Category: NSDA News

Around the Circuit: The National Forensic League Issues Guidelines on the Use of Laptops in Extemp Prep

In the latest edition of the Rostrum, the National Forensic League list its rules for laptop use in extemporaneous speaking.  The national tournament will allow students to use laptops, but each NFL district will get to decide whether student use of laptops is appropriate at their district qualifying tournaments.  Most of the rules are common sense.   Instant messaging, Internet access, and cell phones are banned during prep.  The rule that extempers need to be most aware of is that laptops have to be battery powered at all times.  Extempers are not allowed to use external power sources.  So you can forget plugging your laptop into a wall outlet and/or bringing a massive extension chord into the prep room.

To access the guidelines, click here and scroll to page two.

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NFL National Semifinalists in Extemp

International Extemp

Shahid Ahmed
Jacob F Baker
Gabriela Barahona
Michael Barton
Rohan Bhargava
Steven Ebensberger
Steven Elliott
Jane Kessner
Teagan Alexander Lende
Jonathan A Lewallen
James Mohan
Asheshananda Rambachan
Lauren Tonti
Sesenu Woldemariam

United States Extemp

Susan Czaikowski
Alexis Elliott
Tyler D Fabbri
Frank Liang
Jared Odessky
Krishnan Ramanujan
Forrest Richardson
Bari Saltman
Dylan Slinger
Remi Sun
Meera Sury
Oscar Wang
Haley Wheat
Kevin Ye

Help a Team Get to NFL Nats via

Help a team get to nationals!

Each year, more than 900 schools qualify to compete in the largest academic competition in the world – the NFL National Speech and Debate Tournament. This is quite an achievement, whether a team qualifies for the first time or the fiftieth.

Because of the difficult economic climate, many of our teams will face challenges fundraising for transportation, lodging, and other associated costs with this honor. For this reason, the NFL has created a secure portal,, to help our schools fundraise for the national tournament. Our goal is to help coaches raise money from the entire NFL community and draw from a national pool of support.

Can you help a team get to nationals? Visit and connect with a program that needs your support.

(via The National Forensic League)

Small Endorsement: Steve Meadows for NFL Board of Directors

Although we stay away from endorsing any political viewpoints here on Extemp Central, there is one race that is happening in a few months that I thought I would do some brief advertising for. The head forensic coach at my high school in Danville, Kentucky, Steve Meadows, is running for a seat on the NFL Board of Directors (formerly known as the National Council). While students do not get a ballot for this race, any coaches that visit this website might be interested in the credentials that Mr. Meadows brings to the table. Here are a few of them:

* He’s a three diamond coach and has coached for 19 years.
* Has served as Kentucky’s District chair for 13 terms.
* He serves on the Praxis (National Teacher Exam) Standing Committee for Speech Education.
* Founded Kentucky’s state speech teachers’ group, SPEAK.
* He’s worked in the Speech tabulation room at the national tournament for the past three years.
* Has coached four consecutive state championship teams in Kentucky between 2006 and 2009.
* Has coached four national finalists at NFL in four different events.
* He’s a member of the TOC Student Congress committee.

Since I would not have been able to be a part of forensics if it wasn’t for Steve Meadows (and since this website would not exist by proxy), I would like to encourage any coaches out there with a ballot for the NFL Board of Directors to vote for Steve Meadows in this year’s election. Having competed and coached with Steve, I can easily say that he would be a dedicated representative for the forensics community and that coaches across the nation would be satisfied with the representation that he would provide. So coaches, get out and vote!

New Supplemental Debate Event at NFL Nats

Discovered this tidbit on the NFL Website this morning. What’s interesting is that limited prep (ie, extemp) is not specifically mentioned. I wonder if that’s lumped under public address? Given the limited prep aspect of the event, I would think extempers would have a unique advantage; however, I can’t image them being excluded from an event. We’re following up with the NFL for more details.

Update:  Just got word from the NFL that all students are welcome to participate in the event.  Yes, extempers are particularly well-suited for this event.  Looks like, Extemp Central’s national tournament prep could come in even more handy this June!

From the NFL Website:

The first-ever supplemental debate event is scheduled for pilot implementation at the 2010 NFL National Speech and Debate Tournament in Kansas City. Any competitor in debate, public address, interp, or Congress may pre-register to compete in this new event.

Based on significant discussion and collaboration, the new event would modify existing rules of Parliamentary Debate to address the needs of a supplemental event at nationals. Under the proposed framework, the one-on-one debate format will address a topic that changes each round. The debate does not permit published material to be used or consulted during the round, but debaters may reference scholarly work in their speeches. Debaters will not read pre-written speeches, briefs, or evidence. Instead, debaters speak impromptu from a few notes that record the arguments the other debater made, as well as outline his/her own main points. Each of these points should be signposted, explained, supported by relevant facts and examples, and given impact. Debaters must learn to think on their feet, adding and elaborating upon arguments while speaking. However, unlike Parliamentary Debate, all time is protected. A speaker may not interrupt another. There is designated cross-examination of the proposition and opposition by the opposing debater immediately following the constructive speeches.

For more information, view the event announcement in the April Rostrum.

via the National Forensic League

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