New Coach - FAQ

Getting Started

How do I register my school?

Visit our Membership Page and complete the School Certification Form. Registrations and payments must be received by Dec. 1st to be eligible for team sweepstakes at the State and Sectional tournaments. Schools who register or pay after Dec. 1st are still eligible to compete for individual but not team awards and will pay late fees.

NOTE - While our state organization is closely aligned with the National Speech & Debate Association, schools do not need to hold memberships in both organizations. Registration and dues for NSDA is a separate process. Visit for more information.

What are the different leagues?

ISSDA ( - our state organization, hosts Sectional and State tournaments and provides rules and guidelines for the invitational season.

NSDA ( - our national organization, operates District qualifying tournaments for the annual National Tournament in June. Membership is paid separately from State membership

NCFL ( - The National Catholic Forensics League is open to all schools regardless of religious affiliation and hosts their annual national tournament at the end of May.

What are the different types of tournaments?

  • Invitational Tournaments - Individual schools and occasionally college campuses host Invitational tournaments. These can be found on our Calendar along with an info sheet including specific information for the tournament.

  • Sectional Speech Tournaments - hosted by ISSDA and qualify students for the State Speech Tournament. The top 6 competitors in each Speech event advance to the State Speech Tournament.

  • State Debate Tournament - hosted by ISSDA as an open tournament with no qualifier. Member schools will receive registration information in early January.

  • District Tournaments - hosted by the NSDA District committees. Depending on the number of entries in each event, the top 1,2 or 3 finishers qualify from each District to the NSDA National Tournament.

When are tournaments?

The Speech season traditionally begins in early November and culminates with Sectional tournaments at the end of February and the State Tournament in mid-March.

The Debate season traditionally begins in October and culminates with the State Tournament at the end of January/first weekend of February.

  • State Debate - Feb 3-4, 2023 @ Marian University

  • Sectional Speech - Feb 25th, 2023

  • State Speech - March 11, 2023 @ Fishers HS

Visit our Calendar for invitational tournament opportunities

How do I sign up for local tournaments?

Most tournaments are listed on the Calendar and use for registration and tournament administration.

What is Speechwire? is tournament management software used to register and tabulate tournaments. If you need to transfer your log in from a previous coach, email

Where do I find the rules?

In order to play the game, you need to know the rules. They are found in our Constitution and Tournament Manual. The tournament manual has all of the rules regarding all of our events. If you have any questions, please contact or

Who do I contact?

Coach Education -

Fred Douse -

Communications & Tech Support -

Sara Berghoff -

Registration & Payments -

Jeff Stutzman -


Do my students prepare something new for every competition?

It depends on which event students are competing in. Generally, in Interpretation events (DI, HI, Duo, Prose, Poetry, OP and POI) and Public Address events (OO, Info) students will prepare a piece and then work to refine it through the season. In Broadcasting and Discussion, tournament hosts will publish prompts and artifacts the Monday prior to the tournament. In Limited Prep events (IX, USX and Impromptu) students prepare at the tournament either in a prep room or the competition room.


Where do I find the current debate topics?

Debate topics, Congress legislation and World Schools resolutions are available on the Debate Topics page