The goal of the ASDCA during the 2021-22 season is to have in-person competition as often as possible. This will not happen unless we keep the health and safety of all members of our community as our top priority. To that end, we will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Masks are expected for all members of our community (coaches, competitors, and judges), except while actively performing. Each tournament host has the autonomy to identify mitigation strategies which best fit their site.

District-Wide Justification: When we think about who has the capability to hold students accountable for their behavior at tournaments, the bottom line is, it’s the responsibility of their coach. We do our best to ensure our judges, which include a combination of coaches, teachers, parents, and alumni, are effective adjudicators of the round. However, we cannot ensure they will act as supervisors. For this reason, it is the responsibility of coach-student partnerships to craft clear norms around COVID-19 protocols, including masking and distancing this season. Set clear expectations, remind students frequently, and turn issues into conversations. You are also highly encouraged to make it part of your competition dress code in your student handbook.

Team Handbook Justification: One of the greatest values gained from one’s participation in Speech & Debate is an informed understanding of professional dress and etiquette. These expectations are often normative across the activity, and adhered to by competitors as an opportunity to prepare themselves for life beyond forensics. This year, our team is choosing to treat masks as a part of that norm around competition attire, for the purpose of expressing common care, consideration, and maintenance of in-person competition for all participants. The expectation is for students to wear masks in-between and within rounds, unless they are actively speaking as part of the round. We wear professional dress to look good while competing, we’ll wear masks for our ability to continue competing.

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