate.
C. A student participant may qualify for the AFA-NIET if
she/he finishes in the top ten percent (10%) of a particular event at the
D. The total number of persons in an event at the District
Qualifier will be rounded off to the next highest interval of ten so as to
advance the maximum percentage possible from the district (example: if 31
students compete, 4 students would be advanced to nationals under the 10%
E. Regardless of total entries in the District Qualifier,
the top three individuals in each event will be advanced to the national
F. When an error is discovered at the District Qualifying
Tournament, it should be corrected. Decisions concerning qualification and
advancement should be made on the basis of the corrected results; and the
student advanced by the error should be allowed to compete at the national
tournament in the event.
G. District Qualifying Tournaments shall be held after January
15 and no later than the third weekend in March.
H. Each school participating in the District Qualifying
Tournament may enter a maximum of five students in each of the events. A
student who has qualified in an event by means of the at-large system shall not
be eligible to compete in that event at the District Qualifying Tournament.
Protests of eligibility must be made in writing and presented to the District
Chairperson before the completion of the District Qualifying Tournament.
Decisions concerning the protest shall be made by a vote of the District
I. It is expected that those qualifying to attend the
National Tournament via the District Qualifier will do so. If for some reason a
school or student intends not to advance to the National Tournament, that
intention should be communicated to the District Chair as soon as possible and
in no instance later than 16 days prior to the registration of the AFA-NIET in
order to allow sufficient time to notify alternates from the respective District
J. The District Committee shall decide on the number of
rounds for the District Qualifier, awards, and the location and date of the
tournament. In so far as possible, the District Tournament should parallel the
administration of the AFA-NIET.
VII. District Governance
Each district shall have a Charter
that provides for the governance of the district. A current Charter should be
made available to each subscribing school. Current copies should be made
available to the National Chair of the AFA-NIET and shall be posted on the NIET
B. Each district shall advertise the
date and site of their respective qualifying tournament in the AFA
Newsletter/Calendar and in the NIET Invitation.
Each District Committee shall decide
on the number of rounds for the District Qualifier, the awards, the location
and the date of the District Tournament.
In so far as possible, the
administration of the District Qualifying Tournament should parallel the
administration of the AFA-NIET.
The District Qualifying Tournament
must have at least nine (9) schools participating before it can be used as a
tournament for at-large qualification purposes. The requirement for nine (9)
schools may be waived under certain conditions. An appeal must be made to the
NIET Chair as per procedures outlines in the By-laws.
Each District Chair shall verify the
at-large qualification status of students from their respective district. Each
Chair shall appoint a member of the District Committee to verify his/her
students' "at-large" entries.
D. Each District Chair shall be responsible for providing
the Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee with a current mailing list of active
forensic programs in the district. Mailing lists shall be submitted by August 1
of each year.
E. Each District Chair shall be responsible for providing
the Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee, National Tournament Director, and the
Board of Trustees Chair with a list of subscribing schools by December 10 of
F. Each District Chair shall be responsible for collecting
subscription fees from those in their respective District. Subscription fees
shall be sent to the Chair of the AFA-NIET's Board of Trustees by December 10th
of each year.
G. Each district shall select a District Committee
consisting of coaches and a Student Representative. Committee structure and
selection shall be determined by each district and this information shall be
outlined in the individual District By-laws.
H. Each District Chair shall be responsible to send the NIET
National Chair by March 31 the names/descriptions of events used at tournaments
in the Districts indicating which were and were not allowed as qualifying legs.
I. There will be a Student Representative position on each
District Committee. The student shall have full voting privileges. Election of
the Student Representative should parallel current election procedures in each
1. By the AFA-NIET entry deadline, a student election will
be held to select one
student to represent the district on the NIET Student Committee for the
2. District Chairs are responsible for providing the NIET
Vice-Chair with the name, address, and phone numbers (home and school) of the
3. The National Student Co-Chairs in conjunction with the
NIET Vice-Chair shall insure that both the current Student Representative and
the Student Representative-elect are informed of the date and time for the
Student Committee meeting at the NIET.
J. Each district will hold a fall and a spring District
K. Each district must schedule an open meeting during the
course of the District Tournament. During this meeting, election matters,
concerns regarding the tournament, dates, and sites of future District
Tournaments should be considered. The AFA-NIET Committee also encourages each
district to hold District Committee meetings and an open meeting for member
schools during the early part of the tournament season.
L. If schools are unhappy with their current district
assignment, the AFA-NIET Committee has established the following procedure for
changing one's affiliation:
1. Petition current District Committee to leave the
2. Petition the proposed District's Committee for permission
to join the district.
3. Petition the AFA-NIET Committee for acceptance of the
4. Petitions for shifts in district alignment must follow
the sequence above and receive acceptance at all levels before the re-alignment
will be approved.
VIII. Protests at the District Level
A. Protests at the District level shall be handled by the
B. The following procedures should be followed:
Protests must be submitted in
writing to the District Chair. Supporting materials must accompany the protest.
Protests will not be reviewed and considered until complete documentation has
been provided by the person filing the protest.
2. The District Committee will request and review appropriate
a. Any committee member directly involved in the protest is
excused from this action.
b. Student representatives to the committee should be
excused from the protest proceedings.
3. The protest will be confirmed by a vote with no more than
one dissenting vote.
4. Appeals of the district decision must be made in writing
to the NIET Chair within 72 hours of notification of the decision.
a. Appeals will be reviewed by a subcommittee consisting of
at least three of the following: the NIET Chair, NIET Tournament Director, NIET
Vice- Chair, and the NIET Chair Emeritus.
b. The review committee may reverse a district decision with
a vote in which there is no more than one dissenting vote.
IX. National Tournament
A. The National Tournament will be held on the first weekend
of April in which the first Saturday falls.
B. Number of Rounds. There shall be three preliminary
rounds; followed by quarter-finals, semifinals, and final rounds in each of the
C. Scheduling: In preliminary rounds, a mechanical pairing
system will be used so that as far as possible, contestants from the same
school will not meet each other. The elimination rounds will be paired on a
D. The American Forensic Association National Individual
Events Tournament will have the following events and conflict patterns:
Group A Events: Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking and Prose
Group B Events: Dramatic Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking,
Persuasive Speaking, and Program Oral Interpretation
Group C Events: After-Dinner Speaking, Communication Analysis, Drama
Interpretation, and Poetry Interpretation.
E. A student may enter up to a maximum of six slots with no
more than two slots in any one-conflict pattern. No exceptions. (If a student
is in two Dramatic Duos; that will count as two events, and no additional
events may be entered in that particular conflict block.)
F. The total number of entries per school at the AFA-NIET is
capped at 66 slots. All schools that enter the AFA-NIET shall be limited to the
number of (full-time equivalent) judges to cover their entry.
G. Ballots and Ranking Procedure
1. The ballots shall use a Rating Scale graduated from 1 to
25 points; with 1 being the lowest rating and 25 being the highest rating. The
points will be grouped as follows: 25-21 Superior, 20-16 Excellent, 15-11
Average, 10-6 Fair, 5-1 Poor. In preliminary rounds the ballots shall also use
a ranking system from 1 to 5; with 5 being the worst rank a contestant may
receive, and 1 being the best rank a contestant may receive. Judges must rank
and rate all speakers in a round.
2. Two judges shall be used per section, per round in the
preliminary rounds; multi-panel judges of five will be employed in the
elimination rounds. In preliminary rounds to determine elimination round
contestants, the lowest rank and rating (not necessarily on the same ballot),
will be dropped from the cumulative total of prelim scores.
3. Ranks shall be used to qualify for elimination rounds. In
cases of ties for those advancing to quarter-final rounds, the dropped rank
shall be reinserted in an attempt to break the tie. If a tie still exists,
ratings shall be used to break the tie. This procedure will also be used to
break ties in seeding.
a. Once the aforementioned criteria are used, if a tie
remains for a given seed, those involved remain tied.
b. Among the tied students, shifts in quarterfinal sections
may only be used to eliminate multiple entries from a given school from
speaking/performing in the same section.
4. During the elimination rounds judges will rank
competitors 1st through 6th. In elimination rounds judges may NOT record ties
in rating points for sixth and beyond.
a. In preliminary rounds, when ties in both total ranks and
total ratings exist for the last qualifying spot, all speakers will advance to
b. In five judge elimination rounds the following criteria
will be used to determine placements:
(1) Majority of first place rankings
(2) Cumulative of best four ranks
(3) Judges' preference based on five ballots
(4) Cumulative ranks of all judges
(5) Cumulative of best four ratings
(6) Cumulative ratings of all judges.
c. Ties among competitors for Individual Sweepstakes will be
broken on the following formula:
(1) Comparative ranks in final rounds*
(2) Number of final rounds
(3) Comparative ranks in semifinal rounds*
(4) Number of semifinal rounds
(5) Comparative ranks in quarterfinal rounds*
(6) Number of quarterfinal rounds
* NOTE: Comparative ranks looks at number of 1st place
finishes, if tied, then the number of 2nd place finishes is
d. Ties among schools for Team Sweepstakes will be broken
based on the following formula:
(1) Number of final rounds by team
(2) Comparative ranks in finals*
(3) Number of semifinal rounds by team
(4) Comparative ranks in semifinals*
(5) Number of quarter-final rounds by team
(6) Comparative ranks in quarterfinals*
Comparative ranks looks at number of 1st place finishes, if tied the number of
2nd place finishes etc.,
6. A "reason for decision" section will be
included on the ballot for the NIET.
1. Judges will be randomly assigned at the AFA-NIET with the
following criteria and constraints:
a. Judges will not judge students from their own school.
b. Whenever possible, two hired judges will not be used in
the same round.
c. Judges should not judge an event they self identify as
"not qualified to judge."
d. Judges should not judge contestant(s) or school(s) that
the judge specified they cannot judge.
e. Judges may judge the same event more than once.
f. Judges should not judge the same person in the same event
more than once.
g. Judges would/could be assigned to judge students from
their own district.
h. Two judges from the same district are not assigned to
judge the same section whenever possible.
i. Judges from the host district would/could be placed in
the same section with hired judges (even from their own districts).
j. Hired judges are considered to have no district
k. Judges will be placed in specific sections by a specific
2. Efforts are made to secure a judging pool that is 50%
larger than the number of judges needed at any one time during the preliminary
rounds. The host school for the tournament is expected to assemble a group of
hired judges from the local area. In addition, guest judges are solicited from
non-host districts [by the Tournament Director] to increase the geographical
diversity of the judging pool.
3. All non-hired judges attending the tournament are treated
equally regarding judging commitment the assignment of judges for preliminary
rounds. If the judging pool is 50% larger than needed at any one time, all
non-hired judges are assigned to judge seven of the nine preliminary rounds. Minor
deviations from this ideal of seven may occur because the need for judges will
vary from one event grouping to another, because of time constraints on
specific judges (i.e., judges who will be arriving late to the tournament, or
the need to free members of the National Committee or tournament staff who may
be in the judging pool at specific times during the tournament), or because of
event constraints on specific judges (e.g., events which judges indicate they
are not qualified to judge). All full-time hired judges will be used during
every preliminary round whenever possible. Part-time hired judges will be used
4. The same criteria apply in assignment of elimination
round judges. All judges are considered available for assignment to any
quarterfinal round section. All judges from a school are considered available
for semifinal rounds if any of their contestants competed in quarterfinals, or
for finals if any of their contestants competed in semifinals. Geographical
diversity is again sought in assigning elimination round judges. Judges
frequently must judge events that they judged in preliminary rounds, but they
will not be assigned to judge the same contestant in the same event (whenever
possible). Whenever possible, coaches will be assigned to judge each
elimination round. No more than one hired judge will be assigned to each
section of an elimination round. At registration, judges will be asked if they
would be willing to judge elimination rounds beyond their obligation and to
indicate the one or two events they are most qualified to judge.
5. Many of these constraints and criteria must frequently be
abandoned when standby judges must be assigned to judge rounds for scheduled
judges who failed to appear for their rounds. In these instances, every effort
is made to observe as many of the criteria and constraints as possible, given
the limited pool of standby judges and the demands of schedule integrity.
6. All judges must pick up their ballots within a reasonable
amount of time, or their ballots will be assigned to another judge. A fee of
$25.00 will be assessed to the school for any reassigned ballots.
1. Individual awards will be presented in each event to
those contestants advancing to the elimination rounds.
2. There will be 20 Individual Sweepstakes awards based on
preliminary and elimination rounds, using the following point system: 3 points
for each 1st, 2 points for each 2nd, and 1 point for each 3rd place ballot in
preliminary rounds. Contestants in elimination rounds will receive points
according to the following scheme: 6 for a 1st, 5 for a 2nd, 4 for a 3rd, 3 for
a 4th, 2 for a 5th, 1 for a 6th and all others. The students must be eligible
and compete in four AFA-NIET events for the Individual Sweepstakes awards.
3. There shall be 20 School Sweepstakes awards based on the
a. Preliminary round sweepstakes points will be given for
the top three students from each school in each event using the following
scheme: 3 points for each 1st, 2 points for each 2nd, and 1 point for each 3rd.
These preliminary round points shall be halved before tabulating the
elimination round points.
b. All contestants in all elimination rounds will receive
points according to the following scheme: 6 for a 1st, 5 for a 2nd, 4 for a
3rd, 3 for a 4th, 2 for a 5th, 1 for a 6th and all others. Maximum total per
student per event would be 18 for elimination points (6 points each for 1st in
a quarterfinal section, 1st in a semifinal section, 1st in finals); maximum
total per student would be 108 (18 times six events) in elimination rounds;
maximum total per school is infinite.
4. Other Awards
a. Traveling Trophy for School Sweepstakes.
b. Traveling Trophy for Individual Sweepstakes.
c. Top Community College Sweepstakes Award (a minimum of
five community colleges must compete).
d. There will be an NIET-NDT award given each year to the
school that has the highest combined scores in these two National Tournaments.
5. Distinguished Service Award
a. A Distinguished Service Award may be presented annually
at the NIET. Whenever possible the presentation for the Distinguished Service
Award will be done at the banquet during the NIET.
b. The following are the criteria to be considered for
Present or past association with the
AFA-NIET is required.
Contributions to the advancement and
development of the NIET.
(3) Leadership in innovations in forensics.
(4) Scholarly investigation of forensics (not necessarily
publications per se, but a scholarly approach to development).
(5) Qualities as a forensics educator.
c. District Chairs shall canvas their districts for
nominations for the award and the nominations shall be forwarded to the Chair
of the Distinguished Service Award Committee. The deadline for submission of
nominations is October 1st.
d. The Distinguished Service Award Committee shall be
chaired by the Vice-Chair of the NIET. The committee shall include the four
Regional Representatives and any other individual(s) appointed by the NIET
e. The committee shall meet prior to the general meeting of
the NIET at the NCA in order to finalize recommendations for the award.
6. AFA-NIET All-American Individual Events Team Awards
a. An AFA-NIET All-American Individual Events Team will be
named annually. Awards and team photographs will be given to those individuals
chosen for the All American Individual Events Team.
b. This award is designed with the intent to recognize
students beyond the area of competition. While achievement in the forensic
activity is taken into account, equal weight should be given to scholarship and
service. This award should serve as a crowning touch to those seniors who have
demonstrated outstanding qualities in all three areas.
c. Nominees should have demonstrated personal qualities that
show their understanding of the role of intercollegiate forensic competition in
a liberal education. They should show evidence of success and good conduct in
the forensic activity, excellence in their classroom studies as evidenced not
only by grade-point average, but by the range and challenge of study, and show
a commitment to the betterment of their community through their activities.
d. Specific Criteria for Nomination:
The nominee(s) must be designated as
a senior at their four-year institution and attending their last AFA-NIET as a
The nominee(s) must be competing at
the NIET during the year they are nominated.
The nominee(s) must have at least an
overall 'B' GPA in college coursework. The nomination must include a copy of
the student's college transcript of grades.
The nominee(s) must provide
documentation of forensic success including a resume of awards earned during
the nominee's forensic competition. Also, there should be letters of support
that convey the value the individual has added to the forensic activity in
general such as mentoring, good sportsmanship, etc.
The nominee(s) must provide
documentation of service work with a brief description of the work completed
and number of hours served. This may include forensic and school-related
service. However, service outside of the forensics community and school is a
significant criterion. Such venues may include community or civic
organizations, but must indicate if required as part of any class or if payment
The nominee(s) should also provide a
cover letter addressing their forensic philosophy statement. This is limited to
e. Nominations must come from a program director/coach and
be submitted to the District Chair. District Chairs will inform member schools
of deadlines for submission. Each District Committee will select one recipient
from their respective district, and forward up to five additional nominations
from their district to the Chair of the Selection Committee. A school can
submit at most two nominations to their district. There will be at least one
recipient from each of the AFA-NIET districts and at-large recipients who may
come from any district to total no more than thirty. District Chairs must
submit all nominations and required nomination materials to the Chair of
All-American Team Committee by March 15th.
7. The Dr. Bruce B. Manchester Scholar Series
a. The purpose of the Dr. Bruce B. Manchester Scholar Series
is to annually provide funding for a communication scholar(s) per year to
undertake one scholarship project that would involve intense study and research
on evolving public communication issues(s).
b. The recipient(s) of the grant shall be recognized by the
AFA-NIET as NIET Scholar(s).
c. The NIET Scholar shall receive an honorarium from the
AFA-NIET for the purposes of conducting intensive study and/or research on a
public communication issue. The honorarium may be used for a variety of
purposes: for study/research materials; to fund release time from the Scholar's
home institution; for necessary travel to conduct the study/research; or in
other ways as best fits the needs of the Scholar(s) to conduct the
study/research. The amount of the honorarium shall be significant in order to
attract quality scholars and projects.
d. Funding of the honorarium is initially provided by a
yearly donation by Dr. Bruce Manchester. Other funding options will continue to
e. Applicants will submit a written statement indicating the
public communication issue(s) they wish to investigate. The submission should
indicate the applicant's background and interest in the subject; and relevancy
of the public communication issue as a worthwhile avenue of scholarly study.
The NIET Scholar(s) will be selected by a committee composed of the Vice-Chair
of the NIET and the four Regional Representatives to the NIET National
Committee. The Selection Committee shall solicit submissions at the beginning
of each school year. Submissions will be due no later than October 1st. The
submissions will be reviewed during the NIET meetings held during the National
Communication Association national convention. The Selection Committee shall
announce the recipients in January. (Note: If the project involves research at
the NIET, the Scholar(s) must follow the appropriate procedures for conducting
the research at the NIET as described in the AFA-NIET By-laws and invitation.)
Scholar(s) must be a full-time faculty/staff member from an accredited college/university.
Graduate and undergraduate student involvement may only be conducted under the
direct supervision of a full-time faculty/staff member. The full-time
faculty/staff member shall be responsible for completion of the project.
g. The NIET Scholar(s) shall submit the manuscript for
publication in an appropriate journal following the public presentation based
on the manuscript at the AFA-NIET. A copy of the submitted manuscript shall be
filed with the Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee. The NIET Scholar(s) shall
present their research project and results to the AFA-NIET during the
subsequent National Tournament.
8. Outstanding New Forensics Coach Award
a. The Outstanding New Forensics Coach Award is designed to
recognize outstanding new forensics coaches in the AFA-NIET. The award may be
presented annually at the AFA-NIET.
b. The criteria used by the NIET Outstanding New Forensics
Coach Award Committee in making its recommendation to the NIET Committee are:
(1) A graduate student, assistant coach, or team director of
an AFA-NIET affiliated team who is in his/her first seven years of coaching.
in innovations in forensics.
as a forensics educator.
c. The format for all nominations:
(1) One page summary of
nominees' contributions as a forensic leader and educator.
A Curriculum Vitae
Three letters of recommendation, including information on the nominee's contributions:
from current/formerly coached students,
b. one from a current/former supervisor,
d. one from a Forensics colleague from
Plus no more than one additional letter.
d. The NIET Outstanding New Forensics Coach Award Selection
Committee is comprised of the AFA-NIET Vice-Chair (chair)and the four NIET
Regional Representatives. The committee is encouraged to solicit input from
current and/or former competitors which were officially coached by the nominee. The purpose of the committee is to
recommend to the entire NIET Committee each year the coach(es) deserving of
a. A Distinguished
Alumnus or Distinguished Alumna Award may be presented annually at the NIET.
Whenever possible the presentation for the Distinguished Alumni Award shall be
done during the awards assembly of the NIET.
b. The NIET Chair
shall appoint annually a committee of 3 or more persons to select a single recipient
of a Distinguished Alumnus or Distinguished Alumna Award. The committee can
solicit names for consideration from the AFA-NIET community at large, the NIET
Committee, and the Alumni Award committee.
No names shall be
considered if presented to the committee after November 1st. If a recipient is chosen by the committee, then the
name of the recipient shall be presented to the AFA-NIET Committee at the
November meeting for approval. If no recipient is selected by that date, the
committee shall have discretion to seek input from the NIET Committee and Chair
at the November meeting.
c. The committee
shall have latitude to determine the specific qualifications or characteristics
of the recipient subject to the directives and approval of the NIET Chair. Character
should be a consideration in the selection of the nominee. Ability of the
nominee to appear in person at the NIET to receive the award should also be a
consideration. The recipient must have qualified for and entered the NIET as a
competitor and must have competed at their last AFA-NIET no less than 5 years
prior to selection for the award. Suggested characteristics for
consideration by the committee might (but do not exclusively) include the
presence or achievement in the arts or entertainment.
achievement or contributions to the advancement of a field of study.
writing as evidenced by media or awards.
achievement as a global citizen.
d. The award shall
be an engraved or laser etched plaque of no less than 8” x 10”, with the
traditional AFA logo, the recipient’s name, and the recipient’s school (or schools) of affiliation
while a competitor displayed prominently.
A separate at-large qualification form must be submitted for each student to
of your District Committee.
The Official Entry Form
a. The official entry form shall be postmarked no later than
20 days or faxed no later than 17 days before the registration of the AFA-NIET
Electronic submission of the official entry form is preferred. Specific
deadline dates will be included in the NIET Invitation.
b. Entries submitted after the deadline will be assessed a
late fee of $50 in addition to their regular fees. The late fee will not apply
to additional entries which result from completions of the at-large
qualification process or additional entries which result from an alternate
advancing from the District Qualifier.
c. Official entry forms which require reprocessing because
of inaccurate or incomplete information shall be assessed a reprocessing fee of
d. Fee assessment will occur 16 days prior to the
registration of the AFA-NIET.
e. No entries nor additional at-large qualification legs
will be accepted after the date of fee assessment. Substitutions from the
District Qualifier caused by the inability of duly registered schools or
contestants to attend the AFA-NIET shall be an exception to the deadlines. Legs
earned at Pi Kappa Delta and Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha are also
f. A $125.00 per judge fee will be assessed to schools that
drop judges after the fee assessment deadline if they had committed themselves
to provide that judge.
g. Copies of the official entry form must be sent to the
National Tournament Director and to the District Chairperson. Appropriate NIET
Verification Form(s) for each at-large qualifier must accompany the official
entry form sent to the District Chair. Students who qualify through the
District Qualification Tournament must also be listed on the official entry
form. The Entry Form must indicate each entry as "At-Large" (an
"A" designation) or by "District Qualifier" (a
h. Calendar dates of all deadlines shall be clearly
communicated in the Tournament Invitation.
i. The entry form shall include an area to indicate schools
that should not be judged by an individual.
j. All fees for the AFA-NIET will be determined by the
Tournament Director, Chair of the National Committee, and the Chair of the
Board of Trustees. Any changes in the assessment of fees must be approved by
the Board of Trustees and the National Committee.
k. Each school's Forensic Director shall fill out and sign a
form verifying student enrollment and, if student-run, the Registrar,
Department Chair, or Director of Student Activities shall certify student enrollment
by signing the form. That form should be submitted the district chair at the
l. All contestants competing at the NIET are expected to be available
for competition in all out rounds. If it is determined by the Tournament
Director that a student is not available for all out rounds of competition the
student will at that point be ineligible for participation in out round
K. Submission of Experimental Event Proposals
Any member of AFA-NIET may propose an "experimental" event for
inclusion at an NIET
by submitting a written proposal to his/her District Chair. The bid must
include the following
event bracket placement
e. Examples of
event such as video tape, transcript
The District Chair will submit the proposal to the AFA-NIET Chair prior to the November meeting of
the NIET National Committee.
Each approved "experimental" event will be offered in a two year
L. Research at the National Tournament
views its national tournament as a learning laboratory for the participants. While the competitive
speech experience is most central to the tournament, the AFA-NIET also embraces research activities as a dimension
of the tournament. Consequently, when
sanctioned research activities are included in the tournament, the AFA-NIET committee encourages its
tournament participants to actively participate in the research process. In some instances, the AFA-NIET
committee may commission a particular
research project at the tournament. In other instances, the AFA-NIET committee may choose to sanction research
proposals submitted by academic scholars in the
forensic community. Research projects utilizing materials in the public domain
need not be submitted for review.
All research projects administered in conjunction with the AFA-NIET must meet the following
1. Research conducted at the AFA-NIET must be sanctioned by
the AFA-NIET committee prior to the beginning of the tournament.
2. Researchers must submit copies of their research proposal
on the request for research form provided by the AFA-NIET.
3. Sample copies of the research instrument must be attached
to the request for research form.
4. All research proposals submitted for consideration to the
AFA-NIET must have been previously approved by the principal investigator's
home university's unit that is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal
regulations governing research involving human subjects.
5. A copy of the principal investigator's approval for
research form issued by the researcher's home university must accompany the
AFA-NIET's request for research form.
6. Unsanctioned research at the AFA-NIET is not permitted.
7. If non-sanctioned research is discovered, the AFA-NIET
Committee will report that violation to the principal investigator's home
institution's research board for disciplinary action.
8. A research review committee will evaluate research
requests. The committee will include the NIET Chair Emeritus (chair), NIET
Chair and NIET Tournament Director. All requests must be received by the NIET
Chair Emeritus by March 1st.
9. The principal investigator should be available to discuss
the research proposal with the NIET Research Committee.
10. All research administered at the AFA-NIET must be
coordinated with the Tournament Director.
V. Protests at the NIET
A. Protests must be submitted in writing to the NIET Chair
1. Protests should be presented as expeditiously as
possible, but protests must be submitted to the NIET Chair Emeritus within 14
days of the completion of the NIET.
2. Protests must include a statement of the specific
3. Protests must include any/all support for the claim.
Protests will not be reviewed and considered until complete documentation has
4. The Chair Emeritus will review the protest and advise the
petitioner if the protest warrants further action.
B. A forwarded protest will be reviewed by at least the NIET
Chair, NIET Director, and NIET Vice-chair, and three other members of the NIET
Committee appointed by the Chair.
1. Any committee member directly involved in the protest
action is excused from the protest decision.
2. This subcommittee will review all material it considers
appropriate including contacting the coach of the student.
3. Confirmation of the protest will require a vote with no
more than one dissenting vote.
C. Consideration and investigation of protests will be
conducted in a timely manner while respecting the competitive integrity of the
student(s) in question. Primary concern is an appropriate and fair resolution
of the protest. While the protest will be handled in a timely fashion, a
compressed time frame decision is not the primary concern.
D. The competitor(s) may continue to compete without
prejudice during the review. The school's coach in attendance will decide if
the student(s) will be informed of the protest.
E. All final rounds of public address and limited
preparation events will be videotaped and may be reviewed for possible ethical violations.
All final rounds of oral interpretation will be audio-taped solely for the
purpose of possible ethical use of literature violations. The audiotapes will
be kept by the Chair Emeritus for a period not to exceed one year during which
time only members of the Appeals Committee may have access in the case of a
protest. NIET Committee members are considered part of the Appeals Committee if
F. The subcommittee decision may be appealed to the entire
1. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the NIET Chair
within 14 days of notification of the protest decision.
2. Reversal of the subcommittee decision requires a
two-thirds majority of the entire NIET Committee.
G. In the event of a confirmed protest, the NIET Chair will
notify all parties involved.
1. Upon the completion of the protested appeal, adjustments
will be made in the competition when possible.
2. When possible final round finishes for affected
competitors will be adjusted to reflect the results of the protest action.
a. If the disqualification affects a team in the top 20, the
team is removed.
(1) The remaining teams in the top 20 below the disqualified
team are moved up one position.
(2) The 21st team becomes the 20th
(3) A trophy will be given to any school that advances into
the top twenty in school sweepstakes due to a disqualification of another
b. If the disqualification affects an individual in the top
20, the individual is removed.
(1) The remaining individuals in the top 20 below the
disqualified individual are moved up one position.
(2) The 21st individual becomes the 20th individual.
(3) A trophy will be given to any individual that advances
into the top twenty individual sweepstakes due to a disqualification of another
c. If the disqualification involves a student who was an
individual event finalist:
(1) The individual is removed.
(2) The remaining finalists below the disqualified student
are moved up one position.
d. If the disqualification involves a student who was a
non-advancing semifinalist or quarterfinalist:
(1) The individual is removed (thus the event would have
five non-advancing semifinalists or 11 non-advancing quarterfinalists).
(2) Individual and/or team sweepstakes for the person and
school involved in the protest action will be adjusted to reflect the decision.
(3) No other individual and/or team sweepstakes will be
altered due to protest action.
(4) Appropriate recognition for the next competitor will be
H. Explanation of confirmed/validated protests may appear in
the appropriate NIET and/or AFA publications.
XI. Hosting the AFA-NIET
A. The AFA-NIET employs an open bid system for location of
the national tournament. Each year the tournament is intended to rotate
B. Requirements of Host School
1. Documents: a) A letter of invitation from the principal
officer of the institution; b) A statement of any goals and/or services to be
provided by the institution; c) A statement of any charges to be made for use
and care of any facilities.
_______ Rapid photocopy machine (2 preferably)
_______ 5 IBM compatible computers with 2 high speed
printers (5 preferably)
_______ 35 reams of paper (for schedules/results, etc.)
_______ Office supplies: pens, pencils, legal pads, markers,
tape, scissors, paper clips
_______ Large posting sheets (must be bigger than
artist pad sheets)
_______ 4 projectors for power point postings
_______ Lecture Auditorium (750-800) (Auditorium needed for
opening Session and Awards Ceremony)
_______ 90-100 classrooms (Sat/Sun)
_______ 16 Classrooms (as semifinals begin on Monday)
_______ Appropriate rooms for tabulation
All costs for campus security/room rental are to be borne by
_______ 35 judges (full time equivalent)
_______ 10-15 student helpers for the entire tournament
_______ Ground transportation to and from headquarters motel
to the school is NOT required, but may be offered at a host's option. (Hosts
are not expected to finance the motel/school transportation.)
_______ Availability of ground transportation--bus, rental
cars, taxi--from commercial transportation centers to the headquarters motel.
(Hosts are not expected to provide for or finance such transportation.) General
cost estimates should be provided on the following items: $_____Taxi $_____Bus
_______ Duplication costs for tournament program, ballots,
schedule (Host schools are expected to provide for and finance duplication
costs --estimates on expense to host school can be approximately 15 pages x 700
programs = rough cost estimate for program and schedules + cost of ballots on
6" x 8" cards times [approximately 11,000-12,000])
_______Visual Aid Check-in Station for competitors.
_______ Meal package on campus Two options:
1) Provide a cost estimate for the following meal package
options arranged via your campus food service: 2 continental breakfasts; 2 noon
lunches; one evening banquet meal (may be buffet); or
2) Provide the one evening banquet with (indicated local
restaurants or options for additional meals). Cost per person $_____ (Host
school is not expected to pay for meals). Estimate number around 700
_______ Availability of ground transportation (bus, rental
cars, taxi) from commercial transportation centers to the headquarters motel.
(Hosts are not expected to provide for or finance such transportation.) General
cost estimates should be provided on possible expenses to be incurred for local
transportation: $______ taxi $______ bus $______ rental cars
_______ Optional: Ground transportation to and from
headquarters motel to the school (Hosts are not expected to finance or provide
the motel/school transportation.)
_______ Please provide a list of area motels within reasonably
close distance to campus (include current rates for Singles/Quads and any
additional services provided by the motel).
_______ Fringe benefits: Specify any add-on advantages which
might be forthcoming should your school be selected as Host.
C. The Bid to Host Form shall be submitted to the Chair of
the AFA-NIET Committee no later than the deadline specified in the NIET
D. Host schools are exempt from the first five-hundred
dollars of their school's registration fee for the NIET. Money collected from a
surcharge levied on all NIET participating schools also goes to the NIET Host
XII. NIET Committee
A. In order to vote on any issue before the AFA-NIET
Committee at its bi-annual meetings, committee members must be present for
deliberations (no proxies allowed). If a voting member is unable to attend an
NIET Committee meeting, he/she may choose to designate an alternate with full
participation and voting rights upon prior notification to the NIET Committee
Chair. The only exception to this policy is that no single person may cast more
than one vote.
B. The AFA-NIET shall publish the minutes of the bi-annual
AFA-NIET Committee meetings on the official AFA-NIET website after they have
been verified and approved by the AFA-NIET Committee through an email vote.
C. Election of the Student Co-chairs who serve on the NIET
Committee shall follow the following procedures. Student Co-chairs will be limited to two
people. Student Co-chairs will be
elected from the student representatives from each district. Each district will elect one student to
serve on this committee to meet at the AFA-NIET.
Students wanting to be nominated for the position of the AFA-NIET
student representative should comprise the following criteria:
be a district representative
attend the AFA-NIET student meeting
commit to attend NCA and fulfill other responsibilities
submit a personal statement, no longer than a page, describing how the
nominated will make sure the integrity of their position will be fulfilled.
turn in a resume showing leadership both within and outside of forensics.
Post personal statement and resume to current National Student Representatives.
Finally, a contract
must be signed and dated by the student and overseer of respective forensic
team. Tie break shall be decided by the
two sitting national representatives and the national student secretary.
A preliminary vote will take place
before the student meeting BY THE STUDENTS to narrow the nominations to two.
Each district gets two votes. All
other proceedings (speech, vote, etc) will take place during the meeting. The
liaison of the student representatives that year will oversee the
contract applicants and help enforce the aforementioned requirements.
D. The NIET
Committee will provide a total of $300 monetary support for the Student
Co-Chairs to attend the NIET meeting at the NCA Convention.
E. The NIET
Committee formally recognizes the position of the NIET Webmaster.
1. The NIET Webmaster is appointed by the Chair of the
AFA-NIET Committee, in consultation with the AFA-NIET Committee. The AFA-NIET
Webmaster does not serve as a member of the NIET Committee.
2. An open call for self-nominations for the AFA-NIET Webmaster
will be posted on the AFA-NIET website. The Webmaster position will be
appointed for a two- year term at the spring meeting of the AFA-NIET Committee.
There is no limit to the number of times a Webmaster may be reappointed.
3. The responsibilities of the AFA-NIET Webmaster include:
a. Maintain the AFA-NIET website.
b. Convert and post documents to the AFA-NIET website as
directed by the AFA-NIET Committee Chair.
c. If possible attend meetings of the AFA-NIET Committee so
as to apprise members of developments on the site and consult with the
committee about the construction and content of the website.
d. Maintain and update, as appropriate, the legislative and
historical documents of the NIET.
e. Create and delete links to other forensic resources as
directed by the AFA-NIET Committee Chair.
f. Make recommendations about the AFA-NIET website to the
Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee.
g. Maintain and update student-specific content in
consultation with the national Student Co-chairs and the NIET Chair.
4. The Chair of the AFA-NIET Committee is responsible for
communicating any concerns pertaining to the AFA-NIET website to the Webmaster.
5. When a Webmaster exits the AFA-NIET Webmaster position,
he/she will be expected to provide the extant content to the
Webmaster-designate and to facilitate a smooth transition for the AFA-NIET
6. Any expenses incurred by the NIET Webmaster will be the
responsibility of the AFA-NIET, however, all expenses must have the prior
approval of the AFA- NIET Committee Chair.
Should a contestant and/or school deliberately misrepresent
qualification procedures or in some other manner deliberately violate the
ethics implicit in the American Forensic Association and its National
Individual Events Tournament, such contestant and/or school may be denied
participation in the District and the National Tournament for one to three
years. A decision to impose sanctions on a contestant and/or school shall be
based on a recommendation of such action from the AFA Professional Practices
Committee and by subsequent ratification of the recommendation by the AFA-NIET
XIV. Ratification of By-Laws
This document shall become effective when approved by a
two-thirds vote of the AFA NIET Committee.
The provisions of this document may be amended by a two-
thirds vote of the AFA-NIET Committee or majority vote at two consecutive
meetings of the AFA-NIET Committee.