Starting a Team

Are you a new coach or team manager interested in bringing a team to compete at one of our tournaments? Then check out our step-by-step guide for making sure your students can participate in the BEST Foundation.

1. Get a sense of what BEST is about – see some video stories and testimonials about the BEST experience.

2. Learn about Competition Events – Learn about the 5 different events that students can participate in at our tournaments.

3. See coaching materials, handouts, and other resources in the Resources section

4. Figure out the logistics – Read all our information in Tournaments to see when and where our next tournament will be!

5. Conduct Team Fundraising activities – This is an essential part of the speech and debate team experience. Please see our Fundraising section for help.

6. Register your team for a tournament – Registration for each tournament lasts 2-6 weeks before the tournament date. All schools must make an account on Speechwire (if your school has participated in the past, your school already has an account; if not, you will have to make one) and fulfill all of the steps on the Registration Checklist, including fee payment, in order for registration to be complete.

7. Apply for Financial Aid – Teams MUST apply for financial aid from BEST by the stated deadlines before each tournament in order to receive any reimbursements. Financial aid is limited and should be considered supplementary to fundraising efforts. Please read our Scholarships section thoroughly.

8. Attend a Tournament!

9. Student Ambassadors – After your school has participated in at least one tournament, you may nominate up to 2 SAs each year to serve as liaisons between your team and BEST.