As we all wind down our semester, we debate coaches know that the busiest time of year lies just ahead.... DISTRICTS!
Basic Information you'll want to keep in mind:
- NFL District Congress will be held at the State Capitol Building on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.
- The two preliminary rounds of debate will be held at Clayton High School the evening of March 6th, 2014.
- Preliminary and elimination rounds of events and all debate elimination rounds will be held at Pattonville High School March 6th and 7th, 2014.
This has all been on our calendar since last Spring, but I wanted to send out this quick note as a reminder in case schools need to reserve busses/lodging/chaperones before hand.
- Last year we implemented a strict requirement for schools to fulfill judging obligations. It worked! For the most part, we had the judges that we needed. The long-term goal of this is to build a reliable judging pool of volunteers for the District tournament that we can call on from year-to-year. We're in Year Two of this process. Because many schools will want to start the judge recruitment process early, the updated judging quota requirements are attached to this email. Please review them. Should you have any questions, contact Cara Borgsmiller (email@example.com) and feel free to cc me!
- The Committee has figured out a policy regarding the Student of the Year Application process.
- Because we have two Committee members from the same school, we're also establishing a recusal policy and a "designated alternate" policy. This policy is designed to give us a "course of action" in the event that three or more of the five Committee Members would be ethically bound to recuse themselves from a decision at the District Tournaments.
I'm assembling all of the new stuff into a packet over Winter Break and will send it out in early January. The judging information is attached to this email so you have additional time.
What to be doing right now:
- If you haven't done so, please report NFL Points soon! I am happy to help coaches do this if you need a refresher or are new to the process.
- Be sure to have any new students register for an account on the NFL's website so that they're degrees are counted towards your school's strength. Remember, your school strength determines how many entries your school can send to NFL Districts. Again, I'm happy to walk you through this if you need. Remember -- students no longer need to use their email address to register.
- You may want to review the District Tournament Operations Manual. NFL Districts operates differently than any other tournament; you may find helpful information in there (especially new coaches).
- Start recruiting judges!
We will be using Joy of Tournaments again to take in entries, take in judging information, schedule the tournament, and tabulate results.
I'll be working on the site over the next few days.
I will have the specific instructions and all the paperwork available in January.
The survey results from last year indicated that we need to have some form of "guide to districts." My plan is to have a "draft" version of this for competition thisyear, but I really need your help. Any suggestions for content to be included would be greatly appreciated.
- What questions do you have about NFL Districts? What questions did you have?
- What do you now know that you wish you had known when you first started coaching?
- What advice would you want to share with newer coaches?
- And... what are your "best practices" for getting through the Districts "Season"? (This could be prepping students, managing paperwork, managing stress/emotional health of students & coaches, etc.).
I know that, personally, I'm always looking for better ways to have that conversation with Seniors when they learn they're not going to Nationals.
Please email me with any ideas!
In other NFL News:
- Congratulations to Metro Academic & Classical High School for becoming our newest NFL Charter School. Please congratulate coaches Warren Detjen, Jennifer Glick, Laura Trieschmann, and SLUDL Director Shawn Briscoe.
- Time still remains for the 2014-2014 NFL Policy Topic. Coaches and students can vote at www.nationalforensicleague.com. Voting closes December 31st.
- NFL is phasing in the new "National Speech and Debate Association" branding and naming during the Spring 2014 semester and plans to have fully completed its renaming/rebranding by Fall 2014.
Have a great winter break and a Happy New Year!