2021 Season Updates and Onsite Tournament Protocols
More Info

Parent Expectations for Online Tournaments

Chrissy Sweetman
January 2, 2021
by Chrissy Sweetman

Parents have always been NCFCA’s “secret weapon” for success. Tournaments cannot run without you! 

We recognize that being fully engaged in a tournament while physically at home is challenging. We have younger children, pets, meals, personal texts or phone calls, work-related tasks calling for attention, and the list goes on. But it is important, to the fullest extent possible, that we all approach online tournaments as we would an onsite event. 

What is expected of parents during an online tournament? 

Tournaments function like the intricate inner workings of an old-fashioned clock with hundreds of moving parts. While we plan for our events to “run like clockwork” and would love for you to be able to precisely plan your tournament commitment in advance, we also have to be prepared for any number of variables which may not be within our control. Parents will need to remain flexible and available. 

Availability

A parent from each family needs to be available throughout a tournament in addition to rounds selected to judge. “Available” means actively receiving notifications on the tournament platform and/or via text message, and able to respond and participate in a timely manner.

  • In the event that your student has a question or concern about rules or a competition issue to bring to the attention of our compliance staff, a parent must contact Tournament Administration on their student’s behalf and be present for any conversations that take place. 
  • At times, a question is raised about a rule or round that requires Tournament Administration to ask a student questions for clarification. Again, parents need to be available as we will not meet with a student without another adult present. 
  • You might be needed to judge during rounds you did not initially commit to judge. See below. 
  • While parents will designate rounds they are committed to judge, if any variables cause the tournament to run late, the rounds might not run at the exact time listed. Our goal is to always run on time, but it is not always possible. 

Judging

Having an adequate number of judge volunteers is typically the single most significant factor for a tournament to run smoothly! For the first National Open, over 1,500 total judge slots will need to be covered by a combination of parents and community judges. 

During the parent check-in process, parents (or a combination of adults within each family) will need to designate at least seven rounds they are committed to judge.

Generally speaking, ballots will be available for selection in phases beginning 30 minutes prior to the start time of each round. If you do not receive a ballot during a round...or two...or more, it does not mean that you are not needed for future rounds. Please continue to be present in the tournament platform for each ballot selection opportunity you have committed to.

It is possible that you will not judge all seven of the rounds you designate, but it is also possible you will be needed for additional rounds. 

Community Judge Recruitment

We ask that every participating family helps to recruit community volunteers to judge. If you haven’t already, you should receive an email from your Regional Director connecting you with the judge coordinator who is providing resources to assist you in recruiting community judges. It benefits every family and puts less responsibility on parents to fill the judge slots when we have adequate community participation, and since we are online, you are not limited to those in a small physical radius of a facility. For example, Aunt Sally from Idaho can judge for any online opportunity!

Community volunteers should review the Online Tournament Technology Information Sheet for tech requirements and then register here. As part of our online safety protocols, if you wish to share the link on social media, please share only with friends versus publicly. 

Volunteer administrative staff

As much as we might wish for a “Jetsons” type of automated tournament, online tournaments will require a significant number of volunteers to serve in administrative roles! 

If you have an administrative bent or are interested in working in a volunteer staff capacity, please let your Regional Director know as soon as possible. If you are invited to serve on staff, please strongly consider accepting the position. 

We need all hands on deck to meet our mission to challenge and equip ambassadors for Christ to communicate truth with integrity and grace!

You are appreciated! Thank you in advance for your willingness to be available and to serve. We look forward to seeing you online soon.

2 comments on “Parent Expectations for Online Tournaments”

  1. My older son is going to judge for me on Wednesday. Do I need to let tournament officials know? Does he just use my email address or can he use his own computer and email address? Will he get the notifications for judges needed or will I or both?

    • Hi Judy,

      A few notes that might help:
      - Your son should be listed as a designated adult under step 4.
      - Once this is the case, he should log in using his own account to check in and to select rounds.
      - On Wednesday, he needs to use his own account.

      Please do reach out to Office@NCFCA.org if you need additional assistance!

      Natalia Rosa

Leave a Reply to Natalia Rosa Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get regular updates on events, announcements, articles and more!


© 2020 Christian Speech and Debate League. All rights reserved. Powered by GDN Web Media

cross-circle