In 1971, Dr. Seth Hawkins, concluding that the needs of the forensics community warranted a National I.E. Tournament invented a national championship in individual events, declared it official by fiat and sent invitations. The tournament featured Prose, Poetry, Extemporaneous, Impromptu, After-Dinner Speaking and Oratory. The following 23 schools were in attendance: American University (DC), Ball State University (IN), Defiance College (OH), Eastern Kentucky University, Eastern Michigan University, Evangel College (MO), Georgetown College (KY), Heidelberg College (OH), University of Kentucky, Lehigh University (PA), University of Southern Maine, University of Maryland, Miami University (OH), Niagara University (NY), Ohio University, Ohio Northern University, Purdue University (IN), Sheperd University (WV), Southern Connecticut State University, St John's College (NY), St. Rose College (NY), West Chester University (PA) and Wright State University (OH).
In 1973, A draft constitution for the National Forensics Association was written in January to create a governing body for the I.E. Tournament. The constitution was accepted at the tournament in April at Eastern Michigan University.