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NFA Panels at the 2018 NCA Convention

posted Aug 6, 2018, 12:35 PM by Megan Koch

We are pleased to have five panel slots at the 2018 NCA Convention at Salt Lake City in addition to our General Business Meeting.  The full list of NFA panels is available here.

2018-2019 LD Resolution Announced

posted Jul 2, 2018, 1:17 PM by Megan Koch

After six months of work, the 2018-2019 season begins!   The NFA Council would like to give our sincere thanks to outgoing LD Chair John Boyer, members of the 2017-2018 LD Committee, incoming LD Chair Chad Meadows and everyone who wrote, reviewed and refined the topic papers and potential resolutions.   To join the discussion about the new resolution and the next-outs, please visit:

Recent Ballot Results

posted Jun 9, 2018, 3:04 PM by Karen Morris

The most recent ballot contained:

*proposals which had moved through the amendment process

*2018-2019 LD Resolution options

 The 2018-2019 Resolution will be announced on July 1stHowever, the results of the votes on the four proposals on the ballot are below.

Amendments to the bylaws need a majority vote of the membership to pass and amendments to the constitution need a 2/3’s vote of the membership to pass.  NFA currently has 82 member schools who have designated a voting delegate. 

An amendment to the bylaws must receive 42 yes votes to pass

An amendment to the constitution must receive 54 votes to pass

Proposal to Cap Elimination Round Sweepstakes Points   

Regardless of the number of entries, each school receives the sweepstakes points for its top three           contestants in preliminary rounds in each event.  No more than three contestants from each  school may earn points in the octafinal, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds in each event.  Schools will receipt sweepstakes points for all finalist.

Bylaw Amendments (needs 42 votes to pass)

57    schools voted             YES—30 votes               NO—27 votes                   FAILS

 Code of Ethics The goal of this proposal is to add the values and ethics manifested in the             National Forensic Association community to the NFA Bylaws.

Bylaw Amendments (needs 42 votes to pass)

56    schools voted                   YES - 51 votes              NO - 5 votes            PASSES

Code of Standards Currently, we have a code of ethics that can sanction students for ethical       violations.  In response to the community’s concern that sanctioning for ethical violations (often grey areas) may penalize students and judges unfairly, we have proposed that the current Code of Ethics be changed to the Code of Standards.  These standards are also edited in response to the community discussion.  The committee edited the language to reflect clearer standards that NFA has for students and judges.  Additionally, this version removes the AFA Code of Ethics, as this proposal presents standards for the NFA community.

Bylaw Amendments (needs 42 votes to pass)

55 schools voted                    YES - 42 votes           NO - 13 votes             PASSES

Proposal to make both the EDI and the Social Committees Standing NFA committees

 These committees have been active for several years. The importance and regularity of their     work warrants permanent committee status.

Constitution Amendment (need 54 votes to pass)

58 schools votes                     YES-55 votes             NO-3 votes                 PASSES

Welcome Your Newest NFA National Council Members and  LD Committee Members

posted Jun 9, 2018, 3:00 PM by Karen Morris   [ updated Oct 13, 2018, 6:18 AM ]

Although the results of the latest election were announced at the NFA General Business Meeting and on Facebook, we would like to officially welcome those new individuals and returning members to service to the NFA.

Re-Elected to serve on the NFA National Council

President-Karen Morris, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire    

Secretary/Treasurer -Megan Koch, Illinois State University

At-Large Representative-Lisa Roth, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Elected to serve on the NFA National Council

LD Representative -Chad Meadows, Western Kentucky University

At-Large Representative -Mike Storr, Ball State University

Graduate Student Representative -Tanya Melendez, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Junior Student Representative -Craig Heyne, Illinois State University

Appointed to serve out a vacated term on the NFA National Council

Vice President of Professional Relations-Nikki Freeman, University of Central Missouri        

Elected to serve on the NFA Lincoln-Douglas Committee

John Boyer, Lafayette College

Sue Peterson, California State University-Chico

Stephanie Eisenberg Todd, Chabot College

LaKiyah Sain, Wiley College (student representative)

2018 National Championship Disqualifications in Novice Extemp and Novice Impromptu

posted Jun 9, 2018, 2:58 PM by Karen Morris

After the final rounds of Novice Extemp and Novice Impromptu, eligibility challenges were brought to the National Tournament Committee.  In both cases, the claim was that a student in each event did not meet NFA’s definition of a novice.  After reaching out to both students and their coaches, the Tournament Committee found that both students had competed on the high school level in individual events.  NFA bylaws state that students must be in their first year of competition, including high school and collegiate experience to be eligible for novice events.  The National Tournament Committee reported their findings on these challenges to the National Council who convened during the tournament to discuss the charges. The National Council found unanimously that a violation of eligibility did occur in both cases.  Both students were eligible to compete at the tournament but not eligible to compete in novice events.  The National Council agreed unanimously that the penalties for these violations should come from the list of penalties involving a specific event and not involving eligibility of competing at the NFA National Championship Tournament.  The bylaws say that for violations involving a specific event, the penalties will be selected from the following: 

      A.   Disqualification from the event in question;

      B.   Issuance of letter(s) of censure to the individual(s) and/or institution(s) in violation;

      C.   Issuance of letter(s) of reprimand to the individual(s) and/or the institution(s) in violation;

      D.  Disallowance of sweepstakes points or honors achieved in the event in question.

      E.   Prohibition from attendance at future national competitions.

F.   In the case of Lincoln Douglas Debate, a round result reversal in the round

      challenged with an ethical violation.

The National Council again unanimously agreed to impose ONLY sanction A and disqualify both students from these novice event finals.  Disqualifying the student in Novice Extemp dropped the number of entries in this event from 11 to 10. Only awarding the top five eligible speakers in Novice Extemp still respects the rule that no more than 50% of the non-advancing field will be awarded. However, disqualifying the student in Novice Impromptu dropped the number of entries in this event from 16 to 15. Awarding only the top five speakers in this event did not honor the 50% rule.  Since the Novice Impromptu Final had already occurred at the time the sanction had been issued, the National Council voted to acknowledge the student who was next out into the final round of Novice Impromptu. 

Congratulations to Luisa Gunn from Lafayette College who will receive an NFA Novice Impromptu Finalist plaque.

Moving forward, students who enter the NFA National Championship Tournaments as novice must sign a form certifying that they have never competed in high school or intercollegiate forensics in prior years. This form must be turned in with the student verification sheet at registration. This practice should help to remind students and coaches of NFA’s definition of novice going forward so that we honor those eligible to compete in these novice events.

2018 NFA Community College Champion Named

posted Jun 9, 2018, 2:56 PM by Karen Morris

We are pleased to announce East Los Angeles College as the 2018 NFA National Community College Champions. The NFA Community College Award is a relatively new tradition. The proposal establishing the award spells out that it should be presented to the top five community college teams entered in the National Championship Tournament, but never recognize more than 50 % of the field. At the 2018 NFA Championship Tournament, there was only one school clearly identified in individual events as a community college. With only one community college entered in individual events, no trophy was presented at the 2018 National Championship Tournament. At the end of the tournament, East Los Angeles College self-identified as a community college, thus changing the eligibility of awarding a community college award. Our apologies for not recognizing East Los Angeles for this honor at the awards assembly. A plaque has been ordered and mailed to the school.  In addition, the NFA National Championship invitation now requests schools enter their status as a four-year or two-year institution during the registration process.

National Forensic Journal - new issue available

posted Jan 5, 2018, 11:29 AM by Megan Koch

Letter from our Journal Editor.  The new issue can be found at:

National Forensics Association Fall Ballot Results

posted Dec 11, 2017, 11:09 PM by Megan Koch

97 Member Schools (6 nonvoting schools)

91 Voting schools

73 Schools returned ballots although not voting on all proposals

18 schools abstained by not returning a ballot


*61 out of 91 needed for Constitutional Change

**46 out of 91 needed for Bylaw Change


Constitution/Bylaws Amendments reflecting Current Practices (4 proposals)

*71- FOR                     Ratifying the current Octafinal Implementation Plan     (PASSED)          

 2-AGAINST             This plan must be ratified in order for the constitution and bylaws to reflect current

18-ABSTAIN             practice of offering Octafinals at NFA.



**68-FOR                        Proposal for LD Sweepstakes                                      (PASSED)

4-AGAINST                These bylaw changes reflect current practice for tabulation of LD Sweepstakes.



**70-FOR                         Proposal for Team Sweepstakes Tiebreakers               (PASSED)

  2-AGAINST               These bylaw changes reflect current practice of breaking ties for Team  

19-ABSTAIN                 Sweepstakes.


*63-FOR                           Continuing the practice of Novice Finals                     (PASSED)

10-AGAINST                These changes to both the bylaws and the constitution would continue the

18- ABSTAIN               practice of having Novice Finals at NFA


Proposals for Ethics and Inclusivity (3 proposals)

**65- FOR                        Proposal to Prevent Discriminatory Comments on Ballots  (PASSED)

7-AGAINST                 These changes to the code of ethics in the bylaws discourages discriminatory

19-ABSTAIN                 comments on ballots.


**61- FOR                     Proposal to Add Sanctions                                           (PASSED) 

10-AGAINST               These changes to the code of ethics in the bylaw allow for round reversal as part

20-ABSTAIN                of sanctions against an LD violation and also allow for removing a judge from

                                    the tournament for judge conduct violations.


**59-FOR                     Proposal for Language Inclusivity                                (PASSED)

13-AGAINST               This proposal to the bylaws strikes the phrase “all events must be presented in the

19-ABSTAIN                English Language”.


Proposals to change NFA Championship Tournament Practices   (ALL WILL BE IN PLACE FOR THE 2018 NFA National Championship Tournament)

**61-FOR                     NFA POI Proposal                                          (PASSED)

11-AGAINST               This proposal changes the bylaws and allows POI to be added as an NFA event.



**68-FOR                         Pentathlon Proposal                                        (PASSED)

5-AGAINST                  This bylaw proposal would require students entered in pentathlon to compete in

18-ABSTAIN                at least two of the three genres (base on the fact that if POI is added, there would

                                    be 5 interpretation events)


**66- FOR                    Seeding Proposal                                                         (PASSED)

 5-AGAINST                This bylaw proposal would change the current seeding system to a snaked

20-ABSTAIN                 seeding for outrounds.


**58-FOR                          NFA LD Warm Room Proposal                      (PASSED)

14-AGAINST               This change to the bylaws would allow for posting of results for preliminary

19-ABSTAIN                rounds of LD during the National Tournament.



**66-FOR                       Proposal for Fair Judging Practices                (PASSED)

5-AGAINST                 This proposal would change the bylaws to reflect the unspoken norm of judges

20-ABSTAIN                waiting until they have been removed from a school for 2 years before judging

                                       that school.


**54-FOR                      Proposal to Lock President's Sweepstakes         (PASSED)

18-AGAINST               This bylaw proposal would change the current system of establishing the team

19-ABSTAIN                sweepstakes categories based on percentage of schools to just a set number of


Voting for Proposals begin November 28 and end December 8

posted Nov 27, 2017, 12:38 PM by Karen Morris

Voting begins from November 28 (evening) until December 8 (midnight). 
NFA Voting delegates have received directions from Karen. Voting will occur on SpeechWire.
 A complete list of voting delegates can be found at…/nationa…/about-nfa/member-schools.

Student Story Project

posted Nov 20, 2017, 12:42 PM by Karen Morris

Forensics Students, Coaches, and Graduate Assistants:

My name is Shannon Flory, the Junior Representative of NFA. The National Council has started an Ad Hoc Committee for something called the Student Story Project or Narrative Project. As the chair, I want to introduce the members of this committee: Dani SoibelmanBailey RungDecker O'DonnellLily Schwab, and Abbey Toye! The Student Story Project is a committee which collects the forensics experience narratives of a variety of intercollegiate students for the purpose of sharing with high school students the advantages of continuing forensics life after high school. Abbey is currently working on a website in one of her classes to house these narratives. This project is not just about NFA, and we will be reaching out to students from other national tournaments, as well. If you are interested in this project, you can be a part of it! How has forensics changed your life? Why do you continue in this activity? Big question, but I am sure you all have something to say. Write a narrative (that is one to two pages) or make a video (2-5 minutes). Tell your story, and convince others to keep telling theirs! Email these narratives to me at  If you choose to make a video, please record it horizontally for uploading purposes. Feel free to create a video alongside a teammate or friends! Spread the word to your teammates, students, and friends among other teams and organizations. Progress from the committee will be shared when available. Please take part in this opportunity to be a part of the forensics legacy.


Shannon Flory

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