National Tournaments: What's the Difference?

National-level tournaments have begun! Congratulations to those students who earned the first National Championship invitations of the year in Big Sandy, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri last week.

Opens and Mixers are strategically placed across the country to provide varying opportunities for families. You have the option to attend a national-level tournament that is more local to you or to travel across the country. No matter the location, these tournaments boast the same consistent competition with standardized processes as all other NCFCA events, but add competition with students from other regions, fellowship with out-of-region families, the option to compete in Moot Court, and a small number of coveted direct slots to the National Championship in June.

The fact that there are slots to Nationals involved also drives a few tabulation and qualification differences at Opens and Mixers.

  • Partial Debate Rounds (aka “partials”) often happen during elimination rounds of each style of debate (yes, Moot Court, too) because only those teams with winning records at the end of preliminary rounds are allowed to advance. This often results in less teams advancing than would be prescribed at a Regional Qualifier. When this happens, a number of teams will be announced as “advancing without debating” at breaks and will not need to debate during the current round, but instead, are automatically advanced into the next round.
  • Top finishers in each event receive a direct invitation to the National Championship. Specific details on the number of invitations extended at these tournaments can be found in the 2020 Qualification Rules beginning on page 113 of the League Handbook.
  • At-large points available at national-level tournaments are also slightly higher than at Regional Qualifiers due to the roll-down from national invitations. Specific explanations and point allocations are also found the Qualification Rules in the League Handbook.

Remember that at any tournament style, every student who is recognized at the Awards Ceremony earns not only a placing in the event for that particular tournament, but also qualifies to their own region’s Regional Championship and accrues at-large points towards a slot to the National Championship.

Whether you’re new to NCFCA or have been around for years, remember that while all these details contribute to a competitive season that we are very proud of, it’s not the end. Competition in NCFCA tournaments is the means by which we’ve prepared young people to think and speak in a manner that glorifies God for the past 20 years. By His grace, we’ll will continue to do so for another 20 and beyond. We’re excited to continue the journey with you at whatever tournaments you choose to attend this season!

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