ASDCA COVID-19 Statement

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.

Black Lives Matter

The following statement was posted by the National Speech and Debate Association, but we in the ASDCA wholeheartedly agree with the ideas it contains and decry racism in our society. Black Lives Matter.

On behalf of myself, President Pam Wycoff, the entire Board of Directors, and the National Speech & Debate Association, we join you in denouncing the senseless racist violence that has taken the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many more. Although it is difficult to comprehend the pain of the Black community, we all can and do join you in condemning anti-Black violence and racism. Far too often the burden of speaking  against centuries of systemic racism and tragic death has been carried by Black communities. The Black members of our speech and debate communities should not alone mourn and fear for the safety of our Black students and coaches. We ask every member of our community to join us in living our mission to create spaces for stories and perspectives that are often screamed out in the streets, yet left unheard by those in power. We recognize our community needs to do more, and our organization needs to do more to amplify your voices and support you in sharing these messages.We must model and foster the importance of listening to those perspectives that are marginalized by racism. We must model and foster spaces where young people can use the power of their voices to create institutional changes. We must model and foster holding and truly listening to the uncomfortable and courageous conversations necessary to fight against racism.We ask every member of our community to join us in actualizing our mission by preparing young people to communicate, think critically, collaborate, and creatively find solutions to the greatest problems that our society confronts. As activist and rapper Killer Mike said, “It is your duty to not burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” We believe that the NSDA and its membership should be committed to providing the opportunities for our young people to learn to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize. With that in mind, we offer the following suggestions for assisting students in using their speech and debate skills to challenge anti-Black violence and oppression:
Read and draw upon Black authors for debate and speech events;
Initiate and engage in courageous conversations with someone who doesn’t look like you;
Form reading groups focused on anti-Black violence and oppression;
Join Community Advisory Boards in your cities to advance social reform;
Submit position papers advocating for reforms in your communities;
Advocate for reforms at your City Council;
Participate in your political process by campaigning, voting, and/or engaging your representatives;
Teach others how to utilize speech skills to advocate for change; and
Use your artistic and performative talents to inspire others to be agents of change.
We hope you read this letter and these recommendations as a continuation of our path to be a more equitable organization. The NSDA is committed to modeling and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion for all speech and debate communities. We hope that you join us. 

J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director
Pam Cady Wycoff, President
Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Vice President
Byron Arthur
Mike Edmonds
David Huston
Adam Jacobi
Jennifer Jerome
Renee Motter
Thomas Rollins
Robert Runcie
Timothy Sheaff

AIA Meeting Outcomes

Hello everyone!

The AIASDAC met this week for our annual September gathering.  There was one big item which will affect Arizona tournaments.  As the NSDA is using the “pilot” PF rules for the 2020 Nationals, we felt confident that the new times are permanent.  We will use the 3 minute Summary and 3 minute Prep times as outlined in the pilot at Winter Trophy and State, and it is also recommended for invitationals.  Make sure you read the invitations carefully.

Additionally, we affirmed that the NDCA page linked in an earlier post provides all of the evidence allowable in Novice Policy Debate, however with the addition of negative Counterplans and a Kritik to the packet, affirmative teams will be allowed to debate CP and K theory in order to refute those arguments.  The guidelines are as follows:

    • Only use evidence from scripted materials
    • Cant mix materials from multiple sources and splice them together- no chance for opposing team to argue
    • Theory if there is any should be tightly controlled- will be open in the spring
    • Counter plans can be a good idea as they are debating which policy is better

More information can be found in the minutes, which are located here: AIA meeting notes 9_18_19


Coaches’ Conference and Other Information

Hi Coaches!

We are a week away from our 2019 ASDCA Coaches’ Conference.  If you haven’t checked out the website yet, go to www.joyoftournaments.com/az/convention for more information.  Click on the link for the Google Form to register.  We are not offering student workshops this year, but have a variety of workshops for coaches of all experience levels and interests.

We also have a Novice Policy Debate packet, as created by the National Debate Coaches Association.  It features three aff cases, three neg cases, a number of disads, and a T-shell.  it can be found at http://www.debatecoaches.org/2018-2019-novice-packet.  All Policy tournaments with a novice division first semester should use this packet.

Welcome to 2019-20

Hello everyone!

The year is already upon us.  Hopefully everyone had an exciting summer and is ready for the Speech and Debate season.  The calendar page is updated for 2019-2020 and we are already planning our first event – the ASDCA Conference on September 7th.  Please watch out for emails from Meg Howell regarding the conference and let her know if you want to be a presenter.

Go Team AZ!


Congratulations to Richard Glover of McClintock High School, who was named the National Federation of High Schools Speech, Debate, and Theater Educator for Section 7!  That includes Utah, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona.  Way to go Richie!

ASDCA Winter Trophy

A huge thank you to the schools that came out and competed at the Winter Trophy tournament at ASU last weekend.  Congratulations to Arizona College Prep and Hamilton High School who were our Division sweepstakes champions.  Because of the need to combine speech divisions, we are working on getting the tournament results posted on Joyoftournaments. Debate ballots will be available in the next day or so through this site.

Sad News

The Executive Board of the ASDCA extends its sympathy and best wishes to the family and friends of Leslie Jones, theater teacher and speech and debate coach at Perry High, who passed away last weekend.  Our hearts go out to her loved ones and her students.

Arizona Coaches Conference 2018

Update!  This conference has been moved to coincide with the Student Workshops on September 8th.  The Conference and Workshops will both take place at Thunderbird High School.  Check http://www.joyoftournaments.com/az shortly to get the most updated information for both events!


Dear Coaches!

Please use this google form link to register for the ASDCA Conference on August 18th at Thunderbird High School.
The cost of the Conference is $35.00. Checks should be made payable to the ASDCA. If you are a new coach and your school has never had a competitive speech and debate team before, we would like to extend to you 1 free registration for 1 coach. Additional coaches will be charged.
Each coach planning to attend the conference must fill out their own registration form. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation and an invoice.
Use the form below to register. Choose one of the 4 options in each time slot. Session One and Session 4 are plenary sessions for all conference attendees.
More information about a potential pre-conference dinner will be released in a day or two, but just know that if you are in town on Friday evening, August 17th, we plan to meet up for dinner and fun adult time. We are just trying to solidify the location.