History of the AFA-NIET
The beginning of the AFA-NIET can be traced back to 1972 when the leadership of the American Forensic Association recognized that in order to be truly representative of the forensic community, the AFA should support those persons interested in individual events. Dr. Jerry M. Anderson and E. R. Tame proposed a constitutional change in 1972 which would broaden the AFA purpose to include individual events. The membership passed this change in 1973. other events in 1972 included the appointment of E. R.. Tame as Chair of the Educational Practices Committee, which began the consideration of how to include mroe emphasis on forensic activities and have other national championship tournaments, beyond debate, sponsored by the AFA. Based upon this early work, the membership of the AFA voted in 1973 to create a Nastional Individual Events Tournament Committee.
During the period between 1973 and 1976, the committee, under the leadership of Dr. Jack Rhodes, investigated such issues as judging criteria, standardized rues, journal coverage, and tournament management and guidelines.In July of 1976, Dr. James Weaver, president of the AFA, appointed Professor Larry Schnoor of Mankato State University to chair the NIET Committee. This initial committee was comprised of the following individuals:
It was decided to have the first tournament in April of 1978. The AFA-NIET Chair, Professor Larry Schnoor, worked with the committee to develop the tournament structure, rules, procedures for qualifying, and tournament management. Dr. James Pratt of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls was appointed to be the first tournament director. Dr. Pratt and Professor Schnoor worked closely together to bring about the first AFA-NIET, hosted by Illinois State University.
The first tournament was attended by approximately 168 students from 59 schools. There were 296 entries at the tournament. Various changes in the concept of the tournament were approved at the meeting o the committee in Illinois to tkae effect with the 1979 tournament. The committee membership re-elected Professor Schnoor as chair of the NIET. The work of the committee during the following year was to draft a charter for theAFA-NIET, which was approved by the membership of the AFA at its general meeting during the AFA-SCA Convention in Minneapolis, MN in November 1978.
The AFA-NIET has demonstrated significant growth since its beginnings. A total of six schools have been present at all of the tournaments: Bethel College (KS); Bradley University (IL); George Mason University (VA); Kansas State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The AFA-NIET has and is continuing to play a significant part in the development of individual events.