Tournament Policies


Tournaments provide the opportunity for all students ages 8-16 (as of September 1, 2016) to sharpen their skills against other skilled competitors, develop higher levels of proficiency, and bring home valuable ballot feedback.


Dress Code

The spirit of the dress code is modesty. The goal is to minimize the focus on the body or outward appearance and maximize the focus on the development of communication skills. Professional attire (a suit) is highly recommended for all competitors. A dress shirt and slacks for young men, and dress or skirt/blouse for young ladies is also allowed.



We are very grateful to our host facilities for opening their doors for our competitions each year. All participants must stay inside the designated areas of the facility and treat the church staff and property with the utmost honor and respect. Parents are financially responsible for any damage to the facilities caused by their children. 


Parental Responsibilities

All competitors and siblings, regardless of age, must be accompanied and supervised by their parent or guardian throughout the entire tournament. Parents are responsible for helping their competitors find their way to their competition rooms on time every round, stay well nourished throughout the day, and most importantly, giving their students the encouragement and support that they need.

Parents and siblings are welcome to watch students perform their speeches. Audience members must remain quiet with no distractions to allow all competitors to do their very best.



Parents and students are required to check-in together at 7:00am the morning of the tournament. Be sure to allow sufficient travel time so that you are not late. Students will perform at a much higher level when they have time to assimilate the environment, and the order of the competition.

At Check-in, students will be asked to confirm the events for which they are registered, and provide contact information for both parent and student while onsite. All students and parents will receive their nametags, a tournament schedule, and other pertinent information.

Failure to check in before 7:20am will result in the student automatically being dropped from the tournament roster.


Mandatory Orientation

All competitors and their parents are required to attend the Mandatory Orientation at 7:30am, where students will be given instruction on where to find competition rooms, postings for each round, and other important information. Plan to arrive early and find a seat as tournament staff will not be available to relay information once it is missed.



Students, bring plenty of water, a sack lunch and light snacks to stay nourished and energetic throughout the day. A lunch break is included on the tournament schedule. Students are encouraged to eat a light lunch so that they are sufficiently energized for their afternoon rounds.


Code of Conduct

Tournament participants are to exhibit a respectful, kind, and polite attitude toward others at all times. Disrespectful behavior toward tournament officials or other competitors will be grounds for disqualification.


Speech Content

All speeches must be in compliance with the rules governing each event. See Speech Events & Rules. Speech topics and content must be appropriate for general audiences. Explicit material or vulgarity is strictly prohibited.



Parents may record their own students if it does not distract from their performance during competition.


Non-Refundable Fees

Tournament registration fees are not refundable - your registration is your commitment that your student will participate in their registered events. A tremendous amount of work goes into hosting a tournament. Our policy enables us to plan for the number of students that will be attending, providing the best possible experience for all participants.


Awards Ceremony

Tournaments will conclude with an Awards Ceremony where top competitors in each event are recognized and awarded trophies/medals to honor their accomplishment. All competitors must remain in tournament attire until the end of the awards ceremony.

At the end of the Awards Ceremony, all competitors will receive a copy of their ballots which provide valuable judges' feedback on areas students did well, and areas to continue to improve. Ballots are not available before this time.



Families will have the opportunity to browse and purchase the latest editions of our curriculum at our tournaments.


Release of Liability

DFW Speech & Debate LLC, our staff, and our host facilities are released from all liability in the event of accident or injury while participating in speech/debate training and competition.


We look forward to welcoming your family to an exciting tournament experience!