American Forensics Association
National Individual Events
District I Charter
I. The District I NIET Committee
A. The Committee Membership
1. Roster of Members
a. The District I Committee shall consist of six elected members (including the Chairperson) from the district’s subscribing schools.
b. The Tournament site host will be an honorary member of the district committee with all rights and voting benefits.
2. Election Procedure
a. The district committee will be elected by a majority of votes cast by directors of forensics from subscriber schools.
b. A ballot listing all directors of forensics in the district will be made available to all directors attending the district qualifier tournament. Each director will vote for five or six members to form the new district committee each year.
c. The current district chairperson or designee and a district committee member will tabulate the votes and notify the winners of the election.
3. Term of Office
a. Each member of the district committee (excluding the chairperson) will be elected to serve one year.
b. Each member of the district committee is eligible for re-election.
c. The chairperson will hold the office for a two-year term.
a. The chairperson will be elected by the members of the district committee.
b. The current chairperson cannot succeed himself/herself, but can be re-elected to the position after an intervening two-year term.
c. The chairperson has the following responsibilities and duties:
(1) Send out notification for subscriptions to the active forensics programs in the states of the district.
(2) Remind the district membership of AFA NIET dues deadlines.
(3) Compile a list of subscribers and forward it to the national office or executive secretary for AFA NIET.
(4) Any collected AFA NIET membership dues are forwarded to the national offices for each subscriber school.
(5) The district chairperson must seek bids for sites for the district qualifying tournament each year prior to the end of the district qualifying tournament (see III. AFA NIET Institutional Eligibility for District I Membership—C. Site Determinants for District Qualifier Tournament).
(6) Each chairperson shall send the date and location of the district qualifier to (1) The AFA NIET Committee Chairperson, and (2) the Editor of the AFA Tournament Calendar.
(7) The chairperson is the designated director of the district qualifier tournament. The remainder of the committee will be the tabulation room personnel.
(8) The chairperson is responsible for maintaining a clear record of budgeted income and expenses for the district. The chairperson is responsible for ordering and paying for trophies, ballots, paper, duplication materials, tabulation room expenses, and possible room clean-up fees. Payment of these necessities should come from tournament receipts and budgetary surpluses. A new revised budget must be made available to all member schools.
(9) The chairperson is responsible for verifying “Alternate Qualifications” to the AFA NIET (see VII. Alternate Qualification: Method and Procedure). Forms for the alternate qualification must be sent to both the district chairperson and the National Tournament Director. The chairperson must verify that the tournaments so designated meet the qualifications and if they do not to notify the member school for immediate action. If the district chairperson does not approve the alternate qualification form, the method may not be used for National eligibility.
(10)Each district chairperson is expected to represent the district at the meetings of the national AFA NIET council during the national tournament. A second meeting usually occurs at the annual National Communication Association convention and each district chairperson should make an effort to attend the meeting or send a representative from the district.
(11)Each chairperson should encourage schools within the district to submit bids for hosting the National tournament.
(12)Each district chairperson is encouraged to submit impromptu and extemp topics to the National Tournament Committee for use at the National tournament.
(13)The district chairperson should faithfully attempt to promote the growth and well being of the AFA NIET in the district.
5. Chairperson Elect
a. Every other year the district committee should elect a chairperson elect.
b. This person will automatically be a member of the district committee the following year and take over the responsibilities of the district chairperson.
c. If the district chairperson is unable to fulfill duties of the office, the chairperson elect shall assume those duties.
B. Duties of the District Committee
1. The district committee shall serve for one year.
2. The district committee shall elect a chairperson from their ranks to serve a two-year term.
3. The district committee shall administer the district qualifier tournament.
4. The district committee shall decide on all questions of tournament policy or rule violations or procedural guidelines.
5. Open meetings for member schools shall be attempted if tournament schedules and district qualifier tournament times allow for the purpose of seeking advice and input for tournament and district business.
6. Changes in tournament regulations or procedures or fees must be initiated by vote of the district committee.
C. Rules of Procedures
1. A quorum of two-thirds of the voting members of the district committee is required for transactions of district business.
2. Decisions related to the rules and regulations for the District I Qualifying Tournament shall require a simply majority vote. In case of ties, the district chairperson shall vote to break the tie.
II. Meetings of the District Committee
A. The AFA NIET District I Committee shall meet once per year in a formal business meeting. This will be held during the district qualifier tournament.
B. If additional meetings are required, the district chairperson will attempt to choose the site of a regional speech tournament where most members will be attending with their schools or through other means of conferencing.
III. AFA NIET Institutional Eligibility for District I Membership
1. Two or four year institutions of higher learning are eligible for membership in the districts of AFA NIET.
2. Annual dues are required. Members are encouraged to pay their subscription fees by the AFA NIET deadline.
3. Members of the district are under no obligation to send their qualified students to the AFA NIET.
4. A school cannot participate in the districts or national tournaments without paying annual dues.
1. Alternate qualification forms must be sent to the district chairperson and the National Tournament Director no later than the date set by the national Tournament Director.
2. The AFA NIET governs the last tournament eligible for use as an alternate qualifying tournament.
3. Acceptance of bids to the National tournament must be verified by notifying the district chairperson within a week after the district qualifying tournament.
C. Site Determination for the District Qualifier
1. The site of the district qualifier should alternate yearly from Northern to Southern California.
2. Schools located above Santa Barbara are considered “Northern” and schools below Santa Barbara are considered “Southern.”
3. The Chairperson needs to confirm with the site host access to technology appropriate to tournament administration.
4. The District chairperson and local hosts will negotiate for the provision of appropriate supplies.
IV. AFA NIET Student Eligibility
A. Any undergraduate student at an accredited member school may participate in the AFA NIET district and national tournament.
B. Issues of student eligibility ware governed by the AFA Charter.
C. If a participant qualifies for the AFA NIET while eligible and qualifies by means of the alternate qualification method, such participant may participate in the AFA NIET even after mid-year graduation.
D. If a student transfers to another institution during the academic year and wishes to represent a new institution at the National tournament, the student must qualify for the National tournament by the methods in which he was a student at the represented institution. (Example: Student X competes for school B, than transfers mid-year to school C. Student X must alternately qualify and/or win the district berth under the auspices of school C in order to go to nationals competing for School C.)
E. A person possessing a baccalaureate degree in any subject is no longer considered an undergraduate for purposes of eligibility for the District Qualification tournament or the National tournament (unless qualification occurred prior to receiving the baccalaureate degree).
F. No student will be allowed to compete at the district qualifier who has already qualified by alternate means in a specific event. A student may compete in other non-qualified events at the district qualifier.
G. Protests of eligibility must be made in writing and presented to the district chairperson before the completion of the district qualifier tournament. Decisions on the protest will be made by vote of the district committee.
V. Description of AFA Individual Events—See AFA NIET charter for event description.
A. Pattern A Events: Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking, Prose Interpretation
B. Pattern B Events: Dramatic Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, Program Oral Interpretation
C. After-Dinner Speaking, Communication Analysis, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation
VI. District I Qualifying Tournament: Rules and Regulations
1. Each member institution may enter a maximum of five contestants in each event. The maximum of slots possible per school would, thus, be fifty.
2. An individual student may enter as many as two events per conflict pattern (for a total of six events).
3. Two duos with a different partner are permissible, but this constitutes double entry in the pattern.
4. Double-entered students are entered to be indicated as such on ballots with an asterisk by their name or number.
B. General Rules
1. Contestants shall be randomly assigned to sections in preliminary rounds, with the proviso that two contestants from the same school shall not compete in the same section against each other unless a school has more entrants than there are sections of the event.
2. Attempts will be made to panel six contestants in each round.
3. If two judges are used in each preliminary round:
a. Total ranks and ratings will be adjusted by dropping the worst rank and worst rating.
b. Advancement to elimination rounds/awards will be determined by adjusted ranks.
c. In the event of a tie in ranks, the tie breaking criteria are:
1. total ranks
2. adjusted rating points
3. total rating points
4. If one judge is used in each preliminary round:
a. Advancement to elimination rounds/awards will be determined by total ranks.
b. Ties will be broken on rating points
5. In elimination rounds contestants from the same school should not compete against contestants from their school if possible.
6. Speaking order should be random.
7. Determining semi-final placement/awards
a. In semi-final rounds, qualifying contestants shall follow a schematic as to the sections in which they fall.
b. Elimination rounds may range from 5-7 contestants in a section.
c. Events with less than 20 will go directly to a final round. Events with 20-30 contestants should have no more than 12 contestants in semi-finals; events with more than 30 can have up to 14 semi-finals.
d. In semi-finals rounds, qualifying contestants shall follow a schematic as to the sections in which they fall.
(1) High-low seeding will be used, and panels should be equally sized
(2) If 12 students are in semi-finals, the students in Section I would include 1-12-4-6-5-9. Section II students should include 2-11-3-10-7-8.
e. If contestants are tied on preliminary marks then the decision as to which contestants goes in which section will be determined randomly.
f. In advancing competitors from semi-finals to finals, and in determining final placement/awards, total ranks will be used. Ties will be broken using judge preference and then ratings.
g. Ties is total team points for sweepstakes will be broken on the basic of number of first place awards won, then number of second place awards, then number of third place awards won. Ties for individual sweepstakes awards will use the same tie-breaking procedure.
C. Turning down bids to the National Individual Events Tournament:
1. If a bid to the AFA NIET is not accepted, it is the responsibility of the competitors Director of Forensics (or person in charge) to immediately notify the District Chairperson.
2. The District Chairperson is then responsible for contacting the Director of Forensics (or person in charge) of the next alternate on the list. This process is to be repeated as necessary.
1. Trophies will be awarded for the first three places in all events as well as for finalists. Double-trophies will be awarded in duo interpretation.
2. School sweepstakes awards will be presented to the first five schools accumulating points from individual speaker honors.
3. Individual sweepstakes awards will be presented to the top five contestants on the basis of awards won in total speaking events.
4. Points for School Sweepstakes are as follows:
a. Semi-finals: 1st place = 5 points; 2nd place = 4 points; 3rd place = 3 points; all others = 2 points
b. Finals: 1st place = 10 points; 2nd place = 8 points; 3rd place = 6 points; all others = 4 points
5. Points for Individual Sweepstakes are as follows (for both semi-finals and finals): 1st place = 10 points; 2nd place = 8 points; 3rd place = 6 points; and 4 points for not placing but reaching elimination rounds. Each qualified at-large event = 10 points.
6. Points for Season-Long Sweepstakes are the same as School Sweepstakes, but also include 10 points for each event qualified through the at-large process.
E. Judging Requirements
1. Each school must provide one judge for every six events entered in the tournament.
2. All semi-finals and final rounds will have a minimum of three judges, if it is at all possible.
3. All of the school’s judges must be available for all elimination rounds whether their school has contestants in them or not.
4. Judges must rank and give quality points to all contestants.
a. The preliminary round ballot should have the judge’s rank to 5th place with ties for 5th place only.
b. The elimination round ballot should have the judges rank all contestants.
F. The Tournament Director with the approval of the District Committee determines tournament Fees. This includes payment of hired judges.
G. Delinquent Bills
1. Any school who has not paid tournament entry fees from previous district qualifiers is considered delinquent.
2. Delinquent schools will be disallowed from competition until previous bills have been paid in full.
VII. Alternate Qualification: Method and Procedure – District One defers to the method and procedures adopted by the National Individual Events Tournament.
Revised: March 2003